April 05, 2020    The Sixth Sunday in Lent

also known as “Palm Sunday”    and as “the Sunday of the Passion”


A Tale Of Two Crowds


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”


…… With these memorable lines of classical literature, Charles Dickens began his famous work about the French Revolution, “A Tale Of Two Cities.”

The semi-historical, semi-fictional events of late 18th century France, particularly Paris, that Dickens chronicled in more than a few ways parallel the all-too-historical events of first century Palestine, particularly those that took place in Jerusalem in approximately A.D. 29.   They centered on Jesus of Nazareth……Who, obviously, is the Center of our Christian faith, the Source of our salvation, and the Focus of the events of the this week that we Christians have long referred to as “Holy Week.”

As we worship this morning, we are observing the Sixth and Last Sunday during the Season of Lent, which is alternately known as “The Sunday of the Passion” and – by its more “traditional” designation of – “Palm Sunday.”    It always marks the beginning of “Holy Week.”

Regardless of the name, or title, by which we designate it, this day is a very special, and very significant one for us, who have gathered here to listen to God’s Word and offer Him our worship and praise today.

You see, Palm Sunday/The Sunday of the Passion is the start of the final, climactic week of the Lenten Season.   Since Lent began on Ash Wednesday, we’ve been spending our time in our worship services on Sundays considering (and celebrating) the victories which Christ our Savior has won for us against Satan and his wicked kingdom .

Each week of Lent, as we have come closer to Calvary and Christ’s open tomb, the intensity of our penitential reflections over our sins, which ultimately necessitated the sufferings, death, and resurrection of our Lord, has increased.

This final week in Lent – “Holy Week” – then, is, for Christians, something akin to the final crescendo at the close of a great orchestral work.   For, beginning with today (Palm Sunday) and moving through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday later this week, our penitential preparations will be reaching an emotional and spiritual climax as we see ourselves in the crowds that both acclaimed Jesus on Palm Sunday and subsequently cried out for His crucifixion a scant five days later on Good Friday.     For not only did the Jews bring about Jesus’ death, every sinful human being is responsible – me and you, included.

The Sixth Sunday in Lent has traditionally been known as  Palm Sunday, but it is also identified by the liturgical title  “The Sunday of the Passion.”   This latter designation serves to emphasize that with this Sunday the intensity of Christ’s “passion” (His comprehensive sufferings for our sins) increases as He enters Jerusalem and proceeds through the events of Holy Week until they culminate with His death on Good Friday and His bodily resurrection three days later.

If you and I are going to properly observe Palm Sunday and the rest of Holy Week, we’re going to need to do more than just observe some church traditions, sing a few Lenten hymns and let those Biblical reports of what once hap­pened to Jesus in Jerusalem, before Pilate, and on Golgotha, go in “one ear and out the other.”   Each of us truly will want to recognize that our spiritual lives and our eternal salvation are intimately connected to the events that constitute the Passion History of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   Not only are we (like the Good Friday crowd) personally responsible for them due to our sins, but – because of His Good Friday self-sacrifice and His Easter morning vicarious conquest of death and the grave…..Jesus is solely responsible for our sins being forgiven and our souls being saved for heaven.

And so, through the eyes of faith let’s follow Jesus as He begins that first Holy Week by entering Jerusalem to the waving of palm branches and the shouts of “Hosanna” acclaiming Him as the King of Kings.   And let’s continue to stay with our Savior throughout this Holy Week – on Maundy Thursday as He institutes the Lord’s Supper and later agonizes in prayer for Himself and us in Geth­semane before He suffers abuse at the hands of His enemies.   We’ll also strive to be present with Him on Good Friday during His trials before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod, all the way to the nails and cross and brutal death which He endured on Calvary.   But especially, let’s not fail to  gather together again next Sunday, when with the eyes of our faith we will stand at His open grave celebrating the proof that Jesus accomplished all that He came to do for our forgive­ness and salvation.


Introduction to Today’s Worship Service


The waving palms and shouts of “Hosanna in the highest!”  raised to Christ on that first Palm Sunday warmly welcomed into the city Him who was and remains King of Kings and Lord of Lords.    Likewise today we will acclaim and thank Christ for being our Savior and Lord through the words of our sermon hymn “Christ the Life of All the Living.”   Also, we will acknowledge Christ’s Kingship over our lives and everything that exists  when we close today’s service by singing “Crown Him with many Crowns.”

