Third Week of Advent

(11 - 17 December)

We recommend that you read the Scripture passage and short reflection in our “Advent Readings” on the Sunday of each week – beginning on the first day of Advent: Sunday, 27 November. You can reflect on it all week. Below are some additional resources for consideration, wondering, and worship during this season. Enjoy! 

Isaiah 35:1-10  |  Ihāia 35:1-10   
Psalm 146  |  Waiata 146
Luke 1:46-55  |  Ruka 1:46-55
James 5:7-10  |  Hēmi 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11  |  Matiu 11:2-11

*Note: For those who follow the Lectionary Calendar and Church Year, Advent 2022 marks the beginning of cycle or “Year A”. The weekly Scripture passages in our readings are from each Sunday of Advent – with the exception of Epiphany. If you would like additional Bible readings, you can follow along with the daily recommended readings for this season. 

From: Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

You can download the 2022 (for Advent and Christmas) and 2023 (up to Epiphany) versions of the lectionary.

Another resource is the Vanderbilt Divinity Library

There are two different playlists for the season—for your listening, sharing, and enjoyment as you wish! We recommend the ADVENT playlist for the lead up to Christmas, and then the CHRISTMAS & EPIPHANY playlist from Christmas onwards. Click on the title or icon to listen to the playlist.

ADVENT: Hope & Expectancy 

This playlist includes songs of hope, anticipation, expectancy, and longing. We have tried to include songs which refer to the story and events announcing and leading up to Christ’s birth. 

The first part of the playlist includes contemporary renditions of Advent carols and hymns. The second part of the playlist includes sacred and choral music for the Advent season.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. (Isaiah 35:1-2)

Like anything in life where there is a lot of waiting and longing, our patience and endurance can be tested. It can get challenging and dark. Then, like light finally breaking through clouds, a ray of hope.  During Advent, we celebrate God’s faithfulness, when the lame dance, the blind see, and those who are bowed down are lifted up.

See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. (James 5:7b-8)

Pio Mulipola, Graphic Designer

Waiata a Meri (Mary’s Song – Luke 1:46-47)
Ka whakanui tōku wairua i te Ariki
Ka whakanui tōku wairua i te Ariki
Ka whakanui tōku wairua i te Ariki
E hari ana tōku wairua ki te Atua
Ki tōku Kaiwhakaora

Ka Waiata ki a Maria
Enjoy this song about Mary's 'yes' to God. This rendition is sung at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Te Mīhana Māori.
(Click on the song title to listen on Youtube).


Prayer response
Lord, we join our hearts in worship
In adoration and praise
We glorify You
We rejoice in You
Our God, our Saviour, our Lord!


Sharon Pihema, Pou Arahi

In Psalm 146:5-10 the psalmist speaks blessing over those whose help comes from the God of Jacob – the God who reigns forever over all generations. Isaiah 35 reminds us that trials don’t last forever. Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55 reminds us that he sees us and has kept his promises, even as the scope and methods he chooses are often beyond our imagining. 

How lovely it is to have the Bible at our fingertips. We can see every story, from start to finish. Hundreds of years of slavery and 40 years in the desert, all overcome in a matter of mere chapters. We can abbreviate centuries of silence to pages. We can read of John the Baptist’s time in the desert and prison and imagine the heartbreak of a beloved family member not coming to his aid. Yet, we can rest easy knowing there was a greater purpose and he is now in heaven. Chapter after chapter, book after book. We can see trial, tribulations, hope and redemption. A narrative confirming that God keeps his promises – that he cherishes us and we are beloved. It can be easy to forget that the people in the stories…didn’t know the end of the story.

I keep on my desk a figure of a woman with skin the colour of toffee. She is kneeling on rough stone. Her torso bent low. One arm is wrapped around her middle, hand pressed to her side. The other arm reaching behind her, hand raised to the heavens. Eyes closed, her expression both peaceful and purposeful. Behind her is a stone. It is perhaps intended to be the shape of a small monument but to me it has always looked like a giant gravestone bearing a message threading through generations. Written on it are the words “She who kneels before God can stand before anyone”.  She is a reminder that even when we are …

Holding on, bearing the weight within us

Holding on, nurturing the promise in our hearts

Kneeling in endurance in the midst of trial

Kneeling in a hope that won’t be quenched 

She reminds us that we can hold on and we can kneel because we know we are never alone. We are loved. We are seen. We are known. Our stories are not over. This is why we can throw a hand back and to the heavens, pointing to the hope that is our good God. Pointing toward the stories of the past that tell us it may not be in our time or our ideal timing but he always comes through for us, our ancestors and our descendants. We can stand before anyone because we know they don’t have the final word. We know we can hold on because darkness never lasts and joy comes with the morning. We know that we are part of a larger story and we know how it ends. We rejoice because the author of our story is the promise keeper.

Erica Griffin, Counselling Lecturer

Miriam Fisher (Location Lead & Lecturer - Education, Ōtautahi/Christchurch), has prepared an activity based on the theme of each week of Advent. You can download this week's right here.

These may need amending to suit the age and stage of those in your whānau but we hope they will offer you an opportunity to engage in this season simply and meaningfully with your tamariki. You might come up with new variations!