Saturday in the First Week of Advent
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)
+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
Reading: Psalm 147:1-6 (NLT)
Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!
The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! The Lord supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust.
Reading: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26 (NLT)
O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.
Then the Lord will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered and the towers fall, there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days in one! So it will be when the Lord begins to heal his people and cure the wounds he gave them.
Reading: Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5-8 (NLT)
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.
Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
Great is the Lord our God:
+ He heals the broken hearted
+ He supports the humble
+ He answers our cries for help
+ He guides us along the path of right living
God has blessed us; and now,
He sends us out with His authority:
+ To reap the harvest of lost souls You have prepared
+ To announce the Good News of His Kingdom
+ To cast out evil spirits and heal the sick
+ To bless others as we have been blessed
Gracious God: Go before us into the fields of harvest, and fill us with Your compassion that we may be effective Kingdom workers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Psalm 147:1-11 – Scottish Psalter 1650 (ACapella) – Jason Coghill
Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell among us and be my peace today.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!