13th December ~ 3rd Sunday of Advent
The Collect: Almighty God, for whom we watch and wait, you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son: give us courage to speak the truth, to hunger for justice, and to suffer for the cause of right, with Jesus Christ our Lord. All: Amen
The Epistle is written in the 16th verse of the 5th chapter of St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Thessalonians:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.
This is the Word of the Lord All: Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John: Glory to You, O Lord
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all people might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ “Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptise if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” “I baptise with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
This is the Gospel of the Lord: All: Praise to You, O Christ
Everlasting God, as we continue prepare for Christmas, help us to find time in our busy lives for time to be quiet where we can, through prayer and reflection, appreciate the wonder of your love. As we revisit the story of Jesus’ birth through our Advent worship deepen our joy, invigorate our prayers, and our praise and help it to challenge the way that we live our lives. Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Faithful God may we like Mary worship in such a way that our joy in you grows through the recognition of the countless ways we have benefitted from your blessings throughout our lives, and the goodness and mercy that you show to us despite our shortcomings. Help us to pass on our faith to the next generation that they too, might praise with the same joy that Mary did . Lord in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Merciful God, we pray for the nations of the world especially where pride interferes with power to produce tyranny, where the divide between rich and poor is beyond imagination. We pray for the leaders of the EU as they look for a way forward with a Brexit deal. Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
Almighty God, you are the only source of health and healing.
In you there is calm, and the only true peace. Grant to each one of us your children an awareness of your presence, and give us perfect trust in you. In our pain, weariness and anxiety teach us to give ourselves to your never failing care. We give thanks for the vaccine which is now being given to protect us from Covid-19. We pray for all those who have died recently, and are now with you. Lord in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
A prayer from the Church of England
We are not people of fear: we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity.
We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are,
whatever it costs For as long as it takes wherever you call us.
Merciful Father accept these our prayers for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen