Lectionary -- Advent 2 Year A

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Isaiah 11:1-10 A shoot shall come from the stump of Jesse
Psalm 72:1-7,18,19 Give the king your justice, O God
Romans 15:4-13 .... written for our instruction
Matthew 3:1-12 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)

lesson Hymns for Advent 2, Yr.A TIS AHB SA
G All my hope on God is founded 560 465
O Behold a Rose is growing 294
O/G Blessed be the God of Israel [284]
By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered 617 15
E Christ is the world's true light 238 179
G Christ when for us you were baptized 250 20
s Come O Jesus, come O Lord 211
O Come thou long-expected Jesus 272 200
G Comfort comfort all my people 647 25
G From heaven above to earth I come 296 219
lit Go now in peace 782
God has spoken to his people, hallelujah! 636 38
G Great is your faithfulness 154
O/Ps Hail to the Lord's anointed 275 203
G Hark a herald voice is calling 264 193
Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes 269 197
He who by a mother's love 277 204
E Help us accept each other 648
hc Holy most holy Lamb of God 448
E How brightly beams the Morning Star [199] 220
How lovely on the mountain are the feet of him
O/hc I come with joy to meet my Lord 533 452
I want to walk as a child of the light 643
E In Christ there is no east or west 459 391
O Isaiah the prophet has written of old 663
Ps Jesus shall reign where'er the sun 207 136
hc Let all mortal flesh keep silence 497 418
G Like the murmur of the dove's song 419
G Lo he comes with clouds descending 273 201
s Long ago prophets knew 283 61
E Lord Jesus, our bright Morning Star 199 [220]
E Lord your word abiding 427 333
Love divine, all loves excelling 217 148
Make me a channel of your peace 607 66
O Morning has broken 156 91
O My heart and voice I raise 225 160
O/G O bless the God of Israel 284
O O come O come, Emmanuel 265 193
O/Ps O day of God draw near 616 547
O/E/G O Holy Spirit, by whose breath 329
E/G O Holy Spirit, enter in 400
G O let the Son of God enfold you 655
E/G O Spirit of the living God 405 318
G On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry 270 199
O/G Prepare the royal highway 346
O Saviour of the nations, come 295
O Spirit divine, attend our prayers 406 377
E Thanks to God whose word was spoken 431 339
s The advent of our God 271 198
The angel Gabriel from heaven came 302 222
Ps The Lord will come and not be slow 194
s The north wind is tossing the leaves 322 246
O The voice of God goes out to all the world 282 86
s Thou didst leaved thy throne 206
O Veni sancte Spiritus 752
E When Christ was lifted from the earth 248 93
G When he was baptized in Jordan 252 91
E Your words to me are life and health 430 337

Other Possible Hymns

(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia. TIS = Together in Song)
SA 6 And did ye see him little star
199 On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
202 The people that in darkness walked
205 Mine eyes have seen the glory
212 The king of glory comes, the nation rejoices
556 Creator of the earth and skies

Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon)

The Authority of Scripture

As people who believe in Jesus Christ, Christians are bound to rely upon those who are witnesses to him. The apostles and evangelists of the first century who wrote the books of the New Testament give us evidence from the eyewitnesses [eg. Luke 1:1-4; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; 1 John 1:1-4.] The authority of scripture for us follows from our belief in him as the Word of God, the Word made flesh [John 1:14]. And we recognise authority in the Old Testament also because, like John the Baptist [Matt. 3:1-17] it points forward to Christ [Acts 8:30-35; Luke 24:25-27; Romans 15:3-4]. Christ himself is the key to the interpretation of scripture.

The Word of God and the Biblical Witness -- What the Church says:-
Christ who is present when he is preached among people is the Word of God who acquits the guilty, who gives life to the dead and who brings into being what otherwise could not exist. [Para. 4]

The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church has received the books of the Old and New Testaments as unique prophetic and apostolic testimony, in which it hears the Word of God and by which its faith and obedience are nourished and regulated. When the Church preaches Jesus Christ, its message is controlled by the Biblical witnesses. The Word of God on whom salvation depends is to be heard and known from Scripture appropriated in the worshipping and witnessing life of the Church. The Uniting Church lays upon its members the serious duty of reading the Scriptures, commits its ministers to preach from these and to administer the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper as effective signs of the Gospel set forth in the Scriptures. [Para.5]

The Uniting Church acknowledges that God has never left the Church without faithful and scholarly interpreters of Scripture, or without those who have reflected deeply upon, and acted trustingly in obedience to, God's living Word. In particular the Uniting Church enters into the inheritance of literary, historical and scientific enquiry which has characterised recent centuries, and gives thanks for the knowledge of God's ways with humanity which are open to an informed faith. [Para. 11]
[From the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia]

RCL Resources Index

Order of Service - Advent 2 Year A

The Gathering of the People of God

Let us worship God as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Lord, remembering John the Baptist -- "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord'." -- Matthew 3:3
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. -- Isaiah 11:9

HYMN 465 All my hope on God is founded

[A family group or individual comes to the table and one reads:]
On this second Sunday in Advent we remember John the Baptist who came to announce the coming of the light of the world.
[Two coloured candles are lit (including the one lit last week), and reading continues.]
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. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:6-9


Most merciful God we confess that we have sinned against you and our neighbour. We have taken great benefits with little thanks and we have been more ready to insist upon our rights than to see the needs of others. Have mercy and forgive us, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The good news is that all who trust in Christ will have their sins forgiven and receive eternal life. As you hold this faith, I declare that you are set free from all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Thanks be to God.


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: John the Baptist and God's message
A word to the children.

HYMN SA 6 And did ye see him little star [Introduced by choir]

OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 11:1-10 A shoot shall come from the stump of Jesse
PSALM 72:1-7,18,19 Give the king your justice, O God
EPISTLE Romans 15:4-13 .... written for our instruction
GOSPEL Matthew 3:1-12 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness

HYMN SA 61 Long ago, prophets knew [choir verses; congregation chorus]


HYMN 193 O come, O come, Emmanuel

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
The Word within the Word
Most wonderful God, this is your world,
the fruit of your creating and redeeming word;
the word which shaped the history
out of which the Bible was written.
For the Word from the beginning
speaking as One who has authority
word of life:
we thank you, Lord most high!
You spoke through many writers --
some simple and some sophisticated,
poets, historians, shepherds and princes --
each inspired to pass the word on.
For the Word is a lamp,
guide to our feet, beacon to our path,
word of light:
we thank you, Lord most high!
The scribes of many generations who toiled,
patiently reproducing the sacred scrolls,
you nurtured, God of the ages.
Through them your treasure came down to us.
For those who delighted in your word
and forgot not your laws,
word of truth:
we thank you, Lord most high.
Translators you gave us, servants of the Word,
conveying the Good News in our native tongue;
Bede, Wycliffe, and the sages of King James,
Moffatt, Phillips, and the scholars of today.
For the Word that cannot be bound,
skillfully spoken in due season,
word like fire:
we thank you, Lord most high.
You have given our nation you Word;
in Australia the Scriptures abound.
You have provided bookshops and Bible Societies,
and given us the freedom to share it.
For the Word that dwells richly in us,
and that never returns empty,
word that brings faith:
we thank you, Lord most high.
Wonderful God, we rejoice in the Gospel,
the witness of the Bible to Jesus Christ,
the Word within the words,
speaking a saving word to all people.
For the Word made flesh,
glorious Word who dwells among us,
word of love:
we praise you, Lord most high.
Bruce Prewer: Australian Psalms

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 200 Come thou long expected Jesus
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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