Wednesday: Reflection on the First Sunday in Advent
Now you are walled around with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the ruler of Israel upon the cheek.
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one
who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up
until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred
shall return to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure,
for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace.
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the air for food,
the flesh of your faithful
to the wild animals of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.
How long, O Lord?
Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
for your name's sake.
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
be known among the nations before our eyes.
Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.
Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors
the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!
Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.
Year B Advent 1 Wednesday
Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.
Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.
Image credit: Pray by Pixabay user LoveToTakePhotos, via Pixabay. This is a public domain image.