Promises Kept – December 11, 2018

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 3:1

Promises Kept


Daily Devotion – December 11, 2018

Devotion based on Malachi 3:1

See series: Devotions

In our world, promises are often broken. As parents, we sometimes have to break promises to our children when circumstances outside of our control change. Children make promises to clean their rooms and wash the car but are then distracted or find something more fun. Just because someone makes a promise does not give us the certainty it is going to be kept.

Except when God makes promises. He always keeps his promises. He promised he would send a messenger to prepare the way for the Messiah. God kept that promise when he sent John the Baptist who prepared the people for the coming Messiah by calling them to repentance. After Adam and Eve fell into sin, God promised he would send a Savior who would crush the devil’s head and reconcile God and man. God kept that promise when he sent Jesus into the world who lived perfectly as we could not, who died on the cross to pay for our sins, and who rose from the grave to conquer death. God has kept every single promise he has ever made!

This gives us the peace of knowing he will continue to keep every promise to us. We don’t have to fear the problems we face or be filled with anxiety over what is to come. God has always been faithful to his promises and always will be. May this truth bring you peace today.

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, come quickly in your might and with your power. Give us peace as we face the challenges of today knowing that one day you will have us to live with you eternally in heaven. Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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A Peaceful Highway – December 10, 2018

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’”
Luke 3:4-6

A Peaceful Highway


Daily Devotion – December 10, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 3:4-6

See series: Devotions

In ancient times, roads were often built or improved before a king would travel to a distant country. The king was supposed to have a smooth, easy ride from one place to another. The more important or well-loved the king, the bigger and better the highway. You could learn a lot about a king by looking at how nice a road was built for him.

As we prepare for the arrival of our King, Jesus, this Advent season, how will we prepare the way for him to come into our hearts? It begins by repenting of everything that would get in the way—every selfish thought, every evil intention, every hurtful word, every mean look, every arrogant attitude. Repentance begins with recognizing what is wrong in our lives and then looking to Jesus as the solution to our sins. Knowing that in him we have forgiveness, we seek to thank him with lives that please him.

In the days before Jesus’ ministry, God used John the Baptist to prepare the way for King Jesus. Today, God uses people like pastors to preach God’s Word and prepare us for the arrival of our King. Or, he uses our reading of the Bible or a devotion such as this one. May God continue to prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our King!

Prayer:
Loving Savior, we thank you for paving your way to our hearts and leading us to repent; trusting in you for forgiveness. Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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Forgiveness Brings Peace – December 9, 2018

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke 3:1-3

Forgiveness Brings Peace


Daily Devotion – December 9, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 3:1-3

See series: Devotions

Guilt is a terrible burden to bear. Maybe you stole a cookie from mom’s cookie jar. Maybe you nicked someone’s car in a parking lot but then drove off. Maybe there’s a dark secret that needs to be admitted to a spouse before a marriage splits at the seams. Guilt over sins we have committed can shatter any semblance of peace our hearts once held. Guilt keeps us awake at night and makes us not want to wake up in the morning. As painful as it is, admitting when we have been wrong is the first step in returning peace to our hearts.

This is what John the Baptist was preaching in the desert country around the Jordan River. He was preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John’s whole purpose was getting people ready to meet their Savior, Jesus. The only way for them to be prepared to meet their Savior was to admit that they needed a Savior. When they did, John pointed them to Jesus and the forgiveness only he can provide.

The forgiveness Jesus brings is for you too. No sin is too big for Jesus to forgive. No guilt can overcome the victory Jesus won for you on the cross.

