St. John's Lutheran Church

In the City for Good!

St. John's Lutheran Church participates in God's mission to bless, save, restore and reconcile the world through meaningful worship and faithful witness in the city of Des Moines and around the world.

St. John's Lutheran Church invites and welcomes all people to experience the Good News of God's grace, forgiveness and unfailing love. The Good News calls and empowers us to share God's love in word and deed throughout our city, nation and world.

Prepare for Worship

Worship Schedule

Dec. 2 – First Sunday of Advent

Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36

“The days are surely coming, says the LORD…” Our advent season begins with these words from Jeremiah 33. We wait in expectation of the “coming days,” a theme punctuated throughout the appointed scripture texts through the four weeks of Advent. In today’s Old Testament reading from Jeremiah, we learn that righteousness comes from being faithful in our relationship to God. In the midst of all the uncertainty and trepidation of the “coming days,” we trust that God will fulfill God’s purposes. Luke reminds us that we can remain confident in God’s promise of redemption.

Hymns: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” (254); “Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding” (246); “People, Look East” (248)

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir: “Keep Your Lamps,” spiritual, arranged by Andre Thomas

Dec. 9 – Second Sunday of Advent

Readings: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6

Malachi (the name means my messenger) and John the Baptist announce the coming of our salvation in the texts for today. Malachi’s message is clear – that the one who will prepare the way for the Lord will be “like a refiner’s fire and like a fullers’ soap” (Malachi 3:2b). John the Baptist prepares the way of the Lord by proclaiming a message of repentance. Through baptism all of us are called to prepare the way of the Lord through the proclamation of the good news of God’s salvation.

Hymns: “Prepare the Royal Highway” (264); “On Jordan’s Banks the Baptist’s Cry” (249); “Hark, the Glad Sound” (239)

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir: “Jordan’s Shore,” The Southern Harmony, 1854

Dec. 16 – Third Sunday of Advent

Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

The third Sunday of advent calls us to rejoice. Zephaniah, the prophet, brings a message of judgment for sin. However, this judgment of sin has led to repentance and salvation, which allows us to rejoice! In spite of his imprisonment, Paul, too, echoes the spirit of joy as he urges the people in Philippi to trust God, who offers peace. In Luke, John the Baptist teaches that God’s reign is brought about by acts of justice.

Hymns: “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers” (244); “Awake, Awake, and Greet the New Morn” (242); “Let Justice Flow Like Streams” (717)

Assisting with Worship:

  • Cathedral Choir: “Comfort All Ye My People,” by Gabriel Fauré

Dec. 23 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Readings: Micah 5:2-5a; Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]

Today’s readings include Mary’s “song of praise,” known as the “Magnificat.” The prayers of this season to “stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come,” bring us to the place where the cradle and cross come together. Our Old and New Testament readings point to Christ as the servant-king who will sacrifice his own life for the salvation of the world.

Hymns: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (257); “My Soul Does Magnify the Lord” (882); “Joy to the World” (267)

Assisting with Worship:

  • Youth Vocal Choir and Kisasa Musicians

Dec. 24 – Nativity of Our Lord – Christmas Eve

• 5 p.m. Family Service

• 8:30 p.m. Candlelight Service with Holy Communion

• 11 p.m. Candlelight Service with Scripture and Carols

Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

We join with the multitude of angels and the host of heaven to sing “Glory to God in the highest!” at the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. The Christ-child, the promised one, whose name will be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Everlasting Father, comes to us with the light of truth, justice, peace and healing.

Hymns: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (283); “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (270); “Silent Night” (281)

Assisting with Worship:

• 5 p.m.: Kisasa Musicians and Joyful Noise

• 8:30 p.m.: Adult Handbell Choir, Brass Ensemble

• 11 p.m.: Cathedral Choir, Orchestra, Adult Handbell Choir

Dec. 25 – Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Day) at 10:00 am

Readings: Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2: [1-7] 8-20

Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, whose birth among us brings the light of truth into the darkness of sin and death. Christ, the true light, is our everlasting hope. We gather as a community around the light of Christ – the incarnate Word – to hear and proclaim the good news of our salvation.

Hymns: “Once in Royal David’s City” (269); “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” (288); “Joy to the World” (267)

Dec. 30 – First Sunday of Christmas

Readings: 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52

The texts for the first Sunday of Christmas include stories of the child Samuel and the child Jesus, both growing in wisdom and in God’s favor. Our celebration of Christmas continues as we return to the Sanctuary to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word, incarnate in Jesus Christ, who meets us in the waters of Baptism and Holy Communion.

Hymns: “Angels, From the Realms of Glory” (275); “That Boy-child of Mary” (293); “Love Has Come” (292)

 600 6th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa  50309 - 515.243.7691 - a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America