THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT – Online Church at Home Service Bulletin

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December 11, 2022

The Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ Brings True Rejoicing, Even Under the Cross

Sometimes life requires the astonishing patience of Job. Like him, we are to rejoice in the midst of affliction, be grounded in repentance under the cross of Christ, and hope relentlessly in His resurrection, that we might see “the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). In the promise of the Gospel, therefore, be patient and “establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7, 8). Like St. John the Baptist, whatever your own kind of prison or suffering may be, call upon Jesus and receive the strength of His Word from those He sends to you. For as “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up,” so is the Good News of Jesus preached to you also (Matt. 11:5). He comes and restores the fortunes of Zion, His Holy Church, so that “sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Is. 35:10).

+ Preparation +

OPENING HYMN: #515 – Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers


P     In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C     Amen.


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.

Silence for meditation and reflection.

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.

C     Amen.

Service of the Word

INTROIT          Psalm 71:14-18; antiphon: Philippians 4:4

                        (spoken responsively as marked)

Rejoice in the Lord always;
            again I will say, Rejoice.
I will hope continually
            and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day,
            for their number is past my knowledge.
With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
            I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth you have taught me,

            and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me,
            until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

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.

Rejoice in the Lord always;
            again I will say, Rejoice.


P     In peace let us pray to the Lord.

C     Lord, have mercy.

P     For the peace from above and for our salvation let us pray to the Lord.

C     Lord, have mercy.

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.

C     Lord, have mercy.

P     For this holy house and for all who offer here their worship and praise let us pray to the Lord.

C     Lord, have mercy.

P     Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.

C     Amen.


P     The Lord be with you.

C     And also with you.

P     Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

C     Amen.

FIRST READING           Isaiah 35:1-10

(The desert shall rejoice and blossom.)

1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
            the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2it shall blossom abundantly
            and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
            the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
            the majesty of our God.
3Strengthen the weak hands,
            and make firm the feeble knees.
4Say to those who have an anxious heart,
            “Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
            will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
            He will come and save you.”
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
            and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
            and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
            and streams in the desert;
7the burning sand shall become a pool,
            and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
            the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8And a highway shall be there,
            and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
            It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
            even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
9No lion shall be there,
            nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
            but the redeemed shall walk there.
10And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
            and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
            they shall obtain gladness and joy,
            and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

L     This is the Word of the Lord.

C     Thanks be to God.

GRADUAL        Zechariah 9:9; Psalm 118:26, alt. (spoken together)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion.
                Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem.
Behold, your king is coming to you;
                righteous and having salvation.
Blessèd is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
                From the house of the Lord we bless you.

EPISTLE           James 5:7-11  

(An encouragement for Christians to wait for the Lord with patience)

            7Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

L     This is the Word of the Lord.

C     Thanks be to God.

ALLELUIA and VERSE, p. 156 (spoken together)

Alleluia. This is He of whom it is written, “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.” Alleluia.

HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 11:2-15                   

(Jesus speaks about John the Baptist.)

P     The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the twentieth chapter.

C     Glory to You, O Lord.

            2When John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

            7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
     who will prepare your way before you.’

11Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

P     This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C     Praise to You, O Christ.

HYMN OF THE DAY: #349 – Hark the Glad Sound

SERMON – Are You the One?


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
      maker of heaven and earth
            and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
      the only-begotten Son of God,
      begotten of His Father before all worlds,
      God of God, Light of Light,
      very God of very God,
      begotten, not made,
      being of one substance with the Father,
      by whom all things were made;
      who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
      and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
      and was made man;
      and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
      He suffered and was buried.
      And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
            and ascended into heaven
      and sits at the right hand of the Father.
      And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the Lord and giver of life,
      who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
      who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
      who spoke by the prophets.
      And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
      I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
      and I look for the resurrection of the dead
      and the life
T of the world to come. Amen.


After each petition:     P   … Lord, in Your mercy:

                                    C    hear our prayer.

At conclusion:              P   … one God, now and forever.

                                    C    Amen.

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.


P     Let us pray.

Almighty and eternal God, Your kingdom is everlasting and Your promises are sure. Grant us grace to live with unfailing confidence, knowing that You will bring about that time when all of Your enemies are defeated and all of creation truly is at peace. This we ask for the sake of Jesus, our Savior and our King.

C     Amen.


P     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 T give you peace.

C     Amen.


P     Go in peace! Serve the Lord!

C     Thanks be to God.

CLOSING HYMN: #367 – Angels from the Realms of Glory

Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series C, Quarter 3. Copyright © 2022 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.