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December 2022

Dec

The Lord's Highway

An Advent Song of Ascents

Third Sunday of Advent, Year A

Joy Sunday says it all. The third Sunday of Advent is marked by the pink- or rose-colored candle in the wreath in many traditions. It is the one where we are reminded of the news that shall be a great joy to all people—the news that Emmanuel is born, God with us. And we stand in the promise even today, even here, in this place, in your place – God is with you. There can be no greater joy than that.

Reader One: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing . . . A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray . . . And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:1-2, 8, 10 NRSV).

Reader Two: The prophet Isaiah tells us about the joy of ascending to God’s house. The prophet tells us to imagine being set free, being unburdened, being released to live, to fully live in the grace and wonder of life itself, surrounded by those who love us like no one else. And then he tells us that the journey to get there is just as much a joy.

Reader One: The Psalmist says “Happy are these whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord . . . who made heaven and earth . . . who keeps faith . . . who executes justice . . . gives food . . . sets prisoners free . . . opens eyes . . . lifts up . . . watches over . . . upholds . . . The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 146 NRSV)

Reader Two: We light these candles, the candle of joyous hope, of proclaimed peace, and of deep and everlasting joy, as a sign that we are those who walk with a skip in our step because we can see the destination, and it is pure joy. We are ascending to God’s promise.

Light three candles on the Advent wreath. If using a rose or pink-colored candle in the wreath, this is the time to light that one.

In This Series...


First Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Purple
  • Blue

In This Series...


First Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes