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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.

Week 3: The Lord’s Highway

Isaiah 35:1-10, Psalm 146:5-10

Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).

Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, have participants respond to the following question: “Where have you encountered joy this Advent season?”

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Isaiah 35:1-10, Psalm 146:5-10.

  • How does verse 10 help us grasp what Isaiah is envisioning in verses 1-9? [This is a vision of what the return to land after exile will look like.]
  • How would you describe what this return home looks like?
  • Notice the verbs in verses 3 and 4. These are a response to verses 1 and 2. What are verses 3 and 4 calling us to do? Who are they calling us to be? [Being people of action does not come from our own strength. It is a response to the prior, gracious work of God. Our response is tied into our identity as God’s joyous people.]
  • How is the vision of healing and wholeness in verses 5 through 10 ultimately a work of God? [Notice verse 4.]
  • How is the psalm our declaration of joy?
  • How is joy a gift of God and a state of being and not merely a temporary feeling?

Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.

Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:

God of Joy, during this season when the sun sets early, help us to focus on the light that shatters the darkness. Give us the eyes to see you move among us and to experience a joy that transcends our circumstances. Give us the ears to hear again the good news. Give us the mouth to shout affirmations of your love for all to hear. Amen.

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