The Blessing of Repenting


The secular world began its Christmas preparations months ago, when Christmas

 gift items and holiday decorations started filling up local store shelves.   Individuals are also making their personal preparations for the celebration of Christmas as they “get into the spirit of the season” by decorating their homes with lights and other festive trimmings, by putting back into commission the tapes, albums, and CDs of their favorite Christmas carols, and by beginning their quests for that perfect Christmas gift for (you fill in the name)….?

        Still, for us as Christians, Christmas dare never be exclusively, or even primarily, a commercial, material, or emotional event.   It is, and must remain, a Spiritual celebration, focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus Christ, the Baby of Bethlehem who was born to die for us all.  It was His coming to earth as our Savior from sin which provides us with the ultimate reason for celebration and joy during this special season.

        Our worship service this morning, then, will concentrate on one of the essential aspects of our Christian Christmas preparations:  our personal repentance of all of our sins of thought, word, and action.  It was, after all, our sins that necessitates Christ’s Advent (coming) to be our Redeemer.


Today’s Scripture Lessons

        Today’s Psalm of the Day is one of the seven so-called “Penitential Psalms” (the others being Psalms 6, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143).  In it David especially rejoices in God’s forgiveness of his sins, but he also recounts the spiritual misery he endured when he, at first, tried to ignore and hide his sinfulness.  

      In this morning’s Old Testament Lesson Isaiah prophesies about the fore-runner of the Savior (John the Baptist), who would prepare the hearts of the people for Christ’s arrival through his message of repentance.   

      Through today’s Epistle Lesson Paul gives us a proper definition of true repentance:   genuine “godly sorrow” over sin which, in turn, produces following “fruits” of repentance:  earnestness, eagerness to clear oneself, righteous indignation and alarm over against sin, a longing for the Lord, concern for souls, and readiness to see that divine justice is done.  

      Our Gospel Lesson finds Jesus warning His hearers about the dire consequences (that is, everlasting damnation in hell) of impenitence.   In the parable which follows His point is that eventually God must cut down every tree (individual) which does not produce the fruits of true repentance.  

      The Children’s Lesson points out the difference between Godly sorrow over our sins and insincere, worldly sorrow. 

      Finally, today’s Sermon Text looks at the matter of repentance as a necessary and proper preparation for the Savior’s coming.  This is the message John the Baptist proclaimed to the Jews of his day and to all believers of every age, including us.


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.


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



Prayer in Preparation for WorshipAlmighty God, You  gave Your One and Only Son both as a Sacrifice for all my sins and also as an Example of godly living for me.    In Your mercy enable me to always regard these blessings with gratitude, and empower me to daily   follow in the footsteps of my Savior through the godly life I endeavor to lead.   This morning, as I meditate on Your Word, give me a receptive and an accepting heart, so that I can faithfully apply to my life Your instructions concerning Your management of my life.  In particular, help me to recognize my sins more quickly, and to genuinely repent of them before You.   Through Your Word, also please continue to encourage me through Your assurance of my forgiveness and salvation in Christ, and give me the confidence to believe that in everything You are working for my earthly and eternal good, now and always.   In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.


Pre-service prayer                                                                                                                                              

Pre-worship music


We Praise Our God


Welcoming and Introduction to Worship


Our Psalm for Today                                                                                                                          Psalm 32


How blessed is the person whose rebellion is forgiven, +   whose sin is covered.    +  How blessed is the person whose guilt the Lord does not charge against him, +  in whose spirit there is no deceit.


When I kept silent, my bones wasted away as I groaned all day long.   +

For day and night your hand was heavy on me.    +   My moisture was dried up by the droughts of summer.   +   I acknowledged my sin to You,   +  and I did not cover up my guilt.   +   I said, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord,”   +   and You forgave the guilt of my sin.    + Because of this, let everyone who receives favor pray to You    +   at a time when You may be found.   Surely when the mighty waters overflow,  they will not reach him.    + 


You are my hiding place.   +   You will protect me from distress.    +   You will surround me with shouts of deliverance.   +  


I will make you wise.    +   I will instruct you in the way that you should go.    +   I will guide you, keeping My eye on you.     +  Do not be like a horse or a mule, which has no understanding.   +   Its mouth must be controlled by a bit and bridle,   +   or else it will not come to you.  


Many are the sorrows of the wicked,   +  but mercy will surround those who trust in the Lord.    +     Rejoice in the Lord and celebrate, all you righteous,   +  and shout joyfully, all you upright in heart.


The Opening Hymn                                                                                                                            Hymn 19

                                                                                                                       “O Lord, How Shall I Meet You”


after which the Congregation will rise for


The Invocation


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


            Congregation   (Sung)    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    (Sung)   Who made heaven and earth.  



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


            Congregation    (Sung) And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.



