Monday, December 22, 2014

O King of Nations

O King of Nations

O King of Nations and their great desire, thou cornerstone who makest one of twain, as Thou has formed man from the ground, come now and save him.

Behold, the Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.  Alleluia!
And in that day the light shall be great.  Alleluia!


The Collect

Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power and come, that they who trust in Thy mercy may speedily be delivered from all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.

                O Come, DESIRE OF NATIONS bind,
                In one the hearts of all mankind,
                Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
                And by Thyself our King of Peace,
                Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
                Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

St. Thomas

Almighty and ever-living God, You strengthened Your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in the resurrection of Your Son. Grant us such faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that we may never be found wanting in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

O Rising sun

O Rising Sun

O rising orb of day, splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness, come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Our God shall come, Alleluia!

The Collect

Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our hearts to prepare the way of Thine only-begotten Son; that by His Advent we may be enabled to serve Thee with purified minds; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.

                                O Come, Thou DAYSPRING from on high,
                                And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
                                Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
                                And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
                                Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel

                                Shall come to Thee, O Israel.

Time in the Word - Christmas 1

Prayer for newness of life in ChristAlmighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon ourselves the armor of light now in the time of this mortal life in which Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to visit us in great humility, that in the Last Day, when He shall come again in glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to life immortal; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for December 24, 2014 – Christmas Eve O God, You make us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Grant that, as we joyfully receive Him as our Redeemer, we may with sure confidence behold Him when He comes to be our Judge; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer for December 25, 2014 – Christmas Day Almighty God, grant that the birth of Your only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free from the bondage of sin; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer for December 26, 2014 – St. Stephen, Martyr Heavenly Father, in the midst of our sufferings for the sake of Christ grant us grace to follow the example of the first martyr, Stephen, that we also may look to the One who suffered and was crucified on our behalf and pray for those who do us wrong; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever          

Prayer for December 27, 2014 – St. John, the Evangelist  Merciful Lord, cast the bright beams of Your light upon Your Church that we, being instructed in the doctrine of Your blessed apostle and evangelist John, may come to the light of everlasting life; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

The theme for the First Sunday after Christmas is The Savior has Come. Coming within just a few days after Christmas, it reflects the spirit and emphasis of Christmas day. Because of this, Christmas 1 tends to be anti-climatic, a let–down from Christmas. This Sunday affords us an opportunity to enter into depth on the meaning of Christmas. This is usually not possible on Christmas, because it is a service of celebration, narration, and special music with much singing of carols. At this service, we now have an opportunity to consider the message of the Incarnation. This will be the last Sunday of the calendar year. Some may be apprehensive of what a new year might bring. In the Gospel lesson, Simeon and Anna are very old and desire to depart this life. In the Christ child we find new hope, new life, and the hope of a new year with Christ. 
Monday, 22 December 2014Psalm 98:1-4; Antiphon, Isaiah 52:10—Christ has come. He has restored our human nature. Now we pray that we may ever be alive in Him as He has come to be obedient to the will of the Father by taking our nature to be our substitute and to follow the Law perfectly for us. We are called now to witness to the nations that they may see the salvation of our God.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014— Psalm 98—David tells us "sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things." This He has done. Jesus has done all things well. He has gotten for us the victory. What are we to do in light of these things? We are to join the Psalmist in His triumphant song. Sing to the Lord this week for He has done so many marvelous things!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014Jeremiah 31:10-13—God promises to restore captive Israel with prosperity and rejoicing.  Why is there peace and joy during this holiday season? Why is there such happiness? Actually it's quite simple. There is peace and joy today because Jesus has brought about God's salvation to us. Just as the people at the time of Jeremiah were promised that they would be restored back to their homes from a time of captivity we now are at home completely restored and forgiven in Christ.

Thursday, 25 December 2014Hebrews 2:10-18—Christ identified with us that He might save us from sin and death.  There is only one way for us to receive reconciliation from God and that was for God Himself to identify with us. The writer to the Hebrews tells us how this all came about. It came about when Jesus Christ entered time and space. So what! A skeptical world might ask. Now sin has been dealt with as Christ has removed it once and for all. Now we have an advocate who will help us in our daily battles with sin and temptation in our day to day living. This is what makes the Christian faith practical. It works because Christ has worked everything out for us.

Friday, 26 December 2014Luke 2:25-28—Simeon and Anna recognize Christ in the baby Jesus. When God makes a promise, He is bound to keep it. The Father had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Christ.

