Advent and Christmas
Christians are to take part in the transformation of the world. We cannot and should not escape from the world. Christ did not pray for us to be taken of this world but to be kept from the evil one.
–Rev. Norma O. Marigza, “Kingdom of God: Its Centrality in the Scripture”. Unless a Seed Falls and Dies: Commentaries on the UCCP Statement of Faith
3rd Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Isa 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
Isa 61:8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Isa 61:9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Isa 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
John 1:6-8, 19-28
Joh 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
Joh 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Joh 1:8 He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Joh 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
Joh 1:20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
Joh 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
Joh 1:22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
Joh 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
Joh 1:24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
Joh 1:25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
Joh 1:26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
Joh 1:27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
Joh 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.