The Festival of Pentecost

May 19, 2024   

also known as “Witsunday” (White Sunday)


“A Church Set On Fire…”

God The Holy Spirit’s Goal on the First

Pentecost, Today, and Always


     The Festival of Pentecost, which we are observing today, is sometimes referred to as “The Birthday of the Christian Church.”    It  commemorates Christ’s sending of God the Holy Spirit upon the early Church.  It occurred fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ.   However, even before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the day on which  Pentecost (the name is Greek for “50″) was observed was an important day in the hearts of God’s Old Testament people.   Roughly  1440 years prior to Christ’s incarnation, faithful Jews observed it as “the Festival of Weeks” (Ex 34:22; Deut 16:10).   They used this occasion to thank God for His gift of the early wheat harvest (cf Leviticus 23:15). 

     Another Christian designation for this day is the traditional title of “Whitsunday,” which is an old English term associated with the white garments (symbolizing Christ’s righteousness applied to the Christian).   They were  customarily worn on Pentecost Sunday by those about to be baptized into the membership of the Church.  The early church’s Pentecost practice typically included celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism.   The reason was because they wanted to commemorate the reception of those 3000 souls into the Holy Christian Church on the first Pentecost (which will be recalled in today’s opening Scripture Lesson, Acts 2).  

     Pentecost, as a Christian festival, dates back to the first century although we have no concrete record of its annual, formal observance until the early 3rd century (a reference in I Corinthians 16: 8 probably is connected to the Jewish, rather than Christian, observance of Pentecost).   The liturgical color of the altar paraments and clerical vestments is red, which is the color for the Church.  The red symbolizes the love of the Holy Spirit for us, as well as representing the tongues of fire that rested on the heads of Jesus’ followers that first Pentecost.    On Pentecost in Italy it is customary to scatter rose leaves from the ceiling of the churches , recalling the miracle of the fiery tongues;.   That’s why there is known as “Pascha rosatum.”      In France trumpets are blown during the worship service in order to symbolize the sound of the mighty wind , which accompanied the Holy Spirit’s arrival.


Today’s Scripture Lessons and Worship Service

Our worship service today is especially dedicated to praising’  God the Holy Spirit for His work of

 bringing people (most notably, us) to faith and keeping them in the one true faith.   Recognizing that He does this faith-imparting and faith-strengthening work through “The Means of Grace” (that is – the Gospel of forgiveness and salvation as conveyed to us in the Inspired Word of God and as applied to us in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), it is appropriate for our Spiritual growth this morning – as is always our custom – to focus on the Word of God as the centerpiece of our service today. 


           Our Opening Scripture Lesson for this Festival of Pentecost  is Luke’s inspired (and, quite possibly, His eyewitness) account of the main events of the Day Pentecost, which occurred almost 1990 years ago.  

           In this morning’s Children’s Lesson we’ll use a pair of eyeglasses as an example of how the Holy Spirit works in us, giving us faith so that we can “see” the truth about God, about ourselves, and about how we have been saved through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.

           Today’s Old Testament Lesson relates the story of Moses’ being overwhelmed by the burdens of leading Israel, particularly of dealing with their complaints.  The Lord’s solution was to pour out the Holy Spirit on some of Israel’s elders so that they might assist Moses in serving and guiding the nation.  1400 years later, in an even more dramatic way, God again poured out His Spirit on His Church to equip its members for service to Him.  

           Our  Gospel Lesson  presents Jesus promising His disciples that He will send them another Counselor (the Holy Spirit) who will be with them forever once He returns to heaven.  Note in the closing verses one of the reasons for our certainty regarding the plenary (full) inspiration of the Scriptures:  the Spirit “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said.”

           In addition, we’ll build our Sermon around this morning’s first lesson and Scripture’s account of the events in Jerusalem and their effects on the church on that first Pentecost.    We’ll consider how the powerful manifestation of the Spirit on that day, and His working through Peter’s Pentecost Preaching brought about dramatic results, bringing about the conversion of 3000 souls that day.   Then, as now, the Holy Spirit’s working in the preaching of the Gospel brings souls from unbelief to faith, from hostility toward Christ to being in love with Him.   Let us resolve today and in the future, to do as Peter did then.  May we, personally and collectively, faithfully and boldly proclaim the Gospel of forgiveness and salvation through Christ, and may the Spirit build the Church through the preaching of that Word.

