Reader 1: In the days of exile and uncertainty, the prophet Isaiah cried out:
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence. As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. (Isaiah 64:1-3)
Reader 2: In the midst of our own encounters with uncertainty and upheaval and our longing for deliverance, Jesus calls to us, “Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come” (Mark 13:35).
Congregation: We wait as people surprised again and again by God who shakes us out of our complacency and wakes us up to the work of the kin-dom all around us.
Reader 1: We light this candle as a sign of our shocking hope. May we stay awake to God’s activity in the world as we wait in expectation that even now God is with us, working to restore us to the fullness of life with God and one another. Amen.
Light the first candle of the Advent wreath.