Sermon Texts:

Luke 3:1-6

John the Baptist is a herald of the saving Lord, whose way is prepared by “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” As we hear the careful record of human leaders, we sense the spectrum of political and religious authority that will be challenged by this coming Lord.
1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene,2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

Psalm: Luke 1:68-79

In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us. (Lk. 1:78)
68Blessed are you, Lord, the | God of Israel,
you have come to your people and | set them free.
69You have raised up for us a | mighty Savior,
born of the house of your | servant David. R
70Through your holy prophets, you promised of old to save us | from our enemies,
71from the hands of | all who hate us,
72to show mercy | to our forebears,
and to remember your | holy covenant.
73This was the oath you swore to our | father Abraham:
74to set us free from the hands of our | enemies,
free to worship you | without fear,
75holy and righteous before you, all the days | of our life. R
76And you, child, shall be called the prophet of | the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to pre- | pare the way,
77to give God’s people knowledge | of salvation
by the forgiveness | of their sins.
78In the tender compassion | of our God
the dawn from on high shall | break upon us,
79to shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shad- | ow of death,
and to guide our feet into the | way of peace. R


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