Sunday 9:00 Worship Service

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December 24, 2023

Worship Theme

This Savior would be a descendant of Adam and Eve – a human being. Century after century, through the prophets, God reiterated and expanded upon that promise of a Savior-King. In a manger in Bethlehem, on that first Christmas, God’s promise was fulfilled. The King Shall Come!


Pastor Westendorf’s Welcome

Christ Revealed in the Flesh

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. (Isaiah 9:2)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Christ himself has come down from heaven, has become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and has become truly human.
He shared in our humanity. By his death destroyed the devil and the power of death, and freed us from fear and slavery forever. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Let us pray.

Almighty God, your Son, our Savior, Jesus, became flesh and made his dwelling among us. In him you have revealed yourself, your love, and your plan for all humanity. By his Word, make us ready for his coming. Keep our hearts repentant, constantly turning to your path of righteousness. Restore to us the joy of your salvation and uphold us with your free Spirit; through him who came to give himself to us and to make us his own, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Adult Choir – Advent Prayer (Congregation joins on 2nd refrain in bold)

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.

3 We are reaching on this day; 
Jesus will lead us, light our way.
He will show the way of peace, 
from our darkness bring release.
Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell, 
  dwell in our hearts, Immanuel. 
Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell, 
  dwell in our hearts, Immanuel.

4 We will expect him on that day; 
we prepare our hearts and pray.
He will bless us with his grace, 
saving all the human race.
Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell, 
  dwell in our hearts, Immanuel. 
Come Lord Jesus, come and dwell, 
  dwell in our hearts, Immanuel.

The Opening Words – From the Prophet Isaiah

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him –

The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, 
The Spirit of counsel and of power, 

The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD –
And he will delight in the fear of the LORD. 

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – CW 327

1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
  shall come to you, O Israel!

Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, 
And will call him Immanuel. 

2 O come, O Root of Jesse, free
your own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell your people save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
  shall come to you, O Israel!

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; 
The nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

3 O come, O Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by your drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
  shall come to you, O Israel!

4 O come, O Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav’nly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.
  Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
  shall come to you, O Israel!

The Blessing and Call to Worship

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

In the Name of the Father who sent his Son to save us
Let the heights of heav’n adore him, 
Angel hosts his praises sing,

In the Name of the Son, who took on human flesh and blood
Let powers, dominions bow before him 
And extol our God and King.

In the Name of the Holy Spirit who brought forth life in the womb of a virgin
Let no tongue on earth be silent, 
Ev’ry voice in concert ring

Let us worship and praise our Triune God.
Evermore and evermore.

Of the Father’s Love Begotten – CW 358

1 Of the Father’s love begotten
    ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
    he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
    and that future years shall see
        evermore and evermore.

2 Oh, that birth forever blessèd
    when the virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
    bore the Savior of our race,
and the babe, the world’s Redeemer,
    first revealed his sacred face
        evermore and evermore.

3 This is he whom seers and sages
    sang of old with one accord,
whom the voices of the prophets
    promised in their faithful word.
Now he shines, the long-expected;
    let creation praise its Lord
        evermore and evermore.

4 Let the heights of heav’n adore him,
    angel hosts his praises sing,
pow’rs, dominions bow before him
    and extol our God and King.
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
    ev’ry voice in concert ring
        evermore and evermore.

5 Christ, to thee, with God the Father,
    and, O Holy Ghost, to thee
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
    and unending praises be,
honor, glory, and dominion
    and eternal victory
        evermore and evermore.

Confession of Sins

Almighty Triune God, you have called us to glorify your name through our love for you and for one another.  We confess that because of our selfish love for self we have erred and strayed from your will.
We have too eagerly followed the desires of our own sinful hearts. 

We have offended you by disobeying your will and word.
We have not done what we ought. We have done what we ought not. 

For all this we deserve to be eternally separated from your love and goodness and punished forever.
Lord, have mercy on us. 

But in the Christ-Child we hope, we trust, we flee for mercy.
We trust and believe that the Christ-Child’s name is Jesus because he will save the people from their sins. 

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” On the basis of the angel’s words to the shepherds, I proclaim God’s love for you through this infant Savior. And in his place and on his authority, I forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
We believe in Jesus who was born to save us from our sins.

In the peace of forgiveness let us praise the newborn King.

Now Sing We, Now Rejoice – CW 363

1 Now sing we, now rejoice,
now raise to heav’n our voice;
    he from whom joy streameth
poor in a manger lies;
    not so brightly beameth
the sun in yonder skies.
    Thou my Savior art!
    Thou my Savior art!

2 Come from on high to me;
I cannot rise to thee.
    Cheer my wearied spirit,
O pure and holy Child;
    thro’ thy grace and merit,
blest Jesus, Lord most mild,
    draw me unto thee!
    Draw me unto thee!

3 Now through his Son doth shine
the Father’s grace divine.
    Death was reigning o’er us
through sin and vanity
    till he opened for us
a bright eternity.
    May we praise him there!
    May we praise him there!

4 Oh, where shall joy be found?
Where but on heav’nly ground,
    where the angels singing
with all his saints unite,
    sweetest praises bringing
in heav’nly joy and light.
    Oh, that we were there!
    Oh, that we were there!

