Dec 10

3rd Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Zephaniah 3:14-20
  • Focusing on this text?  Today would be a great day to have a hymn-sing during worship.
    • You may want to learn all of those Advent hymns that are in your hymnal that you haven’t tried singing yet.
    • You could start out by singing Advent hymns (either learning new ones, or singing the congregation’s favorites), and then conclude with a few Christmas hymns.  Yes… I know that it isn’t Christmas yet; but, since most kids don’t get to sing Christian Christmas songs in schools very much anymore, this could be a fun way to let them sing the songs a bit more during this season.
    • You could try singing some “Advent Carols“.
  • God declares that “disaster” will be removed from us.  What disasters would you like to see removed?
  • There is a general theme of shame-being-turned-into-praise that runs through the final verses of this passage.  You may want to structure your worship service in such a way that it echos this flow/pattern.
  • Create a collage of newspaper and magazine headlines and pictures that speak to the idea of “disaster” and “shame”.  (Use a glue stick to adhere the clippings to a large poster board or canvas, so that it can dry quickly.)  Then – either by yourself, or by inviting others to join you – paint words and images of hope, joy, love, peace, andpraise — completely covering the “disasters” and “shame”.
Isaiah 12:2-6
  • There are musical settings of this text in most hymnals; so, you may want to sing the scripture.
  • You could include a water pump, well, or a bucket & rope in your worship display to help illustrate the “wells of salvation”.
  • Like the reading from Zephaniah, this passage speaks of singing “praises to the Lord”.  So, a hymn-sing would work well with this text, too.
Philippians 4:4-7
  • Rejoice in the Lord!  Why not share in your rejoicing by going carolling as a congregation?
  • During this hectic season, the words of “Do not worry about anything” may be incredibly important to hear.  Consider focusing on this passage and focusing on healing, wholeness, and prayer during worship.
  • Perhaps, instead of a sermon, invite the congregation to pray for one another in small groups.  Then, invite people to come forward (as they feel comfortable) to receive the laying on of hands from the pastoral/spiritual leadership.  You could include an anointing with oil, if desired.
Luke 3:7-18
  • John does not sugar-coat anything, does he?  He offers a harsh reality-check to us all.
  • What fruits do we bear?
  • “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”
    • Host a clothing drive, inviting everyone to bring in new/gently used clothing to be donated to a local shelter or other charity.
    • Host a food drive, inviting everyone to bring in non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food pantry or other charity.
  • What do we do when we hear the call to repentance?  The tax collectors, crowds, and soldiers all make changes in their lives.  What changes could we make?
  • Since we are reading about John baptizing, this is a good Sunday to remember our own baptisms.

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