November 28, 2021

The Beginning of a New Church Year

The First Sunday in Advent

  Being Prepared For Christ’s Second

Coming….How Ready Are You?


      This morning at Grace Lutheran we’ll observe two “beginnings.”   The first is the beginning of a new “Church Year;”  the second is the beginning of the pre-Christmas period known as “Advent.”  


The Christian “Church Year”

      The practice of observing a “Church Year” goes back to the  earliest days of the Christian Church.  The first Christians (most had been converts from Judaism) chose to continue some of the Jewish customs which had been a part of their religious background.  One of those customs was to start their “calendar year” in the spring (rather than on January 1st, as we do today).   By the 4th century, in what was at first an unrelated event, Christians living in Gaul (southern France) began to formally celebrate the Jesus’ birth on December 25th.  Gradually, the celebration of Christ’s birth and the start of the Christian “worship year” were joined together.  Subsequently, the beginning of the pre-Christmas season of Advent became the starting point for the new church year.  That’s why our “Church Year” starts 4 Sundays before Christmas, rather than in the spring.    The major divisions/seasons of the Christian Church Year (in order) are as follows: Advent;   Christmas;   Epiphany;   Lent;   Easter;  and the Pentecost/Trinity season.   The first five seasons collectively are also known as the “Festival” portion of the church year since nearly all of the “major” festivals (Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost) take place during them.   The Festival portion covers, roughly, half the year – from December through May.   The sixth portion of the church year (Trinity/Pentecost), accordingly, spans the other half of the year, from June through November.  It is often referred to as the “Non-Festival” portion of the Church Year, owing to the fact that no major church-wide festivals take place during this time (the observances of the Reformation of the Church and Thanksgiving Day notwithstanding).


The Season of Advent – a brief history

      The four week season of “Advent” that we’re also starting today developed out of an early Christian practice having to do with a period of fasting/penitence (which new confirmands were expected to

undergo prior to their reception into the Christian fellowship on Epiphany [January 6th]).   With the introduction of Christmas as a church festival, this period of penitence was placed before the celebration of Christ’s birth.  Eventually it developed into a period of fasting and repentance for the entire church (although it was not intended to be as rigorous or as deeply penitential as the repentant behavior associated with the 40 days of Lent).   At first the length of the season of Advent  varied considerably, ranging from three to seven weeks.  Over the years the season of Advent eventually became a firmly established period of four Sundays, concluding with Christmas Eve.   By the 5th century, the first Sunday of Advent was officially recognized as the first day of the Church Year, a designation it holds to this day.


The Significance and Emphases of Advent

      As with the season of Lent, the colors of Advent are violet/blue, symbolizing its penitential character.  The term “Advent” is taken from a Latin word (“Advenio”) which means “I am coming.”   Typically this season is used to focus the Church’s attention on three Biblical truths:  (1) the coming  [past] of Christ into the flesh, commemorated at Christmas;  (2) the coming [present] of Christ to us on a continuing basis through God’s Word and the Lord’s Supper;  and (3) the visible [future] coming of Christ in glory for judgement and deliverance at the end of time.   Another of the “customary” emphases during Advent touches the three “Offices,” or roles, which the coming Christ will fulfill for His people:   namely, the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King.     Old Testament prophecies (especially through Isaiah) pertaining to the coming and work of the Messiah are also routinely incorporated into the worship and study life of the Church during this period of the year.    Additionally, congregations often use the time of Advent to study more carefully those portions of the New Testament Gospels which give us a record of the events immediately leading up to and heralding the Savior’s first coming to earth (notably, Luke 1 and Matthew 1).       

Our Worship on this First Sunday in Advent

      One special feature of today’s service will be our “liturgical use” of one of our Lutheran Church’s traditional Advent hymns “Lift Up Your Heads You Mighty Gates” in place of the customary hymn “Gloria in Excelsis” (“Glory be to God on High”).  It is printed out in the worship flyer.  This hymn, incidentally, is based on today’s Psalm reading.    Psalm 24 has traditionally been used in Christian churches on the First Sunday in Advent to usher in the Advent and Christmas seasons.  Its  use on this Sunday goes all the way back to the earliest days of the Christian Church.  A Messianic Psalm (pointing to the work of the Messiah), Psalm 24 emphasizes the importance of our being eager and ready to receive the “King of Glory” as He comes to us. 

