Third Sunday in Advent

  1. Always honor His name
  2. Boldly proclaim His freedom
  3. Forever enjoy His family legacy
SERMON TEXT:  John 8:31-36

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Malachi 4:1-6

Look! The day is coming, burning like a blast furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The day that is coming will set them on fire, says the LORD of Armies, a day which will not leave behind a root or branch for them. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, and there will be healing in its wings. You will go out and jump around like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked. They will surely be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action, says the LORD of Armies. Remember the law of my servant Moses, which I dictated to him at Horeb to serve as statutes and judgments over all Israel. Look! I am sending Elijah the prophet to you before the great and fearful day of the LORD comes! He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I would come and strike the land with complete destruction.

SECOND LESSON:  1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Look! The day is coming, burning like a blast furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The day that is coming will set them on fire, says the LORD of Armies, a day which will not leave behind a root or branch for them. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, and there will be healing in its wings. You will go out and jump around like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked. They will surely be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action, says the LORD of Armies. Remember the law of my servant Moses, which I dictated to him at Horeb to serve as statutes and judgments over all Israel. Look! I am sending Elijah the prophet to you before the great and fearful day of the LORD comes! He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I would come and strike the land with complete destruction.

VERSE OF THE DAY:  

Hear our prayers, Lord Jesus Christ, and come with the good news of your mighty deliverance. Drive the darkness from our hearts and fill us with your light; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

GOSPEL: John 1:6-8, 19-28

There was a man, sent from God, whose name was John. He came as an eyewitness to testify about the light so that everyone would believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. This is the testimony John gave when the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny. He confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “Who are you then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” “No,” he answered. Then they asked him, “Who are you? Tell us so we can give an answer to 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,’ just as Isaiah the prophet said.” They had been sent from the Pharisees. So they asked John, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, or Elijah, or the Prophet?” “I baptize with water,” John answered. “Among you stands one you do not know. He is the one coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” These things happened in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

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