Admitting guilt and getting everything out in the open is very hard to do. It is especially hard to admit your guilt to the person whom you have wronged. But when you repent, you can rest assured that God has forgiven you, even if no one else will. God’s forgiveness brings peace.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, giver of peace, extend your forgiveness to me and rid my heart of guilt through the work of your Son, my Savior, Jesus. Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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Hope That Increases Love – December 8, 2018

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
1 Thessalonians 3:12

Hope That Increases Love


Daily Devotion – December 8, 2018

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 3:12

See series: Devotions

The weeks before Christmas are called Advent—it’s a Latin word that means “coming.” Advent invites us to wait—quietly and patiently for Jesus to come this Christmas. But do you know how hard it is to wait? Holiday times are hectic and stressful. We sing “Joy to the World,” but family fighting, overspending, and physical exhaustion steal our joy and drain our love. Toys don’t work without batteries. Smart phones die without an overnight charge. Cars don’t run without gas. When we get impatient or speak sarcastically, it shows our supply of love is running on empty.

But what if God could give the kind of holiday love that actually increases your love and patience in the coming days before Christmas? Would that help as you wait? Would that make it easier for others to be around you? God wants to fill you up with his love. Every day before Christmas, we remember why we are looking so forward to celebrate Jesus’ birth. His tiny hands and feet born at Christmas were the same hands and feet that died on the cross. Now, the living Jesus is just the proof that we need, “God will always love me!”

As you head into the first weekend of December, hear the voice of Advent encourage, “Wait, slow down a bit! Don’t get entangled in the hustle and the bustle of the season. Get focused instead on what really matters. It’s Jesus.” Love is God’s gift to you. Christ’s love makes it possible for our hearts to brim over in love and patience to others like our children or spouse, our siblings or coworkers, our friends and neighbors.

While you patiently wait for Christmas to come, pray that God would so fill our hearts, souls, and minds that we want to then share this love with someone who is empty inside and desperately in need of love. No outside love can fill that void. Only Jesus and his love can!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, as we wait for your coming, supply what you know is lacking inside us. Deepen our faith and fill us with your love so that our love increases for you and for others. Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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BULLETIN- THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT DECEMBER 9, 2018

EMMANUEL & ST. JOHN’S

Ev. Lutheran Church

Montello, WI

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

C:\Users\secretary\Downloads\Cover (7).jpg

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

DECEMBER 9, 2018

WELCOME TO OUR CHURCH! We extend a warm welcome to everyone today, especially our visitors. In the bulletin you’ll find an outline of today’s service, a calendar of events and other bits of information. In the red hymn book you’ll find the songs we sing and the order of service that we follow. If you would like a large print hymnal or bulletin please ask one of our ushers and they will gladly assist you. Restrooms and nursery area are located the parish hall at Emmanuel and in the lower level and “link-way” at St. John’s. It’s nice to have you visit today. May God bless our worship together!

A PERSONAL PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP Heavenly Father, the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepared the hearts of your people as your Chosen One entered our world to be our Savior. Let that same Advent voice cry out to my heart so that with true repentance I prepare to celebrate the coming of my newborn King. Replace my spiritual pride with Christlike humility, my apathy with commitment and dedication. With your power, hope and love, come and lead me as I dedicate my life to you. Keep my attention also on the skies as I watch and pray for the triumphant return of Christ my King. Bless my worship. Amen.

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY The Second Sunday in Advent:  Preparing for Purity is Often Painful – Many people look for easy fixes for their problems. God, though, often puts his people through a long, painful process to prepare us to embrace the Savior he has sent. God always works through his Word to develop in us a life that shows the fruit of the purity he has put around us in Christ.

ORDER OF SERVICE–LITURGY

Service of the Word (hymnal page 38)

PASTOR’S GREETING

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLES

(P: Pastor reads – C: Congregation reads)

P: We light two Advent candles remembering Jesus who came in history. He came into a world of sin and death.

C: We remember Jesus who came as the promised Messiah. John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord.

P: We hear his call to repent.

C: We light two Advent candles as a sign of our repentance and desire for renewal.

P: Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest.

C: Through your Word and Spirit may our souls be blessed.

(Two Advent candles are lit)

OPENING HYMN 3 “Lift Up Your Heads, You Mighty Gates”

(printed in hymnal, all sing)

(Please stand)

LITURGY (hymnal page 38, read & sung responsively)

PRAYER OF THE DAY (read by the pastor)

(Please be seated for the day’s Scripture readings)

TODAY’S THEME

Rejoice! The Lord is Near!

