by Pastor Brian Phillips
Advent is the beginning of the Church year. For four Sundays before the celebration of Christmas, Christians observe Advent. Traditionally, the first act of Advent is the lighting of one candle on the Advent wreath – which is made up of four candles (one for each Sunday in Advent), 3 purple/blue and one pink (though that varies from culture to culture and by Church tradition).
Lighting Advent candles is not necessarily “magical,” but it does mark the beginning of something. To give one very inadequate example, when you light birthday candles, the song begins. When we light the candles, we mark the season of Advent and, with each additional candle each week, the light grows, pointing us to the Light of the World whose birth is the end of the Advent season and the beginning of Christmas. Just as the birth of Jesus divided all of history into B.C. and A.D., so it divides Advent from Christmas – two different seasons.
The Advent season is a time of preparation. It is a time to decorate the church, our homes, even our yards. But more than that, it is a time for spiritual preparation - individually, household by household, and as a whole congregation.
To help us observe Advent, here is a collection of Scripture readings for each day of the season, drawn from the Book of Common Prayer. The readings for week two are taken from the Psalms, the prophet Isaiah, the Gospel of Luke, and the Gospel of John. It can be helpful to begin the day with the first Psalm reading, then read the prophet at mid-day, and end the day with the Gospel reading and evening Psalm(s).
Contemplate these passages in light of the Advent and its call to preparation for the celebration of Christ's Nativity.
Sunday, December 9th – Second Sunday of Advent
Psalms 148-150 (morning) · Psalms 114-115 (evening)
Monday, December 10th
Psalm 25 (morning) · Psalms 9, 15 (evening)
Isaiah 5:8-12, 18-23
Tuesday, December 11th
Psalms 26, 28 (morning) · Psalms 36, 39 (evening)
Isaiah 5:13-17, 24-25
Wednesday, December 12th
Psalm 38 (morning) · Psalm 119:25-48 (evening)
Thursday, December 13th
Psalm 37:1-18 (morning) · Psalm 37:19-42 (evening)
Friday, December 14th
Psalm 31 (morning) · Psalm 35 (evening)
Saturday, December 15th
Psalms 30, 32 (morning) · Psalms 42-43 (evening)