Weekly Scripture Readings
3rd Sunday in Advent
December 17, 2017
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
The Year of the LORD’s Favor
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that
they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the
peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them,
that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations.
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of
God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test
everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul
and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful;
he will surely do it.
Holy Gospel: John 1:6–8, 19–28
P – There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear
witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came
to bear witness about the light. And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent
priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not
deny, but confessed,
C – “I am not the Christ.”
P – And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said,
C – “I am not.”
P – “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered,
C – “No.”
P – So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What
do you say about yourself?” He said,
C – “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
P – (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing,
if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them,
C – “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even He who comes
after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
P – These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
2nd Sunday in Advent
December 10, 2017
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 40:1–11
Comfort for God’s People
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
The Word of God Stands Forever
A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers,
the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
The Greatness of God
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Epistle: 2 Peter 3:8–14
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand
years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not
wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,
and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the
earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and
godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire
and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!But according to his promise we are waiting for new
heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and
Holy Gospel: Mark 1:1–8
P – The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
C – “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make His paths straight,’ ”
P – John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the
forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and
were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed
with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.
And he preached, saying,
C – “After me comes He who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to
stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the