The Upper Room Liturgy for the Third Sunday of Avent, 2023 was written by Beth A. Richardson
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 Zion—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. 8 For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 NRSV
Rejoice greatly in the Lord, Proclaim God's greatness everywhere. For God loves justice and hates wrongdoing. God binds up the brokenheated and comforts those who despair. "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my whole being shall exult in my God" (Isa. 61:10)
Proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners. Proclaim comfort to those who mourn. Proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, God's righteousness for the poor, the outcast, the vulnerable. proclaim the coming of hope in a tiny baby, the birth of righteousness and peace for all nations.
Spirit of God, anoint us as messengers of your good news to all people. As we light this third candle of advent, move us to rejoice and proclaim your greatness.
Sing: "Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates"
1 Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates: behold, the King of glory waits! The King of kings is drawing near, The Saviour of the world is here.
2 Fling wide the portals of your heart; make it a temple, set apart from earthly use for heav'n's employ, adorned with prayer and love and joy.
3 Redeemer, come! I open wide my heart to you; here, Lord, abide! Let me your inner presence feel; your grace and love in me reveal.
4 So come, my Sovereign, enter in! Let new and nobler life begin! Your Holy Spirit guide us on, until the glorious crown be won.