WELCOME to Sunday's
Readings, Sermon, and Prayers
This concludes the Readings, Prayers, and the Sermon for today.
It is our practice to proceed with the
SERVICE OF THE SACRAMENT
We encourage everyone to attend a service to receive the Sacrament.
Pastor Bontke will accept calls to schedule communion for individuals who wish to receive
the Sacrament of Communion on Tuesday after 9:30 am. The Sacrament will be given on Wednesday after 10 am.
BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR LUTHERAN CHURCH
6830 S. Pleasant Valley Rd.
Austin, TX 78744
Thought for Today: December 4, 2022
Wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might are unveiled in Jesus of Nazareth. In his letter to the Romans, Paul unwraps the complete truth—Jesus embraces even Gentile nations with divine hope, joy, and peace. John the Baptist, with his abrasive appearance and unexpected rhetoric, forcefully proclaims both judgment against arrogant Pharisees and the need for repentance. Ultimately, Jesus alone casts final judgment on the fate of unbelievers and eternally claims salvation for repentant sinners.
Collect of the Day
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Introit Psalm 105:4–8; antiphon: Isaiah 40:3b
In the wilderness prepare the way | of the Lord;*
make straight in the desert a highway | for our God.
Seek the Lord | and his strength;*
seek his presence con- | tinually!
Remember the wondrous works that | he has done,*
his miracles, and the judgments he | uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, his | servant,*
children of Jacob, his | chosen ones!
He is the | Lord our God;*
his judgments are in | all the earth.
He remembers his covenant for- | ever,*
the word that he commanded, for a thousand gener- | ations.
Glory be to the Father and | to the Son*
and to the Holy | Spirit;
as it was in the be- | ginning,*
is now, and will be forever. | Amen.
In the wilderness prepare the way | of the Lord;*
make straight in the desert a highway | for our God.
Gradual Zechariah 9:9; Psalm 118:26, alt. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of | Zion.*
Shout aloud, O daughter of Je- | rusalem.
Behold, your king is com- | ing to you;*
righteous and having sal- | vation.
Blessèd is he who comes in the name | of the Lord.*
From the house of the Lord we | bless you
Prayer of the Church—Ektene Form
Second Sunday in Advent (A)
4 December 2022
In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the Holy Church, that God would continually feed her with His Word and Sacraments as she looks for Christ’s return, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the Church, that pastors would continually prepare the way for Jesus’ return in glory by preaching Law and Gospel; and that congregations would hear their words in faith, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For families, that they would faithfully fulfill their vocations to love and forgive one another, even as they grow in the fear, love and trust of the Lord, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For civil authorities, that they would govern with justice and righteousness as leaders appointed by God to protect the innocent, punish the wicked and work for the common welfare of all, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For the sick and suffering, [especially _____________,] that as the day draws near when the wolf will dwell alongside the lamb and pain and destruction will be no more, God would grant them patience, comfort and healing according to His will, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all who commune this day, that their hearts would be stirred up to make ready the way of the Lord Jesus, who comes in His body and blood, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
Grant, heavenly Father, that we may be kept in joy and sustained in hope through every trouble and trial of this mortal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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.
The Lord’s Supper
Our Belief and Practice
The Lord’s Supper is celebrated at this congregation in the confession and glad confidence that, as He says, our Lord gives into our mouths not only bread and wine, but His very body and blood to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins, and to strengthen our union with Him and with one another. Our Lord invites to His table those who trust His words, repent of all sin, and set aside any refusal to forgive and love as He forgives and loves us, that they may show forth His death until He comes. Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm, and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and yet desire to receive the sacrament, are asked first to speak with the pastor. Anyone who is not communing today but would like to come forward to receive a baptismal blessing is welcome. Please cross your arms against your chest to indicate you desire a blessing not communion.
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.” 1Corinthians11:28
To assist you in preparing to receive the Lord’s Supper Martin Luther in his Small Catechism teaches us to ask ourselves the following questions:
1. Am I sorry that I have sinned against God?
2. Do I believe that Jesus died for my sins and gives me His body and blood in the Lord’s Supper as Scripture says?
3. Do I plan, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to change my sinful life?
Those preparing to receive the Lord’s Supper should be able to honestly answer ‘yes’ to each of these questions. A more complete examination is found on pages 329-330 of the hymnal - Lutheran Service Book. Prayers for “Before communing” and “Thanksgiving after receiving the Sacrament”, are located on the inside front cover of the hymnal.
