I’m late publishing this. However, not so late if you haven’t got an Advent candle liturgy yet. You have my permission to use it providing you acknowledge my authorship. Please use the following (or something really close): “Used with permission by the author Quentin Chin”
I used the texts for this year from 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, Psalm 80, and Isaiah.
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.
Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
|Leader:||The news has been filled with sorrows. War and strife. Floods and fires. Shootings. Drug overdoses. They challenge our faith. We look for signs of hope, but night’s inky darkness surrounds us. Friends, let us not falter in our faith. Let us remain steadfast to the ways of Christ as we wait patiently for dawn’s early light.|
|Unison Response:||O God, you are the source of love and our fount of hope. With Jesus, we can bring goodness and joy to our community. In love, we can hasten the coming of the dawn for all who walk in darkness. there is goodness and joy as well. We will watch for dawn’s light breaking on the horizon. Amen.|
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
|Leader:||We were never meant to be alone. We live and thrive when we are in community with one another. Diversity makes us stronger as we learn compassion through our differences. When we broaden our understanding of people and cultures we share God’s grace.|
|Unison Response:||You beckon us, O God, to share our common lives. Though we see the same world differently, we have the same deep hopes and dreams of shalom. We yearn for a new day and a harvest of righteousness. Come, Jesus, come. Amen.|
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
|Leader:||The night’s inky darkness has started to fade. Night sounds give way to the stirrings of a new day bringing the promise of God’s realm of peace. Let us rejoice in hope and recommit ourselves to carrying on Christ’s teachings in our ministries.|
|Unison Response:||Gentle God, our night fears abate. As darkness fades we see that we are not alone. We stand with others anxiously awaiting the promise of peace. Hear our prayers and guard our hearts and minds in Christ’s coming. Amen.|
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.
O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
|Leader:||Night is almost gone. We can see faintly in dawn’s first light hopeful signs of true community. We recognize that we are strong when we knit a tapestry of community with different colors, different textures, and different fibers. Regardless of who we are or where we came from, we are one community in Christ.|
|Unison Response:||Weaver God, you gather us together as sisters and brothers in faith. Following the teachings of Jesus, we seek to become one community bearing witness to the possibility that all can live as one. We are one community in which we stand with each other and for each other, defending each other against sin. Remind us that the gospel’s message proclaims love trumps fear and life always overcomes death. Amen.|
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
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.
|Leader:||Our waiting is over. A new day is here. The angels sing a new song – a song of justice and peace rooted in steadfast love. Perfect love has cast out fear. The Christ is born.|
|Unison Response:||Everlasting and wonderful God, we welcome this day. We feel the joy of hope and the promise that your realm of peace and justice has come. We take to heart the upside down teachings of Jesus, where peace comes by sharing the bread the cup and the character of true leadership is humility. Lead us away from death and set us upon the path of righteousness. Help us to proclaim the ways of life in our ministries of grace. Amen.|