Today’s Opening Reading is the traditional Gospel lesson for Palm Sunday – the account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as royalty (riding on a donkey and entering to the acclaim of the crowds shouting “Hosanna in the highest, blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord”).

Our New Testament Lesson this morning comes from the book of Hebrews.  It speaks about certain aspects of Jesus “period of humiliation” – that part of His ministry during which He voluntarily humbled (or limited) Himself by not utilizing all of His divine power, glory and wisdom.   He limited/humbled Himself for the express purpose of serving as our sinless Substitute in life and so that through His death He could spare us hell’s horrors and instead secure for us everlasting salvation in heaven.

This morning’s Children’s Lesson is based on II Corinthians 8:9, and will focus our attention on all that Christ gave up for us in order that we might one day be able……through faith in Jesus…… to live with Him forever in heaven.

Finally, with today also being known as “The Sunday of the Passion,”  we’ll use as our Sermon Text, both the lesson from Mark’s Gospel that we used our Opening Reading, as well as today’s Gospel Lesson from Matthew.   In the former, we’ll recall the events of today (Palm Sunday) and the celebration of the crown as Jesus entered Jerusalem at the start of Passover week.   Many in the crowd hailed Him as something of a conquering hero….hoping He would lead a revolution against the Romans to liberate them politically.  Few understood why He was truly there…..to complete His conquest of Sin, Death and Satan for humanity’s forgiveness and the salvation of all who would believe in Him.    Later, through Matthew’s account, we’ll see a second crowd before Pontius Pilate on Good Friday.   No doubt many in this crowd that called for Christ’s crucifixion had previously celebrated Him on Palm Sunday.  What had changed?   The people, shamefully misled by the animosity of the Jewish religious “elite” (who hated Christ), proved fickle in their feelings for Him.   Disillusioned because they realized Christ wasn’t what they wanted, and deceived by their religious leaders, the called for Jesus’ crucifixion until Pilate yielded to their cries and condemned Him.  Most importantly, we’ll want to see that all mankind was actually on trial that day – and that through Jesus as our Substitute, we were declared both guilty (functionally – according to divine Law which we have violated) and totally innocent of all our sins (forensically – by His grace, for the sake of Jesus’ sufferings and death in our place).


A Brief Overview of Holy Week


The final Sunday in Lent is customarily known as Palm Sunday, and in some circles as “The Sunday of the Passion of our Lord.”   This day marks the beginning of that seven day period fittingly referred to as “Holy Week.”  During this special week of the church we focus on the sufferings, death, and resurrection of our Lord with greater attention, reverence and devotion than perhaps at any other time during the year.   As it has been done throughout the reading of the Passion History during our six midweek Lenten vespers (evening) worship services, we will recall once more what hap­pened to Jesus in Jerusalem, before Pilate, and on Golgotha.    The waving palms and shouts of “Hosanna in the highest!”  raised to Christ on that first Palm Sunday warmly welcomed into the city Him who was and remains King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   Likewise as we observe Palm Sunday this morning, we acclaim Christ as our King and Lord and express our devotion to Him by also declaring:  “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”

Holy Week, itself, has a number of interesting facets to its significance.   Although in our Lutheran church it is not customary to worship on the Wednesda­y of Holy Week, it is worth noting that this day has been given the name “Spy Wednesday,” since the Gospels identify it as the day when the treacherous covenant to betray Jesus was consummated by Judas and the chief priests (Luke 22:1-6).

The Thursday of Holy Week has always been a day of great significance for the Christian Church, chiefly because it commemorates Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper.   The name by which it is most commonly known, Maundy Thursday (from the Latin Dies Mandati, “Day of the Commandment”), has particular reference to the Savior’s injunctions regarding the way humility, selflessness  and love should exemplify the brotherhood of believers (John 13:34).   An ancient custom connected to this day encouraged the practice of carrying gifts to the poor in hand baskets which were called “maunds.”

Of course, the pinnacle of our Holy Week observances is Good Friday, the day on which Christ was crucified.  Its earliest name was “Parasceve,” which means “preparation.”   Other names were “Day of the Lord’s Passion” and “Day of the Cross.”  The designation Good Friday is a peculiarly English expression.  It reflects the joy of completed redemption and protests against the superstitious notions that all Fridays are “unlucky” as well as against the idea that this particular Friday should be observed in funeral gloom and despair.    Nevertheless, it is a day of solemn mourning for the Christian, given the reality that Christ died that day for all the sins that each of us has committed.

