Advent Daybook, 3: Take a good, hard look

My Advent daybook for these 24 days of waiting. Join me, won't you? (see previous Advent daybook 2017 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.*

Blind Sight  by Nicora Gangi ( source )

Blind Sight by Nicora Gangi (source)

music for today: "The Fall" by Gungor (lyrics)

The fact is, God, the Master, does nothing
without first telling his prophets the whole story.

The lion has roared—
who isn’t frightened?
God has spoken—
what prophet can keep quiet?

Announce to the forts of Assyria,
announce to the forts of Egypt—
Tell them, “Gather on the Samaritan mountains, take a good, hard look:
what a snake pit of brutality and terror!
They can’t—or won’t—do one thing right.” God said so.
“They stockpile violence and blight.

Therefore”—this is God’s Word—“an enemy will surround the country.
He’ll strip you of your power and plunder your forts.”
”Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!

They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!”
”And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies
you have prepared praise’?”

And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
— Amos 3:7-11 (MSG), Psalm 80:7, 16-18 & Matthew 21:12-16 (ESV)

* Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 2).

prayer for today:

He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 2 Peter 1:17–18, NIV

Lord Jesus Christ, to you we may lift our eyes, for you have broken free from our world of death and live in the glory of life, and you offer your life to us on earth. Let the power of your life be revealed today in us and in many others who want to celebrate Christmas. Send your Spirit to move our hearts so that we hear, see, experience, and understand what you and your gift of eternal life truly mean for us. So watch over us in these days and strengthen us in faith. Shed the light of your grace over us and within us. Protect us as your disciples. Lead us into communion with our Father in heaven and into community with you, O Jesus Christ, for all eternity. Amen.
— Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (1842–1919), via

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Choose a Psalm from one of the daily readings, or another that is meaningful to memorize during Advent. Spend a few moments each day memorizing and reciting the Psalm. Notice how the verses begin to embed themselves as you go about your day. Thank God for the comfort of His word.

(see all Advent daybook posts from 2016 here)