Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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[The Revised Common Lectionary]



December 15, 2002

Isaiah 61:1-4

1 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; 2 to proclaim
the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our
God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to provide for those who
mourn in Zionó 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. 

4 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.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks
in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus
for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the
words of prophets, F26 21 but test everything; hold fast to
what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and
may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound F27 and
blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The
one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 


John 1:6-8, 19-28

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name
was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so
that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the
light, but he came to testify to the light. 


19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent
priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are
you?" 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I
am not the Messiah." F7 21 And they asked him, "What
then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the
prophet?" He answered, "No." 22 Then they said to him,
"Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us.
What do you say about yourself?" 23 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. 24 Now they
had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, "Why
then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, F8 nor
Elijah, nor the prophet?" 26 John answered them, "I baptize
with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,
27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie
the thong of his sandal." 28 This took place in Bethany
across the Jordan where John was baptizing.