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PINNACLE LUTHERAN CHURCH
Sunday, December 26, 2021
Prepared for Heaven!
Are you prepared for heaven? Admittedly, this is an odd question when we are celebrating Jesus’ birth. Yet, Jesus was born to die to save His people from their sins. As Simeon held the Christ Child, he couldn’t help but say, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word,” while also telling Mary, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed.” That opposition eventually brought about His death on a cross. Yet, Jesus was born to die and rise to life again so that all who believe in Him might live! That is the best Christmas gift ever.
OPENING HYMN: #379 –O Come, All Ye Faithful
P In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION Psalm 25:6–7
P If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
C But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
A time of silence is observed.
P Let us then confess our sins to God our Father.
C Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.
P Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.
+ Service of the Word +
PSALM Psalm 111 (spoken responsively by verse)
1Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
P In peace let us pray to the Lord.
P For the peace from above and for our salvation let us pray to the Lord.
P For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all let us pray to the Lord.
P For this holy house and for all who offer here their worship and praise let us pray to the Lord.
P Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.
HYMN of PRAISE – Gloria in Excelsis
P Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth.
Salutation and Collect of the Day
P The Lord be with you.
P Let us pray.
O God, our Maker and Redeemer, You wonderfully created us and in the incarnation of Your Son yet more wondrously restored our human nature. Grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
OLD TESTAMENT READING Exodus 13:1–3a, 11–15
(The Israelites are to consecrate their firstborn to the Lord.)
1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”
3Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. . . .
11“When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, 12you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord’s. 13Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’”
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 98:1a (spoken together)
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 Colossians 3:12–17
(Wrap yourselves with the characteristics, peace, and word of Christ.)
12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
L This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
ALLELUIA and VERSE Psalm 24:7
HOLY GOSPEL Luke 2:22–40
(Jesus is brought to the temple.)
P The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter.
22When the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, [Mary and Joseph] brought [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30for my eyes have seen your salvation
31that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
P The Gospel of the Lord.
HYMN OF THE DAY: #380 – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
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
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
After each petition:
P … O God of our salvation,
C hear our prayer
P … through Jesus Christ, our newborn King.
LORD’S PRAYER Matthew 6:9–13
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.
Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
BENEDICTION Luke 1:54–55; Numbers 6:24–26
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.
Pastor: Go in peace! Serve the Lord!
People: Thanks be to God.
CLOSING HYMN: #367 – Angels from the Realms of Glory
Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series C, Quarter 1. Copyright © 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.