The Second Sunday after Trinity    June 18, 2023   

The Fourth Sunday of the Pentecost Season  also, by custom, known as Father’s Day


A Faithful Father

Joseph served his “Son” and Savior and he still serves us as

an outstanding example of faithfulness for each of us.


            There’s a fascinating story tied to the earthquake which devastated the country of Armenia in 1989.   In less than four minutes, the shocks and aftershocks of the quake killed over 30,000 people.    Before the quake had finished shaking the country to pieces, a father – heedless of the danger he was personally facing – rushed to his son’s school.   By the time he arrived, the school building was flat as a pancake.   Standing there looking at what was left of his son’s  school, that father remembered a promise he made to his son, “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you!”   Anguish filled his heart and tears filled his eyes.   The situation was hopeless.    Yet he kept thinking about the promise that he had made to his son.

            Knowing that his son’s classroom was on the back right corner of the building, the father rushed there and started frantically digging through the rubble.  While he was digging, other grieving parents arrived, wailing “My son! “My daughter!”   The other parents, grief-stricken, tried to pull him out of the rubble, telling him: “It’s too late!” “They’re all dead!” “You can’t help!” “Go home!”   Eventually a police officer and a fire-fighter, who’d arrived at the scene, both told him he should go home, because the devastation to the building was too great. But to every person who tried to stop him he simply replied, “Are you going to help me?”   No one helped.   All alone, he kept on digging for his son, stone by stone.   He had to know if his son was alive or dead.  He couldn’t quit, not after the promise he had made.   He dug for eight hours.   He was still digging twelve hours – then twenty-four later.  Finally after thirty-eight hours of digging and removing rubble, exhausted in body and emotion, he pulled back a piece of debris and heard what sounded like his son’s voice.  The father screamed his son’s name, “ARMAND!” and a faint voice answered him, “Father?  It’s me Dad!”   When the boy was finally removed from the collapsed building, he looked up into the eyes of his fatigued-beyond-belief father and said these priceless words, “Dad, I always knew that you’d come for me, and that you wouldn’t give up until you saved me.  You promised, Dad.   You said, ‘No matter what, I’ll always be there for you!’  And Dad, you kept your word!”  

            As amazing as that father’s love for his son was, our heavenly Father’s commitment to us and His love for us is even more relentless!


At Grace Lutheran Church on Father’s Day 2023

            On this “Father’s Day 2023″ we certainly want to thank God for His gift to us of our earthly fathers, for all that they have done for us, and the good things they mean to us.    However, giving thanks for “Father”  is not an easy or automatic thing for all of us to do.   To be sure, many of us do carry in our hearts special feelings and cherished memories of “Dad.” But there are  some gathered here today who never knew (or will never know) their fathers.    For a variety of reasons, these people grew up without a  father being present or involved in their lives.   Others have bittersweet memories of a father who – instead of being a positive personal and spiritual influence –  was less than loving, too harsh, never available, a poor role model of Christian manhood, or worse.    The sad truth is that even the best of human fathers are flawed and fallible…..because every earthly father is a sinner.   Consequently, while we will thank the Lord for the blessings of fathers and fatherhood, our main emphasis today will be on the privilege we enjoy, as Christians, in being able to confidently call God “Our Father” and to know that we are His dearly loved, forgiven children through the reconciling work of Jesus Christ.        So, regardless of how good or bad our human fathers were (or are),  we can celebrate on this Father’s Day 2023 the incomparable relationship that we enjoy as true children of  “The Perfect Father,” the Lord God Himself…… In connection with this fact, in this morning’s worship service we will emphasize first – and especially –  the essential and eternal relationship that every one of us enjoys with our Heavenly Father, by His grace, through faith.     Second, we will hold out before all of us – but particularly before the  men, husbands, and fathers gathered here today – the importance of repenting daily of our shortcomings, and  of rededicating ourselves to growing spiritually,  positively and effectively in our roles as Christian leaders, servants, spouses, parents, and children.


