The seven days of Advent leading up to Christmas Eve and the proper celebration of Christmas are sometimes called the "Golden Nights" and are marked with an additional set of prayers in the Vespers (Evening Prayer) service. These prayers are sometimes called the "O Antiphons" because of how they begin and mark a . . .
Lord, we beseech Thee, give ear to our prayers, and lighten the darkness of our hearts, by Thy gracious visitation; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
-- Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church
Winter is a time of physical darkness--short . . .
lection reflection for 13 Dec 2019 / reading the bible daily with the church
In this week's collect, we pray for the ability to be able to serve God in purity. In just a few words we are humbly reminded of two sides of our Christian lives: the reality of the struggle against sin and shortcomings and the simultaneous reality of God's promised grace that makes our salvation and deliverance possible. . . .
lection reflection for 10 Dec 2019 / reading the bible daily with the church
In this week's collect, we implore God to stir our hearts and enable us to serve him in response for the great mercies he has shown us in Christ Jesus. Today's Epistle reading (1 Jn 4.7-16) extends this idea to loving and serving each other. But St. John does not simply exhort us to love each other because it is nice, it is . . .
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Thine Only-begotten Son, so that by His coming we may be enabled to serve Thee with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
-- Common Service Book . . .
lection reflection for 4 Dec 2019 / reading the bible daily with the church
I didn't write on yesterday's readings because I have been fighting a raging sinus infection which put writing about as far away from my mind as is possible. This, really, pales in comparison to the struggles of several people close to us. Within 24 hours of Monday's post on deliverance and rest, a friend going through a . . .
why we desperately need the training ground of advent
(this is an updated version of a post I originally wrote in 2017)
In a letter to his fiancee Maria von Wedmeyer from prison in December 1943, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:
Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten...Whoever does not know the austere blessedness . . .