Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent: Day 2 of HOPE

Light and Hope...Light as Hope. In the older Anglican traditions, the Sunday before Advent is often called "Stir-up Sunday" ... after the prayer:

"Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Many families used Stir-up Sunday to start their Christmas Puddings (which have to age before eating). I used my Stir-up Sunday to start soaking fruit for my Christmas fruitcakes!

The Catholic prayer for the First Sunday of Advent also "stirs up":

"Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, O Lord, and come, so that we may escape through Thy protection and be saved by Thy help from the dangers that threaten us because of our sins. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen."

I no longer rely on specific prayers, but rather focus on readings each night. Since my readings this week are all about Hope, and how God uses Light to bring Hope, here are my readings tonight:

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" - Psalms 27:1

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." - Isaiah 9:2

As I light my Advent candle tonight, I notice how the light from the single candle shines out in my dark kitchen...

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