2nd Sunday of Advent, 06 December: Baruch 5:1-9; Psalm 126:1-6; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6 ~ make a pathway for joy

aySecond Sunday of Advent

Our time of waiting continues as we prepare a pathway for the Lord.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening Prayer:

God of our salvation, You straighten the winding ways of our hearts and smooth the paths made rough by sin. Make our conduct blameless, keep our hearts watchful in holiness, and bring to perfection the good You have begun in us. We ask this through Him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near: Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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Hymn: “Joy to the World (unspeakable Joy)” – Chris Tomlin


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A Reading from the Apocrypha: Baruch 5:1-9 (NRSVCE)
[Baruch looks to the day when God will guide all people, bringing them joy.]

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God. Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting; for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven. For God will give you evermore the name, “Righteous Peace, Godly Glory.”

joy-to-the-world1

Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height; look toward the east, and see your children gathered from west and east at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that God has remembered them. For they went out from you on foot, led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you, carried in glory, as on a royal throne. For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low and the valleys filled up, to make level ground, so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God. The woods and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel at God’s command. For God will lead Israel with joy, in the light of his glory, with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 126 (NLT)

When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”

Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
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“Shir Ha Ma’alot – Song of Ascents (Psalm 126)” – New Messianic Songs


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A Reading from the Letters: Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11 (NLT)
[Paul encourages the people of Philippi, and tells them to prepare inwardly for the ‘Day of Christ Jesus’.]

Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
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God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation — the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ — for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 3:1-6 (NLT)
[John the Baptist’s words and actions remind the people of Isaiah’s call to repentance.]

RepentancePathwayToJoy

It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,

“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him! The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth. And then all people will see the salvation sent from God.’”
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Hymn: “Prepare The Way” – Terry MacAlmon

Prepare the way | Make straight the path for Him | Let the King of Glory enter in | Let the King of Glory enter in

Who is this King of Glory? | The Lord, strong and mighty | The Lord mighty to save | The earth is full of His Glory | Creation calls: Prepare the way | His love endures forever | His power is without an end | His strength is victory present | Let all who call on Him | Prepare the way
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Intercessions:

Lord God: What amazing things You have done for us. As we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth in humility, may we also prepare for Christ’s return in glory. Lord, hear us.

+ Remember Your people and move with righteous power throughout the world – that all believers may walk safely in the glory of Your presence…. Lord, hear us.
+ Comfort Your people, especially those of us suffering from the death and destruction of terrorism – protect us and deliver us from evil…. Lord, hear us.
+ Raise up those of us who are burdened and weighed down by our troubles – that we may know with certainty that justice and righteousness will prevail when Christ returns…. Lord, hear us.
+ Make straight the twists and turns in our lives, smooth out the rough places – that we may be witnesses to the salvation in Christ that You have already sent us…. Lord, hear us.
+ Fill us with the knowledge and understanding of what really matters – that we live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return…. Lord, hear us.
+ Produce in us the fruit of Your salvation, the righteous character produced in our lives by Jesus Christ — that we may bring You much glory and praise.
+ Give us complete confidence – that You will finish in us the good work You have already begun when Christ Jesus returns…. Lord, hear us.

Everlasting God, Your kindness fills us with expectation. Lead us with joy, in the light of Your glory, with the mercy and righteousness that comes from You. Hear us and help us in our needs, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Hymn: “Everlasting God” (Chris Tomlin)


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Benediction:

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ

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