           Next, we will be singing Hymn 177, “Come Holy Ghost Creator  Blest,” as our Sequence Hymn  (a

 “sequence” hymn is a hymn sung between the morning’s various Scripture lessons).   Originally sung in Latin as “Veni Creator Spiritus,” this ancient hymn has been a customary part of Christian celebrations of Pentecost for 14 centuries.  It is one of the oldest hymns in our hymnal.   And although the  melody is somewhat challenging to sing, please give it your best effort this morning, knowing that you are joining countless Christians down through the centuries who have shared, with you, in the Pentecost celebration of God the Holy Spirit’s work in and for the Church. 




Pre-Service Prayer    

Heavenly Father, I pray that You would send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts this morning, as You so blessed Your Church on that first Pentecost Sunday, so many years ago.  As we meditate on Your Word and receive again the assurance of full forgiveness of all our sins through Christ Jesus, please renew and invigorate us all, that we might be comforted in all our afflictions, led into all truth, and equipped for every good work for You.   Bless our worship, study, and fellowship this morning in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Savior and Redeemer.  Amen.



Preparatory prayer prior to worship



We Praise Our God


The Introduction and Invitation to Worship


The Opening Lesson for the Festival of Pentecost                                                                    Acts 2:1-47


When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the rushing of a violent wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw divided tongues that were like fire resting on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, since the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak fluently.


5 Now there were godly Jewish men from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 When this sound was heard, a crowd came together and was confused, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were completely baffled and said to each other, “Look, are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them speaking in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, and of Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya around Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own languages the wonderful works of God.” 12 They were all amazed and perplexed. They kept saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocked them and said, “They are full of new wine.”


14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and spoke loudly and clearly to them: “Men of Judea, and all you residents of Jerusalem, understand this, and listen closely to my words. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day. 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:


17 This is what God says will happen in the last days:    “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.   Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions.   Your old men will dream dreams.   18 Even on my servants, both men and women,   I will pour out my Spirit in those days,  and they will prophesy.   19 I will show wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth below,  blood and fire and a rising cloud of smoke.  20 The sun will be turned to darkness  and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.  21 And this will happen: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord     will be saved.” 


22 “Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus the Nazarene was a man recommended to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know. 23 This man, who was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, you[d] killed by having lawless men nail him to a cross. 24 He is the one God raised up by freeing him from the agony of death, because death was not able to hold him in its grip.


25 “Indeed, David says concerning him: “I saw the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced.  My flesh also will rest in hope, 27 because you will not abandon my life to the grave,  nor will you let your Holy One see decay.  28 You have made known to me the paths of life.  You will fill me with joy in your presence. “


29 “Gentlemen, brothers, I can speak confidently to you about the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he saw what was coming and spoke about the resurrection of Christ, saying that he was neither abandoned to the grave nor did his flesh see decay.


32 “This Jesus is the one God has raised up. We are all witnesses of that. 33 So, after he was exalted to the right hand of God and after he received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father, he poured out what you are now seeing and hearing.


34 “For David did not ascend into heaven, and yet he says:   “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, 35 until I make your enemies a footstool under your feet.’”


36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”


37 Now when the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Gentlemen, brothers, what should we do?”


38 Peter answered them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.”


40 He testified solemnly with many other words and was appealing to them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”


41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.   42 They continued to hold firmly to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread, and to the prayers. 43 Awe came over every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They were selling their possessions and property and were distributing the proceeds according to what anyone needed.


46 Day after day, with one mind, they were devoted to meeting in the temple area, as they continued to break bread in their homes. They shared their food with glad and sincere hearts, 47 as they continued praising God and being viewed favorably by all the people. Day after day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.



Hymn of the Day                                                          Hymn 181   “Come, Oh Come, Life-Giving Spirit”


1 Come, oh, come, life-giving Spirit,   God from all eternity!

May your power never fail us;   Dwell within us constantly.

Then shall truth and life and light   Banish all the gloom of night.


2 Show us, Lord, the path of blessing;   When we trespass on our way,

Cast, O Lord, our sins behind you   And be with us day by day.

Should we stray, O Lord, recall;   Work repentance when we fall.


3 With our spirit, Lord, bear witness   That we are the saints of God

Who rely upon him solely   When we’re chastened by the rod;

For we know, as children should,   That the cross is for our good.


4 Prompt us, Lord, to come before him   With a childlike heart to pray;

Sigh for us, O Holy Spirit,   When we know not what to say.

Then our prayer is not in vain,   And our faith new strength shall gain.


5 Grant our hearts in fullest measure   Wisdom, counsel, purity,

That we always strive to please you,   Working for you willingly.

Let the gospel spread and grow,   Bringing Satan’s overthrow.

After which the Congregation will rise for         



The Invocation


Pastor                  We begin this service in the name of the Father”


Congregation      Who gave us our lives through His almighty power.


P:       And of the Son

C:             Who redeemed our lives with His precious blood.


P:             And of the Holy Spirit

C:             Who gave us eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.


P:             Amen.



We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor      We have come together in the presence of God, our Heavenly Father, who created us to love and serve Him as  His dear  children.    But We have disobeyed Him through our thoughts, words, and actions, and deserve only His wrath and punishment.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.   In the words of Jeremiah, we confess:


Congregation            Although our sins testify against us, O LORD, do something for the sake of Your name.    For our backsliding is great;   we have sinned against You.


Pastor      In the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, we acknowledge how thoroughly sin fills our lives, even our very being:


Congregation            From within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.    All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’


Pastor      Along with the Apostle John, we recognize:


Congregation            If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.


Pastor      And in the words of David, before the Lord we plead:


Congregation            I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.   Against You, You only have I sinned     and done what is evil in Your sight,   so that You are proved right when You speak    and justified when You judge.     Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


Pastor      Jesus says to His people:   “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven.”   Our Savior’s perfect life and sacrificial death have paid for the guilt and penalty of our sins, and for the sins of the whole world.   Do you believe this?


Congregation      Yes, I believe this.


Pastor      Then be assured that you are a dear child of God and an heir  of everlasting life.   And carrying out my office as a  called servant of Christ,  and according to His command and authority,   I forgive you all your sins   in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.     May the peace of God rest upon all of you.    Amen.



The Congregation responds by singing Hymn 609

“We Praise You O God, Our Redeemer, Creator”



We praise You O God, our Redeemer Creator

In grateful devotion our tribute we bring:

We lay it before You, we kneel and adore You;

We bless Your holy name;   glad praises we sing.


We worship You God of our Fathers, we bless You.

Through life’s storm and tempest, our Guide You have been;

When perils o’er take us, escape You will make us,

And with Your help, O Lord, our battles we win.


With voices united, our praises we offer;

To You, Great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise.

Your strong arm will guide us,   Our God is beside us.

To You, our Great Redeemer, fore’er be praise!    Amen.



The Prayer for Today


O Almighty God,  +  bless the preaching of Your Word  +  among the congregation of believers on earth.   +   Bless us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit   +   to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ,   +   to equip us for faithful service to You   +  to fill us with joy in that service,   +   and to strengthen our faith through Your Word and Sacraments  +   that we might remain in the true Christian faith as long as we live.   +   We ask this in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ,  +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,   +  one God, for ever and ever.   +   Amen.



after which the Congregation  may be seated as we sing


The Sequence Hymn                                                         Hymn 177  “Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest”

                                                                                                                                                           verses 1-3


1 Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,   And make our hearts your place of rest;

Come with your grace and heav’nly aid,   And fill the hearts which you have made.


2 To you, the Counselor, we cry,   To you, the gift of God most high;

The fount of life, the fire of love,   The soul’s anointing from above.


3 Your light to ev’ry thought impart,  And shed your love in ev’ry heart;

The weakness of our mortal state   With deathless might invigorate.




NOTE:   “Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest” (in its Latin original, “Veni Creator, Spiritus”)  is one of the oldest hymns in Christendom as well as in our hymnal.   Originally it was sung as a “chant” rather than as a congregational hymn.  By tradition this hymn has been part of the Christian Church’s observance of Pentecost for nearly 14 centuries.   That’s why we have chosen to include it in our worship this morning.   While its melody is somewhat foreign to our ears, please sing it  with enthusiasm, and with the understanding that you are joining, this hymn of praise, a Pentecost-procession spanning some 1400 years.




We Listen to God’s Word


The Old Testament Lesson                                                                            Numbers 11, selected verses


4 The foreign rabble who were among the Israelites were overcome by their craving. The Israelites also wept once again and said, “Who is going to give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt free of charge, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our lives are wasting away.  We have nothing at all to look at except this manna.” ……10 Moses heard people from all the clans weeping, each one at the entrance to his own tent. At the same time, the Lord’s anger burned fiercely, and Moses was displeased. 11 Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You treated Your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in Your eyes? Why do You put the burden of all these people on me?……14 I am not able to carry all these people by myself, because that is too much for me. 15 If You are going to treat me this way, please kill me right now. If I have found favor in Your eyes, do not let me see my own ruin.”


