Thursday, December 8, 2011

Scripture Readings for the Third Sunday in Advent (Dec. 11, 2011)

and 11 Services


+The First Lesson: In the prophet’s vision, the people will rejoice because the Lord is renewing creation with righteousness and the promise of salvation.

A Reading from Isaiah [61:1-4, 8-11]
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants shall be known among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge
that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.

Reader: The Word of the Lord                                                                                           People: Thanks be to God  


and 11 Services

Psalm 126; Also in BCP , p. 782
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, *
then were we like those who dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
and our tongue with shouts of joy.

Then they said among the nations, *
"The LORD has done great things for them."

The LORD has done great things for us, *
and we are glad indeed.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, *
like the watercourses of the
Negev.

Those who sowed with tears *
will reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

+The Second Lesson: Paul tells the disciples they should always rejoice in the Holy Spirit, and exhorts them to lead holy lives and avoid all evil.

A Reading from 1 Thessalonians  [-24]

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.
May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

Reader: The Word of the Lord                                                                                           People: Thanks be to God  

9 AM Service

Reader:  A reading from Isaiah [61:1-4, 8-11]
In the prophet’s vision, the people will rejoice because the Lord is renewing creation with righteousness and the promise of salvation.

Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
People:  Open our ears to hear your Word.
The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
   heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
   pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
   a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies—
   and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
   give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
   a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness"
   planted by God to display his glory.
They'll rebuild the old ruins,
   raise a
new city out of the wreckage.
They'll start over on the ruined cities,
   take the rubble left behind and make it new.
Because I, God, love fair dealing
   and hate thievery and crime,
I'll pay your wages on time and in full,
   and establish my eternal covenant with you.
Your descendants will become well-known all over.
   Your children in foreign countries
Will be recognized at once
   as the people I have blessed."

I will sing for joy in God,
   explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
   he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
   and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
   and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
   and puts praise on display before the nations.

Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
People:  Open our ears to hear your Word.


GOSPEL FOR SUNDAY:   John 1:6-8, 19-28
John the Baptist is mistaken for the Messiah or one of the prophets, but he makes clear that his role is to prepare the way for the Lord’s coming.


There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?"
John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.



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