Today’s Scripture Lessons

            Today’s Scripture Lessons provide us with some very encouraging examples of human and heavenly fatherhood.   The Children’s Lesson will consider the fact that each of us has two fathers…..a human father…..and  a Father in Heaven, Who happens to be the Savior-God.     For our Old Testament Lesson we’ll be looking at the story of a dysfunctional family, the household of King David.   In particular, we’ll consider the story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father, David, as well as the story behind his rebellion.   Candidly, David could have been a much better father to all his children,  (he had too many wives and children; and he was too busy with his work as King to adequately attend to his family’s needs).   At the same time, Absalom should have been a better, more grateful, more respectful, more obedient, and less self-absorbed son.   Unfortunately, if he lived today, we would say that Absalom was “spoiled rotten” and “all about himself.”   In his failed attempt to gain and keep Israel’s throne, Absalom planned to kill his father.   Ultimately, David’s forces prevailed and it was Absalom who died on the battlefield.  Near the story’s end, we see David asking his troops to be merciful to Absalom – even though he doesn’t deserve mercy.   That mercy of “father David” is similar (but inferior) to the mercy that our Heavenly Father daily extends to us, unworthy sinners that we are.   In today’s Epistle Lesson (from Colossians) the Holy Spirit guided the Apostle Paul to urge Christians to fully forgive one another – regardless of our grievances or their transgressions, just as Christ has forgiven us fully.   In addition, he lays down some of the basic principles for God-pleasing family and worker relationships.     Through this morning’s Gospel Lesson Jesus, speaks to His disciples on Maundy Thursday about His own commitment to do His Father’s will.  He also urges them (and us) to love each other – sacrificially – just as He loves us.  In fact, Jesus says that the “litmus” test of our faith and faithfulness is extent to which we love others by putting that love into action.  And, finally, today’s Sermon, will speak about the exemplary faithfulness to God’s will and in his care for his Step-Son (and Savior), as well as to Mary, that Joseph gave to Jesus.   On this Father’s Day, Joseph is an outstanding example of faithfulness and commitment to family that every father, husband, man, woman, and child can emulate.


The Story Behind The Observance of Father’s Day

            The idea for establishing a special day for children to honor their fathers began nearly a century ago in Spokane, Washington.  A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.  Having been raised by her father, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her.   It was her father who made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man.   Her father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.   By 1924 the observance had become so popular that President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as a national Father’s Day, and it has remained so to this day. 



The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version 

Copyright 2019,   The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.

Used with permission.     Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831

Pre-Service Prayer   In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  I thank You my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, for keeping me through the night from all harm and danger.  Keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You.  Into Your hands I commit my body and soul and all things.  Let your holy angel be with me, that the Devil may have no power over me.   Amen.




Pre-service Prayer                                                                                                                  Pre-service Music


We Praise Our God


The Introduction and Invitation to Worship


at the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation shall rise


The Invocation


We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


The Psalm for Today                                                                                                                        Psalm 103

P:      Praise the Lord , O my soul;   all my inmost being, praise His holy name.    Praise the Lord , O my soul,  and forget not all His benefits – 

C:         Who forgives all your sins    +   and heals all your diseases,  


P:         Who redeems your life from the pit   +  and crowns you with love and compassion


  • Who satisfies your desires with good things +  so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


P:         The Lord works righteousness  and justice for all the oppressed.    He made known His ways to Moses,
His deeds to the people of Israel:

C:         The Lord is compassionate and gracious, +    slow to anger, abounding in love.  


P:         He will not always accuse,  nor will He harbor His anger forever;    He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.        



  • For as high as the heavens are above the earth, + so great is His love for those who fear Him; +   as far as the east is from the west,    + so far has He removed our transgressions from us.



  • As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;
    for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.

C:         As for man, his days are like grass,   +  he flourishes like a flower of the field;   +  the wind blows over it and it is gone,   +   and its place remembers it no more.


P:         But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ‘s love is with those who fear Him,  and His righteousness with their children’s children,   with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.

C:         The Lord has established His throne in heaven, +  and His kingdom rules over all.

P:         Praise the Lord , you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His word.

C:         Praise the Lord , all His heavenly hosts, +   you His servants who do His will.    +    Praise the Lord , all His works everywhere in His dominion.   +   Praise the Lord , O my soul.


The Opening Hymn                                                                                       “The Morning Sun Is Dawning”

                                                                       To the tune of “Webb/The Morning Light Is Breaking”………CW melody 566


The morning sun is dawning,    And I thank God once more

Beneath Whose care awaking    I find the night is o’er:

I thank Him that He’s called me     To be His child and heir;

I know, whatever happens    I’m safely in His care.


O Lord of all creation,    Watch over me this day;

In all I do be near me,     For others too I pray –

To You I do commend them:   Our church, our youth, our land;

Direct them and defend them,    When dangers are at hand.


You are the Vine, O Savior,    May we, Your branches be,

Connected to You firmly,     And for eternity.

Your Spirit place within us,     And let His gifts of grace

Empower us to serve You – throughout our earthly race.


