Worship audio from Dec 24, 2017 - Christmas Eve Candlelight service.
Bulletin here, text at the bottom.
Green Pastures with Jesus is the daily podcast from Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church of Fairmont, MN. Here you’ll find a variety of segments to lead you to the green pastures of the Word of God, where our Good Shepherd feeds our faith.
Find us online:
Worship is Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM.
Bible class & Sunday School follow at 10:40 AM.
323 E. 1st St – Fairmont, MN
firstname.lastname@example.org or (507) 236-9572
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Intro & Outro courtesy of Koine - The Church Band. Check them out at www.koinemusic.com, or find them on iTunes & Amazon: Search for Koine.
elcome to Shepherd of the Lakes! We’re here to shepherd Christ’s flock and seek the lost sheep by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with all. Come, let us worship!
For your convenience, in the back corner of the sanctuary there is a room for any parents with children in need of a quiet place. The restrooms are located on the lower level. Please ask if you have any further questions or concerns.
Lord Jesus, bless our Christmas celebrations. You know me far better than I know myself; you came to this world as a baby in order to create peace between me and you. Grant me a quiet heart to hear your Word, and remind me again with the joy of your birth; AMEN.
The Gift of Christmas:
“In the obedience of this person Jesus . . . Christ has covered all our disobedience, which dwells in our nature and its thoughts, words, and works. Our disobedience is not charged against us for condemnation; it is pardoned and forgiven out of pure grace alone, for Christ’s sake.”
Formula of Concord, Article 3 (Concordia p. 545)
Our worship this evening is an adaptation of the Lessons and Carols service traditionally held at King's College, Cambridge, England, on December 24th every year. Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve, 1918. It was planned by Eric Milner-White, who at the age of thirty-four had just been appointed Dean of King’s College after experience as an army chaplain.
The lessons for tonight have been used for almost 100 years to recall God’s promise to send a Savior, as well as that promise’s fulfillment.
EXHORTATION & PRAYER
Dear people of God, in this Christmas season, it is our duty and delight to hear again the message of the angels and, in heart and mind, to go to Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us — the Christ Child lying in a manger, born to save us.
Let us read and learn in Holy Scripture the story of the loving purposes of God from the first days after our fall into sin to the glorious redemption brought to us by this holy child.
But first, let us pray for people all over the world who would delight with us to know the good news of Jesus Christ and who would join with us in singing his praises. Let us pray for the people of our community and our church.
And, because this would please the Lord, let us remember in his name the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry and the oppressed, the sick and those who are sad, the lonely and the unloved, and the elderly and the little children.
We especially remember all those who do not know the Lord Jesus, those who do not love him, and those who by unrepentant sin have grieved his heart of love.
Finally, let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us in heaven, who live in greater light than we, that multitude which no one can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, who died in faith, and who live before the throne of God and praise him each day in his temple. We confess that we are united with them as we are united with one another.
To sum up all these petitions, let us pray as Christ himself taught us:
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.
OPENING HYMN: 55 – Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful
FIRST LESSON: Genesis 3:8-15
God promises that a descendant of Eve, as the champion and substitute of all mankind, would win a victory over Satan and rob him of his power.
8They heard the voice of the LORD God, who was walking around in the garden during the cooler part of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9The LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
10The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
11God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?”
12The man said, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13The LORD God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14The LORD God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all the livestock, and more than every wild animal. You shall crawl on your belly,
and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will crush his heel.
SECOND LESSON: Genesis 22:15-18
God repeats his promise: All nations will be blessed through Abraham’s descendent.
15The Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16and said, “I have sworn by myself, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your descendants greatly, like the stars of the sky and like the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the city gates of their enemies. 18In your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
CONFESSION OF FAITH
From the Augsburg Confession, Article 3:
M: Our churches teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, assumed the human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
C: So there are two natures — the divine and the human — inseparably joined in one person.
There is one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He did this to reconcile the Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original sin and guilt, but also for every sin of all humanity.
He also descended into hell, and truly rose again on the third day.
Afterward, he ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.
There he forever reigns and has dominion over all creatures.
He sanctifies those who believe in Him, by sending the Holy Spirit into their hearts to rule, comfort, and make them alive.
He defends them against the devil and the power of sin.
The same Christ will openly come again to judge the living and the dead, according to the Apostles’ Creed.
THIRD LESSON: Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
The Promised One will rule on David’s throne forever.
2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
On those living in the land of the shadow of death, the light has dawned. ...
6For to us a child is born. To us a son is given. The authority to rule will rest on his shoulders. His name will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7There will be no limit to his authority and no end to his peace.
He will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of Armies will accomplish this.
HYMN: 42 – Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising
FOURTH LESSON: Micah 5:2-4
God points to the place where the Messiah will be born.
