Collect and Readings for Sunday 8 December 2019

COLLECT OF THE DAY
Almighty God,
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as 
judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God.  Amen.

THE FIRST READING: 
Isaiah 11. 1- 10    
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  The 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. His 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; but 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. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The 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.  The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den. They 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.  On 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. 

SECOND READING: 
Romans 15. 4 - 13  
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name." Again, it says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples." And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

GOSPEL READING: 
Matthew 3. 1 – 12
In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.' This 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."'  Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist,  and his food was locusts and wild honey.  Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea  were going out to him,  and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.  But 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?  Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do 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.  Even now the axe 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. 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. His 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.' 

POST COMMUNION COLLECT
Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.