Worship Resources for the week of the Second Sunday in Advent, December 4, 2022

 

Scripture

 

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

 

1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.

2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.

3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.

4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.

5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.

6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.

7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.


 18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.

19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

 

Luke 1: 26-38

 

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

 

Romans 15:4-13

 

4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name"; 10 and again he says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people"; 11 and again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him"; 12 and again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope." 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Isaiah 11:1-10

 

1 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 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. 3 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; 4 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. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. 6 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. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den. 9 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. 10 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.

  

 Reflections

 

            A stump is the bottom part of a tree left projecting from the ground after most of the trunk has fallen or been cut down.  This passage is about the family tree of Jesse, who was the father of King David.

Isaiah was written approximately 740–701 B.C., over 2,000 years after Jesse lived.  During that long period of time the family of Jesse and King David had few notable branches, aside from Soloman, one of David’s sons.

            The reign of King David was considered the “glory days” of Israel.  After that, they were ruled by one bad king after another. The people of Israel wanted to get back to those days when they had a strong King who was a good leader and who protected the kingdom from their enemies.

            When Isaiah became prophet he began to tell of a time to come when a new stem would grow out of what was left of Jesse’s family tree.  Once again they would have a leader and ruler on whom the Spirit of the Lord rested, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might  (which shows us what to do and then gives us the power to do it), the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Then the whole world would be full of the knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 

            This is why the Gospels of Matthew and Luke both include genealogies which trace the lineage of Jesus back to King David and his father, Jesse.  It is a beautiful picture of the return of excellent leadership and rule for the people and the whole earth.

 

Questions to ponder

 

1.    Are these the qualities that we look for in a leader or ruler?

2.    What happens when we follow leaders or rulers on whom the Spirit of the Lord does not rest?

3.    How do we participate in sharing the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the knowledge and fear of the Lord with the world?

 

Let us pray…

            Almighty God, you created this world and left it in our care.  You long for us to follow your Son, Jesus the Messiah, but we often long for the glory days when everything in life seemed better.  Open our eyes and hearts to understand that when we do follow Jesus, he will lead us into your kingdom which is much better than the world ever was. 
Amen

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