2“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come the one to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from ancient times, from eternity.”
3Therefore he will surrender them until the time she who is in labor gives birth to a child. Then the remainder of his brothers will return to the children of Israel. 4He will stand and shepherd with the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. They will dwell securely, for at that time he will be great to the ends of the earth.
FIFTH LESSON: Matthew 1:18-25
The angel’s announcement to Joseph.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother, Mary, was pledged in marriage to Joseph. Before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her. So he decided to divorce her privately. 20 But as he was considering these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this happened to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Look, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son. And they will name him Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.”
24 When Joseph woke up from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. He took Mary home as his wife, 25 but he was not intimate with her until she gave birth to her firstborn son.[f] And he named him Jesus.
CONFESSION OF FAITH
Adapted from Dr. Martin Luther’s seventh sermon on John 1, from 1537/8. (LW 22:102f)
M: John’s Gospel says: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Earlier, John called the Word ‘God,’ then a Light which came into the world and created the world - and yet, was not accepted by the world.
C: With this word ‘flesh,’ we see how God has assumed our human flesh and blood. Human reason cannot comprehend the mercy of our God, choosing to share our humanity.
M: We Christians learn to prize and esteem these words, for herein we see the gospel. The Son of God did not take on himself the nature of angels, but humbled himself and took on the seed of Abraham.
C: Jesus Christ, who is of my flesh, blood, and soul, is seated in heaven at the right hand of God the Father. The humanity of Christ is enduring proof of God’s mercy toward me, on account of Jesus.
M: These words are not given for you to misuse or merely take up on occasion; these words are given for you to believe.
C: Therefore, we should constantly have such words in our heart and on our lips. Let us learn not to argue with the devil when he tempts us; rather, let us put him to flight with the heartfelt words: “The Word became flesh for me!”
M: The eternal Son of God ‘committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth;’
C: And though he was not guilty of death, he became man for our comfort and salvation. Yes, he became a curse and sin for us, in order to deliver us from the eternal curse, and to justify us.
M: We believe the Scriptures and confess with the holy Christian church, which existed at all times and will endure until the end of the world: This article of our Christian faith, together with all the others, is firmly and solidly established by the apostles & prophets, the spokesmen of the Holy Spirit:
All: That Christ, our Lord and God, assumed true human nature; and that he became a natural man like any other man. He dwelt among us, with a human body as you & I have; he was nourished and grew as every other human, except without sin.
SIXTH LESSON: Luke 2:1-7
The birth of our Lord.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3And everyone went to register, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the town of Nazareth, into Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family line of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child. ( . . . continued . . . )
6And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
HYMN: 61 – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
SEVENTH LESSON: Luke 2:8-20
The angel’s announcement to the shepherds.
8There were in the same country shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified! 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people: 11Today in the town of David, a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude from the heavenly army, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.”
15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Now let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they told others the message they had been told about this child. 18And all who heard it were amazed by what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
HYMN: 263 – All Glory Be to God on High
Sermon based on Luke 2: A Song about Peace
After the offering, an usher will come to your pew and light the candle nearest the center aisle. Please then light the candle next to you until all the candles are lit in the pew. When all the candles are lit, the lights will be dimmed. Remember to tip the unlit candle and leave the lit candle vertical.
O God, who makes us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of your only Son, Jesus Christ; grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, so may we also behold him with sure confidence when he shall come to be our judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever;
May he who by his incarnation gathered things earthly and heavenly into one, fill us with such joy that comes with the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life.
And the blessing of God Almighty - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - be upon you and remain with you always;
Please be seated for our closing hymn:
Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright, Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar; Heav'nly hosts sing, Alleluia; Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!
Silent night! Holy night! Son of God, Love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
December 31 worship at 9:30 AM & 7 PM. All are welcome to the parsonage (517 Tilden St) for fellowship after New Year’s Eve worship.
Adult confirmation for Ingrid Chrisman, Josh Chrisman,
Travis & Ventura Ulrich will be next Sunday.
Today Joshua 12
9:30 AM - Advent 4 Worship with Holy Communion
6:30 PM - Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship
Monday Joshua 13
Tuesday Joshua 14
Wednesday Joshua 15
Thursday Joshua 16
Saturday Joshua 17
9:15 AM - Bible Basics: Fellowship & Evangelism
Sunday Joshua 18
9:30 AM - Christmas 1 Worship with Holy Communion
7 PM - New Year’s Eve Worship with Holy Communion
Looking Ahead to Next Sunday:
Theme Christmas 1
Liturgy CW p. 15 with Holy Communion
Hymns 78, 77, 5, 76
Readings from Isaiah 45, Colossians 3, Luke 2; Psalm 111
Verse of the Day Colossians 3:15