FIRST LESSON Malachi 3:1-4

The prophet Malachi foretells the coming of “the messenger of the covenant”

“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

PSALM 24 (hymnal page 73, cantor sings first line, congregation sings second line, all sing refrains and Gloria)

EPISTLE LESSON Philippians 1: 3-11

Our God who brought us to faith will keep us in the faith until Christ returns

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

VERSE OF THE DAY Alleluia! “Prepare the way for the Lord, Make straight paths for him. All mankind will see God’s salvation.” Alleluia! (Luke 3:4,6)

LITURGY (hymnal pages 40, all sing)

(Please stand)

GOSPEL Luke 3:1-6 (today’s sermon text)

John the Baptist urges us to prepare the way for the coming Lord

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’”

LITURGY (hymnal page 40b, all sing)

“Praise be to you, O Christ”

(Please be seated)

SERMON HYMN 16 “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry”

(printed in hymnal, all sing)

SERMON Luke 3:1-6

“Straight Talk From God”

For people of the 21st century: “Repent!”

(Please stand after the sermon)

THE APOSTLES’ CREED (hymnal page 41, all read)

(Please be seated)

OFFERING, WORSHIPER GREETINGS, FRIENDSHIP REGISTERS & WELS CONNECTION DVD AT ST. JOHN’S

OFFERING PRAYER (read by pastor)

(Please stand)

ADVENT PRAYER (read by pastor)

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS -For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: George Alexander, George Chapman, Gene & Sharon Crook, Harley & Liola Crown & son Terry, Agnes Dassow, Elaine Emond (Mark’s mother), Earl Ewert, Mike Farrell, Kellen Grucza (Judy Fandrey’s daughter), Dawn Hirn (Linda Krause’s niece), Joel Jaster, Bob Klapper (Sandy’s husband), Arden “Bill” Klimke, Linda Krause, Pete Laun, Lilly Mann, LuAnn Reber, Wayne Riemer, Frankie Russell, Mark & Peggy Russell (Elsa’s son & daughter in-law), Dennis Schwanke (Mary Isberner’s friend), Amanda Stalker, Dennis & Ramona Wacholtz, Donny Weber (Betty’s son), Paul Weldon, Millie Wildt (John’s wife) – (added this week: Peggy Russell)

– For Adam & Jillian Igl (Adam currently serves as teacher at St. John’s School–Newburg) called at our 11/18 St. John’s–Montello voters meeting to serve as principal/teacher–3-5 or 6-8 grades & K3-K5 director/teacher respectively

– For Rachel Hinz, whose husband William currently serves as principal/teacher at St. John’s School–Pardeeville, called at our 11/18 St. John’s–Montello voters meeting to serve as 1st & 2nd grade teacher

– For our communicants at St. John’s

LORD’S PRAYER (hymnal page 43, all read)

*Note: At Emmanuel, service continues with…

(Please be seated)

HYMN 13:1-2 “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Crying”

(printed in hymnal, all sing)

(Please stand)

CLOSING PRAYER & BLESSING (hymnal page 43, read & sung responsively)

CLOSING HYMN 13:3 “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Crying” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

*Note: At St. John’s, service continues with…

HOLY COMMUNION LITURGY (hymnal page 33, read & sung responsively)

(Please be seated for the distribution)

At Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Church & St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church we practice closed Communion. If you are a guest at worship today and interested in receiving the Lord’s Supper, please speak with the pastor prior to the service. Thank you.

Z:\CHURCH STUFF\CW Supplement Electronic Pew Edition CD ROM\TIFF files\Hymns\CWS 741.tifDISTRIBUTION HYMNS 741 “Take and Eat” (printed below on bulletin pages 7 & 8), 13:1-2 “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Crying” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

Z:\CHURCH STUFF\CW Supplement Electronic Pew Edition CD ROM\TIFF files\Hymns\CWS 741.tif(Please stand)

THANK THE LORD, CLOSING PRAYER & BLESSING (hymnal pages 36-37)

(Please be seated)

CLOSING HYMN 13:3 “There’s a Voice in the Wilderness Crying” (printed in hymnal, all sing)

(Note: As you leave today’s service, please give your completed friendship register sheet to an usher or pastor. Thank you!)