So grant us, Lord, Your blessing       That we may do Your will,

No more Your ways transgressing,     Our calling to fulfill;

To go and tell the Good News:    Christ died for all, that we –

through faith in Him, forgiven —  Have heaven eternally.   Amen. 


after which the Congregation will rise



We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Leader             God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.


Congregation   Holy and merciful Father, +   I confess that I am by nature sinful   +   and that I have disobeyed You in my thoughts, words, and actions;    +    I have done what is evil in Your sight   +   and have failed to do what is good.   +    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment,   +    both now and for eternity.     +     But I am truly sorry for all my sins,     +   and trusting in the perfect life   +   and innocent death of my Savior, Jesus Christ, +   I plead:    +  God have mercy on me, a sinner.


Leader             Our gracious Lord and Master has shown us His mercy:   He has given His one and only Son to save us from all  our sins.     And now, under 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.   


Congregation   Amen.



Lord Have Mercy


P:         For all that we need in life, and for the wisdom to use all Your gifts with gratitude and joy, hear our prayer, O Lord.


C:         (Sung)   Lord have mercy


P:         For the steadfast assurance that nothing can separate us from Your love and for the courage to stand firm against the assaults of Satan and every evil, hear our prayer, O Christ:


C:         (Sung)   Christ have mercy.


P:         For the well-being of Your holy Church in all the world and for those who offer here their worship and praise, hear our prayer, O Lord


C:          (Sung)    Lord have mercy.


P:         Merciful God, Maker and Preserver of life, uphold us by Your power, and keep us in Your tender care:


C:         (sung)   Amen.


P:         The works of the Lord are great and glorious;   His name is worthy of praise.



  O Lord, our Lord,    How glorious is Your name in all the earth.

Almighty God, merciful Father,     Your crown our life with Your love.

You take away our sin;    You comfort our spirit;    You make us pure and holy in Your sight.

You did not spare Your only Son, but gave Him up for us all.

O Lord, our Lord, How glorious is Your name in all the earth.

O Son of God, eternal Word of the Father,

You came to live with us;   You made Your Father known;

You washed us from our sins in Your own blood.

You are the King of glory;   You are the Lord!

O Lord, our Lord, How glorious is Your name in all the earth


The Prayer for Today


Gracious God + Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, + and through Him also my true Father, + I thank You for giving me my earthly father.   + Thank You also, and especially, + for loving me as Your child,   + for granting me the faith to believe in You,   + and for the many blessings You daily shower upon me.   +   On this day set aside for honoring fathers, + I pray that You would impress upon all fathers everywhere  + their responsibilities before You   +  as heads of their households.   +  Help them to faithfully provide   +  for the physical and Spiritual needs of their families, + granting them the grace   + to lead their families according to Your Holy Word.  +   Allow these men to find success and satisfaction   +   in Godly service to their families, their congregations, and their communities, + and certainly in their Christian service to You.   + Finally, when their – and my – time on earth is through, + grant us the joy and bliss +   of spending eternity with You,   + our Heavenly Father.   +   In Jesus name we ask this.   +   Amen.



after which the Congregation may be seated


We Hear God’s Word


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                             Matthew 7:9-11

9 Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, would give him a stone? 10 Or who, if his son asks for a fish, would give him a snake? 11 Then if you know how to give good gifts to your children, even though you are evil, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!


My Father in Heaven

The Old Testament Lesson                                                                           2 Samuel 13-19, selected verses


2 Samuel 13

David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. Some time after this, David’s son Amnon fell in love with her. 2 Amnon was so worked up that he made himself sick because of 2 his sister Tamar. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for Amnon to do anything with her…..6 Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick, and the king came to see him. Amnon said to the king, “Please! Have my sister Tamar come and make special flatbread while I am watching….

7 So David sent a message to Tamar’s house: “Please, go to the house of your brother Amnon and make food for him.” 8 Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon…..10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom and let me eat from your hand.”  Tamar took the flatbread that she had made and brought it into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 She brought it to him so he could eat.  He grabbed her and said to her, “Come, lie down with me, my sister.”  12 She said to him, “No, my brother. Do not force me, for such a thing is not done in Israel. Do not do such a foolish thing. 13 And I—how will I get rid of my shame? And you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her. He was stronger than she was, and he forced her to lie down with him. …..20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now my sister, do not say anything. He is your brother. Do not take this matter to heart.”…..23 Two years passed. Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim. Absalom invited all the king’s sons….28 Absalom commanded his servants, “Pay attention to me, and when Amnon is feeling good because of the wine, I will say to you, ‘Strike Amnon.’ Then you are to kill him. Do not be afraid. I am the one who has given you the order. Be strong. Be brave.”  29 Absalom’s servants did to Amnon exactly what Absalom had commanded…..38 Absalom fled and went to Geshur. He stayed there for three years. 39 King David longed to reach out to Absalom, because he was no longer mourning for his deceased son Amnon.


