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HOPE - First Sunday of Advent

The Upper Room Liturgy for the First Sunday of Avent, December 3, 2023 was written by Beth A. Richardson

 

Scripture


1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. 4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. 6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. 17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself. 18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name. 19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

 

Author's Thoughts


Today we enter Advent, a season of possibilities, a time of "not yet." But daily lives reflect human struggles. Sometimes we are surrounded by brokenness - in our lives, amoung our friends and families, in our worldwide family. When hope is lost, when people are hurting, when nations are fighting, when children are hungry, we cry together, "Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved" (Ps. 80:3, NRSVUE).

 

Author's Prayer

Restore us, O God, of life. Bring us closer to hope, the hope that lights the way on the journey to Bethlehem. During this season of waiting, may we be open to signs of your restoring love. As we light this first Advent candle, we pray for your restoration in the midst of brokenness and despair.

 

Sing: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"


O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan's tyranny; From depths of hell Thy people save, And give them victory o'er the grave. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high, And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death's dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come And open wide our heav'nly home; Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Adonai, Lord of might, Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height, In ancient times didst give the law In cloud and majesty and awe. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.

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