Sunday Preview for the second Sunday in Advent.
PDF of the Preview can be found here, and is pasted below:
The Second Sunday in Advent
Christian Worship: Supplement 3-Year Lectionary, Year B
Evangelical Heritage Version®
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call out to her.
Her warfare really is over.
Her guilt is fully paid for.
Yes, she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
3A voice is calling out:
In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD.
In the wasteland make a level highway for our God.
4Every valley will be raised up,
and every mountain and hill will be made low.
The rugged ground will become level,
and the rough places will become a plain.
5Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all flesh together will see it.
Yes, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
6A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry out?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like a wildflower in the countryside.
7Grass withers, flowers fade,
when the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Yes, the people are grass.
8Grass withers, flowers fade,
but the Word of our God endures forever.
9Get up on a high mountain,
O Zion, you herald of good news.
Lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, you herald of good news.
Lift it up! Do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10Look, God the LORD will come with strength,
and his arm is ruling for him.
Look, his reward is with him.
The result of his work is in front of him.
11Like a shepherd he will care for his flock.
With his arm he will gather the lambs.
He will lift them up on his lap.
He will gently lead the nursing mothers.
2 Peter 3:8-14
8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: For the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow to do what he promised, as some consider slowness. Instead, he is patient for your sakes, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance.
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a roar, the elements will be dissolved as they burn with great heat, and the earth and what was done on it will be burned up. 11Therefore, since all these things will be destroyed, what kind of people ought you to be, living in holiness and godliness, 12as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God? That day will cause the heavens to be set on fire and destroyed, and the elements to melt as they burn with great heat. 13But according to his promise we look forward to new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14Therefore, dear friends, as you look forward to these things, make every effort to be found in peace, spotless and blameless in his sight.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2This is how it is written in the prophet Isaiah:
Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare the way for you.
3A voice of one calling out in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way of the Lord.
Make his paths straight.”
4John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. 6John was clothed in camel’s hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. 7He preached, “One more powerful than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals! 8I baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Text study: 10 Dec 2017 Advent 2 CWS B
Notable nearby dates: St. Nicholas Day, Dec 6; Pearl Harbor Day, Dec 7; Community Meal, Dec 20.
Text: Isaiah 40:1-11 – God sends prophets to preach comfort
Account in context: Beginning of Isaiah II. Statement of comfort, promise, restoration.
The good news of forgiveness is to be proclaimed repeatedly, vigorously, clearly, fearlessly, unreservedly. The order to broadcast it to forlorn sinners is issued by the highest authority, for so says… God. It is significant that the bearers of the divine message are not named. And they need not be. For their number is unrestricted and their identity of no importance. Because the comfort of release from sin’s deadly bondage is needed at all times, an endless succession of ambassadors is commissioned to announce it. Their names may change but what they are to say is always to be: “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2). Furthermore, the plight brought on by sin will never be so hopelessly beyond redemption that God’s spokesmen will turn out to be “miserable comforters” (Jb 16:2) because they have no consolation to bring that is worth hearing. No relief from the consequences of sin seemed possible in the situation envisioned in these verses and in subsequent chs. The people of Jerusalem were to be carried off into Babylonian exile. Here they would lose their national identity if they shared the fate which overtook other enslaved peoples. (CSSC)
Gospel Lesson: Mark 1:1-8 – Quotes Isaiah 40, speaks of the messenger going before Jesus. John the Baptist arrives preaching in the desert: “Repent & believe. One more powerful is coming, and he will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
Second lesson: 2 Peter 3:8-14 – The day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, and everything will be burned up & destroyed in the heat. Therefore, let us look forward to that day & hasten its coming (wow!) by living in holiness & godliness, holding to & holding out the word of life!
Psalm: CWS 14 - “Come, Lord Jesus! Restore your people and bless them! The fools scoff at God & devour his people, yet Israel will wait for our faithful Lord!”
Hymns & Connections:
HOD: 16 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry. A hymn celebrating God’s work through JtB.
Other: 14 Arise, O Christian People. A hymn applying Isaiah 40 to our hearts & lives.
Closing: 552 v12. Giving thanks to God for his work through John the Baptist. Longest hymn in the hymnal - 27 verses - but generally 3 are sung at any given time. We’ll be using it again in the future. Fits well with various saints’ days & minor festivals.
Other references: Luke 1 - Zechariah’s song, foretelling Mark 1 - John’s ministry.
A voice cries. According to His eternal plan, the way of the Lord has as its predestined goal the redemption of all mankind through His Son Jesus Christ. All obstacles will be cleared from His highway of salvation. His chosen people will come forth from the grave of the exile and survive the rise and fall of empires in order that the Savior might be born “of the house and lineage of David” (Lk 2:4) as foretold. However, there would be also spiritual roadblocks which must be cleared away if the way of the Lord is to gain entrance into the hearts of men. Therefore John the Baptizer was to be commissioned to “go before the Lord to prepare his ways” (Lk 1:76–79). He did so when he preached repentance “in the wilderness of Judea.” (Mt 3:1–3; Mk 1:3; Lk 3:4–6; Jn 1:23)
Large Catechism, 6th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer (Lead us not into temptation) – 100 We have now heard enough about what toil and labor is needed to keep all that we pray for and to persevere. This, however, is not done without weakness and stumbling. Although we have received forgiveness and a good conscience and are entirely acquitted, yet our life is of such a nature that we stand today, and tomorrow we fall [Isaiah 40:6–8]. Therefore, even though we are godly now and stand before God with a good conscience, we must pray again that He would not allow us to fall again and yield to trials and temptations.
Apology V.62: (About the role of good works in justification. Roman Catholic view is that they complete justification & are necessary for the remission of sins; Biblical Lutheran view is that they are a fruit of faith alone, the result of a justified heart.) …a final reply can be made to all opinions about the Law, namely, that the Law cannot be kept without Christ, and that if civil works are done without Christ, they do not please God. Therefore, when works are commended, it is necessary to add that faith is required. They are commended because of faith. They are the fruit and testimonies of faith. [Is40.6-7 referred to in par. 208]
Apology XXIII.70: (About the marriage of priests. False doctrine will wither & be burned up in the judgment.) You will discern that in God’s judgment no lies against God’s Word remain standing, as Isaiah says, “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field” (40:6).
Doctrines Chiefly Seen: Ministry of the Word, Means of Grace, justification, prophecy/fulfillment, final judgment.
Church Practices Seen: Ministry is neither a hierarchy nor an optional human arrangement.
Deutschlander’s note: Dear Pastor, take special note of the gospel lessons for this Sunday and next Sunday. There is no room in the pulpit for the big head, for no one is more lowly than we are. There is no room for being depressed or in despair either, for there is no work more glorious than ours, the work of preparing people for the coming Christ at Christmas and on the Last Day!
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