Sunday, December 09, 2012

advent week 2

This is a tad late - I'd planned to get this posted by Friday or Saturday but a nasty flu had other plans - but here is Advent Week 2. As with Week 1, we do the same readings every evening, allowing the repetition of the words to work their way into our hearts. Did you find that toward the end of the first week that your children were able to recite some of the verses with you? Peanut is quite enjoying the little songs that open our advent evening reading.

We begin with the same two verses as last week (if you are interested in singing them, I've scored out simple tunes that you can find here):

We light two candles shining bright
Upon this Holy Advent night
Fill Our Hearts with loving might
Lead us to Christmas Day's brilliant light!
 - M.T. Shuneman

See my candle burning
With a golden light,
Shining from my window
Out into the night.
I can light a candle,
God can light a star;
Both of them are helpful,
Shining where they are.
 - Traditional

Scripture readings for Week 2

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 : "But I will bless the person who puts his trust in me. 8 He is like a tree growing near a streamand sending out roots to the water. It is not afraid when hot weather comes, because its leaves stay green; it has no worries when there is no rain; it keeps on bearing fruit.
Matthew 13: 31-36: Jesus told them another parable: "The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches." 33 Jesus told them still another parable: "The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises." 34 Jesus used parables to tell all these things to the crowds; he would not say a thing to them without using a parable. 35 He did this to make come true what the prophet had said, "I will use parables when I speak to them; I will tell them things unknown since the creation of the world."
1 Corinthians 15:36-41: When you plant a seed in the ground, it does not sprout to life unless it dies. 37 And what you plant is a bare seed, perhaps a grain of wheat or some other grain, not the full-bodied plant that will later grow up. 38 God provides that seed with the body he wishes; he gives each seed its own proper body. 39 And the flesh of living beings is not all the same kind of flesh; human beings have one kind of flesh, animals another, birds another, and fish another. 40 And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; the beauty that belongs to heavenly bodies is different from the beauty that belongs to earthly bodies. 41 The sun has its own beauty, the moon another beauty, and the stars a different beauty; and even among stars there are different kinds of beauty.

Two poems

Now the twilight of the year
Comes, and Christmas draweth near.

See, across the Advent sky
How the clouds move quietly.

Earth is waiting, wrapt in sleep,
Waiting in a silence deep.

Birds are hid in bush and reed
Flowers are sleeping in their seed.

Through the woodland to and fro
silent-footed creatures go.

Hedgehog curled in prickly ball
Burrows 'neath the leaves that fall.

Man and beast and bird and flower
Waiting for the midnight hour
Waiting for the Christ-child's birth
Christ who made the heaven and earth.
by Ann Ellerton

Tree of Life
tree of
cut down
to lift up
our source of
by Art Van Seters

Sunday Evening Story - A Tree for Christmas by Dandi Daley Mackall

Saturday Evening Story - 

Advent Garden Story
Long, long ago, Mother Mary was preparing for the first Christmas. It was time for her to weave a robe for the Christ Child who was soon to be born.
Among the stars she wandered, and they gave her radiant threads of crystal for the Child’s robe. To the Moon she went, and it gave her silver threads. Threads of gleaming gold the Sun gave to her. And so Mother Mary gathered all the lovely threads and began to weave. But alas! The threads slipped apart and could not be woven together. On her way went Mother Mary, searching, searching.
“Ah, dear stones and crystals,” said Mother Mary, “you are so strong and firm. Can you help me to weave these threads into a robe for the Christ Child?”
“No, Mother Mary. We will mark your pathway to the stable and give you sturdy ground for your footsteps, but we cannot help you weave your threads.”
“Ah, dear plants,” said Mother Mary, “you are so lovely and green. Some of you are green even in the depth of winter. Can you help me to weave these threads into a robe for the Christ Child?”
“No, Mother Mary. We will make you a garden where the Christmas rose can bloom, but we cannot help you weave your threads.”
“Ah, dear animals,” said Mother Mary, “you are so nimble and lively. Can you help me to weave these threads into a robe for the Christ Child?”
“No, Mother Mary. Our brother Donkey will help you on your long journey, but we cannot help you weave your threads.”
Now Mother Mary no longer knew where to turn for help to weave her lovely threads. But lo! There came an angel to her and spoke softly, saying: “Mother Mary, you must ask the children for the love in their hearts. When the children of Earth send you their love, then you will be able to weave the Christ Child’s robe.”
And that is just what happened. And now, each year at Advent time the angel comes and brings us a light in the darkness. From it every child can take a light. These lights will send heart’s love to Mother Mary, to weave a robe for the coming Christ Child.

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