Love’s Arrival (Fourth Sunday in Advent)

From Isaiah 9:6-7:  “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon His shoulders; and He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and His kingdom.  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

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Faithful God’s Holy love

Shining from Bethlehem

Blessed virgin gives birth

In world filled with mayhem

 

Hope springs forth from God’s love

Filling manger with grace

Messiah born this night

Stable now Holy place

 

Divine love preaches faith

Sharing Lord’s precious gift

Behold man’s salvation

Satan’s plans now adrift

 

Peace covers earth’s landscape

Sowing eternal love

Savior’s mission begins

Father views from above

 

Lasting joy now goes forth

Hearing angels singing

Christ’s love, Calvary’s cross

Forgiveness now bringing

 

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You are invited to join in prayer:  Lord God, your love and mercy promise hope, joy, and peace.  During this season of Advent, open our hearts in preparation to receive our Savior.  Amen.

Written in 1865 by English hymn writer, William Chatterton Dix, the hymn of “What Child Is This?” is sung by Charlotte Church.  The lyrics are based upon the verses from Isaiah 9:6-7, and the tune is “Greensleeves.”

Filled with Joy (Third Sunday of Advent)

From Zephaniah 3:14-15:  “Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!  Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, He has turned away your enemies.  The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.”

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Looking inward, changing selves

Repenting, reversing course

Searching for life’s cherished peace

Joy spreads from Bethlehem’s source

 

Reading, praying, reflecting

Preparing our minds and hearts

Beaming starlight in dark times

Joy brightens, world seeks restart

 

Rejoicing always, Lord is near

Restoring fortunes, Prince of Peace

Renewing tomorrow’s hope

Joy transcends Father’s new lease

 

Trusting in God’s promises

Waiting with welcoming grace

Singing praises, justice calls

Joy blossoms in this birthplace

 

Proclaiming mercy-filled peace

Glowing, rising midnight sun

Igniting life’s dormant faith

Joy worships birth of God’s Son

 

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You are invited to join in prayer:  Lord God, your love and mercy promise hope, joy, and peace.  During this season of Advent, open our hearts in preparation to receive our Savior.  Amen.

“Joy to the World” is frequently sung during the Advent and Christmas season.  Written in 1719 by English minister and hymnwriter, Isaac Watts, this hymn has been a favorite for well over 100 years in North America.

Prepare His Peace (Second Sunday in Advent)

From Isaiah 40:3-5:  “A voice cries out:  ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.  Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'”

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World’s brokenness cries out

Peace sprouts, despite faith’s drought

God’s salvation shares grace

Every time and space

 

God’s love prepares His way

Light of peace on display

Paths straightened, valleys filled

His promises fulfilled

 

Anticipation warms

Preparation now forms

Mercy reigns, blessed peace

Endurance shall not cease

 

Faithful waiting with hope

Love focused through God’s scope

His joy draws up new lease

Spirit breathes, filled with peace

 

Mothering God prepares

Peace surrounds David’s heirs

Of events now to come

Hope’s steady, beating drum

 

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You are invited to join in prayer:  Lord God, your love and mercy promise hope, joy, and peace.  During this season of Advent, open our hearts in preparation to receive our Savior.  Amen.

As we leave to go on with the rest of our day or night, here is an Advent hymn to send us out with prepared hearts, “Prepare the way, O Zion.”

Seed of Hope (First Sunday in Advent)

From Isaiah 11:1-2:  “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.”

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Fragmented prayers lack faith

Hope’s seeds lost, now scattered

World filled with endless despair

Dazed, bruised, and battered

 

Hope conceived, chosen virgin

God preparing love’s way

Nothing impossible for Him

Holy Spirit holds sway

 

Bethlehem’s star shines at night

God’s love lights hope’s beacon

Future sparkles from His grace

Mercy never weakens

 

Heavens prepare peace and joy

Darkness brightens, rejoice!

