Readings for Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C
From Contemporary English Version © 1995, American Bible Society.
December 16, 2012
Third Sunday in Advent
FIRST READING: Zephaniah 3:14-20
14Everyone in Jerusalem and Judah,
celebrate and shout with all your heart!
15Zion, your punishment is over.
The LORD has forced your enemies to turn and retreat.
Your LORD is King of Israel and stands at your side;
you don’t have to worry about any more troubles.
16Jerusalem, the time is coming,
when it will be said to you:
“Don’t be discouraged or grow weak from fear!
17The LORD your God wins victory after victory
and is always with you.
He celebrates and sings because of you,
and he will refresh your life with his love.”
18The LORD has promised:
Your sorrow has ended, and you can celebrate.
19I will punish those who mistreat you.
I will bring together the lame and the outcasts,
then they will be praised, instead of despised,
in every country on earth.
20I will lead you home, and with your own eyes
you will see me bless you with all you once owned.
Then you will be famous everywhere on this earth.
I, the LORD, have spoken!
PSALMODY: Isaiah 12:2-6
2I trust you to save me, LORD God, and I won’t be afraid.
My power and my strength come from you,
and you have saved me.”
3With great joy, you people will get water
from the well of victory.
4At that time you will say, “Our LORD, we are thankful,
and we worship only you.
We will tell the nations how glorious you are
and what you have done.
5Because of your wonderful deeds we will sing your praises
everywhere on earth.”
6Sing, people of Zion! Celebrate the greatness
of the holy LORD of Israel.
God is here to help you.
SECOND READING: Philippians 4:4-7
4Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. 5Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. 6Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. 7Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.
GOSPEL: Luke 3:7-18
7Crowds of people came out to be baptized, but John said to them, “You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? 8Do something to show that you really have given up your sins. Don’t start saying that you belong to Abraham’s family. God can turn these stones into children for Abraham. 9An ax is ready to cut the trees down at their roots. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.”
10The crowds asked John, “What should we do?”
11John told them, “If you have two coats, give one to someone who doesn’t have any. If you have food, share it with someone else.”
12When tax collectors came to be baptized, they asked John, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13John told them, “Don’t make people pay more than they owe.”
14Some soldiers asked him, “And what about us? What do we have to do?”
John told them, “Don’t force people to pay money to make you leave them alone. Be satisfied with your pay.”
15Everyone became excited and wondered, “Could John be the Messiah?”
16John said, “I am just baptizing with water. But someone more powerful is going to come, and I am not good enough even to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17His threshing fork is in his hand, and he is ready to separate the wheat from the husks. He will store the wheat in his barn and burn the husks with a fire that never goes out.”
18In many different ways John preached the good news to the people.