Worship services on this day obviously emphasize the death of Christ as our sin-substitute.   Some Christian congregations commemorate the three hours Christ spent on the cross with a “Tre Ora” (Three Hours) service which lasts from noon to three in the afternoon.   This was a service practiced primarily by churches in the Western Church (Europe).

Another traditional approach to commemorating Good Friday is known as “Tennebrae,” the Latin name for “darkness,”   This “Tennebrae” service is usually observed after sunset, and is developed around the reading of and commentary on the seven statements (words) of Christ while on the cross.   As the service progresses, at the conclusion of each of the seven commentary/readings the lights of the worship area are progressively dimmed until everything is completely darkened once Christ’s death is announced.   After a few moments’ reflection upon the “darkness” of sin, a “Resurrection Candle” is lit and brought to the altar while a brief statement is read reminding the congregation that Christ has promised He will not remain in the grave, but will rise after three days.  The congregation then pauses for silent prayer and exits the worship area and church building in silence, meditating upon all that God accomplished for us on that first Good Friday.   The service of Tennebrae was generally practiced in the early Eastern Churches (from Greece eastward).   For some, the custom of fasting is observed in the time between the close of the Maundy Thursday evening worship service and the end of the Good Friday service.  Through fasting the Christian is able to share (be it ever so lightly) in a portion of our Savior’s physical sufferings for us, and thus better appreciate His tremendous sacrifice for our benefit.

The final day of Holy Week is known as “Holy Saturday.”  It focuses both on the time when our Lord’s body lay in death in the tomb and on His descent into hell — the two stages referred to in the Apostles’ Creed as “dead and buried;  He descended into hell.”  The purpose of Jesus’ descent into hell is misunderstood by many Christians.  Following His death, Jesus did not descend into hell in order to suffer for  our sins.  Some of His final words on Good Friday, “it is finished,” prove to us that with His death, Christ’s suffering for sin was complete.   Rather than going there to suffer, Christ descended into hell to proclaim and demonstrate His total victory over sin, death, and Satan by going unhindered into the “headquarters” of the Devil.   Scripture supports this understanding of Christ’s victorious descent into hell in I Peter 3:18-20 and Colossians 2:15.  As with Good Friday, Holy Saturday is observed with a solemn spirit, yet it also contains an element of anticipation in preparation for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection on the next morn.


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


Grace Lutheran Church of Northwest Arkansas

is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a church body which spans the United States and Canada, and which also operates a number of foreign missions.

Our Vision:      Extend God’s Kingdom through His Word, serving each Soul.

Our Mission:  Share the Gospel, Encourage Faith, and Prepare Souls

through Worship, Education and Fellowship.


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


The Order of Worship for the 6th Sunday in Lent Palm Sunday


Pre-service Prayer


The Greeting and Invitation to Worship

The Invocation          We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.


The Palm Sunday Traditional Gospel Lesson                                                                        Mark 11:1-11


As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his

disciples 2 and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it, and he will send it back here without delay.’”

4 They left and found a colt on the street, tied at a door; and they untied it. 5 Some who were standing there asked them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 The disciples answered them just as Jesus had instructed them, and the men let them go.

7 They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it. 8 Many people spread their garments on the road. Others spread branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were crying out,   “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!   Hosanna in the highest!”

11 Jesus went into the temple courts in Jerusalem and looked around at everything. Since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.



The Opening Hymn                                                                       Hymn 130    “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna


1 Hosanna, loud hosanna,   The little children sang;

Through pillared court and temple   The lovely anthem rang.

To Jesus, who had blessed them,   Close folded to His breast,

The children sang their praises,   The simplest and the best.

2 From Olivet they followed   Mid an exultant crowd,

The victor palm branch waving   And chanting clear and loud.

The Lord of earth and heaven   Rode on in lowly state

Nor scorned that little children   Should on His bidding wait.

3 “Hosanna in the highest!”   That ancient song we sing;

For Christ is our Redeemer,   The Lord of heav’n our King.

Oh, may we ever praise Him   With heart and life and voice

And in His blissful presence  Eternally rejoice!


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor  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.

