THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT – December 17, 2023 

                                        ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH – LCMS                                        700 Main St.  P.O. Box 220   Clyman, WI  53016

 John – The Voice Calling in the Wilderness!  Make Straight the way of the Lord!

Pastor Dan 1-(920)-341-2025 –

Bulletin Announcement email:

GuestsWelcome to Zion.  We are glad to have you with us.  Please sign our guestbook located in the Narthex.  About Holy Communion:  We welcome to the Lord’s Table all who have repented of their sins and seek to amend their sinful life; all who believe that Jesus is truly present in, with, and under the bread and the wine; and all who believe that through the words “given and shed for you” forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given.  If this is your confession and you are a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, then come with a thankful heart and join us.   If you are a visitor and would like to commune, please talk with Pastor Dan before the service.  To help in preparing to receive Holy Communion open the front cover of the Burgundy hymnal or turn to pages 329 & 330.  Gluten free wafers are available, please talk with an Elder or Pastor before the service if you would appreciate them.  

 AS WE GATHER –   “Advent” literally means “coming.”  The coming of the Messiah to save and His second coming to judge.  As we count down the days until Christmas, our hearts are getting ready to celebrate His coming into our world as the babe of Bethlehem.  At the same time, we prepare our hearts for His second advent, His final coming, when He will return to judge both the living and the dead.  Our readings today remind us of the special ministry of John the Baptist, who came as a witness to Christ, the light of the world.  John himself was not the light.  John’s life was dedicated to preparing the way into the hearts of the people for the coming Messiah.  That Messiah has commanded us to be like John: to trust in Him as our Savior and King, and then let the world know that He is the Savior who died for them and that He is coming again as the judge of the world.

Ringing of the Bell and Welcome

Hymn  “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed”        LSB 398

 Opening Sentences   Psalm 95:1–7 –    Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.  In his hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.  The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.   Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Invocation – In the name of the Father and of the X Son and of the Holy Spirit.    Amen

Confession and Absolution   1 Thessalonians 5:23–24

That we may rejoice in the great things our forgiving God does for us, let us together confess our sins before Him.  Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and what we have not done.  Instead of looking to Jesus and following Him in faith, we have looked to the world and lived as children of satan disobeying Your Word.  Instead of giving bold witness to You, we have kept silent and withheld Your message of grace from others.  For the sake of our Savior, have mercy on us.  Forgive us our sin and restore us in Your love.  Guide us and renew us.  Help us to walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name.  Amen.          “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”  Our faithful God hears our prayers and answers them, removing our sins from us and declaring us blameless in His sight through faith in Jesus Christ. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the X Son and of the Holy Spirit.    Amen.

Introit   Psalm 85:8–9, 12–13; antiphon: v. 7. –  Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.  I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints–but let them not return to folly.  Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.  The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.  Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.  Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

Kyrie – In peace let us pray to the Lord.   Lord, have mercy.  For the Peace from above and for our salvation let us pray to the Lord.  For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all let us pray to the Lord.  For this holy house and for all who offer here their worship and praise let us pray to the Lord.  Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.   Amen

Prayer of the Day – Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers.  Embolden our witness to Your true and only light that overcomes our darkness, and the darkness of this sinful world.  You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Old Testament Reading   Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11     The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.  They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.  For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.  Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed.  I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.

Epistle 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24 –  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies,      but test everything; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

Verse            Matthew 11:10b –   Alleluia.  Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight;  Alleluia.

Holy Gospel           John 1:6–8, 19–28 –  The Holy Gospel according St. John, the first chapter..       Glory to You, O Lord.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.   He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.        Vs 19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?”  He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”  And they asked him, “What then?  Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.”  “Are you the Prophet?”  And he answered, “No.”  So they said to him, “Who are you?  We need to give an answer to those who sent us.  What do you say about yourself?”  He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”  (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)  They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”      John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”  These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.       This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to You, O Christ.

