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Second Sunday in Advent

Behold the fig-tree and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

From the Gospel. [Mk 13:28-29]


Wach' auf, wach' auf du sich're Welt

Rist. 1651.

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855

Awake, thou careless world, awake!

The final day shall surely come;

What Heaven hath fixed Time cannot shake,

It cannot sweep away thy doom.

Know, what the Lord Himself hath spoken

Shall come at last and not delay;

Though heaven and earth shall pass away,

His steadfast word can ne'er be broken.


Awake! He comes to judgment, wake!

Sinners, behold His countanance

In beauty terrible, and quake

Condemned beneath His piercing glance.

Lo! He to whom all power is given,

Who sits at God's right hand on high,

In fire and thunder draweth nigh,

To judge all nations under heaven.

Awake, thou careless world, awake!

Who knows how soon our God shall please

That suddenly that day should break?

We fathom not such depths as these.

Oh guard thee well from lust and greed;

For as the bird is in the snare,

Or ever of its foe aware,

So comes that day with silent speed.

The Lord in love delayeth long

The final day, and grants us space

To turn away from sin and wrong,

And mourning seek His help and grace.

He holdeth back that best of days,

Until the righteous shall approve

Their faith and hope, their constant love;

So gentle us-ward are His ways!

But ye, O faithful souls, shall see

That morning rise in love and joy;

Your Saviour comes to set you free,

Your Judge shall all your bonds destroy:

He, the true Joshua, then shall bring

His people with a mighty hand

Into their promised father-land,

Where songs of victory they shall sing.


Rejoice! The fig-tree shows her green,

The sprining year is in its prime,

The little flowers afresh are seen,

We gather strength in this great time;

The glorious summer draweth near,

When all this body's earthly load,

In light that morning sheds abroad,

Shall wax as sunshine pure and clear.

Arise, and let us day and night

Pray in the Spirit ceaselessly,

That we may heed our Lord aright,

And ever in His presence be;

Arise, and let us haste to meet

The Bridegroom standing at the door,

That with the angels evermore

We too may worship at His feet.

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