Bible readings for Sunday Dec. 15, 2019

The First Reading is recorded in Isaiah 35:1-10. What a wonderful passage of hope! Isaiah spoke to the people of his day who were facing exile and hardship, yet, he prophesied that the Lord would restore them, and God did! But this prophecy also looks forward to Jesus; notice how the blind, deaf, and lame will be healed. This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry, as we will see in the Gospel.
Let us trust in God’s faithfulness to keep His promises.
Lord God, You give hope to the hopeless, healing to the infirm, and life to the dead; we thank and praise You for Your faithfulness to You people. We thank and praise You that in Jesus all the prophecies and promises You made to Your people find their fulfillment. Keep us in faith, trusting in Your faithfulness, and proclaiming to the world that You alone keep Your promises. Amen.

The psalm is recorded in Psalm 146. This psalm is a continuation of the thought of the First Reading. Notice all that the Lord does, including helping those who are helpless and hopeless. Notice also the warning not to trust in human rulers, they come and go; the Lord alone remains, the Lord alone fulfills His promises.
Holy Lord, to You be all praise, honor, glory, and thanks that You keep Your promises to all people, and that You are especially concerned for the helpless and hopeless. Move us to share Your concern for those who are in desperate need. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Second Reading is found inJames, 5:7-11. In summary, be patient, wait for the Lord to act; at the right time He will. At the right time He sent His Son Jesus, born in a stable in Bethlehem, born to take our sin upon Himself, born to go to the cross, to die and to rise on the third day for our justification. Let us be patient, the Lord will act at the proper time.
Lord God, fill us with patience, waiting for You to act when the time is right. As we wait, enable us to be patient with each other as You form us more and more into discipleship as we follow Your Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

The Gospel is recorded in Matthew 11:2-15. As this reading unfolds, we find John the Baptist in prison, waiting for the outcome of his situation, an outcome that will lead to his beheading. As John waited, he began to wonder if Jesus was the Messiah, or would there be someone else? Notice how Jesus answered John’s disciples: the prophecies of the Messiah are being fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus is the One Who was sent by the heavenly Father.
Notice that Jesus did not scold John for his questions, but affirmed the role and importance of John the Baptist. At times we may wonder and doubt God; take heart, God is faithful, we can even bring our questions to Him, He is greater than our questions and doubts. We can trust Him.
Lord and Savior Jesus, thank You for fulfilling the prophecies of the Messiah, thank You and praise to You for ministering to all in need. Thank You and praise to You that You minister to our need through Your death and resurrection. And thanks and praise be to You that in the midst of our doubts and questions You do not drive us away, rather You show us again Your love and compassion. Increase our faith. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

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