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Gaudete (Advent 3)

December 15th, 2019

  1. Explanation of the Week
  2. Introit
  3. Collect
  4. Old Testament  · Isaiah 40:1-11
  5. Gradual
  6. Epistle  · 1 Cor. 4:1-5
  7. Verse
  8. Gospel  · Matt. 11:2-10
  9. Morning Psalm  · Ps. 4
  10. First Reading  · Is. 30:27-31:9
  11. Evening Psalm  · Ps. 98
  12. Second Reading  · Rev. 3:1-22

Explanation of the Week

The voice of the Baptizer cried out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord . . ." (Is 40:1-8). John called the people to be made ready for the Messiah's coming through repentance, for "all flesh is grass." Now He asks from prison, "Are you the Coming One?" (Mt 11:2-10) Jesus' works bear witness that He is. The sick are made well; the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Their iniquity is pardoned; they have received from the Lord's hand double forgiveness for all their sins. The stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1-5) still deliver Christ's overflowing forgiveness to the poor in spirit, comforting God's people with the word of the Gospel which stands forever. This Gospel produces rejoicing among those who believe. For in it, "the Lord is at hand" (Introit).
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Introit

Antiphon:
Rejoice in the Lord | always.*
     Again will I | say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to | all men.*
     The Lord | is at hand. (Philippians 4:4-5)

Psalm:
LORD, You have been favourable | to Your land;*
     You have brought back the captivity of | Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of Your | people;*
     You have covered | all their sin.
Will You not revive | us again,*
     that Your people may re- | joice in You?
I will hear what God the | Lord will speak,*
     for He will speak peace to His | people. (Psalm 85:1-2, 6, 8)
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Collect

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.
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Old Testament · Isaiah 40:1-11

God’s People Are Comforted

40 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
Says your God.
“Speak [a]comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
That her warfare is ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight [b]in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made [c]straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The voice said, “Cry out!”
And [d]he said, “What shall I cry?”

“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”

O Zion,
You who bring good tidings,
Get up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem,
You who bring good tidings,
Lift up your voice with strength,
Lift it up, be not afraid;
Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

10 Behold, the Lord God shall come [e]with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His [f]work before Him.
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Lit. to the heart of
  2. Isaiah 40:3 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX omits in the desert
  3. Isaiah 40:4 Or a plain
  4. Isaiah 40:6 So with MT, Tg.; DSS, LXX, Vg. I
  5. Isaiah 40:10 in strength
  6. Isaiah 40:10 recompense

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Gradual

You who dwell between the cherubim, | shine forth!*
     Stir up Your | strength and come!
Give ear, O Shepherd of | Israel,*
     You who lead Joseph | like a flock. (Psalm 80:1–2)
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Epistle · 1 Cor. 4:1-5

Stewards of the Mysteries of God

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human [a]court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the [b]counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 4:3 Lit. day
  2. 1 Corinthians 4:5 motives

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Verse

Alle- | luia.*
     Alle- | luia.
Stir | up Your strength,*
     and come and save us! Alle- | luia. (Psalm 80:2)
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Gospel · Matt. 11:2-10

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he [a]sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 11:2 NU sent by his

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Morning Psalm · Ps. 4

The Safety of the Faithful

To the [a]Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
[b]Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
But know that the Lord has [c]set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The Lord will hear when I call to Him.

Be[d] angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 4:1 Choir Director
  2. Psalm 4:1 Be gracious to me
  3. Psalm 4:3 Many Heb. mss., LXX, Tg., Vg. made wonderful
  4. Psalm 4:4 Lit. Tremble or Be agitated

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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First Reading · Is. 30:27-31:9

Judgment on Assyria

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
Burning with His anger,
And His burden is heavy;
His lips are full of indignation,
And His tongue like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing stream,
Which reaches up to the neck,
To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;
And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,
Causing them to err.

29 You shall have a song
As in the night when a holy festival is kept,
And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute,
To come into the mountain of the Lord,
To [a]the Mighty One of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard,
And show the descent of His arm,
With the indignation of His anger
And the flame of a devouring fire,
With scattering, tempest, and hailstones.
31 For through the voice of the Lord
Assyria will be [b]beaten down,
As He strikes with the rod.
32 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes,
Which the Lord lays on him,
It will be with tambourines and harps;
And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.
33 For Tophet was established of old,
Yes, for the king it is prepared.
He has made it deep and large;
Its pyre is fire with much wood;
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone,
Kindles it.

The Folly of Not Trusting God

31 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
And rely on horses,
Who trust in chariots because they are many,
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
Nor seek the Lord!
Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster,
And will not [c]call back His words,
But will arise against the house of evildoers,
And against the help of those who work iniquity.
Now the Egyptians are men, and not God;
And their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out His hand,
Both he who helps will fall,
And he who is helped will fall down;
They all will perish together.

God Will Deliver Jerusalem

For thus the Lord has spoken to me:

“As a lion roars,
And a young lion over his prey
(When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him,
He will not be afraid of their voice
Nor be disturbed by their noise),
So the Lord of hosts will come down
To fight for Mount Zion and for its hill.
Like birds flying about,
So will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem.
Defending, He will also deliver it;
Passing over, He will preserve it.

Return to Him against whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold—sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves.

“Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man,
And a sword not of mankind shall devour him.
But he shall flee from the sword,
And his young men shall become forced labor.
He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear,
And his princes shall be afraid of the banner,”
Says the Lord,
Whose fire is in Zion
And whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 30:29 Lit. the Rock
  2. Isaiah 30:31 Lit. shattered
  3. Isaiah 31:2 retract

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Evening Psalm · Ps. 98

A Song of Praise to the Lord for His Salvation and Judgment

A Psalm.

98 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the [a]nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together
    before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with [b]equity.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 98:2 Gentiles
  2. Psalm 98:9 uprightness

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Second Reading · Rev. 3:1-22

The Dead Church

“And to the [a]angel of the church in Sardis write,

‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before [b]God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. [c]You have a few names [d]even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’

The Faithful Church

“And to the [e]angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, [f]and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept [g]My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 [h]Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’

The Lukewarm Church

14 “And to the [i]angel of the church [j]of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither [k]cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.[l] Therefore be [m]zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 3:1 Or messenger
  2. Revelation 3:2 NU, M My God
  3. Revelation 3:4 NU, M Nevertheless you
  4. Revelation 3:4 NU, M omit even
  5. Revelation 3:7 Or messenger
  6. Revelation 3:8 NU, M which no one can shut
  7. Revelation 3:10 Lit. the word of My patience
  8. Revelation 3:11 NU, M omit Behold
  9. Revelation 3:14 Or messenger
  10. Revelation 3:14 NU, M in Laodicea
  11. Revelation 3:16 NU, M hot nor cold
  12. Revelation 3:19 discipline
  13. Revelation 3:19 eager

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Translations

ESV · NKJV · KJV