Discussion, Study, and Prayer Guide for God’s Priestly People

                        for the week of 11 - 17 December (THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT)



                                                   Theme:  PREPARED BY GOD


            VERSE:  “ALLELUIA!  Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.  ALLELUIA!”  (Mt. 11:10b; VERSE)



            + HYMNS FOR NEXT SUNDAY:  354; 345; 623; 333*; 515 in Lutheran Service Book.  (In Lutheran Worship:  25; 18; 250; 30*.  In The Lutheran Hymnal:  75; 60; 314; 74*; 72.  Meditate on and learn by heart the hymn(s) marked with an asterisk (*).)


  354 Arise, O Christian People
  345 Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding
  623 Lord Jesus Christ, We Humbly Pray
  333* Once He Came in Blessing
  515 Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers



            + THE PSALM:  Psalm 126:1-12  (Pray the Psalm daily)



                                           THE PROPERS FOR NEXT SUNDAY


            + Psalm 126:1-12 The happiness of the exiles upon their return to Jerusalem and the joy of a bountiful harvest are faint illustrations of how we will react when we see the deliverance of the Lord and experience in full the great things he has done for us.  Reflecting on the Lord's promises and considering the joy that will be ours when he comes, we might well echo the Christmas hymn, “Oh, that we were there!  Oh, that we were there!” (LSB 386:4)

            + Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11:  Isaiah’s prophecy speaks of the messianic era, the time for which John the Baptist prepared, when God would accomplish the redemption of his people.  In his ministry Jesus proclaimed these words and brought the spiritual healing and freedom sinners so desperately needed.  May God heal and free us as we listen to his Word.

            + 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24:  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (vv. 16-18).  Those are pretty formidable expectations, especially if we need to master them to be prepared for Christ's coming. But Paul assures us:  “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (v. 24).  He will do it!  Thank God, for then it will surely be done.  

            + John 1:6-8, 19-28:  The Baptizer provides an amazing witness as he refuses to accept identification as any of the leaders expected by God’s people.  Although he could properly have claimed to be the new Elijah, he doesn’t want anything—not even himself—to get in the way of his message.  Everything he did and everything he said was to point to the Christ.  May God help us to imitate John.


                                             DAILY READINGS FOR THE WEEK


            Monday:                Isaiah 28:14-29                             1 John 5:1-21

            Tuesday:               Isaiah 29:1-14                               Jude 1-25

            Wednesday:          Isaiah 29:15-30:14                        Revelation 1:1-20

            Thursday:              Isaiah 30:15-26                             Revelation 2:1-29

            Friday:                   Isaiah 30:27-31:9                          Revelation 3:1-22

            Saturday:              Study the Readings for Sunday (the Propers noted above)

                                 OR   Isaiah 32:1-20                               Revelation 4:1-11

            Sunday:                 Isaiah 33:1-24                               Revelation 5:1-14



                        CATECHISM FOR THE WEEK:  (Please learn by heart).



THE SECOND ARTICLE:  What does this mean?  I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.  This is most certainly true.



            THE COLLECT FOR NEXT SUNDAY [Third Sunday in Advent] “Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.” AMEN!