Today, we light the candle of Faith and read through Isaiah 40:3-5 and Matthew 3:1-3, ending with the song O Come O Come Emmanuel.
Speaker A: Welcome to the second Sunday of Advent with Westside. Today let's begin by lighting the candle of hope and our second candle of Advent, the candle of faith. Today our reading is from Isaiah and the Gospel of Matthew. Isaiah 40, verses three through five. Listen. It's the voice of someone shouting, clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord. Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God. Fill in the valleys and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken. Matthew, chapter three, verses one through three. In those days, John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was repent of your sins and turn to God, for the kingdom of heaven is near. The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, he is a voice shouting in the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord's coming. Clear the road for him. We see this prophecy from Isaiah that was fulfilled through John the Baptist in the Gospel of Matthew. When Isaiah spoke those words about one to come, he spoke of John. Isn't it incredible that all over the story of Jesus'birth, we see prophecy after prophecy be fulfilled? The people of God, again, when hearing these words from Isaiah, had to hold tightly and have the faith that God would see it through. We know and can trust that God is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do. Is there a place in your life that could use a touch of faith? Write it down and bring it before Jesus. Ask Him to strengthen your faith, and if you feel comfortable, share it with a friend and pray for one another, that your faith in Jesus would continue to grow. Let's pray. God of timeless grace, you fill us with joyful expectation. Make us ready for the message that prepares the way, that with uprightness of heart and holy joy, we may eagerly await the kingdom of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.