The Word Became Flesh

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on December 25, 2022

Christmas Day                                                          Sunday, December 25, 2022

 Welcome in the name of the newborn Savior. We are happy to have you worshipping with us today as we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus. The significance of His birth now begins to shine in its full splendor. It shines with the blessings of salvation received in the Father’s gift of the Christ-child. Such blessings last forever for all who believe in Him. The Son of God did not come to earth just to begin a festival. He came to save us that we might enjoy the good things of His eternal kingdom. We have His Word on it.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt for awhile among us. We have seen His glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”             John 1:14

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The Word Became Flesh

(The service this morning follows a liturgical outline patterned after the Common Service,

but appropriate hymns of the season will be substituted for the different parts of the liturgy.)

The Invocation – Pastor

The Lord’s Prayer – All

The Entrance Hymn: “O Little Town of Bethlehem”                                                    333

The Confession of Sins and Absolution

Pastor:     That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and had appeared to us.

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.                                              1 John 1:1-2,5-6,8-9

The Confessional Hymn: “Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord”                              (315)

All:            Let the earth now praise the Lord, Who hath truly kept His Word,

                  And the sinners’ Help and Friend Now at last to us doth send.

                  Welcome, O my Savior, now! Hail! My Portion, Lord, art Thou.

                  Here, too, in my heart, I pray, Oh, prepare Thyself a way!

                  King of Glory, enter in; Cleanse it from the filth of sin,

                  As Thou hast so often done; It belongs to Thee alone.

God’s Pronouncement of Forgiveness

Pastor:   Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. We now have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world, for the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. Your sins are forgiven in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rest!

 The Hymn of Praise: “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice”                                                     (363)

All:         Now sing we, now rejoice, Now raise to heav’n our voice;

               He from whom joy streameth Poor in a manger lies;

               Not so brightlyt beameth The sun in yonder skies.

               Thou my Savior art! Thou my Savior arts.


               Now through the Son doth shine The Father’s grace divine.

               Death o’er us had reigned Through sin and vanity.

               He for us obtained Eternal joy on high

               May we praise Him there! May we praise Him there!

The Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

The Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 52:7-10 The prophet foretells that the Lord will dwell among us. He will proclaim the good news of peace and salvation, taking it to the ends of the earth. God’s people will see it and rejoice.

The Hymn: “Go, Tell It on the Mountain”                                                                   361

The Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 1:1-9 In the past God sent angels and prophets as messengers to His people. In these days, God speaks to us through His Son. He sent Him into the world at just the right time, to save and restore us to God us when we could not help ourselves. Through faith in Him He makes us heirs of eternal things.

The Hymn: Let All Together Praise Our God”                                       st.1-4       355

The Gospel Lesson: John 1:1-14 The Evangelist John reveals the divine mystery of Christ. His person is that of God the Creator and that of true man. He was born into the world to restore us to God. Those who believe in Him are God’s children.

The Christmas Meditation: The Mystery of the Ages Revealed

Part I: He Came to Tell Us What We Need to Know.

The Hymn: “A Great and Mighty Wonder“                                             st.1-3       349                                            349

Part II: God Has Entered Our World.

The Hymn: “Once in Royal David’s City”                                                  st.1-3      343

The Hymn:  “Joy to the World”                                                                    st.1-4      353       with trumpet accompaniment

Part III: He Came to Supply Us with Heavenly Gifts.

Our Response to the Word

Confession of Faith: The Explanation to the Second Article of the Apostle’s Creed

All:      I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord.  

He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sin, 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.

 All this He did that I should be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness; just as He has risen from death and lives and rules eternally.

This is most certainly true.

The Offering

The Prayer for Christmas Day

M:  On this holy day, dear Father, we rejoice to hear the good news of great joy that a Savior has been born for us. For fulfilling your prophecies and in the fullness of time sending your Son to be our Savior, we give you our heartfelt thanks and praise.

C:   Unto us a child is born! Unto us a Son is given!

M:  What a great mystery of our faith this is: that God has become fully human for our salvation! Even though he is the all-powerful Lord of all, he is wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.

C:   Help us always believe that this precious child was born as our substitute to be our Savior.

M:  In the midst of our joy, we grieve for the many people in our world who do not know that Jesus has come to bring them forgiveness and healing. As the shepherds spread abroad the good news of the birth of the Savior born for all the world, may we also make use of the unique opportunities this holiday presents to tell others of what we have seen and heard concerning the child.

C:   Grant that the true peace between God and fallen mankind may comfort all people.

M:  Hear us, Lord, as we bring you our private petitions.

Silent prayer.

M:  As the angels sang out their praise, move us also to sing out our praise to you, today and every day, as the joy of Christmas remains in our hearts.

C:   Glory to God in the highest! Amen.

