What needs to be repaired in the world? What restoration is longed for by the injured and heartbroken?

Here is your God,
coming with vengeance
to demand reparations
and to save you.
(Isaiah 35:4)

What healing is needed in your community? What aches and pains await resolve in your own life?

The Mighty One
scatters the proud,
lifts up the lowly,
and feeds the hungry.
(Luke 1:51-53)

Where do you notice joy paving the way for peace, and love paving the way for justice? In what ways has new life humbled your heart?

Did you expect a quaking reed?
Did you expect a pampered royal?
Go tell what you see and hear:
there is a new way.
(Matthew 11:7-8, 4, 10)

fb91f-wilderness2520south2520of2520machtesh2520ramon42520tb2520q010403RevGals and preaching Pals, how are the Revised Common Lectionary texts inspiring your sermon for the upcoming Third Sunday of Advent? Will the prophets’ announcement of reparations — from Isaiah to Mary — shape the good news you bring? Will you bring an ecological vision of healing, from the dry land of Isaiah to the farm land of James to the wilderness of Matthew? Is this Sunday’s sermon shortened for a carol sing or Nativity pageant?

However you are approaching the RCL texts for your Sunday sermon, you can find new perspective and share your ideas here in the blog’s comments with your preaching colleagues!


The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), searches for faith through life’s trials. Rachel has also written Writing to God, a popular Lenten devotional, among other books.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals [at] gmail [dot] com.

5 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: Reparations

  1. I’m working with “Something’s Coming, Something Good” from West Side Story. The energy, the anticipation, the joy of that song all work with these lessons for me. Just barely started, but it will certainly be more lively than the norm for our congregation of seniors.


  2. I am using Isaiah 40 instead: comfort my people. Little did I know when I decided to switch to this it would have been a hard week…3 deaths connected to the congregation I serve and hard, hard prayers shared by people during worship on Sunday. Comfort and joy…somewhere there is a sermon waiting.


  3. This is yet another set of texts for which I’ll have to be on my guard about any references that could be heard as “political.” Sigh. But I am intrigued by Debi Thomas’s essay on finding hope when there doesn’t seem to be any grounds for it. Will probable go that way—but again, with care.


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