Advent Wreath Meditations - 2013 (Garland): First Sunday of Advent
First Sunday of Advent: December 1, 2013
Scripture - Isaiah 2:2-5 (NRSV)
"In the days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
"Many peoples shall come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.'
"For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
"He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;
"Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
"O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!"
The Season of Advent is an invitation to reflect on faithful vision and what it means to live in expectation of its fulfillment.
Consider what the prophet Isaiah sees:
. . . the Lord's house established on the highest of the mountains
. . . people seeking instruction and the Word of the Lord
. . . a righteous Lord who will bring peace
. . . an invitation to walk in the light of the Lord
How then do we live as those who believe that the promises of God will be fulfilled?
. . . as those who are faithfully present in the house of the Lord?
. . . as those who are willing to be instructed in the Word of the Lord?
. . . as those who would seek the peace that the Lord brings?
. . . as those who would daily walk in the light of the Lord?
If we are willing to trust in a faithful vision and are willing to live in the expectation that it will be fulfilled, then our discipleship will prepare us for the coming of Immanuel.
Candle Lighting Liturgy
The Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
We will go up to the mountain of the Lord; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.
The one who is coming will bring a new order to life, and teach us the way of peace.
Awaken us, O Lord, as your salvation draws near.
We light this candle, trusting that Immanuel will surely come.
(Here light the first Advent candle.)
In this light we will await the coming of the Lord.
"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," Stanza 7, The United Methodist Hymnal, 211
"The King of Glory Comes," The Faith We Sing, 2091,
"Come to the Light of Hope" by F. Richard Garland