Fourth Sunday in Advent | December 20, 2020

Fourth Sunday in Advent | December 20, 2020

Worship Service for The Fourth Sunday in Advent

Rev. Gregory Mech | December 20, 2020 | Fourth Sunday in Advent | Immanuel Lutheran Church ONLINE and IN-PERSON – Joplin, Missouri | 8:00 and 10:30 am

Still Wearing Face Masks, Some Classes and On-Campus Activities Have Returned | In-Person Services and Holy Communion are back! Limited Seating. Learn more.

Special Services on Christmas Eve (5 & 7pm) and Christmas Day (10am). Join us online or in-person! Check out our Advent and Christmas Schedule.

Use our new JESSE TREE Devotions and Activities with your children each day of Advent, leading up to Christmas 2020!

Thank you for supporting Immanuel Lutheran financially. Learn more at

Martin Luther School is Joplin’s Lutheran School, serving children from age 2 through 8th grade. Learn more and receive a FREE Educational Success Consultation! Call 417-624-1403.

Special thanks to all who helped to make this broadcast possible today:
Rev. Gregory Mech, DCE Jason Glaskey, organist Betty Lingenfelter,
the COVID Committee and Board of Elders.

Fourth Sunday in Advent bulletin cover. Immanuel Lutheran Church LCMS. Joplin Missouri

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

A portion of the Holy Gospel from Luke 1, one of the readings assigned for the Fourth Sunday in Advent. May God richly bless you as you hear His Word, preparing your heart for the Christ child at Christmas! Welcome to Immanuel Lutheran Church.

The Fourth Sunday in Advent

Divine Service, Setting Four with Holy Communion — December 20, 2020

LSB 338 “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, 
Born to set Your people free;
From our fears and sins release us; 
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, 
Hope of all the earth Thou art,
Dear desire of every nation, 
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, 
Born a child and yet a king!
Born to reign in us forever, 
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit 
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit 
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8

If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared. Psalm 130:3-4

Since we have come to hear God’s Word and call upon Him in prayer and praise, let us first consider our unworthiness and confess before God and one another that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, and that we cannot free ourselves from our sinful condition. Together as His people let us take refuge in the infinite mercy of God, our heavenly Father, seeking His grace for the sake of Christ and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

Almighty God, have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins, and lead us to everlasting life. Amen.

Almighty God, merciful Father, in Holy Baptism You declared us to be Your children and gathered us into Your one, holy Church, in which You daily and richly forgive us our sins and grant us new life through Your Spirit. Be in our midst, enliven our faith, and graciously receive our prayer and praise; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Psalm 89:8, 1-5

O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord,
with your faithfulness all around you?
I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;
in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”
You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
‘I will establish your offspring forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’” 
Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!


Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray. Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come to help us by Your might, that the sins that weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


OLD TESTAMENT 2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16

Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in?I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.”

“And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 89:8, 19-29

O Lord God of hosts,
who is mighty as you are, O Lord,
with your faithfulness all around you?

Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said:
“I have granted help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
so that my hand shall be established with him;
my arm also shall strengthen him.
The enemy shall not outwit him;
the wicked shall not humble him.
I will crush his foes before him
and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,
and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
I will set his hand on the sea
and his right hand on the rivers.
He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
And I will make him the firstborn,
the highest of the kings of the earth.
My steadfast love I will keep for him forever,
and my covenant will stand firm for him.
I will establish his offspring forever
and his throne as the days of the heavens.

EPISTLE Romans 16:25-27

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. 
These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

HOLY GOSPEL  Luke 1:26-38

The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the first chapter.
Glory to You, O Lord.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.

HYMN 332 “Savior of the Nations, Come” vs. 1-3, 5,6 

Savior of the nations, come, 
Virgin’s Son, make here Your home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood, 
By the Spirit of our God,
Was the Word of God made flesh
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.

Here a maid was found with child,
Yet remained a virgin mild.
In her womb this truth was shown:
God was there upon His throne.

God the Father was His source,
Back to God He ran His course.
Into hell His road went down,
Back then to His throne and crown.

For You are the Father’s Son
Who in flesh the victory won.
By Your mighty power make whole
All our ills of flesh and soul.




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.


Let us bless the Lord. 
Thanks be to God.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

Those not partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Table are dismissed with this blessing. Thank you for joining us before God’s altar in fellowship today.

Service of the Sacrament

Distribution of the Sacrament will be by family groups, at the direction of the usher. Children may come forward for a contactless blessing. Once you have received the body and the blood of our Lord Christ, depart in peace.

HYMN 357 “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

O come, O come, Emmanuel, 
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here 
Until the Son of God appear. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, 
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show, 
And teach us in her ways to go. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the Law
In cloud and majesty and awe. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, 
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty power to save 
And give them victory o’er the grave. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Key of David, come, 
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high, 
And close the path to misery. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high, 
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, 
And death’s dark shadows put to flight. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, 
And be Thyself our King of Peace. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

HYMN 524 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” vs. 1-4

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds 
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, 
And drives away our fears.

It makes the wounded spirit whole
And calms the heart’s distress;
‘Tis manna to the hungry soul, 
And to the weary, rest.

Dear name! The rock on which I build, 
My shield and hiding place;
My never-failing treasury filled 
With boundless stores of grace.

O Jesus, shepherd, guardian, friend, 
My Prophet, Priest, and King,
My Lord, my life, my way, my end,
Accept the praise I bring.

HYMN 527 “O Savior, Precious Savior”

O Savior, precious Savior, 
Whom yet unseen we love;
O name of might and favor, 
All other names above,
We worship Thee, we bless Thee,
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee, 
Our holy Lord and King.

O bringer of salvation, 
Who wondrously hast wrought
Thyself the revelation 
Of love beyond our thought,
We worship Thee, we bless Thee, 
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee, 
Our gracious Lord and King.

In Thee all fulness dwelleth, 
All grace and power divine;
The glory that excelleth, 
O Son of God, is Thine.
We worship Thee, we bless Thee, 
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee, 
Our glorious Lord and King.

O grant the consummation 
Of this our song above
In endless adoration 
And everlasting love;
Then shall we praise and bless Thee, 
Where perfect praises ring,
And evermore confess Thee,
Our Savior and our King!

HYMN 606 “I Lay My Sins on Jesus”

I lay my sins on Jesus, 
The spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all and frees us 
From the accursed load. 

I bring my guilt to Jesus 
To wash my crimson stains
Clean in His blood most precious 
Till not a spot remains.

I lay my wants on Jesus; 
All fulness dwells in Him;
He heals all my diseases, 
My soul He does redeem.

I lay my griefs on Jesus, 
My burdens and my cares;
He from them all releases; 
He all my sorrows shares.

I rest my soul on Jesus, 
This weary soul of mine;
His right hand me embraces; 
I on His breast recline.

I love the name of Jesus, 
Immanuel, Christ the Lord;
Like fragrance on the breezes 
His name abroad is poured.

Heavenly Father, We pray to see the future as You see it, so we may live the present as You will it. We pray we may be grounded in Christ as a Lutheran congregation, and guided by Your grace as we walk in forgiveness. We pray we are growing continually in faith as servants in Christ’s Kingdom proclaiming the Gospel. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

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