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6 December 2020

posted 4 Dec 2020, 03:23 by Church Office   [ updated 4 Dec 2020, 03:26 ]

Second Sunday of Advent

Parish Eucharist

Advent is a time of waiting but it is also a time of longing.  One our deepest longings is to feel at home.  Our readings today reflect on the sense of alienation and a desire for belonging and the homecoming we long for.

Isaiah 40:1-11 The people of God in exile long to return home, they long for Jerusalem to be theirs once more.  God’s vision for the restoration of Jerusalem comes not from the heart of the homeland but from the wilderness.  Here, they will receive a new and larger understanding of being at home, a home that can encompass, not just their people but all peoples.

Mark 1:1-8 John the Baptist echoes Isaiah’s call: the wilderness is not just the place where the voice calls from, it is the place where God is at work, the place where we are called to meet God. To truly come home to God we need to leave the place we call home and journey into the wilderness.  Here we begin to understand what true home is.


Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
 and cry to her
that she has served her term,
 that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand 
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, 
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, 
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, 
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass, 
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when 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 will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain, 
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,

O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,

“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord God comes with might, 
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him, 
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.


THE GOSPEL:  Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;

the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power

and come among us,

and with great might succour us;

that whereas, through our sins and wickedness

we are grievously hindered

in running the race that is set before us,

your bountiful grace and mercy

may speedily help and deliver us;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,

be honour and glory, now and for ever.


Church Office,
4 Dec 2020, 03:23