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Prayer

Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true light. Grant that as we have known on earth the wonder of that light, we may also behold him in all his glory in the life to come; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

First Reading – 2 Samuel 7:8-16

  “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
  “’The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

Second Reading – Romans 16:25-27

  Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith – to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! 
Amen.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; 
he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Alleluia.

Gospel Reading – Luke 1:26-38

  In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

All My Heart Again Rejoices – CW 329

1 All my heart again rejoices
    as I hear
    far and near
sweetest angel voices.
“Christ is born!” their choirs are singing
    till the air
    ev’rywhere
now with joy is ringing.

2 Hear! The conqueror has spoken:
    “Now the foe,
    sin and woe,
death and hell are broken!”
God is man, man to deliver,
    and the Son
    now is one
with our blood forever.

3 Should we fear our God’s displeasure,
    who, to save,
    freely gave
his most precious treasure?
To redeem us he has given
    his own Son
    from the throne
of his might in heaven.

4 See the Lamb, our sin once taking
    to the cross,
    suff’ring loss,
full atonement making.
For our life his own he tenders,
    and his grace
    all our race
fit for glory renders.

5 Softly from his lowly manger
    Jesus calls
    one and all,
“You are safe from danger.
Children, from the sins that grieve you
    you are freed;
    all you need
I will surely give you.”

6 Come, then, banish all your sadness!
    One and all,
    great and small,
come with songs of gladness;
we shall live with him forever
    there on high
    in that joy
which will vanish never.

Pastor Frick’s Sermon – Luke 1:26-38

The Grace-Filled Day Is Finally Here

The Second Article (Redemption)

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. 
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord.

He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death.

All this he did that I should be his own, and live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he has risen from death and lives and rules eternally.

This is most certainly true.

Offering

Prayer

Lord, your love stands firm forever. You have revealed the mystery of your plans and established your gospel in our hearts.

Jesus, you are Immanuel, God with us. Drive away our doubts and fears with your gospel that tells us you became flesh, dwelled among us, and that you know our needs and weaknesses.

Just as Gabriel was sent to announce your coming birth to Mary, you send your messengers to us with your Word. Bless all pastors and teachers, and those who are preparing for the public ministry in your church. Keep your Word in their hearts and minds and on their lips.

When we are greatly troubled, lead us to turn to you, to ask, and to trust that nothing is impossible with you. We pray for all who deal with hardships, illnesses, and losses. Show them your favor. Supply what they need for wholeness or healing, and strengthen their faith in your goodness with your Word of peace.

O Lord, stir up your power and come. Mercifully fulfill all you have promised your Church to the end of the world; you live and reign, now and forever.
Amen.

Lord’s Prayer (Sung to the melody of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear)

Our Father, Lord, on heav’ns high throne, 
Most holy be Your name. 
Your kingdom come; Your will be done 
On earth, in heav’n the same. 
Give us this day the food we need, 
Forgiven may we be; 
Into temptation do not lead; 
From evil set us free.

Yours is the kingdom, unto You 
In grateful love we bow, 
And Yours the pow’r, Lord, let us view
Your mighty presence now. 
The glory Yours; Your praise be sung 
By angel hosts and men
In ev’ry land, by ev’ry tongue 
Forevermore! Amen. 

The Lord’s Supper

Preface

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, by whose wonderful and mysterious birth you have opened our eyes to the glory of your grace and renewed in our hearts the fervor of your love. 

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.”

Pax Domini

The peace of the Lord be with you always.
Amen.

Distribution of the Lord’s Supper

Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising – CW 362

1 Come, your hearts and voices raising,
Christ the Lord with gladness praising;
loudly sing his love amazing,
    worthy folk of Christendom.

2 Christ, from heav’n to us descending
and in love our race befriending,
in our need his help extending,
    saved us from the wily foe.

3 Jacob’s Star in all its splendor
beams with comfort sweet and tender,
forcing Satan to surrender,
    breaking all the pow’rs of hell.

4 From the bondage that oppressed us,
from sin’s fetters that possessed us,
from the grief that sore distressed us,
    we, the captives, now are free.

5 Oh, the joy beyond expressing
when by faith we grasp this blessing,
when, O Christ, we come addressing
    thanks to you and highest praise!

6 Gracious Child, in mercy hear us,
from your lowly manger cheer us,
gently lead us and be near us
    till we join th’‿angelic choir.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, on the night of your birth, the glory of the Lord burst upon our world. Move us to proclaim your glory to all people. Let us tell them of your marvelous deeds so that when you come again to judge them in righteousness, they may be outfitted with the righteousness you have established for them. 
Amen.

Blessing

May he who by his incarnation gathered into one, things earthly and heavenly, fill us with such joy that comes with the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. And the blessing of God Almighty: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.
Amen. 

Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding – CW 318

1 Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding!
    “Christ is near,” we hear it say.
“Cast away the works of darkness,
    all you children of the day.”

2 See, the Lamb, so long expected,
    comes with pardon down from heav’n.
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
    one and all, to be forgiv’n;

3 So, when next he comes in glory
    and the world is wrapped in fear,
he will shield us with his mercy
    and with words of love draw near.

4 Honor, glory, might, dominion
    to the Father and the Son
with the everlasting Spirit
    while eternal ages run!

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