This Week’s Theme
The Coming of the Son of Man
The Season of Advent anticipates the comings of the Son of God into the world, the first advent as the incarnated Word of God who comes to save the world, and the second advent as the risen and living Son of Man who comes to put all enemies under his feet. This passage in Luke outlines the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel where our Lord will come to establish finally and visibly the reign and rule of God. As fig trees reveal their leaves to show that summer is close by, so our Lord says that the terrible events he has spoken of are real signs that the kingdom of our God is near. Disciples of Jesus do not fear the coming of the end. Rather than despair and live in panic, we are to be confident in the protection and provision of God. We are to watch and pray that we may be able to escape all the things about to happen, and that we might stand before Christ, the Son of man, remaining faithful to his call to the very end.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O God, who did look on humanity when they had fallen down into death and resolve to redeem them by the advent of your only-begotten Son, grant, we ask you, that they who confess his glorious incarnation may also be admitted to the fellowship of him their Redeemer; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Ambrose (Fox, p. 218)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Thursday: Gen. 15-17
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 25.1-10
OT: Jer. 33.14-16
Gospel: Luke 21.25-36
NT: 1 Thess. 3.9-13
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
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, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming strengthen us to serve you with purified lives; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
~ Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Conference of Bishops, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, p. 359)
Affirmation for the Day
We should never be weighed down by sin and anxieties of this life.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
O God, help us to be careful, with our hearts tuned to your voice and will, that we not be weighed down with immorality and the anxieties of this life, so that we might be able to stand before the Son of Man, when he appears.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Lord Has Visited His People