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The Second Sunday of Advent - 2012

The Second Sunday in Advent.
The Collect.
BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

[The Collect from the First Sunday in Advent is to be repeated every day, with the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas-Eve.]

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 55.1-13

Psalter: Morning-80, 82; Evening-25, 26

Epistle Reading: Romans 15.4-13

Gospel Reading: Luke 21.25-33

[“If you consider, for instance, the selection of Epistle and Gospel lessons for the Sundays in Advent, as they appear in the Book of Common Prayer, you will find that they are precisely those appointed in the Sarum Missal of the medieval Church of England, and are in fact the same as those prescribed in the Comes of St Jerome, which goes back to the Fifth Century. The only change has been Archbishop Cramner’s addition, in 1549, of a few verses to the beginning of the Epistle lesson and the end of the Gospel lesson for the first Sunday in Advent. Apart from the slight lengthening of those two lessons, the Advent lectionary remains unchanged since early Christian times.  What we have in that series is not a random selection of readings, but a coherent series of texts, in which Epistle and Gospel lessons interpret and supplement each other, and in which there is a continuous, logical development of teachings from one week to the next. Each set of texts builds upon the thought of the preceding set, and points ahead to the one that follows” (Dr. Robert Crouse, “The Themes of Advent”,]

Barbee and Zahl: 
“Today [in this Collect-MWP] the emphasis rests on a reference point, a text, which exists as a compass to orient our whole lives. ( . . . )For Cranmer, the touchstone or reference point of wisdom is “all holy Scriptures.” He prays that we would not only hear the Scriptures as words, but “inwardly digest” them as the Word by which we may be comforted (i.e., strengthened). Cranmer views the Bible as providing both the grounds for our patience and the fuel for our strengthening. Such patience and strengthening are able to take us by the instrumentality of hope right up to the threshold of natural life. After we cross that threshold, we shall receive the “everlasting life” promised in the last phrase. ( . . . )Cranmer invites us to love the Bible and learn it, not for its own sake, but for the sake of the cause for which it is written: our patience and our comfort” (5).
St. Athanasius: 
“This (treatise on “The Incarnation of the Word of God” – MWP) will give you a beginning, and you must go on to prove its truth by the study of the Scriptures. They were written and inspired by God; and we who have learned from inspired teachers who read the Scriptures and became martyrs for the Godhead of Christ, make further contribution to your eagerness to learn. From the Scriptures you will learn also of his Second manifestation to us, glorious and divine indeed, when He shall come not in lowliness but in His proper glory, no longer in humiliation but in majesty, no longer to suffer but to bestow on us all the fruit of His cross—the resurrection and incorruptibility” (95).

“…reading Scripture is about being mastered by Jesus Christ through a biblical text that functionally stands over us as the word of God, not under us as a word we can control, rearrange, and use for our own purposes” (J. Todd Billings, “The Word of God for the People of God,” 203).

"Of the Father's Love Begotten"
by Aurelius C. Prudentius, 413, cento
Translated by John. M. Neale, 1818-1866
and Henry W. Baker, 1821-1977

1. Of the Father's love begotten Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

2. Oh, that birth forever blessed When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, Bare the Savior of our race,
And the Babe, the world's Redeemer, First revealed His sacred face
Evermore and evermore.

3. O ye heights of heaven, adore Him; Angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him And extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent, Every voice in concert ring
Evermore and evermore.

4. This is He whom Heaven-taught singers Sang of old with one accord;
Whom the Scriptures of the prophets Promised in their faithful word.

Now He shines, the Long-expected; Let creation praise its Lord
Evermore and evermore.

5. Christ, to Thee, with God the Father, And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving And unending praises be,
Honor, glory, and dominion, And eternal victory
Evermore and evermore.