The Fourth Sunday in Advent.
Verba mea auribus.
PONDER my words, O Lord : consider my meditation
2. O hearken thou unto the voice of my calling, my King, and my God : for unto thee will I make my prayer.
3. My voice shalt thou hear betimes, O Lord : early in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4. For thou art the God that hast no pleasure in wickedness : neither shall any devil dwell with thee.
5. Such as be foolish shall not stand in thy sight : for thou hatest all of them that work vanity.
6. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing : the Lord will abhor both the blood-thirsty and deceitful man.
7. But as for me, I will come into thine house, even upon the multitude of thy mercy : and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8. Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness, because of mine enemies : make thy way plain before my face.
9. For there is no faithfulness in his mouth : their inward parts are very wickedness.
10. Their throat is an open sepulchre : they flatter with their tongue.
11. Destroy thou them, O God; let them perish through their own imaginations : cast them out in the multitude of their ungodliness; for they have rebelled against thee.
12. And let all them that put their trust in thee rejoice : they shall ever be giving of thanks, because thou defendest them; they that love thy Name shall be joyful in thee;
13. For thou, Lord, wilt give thy blessing unto the righteous : and with thy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield.
O LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. 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 40.1-11
Psalter: Morning-98, 99; Evening-101, 103
Epistle Reading: Philippians 4.4-7
Gospel Reading: St. John 1.19-28
Toon: “This Collect is the last for the season of Advent and is used for the Sunday and such other days as they are up to Christmas Eve.
The two major themes of Advent have been the First Coming in humility and the Second Coming in glory of the one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of the Father.
In this last period of Advent the emphasis is upon the Second Advent because from Christmas Eve the emphasis will most solidly be upon the First Coming, the Incarnation of the eternal Son from the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Collect is addressed to the Father, the first Person in order of the Holy Trinity, and it is an earnest request that he will gather up his power and descend to his people (by the Holy Ghost) in order to help, succour and sustain them in the race they are running in their earthly pilgrimage towards the goal & fullness of the kingdom of heaven (see Hebrews 12:1).
In making this petition, God's people recognize that due to their sins of omission and commission they have failed to run in God's grace as gracefully and swiftly as they are called to do and ought to have done. Thus they look to the Father to provide them through his Son and by his Spirit, and in grace and mercy, the help they need. In particular they look to the "satisfaction of thy Son", to his perfect obedience of the Father in his life and in his death, as the basis for asking for divine mercy and assistance (i.e., to his active and passive obedience).
If God's people are to live as those who expect the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, then they need not only to watch and pray but also to live as the obedient and faithful servants of God, engaged daily in his service and running the race that is set before them.
The Collect ends in doxology to the Three Persons of the Blessed, Holy and Undivided Trinity” (http://www.pbs.org.uk/bcp/commentary_detail.php?CommentaryID=6).
Though this is not specifically about Advent and Christmas, you may find it helpful: “Grumbling and Grousing before the Grace of God.”