Announcements

THEME FOR NEXT SUNDAY DECEMBER 16, 2018

Advent 3: “Produce Fruit in Keeping with Repentance”

ACTIVITIES FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 9-DECEMBER 15

Sun.

8:00 A.M.

Emmanuel Worship

8:30 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School (sanctuary)

9:00 A.M.

St. John’s Adult Bible Study (lower level)

9:00 A.M.

Emmanuel Christmas tree setup & decorating

10:00 A.M.

St. John’s Worship (with communion)

Mon.

6:30 P.M.

Bible Information Class at St. John’s

6:30 P.M.

Choir at St. John’s

7:30 P.M.

St. John’s Adult Bible Study

Tues.

Wed.

8:00 A.M.

St. John’s School Chapel

10:00 A.M.

Adult Bible Study at St. John’s

1:40 P.M.

St. John’s School/Little Lambs early release

2:15 P.M.

Public School Teen Confirmation at St. John’s

3:30 P.M.

Emmanuel Advent Devotion (Zietlow)

6:30 P.M.

St. John’s Advent Devotion (Stelter)

Thurs.

NO St. John’s Teen Confirmation

NO Montello Care Center Devotion

10:00 A.M.

Martin Luther College mid-year graduation

10:00 A.M.

St. John’s Ladies Aid Poinsettia delivery

6:00 P.M.

Griefshare at St. John’s

Fri.

Sat.

9:00 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School Christmas rehearsal

12:30 P.M.

Claussen Christmas lunch & show

SCHEDULE FOR NEXT SUNDAY DECEMBER 16, 2018

Advent 3: “Produce Fruit in Keeping with Repentance”

8:00 A.M.

Emmanuel Worship

8:30 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School

9:00 A.M.

Emmanuel/St. John’s Adult Bible Study

10:00 A.M.

St. John’s Sunday School Christmas Service

ST. JOHN’S SUNDAY ADULT BIBLE STUDY will be held in the lower level while Sunday School kids practice in sanctuary.

THANK YOU to all those who donated funding for the beautiful wreaths hanging on St. John’s front doors:  Edith Deusterhoeft, Kay Maass, Marilyn Riemer, Anita Reimer, and Al and Carolyn Rosenthal.  Wreaths are a symbol of welcome to those passing by and to those coming in.  Thank you so much for sharing your blessings with others.  And thank you, also, to Ashley Henke, who used her creative talents to make the wreaths.

THANK YOU to an anonymous donator who gave $2,500.00 towards St. John’s School tuition assistance. Your gift is deeply appreciated. “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.” Psalm 118:21

PLEASE COME CHRISTMAS CAROLING!  During this season of sharing, we ask St. John’s members of all ages to share a little of your time and the joys of the Christmas season by lending your voices caroling at the Montello Care Center on Sunday, December 23.  All ages are welcome!  Please meet in the entrance of the Center so we can be ready to sing at 9 a.m.  We will return to church in plenty of time for the worship service that day.

SAVE THE DATE Saturday, February 2nd

Art for Dinner! Join us for a night of fellowship, dinner and a silent auction of the children’s art projects. This year we are raising money for our athletic fund. Funds will be used for things such as upgrading our equipment, jerseys and tournament fees. If there is anyone that would like to help with the dinner or the students with an art project, please feel free to contact:

Megan Jaster- 608-369-3456 mj.jastersag@outlook.com or

Ciara Neuhauser 608-369-0901 ciaraneuhauser24@gmail.com

FELLOWSHIP AND REFRESHMENTS after the Emmanuel Christmas Eve Service Dec. 23rd at 6:00 PM. Members and guests are all invited to join us in the Parish Hall.  If you have extra cookies please bring a plate to share. If not please come anyway.

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH WELS DVDS are available in the St. John’s link way-$5 donation.

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS member): “Be fishers of men. You catch ’em. He’ll clean ’em.”

