Third Sunday of Advent
Theme: Go and tell John what you hear and see
The Heralded Message:
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,’
Heralds the Mother of our Lord.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them;
Indeed, Advent anticipates the prophetic rhythm
That God comes to save, heal, restore, to lift up
Let our spirits be joyful in the Lord!
God of hope and joy, you sent John the Baptist to announce the coming of your Son:
inspire all who serve in your Church to prepare for his coming again by turning us from disobedience to your loving service;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
READING Isaiah 35: 1-10
The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands.
2 The desert will sing and shout for joy; it will be as beautiful as the Lebanon Mountains and as fertile as the fields of Carmel and Sharon.
Everyone will see the Lord’s splendour, see his greatness and power.
3 Give strength to hands that are tired and to knees that tremble with weakness.
5 The blind will be able to see, and the deaf will hear.
6 The lame will leap and dance, and those who cannot speak will shout for joy.
Streams of water will flow through the desert;
7 the burning sand will become a lake, and dry land will be filled with springs.
Where jackals used to live, marsh grass and reeds will grow.
8 There will be a highway there, called “The Road of Holiness.”
No sinner will ever travel that road; no fools will mislead those who follow it.
9 No lions will be there; no fierce animals will pass that way.
Those whom the Lord has rescued will travel home by that road.
10 They will reach Jerusalem with gladness, singing and shouting for joy.
They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief.
READING James 5: 7-10
7 Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comes. See how patient farmers are as they wait for their land to produce precious crops. They wait patiently for the autumn and spring rains.
8 You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near.
9 Do not complain against one another, my friends, so that God will not judge you. The Judge is near, ready to appear. 10 My friends, remember the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Take them as examples of patient endurance under suffering.
GOSPEL according to Matthew 11:
2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples
3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”
4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:
5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.
6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?
8 What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.
9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10 This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
PRAYER for Africa
God, refresh Africa and all the world,
Protect and grow our children.
Convict with justice and truth, all our leaders
And fill all hearts with your peace.
For Jesus Christ sake. Amen.
BENEDICTION & COMMISSIONING/SENDING
Our Lord says, ‘I am coming soon.’
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
May the Lord, when he comes,
find us watc