The Readings for this Sunday are printed below. If you would like to hear the Word of God, go "BibleGateway.com" and go to the Book and Chapter and Verse.
Pastor Jonathan Bontke
Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”
And again it is said,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him.”
And again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope
The Learn by heart passage for the week beginning December 4, 2022
What is the first Article of the Creed?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean?
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have.
Sermon Text: Isaiah 11:1-10
Pastor Jonathan Bontke
Third Sunday in Advent
The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul!”
“Be patient . . . until the coming of the Lord.”
Jesus speaks regarding John the Baptist.
Remember your Baptism Daily!
We urge each of you to remember your Baptism every day, and to go at every opportunity to a church where they teach that Jesus suffered, died, and rose in victory for all of your sins, we also encourage you to read your Bible daily, in this way God will feed your faith and keep you sure of going to heaven.
One of many OAFC Witnessing method.
December 4, 2022
The Second Sunday in Advent
The Mission of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church:
Is to gather together to be built up in God’s word and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
C I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life + of the world to come. Amen.
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This pamphlet has been prepared to show you how much we need the Gospel, why it is such good news, how we receive it and how we respond to it. Why do we need the Gospel? We cannot really understand how good the message of the Gospel is until we understand how bad our situation is without it. We are poor miserable sinners. We sin daily and deserve nothing but God’s wrath and punishment. Without Jesus Christ, our situation would be totally hopeless. The Scriptures describe human beings as dead in trespasses and sin. Without the mercy and cleansing of God through the blood of Jesus Christ, there awaits for us only everlasting punishment in hell. Thus, we need the Gospel— desperately! What is the Gospel? The word “gospel” is a translation of a Greek word that means, “an announcement of good news.” The Gospel is the good news that God the Holy Trinity decided not to abandon humanity when Adam and Eve ﬁrst fell into sin. God decided then and there that sin and death would not have the last word. He promised to send a Savior. When the time was right, God sent His Son into our world to be born of the Virgin Mary. Our Lord Jesus Christ lived a perfect life for us. On the cross, He received the penalty and punishment for the sins of the whole world, offering Himself as the perfect sacriﬁce for sin. Jesus rose from the dead, victorious over our ancient enemies: sin, death and the devil. Therefore, each Christian is able with great joy and conﬁdence to declare before the whole world: “My Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.” What glorious good news! The one, true eternal and all- powerful God came into our world to live, suffer, die and rise again for us. We, who are unholy and unrighteous, receive the forgiveness of all our sins and thus receive the perfect holiness and righteousness of Christ our Savior—as a free gift—purely because of His love for us. That is good news! That is the Gospel! How do we receive this great salvation in our lives today? How do we personally receive the forgiveness Christ won for the entire world? How does what happened on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago ﬂow into our lives today? Here too there is very good news. God, through His Gospel, offers us forgiveness and help against sin in more than one way. God is surpassingly rich in His grace. He gives His Gospel to us through His Word, through Baptism, through the Sacrament of the Altar, and through confession and absolution. These are the ways God enters our lives today to apply to us personally the great salvation Christ won for the world. The Holy Spirit works through the Word of the Gospel to create and sustain faith in our heart that Christ is the Savior of the world, and thus our Savior too. The Bible is the Word of God, written down for our learning and ediﬁcation. The Scriptures are ﬁlled with the good news of Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us. Through the almighty, Spirit-ﬁlled Word, God gathers us into His church, which is truly the mother that begets and bears every Christian through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is present, effective and active through the Word when it is proclaimed, heard and meditated upon. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is water included in God’s command and combined with God’s Word; or as St. Paul says in Holy Scripture, “The washing of water with the word.” Through Baptism, we are made partakers of Christ’s death and resurrection. Therefore, we know that Baptism works forgive- ness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal life to all who believe. Since Baptism is connected to the Word and promise of God, it is truly a life-giving water, rich in grace—a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit. Christ has provided a special application of the Gospel through confession and absolution. Confession is admitting our sins to God and receiving His forgiveness from our pastor, as from God Himself, not doubting, but ﬁrmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven. Thus, by divine ordinance, Christ Himself has entrusted absolution to his Christian church and commanded us to absolve one another from sins. The Lord’s Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself, for us Christians to eat and to drink. In the Lord’s Supper, Christ’s body and blood are given to us as our treasure and gift which sustains our faith and life in Him. If you are heavy-laden and feel your weakness, go joyfully to the Sacrament and receive refreshment, comfort and strength. Those who want to be forgiven by God and who want to enjoy His presence in their lives, hunger and thirst for the Word and Sacraments. With the Psalmist we say, “My soul thirsts for God,for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” God has provided the means to receive Him. So, Christians hunger and thirst for God’s Word, absolution, the Sacrament, etc. We have the certainty that God meets us and gives us what we need in His means of grace. The forgiveness Christ won for the world on the cross is applied to us personally by God through His Word and Sacraments. What a joy for us to know that where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation. Thus, we believe that we cannot, by our own reason or strength, believe in Jesus Christ our Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit calls us by the Gospel, enlightens us with His gifts, sanctiﬁes and keeps us in the true faith. In the same way, He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctiﬁes the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all of our sins, and the sins of all believers. How does God cause us to respond to His Gospel? We love God because He ﬁrst loved us. Our Lord is at work in us both to will and to do what is pleasing to Him. Christians look to the Ten Commandments to know what is pleasing to God and wish to serve Him in gratitude for the great salvation that is theirs in Christ. From the Word of God we learn that God wants us to put Him ﬁrst, above any other person or thing, to respect His name and not misuse it, to hear and obey His Word. Children are to honor and obey their parents and others in authority. We are to look out for the welfare of others, doing nothing to hurt or harm our neighbor. We are to live sexually pure and decent lives, with husbands and wives loving and honoring each another. In looking out for our neighbor’s welfare and helping him to improve and protect his property and business, we are also to take care not to lie about our neighbor, but to help, support and defend him in every need, and, ﬁnally, we are to be content with what we have been given, and not want what is not ours. What a joyful privilege we have to serve God and others! He gives us the opportunity to bear witness to our faith through both our words and our deeds. How is the Gospel obscured? The Gospel is obscured by well-intentioned people who want to encourage a life of good works, and end up making Christians think that it is by their works that they are saved. This is a great danger. Through His Word and Sacraments, Jesus is constantly working in our lives to forgive our sins and strengthen our relationship with God. God always receives the credit for our salvation. He is the one working in us. This is not something we can do. Our good works are the result of God’s love in our hearts and lives. Our good works in this life do not save us, only Christ saves us. Works serve our neighbor and show to the world that we are grateful for God’s mercy in our lives. Another way the Gospel can be obscured is when too much emphasis is put on an emotional response to the Gospel. Some Christians believe that unless they have some sort of ecstatic, charismatic experience, or feel some sort of “spiritual high,” they are not really Christians. It is truly sad that some people look into their own hearts for the security that they are children of God, instead of putting their hope and trust in the objective work of Christ for them, and in the means God uses to come to them—His Word and Sacraments. If we ﬁnd ourselves beginning to ask, “Am I doing enough?” or thinking, “It doesn’t matter what I do, for God will forgive me anyway,” then we are at risk of losing Christ and His forgiveness. We look always to Jesus and put our hope and trust in Him. He is our Savior. And, that’s good news! All blessing, honor, thanks and praise to Father, Son and Spirit, the God who saved us by His grace. All glory to His merit! O triune God in heaven above, you have revealed your saving love. Your blessed name we hallow. — Dr. A. L. Barry President The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Old Testament………………………....................................Isaiah 11:1–10
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
Welcome to Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church!
We give thanks that gracious Lord Jesus Christ has gathered us together here for his Divine Service. Today again our Lord comes to serve us and lavish us with his gifts of life, forgiveness, and salvation. Rejoicing in those wonderful gifts, we sing with David in Psalm 84: “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! A day in your courts is better than a thousand Elsewhere.”
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Holy Gospel……………………………………………….............Matthew 3:1–12
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”