Third Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 11, 2016
Year (cycle): 
The Collect: 

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Isaiah 35:1-10

1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
   the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus 2it shall blossom abundantly,
   and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
   the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
   the majesty of our God.

3 Strengthen the weak hands,
   and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
   ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
   He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
   He will come and save you.’

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then the lame shall leap like a deer,
   and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
   and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
   and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8 A highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
   but it shall be for God’s people;
   no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
   but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Psalm 146:4-9 or Canticle 3 or Canticle 15

4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
       whose hope is in the Lord their God;
5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
       who keeps his promise for ever;
6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
       and food to those who hunger.
7 The Lord sets the prisoners free;
  the Lord opens the eyes of the blind; *
       the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
8 The Lord loves the righteous;
  the Lord cares for the stranger; *
       he sustains the orphan and widow,
       but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9 The Lord shall reign for ever, *
       your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.


My soul doth magnify the Lord, *
    and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he hath regarded *
    the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold from henceforth *
    all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me, *
    and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him *
    throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm; *
    he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, *
    and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things, *
    and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy has holpen his servant Israel, *
    as he promised to our forefathers,
    Abraham and his seed for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
   as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.  Amen.


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
   for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. 
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
   the Almighty has done great things for me,
   and holy is his Name. 
He has mercy on those who fear him *
   in every generation. 
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
   he has scattered the proud in their conceit. 
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
   and has lifted up the lowly. 
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
   and the rich he has sent away empty. 
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
   for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 
The promise he made to our fathers, *
   to Abraham and his children for ever. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
   as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

James 5:7-10

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! 10As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Matthew 11:2-11

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ 4Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 8What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way before you.”
11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.