Thursday, December 05, 2019


St. John’s Lutheran Church

       109 Maple St. Burt, Iowa|Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

                Pastor: Rev. Thomas Cowell             Secretary: Rosann Shipler

                Pastor’s Cell: 319-464-5548                 Church Office: 515-924-3344               

                Pastor’s Email:          Church Email:               


December 8, 2019


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.



Today, December 8                                                             

   8:00 a.m.           Bible Study/Sunday School

   9:00 a.m.           Divine Service (Advent 2)  (C)

  10:00 a.m.          Voter’s Meeting

                              Children’s Program Practice

                              LWML Christmas Coffee


Monday, December  9                                 

   7 & 9:30 a.m.   Women’s Bible Study at Trinity


Tuesday, December 10

   Pastor Circuit Meeting at St. Paul, Whittemore


Wednesday, December 11  

   6:00 p.m.          Advent Midweek Service 

   6:30 p.m.          Religion School

Sunday, December 15        

   8:00 a.m.          Bible Study/Sunday School 

   9:00 a.m.          Divine Service (Advent 3)  (C)   

  10:00 a.m.         Children’s Program Practice                  



  Friday, December 13

    Commemoration  of Lucia, Martyr







Organist Today: Kitty Bierstedt       Ushers for December: Tony Hatten & Joe Heyes

Acolytes Today: none-assigned        Elder for December:    Boyd Shipler

Greeters Today: Doris Blocker         Greeters Next Week:   Daune & Linda Peter        

                              Mary Steven     


Baptism Today - St. John’s welcomes Cora LuMae, daughter of Jacob and Natalie Christensen, into the family of God through Holy Baptism today.  Cora’s baptismal sponsor is Brooke Kelley.


Adult Bible Study - Our Sunday morning adult Bible study class is discussing the benefits of meditating on the six chief parts of the Catechism through Scripture and prayer.  We’ll be using the book The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechism.  A copy of the book will be provided for everyone to use.


Poinsettias – If you would like to purchase a poinsettia for the church to use during Advent and Christmas services, there is a sign-up sheet on the table in the back of the church. Make sure you specify which of the 3 color choices you want and please pay Cheryl Batt by Sunday, December 8th. You may take your poinsettia home after Christmas Day.


LWML Christmas Coffee - The congregation is invited to the LWML Christmas Coffee following the Voter’s meeting today in the church basement. 


Adopted Family - St. John’s has applied for the Adopt a Family program again this year. We received 3 families that are in need of help.  Information on each family and their needs are on the back table for you to take with you as you shop.  There are 3 boxes in the church library for you to bring your items.  Be sure to state which family, which child and what the item is in each package. Cash donation or gift cards are accepted.  Monetary donations and gift cards can be left with Rosann in the church office or given to Doris Blocker or Debra Steven.  The deadline on bringing all items is December 8th at noon.  


Advent Services are Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. on December 11 and 18, 2019. Religion School will follow at 6:30 p.m.


St. John’s Flocknote - As a new Church Year begins now would be a good time to review your St. John’s text message and email options!  See the Flocknote information sheet on the back table for the types of communication you can receive through text or email.  You can sign up or change your options yourself from the instructions provided, or if you fill out the sheet and leave it at the church office we are happy to sign you up or make changes for you. 

- Also note that there is a new Flocknote option this year called “St. John’s Volunteers.               

  Sign up for this option if you would like to receive messages from St. John’s about 

  volunteer opportunities within our congregation, partnership, or community. 


Christmas Eve Children’s Service Practice will immediately follow the church service on the Sundays of December 8, 15, and 22.  The program is Christmas Eve at 4:30 p.m.




Strengthening Marriage Workshop - The Iowa District West Education and Family Life Committee is hosting a marriage strengthening workshop for all married couples on Saturday, February 8th from 9:00-2:00 at Trinity, Algona. This workshop will benefit both those who are recently married to those who have been married for many years. Toni Larson, Licensed Counselor from Lutheran Family Service will lead us through a time to grow in communication skills, understand how God has uniquely designed man and woman, and lead you in focusing on your relationship. Morning refreshments and lunch are provided, as well as childcare if needed.  The cost is $40 per couple (paid the morning of the workshop). Register by Feb. 3rd at:   


Building Healthy Families: A plate of warm cookies, a simmering pot of soup, a homecooked meal, or simply a warm conversation are blessings to those around you who are alone or lonely. How can you share the love of Christ this Christmas season? Begin looking for opportunities to make a difference and share Jesus in your sphere of influence! Lutheran Family Service is Iowa’s only Recognized Service Organization (RSO) by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) for Pregnancy Support, Adoption Services, Family Wellness, Mental Health & Marriage Counseling. Find help at



Hospice of the Heartland – You are invited to attend The Hospice of the Heartland’s 2019 Lights of Life Program that will be held today, December 8 at 2 p.m. at the Kossuth Regional Health Center. A gift of $10 will light a bulb in memory/honor of your loved one.













Isaiah 11:1–10; Romans 15:4–13; Matthew 3:1–12


By the Preaching of Repentance, We Are Prepared for the Coming of the Lord 

“John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent’” (Matt. 3:1–2). His preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins prepared people for the coming of Christ into the world. St. John’s work was historically complete with the incarnate Advent of Jesus; but his vital ministry continues in preaching Law and Gospel. The Son of God has come in the flesh, “a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots” (Is. 11:1), and continues to bear the fruits of righteousness. His good tree of the cross is “a signal for the peoples” (Is. 11:10), by which He calls the nations to repentance. “With the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips” (Is. 11:4), He slays the wicked and brings the dead to life, making sons of Abraham out of lifeless stones. So also the “root of Jesse” comes to us, “even he who arises to rule the Gentiles” (Rom. 15:12), that “we might have hope” and be filled “with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:4, 13).




Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV: Justification, paragraphs 57-60

Even though the Law does not teach the free forgiveness of sins, the Old Testament Fathers knew the promise about Christ, that Christ would be the price for our sins. They knew that our works are not a price for so great a matter. So they received mercy and forgiveness of sins by faith, just as the saints in the New Testament. To this point belong those frequent repetitions about mercy and faith that appear in the Psalms and the Prophets. For example, Psalm 130:3 says, "If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" Here David confesses his sins and does not list his merits. He adds, "But with You there is forgiveness" (v. 4). Here he comforts himself by his trust in God's mercy, and he refers to the promise, "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope" (v. 5). This means, "Because You have promised the forgiveness of sins, I am sustained by Your promise." Therefore, the Fathers also were justified, not by the Law, but by the promise and faith. It is amazing that the adversaries diminish faith, even though they see that it is everywhere praised as a great service. For example, Psalm 50:15 says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you." God wants Himself to be known so that we receive benefits from Him and receive them because of His mercy, not because of our merits. This is the richest consolation in all afflictions.