Sunday, December 2, 2018

Time in the Word - Advent 2

A prayer before confession and absolution: Almighty, everlasting God, for our many sins we justly deserve eternal condemnation. In Your mercy You sent Your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who won for us forgiveness of sins and everlasting salvation. Grant us a true confession that, dead to sin, we may be raised up by Your life-giving absolution. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may be ever watchful and live true and godly lives in Your service; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for a right knowledge of Christ: Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the way, the truth, and the life, that following His steps we may steadfastly walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for innocence of life: O God, whose strength is made perfect in weakness, put to death in us all vices and so strengthen us by Your grace that by the innocence of our lives and the constancy of our faith, we may glorify Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for responsible citizenship: Lord, keep this nation under Your care. Bless the leaders of our land that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to the other nations of the earth. Grant that we may choose trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and serve You faithfully in our generation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for peace in the world: Heavenly Father, God of all concord, it is Your gracious will that Your children on earth live together in harmony and peace. Defeat the plans of all those who would stir up violence and strife, destroy the weapons of those who delight in war and bloodshed, and, according to Your will, end all conflicts in the world. Teach us to examine our hearts that we may recognize our own inclination toward envy, malice, hatred, and enmity. Help us, by Your Word and Spirit, to search our hearts and to root out the evil that would lead to strife and discord, so that in our lives we may be at peace with all people. Fill us with zeal for the work of Your Church and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring that peace which is beyond all understanding; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Time in the Word:
Preparation for next week, the Second Sunday in Advent
Repentance Prepares Us
for the Coming of the Lord
The preaching and baptism “of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3) prepares us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The historic work of John the Baptizer was completed with the first Advent of our Lord Jesus in the flesh, but the ministry of the Forerunner continues in the preaching of Law and Gospel and in Holy Baptism. Through His messengers, the Lord calls people of all nations to “see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6). Our haughtiness is removed, and our mountains of pride are brought low, but the Lord humbles us in order to exalt us in His mercy; He fills up our valleys with His peace. As the Lord has begun this good work of repentance in us, so also does he perfect it by His Word and Holy Spirit, and He “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). He purifies us to be His priestly people, precious in His sight, abounding in faith and love, so that our very lives are offered in righteousness to the Lord (Mal. 3:3–4).

Time in the Word
3—8 December 2018
Preparation for next week, the Second Sunday in Advent

Monday, 3 December 2018Psalm 81:8, 10–11, 13; Antiphon, Luke 3:4b—The children of Israel had been delivered by the Lord out of their bondage in Egypt, and yet rejected Him. The antiphon for Sunday’s Introit exhorts us to heed John the Baptist, who came to prepare the way of the Lord by preaching repentance. During this penitential season, let us examine ourselves, repent of our sins, and prepare to meet our Savior who comes to us.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018Psalm 66:1–12—A song of praise to the Lord for all of His benefits to His people. All the earth worships You and sings praises to You; they sing praises to Your Name. is echoed in a later Christian hymn which we sing in the Office at Mains, the Te Deum Laudamus.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018Malachi 3:1–7b—Four hundred years before the birth of Christ, Malachi prophesies about Him (the Lord whom you seek and the messenger of the covenant) and His fore-runner, John the Baptist (my messenger). Jesus will usher in the last judgment and will judge between the self-righteous who simply pay lip service to Him and those who worship Him in truth and purity, trusting not in their own efforts, but in the Savior who alone can gain our salvation.

Thursday, 6 December 2018Philippians 1:2–11—In Advent, we look forward to the coming of Christ, not only as the holy infant born in Bethlehem, but also His Second Coming. In the epistle for Sunday, St Paul speaks of the increasing sanctification of the Philippians as that day comes nearer. His prayer for their preparation is also his prayer for ours: that our love may abound more and more, that we have knowledge and discernment, and that we may be filled with the fruit of righteousness.

Collect for Nicholas of Myra, pastor – December 6 – Accept, O Lord, our thanksgiving this day for Thy servant, Nicholas; and grant that all ministers and stewards of Thy mysteries may afford to Thy faithful people by word and example, the instruction which is of Thy grace; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

Nicholas (traditionally 15 March 270 – 6 December 343), was an early Christian bishop of the ancient Greek city of Myra in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey). In 325, Nicholas is said to have attended the First Council of Nicaea where he is said to have been a staunch opponent of false teaching of Arianism and devoted supporter of the doctrine of the Trinity, and one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed.
Nicholas is known for his acts of kindness especially to the poor. Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, a practice celebrated on his feast day, 6 December. Nicholas a patron saint of children and later students as well.
The tradition of Santa Claus evolved from Dutch traditions regarding Saint Nicholas. When the Dutch established the colony of New Amsterdam, they brought the legend and traditions of offering gifts especially to children with them.

Friday, 7 December 2018Luke 3:1–14—The Gospel reading tells of the work of the fore-runner of Christ, John the Baptist, in preparing for the coming Savior. John’s message was simple: ‘Repent.’ That is his word to us, also, every day, but especially in this penitential season. The life of the baptized is always one of repentance and the subsequent bringing forth of fruits in keeping with repentance, as we confess in our Small Catechism: the Old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die…and a new man daily come forth and arise, who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Collect for Ambrose of Milan – December 7 - O God, who made the Bishop Ambrose a teacher of the faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after Your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Ambrose was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop on Dec. 7. He wrote much on the Scriptures and Fathers, preached a homily every Sunday, resisted the interference of the secular powers with the rights of the Church, opposed the heretics, and was instrumental in bringing about the conversion of Augustine. He composed many hymns, promoted sacred chant, and took a great interest in the Liturgy.  

Saturday, 8 December 2018The hymn of the day, O Bride of Christ, Rejoice (LSB 335), expresses the joy that Christ’s Church has as she waits in expectation of His coming, not only into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, but especially at the day of glory foretold in ancient story, the Last Day, when He comes to judge the world and take all believers to eternity in heaven.

Collect for the Second Sunday in AdventStir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

This Week’s Morning Prayer Readings
Read and review the following Bible stories for each day…
Monday,  December 3- Elijah & Baal Pt. 2 -1 Kings 18 selective verses
Tuesday, December 4- Naboth’s Vineyard -1 Kings 21 selective verses
Wednesday,  December 5– Chapel Day
Thursday, December 6- Elijah’s Ascension -2 Kings 2 selective verses
Friday, December 7- Naaman and Elisha  – 2 Kings 5selective verses
From the Catechism 4th & 5th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

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