The presence of the Lord “in your midst” in the wonder of the holy supper is cause for singing. The nearness of the Lord in prayer, in every circumstance, is cause for rejoicing. The coming of one “more powerful” than John, even with his winnowing fork in his hand, is good news—and cause for exultation—for us who are being saved.
Great joy is the tone for the third Sunday of Advent!
Click on either the picture above or the following link to access the December 12, 2021 Live-Stream Worship Service:
The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20
The prophet Zephaniah’s message is mostly one of judgment for sin. This reading, however, which comes from the conclusion of the book, prophesies joy for Judah and Jerusalem. Judgment has led to repentance, and God’s salvation is at hand.
Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-6
In your midst is the Holy One of Israel. (Is. 12:6)
Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-7
Despite being in prison, Paul is remarkably upbeat as he writes this letter. Here, he urges his friends in Philippi to trust God with all their worries and concerns, with the hope they will experience God’s joy and peace.
Gospel: Luke 3:7-18
John the Baptist heralds the mighty one who is coming. John teaches that preparation for God’s reign is not a matter of identity but of bearing fruits of merciful justice, radical generosity, and vocational integrity.
Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the preaching of John, that, rejoicing in your salvation, we may bring forth the fruits of repentance; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.