Year V: Week 3 of Advent

Sunday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

As we head towards for Christmas, Advent prepares us in repentance and hope for Christ’s return. The regular psalm cycle reflects this, building to the ‘Songs of Ascent’ in the run-up to Christmas Day. The gospel readings are focused on the Sermon on the Mount, the Old Testament readings relate entirely to the book of Proverbs while the New Testament readings anticipate the second coming as we read through the book of Revelation.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 68:19-35

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
    For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude
Our God is a God who saves!
    The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death.

But God will smash the heads of his enemies,
    crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways.
The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan;
    I will bring them up from the depths of the sea.
You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood,
    and even your dogs will get their share!”

Your procession has come into view, O God—
    the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary.
Singers are in front, musicians behind;
    between them are young women playing tambourines.
Praise God, all you people of Israel;
    praise the Lord, the source of Israel’s life.
Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way.
    Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah
    and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali.

Summon your might, O God.
    Display your power, O God, as you have in the past.
The kings of the earth are bringing tribute
    to your Temple in Jerusalem.
Rebuke these enemy nations—
    these wild animals lurking in the reeds,
    this herd of bulls among the weaker calves.
Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute.
    Scatter the nations that delight in war.
Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals;
    let Ethiopia bring tribute to God.
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth.
    Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude
Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens,
    his mighty voice thundering from the sky.
Tell everyone about God’s power.
    His majesty shines down on Israel;
    his strength is mighty in the heavens.
God is awesome in his sanctuary.
    The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Proverbs 9:1-18

Being Wise or Foolish

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has made its seven columns.
She has prepared her food and wine;
    she has set her table.
She has sent out her servant girls,
    and she calls out from the highest place in the city.
She says to those who are uneducated,
    “Come in here, you foolish people!
Come and eat my food
    and drink the wine I have prepared.
Stop your foolish ways, and you will live;
    take the road of understanding.

“If you correct someone who makes fun of wisdom, you will be insulted.
    If you correct an evil person, you will get hurt.
Do not correct those who make fun of wisdom, or they will hate you.
    But correct the wise, and they will love you.
Teach the wise, and they will become even wiser;
    teach good people, and they will learn even more.

“Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord,
    and understanding begins with knowing the Holy One.
If you live wisely, you will live a long time;
    wisdom will add years to your life.
The wise person is rewarded by wisdom,
    but whoever makes fun of wisdom will suffer for it.”

Foolishness is like a loud woman;
    she does not have wisdom or knowledge.
She sits at the door of her house
    at the highest place in the city.
She calls out to those who are passing by,
    who are going along, minding their own business.
She says to those who are uneducated,
    “Come in here, you foolish people!
Stolen water is sweeter,
    and food eaten in secret tastes better.”
But these people don’t know that everyone who goes there dies,
    that her guests end up deep in the grave.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus, we thank you for another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth towards the prize.
Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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