Sunday, December 12, 2021

Third Sunday of Advent - Scripture Readings

Zephaniah 3:14-20 New Living Translation

14 Sing, O daughter of Zion;

    shout aloud, O Israel!

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,

    O daughter of Jerusalem!

15 For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment

    and will disperse the armies of your enemy.

And the Lord himself, the King of Israel,

    will live among you!

At last your troubles will be over,

    and you will never again fear disaster.

16 On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,

    “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid!

17 For the Lord your God is living among you.

    He is a mighty savior.

He will take delight in you with gladness.

    With his love, he will calm all your fears.

    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

18 “I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals;

    you will be disgraced no more.

19 And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you.

    I will save the weak and helpless ones;

I will bring together

    those who were chased away.

I will give glory and fame to my former exiles,

    wherever they have been mocked and shamed.

20 On that day I will gather you together

    and bring you home again.

I will give you a good name, a name of distinction,

    among all the nations of the earth,

as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes.

    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Isaiah 12:2-6 New Living Translation

2 See, God has come to save me.

    I will trust in him and not be afraid.

The Lord God is my strength and my song;

    he has given me victory.”

3 With joy you will drink deeply

    from the fountain of salvation!

4 In that wonderful day you will sing:

    “Thank the Lord! Praise his name!

Tell the nations what he has done.

    Let them know how mighty he is!

5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.

    Make known his praise around the world.

6 Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy!

    For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”

Philippians 4:4-7 New Living Translation

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Luke 3:7-18 New Living Translation

7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”

11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”

12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”

13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”

14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.

John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”

15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” 18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.

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