Second Sunday of Advent


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“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.

—Zechariah 7:9 (NKJV)

Scripture Readings:

Isaiah 40:1–11

God’s People Are Comforted

Comfort, O comfort my people,
 says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
 and cry to her
that she has served her term,
 that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
 double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
 make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
 and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
 and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
 and all people shall see it together,
 for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
 And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
 their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
 when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
 surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
 but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
 O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
 O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
 lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
 ‘Here is your God!’
See, the Lord God comes with might,
 and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
 he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
 and gently lead the mother sheep.

Prayers:

Thematic Prayer

God of timeless grace,
you fill us with joyful expectation.
Make us ready for the message that prepares the way,
that with uprightness of heart and holy joy
we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen

Intercessory Prayer

God of hope,
you raised up John the baptizer
as a herald who calls us to conversion.
As we joyfully await the glorious coming of Christ,
we pray to you for the needs of the church and the world.

Prayers of the People, concluding with:

Hear our humble prayer
that we may serve you in holiness and faith
and give voice to your presence among us
until the day of the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Scripture Prayer

God of hope, 
you call us from the exile of our sin 
with the good news of restoration; 
you build a highway through the wilderness; 
you come to us and bring us home. 
Comfort us with the expectation of your saving power, 
made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13

Prayer for the Restoration of God’s Favour

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.

Lord, you were favourable to your land;
 you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
 you pardoned all their sin. Selah

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
 for he will speak peace to his people,
 to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
 that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
 righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
 and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
 and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
 and will make a path for his steps.

II Peter 3:8–15a

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Final Exhortation and Doxology

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation..

St. Mark 1:1–8

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
 who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
 “Prepare the way of the Lord,
 make his paths straight”’,

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

A Story for the Day

Food was delivered to Prina daily, but what would break her heart each day as it was delivered?

Prina's Story




Source for Collects: The Collects are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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