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Sunday, First Week of Advent; Isaiah 2: 1-5. The Mountain of the Lord
1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
3 Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Monday, First Week of Advent; Isaiah 4:2-6… the Branch of the Lord
2 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.
3 Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.
4 The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit
5 Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy.
6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
Tuesday, First Week of Advent; Isaiah 11:1-10… The Branch from Jesse
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD –
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
Wednesday, First Week of Advent; Isaiah 25:6-10a… the Lord Almighty
6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces;
he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth.
The LORD has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
10 The hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain; but Moab will be trampled under him
as straw is trampled down in the manure.
Thursday, First Week of Advent; Isaiah 26:1-6… A Song of Praise
1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city; God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith.
3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
5 He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust.
6 Feet trample it down—
the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor.
Friday, First Week of Advent; Isaiah 29:17-24… the Humble Rejoice
17 In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field
and the fertile field seem like a forest?
18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll,
and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD;
the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear,
and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down-
21 those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.
22 Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob:
“No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.
23 When they see among them their children,
the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy;
they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob,
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding;
those who complain will accept instruction.”
Saturday, First Week of Advent; Luke 1:26-38… The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”
38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
(Scriptures taken from the New International Version)
We invite you to commit to a rhythm of spiritual disciplines:
Daily – We live with a rhythm of daily disciplines:
- Simplicity – through simple, eco-friendly living and generous giving
- Community – through sharing meals, sharing possessions and sharing life
- Prayer and Scripture – through daily prayer and meditation on Scripture; praying for each other and gathering together for worship
Weekly – Gather with others to learn, love and be in fellowship, communion, and accountability (weekly common “table”).
Seasonally – Meet with others in times of festival, celebration and meditation, marking “holy-day” and the rhythms of the creation.
Lifelong – Study and learn together what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, God made flesh, in a continual cycle of mystery and discovery.
Through these practices may we deepen our connection to one another, to God and to the world we serve.