16 So the Lord said to Moses, “Gather seventy men from the elders of Israel for Me, men whom you know to be elders and officers for the people. Take them to the Tent of Meeting and make them stand there with you. 17 I will come down and talk with you there. I will take from the Spirit that is on you and will put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it by yourself. …..24 Moses went out and told the people the Lord’s words. He gathered seventy men from the elders of the people and had them stand all around the tent. 25 The Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him. He took from the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do it again.   26 Two men, however, remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other was Medad. They were listed among the elders, but they had not gone out to the tent. The Spirit rested on them, and they prophesied back in the camp. 27 A young man ran and reported this to Moses. He said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!”   28 Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide from his youth, answered, “My lord Moses, stop them!”


29 Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? If only all of the Lord’s people were prophets so that the Lord would put His Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses returned to the camp along with the elders of Israel.


The Congregation anticipates the Gospel Lesson by singing



Sequence Hymn                                                                 Hymn 177  “Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest”

                                                                                                                                                           verses 4-6


4 Drive far away our wily foe,   And your abiding peace bestow;

If you are our protecting guide,   No evil can with us abide.


5 Teach us to know the Father, Son,   And you, from both, as Three in One

That we your name may ever bless   And in our lives the truth confess.

6 Praise we the Father and the Son   And Holy Spirit, with them One,

And may the Son on us bestow   The gifts that from the Spirit flow!



next the Congregation will rise out of respect for the words of our Savior


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                   John 14:15-26


15 “If you love Me, hold on to My commands. 16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him or know Him. You know Him because He stays with you and will be in you.  18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 The one who has My commands and holds on to them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I too will love him and show Myself to him.”


22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what has happened that You are going to show Yourself to us and not to the world?”  23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he will hold on to My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 The one who does not love Me does not hold on to My words. The word that you are hearing is not Mine, but it is from the Father Who sent me.


25 “I have told you these things while staying with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I told you.



                                                                                                                             (Martin Luther’s Explanation

The Confession of our                                                                                                   to the Third Article of

Faith in God the Holy Spirit                                                                                           the Apostles’ Creed)


Cong:       I believe in the Holy Ghost;    the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints;  the forgiveness of sins;      the resurrection of the body;     And the life everlasting.  Amen.


Leader:                                                              What does this mean?”


All:          I believe that I cannot, by my own thinking or choosing,   +    believe in Jesus Christ my Lord,  or come to Him.    +   But the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel;     +  enlightened me with His gifts,   +   sanctified and kept me in the one true faith.    +   In the same way,    +    He calls, gathers, enlightens,    +  and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth,    +    and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.    +  In this Christian Church,   +    He daily and fully forgives all sins,  to me and all believers in Christ.   +    On the last day He will raise me and all the dead;    +   And He will give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.    +    This is most certainly true!  +    Amen.



After which the Congregation will be seated for



The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                       John 3:3


Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God


“The Holy Spirit Makes It Possible For Us To SEE the Truth”

The Hymn of the Day                                                                               “Come, O Mighty Spirit, Come”

                                                                             to the tune of Liebster Jesus (“Blessed Jesus, At Your Word”)


Come, oh mighty Spirit, come     Make our hearts Your habitation.

Work within and cleanse us from    Sin and guilt and condemnation.

Come to us in times of gladness   Be our strength in days of sadness!


Holy Spirit, like a wind    Guide us toward Your heavenly portals.

When we falter, then extend    Loving grace to sinful mortals.

Bless us with Your supplication   In our moments of temptation!


We cannot by our own strength   Trust in Christ our Lord and Savior.

So dear Spirit, work at length   That Your gifts we all might savor.

Bless us with Your gifts of teaching,     Faith, and service, and of preaching.


Lift the veil up from our eyes    So we all might see more clearly.

That our treasure surely lies   In the Lord, Who loves us dearly.

For He promised us a mansion   When He earned for us salvation!


As on that first Pentecost   Come to us, our faith inspire.

Grant us strength to reach the lost;   May Your will be our desire.

Guide us through our earthly story,   Til we live in heav’nly glory!     Amen.


after which the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for



The Greeting     Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every Spiritual  blessing in Christ!   O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.  Amen.



The Sermon Text                                                                                                                           Acts 2:1-13

                                                                                                                        from today’s Opening reading



Please do it….