VOLUNTEERS WANTED AT EMMANUEL Emmanuel Lutheran Church is still recruiting 1 (or more) volunteers to assist with the following position; all expenses are reimbursed by Emmanuel Lutheran Church.  

1) Sunday School Teacher: This individual will help further the Christian up-bringing of parish and non-parish children, historically between the ages of 2 and 6, by managing the weekly Sunday School sessions held in the Emmanuel Parish Hall. The timing of the class and age group preference is flexible.  If you are interested in serving the Lord with your time and talents by assisting with these important activities, please contact Darrell Buchholz or Pastor Zietlow.

MIDWEEK ADVENT DEVOTIONS “A Light in the Darkness” The first 3 Wednesday in December (12/5, 12, 19), Pastor Dolan, Pastor Stelter (from St. John’s–Princeton) and Pastor Zietlow will be leading Advent Devotions. 3:30m at Emmanuel–Big Mecan & 6:30pm at St. John’s–Montello. “Come, O Long-Expected Jesus” (Hymn 6)

PLEASE MUTE YOUR CELL PHONES before the worship service begins. No texting while driving or worshiping.

Usher Schedule

December 9

E

(with comm.) SJ

Lucas Stelter, Jim Stuempges, Brian Ninneman

Don Smith; Chief, Ken Borzick, Ben Emond, Thomas Wojtalewicz, James Henke

December 12

(Advent 3:30pm) E

(Advent 6:30pm) SJ

Wayne Stelter, Don Stelter, Joe Heller

Kenon Smith; Chief, Paul Van Treeck, Martin Schmanke, Lee Ollendorf, Aaron Kendall

December 16

E

SJ

Don Stelter, Noah Buchholz, Paul Dahlke

Cal Kapp; Chief, Chuck Boetcher, Jim Eisermann, Corey Kaul, Jerre Duerr

December 19

(Advent 3:30pm) E

(Advent 6:30pm) SJ

Wayne Stelter, Don Stelter, Joe Heller

James Wachholz; Chief, Robin Smith, Del Henke, Joe Zauner, Gordon Krause

December 23

E

(with comm.) SJ

Brian Ninnemann, Bruce Stelter, Joe Heller

Jack Yates; Chief, Richard Freitag, Gerhardt Voigt, Mitch Simon, Karl Whitrock

December 24

SJ

(Christmas Eve 7:00pm)

Don Smith; Chief, Matt Borzick, Glen Bubolz, Al Rosenthal, Christopher Smith

December 25

E

(Christmas Day 9:00am)

December 30

E

SJ

DuWayne Sommerfeld, Glenn Buchholz, Brian Ninnemann

Kenon Smith; Chief, Calvin Wojtalewicz, Zeb Zuehls, Mark Emond, Kevin Kaul

December 31

(with comm.) SJ

(New Year’s Eve 7:00pm)

Cal Kapp; Chief, Scott Ritz, Ken Borzick, Ben Emond, Thomas Wojtalewicz, James Henke

St. John’s Greeters Schedule

Dec. 9

Paul & Christa Van Treeck

Dec. 16

Kathy North

Dec. 23

Phyllis Farrell & Pat Henning

Dec. 24

Karl Whitrock & Elsa Russell

Dec. 30

Sara Borck & Jennie Utke

Dec. 31

Wayne & Marilyn Riemer

Attendance

Emmanuel

St. John’s

12-2 12-5

? 42

45 53

St. John’s Altar Committee:

December 2018

Diane Eisermann

&

Delores Cotte

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PERSONAL PRAYERS

For Worship

In the Name of Jesus

FOR PEACE

O God of peace, I turn aside from an unquiet world, seeking rest for my spirit and light for my thoughts. I bring my work to be sanctified, my wounds to be healed, my sins to be forgiven, my hopes to be renewed. In you there is perfect harmony. Draw me to yourself, and silence the discords of my wasteful life. Your greatness is beyond my highest praise. Take me out of the loneliness of self, and fill me with the fullness of your peace.

