Lectionary - Advent 3 Year C

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Zephaniah 3:14-20 Rejoice and exult with all your heart
Isaiah 12:2-6 [for the psalm] Surely God is my salvation
Philippians 4:4-11 Rejoice ... the Lord in near
Luke 3:7-18 The preaching of John the Baptist

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
Hymns for Advent 3, Yr.C
lesson hymn TIS AHB SA
O All hail the power of Jesus' name 224 159
G Christ when for us you were baptized 250 20
O Come thou long-expected Jesus 272 200
O Glorious things of you are spoken 446 374
E/G Good Christians all, rejoice 313 238
O Hail to the Lord's anointed 275 203
G Hark a herald voice is calling 264 192
G Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes 269 197
G Joy to the world! The Lord is come 268 224
G Joyful joyful, we adore you 152
Let all mortal flesh keep silence 497 418
Lift up your heads you mighty gates 269
E May the mind of Christ my Saviour 609 537
G Now thank we all our God 106 14
O/G O bless the God of Israel 284
s O day of God draw near 616 547
G O for a thousand tongues to sing 210 141
O O God of every nation 621
G O Spirit of the living God 405 318
G On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry 270 199
Prepare the royal highway 346
O/G Rejoice the Lord is King 216 147
O/E Tell out my soul, the greatness of the Lord 161 109
G The advent of our God 271 198
s The people that in darkness walked 274 202
Ca To God be the glory, great things he has done 147 85
E What a friend we have in Jesus  590 165
G What does the Lord require of you 751
G When he was baptized in Jordan 252 91

 Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
The Lord's Messiah comes
SA 78 (TIS 241) So God loved the people of the world
SA 81 'The kingdom is upon you!'
SA 98 (TIS 285) Your coming Lord to earth in Bethlehem
193 (TIS 265) O come, O come , Emmanuel
194 The Lord will come and not be slow
436 (TIS 515) According to thy gracious word/ in meek humility
503 (TIS 587) O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother
532 (TIS 608) Where cross the crowded ways of life

Sermon summary (click here for complete sermon)

Rejoice, the Lord is near

The nearness of God can a source of comfort or terror. There was something quite special about that experience of people who could be at peace with the announcement, Rejoice....The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:4-7). Paul writing to the believers at Philippi is offering words of assurance: don't worry, do not be afraid, you have no need to be anxious, the Lord is near. It is an inner blessing. That inner peace can be yours. Because it touches your innermost thoughts and feelings we sometimes say the kingdom of God is within you: but that brings us to a nice little question of balance.

The kingdom within or among us: personal or social peace?

There is a well known text which can be translated 'within' or 'among'.... the kingdom of God is among [or within] you. (Luke 17:20-21). The kingdom has come because the Messiah is present. There is no divinity in us. There is no part of us that is God. It would be idolatry to attempt to know God by getting to know ourselves. The emphasis should be on our relationship with God as a separate (holy) being. The right kind of relationship with God should lead us into the right kind of relationships with other people. (1 John 4:20-21). We need John's warnings to people who thought they could trust in themselves. (Luke 3:7-14). So justice was required with repentance.

John pointed to Jesus who fulfilled the promise

John the Baptist in the tradition of the prophets (Isaiah 35:1-7; Zephaniah 3:19) would have looked for signs they gave that God was acting to bring in his kingdom; and he would have expected them when the Messaiah came (Luke 3:15-17). Later when he sent messengers to ask Jesus if he was the one to come, Jesus told them to go back and tell John what they had seen and heard, indicating signs like those described by Isaiah (Matthew 11:2-6). They have already begun to affect human life and they anticipate the new order of things that is promised at the end (Revelation 21:1-5). So be of good courage. Be thankful that the peace of God is with us, within us and among us, for he has come in Christ to reconcile us to himself and to each other. It is something you can rely upon. Trusting God allows us to focus on the positive things without fear. It is then that we can rejoice that God is near. It is in that faith and trust that Paul's 'final' advice to the Philippians becomes a practical possibility. (Philippians 4:8-9).

Order of Service - Advent 3 Year C - | DB Home | RCL Resources Index |

The Gathering of the People of God

Rejoice, the Lord is near. Philippians 4:4,5
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart Zephaniah 3:14

Rejoice in the Lord always;
again, I will say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4


[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

HYMN Hail to the Lord's anointed AHB 203 TIS 275

Mighty and merciful God, we meet to celebrate your greatness.
We join with the hosts of heaven to sing your praise and to offer you worship.

For you are worthy of adoration from every mouth,
and every tongue should praise you.
You created the earth by your power; you save the human race by your mercy; and make it new by your grace.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we offer you our grateful praise.


Loving God, Lord of the Church, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed: we have not loved you with all our heart or served you with all our strength; we have been blind to the vision of a renewed world and deaf to your call to costly discipleship; we have been indifferent to the suffering of others and unwilling to forgive one another. In your mercy, Lord, pardon and restore us, that together in the ministry of Christ we may serve you with joy all the days of our life. Amen.


God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life . (John 3:16).
Hear then Christ's word of grace, 'Your sins are forgiven'
Thanks be to God

DOXOLOGY O for a thousand tongues to sing (verses 1-3) Hymn AHB 141 TIS 210


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Warnings and rejoicing. The Lord is near.

OLD TESTAMENT Zephaniah 3:14-20 Rejoice and exult with all your heart
FOR THE PSALM Isaiah 12:2-6 Surely God is my salvation

Choir Silent and waiting

EPISTLE Philippians 4:4-11 Rejoice ... the Lord in near
GOSPEL Luke 3:7-18 The preaching of John the Baptist

HYMN Hark! a herald voice is calling AHB 192 TIS 264


HYMN The Lord's Messiah comes [Tune: St Olave, 66 66 66. AHB 154 or Laudes Domini 666D AHB 151 TIS 227]

The Lord's Messiah comes;
God's kingdom to announce.
He calls us to repent,
and all our sins renounce.
His conquest over sin
now gives us peace within.

He breaks into our world,
the light of God to show,
all darkness to dispel,
all evil overthrow.
Let justice now be done,
new life on earth begun.

Lord of the end to come,
your praise we will repeat,
the world you came to save,
you will perfect, complete.
There is no need to fear:
Rejoice, the Lord in near.

© David Beswick 1997 This hymn may be freely reproduced locally for use in worship, with acknowledgment, but not for any commercial purpose without permission.

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]

O Morning Star, splendour of light eternal and bright Sun of righteousness:
come and enlighten all who dwell in darkness and in the shadow.
Lord Jesus, come soon!

O King of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires:
Cornerstone, you make opposing nations one:
come and save the creature you fashioned from clay.
Lord Jesus, come soon!

O Emmanuel, hope of the nations and their Saviour:
come and save us, Lord our God.
Lord Jesus, come soon!


O God, the fountain of all life and joy, renew us by the power of your Holy Spirit, that we may joyfully run in the way of your commandments and carry to all the good news of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN Where cross the crowded ways of life AHB 532 TIS 608
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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