Advent 3

Third Sunday in Advent Hymns 12, 499, 15, 170

FIRST READING Isaiah 35.1-10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 146

Response: Come, Lord, and save us.

1. It is he who keeps faith for ever: who is just to those who are oppressed.

It is he who gives bread to the hungry: the Lord who sets prisoners free. R.

2. The Lord who gives sight to the blind: who raises up those who are bowed down.

The Lord who protects the stranger: and upholds the widow and the orphan. R.

3. It is the Lord who loves the just: but thwarts the path of the wicked.

The Lord will reign for ever: Zion’s God, from age to age. R.

SECOND READING James 5.7-10

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

GOSPEL Matthew 11.2-11

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’ As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,

who will prepare your way before you.”

Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.'

Could you pass this sheet on to someone else who might like to see it?

News from St Michael's

A warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's, as we keep this third Sunday in Advent, light the third candle on the Advent wreath, and reflect on the ministry of John the Baptist, preparing the way of the Lord and calling God's people to repentance. A special welcome to our celebrant Fr Paul, who will also kindly celebrate Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, please join us for tea or coffee in the Vestry Hall after Mass, so that we can welcome you properly.

Warmest Thanks to Sara and everyone else who worked so hard to publicise and deliver yesterday's successful and enjoyable Coffee Morning. Wonderful refreshments, lively stalls and games, a valuable chance to enjoy one another's company and also meet visitors.

A Christmas Card Tree is now at the back of the church. No pressure, of course – but if you would like to write just one card for all your St Michael's friends and hang it on the tree, and then give to our church the money you have thus saved in cards and postage, Treasurer Nelly will be delighted! Thank you, Jessica, for arranging the tree.

Wanted, a house to let between Maidstone and Lenham. The Revd Arthur Houston (St Faith's) has been hosting, very happily, a Ukrainian family who now need a place of their own. They can pay a commercial rent and the Revd Arthur is willing to be a guarantor, but almost nothing seems to be available. Does anyone know of a possible property?

Children will be children… We shall be welcoming several schools, including our own St Michael's Schools, to pre-Christmas services this week. After Mass, can you please tidy up hymn books, Mass booklets and kneelers near you, so that they will be out of harm's way?

Church decorating – Jessica will welcome help with this from 9.30 am on Wednesday 14^th^. We shall also need helpers for post-Christmas un-decorating, when Jessica will be on holiday – watch this space.

Vacancy news – alas, at the moment there isn't any.

Carol Service – Don't forget – Sunday 18^th^ at 4 pm, joyous worship followed by mulled wine and mince pies! Some friends we haven't seen for a while are expected, and we can all look forward to singing some familiar music and spending some time together.

Faculty News – Good news! We have (at last) been granted our Faculty for the repair to our vandalised east window.

From Our Tower - Kent County Association, Maidstone, Kent: St Michael and All Angels

Sunday, 27 November 2022 in 41m (6–1–24 in C)

1260 Spliced Minor (2m)

720 Cambridge, 540 Plain Bob; 29 com.

1 Emma Jarvis

2 Jacqueline Barlow

3 Philip Jarvis

4 Mark Elvers

5 Pam Thomas

6 Neil Jones (C)

For Advent Sunday.

Sunday, 4 December 2022 (6–1–24 in C)

1260 Grandsire Triples

1 Rupert Cheeseman

2 Graham D Heath

3 Jacqueline M Barlow

4 Terry Barnard

5 Paul A Barton

6 Kath White

7 Philip Jarvis (C)

8 Mark Elvers

Rung in memory of TDB

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