Sunday 8:00 Worship Service

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December 10, 2023

Theme of the Day

Throughout history, God has raised up called servants – like John the Baptist – to preach a message of repentance. This repentance is central to our preparation for the Lord’s coming. Without repentance, the King’s coming only terrifies. But all those who believe and repent look forward to the coming of the King and his everlasting kingdom.

Pastor Frick’s Welcome


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


The people walking in darkness have seen a great light:
On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

John the Baptist called out in the wilderness: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”

Christ himself has given us the power for repentance. By his holy life and innocent death he has conquered Satan and sin and is able to help us when we are tempted.
He reigns in our lives with his grace and brings us to eternal life.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, your holy Word has called us to repent of sin and walk in your path of righteousness. For the sake of Jesus Christ, you have not quickly judged the world for sin, but have given all a time of grace, and a call to turn from evil ways. By the power of your Spirit, turn our hearts to you. Make us grow in our obedience to your Word. In Jesus, you have revealed to us your holy love. Move us to love one another as he has loved us, and to serve one another as if we were serving you; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Choir sings Advent Prayer; the congregation joins on the refrains

A sheet music with music notes

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1  We are waiting on this day.
Jesus will take our fears away.
We will keep our vigil here,
as his Advent draws us near.
Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell,
dwell in our hearts, Immanuel. 
  Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell,
  dwell in our hearts, Immanuel. 

2  We are longing on this day;
Jesus will take our sins away.
As a shepherd, he will lead;
gently tend our ev’ry need.
Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell,
dwell in our hearts, Immanuel. 
  Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell,
  dwell in our hearts, Immanuel.

Confession and Absolution

God sent John the Baptist to prepare people’s hearts for Jesus by repenting of their sins. If we’re honest, there are so many sins for which we need to repent. Here are some of the sins God pointed out to his people long ago:
“Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.”

“Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.”
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.”

“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
“Woe to those who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.”

“For they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

To those same, sinful people long ago, God gave this promise about Jesus: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Because of Jesus, you can be sure of this: God has forgiven every one of your sins. You are at peace with God.

Adult Choir – They That Wait Upon the Lord

The Word

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray.

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way for your only Son. By his coming, give us strength in our conflicts, and shed light on our path through the darkness of this world; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

First Reading – Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
    that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”

You who bring good news to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
    and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young. 

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Second Reading – 2 Peter 3:8-14

  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 
And all people will see God’s salvation.

Gospel – Mark 1:1-8

  The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way” –
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”

  And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to you, O Christ!

On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry – CW 316

1 On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
come, then, and listen, for he brings
good news about the King of kings.

2 Then cleansed be ev’ry life from sin
and furnished for a Guest within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.

3 We hail you as our Savior, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without your grace we waste away
like flow’rs that wither and decay.

4 Stretch forth your hand, our health restore,
and lift us up to fall no more;
O make your face on us to shine,
and fill the world with love divine.

5 All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Spirit evermore.

Pastor Westendorf’s Sermon – Isaiah 40:1-11

Speak, O Lord, to Us and through Us
    – Words of Preparation
    – Words of Consolation

Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
        maker of heaven and earth,
        of all that is,
        seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
        eternally begotten of the Father,
        God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
        begotten, not made,
        of one being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven,
        was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
        and became truly human.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate.
    He suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures.
    He ascended into heaven
        and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
        and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
        the Lord, the giver of life,
        who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
        who in unity with the Father and the Son
            is worshiped and glorified,

        who has spoken through the prophets.
    We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead
        and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Gracious Lord and Savior, you give all people time to hear your call and repent. Empower us to live holy lives as we look forward to the day of your coming.

We are weak, and our strength is like grass and flowers that wither, but your Word stands forever. Lift us up with your good tidings. Gather your people close to your heart. 

John the Baptist called out, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Fill the world with the call of your gospel that more people may enjoy your forgiveness and peace.