God plants Holy seed of hope

Angels sing with His choice

 

Father’s goodness overflows

His everlasting gift

Living water promises

Hope transforms faith’s gearshift

 

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You are invited to join in prayer:  Lord God, your love and mercy promise hope, joy, and peace.  During this season of Advent, open our hearts in preparation to receive our Savior.  Amen.

 

Originally written in Latin during the 8th or 9th century, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a frequently chosen song during the season of Advent.

Love in Christ

From Isaiah 40:3-5:  “A voice cries out:  ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.  Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'”

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Earth filled with gloom and doom

Sinful and fallen race

World empty of joy’s light

Love transforms from God’s grace

 

Love comes from the Father

Love bringing God to earth

Love for our salvation

Love born in His Son’s birth

 

Angels proclaim great news

Majestic, glorious

Never-ending peace sent

God’s love victorious

 

Christ delivers God’s love

Replacing life’s darkness

Silence and confusion

Overcoming starkness

 

Compassion sharing hope

Shepherd gathers His lambs

Lighting the world with love

Grace breaking sin-filled dams

 

Sunrise leads to Jesus

His Kingdom never ends

Rejoice in His Glory

Rising Son’s love now mends

  

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From Ezekiel 34:15-16:  “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GodI will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy.  I will feed them with justice.”

This final poem completes the series posted on each Sunday during Advent.  If you missed any of the previous Advent-inspired poems, here are the links:

Joy in Christ

From Luke 2:10-11: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.'”

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Holy anticipation fills nightfall’s air

Preparing hearts, prophets’ promises fulfilled

Experiencing moments of boundless joy

Heavenly Father’s love, sharing grace to build

 

With life’s struggles, faith deepens in reflection

Celebrating the Messiah’s coming birth

Singing with host of angels, hearts fill with joy

Hope and peace, descending from heaven to earth

 

From above comes Immanuel, God with us

Lighting His way, never ceasing to cherish

Witnessing life’s true meaning, rejoice in joy

Love rekindles earth’s lamp, never to perish

 

Brightest stars illuminate earth’s darkest times

Fulfilling salvation’s journey, God’s love brings

Lighting Shepherd’s candle, delivering joy

Angelic hosannas, forever shall sing

 

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From Philippians 4:4-5:  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone.  The Lord is near.”

Peace in Christ

From Psalm 27:1:  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

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Love-filling peace coming to earth

Saving us from darkness and sin

Messiah’s birth bringing shalom

Born to us, root of Jesse’s kin

 

Precious child of peace shall be born

Ruling with righteousness, indeed

Heaven’s Wonderful Counselor

Prince of Peace proclaims Father’s creed

 

Glory to God, highest heaven

Peace sharing goodwill amongst man

Worshipping, now as one body

Trusting the way, His divine plan

 

Exchanging weakness for God’s strength

Blessed will be the peacemakers

Forever called children of God

Sowing peace, Holy Caretaker

 

Light the way into our future

Adoring child delivers peace

Born the hallowed King of Angels

Hope, peace, and joy shall never cease

 

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From Isaiah 9:6:  “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon His shoulders; and He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Hope in Christ

From Isaiah 64:8:  “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

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Spiritual homelessness

Forcing hope’s darkest setbacks

With every passing day

Time stops, frozen in its tracks

 

How long will God stand silent?

Fading lives, like autumn’s leaf

Among earth’s darkest shadows

Hope’s flames, drowned by a sly thief

 

Expectations growing dim

Praying, Savior’s light to come

God’s love, molds life’s foundations

Our hope, plays its steady drum

 

Coming Spiritual light

Transforming power from God

Iniquities to be paid

Shepherd’s hope, His staff and rod

 

Hopeful world watches and waits

Appealing to God, save us

Hungry flock’s burdens cry out

God remains faithful, hear us

 

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From Psalm 80:1-3:  “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!  You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.  Stir up your might, and come to save us!  Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.”

The Christian season of Advent begins with this final Sunday of November.  For myself, this will bring a time of meditation and prayer . . . filled with the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christ, the Messiah.