Nov 22

2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B)

Isaiah 40:1-11

  • If you are able to read this passage of scripture and NOT end up humming, whistling, or singing a selection from Handel’s Messiah, then…well, I sad for you.  I have had the joy of singing selections from Handel’s Messiah with multiple choirs over the years – most often around the Advent and Christmas season.  And once I became a pastor, I discovered that it was almost impossible for me to read certain passages of scripture – including this passage from Isaiah – without desperately wanting to break out into song!
  • If you are musical – and/or if you have willing musicians in your congregation – this is an excellent Sunday to sing the scripture lesson.  (If you want to do this, please don’t neglect to give your musicians ample notice so they can practice!)
  • If you are decorating to reflect on a particular lesson each week, there are some neat images that can be found in the Isaiah text.  The first one that comes to mind is that of “comfort”, which makes me think of Linus, from the Peanuts comic.  Warm, cozy blankets (in purple or blue, to keep with the colors of Advent) could be used to cover the Table.
  • An image that runs through the lectionary texts on the 2nd Sunday of Advent: paths and roads (ways that are being made straight).  You can create a “path” as a part of your worship display, too, using things like fabric, river stones, sand, or candles.  You can even make the “path” look “crooked” at one end, gradually making it straight as it goes…
  • And, of course… if you are focusing on the last verse of this passage, a shepherd’s crook is (again) a great prop to use.  You could also use straw or hay (or some kind of animal feed), to have a visual for the “feeding” of the flock.
  • And, in case you don’t already have music swirling around in your head from reading this passage, check out the MP3s that I have included in this post.  These are sure to keep your toes tapping while you prepare for worship!

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

  • This is a lovely passage, and would work very well as a litany.
  • You could easily use this scripture as an Assurance of Pardon.

2 Peter 3:8-15a

  • What is, perhaps, most striking about this passage, is the mention of God’s perception of time.  In this season of Advent, when we are called to wait for the joy of Christmas (though, most of the stores haven’t quite gotten that message), it is a definite challenge to take the time that we need to prepare the way for the Prince of Peace.  What seems like a thousand years to us is barely a minute in the eyes of our Lord.
  • Clocks, calendars, planners, and date books could be used in a worship display.
  • If you have purchased 2012 prayer calendars or planning calendars for anyone in the congregation (children, staff, members, etc), this would be a good Sunday to distribute them.

Mark 1:1-8

  • If you are going to be preaching on John the Baptizer, then you have some wonderful images to use in a worship display!  Honey (in jars), and honeycomb (check your local grocery stores and farmers markets) could be used.  Also, though I’m not sure that locusts are in ample supply in most stores, many sporting goods shops (and places that sell fishing gear) carry grasshoppers.  I’d suggest not having live ones, but dried grasshoppers or crickets would probably do.  You might even be able to find plastic locusts (though, I’m willing to bet that would be pretty expensive).
  • A large, weathered leather belt or strap could be used in your worship display (like the one that John would have worn around his waist).  I doubt that JoAnn Fabrics sells camel-hair, but they do sell a variety of fake-fur type fabrics.  A camel-colored mohair could work (and you wouldn’t need more than a yard).  If you are willing to brave the “Black Friday” shopping crowds, there will be really great sales on all kinds of fabrics – and there are coupons available on their website, Facebook, and via their smartphone app.
  • Although the musical Godspell is based on Matthew’s gospel, the song “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” certainly fits with this text.  It is an easy song to learn, and sheet music is available (you may even have a copy in your music library already).


1 ping

  1. Tuesday Brainstorm – 3rd Sunday of Advent (Year B) » The Worship Closet

    […] « Tuesday Brainstorm – 2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B) […]

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