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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Advent 4 •  Dec. 18, 2011

Lexegete™    |    Year A   |  Matthew
Fourth Sunday of Advent  •  December 18, 2011
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Luke 1:46b-55 (52) or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 (1)
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

Prayer of the Day

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. Here I am, the servant | of the Lord;
 let it be with me according | to your word. Alleluia. (Luke 1:38)

1a.  CONTEXT:  Matthew 1:18-25

   Matthew's infancy narrative is uniquely his own.  In it he
forged a narrative which addressed a mixed community of gentile and
jewish christians  and so set the stage for a gospel which had a
pluralistic church in mind.  This gospel was directed to a converted
community (R. Brown, The Birth of the Messiah, p. 47) and contained
exhortation and direction for the christian life.  There would be some
familiarity with the old testament in Matthew's audience and he makes
good use of a prophecy/fulfillment scheme as he tells his story.

 Matthew's particular theme in today's text is to introduce Jesus
and to answer the question "who is He?"  It was a question posed by
the post-resurrection church which began to ask christological
questions.  Matthew's answer is that Jesus is both Son of David and
Son of God while at the same time son of Mary and Joseph.  To answer
these questions Matthew tells the story of Jesus' birth from Joseph's

  The genealogical table in Matthew makes allusions to OT salvation
history:  Abraham as father of all nations, Moses and the exodus, and
the exile in Babylon.  Jesus' story provides a parallel to these
events.  Matthew also makes allusions to other characters in the old
testament stories.  In today's text Joseph's reception of information
through his dreams is reminiscent of the old testament Joseph who was
famous for interpretation of dreams. 

 Joseph as the central character in the birth narrative is
difficult to square with modern assumptions about paternity.  Jesus is
Son of David through Joseph even though he was not the biological
father according to Matthew.  Matthew's audience would not be caught
in a contradiction between a virgin birth and Joseph's paternity,
however. Jesus is established as Joseph's son through his
acknowledgement (naming).  Neither would Matthew's audience be overly
concerned about the "historicity" of the virgin birth.  They were
well-accustomed to these claims.  Modern readers bring  different
questions to the text.  The important homiletical task is to help the
modern listener to appreciate the questions the text is sensitive to
while giving adequate attention to the legitimate questions which
arise for modern people and with which they live.

1a. TEXT:  Matthew 1:18-25  (ESV/Greek)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ [1] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed [2] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
[1] 1:18 Some manuscripts of the Christ

[2] 1:18 That is, legally pledged to be married


18tou de ihsou cristou h genesiV outwV hn. mnhsteuqeishV thV mhtroV autou mariaV tw iwshf, prin h sunelqein autouV eureqh en gastri ecousa ek pneumatoV agiou. 19iwshf de o anhr authV, dikaioV wn kai mh qelwn authn deigmatisai, eboulhqh laqra apolusai authn. 20tauta de autou enqumhqentoV idou aggeloV kuriou kat onar efanh autw legwn, iwshf uioV dauid, mh fobhqhV paralabein marian thn gunaika sou, to gar en auth gennhqen ek pneumatoV estin agiou: 21texetai de uion kai kaleseiV to onoma autou ihsoun, autoV gar swsei ton laon autou apo twn amartiwn autwn. 22touto de olon gegonen ina plhrwqh to rhqen upo kuriou dia tou profhtou legontoV, 23idou h parqenoV en gastri exei kai texetai uion, kai kalesousin to onoma autou emmanouhl, o estin meqermhneuomenon meq hmwn o qeoV. 24egerqeiV de o iwshf apo tou upnou epoihsen wV prosetaxen autw o aggeloV kuriou kai parelaben thn gunaika autou: 25kai ouk eginwsken authn ewV ou eteken uion: kai ekalesen to onoma autou ihsoun.

