Prepare for Worship


 

Second Sunday in Advent


December 10, 2017
 

First Reading

Isaiah 40:1–11

(“Comfort, comfort My people.”)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."  A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!"  See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Epistle

2 Peter 3:8–14

(“The day of the Lord will come like a thief.”)

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.



Holy Gospel

Mark 1:1–8

(John begins baptizing and preaching.)


The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark, the first chapter.
      Glory to You, O Lord.

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  It is written in Isaiah the prophet:  “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”  And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And this was his message:  “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.

 

Resources

How wonderful to think that God has made His glory known even to us!  Have you read through the entire Bible? Maybe this would be a great way to honor God in 2015. CLICK HERE to start a personalized reading plan to complete the entire Bible in a year. It will be worth it, you will never be the same as God works through His Sacraments and His Word. Do you keep a spiritual journal that you use daily to record what God is communicating to you through His Word? Maybe it would be a good time to start this journey of discovery and listening.

Our Prayer

Let us pray.  O Lord God, heavenly Father, by Your mercy, in the waters of Holy Baptism, You have made us each a part of Your Bride, the Church.  Grant that, as Your Church, we humbly receive Your blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation through the gift of faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened…” 

Luke 2:3