Congregation       O Almighty God, merciful Father,    +    I a poor miserable sinner confess unto You all my sins and

iniquities   +   with which I have ever offended You   +   and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment.   +    But I am heartily sorry for them,    +    and sincerely repent of them,   +   and I pray You   +    In Your boundless mercy,    +    and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death    +   of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ,    +   to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor sinful being.



Pastor      Upon this, your confession, I, by virtue of my office as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace

of God unto you all, and in the place of and according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.



We Respond To God’s Forgiveness

(Sung)                         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 –    “Rejoice, people of God!   See your King is coming 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 glory He deserves.


                        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.


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 Second Sunday in Advent                                                                                              


Stir up, O Lord, Your power,   +   and come, with Your great might, to strengthen us   +   that by the help of Your grace,   +   whatever is hindered by our sins   +   may be swiftly accomplished through Your mercy   +   and to Your satisfaction;   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, for ever and ever.   +   Amen.



after which the Congregation will be seated



We Hear God’s Word


The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                          Isaiah 40:1-8


1 Comfort, comfort My people, says your God.   2 Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call out to her.   Her warfare really is over.    Her guilt is fully paid for.   Yes, she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.  3 A voice is calling out:   In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord. In the wasteland make a level highway for our God.   4 Every valley will be raised up, and every mountain and hill will be made low.   The rugged ground will become level, and the rough places will become a plain.  5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh together will see it.     Yes, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.   6 A voice was saying, “Cry out!”  And I said, “What shall I cry out?”   All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like a wildflower in the countryside.  7   Grass withers, flowers fade, when the breath of the Lord blows on them.   Yes, the people are grass. 8   Grass withers, flowers fade, but the Word of our God endures forever.



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                        II Corinthians 7:8-13a


8 For even if I caused you sorrow with my letter, I do not regret it (even though I did regret it, for I see that my letter caused you sorrow—yet only for a little while). 9 Now I rejoice, not because you were made to feel sorrow, but because this sorrow resulted in repentance. Yes, you were made sorry in a godly way. So you were not harmed in any way by us. 10 In fact, godly sorrow produces repentance, which leads to salvation, leaving no regret. On the other hand, worldly sorrow produces death.

11 Yes, look what godly sorrow produced in you: what diligence, what eagerness to clear yourself, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what correction! In every way you proved yourselves to be pure in this matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not because of the one who did what was wrong, or because of the one who was harmed by it. I wrote instead so that your genuine concern for us would be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 For that reason we have been comforted.


after which,  the Congregation will rise for


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                         Luke 13:1-9


At that time there were some present who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 He answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered these things? 3 I tell you, no. But unless you repent, you will all perish too. 4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse sinners than all the people living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no. But unless you repent, you will all perish too.”   6 He told them this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it, but he did not find any. 7 So he said to the gardener, ‘Look, for three years now I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and I have found none. Cut it down. Why even let it use up the soil?’ 8 But the gardener replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. 9 If it produces fruit next year, fine. But if not, then cut it down.’”


after which the Congregation will join in confessing


The 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 Ghost 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 sitteth on the right hand of the Father;    +   And he shall come again with glory,  +  to judge both the quick and the dead;   +   Whose Kingdom shall have no end.    +    And I believe in the Holy Ghost,   +   The Lord and Giver of Life,   +   Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,   +   Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,   +   Who spake 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.

after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                        II Corinthians 7:10


Godly sorrow produces repentance, which leads to salvation, leaving no regret. On the other hand, worldly sorrow produces death.


“Are You Sorry you sinned?”

  Or “Are You Sorry you got caught?”



The Sermon Hymn                                                                                                                             Hymn 16

                                                                                                                 On Jordan’s Bank, the Baptist’s Cry


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 3:1-12


In those days, John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, 2 “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is near!” 3 Yes, this is he of whom this was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:


A voice of one crying out in the wilderness,  “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.” 


4 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan were going out to him. 6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit in keeping with repentance! 9 Do not think of saying to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. 10 Already the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I baptize you with water for repentance. But the One Who comes after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing shovel is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor. He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”


Be Sure To Include “Repentance”

In Your Christmas Preparations This Year


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;

and, also for

Dan Beck, who has learned that he has pancreatic cancer, and will

soon be undergoing surgery in Kansas City;

also for

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 Prayers for Today


The Lord’s Prayer      


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 Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


Pastor: The Lord be with you.


      Congregation:   (Sung)   And also with you.



Pastor: Lift up your hearts


      Congregation:   (Sung)   We lift them up to the Lord



Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God


      Congregation:    (Sung)   It is good and right so do to.


Pastor: It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks, O Lord, Holy Father, almighty, everlasting God, through Jesus

Christ, our Lord, Whose way John the Baptist prepared when he called people to repentance and pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. 

