Third Sunday of Advent – 16 Dec – Luke 3:7-18 ~ the Good News of repentance

Third Sunday of Advent

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

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, you sent your Son into a world where the wheat must be winnowed from the chaff and evil clings even to what is good. Let the fire of your Spirit purge us of selfishness and hypocrisy, so that, purified, we may find our peace in you and you may delight in us. Grant 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. Amen.

“Gaudete”Querela – historická lidová hudba – Prague, Czech Republic

Rejoice! Rejoice! Christ is born
of the Virgin Mary; Rejoice!

The time of grace has come for which we have prayed
Let us devoutly sing songs of joy.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Christ is born
of the Virgin Mary; Rejoice!

God is made man, while nature wonders
The world is renewed by Christ the King.

Therefore, let our assembly sing praises now at this time of purification
Let it bless the Lord: greetings to our King.


Gospel Reading: Luke 3:7-18 (NLT)

When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

The crowds asked, “What should we do?”

John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”

Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”

He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”

“What should we do?” asked some soldiers.

John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”

Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.

Prayers of Intercession:

Mighty God, our strength and our salvation, hear our prayers –

+ For all who follow Christ Jesus – that we may be joyful…
+ For all who are poor and needy – that we may freely share what we have…
+ For all who are brokenhearted – that we may comfort and support them..
+ For all who are sick – that we may visit and pray for them…
+ For all who are alone – that we may love and assist them…
+ For all who have died in Christ – that they may experience the joy of eternal life…

God our Savior, we rejoice in your loving-kindness and mighty deeds, help us we pray, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Isaiah 12” (Sing to the Lord) – the Ambassadors


Blessing – Philippians 4:4-5 (NLT)

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.”

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