The Season of Advent
Christian Worship: Hymnal (2021)
3-Year Lectionary, Year C
The First Sunday in Advent
Listen, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the good promises that I have spoken to the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah.
15In those days and at that time,
I will cause a righteous Branch to grow up from David’s line.
He will establish justice and righteousness on earth.
16In those days Judah will be saved,
and Jerusalem will dwell securely.
This is what she will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness.
1 Thessalonians 3:9–13
Indeed, how can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have before God on account of you? 10Night and day we are praying earnestly to see you in person and to supply what is lacking in your faith.
11May God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord increase your love and make it overflow for each other and for all people, just as ours does for you, 13so that he may establish your hearts as blameless in holiness before our God and Father, when our Lord Jesus comes with all his saints.
After Jesus had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples ahead, 30saying, “Go to the village ahead of you. When you enter it, you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you will say this: ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32Those who were sent ahead went and found things just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34They said, “The Lord needs it.”
35Then they brought the colt to Jesus. They threw their robes on the colt and set Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their robes on the road. 37As he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began to praise God joyfully, with a loud voice, for all the miracles they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40He replied, “I tell you, if these people would be silent, the stones would cry out.”
“There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And on the earth nations will be in anguish, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the surging waves, 26people fainting from fear and expectation of the things coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.”
29He told them a parable. “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30As soon as they are sprouting leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is actually near. 31So also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Amen I tell you: This generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34“Watch yourselves or else your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the worries of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly. 35For it will come like a trap on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Stay alert all the time, praying that you may be able to escape all these things that are going to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
The Second Sunday in Advent
Look! I am sending my messenger! He will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord, whom you are seeking, will come to his temple! The Messenger of the Covenant, in whom you delight, will surely come, says the Lord of Armies.
2But who can endure the day when he comes? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like launderer’s bleach! 3He will be seated like a refiner and a purifier of silver. He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and like silver. They will belong to the Lord and bring him an offering in righteousness.
4Judah and Jerusalem’s offerings will be pleasing to the Lord as they were in the days of old, in years long ago.
5I will approach you to judge you. I will be quick to give testimony against those who practice occult arts, those who commit adultery, those who swear false oaths, those who cheat workers out of their wages, those who wrong a widow and a fatherless child, those who turn away a resident alien—all those who do not fear me, says the Lord of Armies.
6Certainly I, the Lord, do not change. That is why you, sons of Jacob, have not come to an end. 7Since the days of your fathers, you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Armies.
I thank my God every time I remember you. 4Every time I pray for all of you, I always pray with joy, 5because of your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now. 6I am convinced of this very thing: that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7I am equally convinced that it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, for both in my chains and in my defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all share in this grace with me. 8Yes, God is my witness of how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And I pray that your love may still increase more and more in knowledge and every insight. 10This will result in your approval of the things that really matter, so that you will be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene— 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. 3He went into the whole region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4Just as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight.
5Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low.
The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth.
6And everyone will see the salvation of God.”
The Third Sunday in Advent
Sing out, daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, you daughter of Jerusalem. 15The Lord has removed the judgment against you. He has turned back your enemy. Israel’s king, the Lord, is in your midst! You no longer need to fear disaster. 16In that day Jerusalem will be told, “Do not be afraid, O Zion. Do not give up. 17The Lord your God is with you as a hero who will save you. He takes great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So John kept saying to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Therefore produce fruits in keeping with repentance! Do not even think of saying to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ because I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. 9Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is going to be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10The crowds began to ask him, “What should we do then?”
11He answered them, “Whoever has two shirts should share with the person who has none, and whoever has food should do the same.”
12Tax collectors also came to be baptized. They said, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13To them he said, “Collect no more than what you were authorized to.”
14Soldiers were also asking him, “And what should we do?”
He told them, “Do not extort money from anyone by force or false accusation. Be satisfied with your wages.”
15The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John could be the Christ. 16John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But someone mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor. He will gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
18Then with many other words, he appealed to them and was preaching good news to the people.
The Fourth Sunday in Advent
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
from you, will go out the one who will be the ruler for me in Israel.
His goings forth are from the beginning, from the days of eternity.
3Therefore the Lord will give them up,
until the time when the woman who is in labor bears a child.
Then the remaining survivors from his brothers will return to the people of Israel.
4He will stand and shepherd with the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
They will dwell securely, for at that time he will be great to the ends of the earth.
5This one will be their peace.
Therefore when he entered the world, Christ said:
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but you prepared a body for me.
6You were not pleased
with burnt offerings and sin offerings.
7Then I said, “Here I am.
I have come to do your will, God.
In the scroll of the book it is written about me.”
8First he said:
Sacrifices and offerings that were offered according to the law,
both burnt offerings and sin offerings,
you did not desire,
and you were not pleased with them.
9Then he said:
Here I am.
I have come to do your will.
He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10By this will, we have been sanctified once and for all, through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ.
In those days Mary got up and hurried to the hill country, to a town of Judah. 40She entered the home of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41Just as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42She called out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44In fact, just now, as soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy! 45Blessed is she who believed, because the promises spoken to her from the Lord will be fulfilled!”
46Then Mary said,
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
48because he has looked with favor on the humble state of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed,
49because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones.
He has lifted up the lowly.
53He has filled the hungry with good things, but the rich he has sent away empty.
54He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy,
55as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his offspring forever.