AN ETERNAL STORY: GOD WITH US!
December 1, 2019
First Sunday in Advent
God speaks, and things happen. “Let there be… light, sky, sea, land, creatures…” and it all springs into existence. But God’s Word creates more than matter. He speaks an eternal story, which existed before time and which has no end. This eternal story of love and life governs all of human history - past, present, and future - and the common theme of it all is an almighty God who longs to live with the creation He has made in love.
ADVENT SERVICES—Advent services begin Wed., Dec. 4 at 4:30 & 6:30 p.m. with a meal served in the gym at 5:30 pm. Don’t forget our weekly hymn sing! Each week we will sing 6-8 verses of hymns and carols chosen by the congregation. Join us for this Advent service favorite! Please see below for the Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve service schedules.
ADVENT DEVOTIONS—Devotions are available now at the Communications Center. The "Wonders of His Love" booklet includes Scripture, a devotional thought, prayer, and a family-oriented activity for each day of the Advent season. Children's Advent calendars will also be available at our first Advent meal.
CHURCH DECORATING—Join us Friday, Dec. 6 from 6-9 pm and/or Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 10 am for decorating the campus in preparation for Christmas. Many hands make the job easier and fun. Light refreshments will be provided. Men, women, and children of all ages are welcome.
POINSETTIA ORDERS—The Altar Guild is once again ordering poinsettias to decorate both worship spaces. There is a sign up sheet by the Luther Room to purchase your plants. The plants are $12 each and payment may be placed in the offering plate with "poinsettia" on the memo line or written on the envelope. December 15 is the deadline for ordering plants. Thank you for helping to beautify our worship spaces!
CHOIR COOKIE WALK—The Adult Choir and Handbell Choir will hold a Cookie Walk on Wed., Dec. 11, 5:15-6:30 pm (between Advent services) in the gym. Cookies are sold for $6 per pound, with all proceeds benefiting our music ministries. Come stock up with festive holiday cookies!
OSLS—The school faculty would like to invite the congregation to celebrate Christmas with our early childhood through 8th-grade students as they present how Christmas is celebrated in different cultures through song. Our program is Monday evening December 16 at 6:30 pm in the sanctuary.
SHARE LIFE WITH OUR SHEPHERD-Our LTF youth joined with eight other youth groups from across Indiana for the yearly District Youth Gathering. They served at the Shepherd Community Center, helping in their food pantry, preparing and serving breakfast, and preparing donations for Shepherd's annual Christmas store toy drive. We are thankful to be a part of a larger body of Christ doing His work!
IN OUR PRAYERS
Kathy Berkshire, Jeff Bick, Adler, Joe & Laurel Koehler, Katie Koontz, Tee Lipsey, Anna Rosebrough, Becky Roth, Doreen Schneider, Barb Stoner, Norie Strakis, Dian Summerlot, Earl Swart, and John Widau. For all of our homebound members including Al & Marian Schafer. For all missionaries, including Sydney Naber, Lutheran Young Adult Corps serving at Bethany in Milwaukee. For all who are imprisoned. For all persecuted Christians throughout the world. For our active military, including Dominick Greci, Dylan Pliska-Lyndoe and Rex Rafferty.
Advent Services, Dec. 4, 11, 18, 4:30 & 6:30 pm
Church Decorating, Dec. 6, 6 pm & Dec. 7, 10 am
MOPS Advent Tea, Dec. 7, 1 pm
OSLS Christmas Program, Dec. 16, 6:30 pm
OLD TESTAMENT READING, Genesis 2:4-24
4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
GOSPEL READING, John 1:1-18
16In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.