Second Lesson: James 5:7-11:
7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Psalm 146 on Page 120 in Christian Worship
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.
Blessed is he whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the maker of heaven and earth.
The Lord gives food to the hungry,
the Lord sets prisoners free.
The Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.
The Lord watches over the outcast
and sustains the fatherless and the widow.
The Lord remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 11:2-11:
2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
7As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
First Lesson/Sermon Text: Isaiah 35:1-10:
1The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.
3Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
5Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Theme and Parts:
Jesus Offers Us Water in the Desert
- Neither an overwhelming flood…
- Nor a disappearing mirage