      In our First Scripture Lesson Jesus, in answering a question raised during “Holy Week” about when the day of Judgment would come, urges His disciples then and today to be constantly – spiritually – prepared for the coming of the Lord (Judgment Day), as that Day will come at a time when no one is expecting it.  

      Today’s Children’s Lesson will remind us that just as we pack a suitcase when we’re getting ready to take a trip somewhere, so paying close attention to and believing in God’s Word helps us get ready to meet Jesus, prepared either for Jesus’ return (Judgment Day) or to die and go to heaven….whichever comes first for us.

      In this morning’s Epistle Lesson Peter shows us a number of things related to the Day of the Lord (Judgement Day):  1) many people will scoff at what the Bible teaches about Christ’s return;  2) God will come, according to His own timetable;  3) [today’s emphasis] The last day will come when no one expects it, so Christians need always to be ready to meet Christ;  4) the existing heavens and earth will be laid bare;  5) God will bring into being a new heaven and a new earth;  and 6) since the end is coming, we must heed God’s gracious warning to be prepared for Jesus return and our heavenly inheritance.  

      Through today’s Gospel Lesson we will be encouraged to faithfully, patiently, eagerly, attentively, and actively wait for our Lord Jesus to come back to earth for the world’s judgment and the ultimate deliverance of the Church.

      Finally, our Sermon will wrap our up study and application of what God’s Word tells us about being spiritually ready for the Redeemer’s return.    It’s based on Romans 13:11-14.   God-enabling, we’ll strive to be prepared for Christ’s return by remaining ready for it by recognizing how wickedness has increased in our world, as well as sin’s threat to our own godliness.  We’ll also recognize our own need for repentance.  And we’ll resolve to live faithful lives before our Lord, depending daily  – not on ourselves or our goodness, but – on the merits and mercies of Christ alone for our eternal deliverance to heaven.  



Situated in the front of the church, to the right of the lectern, you’ll find an “Advent Wreath.”  It’s been our practice at Grace Lutheran to use an Advent Wreath during the Advent and Christmas seasons as a symbolic means for both preparing ourselves for the arrival of the Christ child and then joyously reflecting upon the arrival of that Savior.    The following brief history and explanation of the Advent Wreath’s symbolism is intended to help you enjoy and benefit from this traditional Christian expression.


The Advent Wreath


         The Advent wreath is a combination of two very common symbols:  light and the fir tree.   From the early centuries of Christianity it has been the practice to represent Christ by a burning candle.  The fir tree also has a long history of religious use.   One of the most popular themes for the medieval “mystery plays” revolved around the telling of the story of Paradise.  In those plays, the Garden of Eden was typically portrayed by a fir tree hung with apples.   In the Eastern churches (Eastern/Greek Orthodox) December 24th was celebrated as the Feast Day of Adam and Eve.    The custom of putting up a Paradise tree in the home on December 24th, decorated with apples, came into Europe (and the Americas) by way of the East.  In Germany there was also a custom of placing a lit Christmas candle on top of a wooden pyramid decorated with evergreen twigs.   In time the wooden pyramid was replaced by the Paradise tree, decorated with apples and lighted candles.

        No doubt the Advent wreath was suggested, at least in part, by the Christmas tree.   It seems that the Advent wreath originated a few hundred years ago among the Lutheran Christians of eastern Germany.  A wreath of evergreens, made of various sizes, was either suspended from the ceiling or placed on a table.   Four candles representing the four Sundays of Advent were fastened to the wreath.  Eventually the use of the Advent wreath became wide-spread and moved also from the home into the church.   The general symbolism of the Advent wreath lies in the growing light of the wreath, increasing each week as we approach the birthday of Jesus the Light of the world.