We pray for pastors, teachers, elders, and others who teach your Word, so that through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Fill their hearts with your Word that they take to heart what they also teach.

Bring your holy comfort to your people, especially those who suffer sickness and hardships of all kinds. Remind them that you came to bear their griefs and carry their sorrows, and that their sins have been paid for by your blood.

O Lord, move our hearts to constant repentance, and turn our hearts from every temptation and evil, that at your coming we may be ready to receive what you have promised; you live and reign, now and forever.


The Sacrament


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give you thanks, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and 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 all the saints on earth and hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name and join their glorious song:

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts,
  heav’n and earth are full,
  full of your glory.
Hosanna, hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna, hosanna in the highest.
  Hosanna, hosanna in the highest.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord God, eternal King and gracious Father. In love you made us the crown of your creation. In mercy you planned our salvation. In grace you sent your Son to redeem us from sin.

We remember and give you thanks that your eternal Son, Jesus Christ, became flesh and made his dwelling among us, that he willingly placed himself under law to redeem those under law, that he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death on a cross, that he has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Bless us as we receive your Son’s body and blood in this Sacrament. Forgive our sins, increase our faith, strengthen our fellowship, and deepen our longing for the day when Christ will welcome us to his eternal feast. Praise and thanks and honor and glory be to you, O God our Father, and to your Son and to the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done
        on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    as we forgive those
    who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory are yours
    now and forever. Amen.

Words of Institution

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

Lamb of God

Lamb of God,
  you take away the sin of the world;
  have mercy on us.
Lamb of God,
  you take away the sin of the world;
  have mercy on us.
Lamb of God,
  you take away the sin of the world;
  grant us, grant us peace.


There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Crying – CW 308

1 There’s a voice in the wilderness crying,
    a call from the ways untrod:
Prepare in the desert a highway,
    a highway for our God!
The valleys shall be exalted,
    the lofty hills brought low;
make straight all the crooked places
    where the Lord our God may go!

2 O Christians, you bring good tidings;
    get up to the heights and sing!
Proclaim to a desolate people
    the coming of their King.
Like the flow’rs of the field they perish;
    like grass their works decay.
The pow’r and pomp of nations
    shall pass like a dream away.

3 But the Word of our God is eternal;
    the arm of the Lord is strong.
He stands in the midst of the nations,
    and he shall right the wrong.
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd,
    the lambs shall gently hold,
to pastures of peace shall lead them,
    and bring them safe to his fold.

Prepare the Royal Highway – CW 302

1 Prepare the royal highway;
    the King of kings is near!
Let ev’ry hill and valley
    a level road appear!
Then greet the King of glory,
foretold in sacred story:
Hosanna to the Lord,
    for he fulfills God’s Word!

2 God’s people, see him coming:
    your own eternal King!
Palm branches strew before him!
    Spread garments! Shout and sing!
God’s promise will not fail you!
No more shall doubt assail you!
Hosanna to the Lord,
    for he fulfills God’s Word!

3 Then fling the gates wide open
    to greet your promised King!
Your King, yet ev’ry nation
    its tribute too should bring.
All lands, bow down before him!
All nations, now adore him!
Hosanna to the Lord,
    for he fulfills God’s Word!

4 His is no earthly kingdom;
    it comes from heav’n above.
His rule is peace and freedom
    and justice, truth, and love.
So let your praise be sounding
for kindness so abounding:
Hosanna to the Lord,
    for he fulfills God’s Word!

Prayer of Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his mercy endures forever.

Whenever we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

O God the Father, source of all goodness, in your loving-kindness you sent your Son to share our humanity. We thank you that through him you have given us pardon and peace in this Sacrament. We also pray that you will not forsake us but will rule our hearts and minds by your Holy Spirit so that we willingly serve you day after day; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


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.

Hark the Glad Sound! The Savior Comes – CW 313

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 pris’ners to release,
    in Satan’s bondage 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 belovèd name.

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