      Therefore, with angels and archangel, and all the company of heaven, we praise Your holy name and join their glorious song:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Heavenly hosts   Heaven and earth are full of Your glory

Hosanna!   Hosanna!    Hosanna in the highest!   Blessed is He.   Blessed is He.

Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord. 

Hosanna!   Hosanna!    Hosanna in the highest!



The Consecration of the Communion Elements


The Peace


Pastor: The peace of the Lord be with you always


      Congregation:   (Sung)   Amen.



The Distribution of the Elements



The Distribution Hymns


                                                                                             Hymn 65  “When Sinners See Their Lost Condition”

                                                                                                                                    “Your Table I Approach”


1 Your table I approach;   Dear Savior, hear my prayer.

Let not an unrepentant heart   Prove hurtful to me there.


2 Lord, I confess my sins   And mourn their wretched bands;

A contrite heart is sure to find    Forgiveness at Your hands.


3 Your body and Your blood,    Once slain and shed for me,

Are taken at Your table, Lord,    In blest reality.


4 Search not how this takes place,    This wondrous mystery;

God can accomplish vastly more    Than what we think could be.


5 O grant, most blessed Lord,   That earth and hell combined

May not about this Sacrament   Raise doubt within my mind.


6 Oh, may I never fail   To thank You day and night

For Your true body and true blood,   O God, my peace and light.



We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


at the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation will rise for


The Closing Prayer  –  Pastor


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 323   “Almighty Father, Bless The Word”


Silent Prayer, Announcements,  Postlude 




This Past Week At Grace Lutheran                   

Worship Attendance: 67               Online Views:   12

Sunday School Attendance: 5    Sunday Bible Class: 23   (6 online views)   Tuesday Bible Study: 8       

Sunday Offerings:   Budgetary: $5104           Online: $90.71

Midweek Service Attendance:  37   Communed: 26    Online views: 10

Budgetary Offerings:   $262       YouTube Ministry:   $40

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

Ushers:   Fred Cusanelli, Chris Roberts, Trent Schroeder

Altar Guild:   Harriet Johnson, Tina Wambold


Birthdays This Week           12/05 Mikayla Carr;       12/07 Kent Mayer

12/07 Robert Bontke;    12/07 Brady Hesgard   12/08 Cynthia Tragasz

12/08 Christine Quinlan;    12/09 Frank Giardino


Looking Ahead For Grace Lutheran Church


Today  Choir 8:40 am   Worship Service, with the Lord’s Supper 9:30 am

                  Fellowship, 10:45    Sunday School/Bible Class 11:05 a.m.

Dec 07 (Tues) Morning Bible Class, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Dec 08 (Wed)  Soup and Sandwich Fellowship Meal 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

                  Second Midweek Advent Service, 7 p.m.

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

Dec 12  (Sun)   Choir, 8:40 a.m.          Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m.

                  Fellowship 10:45 am   Bible Classes/Sunday School, 11:05 am


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….not currently attending a church?   Have you prayerfully taken the opportunity to invite him/her/them to worship with you (and us) on Sunday or Wednesday evening?  Could you share that person’s name and address with us, so we might also encourage him/her to visit us for worship?   If so, please speak with Pastor.  Thank you for helping us do that important work for the Lord.


Today’s and Tuesday’s  Bible Classes ……..In Bible Class today we’re  studying 1 Corinthians.  We’ll work through chapter 11, which focuses on appropriate conduct in worship, women’s roles in the Church, and the Lord’s Supper.   Tuesday, from 10:30-11:30 am, we’ll study 2 Kings 16-17, considering more of Judah’s and Israel’s kings…..and the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.


Midweek Advent Worship Services  – As part of our preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, we’re holding midweek worship services in December.   The Advent season anticipates Christ’s coming as the Savior from sin, and it encourages us to penitently prepare our hearts for a proper observance of His birth.  Our midweek services are held on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., including this week, December 8th.  The Theme of this year’s services is “The Colors of Advent.”   Also, prior to our service Wednesday, we’ll hold a soup and sandwich dinner 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.


Please Keep In Your Prayers…..our sister (Grace school teacher) Jennifer Hahn who received a call two weeks ago to consider teaching next year at St. Paul Lutheran School, Onalaska, WI.    She is asking for God’s guidance to determine where she’ll serve our Lord in the future:   here, in Arkansas;   or in Wisconsin.


Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Worship Services     Please join us for worship on Christmas Eve (Friday, December 24th) at 7:00 p.m. as we conclude out Advent preparations with a special Christmas Eve service.   The next morning, (Saturday, December 25th), we’ll meet at 9:30 a.m. for the Festival of Christ’s Nativity.  This service includes singing some very traditional, 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!


Special Online Christmas Concert.   Our Synod’s Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Choir will offer its Christmas concert via livestream on December 12 at 3 and again at 7 p.m.   You can view the concert by going to