Apostles’ Creed –    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.  And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn  “Hark the Glad Sound”                          LSB 349


Prayers of the Church

Service of the Sacrament  

Proper Preface –  It is good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, whose way John the Baptist prepared.  John rightly proclaimed Him to be the promised Messiah, the very Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, giving witness to the true light, who comes to shine upon us with grace and truth. Therefore, with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and singing:

Sanctus                                                                         LSB 161

Prayer of Thanksgiving –   Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of all creation, for You have had mercy on us and have given Your only-begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  In Your boundless mercy You sent Your faithful witness, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for Jesus and His coming kingdom.     With thankful hearts we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus,” confident that in His body and blood, given us to eat and drink, we receive the forgiveness of sins and so proclaim His death until He comes again in glory.  Hear us as we pray in His name and as He has taught us:

The Lord’s Prayer –     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 Words of Our Lord – Consecration of the Elements

Pax Domini   The peace of the Lord be with you always.   Amen

Agnus Dei                                                                     LSB 163

Distribution Hymns: “Today Your Mercy Calls Us” LSB 915                        “Hark!  A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding”  LSB 345                                                    “Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness”    LSB  636

Post-Communion Canticle

Thank the Lord                                                             LSB 164

Post-Communion Thanksgiving    2 Peter 3:14 – Gracious God, our heavenly Father, You have given us a foretaste of the feast to come in the Holy Supper of Your Son’s body and blood.  Keep us firm in the true faith throughout our days of pilgrimage that, on the day of His coming, we may, together with all Your saints, celebrate the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom which has no end; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.      Amen

Benediction      Numbers 6:24–26       The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.  Amen.   

Hymn  “Almighty Father, Bless the Word”              LSB 923



From the Board of Stewardship and Evangelism:    1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Christians express their thanks to God in many ways: in prayer, in giving to the Lord’s work, in acts of service to others, in faithful living in their daily callings. Everything we do to honor God in our lives is a means of returning thanks for the Lord’s many gifts to us.

The Pewpoint – THEME OF THE DAY –  The Coming of the Christ Brings True Rejoicing in His Forgiveness.     When he preaches repentance, John the Baptist points us to Christ Jesus. John was sent by God “as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him” (John 1:7). He baptizes with water in order to “make straight the way of the Lord,” who shall redeem His people from their sins (John 1:23). That Lord Jesus “who comes after” John now stands among us and makes Himself known to us (John 1:26–27). He has been anointed by the Holy Spirit “to bring good news to the poor” and “to bind up the brokenhearted” (Is. 61:1). By the washing of the water with His Word and Spirit, He clothes His Church with “the garments of salvation” and adorns her with His own righteousness “as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Is. 61:10). Therefore, we “rejoice always” in the Lord, “pray without ceasing” and “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16–18). For “the God of peace,” who has called you by the Gospel, will surely “sanctify you completely,” so that “your whole spirit and soul and body” will “be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23–24).

Saying Yes With Our Treasures –   Needed per week to make budget: $3,072

Advent service- $1,209  Plate $10   Sunday Envelopes $1,705   Plate $16.33      Cemetery Memorial – Eli Dornfeld Fund $ 50

Attendance:  Bible Class: 11    Advent Service: 30  Communed:   26                  Sunday Service:  57   Communed:   46

Dates to Remember:     

Dec. 19th – Chosen Bible Class at 6pm

Dec. 24th – No 8:30am worship service

Dec 24th – Christmas Eve @ 7pm

Dec 25th – Christmas Day @ 830am

Dec 31st – Christmas Day @ 830am

Jan 1st – New Year’s Day – no service

No service Wednesday Jan. 3rd

Jan 4th – quilting 11am to 2pm

Jan 4th – Council Meeting 6pm

Jan 10th – Mid-week services resume

We will be collecting mittens and hats for “Mary’s Room” for ages up to 5 years old.     We have another organization in Watertown called the Bread Basket. They will accept all sizes of mittens, hats and scarfs and we will be accepting donations through the New Year. There will be a box in the front entrance.

A Blessed Anniversary and Birthday to these members!

Jim & Erica G 12/23
Felix & Janet O 12/29
Kevin & Sandra S 12/29
Warren J 12/17
Ronald L 12/17
Malachi D 12/20
Karen H 12/25
Douglas S 12/28
Carol F 12/30


Quilter’s will be enjoying time off this December and will meet Thursday, January 4, 2024

We received a letter from Janis Mikits who was a Seminary student that we had as one of our missions. Pick up a copy in the back of church or in the narthex.

The January – March 2024 Portals of prayer are available for pick-up. Copies are in the back and in the narthex. We have regular print and large print.