Pastor  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, 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 Prayer For This Morning


Almighty and everlasting God,   +  Who in Your tender love for mankind   +  sent Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ,   +   to take upon Himself our human nature,   +   and to suffer death on the cross,   +   that we might be redeemed    +   from the eternal consequences of our sins;   +   Mercifully grant that we  may follow  +   His example of humility, obedience, and patience,   +  and also that we be made partakers of His resurrection;   +   through the same Jesus Christ,  +   Your Son, our Lord,  +  Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God, forever and ever.  +  Amen.


We Give Our Attention to God’s Word


The New Testament Lesson                                                                      Hebrews 2:5-18


5 For God did not place the coming world, about which we are speaking, under the control of angels. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:   What is man that you remember him,  or the Son of Man that you look after Him?  7 You made Him lower than the angels for a little while.  You crowned Him with glory and honor.   8 You put everything in subjection under His feet.

Indeed, in putting everything in subjection to Him, God left nothing that is not in subjection to Him. At the present time, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. 9 But we look to Jesus (the One Who was made lower than the angels for a little while, so that by God’s grace He might taste death for everyone), now crowned with glory and honor, because He suffered death.

10 Certainly it was fitting for God (the One for Whom and through Whom everything exists), in leading many sons to glory, to bring the Author of their salvation to His goal through sufferings. 11 For He Who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified all have one Father. For that reason, He is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says:    “I will declare Your name to My brothers.    Within the congregation I will sing Your praise.”   13 And again:   “ will trust in Him.”  And again:   “Here I am and the children God has given Me.”

14 Therefore, since the children share flesh and blood, He also shared the same flesh and blood, so that through death He could destroy the one who had the power of death (that is, the Devil) 15 and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. 16 For surely He was not concerned with helping angels but with helping Abraham’s offspring. 17 For this reason, He had to become like His brothers in every way, in order that He would be a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, so that He could pay for the sins of the people. 18 Indeed, because He suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.



The Gospel Lesson                                                                                    Matthew 27:11-54


11 When Jesus stood in the presence of the governor, the governor asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”  Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”   12 When He was accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. 13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how many things they are testifying against You?”  14 But He did not answer him—not even one word, so that the governor was very surprised.

15 At the time of the Festival the governor had a custom to release to the crowd any one prisoner they wanted. 16 At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17 So when they were assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you? Barabbas—or Jesus, Who is called Christ?” 18 For Pilate knew that they had handed Jesus over to him because of envy.   19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, Pilate’s wife sent him a message. “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man,” she said, “since I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus put to death. 21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”    “Barabbas!” they said.   22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus, Who is called Christ?”   They all said to him, “Crucify Him!”   23 But the governor said, “Why? What has He done wrong?”   But they kept shouting even louder: “Crucify Him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing and that instead it was turning into a riot, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this righteous Man’s blood. It is your responsibility.”    25 And all the people answered, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!”   26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but he had Jesus flogged and handed Him over to be crucified.

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort of soldiers around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 They twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand, knelt in front of Him, and mocked Him by saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spit on Him, took the staff, and hit Him repeatedly on His head.

31 After they had mocked Him, they took off the robe and put His own clothes on Him. Then they led Him away to crucify Him.    32 As they were going out of the city, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha, which means “The place of the skull.” 34 They offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when He tasted it, He would not drink it. 35 After they had crucified Him, they divided His clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and were keeping watch over Him there. 37 Above His head they posted the written charge against Him: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”    38 At the same time two criminals were crucified with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 39 People who passed by kept insulting Him, shaking their heads, 40 and saying, “You Who were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”    41 In the same way the chief priests, experts in the law, and elders kept mocking Him. They said, 42 “He saved others, but He cannot save himself. If He’s the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue Him now, if He wants Him, because He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with Him kept insulting Him.

45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour, there was darkness over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “This fellow is calling for Elijah.”   48 Immediately one of them ran, took a sponge, and soaked it with sour wine. Then he put it on a stick and gave Him a drink. 49 The rest said, “Leave Him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.”

50 After Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, He gave up his spirit. 51 Suddenly, the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and rocks were split. 52 Tombs were opened, and many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised to life. 53 Those who came out of the tombs went into the holy city after Jesus’ resurrection and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those who were guarding Jesus with him saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly This was the Son of God.”


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.