         The color of the candles in the Advent wreath is dictated by whatever emphasis a particular home or congregation gives to the season.   While the emphasis may change somewhat according to the sermons, the traditional emphases in Advent are those of repentance and anticipation (the Sunday sermons are generally more “up-beat” and “joyous,”  while mid-week sermons tend to be slightly more “sober” and “penitent” in character).  That’s why the altar cloths and furnishings are in the color of purple (the traditional color of repentance) throughout the Advent season.   It’s no wonder, then, that the prevalent color (three out of five) of the Advent wreath candles is purple.  

         The purple candle lit on the first Sunday in Advent is called “the Candle of Prophecy,” and symbolizes the Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Savior.   The second Advent candle (also purple) is referred to as the “Bethlehem Candle,” symbolizing the coming to earth of Jesus, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary.  The Third Advent candle (pink or rose-colored) is the “Shepherd Candle” and represents the coming of the Savior into the hearts and lives of His believers through His Holy Word.  The pink/rose color serves to remind us that a note of joy should also heard in this penitential season.  The final purple candle is the “Angel Candle,” symbolizing the final coming of the Savior in glory with all His holy angels.           The white candle at the center of the wreath is the “Christ Candle,” symbolizing the perfection of Christ, the fulfillment of prophesy, and the centrality of Jesus in our Advent preparations.   This “Christ Candle” remains unlighted during Advent in anticipation of the birth of the Savior, the Light of the world.  Advent’s penitent emphasis focuses our attention on our sins and the need for a Savior, but on Christmas Day we joyfully celebrate the birth of that Savior….and so we then light the white Christ Candle.  

            White candles also replace the purple and pink ones, and the purple altar cloths are replaced by white altar cloths with the arrival of Christmas Day.   The wreath, now with all white candles, continues to be used until the Christmas Season officially ends with the arrival of Epiphany on January 6th.  The white altar cloths continue to be used through the first Sunday of Epiphany.   The colors then change to green



Grace Lutheran Church of Northwest Arkansas

is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a church body which spans the United States and Canada, and which also operates a number of foreign missions.

Our Vision:      Extend God’s Kingdom through His Word, serving each Soul.

Our Mission:  Share the Gospel, Encourage Faith, and Prepare Souls through Worship, Education and Fellowship.


A Word Of Welcome To Our Guests . . . Good morning and welcome to Grace Lutheran Church.  Thank you for choosing to be a part of our worshiping assembly  this morning.  Whether you are a guest today or a member of this Christian family, your presence at this service is sincerely appreciated.  We pray that the time you spend here will be enjoyable and spiritually edifying, and so it is our desire to serve you in the best way we can.  If there is anything that we might do to assist you in your worship today, please speak with one of our Elders, Ushers, or our Pastor.  They will be pleased to serve you in any way they can.     Following the worship service this morning, we invite you to join those around you for some coffee, refreshments, and good conversation during our fellowship period.  If you are able, we would also be honored to have you remain after today’s fellowship time in order that you might further hear and study the Scriptures with us in one of our Bible Classes or Sunday School classes.  And, we hope that you will come back soon to again praise the Lord with us.  May God bless you and your worship of Him today.



Prayer in Preparation for Worship:   Heavenly Father, please guide me in wisdom and truth through Your Holy Spirit, as I spend this hour meditating on Your Word and rejoicing in Your limitless love for me.  Assist me in being attentive in heart and mind to Your Word, as well as to the hymns of praise, the various petitions, and the prayers of thanksgiving my voice directs toward You.  Use this worship service, O Lord, to deepen my love for You, to strengthen my trust in You, and to renew my commitment to You.  All this I ask for the sake of and in the name of Your One and only Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Amen.



The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831



Pre-service prayer                                                                                        

Pre-worship music



We Praise Our God


Welcoming and Introduction to Worship


after the greeting, the Congregation will rise


Our Psalm for Today                                                                                                                                                             Psalm 24


P:   The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,   the world and those who dwell therein.                  