2 Samuel 14

….23 Joab got up and went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.  24 But the king said, “He must go to his own house. He is not to see me face-to-face.” So Absalom went to his own house, and he did not see the face of the king [for two years].   25 There was not a man in all Israel as handsome as Absalom and so greatly praised. From the sole of his foot to the top of his head there was not a blemish on him. 26 When he shaved the hair on his head (periodically he cut it off because it became too heavy for him), the hair weighed five pounds…..Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came to the king. He bowed down to the king with his face to the ground, and the king kissed Absalom.


2 Samuel 15

After this, Absalom acquired for himself a chariot, horses, and fifty men to run in front of him. 2 Absalom would get up early and stand beside the road by the gatehouse. Absalom would call out to every man who had a legal issue to bring before the king for judgment, and he would say, “What city are you from?” The person would say, “Your servant is from such-and-such of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Absalom would say to him, “Your claims are good and valid, but there is no one from the king to listen to you.” 4 Then Absalom would say, “I wish someone would make me a judge in the land. Then everyone who has a legal issue or needs a judgment could come to me, and I would give him justice.”   5 Whenever someone approached to bow down to him, he would reach out, take hold of him, and kiss him. 6 Absalom acted this way to everyone of Israel who came to the king for judgment. In this way Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel…..13 A messenger came to David and said, “The hearts of the men of Israel are following Absalom.”   14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Get ready. We must flee, or we will not escape from Absalom. Hurry up and go, so that he does not come quickly, overtake us, bring down disaster on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”


2 Samuel 18

David organized the troops who were with him. He appointed leaders over units of a thousand and units of a hundred. 2 Then David sent the troops out: one third under the command of Joab; one third under the command of Abishai, who was the son of Zeruiah and the brother of Joab; and one third under the command of Ittai from Gath….The king stood beside the city gate. All the troops marched out by units of a hundred and a thousand. 5 The king gave orders to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “For my sake, act gently with the young man Absalom.” All the troops heard the king giving orders to the leaders concerning Absalom…..9 Absalom encountered the forces of David. As Absalom was riding on his mule, the mule went under the thick branches of a large terebinth tree, and Absalom’s head caught in the terebinth. He was caught between heaven and earth, and the mule he was riding kept going…..14 Joab….took three small spears in his hand, and he hurled them into Absalom’s heart while he was still alive in the middle of the terebinth tree. 15 Ten young men, the ones carrying Joab’s armor and weapons, surrounded Absalom and struck and killed him…..21 Joab then told a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you saw.”…..31 The Cushite arrived and said, “There is good news for my lord the king, because the Lord has delivered you this day from the power of all who rose up against you.”  32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”  The Cushite said, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you with evil intentions be like that young man.”  33 The king was shocked. He went up to the room over the gatehouse. As he was going, he wept and said, “My son Absalom, my son, my son! O Absalom, I wish I had died instead of you. O Absalom, my son, my son.”


2 Samuel 19

5 Joab came to the king at the house and said, “Today you have put to shame all your followers, who today have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, and the lives of your wives and concubines. 6 You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have demonstrated clearly today that your officers and followers are nothing to you. Today I have no doubt that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, you would be pleased. 7 Now get up. Go out. Speak to the hearts of your followers. For by the Lord, I swear that if you do not go out, not a man will remain with you tonight, and this disaster will be greater for you than all the disasters that have come upon you from your youth until now.”    8 So the king got up and took his seat by the gate.



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                              Colossians 3:12-24


12 Therefore, as God’s elect, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against anyone else. Forgive, just as Christ forgave you. 14 And, in addition to all these things, put on love, which ties things together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, to which you were also called, in one body. And be thankful.


16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.  17 And everything you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not treat them harshly.


20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, so that they do not become discouraged.


22 Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not just when they are watching you, like people-pleasers, but with a sincere heart, out of respect for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, keep working at it with all your heart, as for the Lord and not for people, 24 because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. Keep serving the Lord Christ! 25 Indeed, the one who does what is wrong will be repaid for what he did wrong, and there is no favoritism.


