BELOW ARE THE READINGS FOR THE LAST SUNDAY SERVICE PLUS READINGS FOR FORTHCOMING SUNDAYS
Phillipians 1: 3 – 11
3I thank my God for you every time I think of you; 4 and every time I pray for you all, I pray with joy 5 because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now. 6And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. 7 You are always in my heart! And so it is only right for me to feel as I do about you. For you have all shared with me in this privilege that God has given me, both now that I am in prison and also while I was free to defend the gospel and establish it firmly. 8 God is my witness that I am telling the truth when I say that my deep feeling for you all comes from the heart of Christ Jesus himself. 9 I pray that your love will keep on growing more and more, together with true knowledge and perfect judgement, 10 so that you will be able to choose what is best. Then you will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ. 11 Your lives will be filled with the truly good qualities which only Jesus Christ can produce, for the glory and praise of God.
Luke 3: 1 – 6
1 It was the fifteenth year of the rule of the Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip was ruler of the territory of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias was ruler of Abilene, 2 and Annas and Caiaphas were high priests. At that time the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3 So John went throughout the whole territory of the River Jordan, preaching, “Turn away from your sins and be baptised, and God will forgive your sins.” 4 As it is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah: “Someone is shouting in the desert: ‘Get the road ready for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel! 5 Every valley must be filled up, every hill and mountain levelled off. The winding roads must be made straight, and the rough paths made smooth. 6 The whole human race will see God’s salvation!’ ”
16th December – 3rd Sunday of Advent
Phillipians 4: 4 – 7
4 May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! 5 Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7 And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
Luke 3: 7 – 18
7 Crowds of people came out to John to be baptised by him. “You snakes!” he said to them. “Who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send? 8 Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. And don’t start saying among yourselves that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these stones and make descendants for Abraham! 9 The axe is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire.” 10 The people asked him, “What are we to do, then?” 11 He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must give one to the man who has none, and whoever has food must share it.” 12 Some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what are we to do?” 13 “Don’t collect more than is legal,” he told them. 14 Some soldiers also asked him, “What about us? What are we to do?” He said to them, “Don’t take money from anyone by force or accuse anyone falsely. Be content with your pay.” 15 People’s hopes began to rise, and they began to wonder whether John perhaps might be the Messiah. 16 So John said to all of them, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17He has his winnowing shovel with him, to thresh out all the grain and gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn the chaff in a fire that never goes out.” 18 In many different ways John preached the Good News to the people and urged them to change their ways.
23rd December – 4th Sunday of Advent
Hebrews 10: 5 – 10
5 For this reason, when Christ was about to come into the world, he said to God: “You do not want sacrifices and offerings, but you have prepared a body for me. 6 You are not pleased with animals burnt whole on the altar or with sacrifices to take away sins. 7 Then I said, ‘Here I am, to do your will, O God, just as it is written of me in the book of the Law.’ ” 8 First he said, “You neither want nor are you pleased with sacrifices and offerings or with animals burnt on the altar and the sacrifices to take away sins.” He said this even though all these sacrifices are offered according to the Law. 9Then he said, “Here I am, O God, to do your will.” So God does away with all the old sacrifices and puts the sacrifice of Christ in their place. 10 Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body once and for all.
Luke 1: 39 – 45
39 Soon afterwards Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country of Judea. 40 She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby moved within her. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and said in a loud voice, “You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord’s mother comes to visit me? 44 For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness. 45 How happy you are to believe that the Lord’s message to you will come true!”