Second Sunday of Advent – 2011

Second Advent Sunday’s theme is peace. At services, the second candle in the Advent wreath will be lit, joining the first candle, the candle of hope. The Old Testament reading from Isaiah (“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God…”) embodies one of the most beautiful passages of scripture we have. Made more familiar, as Handel used it extensively in The Messiah, it prefigures the ministry of John the Baptist as recalled in the Gospel reading in Mark, also used by Handel.

Per the Revised Common Lectionary, the texts for today are:
First reading – Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm – Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Second reading – 2 Peter 3:8-15a
Gospel – Mark 1:1-8

Theologian Walter Brueggemann has penned an awesome prayer in keeping with the Advent theme for today, and in fact, the entire Advent season.

THE GRACE AND IMPATIENCE TO WAIT

In our secret yearnings
we wait for your coming,
and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will.
And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.
Look upon your church and its pastors
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.
Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes,
to the edges of our finger tips.
We do not want our several worlds to end.
Come in your power
and come in your weakness
in any case
and make all things new.
Amen.

Walter Brueggemann
Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth
Fortress Press 2003

Enjoy Second Advent Sunday and visit a congregation that cares and shares. I’ll be out there too.

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