Here are questions for us to prayerfully consider as we prepare for worship this Sunday. We hope you will find them a useful resource as you prepare to receive them in church.

READINGS FOR SUNDAY, DEC. 15

Collect of the Day

“Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.”

Here are questions for us to prayerfully consider:

Isaiah 35:1-10

This passage from the prophet Isaiah is written as poetry. Most of us do not read poetry on a regular basis. Try sitting with this reading more than once during the week. It describes the pain and joy of exiles that are returning to their land after captivity. Can you imagine their emotions? Can you identify with them? Who in our world today would most be able to identify with the words and emotions of this poetry? This passage also gives practical advice to us as a community— “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear!’” What might that mean for us in our common life of faith?

Psalm 146:4-9

Here is another political psalm. After you read it, what does it “stir up” in you? How will you respond today and in the future? The Song of Mary is an alternative reading for today. It is found at Luke 1:46-55). How does Mary’s song compare with this psalm?

James 5:7-10

Are you patient? That might depend on what you are waiting for. In what ways are your patient today? Do you believe what you are waiting for is important to God and the human family?

Matthew 11:2-11

What do you think Jesus means by saying those in the kingdom of heaven are greater than John the Baptist? Do you feel greater? What do you think is the distinction?