2.   ANALYSIS: Matthew 1:18-25

Mt. 1:18 - mnesteutheises teis metros autou Marias to Joseph,
prin ei sunelthein autous heurethe en gastri echousa ek pneumatos
agiou - "When Jesus' mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before
they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy
Spirit..." (AILL)- Matthew uses the word for betrothal
(mnesteutheises) which indicates the two-stage process in the typical
marriage of that day.  Betrothal was more formal than our engagement
period and some parts of Israel (Judah) even allowed the man martical
rights with the woman (Brown, p. 124).  According to Matthew, Joseph
and Mary  were somewhere in the middle of the stages between promise
and cohabitation.

Mt. 1:19 - Joseph de ho aneir auteis dikaios on kai mei thelon autein
deigmatisai, ebouleithe lathra apolusai auten - "Joseph, being just
and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly"

(AILL) - Joseph's uprightness (dikaios) consisted of the fact that
although the law indicated that a man in his position should press
charges of adultery, he chose not to "make a display" (deigmatisai)
of Mary.  Joseph took time to ponder his responsibility to the law,
but tempered it with mercy.  "Divorce" is perhaps too strong an
translation for at least some modern ears; hence the TEV (Today's
English Translation) preference for "break the engagement." As
above, there is no exact modern equivalent in our vocabulary.

Mt. 1:23 - Idou parthenos en gastri exei kai texetai huion, kai
kalesousin to onoma autou Emmanouel - "Behold a virgin shall conceive
and bear a child, whose name shall be called Emmanuel" (AILL) -
Here Matthew follows the Septuagint as he quotes Isaiah 7:14 but his
wording for conception is unique and agrees with the earlier mention
in l:18 (LXX's" en gastri lepsetai"  becomes  "en gastri exei.")

The Masoretic text also uses the word "alma" which means "young girl"
and Matthew follows the more narrow rendering of the greek in LXX
and quotes this as "parthenos," or  virgin. This is the first instance
of four in which Matthew uses a prophecy/fulfillment formula to
illustrate a particular aspect of the identity of the Christ.   His
introductory formula in l:22 ,"All this took place to fulfill what the
Sovereign One had spoken by the prophet," is characteristic of all
four quotations in the infancy narrative.  Usually Matthew chooses to
use these quotations to end a particular segment of the narrative.

In this instance, the words from Isaiah are inserted in the middle of
the story.  This enables Matthew to conclude the narration of Jesus'
birth with the naming of Jesus on Joseph's lips; l:25b, "and Joseph
named the child Jesus" (AILL).  This established Jesus as Joseph's
legal son and ensured his place in the geneological table as a Son of

3.   STRATEGY: Matthew 1:18-25

   It is no longer enough to ask "What happened?" when one studies
the birth stories in the gospels, writes Paul Minear (Matthew: The
Teacher's Gospel, p. 162).  Even though many feel that the truth is
found only in the historical kernel underneath the husk of narrative
embellishment, the preacher assumes the responsibility of conveying
the message that there is another seed of truth in the gospel
proclamation.  These stories are a witness to God's majestic act in
coming to the people of every generation and God does not depend on
historians alone to get that message across.  Nevertheless is is a
formidable task to transcend the many barriers the modern mind
constructs which make it difficult for the modern person to appreciate
the depth to which the story witnesses to the great act of God in

 A focus on Joseph as a parent for Jesus seems to be in keeping
with Matthew's intention in this text.  He plays the role of Jewish
witness to the events.  He is the one conscious of the law and the
bearer of the Davidic line.  His acknowledgement/naming of Jesus as
his legitimate son is paradigmatic for the "people of the law," the
jewish nation.  The preacher may speculate on what scruples this man
had to overcome in making his decision.  In addition it is important
to give this father credit for playing the parental role as he did. It
is one shortcoming of the church's tradition that Joseph plays such a
cameo role.

4.  REFERENCES: Matthew 1:18-25

Brown, Raymond.  The Birth of the Messiah. Garden City, NY:
 Doubleday - Image Books, 1977.

Minear, Paul S.  Matthew: The Teacher's Gospel.  New York:
 Pilgrim Press, 1982.

Schweitzer, Eduard.  The Good News According to Matthew.  David
 Green, translator.  Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975.