  1. …with a blaze of miracles.
  2. …through fired-up Christians.

III. …despite sparks of mockery.

  1. …all while making the Gospel burn very brightly in the hearts of the people who gathered that day


The Post-Sermon Blessing


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  Amen.


We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.     However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash, please) to our church address

 (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745); or

2) You can donate through our website:


After which the Congregation rises for prayer

  • Today’s Special Prayers


    Included in our prayers this morning is:

    A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of Amy and Terry Bruns  whose wedding anniversary is this Tuesday;



    A Special Litany Prayer on this Festival Sunday



    • O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,
      Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home,




    P: We praise You, O Lord, for the harvest of souls that You have brought into Your kingdom on Pentecost and throughout the history of the Church. Let all the saints on earth and saints in heaven join today in praising Your holy name.




    • Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure;
      Sufficient is Thine arm alone,  And our defense is sure.


    P: Send Your Holy Spirit down on us with power. Use us as You used Peter on Pentecost. No matter how humble our background may be or how poorly we may seem to be equipped to be Your messengers, give us boldness to speak of You, the crucified and risen Savior




    • Before the hills in order stood Or earth received its frame,
      From everlasting Thou art God,  To endless years the same.




    P: Lord, we thank You for the way You have led Your Church in the past. We thank You for protecting it when Satan has harassed it with persecution and false prophets. We thank You for those whom You have raised up to testify boldly to the truth.




    • A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone,
      Short as the watch that ends the night   Before the rising sun.




    P: Open our eyes to the many opportunities to witness. Open our mouths to speak boldly about the risen Christ. Help us to see the particular blessings which You have given us, blessings that enable us as a congregation and a church body to preach Your gospel to all nations at this point in the world’s history.




    • Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Soon bears us all away;
      We fly, forgotten, as a dream    Dies at the op’ning day.



    P: We especially thank You for the gift of your dear Son, our Savior, who has rescued us from death and hell and has gathered us into his kingdom. To Him be the glory now and forever.




    • O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,
      Be Thou our guard while troubles last    And our eternal home!



    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.




    We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


    The Words of Institution – Spoken by the Pastor


    Our Self-Examination Before Receiving The Lord’s Supper


    Pastor    Let us now examine ourselves in preparation for receiving this Sacrament of our Lord, as the inspired Apostle Paul so instructs us in I Corinthians 11, where he  writes,  “…whoever eats and the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgement upon himself.”


    Pastor   Accordingly, are you sincerely sorry for your sins and determined, with God’s help, to change your sinful ways?


    Congregation            Yes, I am sorry for my sins and desire to serve Jesus and not a sinful lifestyle.


    Pastor    Do you believe that here in the Lord’s Supper you will receive, along with the bread and wine, the true body and blood of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?              


    Congregation      Yes, I believe that I will be receiving the true body and blood of my Lord and Savior, which was given into death for my sins.


    Pastor    Are you coming to the Lord’s table as one in the faith with this Christian congregation, as the Scriptures teach?


    Congregation            Yes I have studied the teachings of this congregation concerning God’s Word;  I agree with them;  And am  one in faith with them, as the Scriptures command me to be before I come to the Lord’s table with anyone.


    Pastor    Finally, do you recognize your need for forgiveness and do you believe that you will receive through the Lord’s Supper the full and free forgiveness of all your sins?


    Congregation            Yes, I have examined my life, see the need for God’s forgiveness and believe that I will receive complete forgiveness for all my sins, as my Savior has promised.


    Pastor    Having examined yourselves and confessed your sins, come now with confidence and joy to your Lord’s table and receive here, through His body and blood, the guarantee that your ins are all forgiven, and that eternal life and salvation are surely yours.



                                                                                (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                         our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)




         We ask that only “Confirmed, Communicant” members of this congregation, or of one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod congregations come forward to receive the Lord’s Supper at this time. To us the Lord’s Supper is both an expression of our common faith in Christ (which we share with all our fellow Christian worshipers this morning), and also a public expression of our complete doctrinal agreement as a congregation and church body (as I Corinthians 1:10 and 10:17, as well as Romans 16:17 and I John 4:1 require of us).  

