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Daily Devotion for December 2, 2012
First Sunday in Advent
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Kyrie Eleison is a chant from the earliest days of Christendom. The Greek words are simply Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison — "Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us." This nine-part setting (Kyrie eleison three times, Christe eleison three times, then Kyrie eleison three more times) is perhaps the most beautiful version and is still used today.
Prayer for the Morning
Holy Father, who watches over your children by night and by day; blessed Jesus, my food and my strength; sweet Holy Spirit, the light and guide of my soul; I thank you for this new day and pray that you will watch over me. May my thoughts, my words and actions reflect the Spirit that dwells within me. And may every minute of my life celebrate the gift of grace, earned by the blood of Christ, in whose name I pray.
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are you, loving Father, for all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are you for giving me family and friends to be with me in times of joy and sorrow, to help me in days of need, and to rejoice with me in moments of celebration.
Father, I praise you for your son Jesus, who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
May I go in peace, with God and with his other children, and may we love one another as Christ taught us. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luke 15:18-19 (KJV)
Isaiah 11:1-9 (ESV)
The Branch From Jesse
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord — and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra's den, the young child will put its hand into the viper's nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Notes on the Scripture
Today is the first Sunday in Advent — 23 days until Christmas! Our Scripture is a beautiful passage from Isaiah; much of Isaiah foretells the coming of the Messiah.
Advent is Latin for "coming" and we call the days before Christmas "Advent" because we celebrate the coming birth of Christ. He was born as an historical man, a real flesh-and-blood person, to enable us to be born in the Spirit. So in a sense, we celebrate the birth of mankind. For although people were human before, and had souls, the coming of Christ was the fulfillment of our original purpose: to be made in the image of God.
We prepare to welcome the arrival of a unique King into the world, as had been prophesied in Isaiah. We celebrate that the Word will become flesh, in order to give us the hope of salvation, the deliverance from sin. This period is one of excitement and preparation, for we have come to know Christ and what He has accomplished for us.
He is coming to dwell among us, God is coming to walk with us as a man, a simple man, a carpenter, to whom human beings could talk and worship and with whom they could eat. He was born as a humble little baby and the people alive in that time would have seen him, just like any newborn. And we know that He will come again and all who believe in Him will see him in the full glory of His Kingdom.