St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Saturday, December 4, 2021 Advent II – year C
Sunday’s readings(If you know Handel’s, Messiah, or Jesus Christ, Superstar, you probably can’t read the gospel without singing it in your head!)Baruch 5:1-9 Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God. Put on the robe of righteousness that comes from God; put on your head the diadem of the the glory of the everlasting; for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven. For God will give you evermore the name, “Righteous Peace, Godly Glory.” Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height; loo toward the east, and see our children gathered form the west and from the east at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that God has remembered them. For they went out from you on foot, led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you, carried in glory, as on a royal throne. For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low and the valleys filled up, to make level ground, so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God. The woods and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel at God’s command. For God will lead Israel with joy, in the light of his glory, with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.
In place of the Psalm: Luke 1:68-79 The Song of Zechariah(at the birth of John, called the baptizer)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his holy prophets he promised of old, that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our Father Abraham, to set us free from the hands of our enemies. Free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the most high, for you will go to prepare his way, ‘to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn form on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
The New Testament reading Philippians 1:3-11 I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me., both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
The Gospel – Luke 3:1-6 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas, and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”