Advent Readings (featuring the Hymn: People Look East)

First Week: PREPARE . . .

How shall we prepare?
Make our house fair -
with wreath and greens,
with tree and candles?
Oh, yes.  But more, much more,
we prepare for the Guest.

How shall we prepare?
By setting the table,
inviting the neighbor,
searching for those
without neighbor or table?
Oh, yes, but more, much more,
we prepare for the Guest.

How shall we prepare?
By making a place
of silence and waiting,
no rushing, no filling,
but open, guest-welcoming.
Oh yes!  A place in the heart
we prepare for the Guest.

(Sing first verse of People, Look East)
People, look east, the time is near
for the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
trim the hearth and set the table.
People look east and sing today:
Love, the Guest, is on the way.



Second Week: EXPECT . . .

Whom do we expect?
One who does not disdain bare earth;
One who speaks of the planted field;
One who speaks to the plowed heart.

Whom do we expect?
One who gives faith with seed power;
One who cannot be stopped
from growing in our hearts.

Whom do we expect?
One who employs our strength;
One who produces abundantly
after falling lifeless into the ground.

Whom do we expect?
One whose presence in our hearts
flowers beyond our wild dream of beauty
and lives with us always:
We expect the Rose.

(Second Verse)
Furrows, be glad, though earth is bare,
one more seed is planted there.
Give up your strength the seed to nourish
that in course the flower may flourish.
People look east and sing today:
Love, the Rose, is on the way.



Third Week: WATCH . . .

Why do we watch?
Because the weather of our hearts is frosty . .
Because night's dimness makes knowledge rare . .

Why do we watch?
Because three candles make a small glow . .
Because one star brightens the firmament . . .

Why do we watch?
Because the stars themselves are watching . . .
Because the sun and moon are eclipsed . . .

Why do we watch?
We watch for the world's hope . .
We watch for the Star . . .


(Third Verse)
Stars keep the watch, when night is dim,
one more light the bowl shall brim,
shining beyond the frosty weather,
bright as sun and moon together.
People look east and sing today:
Love, the Star, is on the way.



Fourth Week: REJOICE . . .

When is the time to rejoice?

When the angels laugh
and the mountains sing
and the earth yields its fruit

and the world is cherished
and the sinner forgiven
and the doubter brought home

and the poor one is raised
and the proud one is humbled
and our cold hearts are melted

and the baby is born
and the King is recognized
and the Savior is lullabied

and Jesus . . the Lord . . comes to us:

Then, then is the time to rejoice.

(Fourth Verse)
Angels announce with shouts of mirth
him who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
with the word, the Lord is coming.
People look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.