by Pastor Brian Phillips

Among the many wonders God wove into His creation are the seasons. With every year comes Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Spring brings new life, Summer brings warmth and growth, Autumn brings the turning of leaves as the old is pushed away, and Winter is a season of death – death of flowers, grass, insects, in preparation for the coming life of Spring.

Yet, in this season of death, we pin lights to our houses, put bright decorations on our lawns, and put trees up in our living rooms! This time of year, even our mini-van grows a red nose and antlers. We wear festive colors and intentionally ugly sweaters, sing songs written solely for this season, and break out recipes we only use this time of year.

We do all of these things in winter – the season of death. And it is so fitting that we do so. The Advent season is a time of preparation, but like Lent, we know that this season has a definite and joyful end. We know that our fasting during Lent will end with resurrection! We know that our Advent preparations will end with the Incarnation and celebration that our Savior has come.

And so, we prepare in hope that is certain; not wishful thinking, but certain promises. Let us pause now to contemplate the growing light, the growing anticipation of celebration. Come, thou long-expected Jesus, the Light of the World to pierce the darkness, the Life of the World into a dying world.

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 three are taken from the Psalms, the prophets Amos and Zechariah, and the Gospels of John and Matthew. 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 17th – Third Sunday of Advent
Psalms 63:1-8; 98 (morning) · Psalm 103 (evening)
Amos 9:11-15
John 5:30-47

Monday, December 18th
Psalm 41, 52 (morning) · Psalm 44 (evening)
Zechariah 1:7-17
Matthew 24:15-31   

Tuesday, December 19th  
Psalm 45 (morning) · Psalms 47-48 (evening)
Zechariah 2:1-13
Matthew 24:32-44

Wednesday, December 20th
Psalm 119:49-72 (morning) · Psalm 49 (evening)
Zechariah 3:1-10
Matthew 24:45-51 

Thursday, December 21st
Psalm 50 (morning) · Psalm 33 (evening)
Zechariah 4:1-14
Matthew 25:1-13

Friday, December 22nd  
Psalms 40, 54 (morning) · Psalm 51 (evening)
Zechariah 7:8-8:8
Matthew 25:14-30

Saturday, December 23rd  
Psalm 55 (morning) · Psalms 138-139:1-17 (evening)
Zechariah 8:9-17
Matthew 25:31-46