C:   for He has founded it upon the seas;    and established it upon the rivers.


P:   Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?    And who shall stand in His holy place?

C:   He who has clean hands and a pure heart,      Who does not lift up his soul to what is false     And does not swear deceitfully.


P:   He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

C:   Such is the generation of those who seek Him,   +   who seek the face of the God of Jacob.


P:   Lift up your heads, O you gates;   and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

C:   Who is this King of glory?   +   The Lord strong and mighty,   +   the Lord mighty in battle.               


P:   Lift up your heads, O you gates;   And lift them up, O ancient doors,   that the King of glory may come in.

C:   Who is He, this King of glory?   The Lord of hosts — He is the King of glory!


The Opening Hymn                                                                                       Hymn 12   “Hark, the Glad Sound, the Savior Comes


1 Hark the glad sound! The Savior comes, The Savior promised long;

Let ev’ry heart prepare a throne And ev’ry voice a song.


2 He comes the captives to release, In Satan’s prison held.

The gates of brass before him burst; The iron fetters yield.


3 He comes the broken heart to bind, The bleeding soul to cure,

And with the treasures of his grace To enrich the humble poor.


4 Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace, Your welcome shall proclaim,

And heav’n’s eternal arches ring With your beloved name.


after which the Congregation will rise for


The Invocation


Pastor:             In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.


            Congregation     Amen.


We Make Confession of Our Sins To God


Pastor  Beloved in the Lord!  Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins to God our Father, asking Him, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, to grant us the forgiveness of all our sins.  Our help is in the name of the Lord.


            Congregation    Who made heaven and earth


Pastor  I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord.


            Congregation     And You forgave the iniquity of my sin



Pastor  Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto You that we are by nature sinful and unclean, and that we have sinned against You by thought, word, and deed.  Therefore we flee for refuge to Your infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Your grace, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Congregation O most merciful God, who has given Your only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us, and

                        for His sake, grant us remission of all our sins;  and by Your Holy Spirit, increase in us true knowledge of You and of Your will, and true obedience to Your Word,  to the end, that by Your grace, we may come to everlasting life;  through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Pastor              Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has had mercy upon us, and has given His only Son to die for us, and for Jesus’ sake forgives us all our sins.  To those who believe on His name, He gives the power to become the sons of God, and has promised them His Holy Spirit.  Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.   Grant this, LORD, unto us all.   Amen.

We Respond To God’s Forgiveness


Congregation  Glory be to the Father and to the Son

                        And to the Holy Ghost.

                        As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be

                        World without end.  Amen.



Pastor              Behold, people of God!  Your King comes to you; 


Congregation –            He is just and brings salvation!


Pastor –            Rejoice people of God!   Your Lord Jesus Christ has appeared and fulfilled God’s promises of old for your comfort and salvation.


Congregation –            Let us receive Him in humility and give Him the praise He deserves.


ALL:                                              Lift up Your Heads, You mighty gates

Behold, the King of Glory waits.

The King of kings is drawing near;

The Savior of the world is here.

Life and salvation He does bring

Therefore the world is glad and sings:

To God the Father raise   Your joyful songs of praise.  Amen.


Redeemer come, I open wide

My heart to You.  Here Lord abide

Oh, enter with Your saving grace;

Show me Your kind and friendly face.

Your Holy Spirit, guide us on

Until our glorious goal is won

Eternal praise and fame,  We offer to Your name.     Amen.


