December 19


Isaiah 2:3 – 4
Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain
of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;
that we may be instructed in righteous ways and walk in the pathways of our God.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. God shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Instruct us in your ways, that we may walk in your paths.

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.

The coming of the Redeemer was foretold by the prophets. As we prepare for Christ’s coming, we pray:
~ Jesus, our Redeemer, hear our Prayer.
That the leaders of the Church may be diligent in calling us to turn from sin and to enjoy true conversion of heart, we pray:
That those responsible for enacting laws may always seek justice for all peoples, we pray:
That we may extend ourselves to those among us who are suffering rejection or loneliness, we pray:
That we may hear and take to heart the call to conversion, we pray:
That our deceased sisters, relatives and friends may enjoy pardon and peace in God’s reign, we pray:
Blessed are you, O God, compassionate and merciful in all your ways. Teach us patience and make our hearts strong. May we be ready when you come to us in word or sacrament or in the need of our neighbor. We make this Prayer in the spirit of the prophets of old: Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.


Philippians 3:20b – 21
Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
O Flower of Jesse’s stem and sign of God’s love for all people, rulers stand silent in your presence; nations bow down in worship. Come and save us without delay!
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.

Jesus, our Savior, we yearn for your coming, and we cry to you:
~ Come and save us without delay!
Our hearts yearn for the solace of your presence and your peace:
Those who are hungry long for nourishment for their bodies and spirits:
Those who are oppressed cry out for liberty: Those who are young seek meaning for their lives:
Those who are dying await your coming:
Loving God, you sent your Son Jesus, a sign of your love for all people, to fulfill the promises of long ago. Be with us this night as we unite ourselves with the longing of your people through countless ages. As the flowering of Jesse’s stem symbolizes your promise of salvation, may acts of mercy and justice flower among us, that your people may know your saving love. Amen.