Second Sunday of Advent

6th December ~ 2nd Sunday of Advent

The Collect:  Almighty God, purify our hearts and minds, that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as judge and Saviour, we may be ready to receive Him, who is our Lord and our God.  All: Amen

The Epistle is written in the 8th verse of the 3rd chapter of the 2nd Epistle General of St. Peter

Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

This is the Word of the Lord All: Thanks be to God

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark: Glory to You, O Lord

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way ~ a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’ And so John came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, one whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptise you with water, but He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord:  All: Praise to You, O Christ

Prayers: Everlasting God, as we journey through this season of Advent, seeking to make our paths straight for His coming, we now offer our prayers and petitions through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Mighty God, your servant John the Baptist called people to change the way they lived and to prepare themselves for the coming of your son. Help us to discern the truth which draws us closer to you. Give us the courage to reject the voices of evil and those things that tempt us and make us selfish. May we be as fearless in proclaiming the truth as your servant John and be ready to adapt and change.              Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Creator God, we pray for our world and the problems faced by so many of your children. We pray for all who live under the threat of war and terrorism and the poverty which comes in its wake. We pray for those who have little to eat, meagre dwellings and few material possessions, when we who live in the richer world have so much.  Help us to care, to share and to give generously whenever we can. Lord in you mercy: Hear our prayer                                                                                            

Father God, your son Jesus lived an ordinary family life in Nazareth and so you understand the difficulties faced in family life. We pray for all of those involved in providing support for troubled families and strengthening our community life.  As we draw closer to Christmas we pray for those families who will feel their problems increased by the need to provide what they cannot truly afford. For those who feel ashamed that they have to go to foodbanks in order to put food on the table for their family.                                                 Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Merciful God, may your blessing be upon all those who are sick, in pain, anxious or troubled. We ask you to be close to those passing through dark places, to those undergoing treatments at home or in hospital and to give thanks for all working in the Health Services who are treating them.                                                   Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Loving God, give rest to those who have gone from our lives to be with you. May they now live the life eternal and rest in everlasting peace in your presence. Strengthen the bereaved with the knowledge of your loving presence in this their time of greatest need.                                    Lord in  mercy: Hear our prayer

Holy God, we ask you to help us make time for true preparations this Advent. In the midst of the rush of life, help us to find inner quietness and an awareness of your presence. Let this Christmas be a time when we don’t concern ourselves with material things but focus more on your spiritual gifts. Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen