The Third Sunday in Advent       December 11, 2022

Does It Matter Who Jesus Is?

      What do YOU think John the Baptist meant in his question about Jesus”   “Are You the Coming One or should we wait for someone else?”

……. If you pose that question to almost any theologian-pastor, or to just a good Bible student, the person to whom you’re speaking will probably have a strong opinion.   Even if you don’t personally, nearly everybody else does.   Some will say, “John was struggling with his faith, doubting who Jesus really was.”   Others will say “John never doubted, but wanted to make sure that his own disciples (which he sent with that question to Jesus) would have their faith fortified by what Jesus would say.”    A few people also probably will straddled the fence and say, “It’s a tough call.   Maybe he doubted.  Maybe John didn’t doubt.   Who knows for sure besides John and Jesus?” 

      “Are You the Coming One or should we wait for someone else?”

I’m personally not certain that there is a definitive, absolute answer as to why John asked that of Jesus.    After all, John had already publicly acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah and the Lamb of God Who takes away the world’s sin.   As he watched the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus in the form of a Dove, John heard the voice of the Father speaking at Jesus’ baptism “this is My Son Whom I love.   Listen to Him.”   Could the Father’s affirmation of His Son really have left John doubt about Who Jesus truly was?   If I had to lean in one direction or the other, I want to think that John was asking this question for the benefit of his own disciples – who might have had their own doubts about Jesus….now that their own teacher was in prison (with his earthly future not looking very promising.)    On the other hand, a good number of theologians, commentators and preachers are quite insistent that no matter who confident John had originally been that Jesus was the Promised Savior, his time in prison and (in John’s absence from the public scene) Jesus’ “failure” to aggressively lead a religious (and perhaps political) reformation could have led John to doubt.    Others suggest that John didn’t doubt at all, but was trying to goad Jesus into acting and speaking more aggressively, using His role as the Promised

Messiah to lead that reformation now….and possibly to get rid of the Romans too and establish an independent Davidic kingdom of Judah again.   

      As I noted earlier, on this side of heaven I’m not sure anyone of us, 20 centuries after it was first asked, will ever know for sure what John meant.    I’m convinced that’s not even the point of the lesson that the Holy Spirit is teaching us Matthew 11:2-11.    You see, too many people focus their minds on dissecting John’s question…..when what they ought to be focusing on is Jesus’ answer – for THAT is the main emphasis in today’s Gospel Lesson/Sermon Text.  

      When John’s disciples asked, “Are You the One?”,  Jesus’ answer, essentially, was: “Yes, I absolutely am the Messiah…..My message and My miracles prove it – just as God’s prophets of old predicted.   But what matters is, are you going to believe it…and believe in Me?

      This morning, on this third Sunday in Advent, it’s been customary over the centuries for Christians – as they prepare to celebrate Christ’s coming – to ponder….and affirmatively, Scripturally answer….John’s Question to Jesus: “Are You the Messiah?”   We’re going to do that this morning under the above-stated theme “Does It Matter Who Jesus Is?”    May God bless us as we endeavor to do that today!

The Importance of “Christology” – the study of what the

Bible teaches about Who and What Jesus Christ really Is


      The field of “Christology” is that part of Christian theology (what the Bible teaches about God) which studies what Scripture says about Jesus Christ as the God-man and Savior, with His truly human nature and His truly divine nature joined inseparably in one person.   In fact, one full year of the dogmatics (Biblical doctrine) training which future pastors of our Synod receive during four year’s worth of ministerial instruction at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is devoted to the study of Christology.   And that time is well spent, because a thorough-going understanding of the two natures of Christ is critical not only for every pastor’s and any church body’s orthodoxy (faithful teaching), but also for the salvation every individual Christian.  

      Whether or not you’ve ever studied “Christology” in great detail, you and I do confess the “fundamentals” of orthodox Christian Christology each time we join in the Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds when we say, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary….”  

      Down through 20 centuries, the Christian Church has dealt with a number of heresies revolving around “Christology.”  Arianism, Monarchianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Eutychianism, and Apollinariamism are just a few (you can talk with Pastor after worship today if you’d like a little more information on these heresies…..).  Essentially, whether blatantly or subtly, every one of them either denied the true deity of Christ (the first three), or the true humanity of Christ (the latter three).  Even today, not only in cult groups like Christian Science, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism, but in so-called “liberal Christian” organizations, and even in many “non-denominational” (read: “non-doctrinal”) congregations, the faithful, Biblical truth regarding the two “natures” of Christ – that He is truly God and truly human, in One person – continues to be compromised, challenged, doubted, and rejected by many… the eternal harm of their souls!

      By God’s grace, we accept, by faith, what our human reason cannot comprehend.  Through the Spirit’s enabling, we trust what God’s Word teaches about the person and the work of Christ.  And because of our God-given faith in these truths, we can be absolutely certain of our salvation, depending for our forgiveness completely on everything that Jesus accomplished for us as the God-man and the Savior of all sinners. 

Today’s Scripture Lessons

            Our Gospel Lesson, which also serves as today’s Sermon Text, presents us with that important question John the Baptist (the forerunner of Christ, and who was in prison at the time) had his disciples ask Jesus regarding whether or not He was the Promised Messiah.   As we noted earlier, whether John personally had his doubts, or whether he had his disciples ask this because they had some doubts about the mission and ministry of Jesus is difficult to determine.   In the end, it doesn’t matter who doubted.  What matters is Jesus’ answer.  And that should erase all doubt.  Quoting and referring to four different Messianic passages from Isaiah, Jesus indicates that His miracles and His message are the fulfillment of these Messianic prophesies.   And so, they give us this definitive answer to John’s question:   “Yes, I am the promised Messiah, the world’s Savior from sin.   Now, believe it!”  

      This morning’s Old Testament Lesson is Isaiah 35.   It points ahead to the Last Day, as well as to the amazing blessings that God’s people will experience on the other side of this life.   All of this is possible because of the Gospel, which is the result of the coming Messiah’s work of redemption and judgment.   Jesus, in today’s Gospel Lesson/Sermon Text cites portions of this which describe the Messiah’s work as proof that He is the coming Savior.

      Our Epistle Lesson describes our deliverance from sin’s domination through Christ, Who has reconciled us to Himself by His redemptive work as our Savior.   Paul affirms here Who Jesus is:   the almighty, eternal God, and so also the Head of the Church, of which we are a part through faith in the Gospel.

      In today’s Children’s Lesson the Lord inspired Moses to prophesy that in the future He will send a special Prophet among prophets who will speak His Word, and to whom all Israel (all believers) must listen.  That Prophet was none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.   

Situated in the front of the church, to the right of the lectern, is an “Advent Wreath.”  It’s been our practice at Grace Lutheran Church to make use of 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, Who is the Light of the world and our souls.    The following brief history and explanation of the Advent Wreath’s symbolism is intended to help you better 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.   Evidently 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.  In addition to its continued use in the home, it found its way 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 either in the color of blue or purple (the traditional colors 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/blue.  

           In our church 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.



Prayer in Preparation for Worship:  


In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

      I thank You my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, for keeping me through the night from all harm and danger.  Keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You.  Into Your hands I commit my body and soul and all things.  Let your holy angel be with me, that the Devil may have no power over me.   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.

Pre-service prayer

Pre-worship music                                                                                                                                            

We Praise Our God

Greeting and Introduction to Worship


after the greeting, the Congregation will rise


The Invocation

We make our beginning

In the name…. of the Father,

Who gave His Son into death for us and raised Him in glory on the third day;

And of the Son,

Who laid down His life only to take it up again on the third day;

And of the Holy Spirit

 through Whom Christ was made alive,  Who has worked saving faith in our hearts, Who lives in us now through the Word,   and Who will one day give life to our mortal bodies. 


The Psalm for this Morning                                                                                 selected verses of Psalm 111

P:   Praise the LORD.    

C:  I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart   +   in the company of the upright in the congregation.


P    Great are the works of the LORD;   studied by all who delight in them.

C:  Full of splendor and majesty is His work,  +   and His righteousness endures forever.  


P:   He has caused His wondrous works be remembered;   the LORD is gracious and merciful.

C:  The works of His hands are faithful and just;   +   all His precepts are trustworthy. 


P:   They are established for ever and ever, to be preformed with faithfulness and uprightness.

C:  He sent redemption for His people;   +   He has commanded His covenant forever —   Holy and Awesome is His name.  

P:   The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;   all those who practice it have a good understanding.

C:  His praise endures forever.



after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Opening Hymn                                                                     Hymn 19  “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You”


1 O Lord, how shall I meet you,   How welcome you aright?

Your people long to greet you,    My Hope, my heart’s Delight.

O Jesus, let your word be    A lamp to light my way,

To show me how to please you,   To guide me ev’ry day.


2 Love caused your incarnation;    Love brought you down to me.

Your thirst for my salvation    Procured my liberty.

Oh, love beyond all telling    That led you to embrace

In love, all love excelling,   Our lost and fallen race!


3 Rejoice, then, you sad-hearted,    Who sit in deepest gloom,

Who mourn o’er joys departed    And tremble at your doom.

Despair not; he is near you,    He’s standing at the door

Who best can help and cheer you    And bids you weep no more.


4 Sin’s debt, that fearful burden,    Let not your souls distress;

Your guilt the Lord will pardon    And cover by his grace.

He comes, for you procuring    The peace of sin forgiv’n,

His children thus securing    A heritage in heav’n.


5 He comes to judge the nations,    A terror to his foes,

A light of consolations,    And blessed hope to those

Who love the Lord’s appearing.    O glorious Sun, now come,

Send forth your beams most cheering,    And guide us safely home.


after which the Congregation will rise for


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor      God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.

Congregation       Holy and merciful Father,   I confess that I am by nature sinful   and that I have disobeyed You in my thoughts, words, and actions;    I have done what is evil in Your sight   and have failed to do

 what is good.    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment, both now and for eternity.     But I am truly sorry for all my sins    and trusting in the perfect life     and innocent death of my Savior, Jesus Christ,     I plead:    God have mercy on me, a sinner.



                                    Lord have mercy on us;    Christ have mercy on us;    Lord have mercy on us.



Pastor      Our gracious Lord and Master has shown us His mercy:   He has given His one and only Son to save us from all our sins.    And now, having humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before Almighty God, be

 strengthened in your faith, mindful that our Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but that everyone should come to repentance, turning from their evil ways and receiving from Him everlasting life.    God has commanded His ministers to declare His forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent.   Therefore, addressing you as a called servant of Christ,  and according to His command and under His authority,   I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Pastor      “Rejoice in the LORD always;   I will say it again, rejoice!    Let your gentleness be evident to all;   the LORD is near!

Congregation       Restore us, O Lord God Almighty;    make Your face shine upon us that we may be saved!

Pastor      You are forgiving and good, O LORD, abounding in love to all who call on You.

Congregation       Sing for joy to God our Strength;     Shout aloud to the God of our salvation



1 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 will bring;    Therefore rejoice and gladly sing.

To God the Father raise   Your joyful songs of praise.


2 The King is born in poverty,    His chariot is humility,

His kingly crown is holiness,    His scepter, pity in distress.

The end of all our woe He brings;    Therefore the earth is glad and sings.

To Christ the Savior raise    Your grateful hymns of praise.


Redeemer, come!   I open wide    My heart to You;   here, Lord, abide!

Let me Your inner presence feel,    Your grace and love in me reveal;

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 Third Sunday in Advent                                                                                                 

O Almighty God,    Father in heaven, +    mercifully hear the prayers of Your people,   +  that as we rejoice in the celebration   +   of Your only-begotten Son’s first coming    +  to dwell among us as one of us   +   and to give His life for us,   +   so may we also joyfully receive Your Son without fear   +   when He comes again in all His glory   +   to redeem His Church and to judge the world.   +   All this we ask   +   in the name of Jesus Christ,   +  Your Son our Lord   +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit   +   One God,  forever and ever.   +   Amen. 


after which the Congregation will be seated

We Hear God’s Word


The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                                Isaiah 35

The wilderness and the desert will be glad.   The wasteland of the Arabah will rejoice and blossom like a crocus.  2 It will bloom lavishly, and there will be great joy and singing.  The glory of Lebanon will be given to it. It will be excellent like Carmel and Sharon.  They will see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make the shaky knees steady.  4 Tell those who have a fearful heart:   Be strong.   Do not be afraid.    Look! Your God will come with vengeance.   With God’s own retribution, He will come and save you.

5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unplugged.  6 The crippled will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy.  Waters will flow in the wilderness, and streams in the wasteland.  7 The burning sand will become a pool, and in the thirsty ground there will be springs of water.  There will be grass, reeds, and rushes where the haunts of jackals once lay.  8 A highway will be there, a road that will be called the Holy Way.  The impure will not walk there.  It will be reserved for those who walk in that holy way.  Wicked fools will not wander onto it.  9 No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious animal go up on it.  They will not be found there, but only the redeemed will walk there.  10 Then those ransomed by the Lord will return.  They will enter Zion with a joyful shout, and everlasting joy will crown their heads.  Happiness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                              Colossians 1:13-23

13 The Father rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14 in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation, 16 for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and all things hold together in Him.

18 He is also the Head of the body, the Church. He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He might have the highest rank. 19 For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself (whether things on earth or in heaven) by making peace through the blood of His cross.

21 At one time, you were alienated from God and hostile in your thinking as expressed through your evil deeds. 22 But now Christ reconciled you in His body of flesh through death, in order to present you holy, blameless, and faultless before Him— 23 if you continue steadfast and firm in faith, without being moved away from the hope of the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a minister.

after which the Congregation will rise for

The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                 Matthew 11:1-15

2 While John was in prison, he heard about the things Christ was doing. He sent two of his disciples 3 to ask Him, “Are You the Coming One or should we wait for someone else?”

4 Jesus answered them, “Go, report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the gospel is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the one who does not take offense at Me.”

7 As these two were leaving, Jesus began to talk to the crowds about John. “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? No, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 So what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you! And he is much more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You.’ 11 Amen I tell you: Among those born of women there has not appeared anyone greater than John the Baptist. Yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been advancing forcefully and forceful people are seizing it. 13 In fact, all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 If you are willing to receive it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.



after which the Congregation will rise to join in confessing


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 sitteth 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.



The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                      Deuteronomy 18:15


The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among you, from your brother Israelites. Listen to Him.


Why Should We Listen To Jesus?


after which the Congregation will be seated for

The Sermon Hymn                                                                            Hymn 17  “God’s Own Son Most Holy”


1 God’s own Son most holy   Came a servant lowly,

Came to live among us,    Came to suffer for us,

Bore the cross to save us,    Hope and freedom gave us.


2 Still he comes within us;    Still his voice would win us

From the sins that hurt us,    Would to truth convert us

From our foolish errors    Ere he comes in terrors.


3 Thus, if we have known him    And will not disown him

Nor have loved him coldly    But will trust him boldly,

He will then receive us,    Heal us, and forgive us.


4 Those who then are loyal    Find a welcome royal.

Come, then, O Lord Jesus,    From our sins release us.

Let us here confess you    Till in heav’n we bless you.

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                                                                                                                           Matthew 11:1-15

today’s Gospel Lesson

Jesus, Who Are You, Really?


following the Sermon, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED 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 and Prayers to the Lord

Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.

   However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash) to the church address

 (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can also donate on our website:

the Congregation will please rise as the offerings are brought to the altar

Today’s Responsive Prayer


P  Almighty and merciful God, as we contend with life’s troubles, and the sinfulness that plagues our thinking and actions, keep us ever mindful that the day of our eternal rescue is approaching.    Spiritually strengthen us, therefore, so that we will not be anxious about anything, but rather – that in everything by our prayers and petitions, with thanksgiving we might continue to confidently present all our requests to You, O Lord as we look forward to our eternal future in heaven.

C Lord Jesus Christ, +   we pray for Your Church throughout the world,   + for our Synod, and for this congregation,   +    that being encouraged by Your first coming   +    and longing for Your glorious return on the Last Day,   +    we might preserve Your Word among us   +   persevering in its truth and faithfulness. +     Enable each of us to be bold in our faith, +    so that we might confidently proclaim the Good News  of new life,   +   peace,   +    and salvation through faith in You alone.

P   We further seek Your blessing upon our Synod’s worker training institutions, high schools, and grade schools, that through them students might be strengthened in the Christian faith by correct and applicable teaching of Your Holy Word in all its truth and purity, thereby giving them opportunities to grow day by day in knowledge, grace and godliness, so that they might be fully equipped for faithful service to You, O Lord, wherever and whenever You choose to use them, and – at the end of their days here – receive eternal life in heaven through faith in You.

C We also pray for our President, +   our Governor,   +   and all who make, administer and judge our laws for the common good,   +     that they will reward those who do well,   +    punish those who do evil,   +    protect the unborn and the weak,   +    command the armed forces of our nation with wisdom,   +     and guide our nation successfully and safely into the future.

P   Heavenly Father, we implore Your mercy on behalf of all who are contending with health and other personal problems.  Use the challenges and difficult days they are facing to draw them closer to You, the God Who, in all things, works for the good of those who love Him. 


C We further seek Your comfort and blessing   +  for those in our church and immediate families, + as well as in our nation and in our community +    who are hungry, hurting, and without hope.   + Fill    Them with confidence in Your power and love,   +   they might – in Your own appointed, good time –    +    receive all that they need to support body and life,   +     as well as that they might find joy and purpose    +    in the earthly circumstances into which You,   +     in Your wisdom and mercy, have placed them.

P   Lord God, heavenly Father, above all else we thank You for sending Your Son into this world to fulfill Your promises of old to deliver our human race from the damnable effects of our sins.  Through Your Spirit working in the Means of Grace, grow us in our faith and fill us with a zeal for Your Word and Your work, along with the eagerness to serve You wherever You place us.   Keep us and all others in Your Church ever faithful to You, so that we might remain heirs of Your eternal kingdom.   Also hear us, dear Father, as we take a few moments to silently offer You our personal petitions and praises.

A Moment for Silent Prayer  

P:  And finally, with all our prayers being offered in Jesus’ name, we also join in that special prayer which has been given to us by our Savior:

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.


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 with favor upon you, and give you His peace.    Amen.


The Closing Hymn                                                                                        “Come, O Long-Expected Jesus”

Come, O long-expected Jesus,   Born to set Your people free;

From our sins and fears release us    By Your death on Calvary.

Israel’s Strength and Consolation,    Hope to all the earth impart,

Dear Desire of ev’ry nation,   Joy of ev’ry longing heart.


Born Your people to deliver,    Born a child and yet a King,

Born to reign in us forever     Now Your gracious kingdom bring.

By Your own eternal Spirit    Rule in all our hearts alone;

By Your all-sufficient merit     Raise us to Your glorious throne.    Amen.



Last Week at Grace         Sunday  worship: 60     Online views: 20     

Bible Class: 26       Sunday School: 3       Tuesday Bible Study: 12     

Midweek Advent Service 32   Online views: 6

Sunday Budgetary: $ 5073    Online: $390      Midweek Offerings:   $1247


This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Today                          Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m,    Fellowship, 10:40 am                     Bible Class/Sunday School 11:05am          

                                    Confirmation Class, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday                      Tuesday Morning Bible Class, 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday     Soup and Sandwich fellowship meal, 6-6:45 p.m.

                                    Midweek Advent worship service, 7 p.m.

Saturday                     Women’s Advent Tea, noon to 2 p.m.

Sunday                            Morning Worship with the Lord’s Supper, 9:30 a.m.    Fellowship Time, 10:45 a.m.    

                                    Bible Class/Sun School, 11:05 a.m.                 Youth Confirmation Class, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.


Birthdays This Week  12/14 – Kim Nelson;   12/17 Rose Diesel

Do You Know Anyone….  who is not currently attending a church?   Have you prayerfully invited 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 always 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.

Women’s Advent Tea   Ladies, we hope that you will choose to participate in this year’s Women’s Advent Tea, that will be held on next Saturday, December 17th.   It will be held from noon to 2 p.m.   Please be a part of this special, spiritual/fellowship opportunity. 

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Worship Services     Please join us for worship on Christmas Eve (Saturday, December 24th) at 7:00 p.m. as we close our out Advent preparations through a special Christmas Eve service.   The next morning, (Sunday, December 25th), we’ll return at 9:30 a.m. for the festival celebration of Christ’s nativity.  This service will include the singing of some very traditional and meaning-filled Christmas hymns.   We’re looking forward to joining with you in these special observances of Jesus’ birth. – And please don’t forget to invite those of your family and friends who don’t have a church home of their own to come and celebrate our Savior’s birth with us!

Our Third and Final Midweek Advent Worship Service will be held THIS WEDNESDAY !!!  – As we do each year, in 2022 we’re holding special, midweek worship services during December.   The Advent season anticipates the coming to earth of Christ as our Savior from sin.   Its purpose is to encourage both repentance and an eager anticipation to celebrate Christ’s birth.  This year’s services are Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m..   We have one more of them left, this Wednesday, December 14th.   The Theme of this year’s services is “Waiting for the Lord.”   This week we’ll consider the patient and trusting faith of Joseph, as He waited for the birth of Mary’s Son (and his step-son), Jesus.   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.

Church “Cookie Exchange” TODAY  – Our annual “Cookie Exchange” happens today in our gym.  THANK YOU to everyone who made cookies, and to our women’s group for organizing it.   Second, please consider “acquiring” a few cookies today, as well as making a donation for them (going to our benevolence fund) occurs one week from today.  



Benevolence/Food Pantry Appeal …… God has blessed us all in many ways – particularly Spiritually.  For most God’s “goodness” includes an adequate supply of the material things we need, with much left over.  But for some, earthly blessings aren’t as abundant, and so they have material needs that we, as fellow Christians, can help alleviate through our benevolent gifts.   We’re currently restocking our food pantry to help serve people in need.  Up through Christmas Day, we’ll have a food barrel in the entryway in which you can place any donations to our food pantry.   Food items needed include: soups, canned meats and meals (like spaghetti o’s, ravioli), canned vegetables, and juice.  Monetary gifts for our benevolence fund are also greatly appreciated.

“Angels of Grace” Tree in the Lobby  – Every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas we put up and “angel tree” with special needs and requests “angels” on our tree – opportunities for us, as a “church family” to give special gifts to others in our congregation who have a variety of personal and special needs.    We hope that those of you who can, will respond with your gifts of love, concern and encouragement.   (……..And for any questions, please speak with Pastor.)

            What to do………Please take one or more of the angels off the tree (there are 49 of them).  They are “color-coded” by category and responsibility (see below).  Inside each envelope is a numbered gift suggestion.   Please try to satisfy that need during the coming two weeks.  With the number displayed prominently on the outside for identification, please bring your gift(s) by Sunday, December 18th, leaving it in the Pastor’s office.  He will see to it that they are distributed in the days leading up to Christmas.  

            Gift/Need Color Code…….Blue    General Needs ($25+ gift card & food gift);    Orange – Special/ General Need (larger monetary gifts….$40 and up);     Green – Special “Someone” (male or female gift, & food gift;    Purple  Shut-in Gift (card/plant-poinsettia/food snack/gift);       Pink – Special Health Issue (encouraging card;  plant/Poinsettia, and food snack-gift);     and Yellow – Special Need – children or family (gift cards for Christmas gifts/help with a bill).  God bless your kindness and love.