REMEMBRANCE OF BAPTISM

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: in the water of baptism you forgave my sin and delivered me from death and the devil. You raised me to a new life in Christ and clothed me with his merit. Help me rejoice in your washing of salvation and live before you in righteousness and purity forever.

A PERSONAL CONFESSION OF SIN

Father, I have sinned against you and am no longer worthy to be called your child. Especially am I sorry for ______. Yet in mercy you sacrificed your only Son to purge away my guilt. For his sake, O God, be merciful to me, a sinner, and in the joy of your Holy Spirit let me serve you all my days.

PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Praise to you, O God, maker of all things. You gave me life and breath. You sent your Son to cleanse me from sin and your Spirit to make me glad. Thank you for providing me with all that I need to live. Especially do I thank you for ______. To you be honor and glory now and forever.

BEFORE WORSHIP

Heavenly Father, I have come to worship you. Draw near to me in your gracious Word, and assure me of your loving kindness. Curb my wandering thoughts, that with undivided attention I may hear your voice and sing your praise.

O Lord—our Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter—we are assembled in your presence to hear your holy Word. We pray that you would open our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that through the preaching of your Word we may repent of our sins, believe in Jesus, and grow day by day in grace and holiness. Hear us for Jesus’ sake.

BEFORE COMMUNION

Lord, I am not worthy to be a guest at your holy table. But you are the friend of sinners, and you will not cast me out. This bread is your body, which bore my sins upon the tree. This wine is your blood, which purifies me from all guilt. At your invitation, I come rejoicing. Receive me, my Savior.

AFTER COMMUNION

Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for nourishing me in this sacrament with your body and blood. You have given me forgiveness, life, and salvation. Let me always remain in you as a branch remains in the vine. Send me out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.

O living Bread from heaven, how richly you have fed your guest! The gifts you now have given have filled my heart with joy and rest. Lord, grant me that thus strengthened with heavenly food, while here my course on earth is lengthened, I serve with holy fear. And when you call my spirit to leave this world below, I enter through your merit where joys unmingled flow.

AFTER WORSHIP

Good Shepherd, I was glad to be here, gathered with your flock to worship you. Cause the Word I have heard to take root in my heart and bear fruit in my life. Guide me in paths of righteousness, that my words and actions might lead others to glorify you.

Grant, O Lord, that the lips which here have sung your praise may continue to glorify you in the world; that the ears which have heard you speak may be open always to your Word and closed to hatred and discord; that the tongues which have confessed your name may always speak the truth without fear; that all of us who have worshiped together today may be united in true love for each other as you have loved us in Jesus.

BY THOSE SERVING AT WORSHIP

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: I am happy for the privilege of ministering in your house. Help me to be reverent and humble in my service, setting a good example by my words and actions. Enable me to fulfill my duties in such a way that I may assist others to worship you joyfully.

Welcome To Our Visitors!

Please Sign Our Guest Register

Visit our website link at: www.stjohnsmontello.org

Like & find us on Facebook

Pastor Peter Zietlow Office (608) 297-2321

Cell & Text (608) 408-7830, E-mail: zietlowpl6@hotmail.com

Teacher Karin Stellick (920) 342-3689

Teacher Sara Borck (858) 731-7919

Teacher Rachel Naumann (847) 913-2135

Teacher Cassie Doering (920) 723-8986

Parish/School Secretary Ciara Neuhauser (608) 297-2866

Altar Ladies Elaine Kelm (920) 344-0025 &

Carolyn Rosenthal 589-5036

Mail to: 313 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949

OR scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org

Winnebago Lutheran Academy

Principal Mr. David Schroeder/WLA office (920) 921-4930

WLA website: www.wlavikings.org

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Hope that Deepens Faith – December 7, 2018

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:9-10

Hope that Deepens Faith


Daily Devotion – December 7, 2018

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10

See series: Devotions

The Apostle Paul was in a happy mood. He just received some good news. A group of believers were safe. Troublemakers had stirred up bad feelings toward anyone who believed in Jesus. They formed a mob, they started a riot. For months, Paul worried about what happened to the believers. Finally, news reached Paul’s ears. Not only did the little group survive, but they were growing stronger in their faith! The good news made Paul so happy! “How can we thank God enough for you,” he cried out.