The Prayer For The First Sunday in Advent                                             


Stir up Your Power, Lord Jesus, and come!   +   Protect us from the dangers that threaten us because of our sins.   +   Redeem us from the devil   +   whom You conquered by Your victory on the cross,   +   for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,   +   one God, for ever and ever.   +   Amen.


after which the Congregation will be seated


We Hear God’s Word


The First Lesson                                                                                                                                               Matthew 24:42-51


42 So be alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: If the master of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 You also need to be ready for this reason: The Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect him.   45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master finds doing this when he returns. 47 Amen I tell you: He will put him in charge of all that he has. 48 But if that servant is wicked and says in his heart, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will return on a day when he does not expect it and at an hour he does not know. 51 The master will cut him in two and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                                                     II Peter 3:3-14


3 First, know this: In the last days scoffers will come with their mocking, following their own lusts. 4 They will say, “Where is this promised coming of his? For from the time that our fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have from the beginning of the creation.” 5 You see, what they are intentionally forgetting is that the heavens came into existence long ago by the word of God and that the earth came together out of the water and between the waters.  6 Through these waters the former world perished, when it was flooded with water. 7 And now, by that same word, the heavens and earth have been stored up for fire, since they are being kept until the day of judgment and the destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: For the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to do what he promised, as some consider slowness. Instead, he is patient for your sakes, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance.


10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a roar, the elements will be dissolved as they burn with great heat, and the earth and what was done on it will be burned up.  11 Therefore, since all these things will be destroyed, what kind of people ought you to be, living in holiness and godliness, 12 as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God? That day will cause the heavens to be set on fire and destroyed, and the elements to melt as they burn with great heat. 13 But according to his promise we look forward to new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.   14 Therefore, dear friends, as you look forward to these things, make every effort to be found in peace, spotless and blameless in his sight.


after which the Congregation will rise to join in confessing


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                                                     Luke 12:35-40

35 “Be dressed, ready for service, and keep your lamps burning. 36 Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the master will find watching when he comes. Amen I tell you: He will dress himself and have them recline at the table, and he will come and serve them. 38 Even if he comes in the second or third watch, they will be blessed if he finds them alert. 39 But know this: If the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you are not expecting him.”



The Apostles’ Creed


I  believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.   And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;  Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost;  Born of the virgin Mary;  Suffered under Pontius Pilate;  Was crucified, dead, and buried;  He descended into hell;  The third day He rose again from the dead;  He ascended into heaven;  And sawteeth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.   I believe in the Holy Ghost;  The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints;  The forgiveness of sins;  The resurrection of the body;  And the life everlasting.  Amen.



after which the Congregation will be seated for



The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                                                     Mark 13:32-33


32 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Watch! Be alert and pray, because you do not know when the time will come.


Are You “Packed” and Ready to Go?



The Sermon Hymn                                                                                                                             “The Savior Is Approaching”

                                                                                                  to the melody of “Away in a Manger”;   cwh 2008


The Savior is approaching.   The Promise is true

From Eden to Abram    To Isaiah too.

Christ comes, God-yet-human, Salvation to bring

In mercy amazing,   His praises we sing.


The Prophets foresaw Him – His work they revealed

In hundreds of places – Complete and detailed.

Conceived by the Spirit, True man, virgin-born

The world’s sin, He’ll bear it,    To make us His own.


He’ll come as a baby  – despised, yet adored,

And grow into manhood, Our King and our Lord.

His life He will lay down    On Calvary’s tree

Then rise on the third day    Our souls to set free.


From sin, death and Satan   Redeemed and restored,

By His grace, forgiven – We’ll live with our Lord.

Each day here on earth     We His servants will be

‘Til He takes us to heaven   For all e-ter-ni-ty.    Amen.


After which the Congregation will remain seated for


The Greeting              Grace and peace be yours in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  May the God of peace fill you with all joy in believing!   Amen.

Sermon Text                                                                                                                           Romans 13:11-14


11 And do this since you understand the present time. It is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost over, and the day is drawing near. So let us put away the deeds of darkness and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let us walk decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual sin and wild living, not in strife and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not give any thought to satisfying the desires of your sinful flesh.


It’s Time To Wake Up


following the Sermon, the Congregation will rise for



The Post-Sermon Blessing


Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, to Him to glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  Amen!



We Offer Our Gifts to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


We offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:

1) Those in the chapel can  place their offerings in the offering plates

2) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to Grace Lutheran Church (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

3) Or, go online to our website ( and use the giving option there.