After which the Congregation will please rise,

out of respect for the words of Christ



The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                        John 15:9-17


9 “As the Father has loved Me, so also I have loved you. Remain in My love. 10 If you hold on to My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have held on to My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that my joy would continue to be in you and that your joy would be complete.


12 “This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this: that someone lays down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you continue to do the things I instruct you. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything that I heard from My Father, I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will endure, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. 17 These things I am instructing you, so that you love one another.


The Nicene  Creed


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,  and of all things visible and invisible.  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God,  Light of Light.  Very God of Very God.  Begotten, not made.  Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made;  Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven   And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary   And was made man;  And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried;  And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures;  And ascended into heaven,  And sitteth on the right hand of the Father;   And he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead;  Whose Kingdom shall have no end.   And I believe in the Holy Ghost,  The Lord and Giver of Life,  Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,  Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,  Who spake by the Prophets.  And I believe one holy Christian and Apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,  And I look for the resurrection of the dead,  And the life of the world to come.  Amen.



Following which the Congregation may be seated for



The Sermon Hymn                                                                         Hymn 501 “Our Father, By Whose Name”


Our Father, by Whose name    All fatherhood is known,

In love divine You claim    Each fam’ly as Your own.

Bless mothers, fathers, guarding well,    With constant love as sentinel,

The homes in which Your people dwell.


O Christ, Yourself a child   Within an earthly home,

With heart still undefiled    You did to manhood come.

Our children bless in ev’ry place    That they may all behold Your face

And, knowing you, may grow in grace.


O Holy Spirit, bind    Our hearts in unity,

And teach us how to find    The love from self set free.

In all our hearts such love increase    That ev’ry home by this release

May be the dwelling place of peace.



The Greeting 


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.



The Sermon                                                                                                                            Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother, Mary, was pledged in marriage to Joseph. Before they came together, she was found to be with Child by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her. So he decided to divorce her privately. 20 But as he was considering these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because the Child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”   22 All this happened to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Look, the virgin will be with Child and will give birth to a Son. And they will name Him Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.”   24 When Joseph woke up from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. He took Mary home as his wife, 25 but he was not intimate with her until she gave birth to her firstborn Son.  And he named Him Jesus.


A Faithful Father…an Example for us all



after the sermon, the Congregation will remain seated for


The Blessing  To Him Who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without  fault and with great joy — to  the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, power, and authority now and forever.  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 Prayers


Included in our prayers this morning:

A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf these couples celebrating anniversaries:

Katie & James Boatright (Today)

Danielle & Taylor Ashley (Wednesday);   and

MiKaela & Eric Lemmon (Saturday)

We also offer

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for

Kent Swogger, who had a successful operation this past Wednesday;

and Debbie Huebner, whose surgery Thursday was successful


The Lord’s Prayer


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   for ever and ever.    Amen.   


We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper                                                                         (CW, pgs 21 & 23)


Pastor: The Lord be with you.


Congregation:             (Sung)   And also with you



Pastor: Lift up your hearts.


Congregation:             (Sung)    We lift them up unto the Lord



Pastor:             Let us give thanks to the Lord our God


Congregation:             (Sung)    It is good and right so to do.



The Words of Institution                                                                                                Spoken by the Pastor


Pastor: The peace of the Lord be with you always.  


Congregation              (Sung)    Amen.



The Distribution of the Sacramental Elements



                                                                                   (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                            our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)


To our Guests this morning,  we appreciate your presence among us.  It is an honor to have you join with us as we worship our Lord and listen to His Word.   We truly consider it a privilege to spend this time with you!   It is our hope that you will both return in the future to worship with us again, and – perhaps – that You will even choose to become part of our congregation’s membership and our Synodical (WELS) fellowship, so that you might become even more involved in worship, study of God’s Word, and in Christian ministry and fellowship with us.

            In connection with our worship as Christians, we regularly celebrate the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion.   But, as a key part of our church’s Biblically-based communion practice, before we can ask anyone to commune with us, we are compelled to first sit down with that individual and establish (upon a comprehensive study of the teachings of Scripture) that we are united in full doctrinal/ teaching fellowship…….which Scripture requires of any and all Christians before they can commune together.  

            Accordingly, we can offer the Lord’s Supper this morning only to those individuals who have completed that course of study, and who have chosen to become confirmed, communicant members of Grace Lutheran congregation or of one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) or Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) congregations.