Have you experienced that feeling when your worst fears never materialized?

  • A young child imagines a lurking closet shadow to be a real monster. A flick of the light switch shows it was only a hanging shirt. What a relief!
  • A student thinks he bombed a test, but he got an “A!” What joy!
  • The auto shop warns the repair bill may be huge, but it turns to be a quick fix! What happiness!
  • The doctor cautions about the outcome of the medical tests, but it turns out to be nothing! What a surprise! You just want to hug someone!

Jesus gives us news this Christmas that gives real hope, it dispels the dark and replaces fears. What good is a house filled with decorations and lights if your heart is empty of Jesus? Only Jesus can fill a heart “lacking in faith.”

The Apostle Paul wanted only the best for the people that he loved. So he shared Jesus with them. He prayed for their faith to be safe and strong. Do you know someone who lives in the dark because they don’t know Jesus? Are you worried that they may be in real danger? Maybe Jesus can use you to share him, so their faith may be in Jesus too! Start thinking and praying that Jesus turns on the light of faith and gives them the gift of hope in their hearts and may share it through you.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, your coming this Christmas makes us so happy! Supply what is lacking in our faith. Make it strong! Give us someone to share our happiness so the gift of hope can be theirs too! Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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Hope When Facing Stress – December 6, 2018

[Jesus said] “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:34-36

Hope When Facing Stress


Daily Devotion – December 6, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:34-36

See series: Devotions

Andy Williams raised Christmas expectations when he sang his Christmas classic, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” What a wonderful time of year for holiday songs and Hallmark Channel movies! We dream of a white Christmas and the perfect family gathering.

But what happens when our dreamy expectations for the perfect Christmas don’t come true? It may explain why holiday times are some of the most stressful days of the year for people. For some it’s the stress of fighting the crowds and trying to find the perfect gift. For others it’s the stress of getting everything decorated, baked, and ready on time. We stress from trying to create the wonderful Christmas we dream about and now, it’s only 19 days away! Stress is dangerous if it tempts us to cope with it in unhealthy ways—unhealthy for the body and the soul. That’s why Jesus warned: “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life” (v. 34).

Are you feeling the holiday stress? Do you want to get rid of it? Then Jesus offers this remedy: He said “Be always on the watch, and pray” (v. 36). This time of year requires spiritual vigilance and prayer. Our hope for the perfect Christmas is connected to the One whose love led him to the cradle and then to the cross for us. Our hope for the best future possible isn’t a dream. It’s certain because it rests on him who promised to come back again to take us to be with himself forever. He’s the One who said “Be on guard! Be alert!”

We may not be able to completely insulate ourselves from all stress. But we can take what is stressing us to the Lord of all who loves us completely. Now we are ready to face our stress and to work it out in faith-filled, faith-building ways, in Jesus!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when the holiday season or earth’s end-time season gets me stressed, help me find rest in you and help me to remain vigilant in my walk of faith with you. Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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Hope for the Future – December 5, 2018

[Jesus] told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Luke 21:29-33

Hope for the Future


Daily Devotion – December 5, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:29-33

See series: Devotions

Today, Jesus invites us to think of budding trees. When blossoms burst forth, the message is clear: Summer will soon be here!

I know. It’s December. In many places this time of year, the trees are bare and the temperature is cold. But did you know there are trees “blooming” this time of year? It’s Christmas tree! The message is clear: Christmas is drawing near!

So when Jesus talks about fig trees blooming, he’s really talking about having our souls ready for the advent of his kingdom, when he comes again. The Christmas tree and its decorations can help get us ready for the same:

  • The evergreen tree reminds us that Jesus is the ever-living and eternal Son of God. But he was also born into our world in human flesh so that he could die for our sins. Jesus was even nailed to a wood tree—the cross.
  • The Christmas colors of green and red represent life (green) and death (red). We have life because Jesus gave his life and shed his red blood for us.
  • The star on top of the Christmas tree reminds us of the star that led the Wise Men to find the baby Jesus.
  • All the lights on the Christmas tree remind us that Jesus is the Light in a sin-darkened world. He illuminates our hearts and minds to see God’s truth: that he really is our promised Savior!

