Getting Ready for Advent 3
Introduction to the Word for Worship
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
-Zephaniah 3:14-15 (ESV)
As far as the deeper meaning of the passage is concerned, it clearly commands Jerusalem to rejoice exceedingly, to be especially glad, to cheer up wholeheartedly as its trespasses are wiped out, evidently through Christ. The spiritual and holy Zion—that is, the church, the holy multitude of the believers—is justified in Christ and only in him. By him and through him we are also saved as we escape from the harm of the invisible enemies, for we have a Mediator who was incarnated in our form, the king of all, that is, the Word of God the Father.
-St. Cyril of Alexandria
The Collect of the Day
O Lord Jesus Christ, you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise make ready your way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient toward the wisdom of the just, that at your second coming to judge the world, we may be found a people acceptable in your sight; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)
First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20
Psalm 85 (follows the playlist below)
Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-9
Gospel Reading: Luke 3:7-20
(click below on the Spotify Playlist to listen)
1 Lord, you have been gracious to your land; *
you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.
2 You have forgiven the offence of your people *
and covered all their sins.
3 You have taken away all your displeasure *
and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
4 Restore us then, O God our Savior, *
and let your anger cease from us.
5 Will you be displeased at us for ever, *
and will you stretch out your wrath
from one generation to another?
6 Will you not turn again and quicken us, *
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your mercy, O Lord, *
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will hearken to what the Lord God will say, *
for he shall speak peace unto his people,
and to his saints, that they turn not again.
9 For his salvation is near to those who fear him, *
that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall flourish out of the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Indeed, the Lord shall show goodness, *
and our land shall give its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him, *
and he shall direct his going in the way.