Advent Daybook, 13: Served

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.


Look: Are You Being Served?, Stephen Towns

Artist’s Statement : "A consistent theme that appeared in all of the literature that I read for this exhibition was the influence of Christianity on American culture, both positive and negative. I painted a triptych exploring the concept of a savior and salvation. Are saviors portrayed in one's own image? Has one been served their salvation? What would that look like?" ( source )

Artist’s Statement: "A consistent theme that appeared in all of the literature that I read for this exhibition was the influence of Christianity on American culture, both positive and negative. I painted a triptych exploring the concept of a savior and salvation. Are saviors portrayed in one's own image? Has one been served their salvation? What would that look like?" (source)


Listen: “Pretty Home” from And Glory Shone Around, The Rose Ensemble (lyrics)

History of the song: "Come Pretty Love" was received by Patsy Williamson, an ex-slave whose freedom was purchased by the Pleasant Hill Shaker community in the early 1800's. Rousing and energetic,“Come Pretty Love” was most likely a dance song. It is just one of many 19th century Shaker songs and hymns celebrating the Shaker's spiritual Mother, Ann Lee.

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Listen to my entire playlist on Spotify: Advent Carols & Hymns 2018. Add it to your account by clicking ‘Follow.’


Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help!
Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers!
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!”
*
”Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.”
*
”And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, ‘Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!’ And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.’
— Psalm 35:1-3, Isaiah 7:14-16, Luke 22:14-27 (ESV)

Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 1).


Pray:

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so
freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.

For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
— "A Litany of Thanksgiving", Book of Common Prayer

Do:

Taste

Add honey to your tea or toast today.

“He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.” (Is. 7:15)

Today, reflect on the reference to curds and honey in Isaiah 7:10-25. Add honey to your tea or toast (or just enjoy a spoonful!). Whatever else the passage means when it refers to Immanuel growing up on curds and honey, we can give thanks to the Creator for our sense of taste and for his kindness and creativity in offering us so much goodness.



(See all Advent Daybook posts from 2017 here)