5.   MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: Matthew 1:18-25

SAVIOR OF THE NATIONS, COME (HB 54, LBW 28) would be an excellent
processional hymn.  Sung to the accompaniment of a solo drum with
tambourine, it has a simple insistence to it that is very compelling
for the Advent season.  This is something that children could taught
during Advent and then could lead the procession into the service.
COME, THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS (HB 66, LBW 30) is a good hymn of the
day as it sums up the theme of Matthew's Gospel so well.  Finally,
two lesser known hymns that might find an application during Advent
might be mentioned:  IN A LOWLY MANGER BORN (LBW 417) is a 20th
century Japanese hymn which fits perfectly with a sermon depicting the
place of Joseph in the Nativity.  Somewhat less suitable for the
season, yet worth considering for its strong message of reconciliation
and peace in a world of violence is LORD CHRIST, WHEN FIRST YOU CAME
TO EARTH (LBW 421,esp. stanza 3, "New advent of the love...").

Exegete:  Dr. Maria Erling
                   Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA

6.   FURTHER READING: Matthew 1:18-25

For further study of the "formula quotations" in Matthew, the exegete
may want to look up "Quis et Unde--Who and Whence? Matthew's Christmas
Gospel," chapter 5 in Stendahl, K., Meanings:The Bible as Document and
as Guide (Philadephia: Fortress Press, 1984), pp. 71-83. This brief
article gives a detailed, meticulous  analysis of the shape  of the
infancy narratives and  Matthew's use of the Old Testament  and would
serve as in interesting discussion-starter for a group of ministers
preparing for serious exegesis during Advent/Christmas/Epiphany.


LEXEGETE   © 2011 
Dartmouth,  MA   02747


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Lexegete / Year B / Gospel of Mark

Third Sunday of Advent

December 11, 2012

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Psalm 126 (3) or Luke 1:46b-55 (52)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28
Prayer of the Day

Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the words of your prophets, that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. I am sending my messen- | ger before you,
 who will prepare your | way before you. Alleluia. (Matt. 11:10)


1a.  Context: Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28

    The gospel lesson for today describes two interviews with John in which he explains that he himself  is not the foretold messiah nor is he another “Elijah.”  It  seems  clear from the gospels that John did not have a full understanding of the meaning of Jesus’ coming.  So it should not surprise that his followers or supporters might misunderstand his role or his connection with Jesus.    Some who accepted the role of Messiah for Jesus also claimed that John was a kind of “Elijah”  who looked to the coming of the Day of the Lord, the day of judgment  (cf. Malachi 3:1, 4:5).    The reference to  Elijah in Malachi 3 describes as the “malakh” or messenger of the Lord, who was coming to cleanse the priesthood of which he himself was a member , teacher  and keeper of the sacred Torah.   Ultimately he is expected to serve as a reconciler turning the hearts of the fathers to the children,   in other words making peace  among  the various groups emerging within Jewish religion and culture  (cf. Jubilees 23:16ff.).    Prophetic eschatology  associated various signs of the times with the return of the prophet Elijah to preach a message of repentance before the “great and terrible Day of the Lord.”    Such signs include the turning of the sun to darkness or the moon to blood, portents which according to Joel 2 were to impel  persons to repentance.

 It seems odd here that John the Baptist disavows the priestly claim to be another “Elijah” since elsewhere that title appears conferred on him by Jesus (cf.  Matt. 17.10f.;  Mark 9.12, Matt. 11.7f.; cf. Luke 1.17, Mal. 4.5f.,  Sirach 48.10).  Possibly this has something to do with the unique way in which John relates Jesus and the Baptizer.
In the synoptics, John is arrested and cast into prison before the onset of the public ministry of Jesus.  In John, however, Jesus begins his ministry before the arrest of John.  John, however, uses the prologue to clarify this relationship, thus avoiding any possibility of confusion between Christ and  the forerunner (1:6-8).   That this confusion is not only possible but actually occurred is shown by the fact that Herod believed that Jesus might be a John the Baptist resurrected:    “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised”   (Mark 6.16).

