Second Sunday in Advent

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SERMON TEXT:  Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is how it is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare the way for you. A voice of one calling out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.” John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. He preached, “One more powerful than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals! I baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call out to her. Her warfare really is over. Her guilt is fully paid for. Yes, she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice is calling out: In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD. In the wasteland make a level highway for our God. Every valley will be raised up, and every mountain and hill will be made low. The rugged ground will become level, and the rough places will become a plain. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh together will see it. Yes, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A voice was saying, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry out?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like a wildflower in the countryside. Grass withers, flowers fade, when the breath of the LORD blows on them. Yes, the people are grass. Grass withers, flowers fade, but the Word of our God endures forever.

Get up on a high mountain, O Zion, you herald of good news. Lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, you herald of good news. Lift it up! Do not be afraid! Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” Look, God the LORD will come with strength, and his arm is ruling for him. Look, his reward is with him. The result of his work is in front of him. Like a shepherd he will care for his flock. With his arm he will gather the lambs. He will lift them up on his lap. He will gently lead the nursing mothers.

SECOND LESSON:  2 Peter 3:8-14

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: For the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow to do what he promised, as some consider slowness. Instead, he is patient for your sakes, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a roar, the elements will be dissolved as they burn with great heat, and the earth and what was done on it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be destroyed, what kind of people ought you to be, living in holiness and godliness, as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God? That day will cause the heavens to be set on fire and destroyed, and the elements to melt as they burn with great heat. But according to his promise we look forward to new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, dear friends, as you look forward to these things, make every effort to be found in peace, spotless and blameless in his sight.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Luke 3:4,6

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. All mankind will see God’s salvation

GOSPEL: Mark 1:1

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