Advent-3 (Yr B ) Dec 13, 2020



“People, Look East”

Franklin Ashdowns





Celebrant         Our help is in the name of the Lord.

People              Who has made heaven and earth.


Let us pray:  O Lord Jesus Christ who art the true light that lights every one who comes into the world: bless, we pray, this wreath and its candles which we have lit in preparation for your coming; and so enkindle our hearts with the fire of your love that we may receive you with joy and gladness, and evermore stand fast in the faith, who lives and reigns, world without end.    Amen.




The Word of God


Celebrant Blessed are you, holy and living One.


People You come to your people and set them free.


Celebrant Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name through Christ our Lord.  Amen.



Celebrant Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
People Have mercy upon us.



Collect of the Day


Celebrant The Lord be with you.

People And also with you

Celebrant Let us pray.

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 for ever. Amen.




A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11


The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion—to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.


For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God





Psalm 126


1  When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, *

    then were we like those who dream.

2  Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *

    and our tongue with shouts of joy.

3  Then they said among the nations, *

    “The Lord has done great things for them.”

4  The Lord has done great things for us, *

    and we are glad indeed.

5  Restore our fortunes, O Lord, *

    like the watercourses of the Negev.

6  Those who sowed with tears *

    will reap with songs of joy.

7  Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *

     will come again with joy,

    shouldering their sheaves.





A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians 5:16-24


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.


The Word of the Lord.


People   Thanks be to God.





Celebrant     The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to John 1:6-8, 19-28


People        Glory to you,  Lord Christ.


There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 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. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.


The Gospel of the Lord.


People      Praise to you,  Lord  Christ.




The Sermon


Called to be Humble


I want to welcome all of you who are worshipping with us today via livestream and to Mrs. Wagner and all who are making the livestream possible.


In the Gospel we just heard, John the Baptist demonstrated what it means to be humble. God’s light radiated through John the Baptist and people heard his call to repent. The people followed John the Baptist because they thought he was the Messiah they had been waiting for.


Having experienced the Light of God shinning through John the Baptist, the Pharisees came to ask John a few questions about what they observed as John’s messianic identity.


In other words, they wanted to find out John’s credentials. Since John had many people following Him, the Pharisees were jealous and threatened. When they asked John if He was the Messiah, John humbly told them he was not the Messiah. He went as far as saying in his humble way that he was not qualified to untie the laces of the shoes of the messiah, meaning he was inadequate to even be the servant of the Messiah.


John’s response reminds us to be humble rather than claiming a more arrogant or important position.


Being humble makes it easier for others to listen to what we have to say. When we are humble, we become examples for people to follow.


People experience our humility through our attitude and actions.


When we are humble, we do not blow our own horn, rather we relate to others as who we truly are without being phony.


Being humble is also about letting others know that in the presence of Jesus we are all equal regardless of our education or position.


It is about speaking in a non-aggrandizing manner. As James 4:10 says, humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and God will raise you up.


John himself shows the true meaning of humility in the Gospel of John chapter 3 verse 30 when he said Jesus must increase and he must decrease.


When we are not humble however, we may be tempted to praise ourselves more than we praise God.


This is when you hear people say something like, “See what I am able to do”, rather than saying “This is what God has helped me do.” Arrogance can be the precursor to a downfall.


The challenge of being humble is that sometimes you cut yourself short or people may walk all over you, and those who are arrogant may see you as stupid.


Despite these challenges, being humble enables us to be thoughtful about the needs of others. It helps to draw others to a Christ like living.


Humility enables us to work as a team at work, at play and I dare not say at home. Humility is demonstrated when one does not see themselves as better than others are demonstrating humility. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, India is an example of someone who is humble. Our parents are not only examples of humility they taught us how to be humble.


Let me end this sermon by praying as we prayed in today’s Collect that God’s grace and mercy will continue to encourage us to be humble not only like John the Baptist but also like Jesus.


Everyone say Amen.





Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

G. Winston Cassler





The Nicene Creed

(BCP p. 358)


We believe in one God

      the Father, the Almighty,

      maker of heaven and earth,

      of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

      the only Son of God,                     

      eternally begotten of the Father,

          God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

 For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate

from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified

          under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

  On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand

of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father    and the Son.

    With the Father and the Son he is

worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and

   apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.  Amen.





Prayers of the People


In the Anglican cycle of prayer, we pray for the Falkland Islands.


In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for Christ Church in Ironton, Holy Trinity in Oxford, and St. Philip’s in Columbus.


In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for Jim and Judy Rudd; Carolyn Sargent; and Paul and Carol Sharp.



I ask your prayers for God’s people throughout the world; for our Bishop, Thomas; for this gathering; and for all ministers and people.

Pray for the Church.



I ask your prayers for peace; for goodwill among nations; and for the well-being of all people.

Pray for justice and peace.



I ask your prayers for the sick (N); for the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison.

Pray for those in any need or trouble.


I ask your prayers for all who seek God, or a deeper knowledge of him.

Pray that they may find and be found by him.



I ask your prayers for the departed [especially __________ ].

Pray for those who have died.



Praise God for those in every generation in whom Christ has been honored.

Pray that we may have grace to glorify Christ in our own day.



Celebrant    Creator God, we praise you for your love in coming to us, unworthy though we are.  Give us grace to accept the Christ who comes in your name, and the courage to see your Christ in all who suffer, to be hands to the helpless, food for the hungry, and rescue for the oppressed.  Amen.


(from A New Zealand Prayer Book, pages 525-526)



The Peace


Celebrant          The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People                And also with you




The Lord’s Prayer


Celebrant          As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,


Our Father in heaven,

              hallowed be your Name,

              your kingdom come,

              your will be done,

                   on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

 as we forgive those

      who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and for ever.  Amen.




Act of Spiritual Communion


My Jesus,

I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.  Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you.  Never permit me to be separated from you.  Amen.








The congregation is dismissed.



People Thanks be to God.





Noel Angevin”

César Franck

arr: Nevins




For today’s announcements, click HERE.


To read a copy of the November 19 Vestry Minutes, click HERE




St. Mark’s Vestry


Senior Warden: Gary Welch

Junior Warden: Katherine Wagner

Treasurer: Don Nancarrow

Secretary: Dave Reuter


Vestry Members:

Carol Nancarrow, Tracey Swartz

Susan Kendall

Kendall Rubino, Jenna Walch


St. Mark’s Staff

Transitional Priest in Charge The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje

Parish Administrator Katherine Wagner

Music Director Donna Larsen

Sexton Douglas Plummer

Webmaster Dave Reuter



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