1b. Text: Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28
             Jn. 1:6   There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.   1:7   He
came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.   1:8   He
himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.....

           1:19   This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and
Levites  from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"   1:20   He confessed and did not
deny it,    but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." 1:21   And they asked him, "What
then? Are you   Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No."  
1:22   Then   they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who
sent us. What do you say about yourself?"     1:23   He said, "I am the voice of one
crying out in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,' " as the prophet
Isaiah said.    1:24     Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.   1:25   They asked
him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the
prophet?"   1:26   John   answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one
whom you do not know, 1:27   the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie  the thong of his sandal."     1:28   This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where  John was baptizing.


6εγενετο ανθρωπος απεσταλμενος παρα θεου, ονομα αυτω ιωαννης: 7ουτος ηλθεν εις μαρτυριαν, ινα μαρτυρηση περι του φωτος, ινα παντες πιστευσωσιν δι αυτου. 8ουκ ην εκεινος το φως, αλλ ινα μαρτυρηση περι του φωτος....

19και αυτη εστιν η μαρτυρια του ιωαννου, οτε απεστειλαν [προς αυτον] οι ιουδαιοι εξ ιεροσολυμων ιερεις και λευιτας ινα ερωτησωσιν αυτον, συ τις ει; 20και ωμολογησεν και ουκ ηρνησατο, και ωμολογησεν οτι εγω ουκ ειμι ο χριστος. 21και ηρωτησαν αυτον, τι ουν; συ ηλιας ει; και λεγει, ουκ ειμι. ο προφητης ει συ; και απεκριθη, ου. 22ειπαν ουν αυτω, τις ει; ινα αποκρισιν δωμεν τοις πεμψασιν ημας: τι λεγεις περι σεαυτου; 23εφη, εγω φωνη βοωντος εν τη ερημω, ευθυνατε την οδον κυριου, καθως ειπεν ησαιας ο προφητης. 24και απεσταλμενοι ησαν εκ των φαρισαιων. 25και ηρωτησαν αυτον και ειπαν αυτω, τι ουν βαπτιζεις ει συ ουκ ει ο χριστος ουδε ηλιας ουδε ο προφητης; 26απεκριθη αυτοις ο ιωαννης λεγων, εγω βαπτιζω εν υδατι: μεσος υμων εστηκεν ον υμεις ουκ οιδατε, 27ο οπισω μου ερχομενος, ου ουκ ειμι [εγω] αξιος ινα λυσω αυτου τον ιμαντα του υποδηματος. 28ταυτα εν βηθανια εγενετο περαν του ιορδανου, οπου ην ο ιωαννης βαπτιζων.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition © 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft,  
The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition  © 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2.  Analysis: Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28

vs. 7 - hina martyreisei  peri tou  photos  - as a witness to the light

vs. 9 - photizoo - to give light, illuminate or shine light -

vs. 19 - hereus - priest

vs. 20 - homologeoo - to confess, agree to   ;    vs. 20 - arneomai - to deny

vs. 22 - apokrisis - answer

vs. 23 - ephei - to declare or say  ;     vs. 23 - boaoo - to cry

vs. 23 - ereimos - wilderness or desert   ;     vs. 23 - euthunoo - to make straight

vs. 26 - streikoo - to stand   ;        vs. 26 - oida -  to see or know

vs. 27 - aksios - worthy or fitting

vs. 29 - epaurion - tomorrow, the morrow

vs. 29 - ide  amnos tou theou ho airoon tein  hamartian tou kosmou - behold  the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world