At the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise

We Offer Our Prayers to the Lord


In our Prayers this morning we include:


A Prayer of Continued Support and Strength for these friends in Christ

who were recently hospitalized and who are continuing to recover at home:

JoAnn Diewock;    Lisa Pudas;   and Rudy Ryskey;


Karen Wambold (John Wambold’s sister), who lives in California

and has been placed into hospice care because of a terminal health condition;

in addition, we offer

A Special Prayer for Jennifer Hahn, who – earlier this week – received

 a divine call to serve on the staff of St Paul Lutheran School in Onalaska, WI



The Lord’s Prayer and Response


Congregation  Our Father, Who art in heaven,  Hallowed be Thy name;


Pastor  Grant Father, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed freely among us and throughout the world, and that we may live holy, Godly lives to the glory of Your name.


C:         Thy Kingdom come;

P:         Grant, Father, that the proclamation of the Gospel may bear much fruit, so that large numbers of men, women, and children from every nation and tribe may come to know and believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ.


C:         Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;

P:         Grant, Father, that we may never forget that it is Your will that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.   Grant that we may remember that we are to carry out Your will by being witnesses of Christ to the world.   Father,  may Your will be done through us!


C:         Give us this day our daily bread;

P:         Grant, Father, that we may always remember that every good gift is from above and that the earth and all that is in it are Yours.  May we also trust in Your for our daily bread.  Then we will confidently share our blessings with others and return to You a large, generous portion of the gifts You have entrusted to us.


C:         And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;

P:         Forgive us, Father, for all the times we have given offense and kept others from coming to You.  Forgive us for being so indifferent and cold to Christ’s command to preach the Gospel to every nation.  Forgive us for so frequently forgetting that Christ died for us and that we should no longer live for ourselves, as a result, but for Him who died and rose again for us.  Grant that we may also forgive those who sin against us, love our enemies,  pray for those who persecute us, and do good to those who hate us, that we might, by all means possible, lead some to Christ.


C:         And lead us not into temptation;

P:         Grant, Father, that Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh may not tempt us to neglect the supreme task of the Church.  Grant that we never squander away our time while the world rushes toward Judgement Day;  that we never waster our financial resources on the pleasures and luxuries of this life, and in so doing deny others the Bread of Life.  Heavenly Father, keep us from these and all other temptations.


C:         But deliver us from evil;

P:         Protect us, Father, from all harm and danger, but grant that we will always boldly confess our faith in Jesus no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the result may be.


C:         For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.



We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Benediction


The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

The Lord look upon you with favor , and grant you His peace.    Amen.


The Closing Hymn                                                                                                          Hymn 21 “Hosanna to the Coming Lord”


1 Hosanna to the coming Lord! Hosanna to the incarnate Word!

To Christ, Creator, Savior, King Let earth, let heav’n hosanna sing.


2 O Savior, with protecting care Abide in this your house of prayer,

Where we your parting promise claim,

Assembled in your sacred name.


3 O Advent King, our sins forgive;

Come in our lives and hearts to live,

And let our humble souls become  A temple worthy of your name.


4 Then in the last and dreadful day,

When earth and heav’n shall melt away,

Your flock, redeemed from sinful stain,

Shall swell the sound of praise again.


Silent Prayer, Announcements








This Past Week At Grace Lutheran                   

Worship Attendance: 59               Online Views:   29

Sunday School Attendance: 5    Sunday Bible Class: 24   (6 online views)   Tuesday Bible Study: 12       

Sunday Offerings:   Budgetary: $1618           Online: $780.74

Thanksgiving Day Worship Attendance:   47    Online views: 9

Budgetary Offerings:   $290          Online Offerings: $250


Serving Us Next Sunday (12-02)      Elders:   Rick Tragasz, John Johnson

Ushers:   Fred Cusanelli, Chris Roberts, Trent Schroeder

Altar Guild:   Harriet Johnson, Tina Wambold


Birthdays This Week at Grace            11/28   Nancy Larson;    

12/01 Erich Diewock;    12/02 Eric Lemmon;


Looking Ahead For Grace Lutheran Church

Today              Choir, 8:40 a.m.           Worship Service, 9:30 a.m.