         Accordingly if you are not a communicant member of Grace Lutheran Church or our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, we are not, in any way, judging your Christian faith by respectfully asking you not to join us in the Lord’s Supper this morning.  Rather, we pray that our Scripture-based practice of “Close Communion” will encourage all those Christians who are not presently in full fellowship with us to seriously examine the teachings and practices of their church in order to determine if those teachings and practices are really in full agreement with God’s Word. It is our earnest desire that you might become familiar with the doctrines of our congregation, so that you might one day join with us at the Lord’s altar in this public expression of full unity of doctrine and practice. Until then, please know that we are most grateful for your participation as a fellow Christian in this worship service, and that we appreciate your patience and understanding of our Communion practice.  Finally, if you do have any questions or concerns about our “Close Communion”  practice, please speak with our Pastor following this morning’s worship service, or at your convenience.




    The Distribution of the Elements 


    The  Distribution Hymns                                                                                                                               


                                                                                      Hymn 190    “We Now Implore God the Holy Ghost”


    1 We now implore God the Holy Ghost   For the true faith which we need the most,

    That in our last moments he may befriend us   And, as homeward we journey, attend us.

    Lord, have mercy!


    2 Shine in our hearts, O most precious Light,   That we Jesus Christ may know aright,

    Clinging to our Savior, whose blood has bought us,   Who again to our homeland has brought us.

    Lord, have mercy!


    3 O sacred Love, grace on us bestow,   Set our hearts with heav’nly fire aglow

    That with hearts united we love each other,   Of one mind, in peace with ev’ry brother.

    Lord, have mercy!


    4 O highest Comfort in ev’ry need,   Grant that neither shame nor death we heed

    That e’en then our courage may never fail us   When the foe shall accuse and assail us.

    Lord, have mercy!



                                                                                                   Hymn 183    “Holy Ghost With Light Divine”


    1 Holy Spirit, Light divine,   Shine upon this heart of mine;

    Chase the gloom of night away;   Turn the darkness into day.


    2 Holy Spirit, Love divine,   Cleanse this guilty heart of mine;

    In your mercy pity me;   From sin’s bondage set me free.


    3 Holy Spirit, Joy divine,   Cheer this saddened heart of mine;

    Fill me with your heav’nly peace;   Let it grow and still increase.


    4 Holy Spirit, Pow’r divine,   Dwell within this heart of mine;

    Cast down ev’ry idol throne;   Reign supreme and reign alone.


    5 See, to you I give my heart;   Cleanse my life in ev’ry part;

    Your own temple I would be  Now and for eternity.



    We Conclude This Worship Service


    The Closing Prayer   


    Almighty God, to Whom all hearts are open,   +    all desires known,   +    and from Whom no secrets are hid,   +      cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the power of Your Holy Spirit,   +     that we may love You more completely,   +     praise You more joyously,   +     and serve You more faithfully.   +     These requests we make   +     in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, +    Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit,   +     one God, both now and forever.   +    Amen.               



    Pastor   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

                     and the love of God,

    and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.    Amen.


    The Closing Hymn                                                                        “Lord Jesus, Thou, The Church’s Head”

                                                                            sung to the tune “A Mighty Fortress   by J.S. Bach   (CW….201)


    Lord Jesus, Th – ou, the Chur – ch’s Head       Thou art Her one Found – –  ation

    In Thee she trusts, before Thee bows       And waits for Thy salva – – tion.

    Built on This Rock secure,    Thy Church shall endure

    E’en though the world decay    And all things pass away.

    Oh hear, Oh hear us,   Jesus!


    O Lord, let th – – is Thy lit – tle flock     Thy name along confe – – ssing

    Continue in – Thy loving care     True u-ni-ty   posse — ssing

    Thy Sac-ra-ments, O Lord,   And Thy sa – ving Word

    To us, e’er pure re-tain    Grant that they may re-main.

    Our only strength and com – – fort.




    Help us to serve Thee ev – – er more       With hearts both pure and low – – ly.

    And may Thy Wo – – rd,   that li – – ght divine,    Shine on in splen-dor ho – – ly

    That we re-pent – ance show,    In faith ev – er grow;

    The pow’r of sin de-stroy    And all that does annoy.

    Oh, make us faith – ful Christ – – ians!


    And for Thy Go – – spel   le –  – t us dare       To sac-ri-fice all trea – – sure.

    Teach us to bea – – r   Thy bles – – sed cross,      To find in Thee all plea – – sure.

    Oh, grant us stead-fast-ness     In joy –   and dis-tress,

    That we, Thee, ne’er for-sake.    Let us by grace par-take

    Of end-less joy and glo – – ry!     Amen.


    Silent Prayer, Announcements, Post-Service Music