            For some guests, this Biblical practice of “Close Communion“ is both unfamiliar and (perhaps)  uncomfortable.   We realize that, unfortunately, few churches today continue to employ it…..though, in the past, nearly all did.    It is not necessarily easy to observe others receiving the Lord’s Supper, while being asked – respectfully — to refrain from receiving it.   Please be assured that we are not judging your faith in Christ.   Nor it is our desire to offend you.   But it also is not our desire to offend or disobey our Lord’s expectations for the proper use of His Supper.   Indeed, we must all obey Him above all others, and we want to.   Consequently, if you have any questions or concerns about our use/practice of the Lord’s Supper, please feel free to speak with our Pastor after the service, or at your convenience, so that he might share with you the Biblical rationale for our approach to receiving and sharing the Lord’s Supper.   In addition, a brochure can be found in our tract/brochure rack in the entryway, which is entitled “Our Communion Practice.”   It provides our guests and friends with a Scripture-based explanation for our understanding of and use of the Lord’s Supper.         

            Finally, please know that we truly are grateful for your participation – as a fellow Christian – in this morning’s worship service.   We also thank you for your patience and understanding, and for respecting this Biblical approach we must take as we endeavor to faithful make us of our Lord’s Supper.   May God bless and keep you always!




Distribution Hymn                                                                                                                            Hymn 312

                                                                                                           “Lord Jesus Christ, You Have Prepared”

                                                                                                                                        Verses 1-4;    Verses 5-8


1 Lord Jesus Christ, you have prepared This feast for our salvation;

It is your body and your blood, And at your invitation

As weary souls, with sin oppressed, We come to you for needed rest,

For comfort, and for pardon.


2 Although you did to heav’n ascend,  Where angel hosts are dwelling,

And in your presence they behold  Your glory, all excelling,

And though your people shall not see   Your glory and your majesty

Till dawns the judgment morning,


3 Yet, Savior, you are not confined   To any habitation,

But you are present ev’rywhere   And with your congregation.

Firm as a rock this truth shall stand,   Unmoved by any daring hand

Or subtle craft and cunning.


4 We eat this bread and drink this cup,    Your precious Word believing

That your true body and your blood    Our lips are here receiving.

This Word remains forever true,   And there is naught you cannot do,

For you, Lord, are almighty.


5 Though reason cannot understand,    Yet faith this truth embraces:

Your body, Lord, is ev’rywhere    At once in many places.

I leave to you how this can be;    Your Word alone suffices me;

I trust its truth unfailing.


6 Lord, I believe what you have said;    Help me when doubts assail me.

Remember that I am but dust,    And let my faith not fail me.

Your supper in this vale of tears    Refreshes me and stills my fears

And is my priceless treasure.


7 Grant that we worthily receive    Your supper, Lord, our Savior,

And, truly grieving for our sins,    May prove by our behavior

That we are thankful for your grace    And day by day may run our race,

In holiness increasing.


8 For your consoling supper, Lord,    Be praised throughout all ages!

Preserve it, for in ev’ry place    The world against it rages.

Grant that this sacrament may be   A blessed comfort unto me

When living and when dying.


After the distribution of the Lord’s Supper,

the pastor will invite the Congregation to rise


We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing




Brothers and sisters, now go in peace.   Live in harmony with one another.   And Serve the Lord in gladness.


The LORD bless you and keep you,

The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you,

The LORD look upon you with favor, and grant you His peace.   Amen.



The Closing Hymn                                                                         Hymn 460  “How Can I Thank You, Lord”


1 How can I thank you, Lord,  For all your loving-kindness,

That you have patiently   Borne with me in my blindness!

When dead in many sins   And trespasses I lay,

I kindled, holy God,   Your anger ev’ry day.


2 It is your work alone   That I am now converted;

O’er Satan’s work in me   You have your pow’r asserted.

Your mercy and your grace   That rise afresh each morn

Have turned my stony heart   Into a heart new-born.


3 Lord, you have raised me up   To joy and exultation

And clearly shown the way   That leads me to salvation.

My sins are washed away;   For this I thank you, Lord.

Now with my heart and soul   All evil I abhor.


4 Grant that your Spirit’s help   To me be always given

Lest I should fall again   And lose the way to heaven.

Grant that he give me strength   In my infirmity;

May he renew my heart   To serve you willingly.


5 O Father, God of love,   Now hear my supplication;

O Savior, Son of God,   Accept my adoration;

O Holy Spirit, be   My ever faithful guide

That I may serve you here   And there with you abide.



Silent Prayer


Post-Service Music