Midweek Advent Service

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December 20, 2023

Theme of the Day

Welcome to tonight’s service. A Great and Mighty Wonder is our theme for the midweek Advent services. Tonight we focus our attention on how wonderful our God’s deeds are as he comes to redeem us. God bless our worship.

Pastor Westendorf’s Welcome


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

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you. 

As Angels Joyed with One Accord – CW 320

1 As angels joyed with one accord
upon the advent of our Lord,
so let us gladly praise the name
of him who from the Father came.

2 He came, not clothed in majesty
nor pow’r that suits his deity.
In lowly state he walked till he
in dying set us captives free.

3 This done, he soared to God’s right hand,
yet orphaned not his chosen band,
for he, not bound in grace and pow’r,
attends his own each day and hour.

4 In ev’ry age – let praise abound –
he comes; we hear his voice resound.
His glorious gospel does not cease
to bring us comfort, joy, and peace.

5 He comes in water to the child
and cleanses it, from birth defiled.
This washing seals his pard’ning grace
and shows the Father’s kindly face.

6 He comes to us in bread and wine
to give himself and gifts divine.
O praise him for this sacrament,
redeeming love’s great testament!

7 Lift up your heads! All grief and pain
shall vanish when he comes again.
Where we shall see him face to face,
there joy alone shall have a place.


Heavenly Father, send your Spirit to lift up our hearts to see the King who comes to save. Reveal to us his willingness to take on our human form and stand in our place. Show us the power he extends in his Word and sacraments to make us your children and keep us in faith. Thrill us with his promise to come and take us to our eternal home to live with you forever. Amen.


Our God is the God who performs miracles. He is above the so-called “Laws of Nature” and can dispense of them at will.
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. (Psalm 115:3) 
For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)

Throughout history, our God has shown his power. Think back to the time of the Exodus when God used his mighty arm to redeem his people from the hand of the Egyptians. The LORD told Moses to say to Pharaoh,
This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. (Exodus 7:17) 

All the water was changed into blood. (Exodus 7:20) 

The Lord also told Moses, 
“Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’” (Exodus 8:5)

Frogs came up and covered the land. (Exodus 8:6)
Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.” (Exodus 8:16)

All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. (Exodus 8:17)

Then came the plague of flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness. Finally, the plague on the firstborn of Egypt.
At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt. (Exodus 12:29) 

With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. (Psalm 77:15)

The Lord’s mighty arm was not done. There on the shore of the Red Sea, the Lord did something truly great.
Psalm 77 gives us the details,
The waters saw you, O God, 
    the waters saw you and writhed; 
    the very depths were convulsed. 
The clouds poured down water, 
    the skies resounded with thunder; 
    your arrows flashed back and forth. 
Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, 
    your lightning lit up the world; 
    the earth trembled and quaked. 
Your path led through the sea, 
    your way through the mighty waters, 
    though your footprints were not seen. 
You led your people like a flock 
    by the hand of Aaron and Moses. (Psalm 77:16-20)

With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. (Psalm 77:15) 

The time of the Exodus was truly a time when the LORD displayed his power and showed he is the God who performs miracles. The LORD was not done. During the time of Elijah and Elisha, the LORD made an axe head float on water. Oil and flour in a jar did not run out. Even a widow’s son was raised from the dead!
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. (Psalm 77:14)

God was not even close to being done performing miracles and using his mighty arm to redeem his people. It was time. The time had fully come. 
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. (Psalm 77:15)

God was now with us. True to who he is, he performed miracle after miracle. He performed personal miracles, like he did in Cana where he changed water into wine.
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. (John 2:11)

He performed healing miracles. 
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. (Matthew 9:35)

Jesus healed people whom demons had possessed. 
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”
  “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. (Luke 4:33-35) 

Even nature is no match for the God who performs miracles. 
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41) 

Death itself has lost all power against the God who does miracles.
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43)

The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. (John 11:44)

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)

Believe in this great and mighty wonder. Believe your God is the God who performs miracles and with his mighty arm his deeds are wonderful as he comes to redeem his people.

A Great and Mighty Wonder – CW 349

1 A great and mighty wonder,
    a glorious mystery:
a virgin bears an infant
    who veils his deity.
Proclaim the Savior’s birth:
“To God on high be glory
and peace to all the earth!”

2 The Word becomes incarnate
    and yet remains on high,
and cherubim sing anthems
    to shepherds from the sky.
Proclaim the Savior’s birth:
“To God on high be glory
and peace to all the earth!”

3 While thus they sing your monarch,
    those bright angelic bands,
rejoice, O vales and mountains,
    and oceans, clap your hands.
Proclaim the Savior’s birth:
“To God on high be glory
and peace to all the earth!”

4 Since all he comes to ransom,
    by all be he adored,
the infant born in Bethl’em,
    the Savior and the Lord.
Proclaim the Savior’s birth:
“To God on high be glory
and peace to all the earth!”

5 All idols then shall perish
    and Satan’s lying cease,
and Christ shall raise his scepter,
    decreeing endless peace.
Proclaim the Savior’s birth:
“To God on high be glory
and peace to all the earth!”

Meditation – Psalm 77:14-15

His Deeds Are Wonderful, As He Comes to Redeem

You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus – CW 322

1 Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
    born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
    let us find our rest in thee.

2 Israel’s strength and consolation,
    hope of all the earth thou art,
dear desire of ev’ry nation,
    joy of ev’ry longing heart.

3 Born thy people to deliver,
    born a child and yet a king,
born to reign in us forever,
    now thy gracious kingdom bring.

4 By thine own eternal Spirit
    rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
    raise us to thy glorious throne.



Lord God, our refuge and fortress, your faithfulness has protected us through this day. Now send your holy angels to guard us from danger through this night. Give us peaceful rest, free from fear, that we may wake refreshed to serve you, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that  you have graciously kept me this day. Forgive me all my sins, and graciously keep me this night. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

God’s Own Son Most Holy – CW 321

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 in preaching,
truth eternal teaching:
    “Turn away from evil;
    turn to me, my people.
I pronounce you sinless;
trust in my forgiveness.”

3 Still he comes providing
proof of love abiding:
    he whose death has freed us
    gives himself to feed us,
thus to us extending
peace and joy unending.

4 Come, then, O Lord Jesus,
from our sins release us.
    Keep our hearts believing
    that, your grace receiving,
we may here confess you
till in heav’n we bless you.

Lord, Have Mercy

Lord Jesus, you came to gather the nations into the peace of God’s kingdom.
Lord, have mercy.

You come in Word and Sacrament to forgive our sins and to strengthen us in holiness. 
Christ, have mercy.

You will come in glory with salvation for your people. 
Lord, have mercy.

O almighty God, have mercy on us, forgive our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.


The Lord bless you and keep you.
  The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
    The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.

Reading – Luke 1:68

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.”

Jesus Came, the Heavens Adoring – CW 319

1 Jesus came, the heav’ns adoring,
    came with peace from realms on high;
Jesus came to win redemption,
    lowly came on earth to die;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
    came in deep humility.

2 Jesus comes again in mercy
    when our hearts are worn with care;
Jesus comes again in answer
    to an earnest, heartfelt prayer,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
    comes to save us from despair.

3 Jesus comes to hearts rejoicing,
    bringing news of sins forgiv’n;
Jesus comes with words of gladness,
    leading souls redeemed to heav’n.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Hope to all the world is giv’n.

4 Jesus comes on clouds triumphant
    when the heav’ns shall pass away.
Jesus comes again in glory;
    let us, then, our homage pay,
Alleluia! ever singing
    till the dawn of endless day.

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