For the Fourth Gospel the emphasis is not limited to  the  role of the Baptist as forerunner or prophetic  figure or  non-light (vs. 8).  It also is inclusive of John’s role  as witness (martyrion) to the light “so that all might believe through him.”  Next  the evangelist explains exactly how the Baptist witnesses to the light by describing his testimony when asked the question “Who are you?” (cf. Jn. 8:25 and 21:12).    It is tempting to see in these question a deeply  psychological probing, but John’s answers are  rather matter-of-fact.  He tells his questioners whom he is NOT.  He is neither the anointed messiah nor  Elijah nor  the prophet of old (cf. Deuteronomy 18:15ff.). Rather he is the  " voice of one crying out in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord..’ “  In short, he is both  herald and  forerunner, one who  comes before that  One who is yet to come.   On the other hand, this form of Johannine questioning  clearly resembles the famous “ego eimi” sayings of Jesus which appear throughout  John.    The main difference is that  the “I am” sayings of John  the Baptist  take  the form of “I am NOT” sayings, in which John  unequivocally refuses  any of the titles which are reserved to the Lord.

The Baptist has  abruptly appeared in the Fourth Gospel--coming almost out of nowhere.  It seems self-evident that the evangelist felt  compelled to clarify John’s relation to Christ, probably  for the benefit of his surviving disciples apart from the rest of the Christian community.   It is worth noting that the arrival of the questioners is not supported by the synoptic gospels, yet it is not incompatible with similar passages in Mark 1:5 and Matthew 3:7, both of which note tension between the Jewish leadership and John the Baptist.   The uniqueness of John’s approach here is underscored by his term “priests and Levites” which appears nowhere else and which is more specific in tone that the term for “the Jews” usually mentioned in John’s gospel.  That John the Evangelist has in mind something clearly Jewish in origin in this passage is reinforced again in the phrase the “Lamb of God who takes away sins of the world.”  Though a liturgical term evoking the Paschal lamb  for Christians today, the Agnus Dei is more likely understood by John the Baptist to be  the Suffering Servant foretold in Isaiah 53:12  (cf. John 12:38).  

3.  Strategy: Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28

            One of the most frustrating challenges of the Advent Season is the continual back and forth, the ebbing and racing flow of time which flows through the season pulling us forward yet pushing us back to the Ancients with the force of an undercurrent and riptide.   The result of this is that some worshipers are almost confused and befuddled by the meaning of the season, a confusion obviously reinforced by the “realized eschatology” of the marketplace, where St. Nicholas  arrived months ago.

          Now, to some extent, this is    harmless enough.  For those of us in the Church, the coming of  John the Baptist is but  the penultimate phase in the emergence  of the ministry of Jesus Christ.    But the important point  is not OUR “mood” of “expectation” or  OUR  “waiting”( probably the most  overworked among  the many Advent  themes).   The focus is primarily upon John’s “mood,” John’s  “waiting,”  John’s  “expectation.”   And that mood comes close to the one expressed later  by Jesus in Mark 3:19--22
(cf. John 3:27-30).   The best we can do is speculate about the the personal understanding John had of the meaning of Christ’s coming. Yet there is this poignant mention which implies  that he saw himself as one who could let go of his own importance in order that another one might  and grow.

       From a purely human standpoint, this seems almost to be the vantage point  of a nurturer, a mothering figure.  It may strike us as odd that the the “mothering” one here is not Mary, but John.  For we have been over our lifetimes conditioned to think of  him as a sort of  wilderness wildman.  This “masculine” approach seems to come naturally to us as Americans, with our history of Cooper’s  Natty Bumppo, history’s Daniel Boone, the  Disney  version of  Davy Crockett and more recently the character “Sully” on television’s “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”    Perhaps the danger in this is that we settle for this “masculine” forerunner and yet often settle as well for a non-masculine
Jesus.   In these latter days of “politically correct” theology, this has become even more
sensitive an issue than ever before.  Yet we should not be afraid of the way in which tends to move in its own unique way between  genders.     Without  question John’s story is intimately  intertwined with that of Mary  through his mother Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:5-45).   Thus  it should not  surprise us if  John appears as one who can say, as every mothering figure  has spoken through actions (or even words):  they (my offspring) must increase, and I must decrease.   This is a form of nurturing which is not necessarily gender-bound.  Think of the father of the lanky teenage son who gradually hands off favorite pieces of his wardrobe to the next generation in the family.  Or the mother who gives up some special treasure in order that her daughter (or son) might have an especially  wonderful time of growth and development.  We make sacrifices, we do.  They may not be “sacrifices” as our Lord would have us understand them, yet we may be “letting go” of something in ourselves in order to make room for the growth of another person.  Ultimately, the mother is the purest symbol of this in her allowing the new child to actually dwell inside her body, making room for her in the womb.
It is symbolic not just of giving up a bit of physical real estate for another (as it is often wrongly stated in the abortion debate)  but a very “literal” letting go of some aspect of one’s self and ego in other that a new self might emerge.  Again, this is not strictly a matter of gender.  A good parent, ought to have the gift of nurturing, caring and giving of themselves.

