Invitation — Isaiah 52:7
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'"
Bible Song — Psalm 72:1-2, 12-14
Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice...
For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.
He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.
He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight.
Bible Reading — Luke 3:7-9, 15-17
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."...
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Remind yourself you are in God's presence and read again ... notice how God might be speaking to you through his Word — dwell on a word or phrase that jumps out at you ... let your heart respond to God in prayer ... take refreshment in God's presence.
- for the beauty of creation
- for the care of creation
- for creative new conservation technologies
Prayer — WC 15.2
Holy God, lead me to repentance that brings life. Not the groveling show that's more about convincing you I'm worthy of your forgiveness, but the cut-to-the-heart kind of repentance that is grieved at my sin because of your holiness and glory. Move me by your mercy and lead me to a life of joyful obedience. Amen.
Blessing — Luke 1:68
"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them."