Sunday, December 10th

+ PREPARATION +

HYMN                  The Advent of Our King TLH 68

The advent of our King Our prayers must now employ,

And we must hymns of welcome sing In strains of holy joy.

 

The everlasting Son Incarnate deigns to be;

Himself a servant’s form puts on To set His servants free.

 

O Zion’s daughter, rise To meet thy lowly King,

Nor let thy faithless heart despise The peace He comes to bring.

 

As judge, on clouds of light, He soon will come again

And His true members all unite With Him in heav’n to reign.

 

Before the dawning day Let sin’s dark deeds be gone,

The old man all be put away, The new man all put on.

 

All glory to the Son, Who comes to set us free,

With Father, Spirit, ever One, Through all eternity.

INVOCATION

Pastor:  In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:  Amen.

OPENING SENTENCES¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Psalm 27:13‚Äď14; 130:5

Pastor:  I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

People:  Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Pastor:  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

People:  and in His word I hope.

CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION       Based on Psalm 130

Pastor:  With hope in the Lord’s promises of renewal by His Word and Spirit, let us together confess our sins to Him.

People:  Out of the depths I cry to You, Lord!

Pastor:  Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to my pleas for mercy!

People:  If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, I would have no hope.

Pastor:  But with You there is forgiveness, therefore we place our trust in You.

People:  Restore us, Lord God, and set us free from our sins.

Pastor:  Renew us in Your hope, that we may wait for Your salvation.

People:  Because of Your steadfast love for us in Christ, redeem us from all our iniquities. Amen.

Pastor:  As we wait for Jesus’ final coming, we place our hope and our confidence in the promises of His Word and find our home in the presence of His Spirit. Confessing our sins and turning away from them through lives of repentance, we are assured again this day of the Lord’s steadfast love and plentiful redemption for us. As a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:  Amen.

+ WORD +

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH

Pastor:  There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

People:  The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on Him. Isaiah 11:1-2a

 Pastor:  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Matthew 3:11b

People:   "Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." Matthew 3:3c

 Light two candles.

 Pastor:  In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples---of Him shall the nations inquire, and His resting place shall be glorious. Isaiah 11:10

People:   Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!  Let Your face shine, that we may be saved! Psalm 80:19

HYMN   Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel  TLH  62 vs 1 & 3

Oh, come, Oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Oh, come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Pastor:  Let us pray. Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be found in Him, fully redeemed and at peace; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

People:  Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT READING¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Isaiah 40:1‚Äď11¬†¬†¬† (The Lord comes to comfort and pardon His people.)

1Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.¬† 2¬†Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that¬†her warfare¬†is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the¬†Lord's hand double for all her sins.¬† 3¬†A voice cries: ¬†‚ÄúIn the wilderness prepare the way of the¬†Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.¬† 4¬†Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.¬† 5¬†And the glory of the¬†Lord¬†shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the¬†Lord¬†has spoken.‚Ä̬†6¬†A voice says, ‚ÄúCry!‚Ä̬†And I said,¬†‚ÄúWhat shall I cry?‚Ä̬†All flesh is grass, and all its beauty¬†is like the flower of the field.¬† 7¬†The grass withers, the flower fades ¬†when the breath of ¬†the¬†Lord¬†blows on it; surely the people are grass.¬† 8¬†The grass withers, the flower fades,¬† but the word of our God will stand forever.¬† 9¬†Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion,¬†herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news;¬†lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‚ÄúBehold your God!‚Ä̬† 10¬†Behold, the Lord¬†God¬†comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.¬† 11¬†He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

EPISTLE¬†¬† 2 Peter 3:8‚Äď14¬†¬†¬† (The Lord is patient toward you.)

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

HOLY GOSPEL¬†Mark 1:1‚Äď8¬†(The messenger prepares the way of the Lord.)

1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,
3¬†the voice of one crying in the wilderness:¬† ‚ÄėPrepare¬†the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,‚Äô‚Ä̬† 4¬†John appeared, baptizing in¬†the wilderness and proclaiming¬†a baptism¬† of¬†repentance¬†for the forgiveness of sins.¬†5¬†And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan,¬†confessing their sins.¬†6¬†Now John was¬†clothed with camel's hair and¬†wore a leather belt around his waist and ate¬†locusts and¬†wild honey.¬†7¬†And he preached, saying,¬†‚ÄúAfter me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.¬†8¬†I have baptized you with water, but¬†he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.‚ÄĚ

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

HYMN                  On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry  TLH 63

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Come, then, and hearken, for he brings
Glad tidings from the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every Christian breast
And furnished for so great a Guest.
Yea, let us each our hearts prepare
For Christ to come and enter there.

For Thou art our Salvation, Lord,
Our Refuge, and our great Reward.
Without Thy grace our souls must fade
And wither like a flower decayed.

Lay on the sick Thy healing hand
And make the fallen strong to stand;
Show us the glory of Thy face
Till beauty springs in every place.

All praise, eternal Son, to Thee
Whose advent sets Thy people free,
Whom, with the Father, we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.

SERMON

NICENE CREED

     I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

     And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made: who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried.  And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.  And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

     And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy Christian and apostolic Church, I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

GREETING/ANNOUNCEMENTS

OFFERING

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH

Pastor:  As we wait in love for the coming of our Lord, let us together, as His advent people, bring our prayers before Him.

     Father in heaven, You prepare a heavenly home for all who trust in You and come into Your presence through faith in Your Son. By His coming into this world to save us from the devastation of our sins, dying and rising again to make us eternally Yours, we have been reconciled to You. We praise You, Father, for this amazing gift of love and ask that Your Holy Spirit keep Your steadfast love secure in our hearts throughout our days of waiting. Come, Lord Jesus, our gracious King!

People:  To You alone our prayers we bring!

Pastor:  Knowing that You have come once into this world, Lord Jesus, we are confident that You will come again. On that glorious Day when we are all gathered before You, when every knee will bow to You and every tongue confess Your holy name, we will receive the restoration of all things in heaven and on earth that Your Word has promised. Until Your final coming, O Lord, keep us secure in our salvation. Remind us that our waiting is because of Your patience, and that You call us to use this time we have been given to share Your precious Gospel with the world You died and rose again to save. Stir up the hearts of all who hear Your Word this day, that many will come to saving faith and experience the comfort of Your presence in their lives. Come, Lord Jesus, our gracious King!

People:  To You alone our prayers we bring!

Pastor:  As wanderers in this land, O Lord, we experience various types of brokenness and pain, suffering and grief. We lift before You in prayer those we love, who are also loved by You. For those longing for food and shelter, grant Your mercy. For those needing protection and peace, grant Your Spirit. We pray for those in our families and connected to our family of faith who have special concerns of body and spirit, [especially . . .]. Grant that all who wander find their home in You alone, O Lord. Come, Lord Jesus, our gracious King!

People:  To You alone our prayers we bring!

Pastor:¬† Comforting Spirit, fill our land, our homes, our workplaces, our schools, and all our interactions with others with Your blessings. Allow this season of waiting and preparation to refocus our hearts and minds upon Your mission for our congregation and for us as individual members of this household of faith. Stir up our hearts to make known to all the wonders You have done, so that more souls may be brought to saving faith and many would join with us in saying, ‚ÄúCome, Lord Jesus, our gracious King!‚ÄĚ

People:  To You alone our prayers we bring!

Pastor:¬† Confident in our coming King and Savior, we entrust our prayers into the good and gracious hands of our sovereign God‚ÄĒFather, Son, and Holy Spirit‚ÄĒwho lives and reigns, both now and forever.

People:  Amen.

 

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