Advent Wreath Meditations - 2013 (Garland): Second Sunday of Advent
Second Sunday of Advent: December 8, 2013
Psalm 72:1-4, 18-19; Isaiah 11:1-4a (NRSV)
"Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
"May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth."
"A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
"His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth."
Christmas is about the birth of good news, fulfilling an ancient hope for righteousness, justice, and deliverance. In Advent, we have an opportunity to look at our roots of faith and see what may come forth from them. The Psalmist prays that the leader will be righteous and just. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of a righteous branch:
. . . one who lives in awe of God.
. . . one who will be wise and understanding.
. . . one who treats the poor and meek with righteousness and respect.
. . . one who will be a strong advocate for justice.
How then do we make ourselves ready for this appearance?
. . . by living as those who are in awe of God?
. . . by demonstrating a spirit of wisdom and understanding?
. . . by caring for the poor and the meek?
. . . by blessing the name of the Lord always?
If we faithfully anticipate a new growth of the Spirit, then we will be ready for the birth of good news, as Christ is born again into our lives.
Candle Lighting Liturgy
The Lord, the God of Israel, does wondrous things. Blessed be the name of the Lord; may the glory of the Lord fill the whole earth.”
(Here relight the first Advent candle.)
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on people of faith.
With righteousness the Lord shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.
Send again, O Lord, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
We light a second candle to illumine the path for the Spirit of the Lord.
(Here light the second Advent candle.)
With gratitude for your Presence, O God, we will prepare to welcome a new birth of your Spirit.
"Hail to the Lord’s Anointed," The United Methodist Hymnal, 203
"The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve," The Faith We Sing, 2241
"A Child Will Lead the Dawn of Grace" by F. Richard Garland