Second Week of Advent
(4 - 10 December)
We recommend that you read the Scripture passage and short reflection in our “Advent Readings” on the Sunday of each week – beginning on the first day of Advent: Sunday, 27 November. You can reflect on it all week. Below are some additional resources for consideration, wondering, and worship during this season. Enjoy!
*Note: For those who follow the Lectionary Calendar and Church Year, Advent 2022 marks the beginning of cycle or “Year A”. The weekly Scripture passages in our readings are from each Sunday of Advent – with the exception of Epiphany. If you would like additional Bible readings, you can follow along with the daily recommended readings for this season.
You can download the 2022 (for Advent and Christmas) and 2023 (up to Epiphany) versions of the lectionary.
Another resource is the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
There are two different playlists for the season—for your listening, sharing, and enjoyment as you wish! We recommend the ADVENT playlist for the lead up to Christmas, and then the CHRISTMAS & EPIPHANY playlist from Christmas onwards. Click on the title or icon to listen to the playlist.
This playlist includes songs of hope, anticipation, expectancy, and longing. We have tried to include songs which refer to the story and events announcing and leading up to Christ’s birth.
The first part of the playlist includes contemporary renditions of Advent carols and hymns. The second part of the playlist includes sacred and choral music for the Advent season.
Isaiah 11:1-10 foretells a leader who will be a descendant of King David’s line, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (v. 1). This leader will have such calibre, such presence, that the whole created order will experience renewal. This person is of course, Jesus, God incarnate, divine majesty made flesh, who came and walked, and ate, and laughed with us.
I designed and embroidered this piece to illustrate the impact Isaiah envisages Jesus will have on the cosmos, where the features of that impact are the literal fruit on the shoot that grows from the stump. He will judge with righteousness (flaming heart) and justice (sword) (v. 4), the breath of his lips will slay the wicked (v. 5), a leopard and a goat will lie down next to each other (v. 6), and a young child will play near a snake without fear (v. 8). Isaiah weaves a glorious picture of the deep saturation creation will experience in the day when the promised King makes his dwelling place with us. Every Advent I am reminded to dream again for glimpses and opportunities to bring that long-anticipated reality closer.
Jess Hall, Library and Administrative Assistant
Lord God, in a world wracked with injustice and pain, we long for justice and healing. As your people of old waited and hoped for the stump of Jesse to blossom into righteousness and justice, so we too wait and hope for the fruit of righteousness and justice promised by the birth of Jesus. As we hear the voice of John the Baptist preparing the way, we repent of ways in which we have contributed to the oppression and pain of others. And we ask to be filled with the Spirit of hope that the birth of Jesus brings, that we may ourselves be agents of hope wherever you have placed us, working and praying for the promised day when the world will be filled with the glory of God. We ask these things in the name of Jesus, king of righteousness.
Dr Tim Meadowcroft, Senior Research Fellow
The seer’s vision of flourishing comes to a people in the midst of tumultuous times: of suffering, anxiety, and uncertainty – a people cut down to a mere stump of the fruitful vine intended. Isaiah speaks of One who would see through and under the surface of things to God’s deeper reality – the truth of who is favoured and who is judged – despite present circumstances. Here is a breath-taking vision of shalom – all-encompassing peace and wholeness – fruit of God’s power and faithfulness in the coming Messiah.
The God of the Psalmist – the strong shepherd who sees, hears, and responds – Israel’s shield and defence – is the God of Isaiah, the sender of John who would prepare the way for the promised Messiah, and of Paul who would enlarge the tent of God’s people far beyond the people’s imagining. Worship, prophecy, and proclamation gather the hopes of a people, a world, in turmoil – not with escapist wishful thinking nor toxic positivity – but in lives attentive and responsive to God’s work in the world and in each other, unified in Christ. Here, ‘the God of hope fills us with all joy and peace as we trust in him, so that we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’. Advent invites us to receive God’s encouragement, endurance, and power so that, united in Christ, we may – with prophet, psalmist, and apostle – anticipate in our lives the truth of God’s peaceable Kingdom, even – especially – in these tumultuous times.
Reflect: Where and how might I embody the hope of Isaiah’s vision and Paul’s exhortation to the church in Rome—the truth of what God is doing in the world and in and through us—this Advent?
Rev. Dr Karen Kemp, Senior Coach/Lecturer – School of Theology, Centre for Church Leadership
These may need amending to suit the age and stage of those in your whānau but we hope they will offer you an opportunity to engage in this season simply and meaningfully with your tamariki. You might come up with new variations!