Third Sunday in Advent
The Third Sunday in Advent will be commemorated on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023.
To attend a worship service, visit locator.lcms.org/church to find a local Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregation. Enter your zip code and click “Search” to see a list of area churches, service times, and contact information.
If you are homebound, traveling, or otherwise unable to attend a service in person, KFUO Radio airs worship services throughout the church year. Visit KFUO.org to view the schedule and listen to services.
Liturgical colors for the Third Sunday in Advent
Blue or violet adorns the altar during Advent. Advent, a season of repentance, waiting and watching, looks forward in hope. Our Christian faith rests on the hope that Christ, who came in the flesh in history to accomplish our salvation, will also return in the same way to be our judge on the last day and bring us into eternal life.
Three-Year Series B Lectionary
- Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
- Psalm 126
- 1 Thess. 5:16–24
- John 1:6–8, 19–28
The Coming of the Christ Brings True Rejoicing in His Forgiveness
When he preaches repentance, John the Baptist points us to Christ Jesus. John was sent by God “as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him” (John 1:7). He baptizes with water in order to “make straight the way of the Lord,” who shall redeem His people from their sins (John 1:23). That Lord Jesus “who comes after” John now stands among us and makes Himself known to us (John 1:26–27). He has been anointed by the Holy Spirit “to bring good news to the poor” and “to bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1). By the washing of the water with His Word and Spirit, He clothes His Church with “the garments of salvation” and adorns her with His own righteousness “as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Is. 61:10). Therefore, we “rejoice always” in the Lord, “pray without ceasing” and “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16–18). For “the God of peace,” who has called you by the Gospel, will surely “sanctify you completely,” so that “your whole spirit and soul and body” will “be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23–24).
One-Year Series Lectionary
- Isaiah 40:1–8 (9–11)
- Psalm 85
- 1 Cor. 4:1–5
- Matt. 11:2–10 (11)
John the Baptizer Prepares the Way for the Lord
The voice of the Baptizer cried out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord …” (Isaiah 40:1). John called the people to be made ready for the Messiah’s coming through repentance, for “all flesh is grass” (Isaiah 40:6). Now He asks from prison, “Are you the one who is to come …?” (Matt. 11:2). Jesus’ works bear witness that He is. The sick are made well; the dead are raised, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. Their iniquity is pardoned; they have received from the Lord’s hand double forgiveness for all their sins. The “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1) still deliver Christ’s overflowing forgiveness to the poor in spirit, comforting God’s people with the word of the Gospel which stands forever. This Gospel produces rejoicing among all those who believe.
The LCMS has produced media kits for congregations to use in reaching out to their communities. The free, downloadable resources are designed to allow congregations to add invitations and local details about worship services. Congregations are invited to use these resources to advertise service information or simply to generate opportunities for pastoral conversations in the community.