Sunday, December 8, 2019
Second Sunday of Advent, Year A

Prayer of the Day

Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming nurture our growth as people of repentance and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10

1A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
  and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
  the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
  the spirit of counsel and might,
  the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

 He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
  or decide by what his ears hear;
4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
  and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
 he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
  and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
  and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

6The wolf shall live with the lamb,
  the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
 the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
  and a little child shall lead them.
7The cow and the bear shall graze,
  their young shall lie down together;
  and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
  and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9They will not hurt or destroy
  on all my holy mountain;
 for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
  as the waters cover the sea.

10On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Psalm: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

1Give the king your jus- | tice, O God,
  and your righteousness to
| the king’s son;
2that he may rule your | people righteously
  and the
| poor with justice;
3that the mountains may bring prosperity | to the people,
  and the
| hills, in righteousness.
4Let him defend the needy a- | mong the people,
  rescue the poor, and crush
| the oppressor. R
5May he live as long as the sun and | moon endure,
  from one generation
| to another.
6Let him come down like rain upon | the mown field,
  like showers that wa-
| ter the earth.
7In his time may the | righteous flourish;
  and let there be an abundance of peace till the moon shall
| be no more.
18Blessed are you, Lord God, the | God of Israel;
  you alone do
| wondrous deeds!
19And blessed be your glorious | name forever,
  and may all the earth be filled with your glory. A-
| men. Amen. R

Second Reading: Romans 15:4-13

4Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
 “Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
  and sing praises to your name”;
10and again he says,
 “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;
11and again,
 “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
  and let all the peoples praise him”;
12and again Isaiah says,
 “The root of Jesse shall come,
  the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
 in him the Gentiles shall hope.”
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12

1In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,
 “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
 ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
  make his paths straight.’ ”
4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Prayers of Intercession

The prayers are prepared locally for each occasion. The following examples may be adapted or used as appropriate.

Keeping awake as we watch for Christ, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

A brief silence.

God of promise, your reign has come near. Call your people to the way of repentance and inspire your church to bear fruit in the world through acts of faithful service. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of creation, we pray for the wolf and the lamb, the lion and the calf, and all species whose lives are intertwined. Repair and preserve ecosystems (here local examples may be named), that all life on earth may be sustained. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of the nations, teach those with power and privilege to serve the vulnerable. Give to all leaders wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, and a heart of compassion for the world you so love. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of the poor, set tables of abundance in all places where hands are empty, where stomachs ache with hunger, and where hearts and minds suffer pain. Feed and heal all who are in need. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of hope, renew in your people all joy and peace in believing, especially those facing anxiety, depression, or alienation. Guide this community of faith to welcome one another, just as Christ has welcomed us. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

God of eternal life, you promise to take away our sin and gather us in your care forever. We give thanks for those who now rest from their labors on earth, freed from pain and the power of death (especially). Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You hear the cries of our hearts, O Lord. Fill us with hopeful expectation, that in each day and hour we may love and serve our neighbors, in Jesus’ name.