    Decades ago James Dittes of Yale Divinity School wrote a remarkable book on what he termed the “Male Predicament.”  In it he spoke of the phenomenon of “frozen Joseph” among  in the church.  He described to the usual role of Joseph in the local parish Christmas pageant as one who merely stands, almost paralyzed and immobile, in waiting for Mary and the child.   The image is a striking one, for in so many ways it fits hand and glove with the role which we in the church often hand on to the next generation of young boys and young men.   Often they see little place for themselves in the activities of the church.  What a far cry from an earlier era when “men’s clubs” and “guilds” and “dartball leagues” and all the rest of the social trappings of maleness made for a church which was far more in keeping with hymns like “Rise up, O Men of God!” and cetera.  The point here is not misogyny or to turn back the clock of patriarchal religion.  The point is that there IS a place for both the “wild man” John the Baptist in our faith as well as the one who is so very unassuming and accepting of his role as one baptizing with “mere” water, in anticipation of “the one who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”   Perhaps in the simple tying and untying of the  shoes of a little child we have the image for this text and this day and for all our endless waiting for Christ.  It is an image which fits with the mothering, fathering, parenting, or in other words the adult nurturing role of who will one day “decrease” in order that  another  might increase and grow.  It it an image which fits hand and glove, shoe and stocking with the tried and true image of a John the Baptizer who is both waiting AND witnessing in word and in deed.

4.  References:  Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28

Brown, Raymond. An Adult Christ at Christmas.  Collegville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1978.

Brown, Raymond.  A Coming Christ in Advent.  Collegeville, Minn.  Liturgical Press, 1988.

Dittes, James.  The Male Predicament.  New York: Harper and Row, 1983.

Mann, C.S.  Mark. Anchor Bible, vol. 27.  Garden City,NY: Doubleday, 1986.

5.  Music Suggestions:   Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28

Many of the suggestions from Advent 2 carry over, along with some new ones:

Comfort, comfort now my people (LBW 29, HB 67)

Creator of the Stars of Night (HB 60)

Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding (LBW 37)

Hark, the Glad Sound (LBW 35, HB 71/2)

Herald, sound the note of judgment! (HB 70)

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending (HB 57-8)

O Lord, How Shall I Meet You (LBW 23)

Once he came in blessing (HB 53)

On Jordan’s banks the Baptist’s cry (LBW 36, HB 76)

Prepare the royal highway (LBW 26)

Prepare the way, O Zion (HB 65)

The Advent of our God (LBW 22)

The only son from heaven (LBW 86)

There’s a voice in the wilderness crying (HB 75)

What is the crying at Jordan? (HB 69) - This is  a particularly beautiful text by Carol Drake (b. 1933) sung to an Irish melody.  It captures the urgency of the Markan text.

More Hymns:

Gathering: ELW 259 - Fling Wide the Door - LBW 32
The Day:   ELW 239 - Hark, the glad sound! - LBW 35
Wreath:   ELW Light 3 Candles to Watch for Messiah - 240 (vs. 3)
Offertory:   ELW 294 - In the Bleak Mid-Winter - vs. 3
Communion:   ELW 266 - All earth is hopeful – 266 [ OR 243, 501, or 726]
Sending: ELW 538 - The Lord Now Sends us Forth – [ OR 248 or 543]

Exegete - David A. Buehler, PhD.  Editor,  MacAdemia™




Dartmouth,MA 02747