Tuesday in the Third 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 for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
Reading: Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23 (NLT)
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
Reading: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13 (NLT)
What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime! No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God.
“Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.”
Reading: Matthew 21:28-32 (NLT)
“But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
“Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”
Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.
Sovereign God, may your Kingdom come! It is time for us to wake from our sleep: the day of our salvation is near.
+ Help us to show our repentance by a new way of living.
+ Prepare us for the coming of your Word by opening our hearts to receive him.
+ Help us to overcome our pride, and raise us from the depths of our weakness.
+ Throw down the walls of hatred between nations; clear the way for those who work for peace.
Sovereign God, may your kingdom come! On earth as it is in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen!
“Christ is Here (Through the Prophets)” – New Scottish Hymns Band
Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell among us and be our peace today.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!