PINNACLE LUTHERAN CHURCH ROCHESTER.
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS.
A Good Beginning in Prayer.
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January 3, 2021
The end of a calendar year and the beginning of a new set of months brings a special opportunity to look at our lives. What has been most memorable in our lives in the past weeks and months? How might our priorities change in the next months? The Readings in today’s service are not often heard because the calendar does not always bring two Sundays after Christmas. Wisdom is waiting to be found by each of us here in this place today as we hear God’s Word and seek His kingdom in this New Year of grace. God’s wisdom is here to bless us each time we gather for worship!
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HYMN: O Come, All Ye Faithful
Pastor: In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
OPENING SENTENCES Hebrews 8:10–12; Psalm 122:1
Pastor: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:
People: I will put My laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Pastor: And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.
People: For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Pastor: I was glad when they said to me,
People: “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
Pastor: Let us now make confession of our sins to God, our gracious and heavenly Father.
People: Eternal God, we confess that by nature we are sinful people. We have transgressed Your Law in many ways, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not always been wise in our thinking and our speaking and our actions. Our motives and thoughts have not always been pure. We deserve Your punishment now and for eternity. O God, in Your mercy forgive our sin and restore us to a full and joyful relationship with You, through the merits of Jesus, our Lord. Direct all that we do by Your Holy Spirit that in the year now beginning we joyfully follow Your will and gladly obey Your Commandments as Your redeemed people.
Pastor: In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Be at peace.
People: Thanks be to God. Amen.
PSALM Psalm 119:97–104
97Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
99I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100I understand more than the agèd,
for I keep your precepts.
101I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
102I do not turn aside from your just decrees,
for you have taught me.
103How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
SALUTATION and PRAYER OF THE DAY
Pastor: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Let us pray.
Almighty God, You have poured into our hearts the true Light of Your incarnate Word. Grant that this Light may shine forth in our lives; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
OLD TESTAMENT READING 1 Kings 3:4–15
(Solomon prays to God for the gift of wisdom.)
4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
Lector: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 98:1a
To us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder.
And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
for He has done marvelous things!
EPISTLE Ephesians 1:3–14
(We are gifted with God’s spiritual blessings.)
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Lector: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
VERSE (Luke 2:40)
Alleluia. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon Him. Alleluia.
HOLY GOSPEL Luke 2:40–52
(The boy Jesus is found in the temple at Jerusalem.)
Pastor: The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter
People: Glory to You, O Lord.
40The child [Jesus] grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Pastor: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to You, O Christ.
HYMN OF THE DAY: The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came
SERMON: A Good Beginning in Prayer
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And 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 sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
After each petition:
Pastor: … Lord, in Your mercy:
People: hear our prayer.
Pastor: … You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
LORD’S PRAYER Matthew 6:9–13
People: Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.
Pastor: Let us pray.
Almighty Father, You have shined on us the new Light of Your Word made flesh, who lived among us. Cause us to find in Jesus, this Light, who and what is really important in life, and grant us Your blessing as we follow Him; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Pastor: The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.
CLOSING HYMN: Joy to the World
Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series B, Quarter 1. Copyright © 2020 Concordia Publishing House.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.