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B 1st Sunday of Advent

29 November

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on 3 December 2023 at 12:00 am

Below you will find the Bible readings set for this occasion in the Revised Common Lectionary, with our Australian idiomatic paraphrases of them, plus prayers and sermons based on them.

Bible Readings (paraphrased)

Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary. Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts(CCT) P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.

If only, LORD!
If only you would rip the sky open and come on down!

The mountains would tremble in your presence,
like water boiling when the fire is stoked beneath it.
Then the nations too would be shaking in their boots
and your opponents would realise who they were up against!

You have done it before, LORD.
You have surprised us by turning up among us
and doing amazing things that set the earth quaking.

Never, in the history of the world
has anyone seen or heard of any God but you.
No matter how hard people looked, or how hard they listened,
they never found a shred of evidence
of any other god doing anything for anyone.

You are the one who responds to those who love doing what is right;
to those who keep you and your ways in mind.

But now, LORD, you are angry over the wrong we have done.
We thought you were out of sight and we became corrupt.

It was all downhill and now we are horribly polluted.
Even our best efforts to do the right thing
must seem like a gift of used toilet paper to you.
Our lives become drab and brittle like a dried leaf.
Our immoral behaviour sweeps us away like the wind.

There is no one left who prays to you, LORD,
or even attempts to stick with you.
You have turned your back on us
and left us in the mess we made for ourselves.

And yet, LORD, you are the one who conceived us.
You are the potter who moulds us like clay.
Every one of us has been hand-crafted by you.

Please don’t be too hard on us, LORD.
Don’t dwell on our sins and stay angry forever.
Think of us, instead, as your own people.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

God, you are the one who watches over your people
like a lifeguard supervising a dangerous beach,
watching from a high seat, like a king enthroned.
Listen to our prayer and clearly flag the boundaries,
so that your tribes will no longer get out of their depth.

Up and at it, God!
Come equipped to rescue us.
Come and smile on us again, God;
save us and revive us with your kiss of life.

LORD God, you rule over everything;
how much longer will you keep us in the sin bin,
turning away in anger when we pray?

You reduced our rations to tears alone;
tears by the plate full, tears by the cup full.
You made us the laughing stock of our enemies
and even our neighbours turn up their noses.

Come and smile on us again, God;
save us and revive us with your kiss of life.

Take our side again, your wayward favourite child,
the one you raised by hand to be your own.
We will never go off the rails again;
save us now and your name will be on our lips forever.

LORD God, you rule over everything;
Come and smile on us again;
save us and revive us with your kiss of life.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We greet you as God’s own children and wish you all the best – God’s love and peace, given through the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.

I am forever thanking my God for you, especially when I think about what God’s extravagant generosity has brought about in you since you entered into the life of Jesus the Messiah. Since you linked up with him your lives have become so much richer in every way; but most notable is the richness of your knowledge and of the things you have to say. Indeed, the truth about the Messiah has become more and more strongly a part of who you are, and of all you have to offer. Now, it seems, you are not short of anything. All the spiritual gifts are in action among you as you live in eager expectation of the grand finale when our Lord Jesus the Messiah takes centre stage. God is with you and will make you tough enough to hold the line until the end, so that you can stand with your heads held high on the great day when our Lord Jesus brings everything to completion. Jesus is the Messiah, our Lord, and God’s Son; and it was into his shared life that you were called by God, who is worthy of all our trust, and who will never let you down.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

While looking at the temple, Jesus spoke to four of his closest followers, saying, “As the end approaches, there will be a time of great chaos and trauma on the earth. Then, in the days after that, it will seem as though the whole cosmos is going berserk. The sun will go black, the moon will not shine, the stars will come crashing to earth, and the elemental powers of the universe will be shaken. Then, and only then, everyone will see the breathtaking arrival of the New Human, riding on the clouds in power and glory. He will send out the angels, and will gather everyone who has made the side from all points of the compass, from the most far flung corners of the earth to the furthest reaches of heaven.”

Then Jesus used an illustration to make his point, saying, “Take a lesson from the trees. Many of them give clear signs when the seasons are changing. When the wattles start putting out tender new leaves and unfurling their blooms you know that summer is just around the corner. This is much the same. When you see all these things happening you can be sure that the New Human is into the home straight, and just about to make his arrival. The fact of the matter is that some of you will see these things in your own lifetime. The earth and the sky will only last for so long, but there is no expiry date on my words.

“But just when that day and hour will come, nobody knows. The angels of heaven don’t know and not even the Son knows. The Conceiver of everything is the only one who knows. So watch out. Keep yourselves on the alert, because you have no way of knowing when the time will come. It is like an employer going off on leave. He gives all his staff tasks to work at in his absence, and leaves them to get on with it. He tells the leading hand to keep an eye out for his return. So keep your wits about you and don’t slack off, because you have no way of knowing when the boss will be back. It could be any time of the day or night, early or late, and you don’t want to be caught asleep in his chair with your boots on his desk. So what I am telling you is exactly the same as what I am telling everybody else: keep yourselves on the ready at all times.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers

Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for even when heaven and earth pass away,
your words will never pass away.

Like a potter you created the earth,
and we are all the work of your hands.
At your presence even the mountains quake,
and yet to your people who wait for you,
you are the light, revealing our salvation.

In your child, Jesus, you have come among us,
teaching us to live in readiness for your reign.
Though he was killed, you raised him to life,
restoring to us the light of your presence,
and enriching us in every way
so that we are not lacking in your gifts
as we await the day
when he comes on the clouds in glory
and gathers his faithful ones from the ends of the earth;
all who do right and remember you in their ways.

Therefore with .....

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We thank you for restoring to us the light of your presence
and enriching us in every way
as we await the day
when Christ comes on the clouds in glory
and gathers his faithful ones from the ends of the earth.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for even when heaven and earth pass away,
your words will never pass away.

Like a potter you created the earth,
and we are all the work of your hands.
At your presence even the mountains quake,
and yet to your people who wait for you,
you are the light, revealing our salvation.

In your child, Jesus, you have come among us,
teaching us to live in readiness for your reign.
Though he was killed, you raised him to life,
restoring to us the light of your presence,
and enriching us in every way
so that we are not lacking in your gifts
as we await the day
when he comes on the clouds in glory
and gathers his faithful ones from the ends of the earth;
all who do right and remember you in their ways.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

God is faithful and has called us into the communion of Christ.
Though your sins be like filthy rags,
God will not remember them,
but gives you grace and strength
so that you may be blameless on the day of the Lord.

Sisters and Brothers,
  your sins are forgiven;
    be at peace.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Go now, strengthened by the testimony of Christ.
Keep alert and wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Continue to do right and remember God in your ways.

And may God enrich you in speech and knowledge of every kind;
May Christ Jesus strengthen you to the end;
And may the Holy Spirit guide you in faithful living until he comes.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
   In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Sermons

Sermons will open in new tabs from our SYCBaps church website.

  1. The Future – what should we know? 
    A sermon on Matthew 24:27-35, 45-51 by Nathan Nettleton
  2. Why don’t you tear the sky open? 
    A sermon on Isaiah 64:1-9 by Nathan Nettleton
  3. Fearing your Greatest Hope 
    A sermon on Isaiah 64:1-9 and Mark 13:24-37 by Nathan Nettleton
  4. The Gift of Advent 
    A sermon on Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 by Nathan Nettleton
  5. The Season of “Not Yet”: Waiting and Wondering in Advent
    A sermon on Isaiah 64:1 and Mark 13:24-37 by Carolyn Francis
  6. Watch Out!
    A sermon on Mark 13:24-37 by Nathan Nettleton

Details

Date:
29 November