                        Fellowship, 10:40    Sunday School/Bible Class 11:05 a.m.

Nov 30 (Tues) Morning Bible Class, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Dec 01 (Wed)  Soup and Sandwich Fellowship Meal 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

                        First Midweek Advent Service, (with communion) 7 p.m.

Dec 04 (Sat)     Outreach Visits, 11 a.m.

Dec 052 (Sun)  Morning Worship, (with the Lord’s Supper)  9:30 a.m.

                        Fellowship 10:45 a.m.

                        Bible Classes/Sunday School, 11:05 a.m.

We’re Looking for a More Voices … (perhaps yours???)  to be  part of our church choir – if only for the Advent/Christmas season.   We rehearse on the first three Sundays of the month from 8:40 to 9:10 a.m. For more information, please speak with Debbie Huebner.  


Do You Know Anyone….  who is not currently attending a church?   Have you prayerfully taken the opportunity to invite him/her/them to worship with you (and us) some Sunday morning?   Would you be willing to share that person’s/their name and address with us, so that we might send periodic invitations to them to visit us for worship?    If so, please speak with Pastor, as we are looking for more souls to which we can reach out with our Savior’s Gospel of love, forgiveness, and everlasting life.   Thank you for helping us do that important work for the Lord.


Today’s and Tuesday’s  Bible Classes ……..In our Sunday Bible Class we’re  studying First Corinthians.  Today we’ll work through chapters ten and eleven which focus on the Lord’s Supper.   Tuesday morning, from 10:30-11:30,    we’re studying 2 Kings 15-17.  As we do, we’ll talk about more of Judah’s and Israel’s kings…..and about the final defeat and destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.


Midweek Advent Worship Services Ahead  – As part of our congregational preparation for the celebration of our Savior’s birth, we’ll hold 3 special, midweek worship services in December.   The Advent season anticipates the coming of Christ as the Savior from sin.  Its purpose is to encourage us to penitently prepare for the celebration of His birth.   This year’s services will be on the Wednesday evenings (7:00 p.m.) of December 1, 8, and 15.    The Theme of this year’s services is “The Colors of Advent.”   Incidentally, the first midweek service will include a celebration of the Lord’s Supper.   

            In addition, preceding each service we will hold a soup and sandwich dinner.   Meals will run from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.   

            So, please join us Wednesday evening for food for your body and your soul.   …..  And don’t forget to invite (and, if needed, to bring) a fellow Grace member and some friends to worship with you and us.


The Upcoming Edition of “Meditations”, our WELS’ daily devotional

booklet is available through our congregation to everyone who

worships here.  The November 28-February 26, 2022 edition can be

found on the table in the front entry.  It covers three months’ worth of devotions for time well-spent in God’s Word.    Please take your copy home today and put it to good, godly use in the weeks ahead.


Please Do Keep In Your Prayers…..our sister (and grace school teacher) Jennifer Hahn as she deliberates the divine call she received this past week.   She is being asked to consider where she will serve our Lord in the future….whether here in Arkansas, or as part of the staff of St Paul

Lutheran School in Onalaska, WI.


A SPECIAL THANK YOU….To those who yesterday decorated our church for Christmas:    Robert Bontke;   Debbie Huebner;   Dale Johannes;   John and Harriet Johnson;    Rachel and Roger Kattestad;    Kent Mayer;   Cynthia Tragasz;   plus John and Tina Wambold;


Fellowship Volunteers Needed    Would you be willing to volunteer to prepare after-worship coffee, drinks, and light snacks?   A sign-up poster is on the fellowship hall bulletin board.  We need volunteers for three of the four Sundays this month (December).  A reimbursement of $25 per week for expenses is available to help defray costs.  (It comes through our “donation jar.”)