So when you see a Christmas tree, remember its “full-bloom” message: God’s kingdom is coming! Jesus is coming! What hope the message of Christmas gives us! Jesus will return to deliver you to his eternal kingdom! That’s a message that not only gets us excited, but also ready to celebrate Christmas, but especially to meet Jesus!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, during this blessed and busy Christmas season, use the sight of the Christmas tree and its decorations to point our attention to you. Help us keep our focus on you so we will be prepared to meet you when you come again! Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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Hope in the Face of Fear – December 4, 2018

[Jesus said] “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25-28

Hope in the Face of Fear


Daily Devotion – December 4, 2018

Devotion based on Luke 21:25-28

See series: Devotions

You may not believe it, but some people are afraid of Christmas. There’s even a fancy-sounding name for this. It’s called: “festivalisophobia.” A fear of festivals.

You might be wondering, “Why would people be afraid of Christmas?” For some, it may be Christmas trees or flashing Christmas lights. More serious are those who are afraid of the message of Christmas. Think about it: If you don’t understand who this holiday is about and why his birth is such a big deal, Christmas and everything that accompanies it can be confusing, even scary!

If Christmas celebrates Jesus’ first coming into our world; can you imagine how afraid those same people might be at Jesus’ second coming on the Last Day? Jesus’ words are startling and scary: “Nations will be in anguish and perplexity…People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world” (vv. 26-27).

But Jesus encourages a very different kind of reaction to the signs of his second coming: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads.” (v. 28). Jesus doesn’t want us cowering, but confident. He doesn’t want us afraid, but anticipating and ready! Why? “Because your redemption is drawing near” (v. 28).

When you know who Jesus is and how his blood made amends for you sins, there is absolutely nothing to fear, and certainly not Christmas! Not even the scary-sounding events described at the end of this age! Jesus gives us hope in the face of fears!

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, you came to this world to give us hope. Draw us close to you. Quiet our fears and comfort us with your coming. Remind us that you are coming back for us to take us to be with you forever in heaven! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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The Hope of Salvation – December 3, 2018

“In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: the LORD Our Righteous Savior.”
Jeremiah 33:15-16

The Hope of Salvation


Daily Devotion – December 3, 2018

Devotion based on Jeremiah 33:15-16

See series: Devotions

Ever hear someone begin a sentence by saying, “Back in my day…” Maybe it was a parent or grandparent reminiscing about experiences in life and how different things are today compared to “back in my day.” Depending on the situation, life could either have been more difficult or better.

In some ways life has been made easier. Rapid advancements in technology have transformed how we communicate and made it possible to stay better connected with each other. At the same time, some may argue those very advancements are keeping people from talking face-to-face with each other: “Back in my day, neighbors would just drop by to say, ‘Hi.’ Back in my day, kids could play outside all day unsupervised.”

When the prophet Jeremiah looked back at his days the memory of his people’s past made him wince. They wandered from God, they were unfaithful to him. What a painful memory. Jeremiah knew their only hope of standing before a just and holy God lay not in the past but in the future. That’s why Jeremiah begins today’s passage, “In those days…” He’s looking ahead in hope to a future descendant someone who would “sprout” from ancient King David’s family tree. He would be faithful and save people from their sinful past.

Does the memory of your past make you wince? Our only hope of standing before a just and holy God is by looking ahead this Christmas to the Branch who sprouted from ancient King David’s family tree. He is Jesus! Jesus made right all our past wrongs. Jesus satisfied God’s demands. We are saved from our past and we find our eternal safety in Christ. God’s promise has come true! He packaged and delivered it in a baby in a manger.

So, in these days before Christmas, Jesus’ gives us something to look back at and be thankful. Because of Jesus, we have a future hope of salvation!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the salvation you have secured for us through your righteousness. Amen.

 

 

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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