The moment Mary and Joseph entered the temple, eight days after Jesus was born, Simeon's eyes were opened and he saw Jesus for what He was—He saw Jesus as His Redeemer and Savior. Do we see Jesus the same way that Simeon saw Jesus?  To fully appreciate Christmas we must have the same vision as this old, old, man. May God grant us the faith to see Jesus as the only Savior of the world.

Saturday, 27 December 2014Psalm 90—Psalm 90 is the text for our sermon hymn tomorrow. David reflects on the various stages through life and He concludes that God has been our dwelling place throughout all generations.  From age to age God remains in control. Throughout life God remains constant. In just a few days we will welcome in a New Year. What will transpire in the next year? Only God knows but of this we can be sure God will establish the work of our hands. All will go according to His plan.  Our only prayer needs to be: "Thy will be done Lord, Thy will be done!"

For ChristmasGrant, Almighty God, that the birth of Your only-begotten Son in human flesh may set us free, who through sin are held in bondage; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

For the WeekDirect us, O Lord, in all our actions by Your gracious favor, and further us with Your continual help that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in Your name, we may glorify Your holy name and finally by Your mercy receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Lutheran Worship©1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis,
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C © 19979 J Brokhoff CSS Publishing Lima OH 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Advent 4

Advent 4
21 December 2014
Luke 1:26-38
In the fullness of time Christ is born
Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come among us with great might; and because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let Your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us;

People these days seem to have a fascination with angels. One of Billy Graham’s most popular books was simply entitled “Angels.”[1]  We usually associate angels as being perfect and sometimes we like to place attributes we associate with the angels on to people. For example, we might refer to a well-mannered child as being “a perfect angel.” What we need to remember and our text for this morning will help us in this, is that angels are called especially to serve and protect the elect of God. The write to the Hebrews writes, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to render service to those who will inherit salvation.”[2] They are divine messengers who bring important communications from God.

Imagine what would have happened to the Christ child had Mary and Joseph not been told about the coming birth from an angelic messenger. Quite possibly Mary and Joseph would have settled on a divorce. The entire Christmas story could have been told under different circumstances. This morning let us consider the significance of what an angel said to Mary.

1. The first message we receive from Gabriel is exactly who is to be bornYou will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give Him the name Jesus. (V31) The Holy Spirit will come upon 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. (V35)

Who is to be born? He is none other than Jesus, the Son of God. He is the holy one, the one promised in the Scriptures to be God in the flesh.  By these words of Gabriel, we see that the one being born is God’s only Son.  He is the Christ, the Father’s chosen one.

2. Gabriel also tells us how the child is to be born.  He is born by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Most High will overshadow this young woman so that the child to be born will be called the Son of God.

He is to be born holy for God is His Father. True, Jesus is born of a human mother, but his Father is God.  Jesus is born human.  Yet He is without sin. Jesus is like you in every respect except He is without sin. Jesus is the perfect, spotless Son of God who came into this world to take your place under the Law. He comes to be your substitute. He comes to live a perfect life for you. He comes to fulfill all the requirements the Father has for an obedient life.  He will take to Himself your guilt, your fear and brokenness.

3. He comes to be your Savior. So says the angel Gabriel, “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 the hose of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.” (Vv.32-33)

This child is a king. But not any king, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the eternal God who takes possession of the throne of His Father because He has been declared the rightful heir. He is Lord. He is God. He is your Savior, Redeemer and king. This week we celebrate His coming into our world as He breaks into time and space to take up Him rule in your life.

Who is it that is born for us today? He is the Lord’s Christ. He is the Son of the Most High God and in Him we live, move, and have our being. Praise Him for He has come. Serve Him for He is your King. Worship and praise His name for He is your God.
Words – 711
Passive Sentences -
Reading Ease – 83%
Reading Level – 4.9

[1] Angels: God’s Secret Agents by Billy Graham © 1975 Doubleday Press  ISBN 0385113072
[2] Hebrews 1:14

O Key of David

O Key of David

O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel, who closeth portals and no one can open them, come thou and from his cell lead forth the captive who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Come, O Lord, and make no tarrying;
Loosen the bonds of the people Israel.

The Collect

Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the wills of Thy faithful people that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works may of Thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.

                                O Come, Thou KEY OF DAVID, Come,
                                And open wide our heav’nly home
                                Make swift the way that leads on high
                                And close the path to misery.
                                Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
                                Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Katharine von Bora Luther

O God, our refuge and strength, You raised up Your servant Katharina to support her husband in the task to reform and renew Your Church in the light of Your Word. Defend and purify the Church today and grant that, through faith, we may boldly support and encourage our pastors and teachers of the faith as they proclaim and administer the riches of Your grace made known in Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.