Sunday, December 31, 2023, at 10 a.m.
WELCOME and ANNOUNCEMENTS
Pastor: In the name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Spirit.
CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Pastor: Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Pastor: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(Silence for reflection and self-examination)
Pastor: Most merciful God,
People: We confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Pastor: In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you, and for his sake God forgives you all your sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ he gives the power to become the children of God and bestows on them the Holy Spirit.
OPENING HYMN Angels, From the Realm of Glory
Pastor: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
People: And also with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
CHILDREN’S CHURCH DISMISSAL
FIRST LESSON Galatians 4:4-7
4When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
Lay Leader: The word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL LESSON Luke 2:22-40
Pastor: The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter.
People: Glory to you, O Lord.
22When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, [Joseph and Mary] brought [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
30for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Pastor: The Gospel of the Lord
People: Praise to you, O Christ.
THE MESSAGE Pastor Abera Hellemo
THE HYMN OF THE DAY What Child is This
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living 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.
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Each prayer petition will end with –
Lay Leader: Lord in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer.
Lay Leader: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
People: And also with you.
OFFERATORY SONG Lo, How a Rose is Blooming
Let the Vinyards be Fruitful
Let the vineyards be fruitful, Lord,
and ﬁll to the brim our cup of blessing.
Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown,
that we may be fed with the bread of life.
Gather the hopes and the dreams of all;
unite them with the prayers we offer.
Grace our table with your presence,
and give us a foretaste of the feast to come.
Lay Leader: Let us pray. Merciful Father,
People: We offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us—ourselves, our time, and our possessions, signs of your gracious love. Receive them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pastor: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them to the Lord.
Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Pastor: Blessed are you, Lord of heaven and earth. In mercy for our fallen world you gave your only Son, that all those who believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life. We give thanks to you for the salvation you have prepared for us through Jesus Christ. Send now your Holy Spirit into our hearts, that we may receive our Lord with a living faith as he comes to us in his holy supper.
People: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Pastor: It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and everliving God. But chiefly we are bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of our Lord; for he is the true Passover Lamb who gave himself to take away our sin, who by his death has destroyed death, and by his rising has brought us to eternal life. And so, with Mary Magdalene and Peter and all the witnesses of the resurrection, with earth and sea and all their creatures, and with angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
WORDS OF INSTITUTION
Pastor: In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Pastor: Lord, remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray:
People: 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.
At All Saints, we practice open communion. If you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and have been baptized, you are invited to commune. Those not receiving the bread and wine are invited to come forward for a blessing. Grape juice is also available.
Pastor: May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.
Lay Leader: We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life; and we pray that in your mercy you would strengthen us, through this gift, in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Pastor: Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.
CLOSING HYMN Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
Pastor: Go in peace. Serve the Lord!
People: Thanks be to God.