The Lord Blesses Us

The Benediction

The Closing Hymn: “Let Us All with Gladsome Voice”                                                  332

Silent Prayer


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The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

The Organist:  Jane Rips

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day – Series A

Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 52:7-10 – The Herald of the Gospel

7How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of a herald, who proclaims peace and preaches good news, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God is king!”

8The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voices. Together they shout for joy, because with both eyes they will see it when the Lord returns to Zion.

9Break out, shout for joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, because the Lord is comforting his people. He is redeeming Jerusalem. 10The Lord lays bare his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation from our God.

Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 1:1-9 – God’s Son Is Superior to the Angels

1In the past, God spoke to our forefathers by the prophets at many times and in many ways. 2In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of the divine nature. He sustains all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

4The Son became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5For to which of the angels did God say: “You are my Son. Today I have begotten you?”

And again: “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.”

6And again, when he brought his firstborn into the world, he said: “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

7About the angels he says: “He makes his messengers winds and his ministers flaming fire.”

8But about the Son he says: “God, your throne is forever and ever, and the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy beyond your companions.”

Gospel Lesson: John 1:1-14 – The Word Became Flesh

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him everything was made, and without him not one thing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5The light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6There was a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as an eyewitness to testify about the light so that everyone would believe through him. 8He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.

9The real light that shines on everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not recognize him. 11He came to what was his own, yet his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who did receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They were born, not of blood, or of the desire of the flesh, or of a husband’s will, but born of God. 14The Word became flesh and dwelled among us. We have seen his glory, the glory he has as the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.

 The Story of the Poinsettia

Poinsettia plants are native to Central America. The poinsettia was made widely known because of a man called Joel Roberts Poinsett. He was the first Ambassador from the USA to Mexico in 1825. Poinsett had some greenhouses on his plantations in South Carolina and sent some of the plants back, where he began growing the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

There is an old Mexican legend about how Poinsettias and Christmas come together, it goes like this: There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up. ‘Pepita’, he said “I’m sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy.”

Pepita didn’t know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the ‘Flores de Noche Buena’, or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night’.

The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ; the white leaves His purity.

Poinsettias Given in Honor or Memory by:

Sharon Ballou In memory of Dave Ballou

Dee Bruck In memory of Chris Bruck & honor our grandchildren

Sharon Burk In memory of Kenneth & Stella Natvig (parents)

Jim & Purr Inniger In memory of Marilyn & Richard Inniger

Pastor & Liz Lehmann In memory of Arnold & Esther Lehmann & J.E. Hobson

Emily Mabra In memory of my mother, Charlene Mabra

William Mistele In memory of Pastor Nathaniel Seelow

Norine & Wade Richardson In memory of Bobbie Richardson

Jane & Jim Rips In memory of Paul Michelson (Jane’s Dad)

Glen & Beth Schulz In memory of Shirley Schulz, Roy & Carol Handrich

C a l e n d a r   &   A n n o u n c e m e n t s  f o r   Z i o n   T h i s  W e e k

Christmas Week Break Our normal weekly activities will take a break this coming week. Bible Class today after the service, Confirmation class, choir practice, and midweek Bible Study will not be held. All will resume next week as we enter the New Year. Our Sunday Worship schedule will remain the same with worship services at 9 am. Have a blessed holiday season in the name of our Savior.

A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Many people long for God to talk to them. How often we miss His message when we don’t listen to His Son Jesus. Jesus is God’s communication to us today. Too many run after other “voices” that pretend to offer solutions to life. But those who carry the message of Jesus to others are highly honored and share the exciting reaction from those who are led to real peace.

The Gospel Lesson: John 1:1-14 (answers are found below)

  1. What title is immediately given to Jesus and why?
  2. What is the shame in this section?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter, diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis; Lucille Huston; Barbara Long; Lois Wiese.

New Year’s Day Worship. Since New Year’s falls on a Sunday this year, we will not be holding our regular New Year’s Eve Communion service on the 31st. Join us on Sunday as we reflect on God’s blessings in the past and begin the New Year in Him with a Service of Holy Communion.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, New Year’s Day, January 1 – New Year’s Day Communion Service at 9 am

Sunday, January 15 – Annual Voters’ Meeting following the ending of the present year

The Week in Review

Last Sunday Worship: 26; Communed: 24; Pre-Christmas Brunch: 22;

Midweek Bible Class: no class due to weather; Offerings: $1,512

Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

Christmas Day: Numbers :22-27; Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 2:21 (CW-21, Series A)

Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:

  1. Jesus is called the Word (“Logos” in Greek). He is the one who clearly communicates to us the mind and plans of God. Without Christ you cannot really know God. That “Word” has power seen at the creating of the world. It also made His presence felt when He “became flesh and dwelt for a while among us.” Listen to Him.
  2. That Word of God opens people’s eyes to see the love and eternal life that He came to give us. Sadly, many don’t recognize Him and lose out on the right to be called God’s children and receive “one blessing after another.
Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann