Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 18, 2022
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
Theme of the Day: Who is Jesus? Jesus is the Son of Mary. Meaning what? With Jesus and Immanuel we are given all of God’s love, grace and mercy!
Prelude Angels From the Realms of Glory — By Ralph Long
Ron Ochs, Piano
SONG Prepare the Royal Highway
P In the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Opening Sentences Isaiah 45:8a; Psalm 19:1, 4–6; 112:1b, 7b
P Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
C let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout.
P The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
C Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
P In them He has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
C Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
P Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments!
C His heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Confession and Absolution
P Let us now make confession of our sins to God, our gracious heavenly Father.
C Eternal God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and that sin is ever-present in our lives. O God, in Your mercy, forgive our sin. Redirect and renew us, that we may joyfully follow Your will and gladly obey Your commandments. Graciously forgive our sins and, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, guide us in ways of compassion and love.
P In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Go in ☩ peace.
P The Lord be with you.
C And also with you.
Prayer of the Day
P Let us pray.
Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
During the singing of the hymn, four candles on the Advent wreath are lighted.
SONG Light the Candle
Old Testament Reading Isaiah 7:10–17
(An Israelite and Aramean military coalition presented a serious threat to King Ahaz of Judah. In response, Ahaz decided to secure his throne and kingdom by seeking Assyrian help. Isaiah reminds Ahaz that human attempts to establish security will fail. The prophet gives the sign that is the only source of true safety: Immanuel, God is with us!)
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.”
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
Epistle Romans 1:1–7
(Most of the Christians in Rome do not know Paul. In this letter’s opening he introduces himself as an apostle divinely appointed to spread God’s gospel. The gospel’s content is the promised coming of Christ, and Paul’s mission is to bring about the obedience of faith among all nations, including his Roman audience.)
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
Special music Come to Set Us Free — By Lloyd Larson
Grace Worship Team
Ron Ochs, Piano
Holy Gospel Matthew 1:18–25
P The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the first chapter.
C Glory to You, O Lord.
(Matthew’s story of Jesus’ birth focuses on the role of Joseph, who adopts the divinely-begotten child into the family of David and obediently gives him the name Jesus, which means “God saves.”)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
P This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C Praise to You, O Christ.
SONG Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Sermon “Who is Jesus?”
“Jesus is the Son of Mary” — Pr. Josh Text: Matthew 1:18–25
Creed Nicene Creed
C 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 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 the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in 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
you make the desert bloom
and send springs of water to thirsty ground.
Receive these simple gifts of bread, wine, and money,
and make us messengers of your mercy and love
for all in need of your healing and justice.
We ask this through Christ our Savior.
Prayers of Intercession
P The Lord be with you.
C And also with you.
P Lift up your hearts.
C We lift them to the Lord.
P Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
C It is right to give Him thanks and praise.
P It is truly good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, Lord, our God, for You have had mercy on us and sent Your only-begotten Son, the long hoped-for Messiah, to bring us salvation. Pour out upon us the gifts of Your Spirit, that we may receive Your blessings joyfully and resolutely serve You in all we do. Grant that we may receive the body and blood of our Lord as the guarantee of our salvation and as a foretaste of the feast to come in Your eternal kingdom. To You alone, O Father, be all glory, honor, and praise, together with the Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
P Blessed are You, Lord of heaven and earth, who in giving Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to accomplish our salvation has fulfilled the hope of the prophets and of Your people for countless generations. We thank You for calling us to be Your people in this time and place and for inviting us to Your holy Table. Joined together in the name of our Lord and in the communion of saints, we pray You to send Your Holy Spirit upon us to sanctify and renew us in body and soul for the sake of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
The Words of Our Lord
P Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My ☩ body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My ☩ blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Proclamation of Christ
P As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
C Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
P O Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, in giving us Your body and blood to eat and to drink, You lead us to remember and confess Your holy cross and passion, Your blessed death, Your rest in the tomb, Your resurrection from the dead, Your ascension into heaven, and Your coming for the final judgment. So remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray:
C Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen
P The peace of the Lord be with you always.
SONG Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
P Let us pray.
Almighty and ever-living God, we thank You for having fed us with the body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Govern our hearts that we may never forget Your blessings but steadfastly thank and praise You for all Your goodness in this life until, with all Your saints, we praise You eternally in Your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, to whom, with You and the same Spirit, be all honor and glory, forever and ever.
P The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and ☩ give you peace and may you be a blessing to others!
SONG Jesus, Name above All Names
+ The Worship Is Over … Let the Service Begin! +
Advent and Christmas at a Glance
ChristMass Eve, December 24th
- Candelight Service of Lessons and Carols with
Holy Communion 7:00 pm
ChristMass Day, December 25th
- No worship service.
First Sunday after ChristMass, January 1st
- Worship and Holy Communion 10:00 am
Be sure to get your copy…
- Adult and Children’s Advent Devotional Booklets
- December Grace Connections Newsletter
- Lutheran Women’s Quarterly Magazine
- January Portal’s of Prayer
Copies can be found on the table in the back of the Sanctuary
or on the table in the main entry way.
The Festival of Lessons and Carols has been sung for more than 80 Christmases at King’s College—Cambridge University in England. The Order of Service was developed by E. M. Milner-White, Dean of King’s College, who drew on several ancient sources. The basic structure of the service has been adapted for use on this Christmas Eve and is quite simple. The Good News of Christmas is relayed through Six Lessons. Each Lesson is then followed by a hymn or carol which serves as a commentary on or a response to the lesson.
Join with us as we celebrate ChristMass Eve with Candlelight, Lessons, Special Music and Carols.
THE PRESENCE of CHRIST is celebrated in The Lord’s Supper. He comes to us in a real and present way with his life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament to assure us of our forgiveness and to strengthen us in faith and service. All who trust and believe the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” are welcome. Come, receive Christ’s presence in the meal prepared for you. Enjoy his presence. Children are encouraged to come forward with their parents and/or grandparents and receive a blessing.
TODAY is Mite Box Sunday — Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth, but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on" (Mark 12:41–43) Based on the Biblical account of the widow's mite, the Mite Box is intended for regular contributions of "mites" — offerings above and beyond the support given to congregations and the LCMS. Mite Box contributions amount to millions of dollars that fund district and national mission grants and implement the LWML program.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY — Reminder, the Women’s Bible Study will not be meeting in December. Please plan on joining us when we resume in January/2023.
Bible Study — Our new Bible study continues on Wednesday, December 21st with the Gospel of Matthew “Who is Jesus?” This will coincide with our Advent Sermon theme, taking place at 12:00 noon every Wednesday though out December in the Fireside Room.
This Week at Grace
WEDNESDAY the 21st: “Who is Jesus?” Bible Study 12:00 noon
SATURDAY the 24th: ChristMass Eve 7:00 pm
SUNDAY the 25th: ChristMass Day No Worship Service