Preparing for Worship – 3rd Sunday in Advent – 12/15/2019

From the Pastor’s Desk

This week, we have a special treat because we will be hearing our children singing for their Christmas Program. The program is entitled Away in a Manger and in it, we will hear and sing along to some of our favorite Christmas hymns. I know I am looking forward to seeing and hearing them this Sunday, and I know many of the children are excited as well.

The Children’s program isn’t the only thing going on this Sunday though. The most amazing thing happens this Sunday morning, the God of the universe, who created everything through speaking forth His Word, is going to speak to us.

Yes, this happens every week but I don’t think it can be emphasized enough, that God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible.

God speaking to us happens throughout the service, but I want to especially highlight God’s Word in confession. In James 5:16 God tells us, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16 teaches us about God’s grace for those who confess their sins. Confession consists of two parts, the agreement with God about our sins and God’s forgiveness of our sins, which is spoken to us in the Absolution.

The sermon will come from the Gospel text this Sunday (Matthew 11:2-10) where we hear from John the Baptist through his disciples. Why does John send his disciples to go and speak to Jesus? How is Jesus’ response impactful for our faith?

After the service, the congregation will eat a shared meal, an hor d’oeuvres potluck. There will also be an ornament exchange for the adults and crafts for the kids.

Explanation of the Week

The voice of the Baptizer cried out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord . . .” (Is 40:1-8). John called the people to be made ready for the Messiah’s coming through repentance, for “all flesh is grass.” Now He asks from prison, “Are you the Coming One?” (Mt 11:2-10) Jesus’ works bear witness that He is. The sick are made well; the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Their iniquity is pardoned; they have received from the Lord’s hand double forgiveness for all their sins. The stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1-5) still deliver Christ’s overflowing forgiveness to the poor in spirit, comforting God’s people with the word of the Gospel which stands forever. This Gospel produces rejoicing among those who believe. For in it, “the Lord is at hand.”