Lectionary - Advent 3 Year A

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Isaiah 35:1-10 The desert shall rejoice and blossom
Psalm 146:5-10 Happy are those whose help is in the God of Jacob
or Luke 1:47-55 The song of Mary: The Magnificat
James 5:7-10 Be patient, like the farmer waiting for the crop
Matthew 11:2-11 Jesus sends a message to John about signs of the kingdom

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
lesson Hymns for Advent 3, Yr.A TIS AHB SA
O All the ends of the earth have seen 57 3
At the name of Jesus 231 170
O Behold a Rose is growing 294
Ca/G Blessed be the God of Israel [284]
Ps/Ca Christ is made the sure foundation 432 343
Christ is the world's true light 238 179
Come down O Love divine 398 310
Come O Fount of every blessing 152
E/G Come thou long-expected Jesus 272 200
O Come we that love the Lord 356
O/G Comfort comfort all my people 647 25
Ca Give thanks with a grateful heart 717
God has spoken to his people, hallelujah 636 39
O/G Good Christians all, rejoice 313 238
Great God your Spirit, like the wind 416 41
G Hail to the Lord's anointed 275 203
G Hark a herald voice is calling 264 192
O/G Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes 269 197
O/E I want to walk as a child of the light 643
E If we will trust in God to guide us 554 459
Ps I'll praise my Maker while I've breath 90 44
In suffering love the thread of life 177
G Jesus Christ is waiting, waiting in the street 665
Jesus' hands were kind hands 236 178
G Jesus shall reign where'er the sun 207 136
s Joy to the world! the Lord is come 268 224
Joyful joyful, we adore you 152
O Lift up your heads you mighty gates 267
s Long ago prophets knew 283 61
E Lord Christ when first you came to earth/men 508
Lord your almighty Word 447 61
O Love divine all loves excelling 217 148
Ca My soul gives glory to my God 172
Ca/G O bless the God of Israel 284
O bless the Lord, my soul 64 63
E O come O come, Emmanuel 265 193
s O day of God draw near 616 547
O/G O for a thousand tongues to sing 210 141
Ps O God of Bethel by whose hand 564 49
G On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry 270 199
O Prepare the royal highway 346
E Rejoice the Lord is King 216 147
G She comes sailing on the wind
Sing a new song, sing a new song 166 102
E Teach me my God and King 458
Ca/E Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord 161 109
s The advent of our God 271 198
Ca The angel Gabriel from heaven came 302 222
s The King of glory comes, the nation rejoices 279 212
Ps/E The Lord will come and not be slow 194
s The people that in darkness walked 274 202
G The voice of God goes out through all the world 282 86
O There's a light upon the mountains 276 207
Ps To you my Lord will I sing praise 120
s When God almighty came to be one of us 281 214
Ps/Ca You servants of God, your Master proclaim 215 144
s You shall go out with joy 755
E Your coming Lord, to earth in Bethlehem 285 98

Other Possible Hymns

The Lord's Messiah comes

Sermon Summary (Click here for complete sermon)

Is he really the one?

"Is he really the one?" You can almost hear John the Baptist wondering. "Is he the one who is to come -- the promised Messiah?" They were very different men, John and Baptist and Jesus. John was an austere character in the way of the old prophets of Israel like Elijah (Matthew 3:4). He uttered strong words of condemnation and prophetic teaching (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:10-14). By contrast, Jesus was more a man of the people. They said of him that he liked company, and enjoyed eating and drinking with his friends. He was different from what John might have expected. Was he the one? (Matthew 11:2-3).

We usually think of John simply as the one who came to prepare the way for Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 3:3,11; John 1:30). It is then a little surprising to realise that he could have had his doubts. John the Baptist give us the words we still use of Jesus today, in the Eucharist, "The Lamb of God" (John 1:29).There is a good deal for us to learn from this. From the point of view of the evangelist telling the story of Jesus and his forerunner John the Baptist, a life of faith need not be lived without questions. Faith is not blind belief, but open to evidence. Jesus answered John by pointing to the evidence that John's disciples could see for themselves: (Matthew 11:2-6).

Those who knew the Hebrew Scriptures knew that he was pointing out that what they could now see was what had been foretold by the prophets, especially by Isaiah who had written about the coming great day of the Lord (Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:5-6; 61:1-2 cf Luke 4:18-19 ).

Was Jesus the one? Does he, setting people free to become what God has called them to be, truly reveal the nature of God and represent God, indeed did he become God in human life? Is his coming the beginning of a new age, of the Kingdom of God? Is he the chosen one, the anointed one, the Messiah, bringing all this about? The answer Jesus himself gave to John was "Look and see!" We believers make a personal response: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".

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Order of Service Advent 3 Year A

The Gathering of the People of God

Let us worship God who graciously comes to us. When he comes he fulfils the promise of new life:
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus
it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. ... He will come and save you."
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. (From Isaiah 35:1-6)

HYMN Sing a new song ... Creation sings a new song to the Lord TIS 166 AHB 102

[A family group or individual comes to the table and one reads:]
On this third Sunday in Advent we rejoice at the prospect of the coming of the Kingdom of God which John the Baptist foresaw and Jesus announced, and which even now is breaking into the world.
[Three coloured candles are lit (including those lit last week), and reading continues.]
"The darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining." 1 John 2:8
"I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. " John 12:46

Hear then Christ's word of grace, 'Your sins are forgiven'
Thanks be to God



Service of the Word

OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 35:1-10 The desert shall rejoice and blossom

For the PSALM - Luke 1:47-55 - The Song of Mary [The Magificat, responsively]
And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever." (Luke 1:46-55)

EPISTLE James 5:7-10 Be patient, like the farmer waiting for the crop
GOSPEL Matthew 11:2-11 Jesus sends a message to John about signs of the kingdom

HYMN On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry TIS 270 AHB 199


HYMN The Lord's Messiah comes

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
Sustain us, Father, with the power of your love on our journey to meet the One who is coming; strengthen our weak hands, make firm our feeble knees, and open blind eyes to the dawning of your kingdom; that our hearts may rejoice with joy and singing as we behold the majesty of our God. We ask this through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN Tell out my soul TIS 161 AHB 109
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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