First Sunday in Advent—December 2, 2018
Jeremiah 33:14–16 / 1 Thessalonians 3:9–13 / Luke 19:28–40 orLuke 21:25–36
The Lord Jesus Comes in Humility to Redeem Us
The season of Advent focuses on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this first Sunday establishes this theme for the rest of the season. The Son of God came long ago to be our Savior, “a righteous Branch”descended from David (Jer. 33:15). As He then came into Jerusalem, riding on a lowly donkey to sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world (Luke 19:28–40), so does He come to His Church today in the humility of Word and Sacrament to deliver the fruits of His Passion: the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. He absolves us and establishes our hearts “blameless in holiness before our God and Father”(1 Thess. 3:13). The same Lord Jesus, who came to Jerusalem then and who comes to us now in peace, will come again with power and great glory on the Last Day. Then there will be “distress of nations in perplexity,”with “people fainting with fear.”Yet, as we anticipate that great and terrible day, He bids us to rest securely in Him: “Raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near”(Luke 21:25, 26, 28).
Advent Midweek 2018: This year’s Advent Midweek series—“Glimpses of Grace”—foreshadows our Lord’s birth by pointing to three special Old Testament children: Isaac, Samson, and Samuel. Though they are not born to save, they do point us forward to the Christ Child who is. Our December 5thevening service will focus on the birth of Isaac. (“Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7) Following Vespers at 7 p.m., we will enjoy refreshments and the gift of each other’s company in the church basement. Please join us!
Weekly emailing: The first few installments of pastor’s weekly emailing are in circulation. Please sign up on the sheet in the back of the sanctuary if you would like to be included. Or, send a quick email to email@example.com your desire to receive the communication. (Note: This may be one easy way for the church to keep in contact with our college students and military personnel, if parents can help with email contact information.)
Children’s Christmas Eve: The children of Zion will be assisting with the Christmas Eve service on Monday, December 24that 6 p.m. Practice will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on the following Saturdays: Dec. 8, 15, 22. Final practice take place during Sunday School (9 a.m.) on Sunday, December 23. Please call or text Tish Niemeier (308-258-3582) to indicate your child’s ability to participate.
Christmas Caroling: Carolers are invited to gather on Sunday, December 2ndto share the joyous message of our Savior’s birth. Voices of all ages are sought to share God’s Word in song! Finalized schedules will soon be available. CANCELED AS OF NOW!
Advent Devotionals: A simple daily devotion entitled “Unwrapping the Gifts” has been placed on the informational table in the narthex. Designed for use with an Advent wreath at the table, this brief devotion is ideal for Christian families. A “Higher Things” devotional including longer readings is also available. More copies will be made when we run out.
Isaiah—The Wednesday evening Bible study—postponed during the season of Advent— will resume in January.
Life Notes:Advent brings the gift of anticipating: “none who wait for … [the Lord] shall be put to shame” (Psalm 25:3). A surprise pregnancy likewise invites patient faith instead of using death as a solution to difficulty. So does struggling with infertility or enduring permanent disability. Our Father’s salvation comes, not sluggish but steadfast (Psalm 25:10). Life is His promise, and He will move heaven and earth to fulfill it (Jeremiah 33:14). Son of David, our coming King, establish us in hope. Amen.
A Mobile Lutheran Bible study: Issues, Etc.is a radio talk show and podcast produced by Lutheran Public Radio in Collinsville, IL and hosted by LCMS Pastor Todd Wilken. This week’s topics include: 4th Century Pastor Saint Nicholas of Myra, The Movie “Fantastic Beasts 2,” The Book of Amos, 8th Century Hymnwriter John of Damascus, The Birth of Jesus Foretold, 16th Century Ruler Philipp of Hesse and more. You can listen at your convenience at www.issuesetc.org and on the LPR mobile app.
We will be hosting an OPEN HOUSEon December 4 from6:00 – 8:00 pm. If you know of anyone interested in coming to Heartland Lutheran, next semester or in the future, please spread the word!