Reader 1: “In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it” (Isaiah 2:2, NRSV)
Reader 2: We begin the first week of Advent with hope in God’s promised arrival. A favorite Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (UMH 211) was written by Anglican priest John Mason Neal in the mid-1800s. This beautiful hymn reflects the hope we celebrate today.
Reader 3: The hymn’s sixth verse speaks to hope, “O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadows put to flight.” As we light the first candle of Advent, we carry into our gloomy places the light of Hope. (Light one blue candle)
Reader 4: Let us Pray.
Lord of Hope, we await your coming with great expectation. Our lives are marked by hope, even when our circumstance might prove to the contrary. May we put to flight the dark shadows of others this Advent season. Amen.