December 17


Isaiah 11:1 – 5
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. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The Spirit of the Lord is a spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and of strength.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who shepherds the people
and sets them free.
God raises from David’s house
a child with power to save. --
--Through the holy prophets
God promised in ages past
to save us from enemy hands,
from the grip of all who hate us.
The Lord favored our ancestors
recalling the sacred covenant,
the pledge to our ancestor Abraham,
to free us from our enemies,
so we might worship without fear
and be holy and just all our days.
And you child, will be called
Prophet of the Most High,
for you will come to prepare
a pathway for the Lord
by teaching the people salvation
through forgiveness of their sin.
Out of God’s deepest mercy
a dawn will come from on high,
light for those shadowed by death,
a guide for our feet on the way to peace.

Confident in your enduring promise, O Lord, we beg for an increase in your Spirit:
~ May we be faithful to the grace and light you bestow.
For the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, we pray:
For the spirit of counsel and of strength, we pray:
For the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, we pray:
For the spirit to judge without being influenced by appearance or hearsay, we pray:
For the spirit of justice and compassion, we pray:
God of faithfulness, we praise and thank you for your Spirit poured out upon us in countless ways. Help us to open ourselves to each new prompting of your Spirit. This we ask in the name and through the promise of Jesus, our brother and your Son. Amen.


1 Thessalonians 5:19 – 24
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and will do this.
O Wisdom, holy Word of God, governing all creation with your strong yet tender care, come and teach us to walk in the paths of knowledge.

I acclaim the greatness of the Lord,
I delight in God my savior,
who regarded my humble state.
Truly from this day on all ages
will call me blest.
For God, wonderful in power,
has used that strength for me.
Holy the name of the Lord!
Whose mercy embraces the faithful,
one generation to the next.
The mighty arm of God
scatters the proud in their conceit,
Pulls tyrants from their thrones,
and raises up the humble.
The Lord fills the starving
and lets the rich go hungry.
God rescues lowly Israel,
recalling the promise of mercy,
the promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham’s heirs forever.

Sophia, source of knowledge, we come before you this evening, praising you and seeking your guidance for our world as we pray:
~ O God, grant us your wisdom.
As we search for ways to comfort those who are lonely or afraid, we pray:
As we search for ways to be peace and mercy in our fragile world, we pray:
As we acknowledge leaders who hold directions for the future in their hands, we pray:
As we remember scholars who reveal to us the mysteries of your creation, we pray:
As we wait in silence for your Word, we pray:
O Wisdom, we pray for discerning hearts that the mysteries of God’s love may be revealed in us and through us. As we wait in stillness for the coming of the Savior, open our hearts to receive the word of life. We ask this through Jesus, the long- awaited one. Amen.