3rd Sunday in Advent: 12 Dec 2021 – Zeph 3:14-20; Ps 85; Phil 4:4-9; Luke 3:7-20 ~ Always be full of joy!

3rd Sunday in Advent: 12 Dec 2021
Anglican Church of North America
[Lectionary Year C]

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

Opening:

Gracious God, your people look forward in hope
to the festival of our Saviour’s birth.
Give us the strength to reach that happy day of salvation
and to celebrate it with hearts full of joy.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

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.
(Philippians 4:4-5)

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Zephaniah’s SongOshawa Temple Band, Ontario, Canada  
[The Salvation Army has been active as a Church in Oshawa, since 1884.]

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OT Reading: Zeph 3:14-20 (NLT)

3:14 Sing, O daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment
and will disperse the armies of your enemy.
And the Lord himself, the King of Israel,
will live among you!
At last your troubles will be over,
and you will never again fear disaster.
16 On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,
“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid!
17 For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

18 “I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals;
you will be disgraced no more.
19 And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you.
I will save the weak and helpless ones;
I will bring together
those who were chased away.
I will give glory and fame to my former exiles,
wherever they have been mocked and shamed.
20 On that day I will gather you together
and bring you home again.
I will give you a good name, a name of distinction,
among all the nations of the earth,
as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”

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Psalm: Psalm 85 – by Bill Monaghan
“Lord Let Us See Your Kindness”

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NT Reading: Phil 4:4-9 (NLT)

4:4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

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GaudeteChet Valley Churches
[Gaudete” is a Latin carol which first appeared in ‘Piae Cantiones,
a collection of Finnish and Swedish sacred songs published in 1581.]

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Gospel Reading: Luke 3:7-20 (NLT)

3:7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 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. 9 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.”

10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”

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

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

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

14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.

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

15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. 16 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. 17 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.” 18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.

19 John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. 20 So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.

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O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Enya
[an old Basque carol]

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Prayer:

The Summit Online

Our God is a God of joy, who delights to be with us. As people of faith, we rejoice in our Saviour, who hears us when we call him and renews us in his love.

+ We pray for worldwide leaders of the Church. Through their words and actions, may they spread the message of joy throughout the world that God is present among us.

+ We pray for all Christians living under religious persecution. May they be free to openly celebrate the coming of the Saviour this Christmas.

+ We pray for families where there is division and tension. May the true spirit of Christmas touch their hearts and lead to healing and peace.

+ We pray for our faith communities. As we prepare for Christmas, may our hearts be open to the many ways we can serve others.

+ We pray for the sick in body, mind, or spirit within our communities and neighborhoods, and for all who have asked for our prayers.

+ We pray for those who mourn the death of loved ones whose anniversaries occur at this time. Comfort them with visions of glory.

Come, O come, Emmanuel. Draw near to your people whose hearts are open to you in prayer. We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

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Benediction: 

Be people of joy.

Let joy live in your heart and share the joy of Christ with all you meet.

by seeing the good in each other.

by remembering good times and hoping for good times to come.

by praying for our world.

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

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