17th December: Advent 3
online Morning Prayer from St.Oswald’s.
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
God’s servant describes how in the power of God’s spirit, he will proclaim that God will soon reverse the sad history of the Jews, and will renew his covenant with them.
The servant of the Lord said: The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion— to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
John 1:6-8, 19-28
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ He said,
‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
“Make straight the way of the Lord” ’,
as the prophet Isaiah said.
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptising if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ John answered them, ‘I baptise with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptising.
Something to think about
In his prologue, John introduces themes like word, light, darkness and love, which he developed more fully in the Gospel. He deals with the question of the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, and what the people can expect from Jesus.
Next Sunday’s (24th) Readings:
2Samuel 7:1-11, 16
God for whom we watch and wait,
you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:
help us to speak the truth, to hunger for justice,
and to suffer for the cause of right,
with Jesus Christ our Lord.
We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts;
kindle in us the fire of your Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before his face;
who is alive and reigns now and for ever.
Please remember in your prayers this week:
Those who are sick or suffering.
The recently bereaved, especially the friends and relatives of Donna Morrison, Andrew Irving and Derek & Joyce Woolliscroft.
Areas of conflict: the Ukraine, the Middle East and too many others.
Our local churches, as they face up to the problems of the future.
Our Ministry Team: Maggie, Nigel, Pip, Mike & Lynda; and their supports: Rosemary & Simon.