Today’s Children’sLesson                                                                      II Corinthians 8:9


9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that through His poverty you might become rich.


He Gave Everything Up to Give Us Everything


The Sermon Hymn                                                                 Hymn 114 “Christ the Life of All the Living”


1 Christ, the Life of all the living,    Christ, the death of death, our foe,

Who, Thyself for me once giving    To the darkest depths of woe:

Through thy suff’rings, death, and merit   I eternal life inherit.

Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,   Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.

2 Thou, ah! Thou, hast taken on Thee    Bonds and stripes, a cruel rod;

Pain and scorn were heaped upon Thee,    0 Thou sinless Son of God!

Thus didst Thou my soul deliver    From the bonds of sin forever.

Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,   Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.

3 Thou hast borne the smiting only    That my wounds might all be whole;

Thou hast suffered, sad and lonely,    Rest to give my weary soul;

Yea, the curse of God enduring,    Blessing unto me securing.

Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,   Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.

4 Heartless scoffers did surround Thee,   Treating Thee with shameful scorn

And with piercing thorns they crowned Thee.   All disgrace Thou, Lord, hast borne,

That as Thine Thou mightest own me   And with heav’nly glory crown me.

Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,  Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.

5 Thou hast suffered men to bruise Thee,    That from pain I might be free;

Falsely did Thy foes accuse Thee:   Thence I gain security;

Comfortless Thy soul did languish   Me to comfort in my anguish.

Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,   Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.

6 Thou hast suffered great affliction    And hast borne it patiently,

Even death by crucifixion,    Fully to atone for me;

Thou didst choose to be tormented    That my doom should be prevented.

Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,   Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.

7 Then, for all that wrought my pardon,    For Thy sorrows deep and sore,

For Thine anguish in the Garden,    I will thank Thee evermore,

Thank Thee for Thy groaning, sighing,   For Thy bleeding and Thy dying,

For that last triumphant cry,   And shall praise Thee, Lord, on high.


The Pastor’s Greeting


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


The SermonText                                                                                          Matthew 27:11-54


A Tale Of Two Crowds

Have you ever seen a mob on TV or movies? They are dangerous, and can become murderous in an instant.    Mobs are tense, waiting for the slightest provocation to begin destroying whatever and whoever they want.   Mobs are not a good thing, in general.

A crowd might be defined as a “pre-mob” bunch. They might never turn into a mob, but they can be fickle, wandering around like a bunch of sheep, looking for direction.   Today we are going to look at two crowds that formed around Jesus during His last week on earth.

I want to point out the differences between them, and then show you some lessons we can learn from these people.   I want to give you something you can use as you go through life, and as you make decisions about which way to go –– following crowd, or standing alone.

Let’s get started, shall we? First Let’s look at the crowd….

I. At the Gates of Jerusalem.

Turn with me to Mark 11:1-11 (in today’s bulletin).  

As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it, and he will send it back here without delay.’”   4 They left and found a colt on the street, tied at a door; and they untied it. 5 Some who were standing there asked them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 The disciples answered them just as Jesus had instructed them, and the men let them go.  7 They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it. 8 Many people spread their garments on the road. Others spread branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were crying out,   “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!   Hosanna in the highest!

You’ve probably seen movies of the life of Jesus, showing this scene.   The huge crowd is pressing in to see and touch Jesus, praising God for this carpenter who performs miracles and silences the religious leaders.   The crowd was raucous, excited, and happy to see Jesus.    In this scene they’re praising Him.  They liked this guy, and my guess is that more than one person was hoping that Jesus would be the deliverer that everyone had been hoping for….the one who finally wold push the Romans out of Israel and reestablish David’s old Kingdom, where Israel was supreme!

They didn’t understand that Christ was coming to establish His kingdom in the hearts of people, not establish a political kingdom….and even more so, that He came to die for their sins and rise for their salvation…..just as the Old Testament Scriptures had promised the true Messiah would do.   But that didn’t matter to them at that moment.   They saw Jesus the man, almost the “rock star,” and they welcomed Him into the city with loud rejoicing as their conquering hero.

If opinion polls had been taken back then, I’m sure Jesus’ approval rating would have been in the upper 90’s, percentage-wise, a number most politicians would die for.

His entrance into Jerusalem marked the beginning of the last week of His life on earth, though no one in the crowd knew that. Given His popularity at that moment, any move to take Him would have met with bloody riots.       The Bible tells us that is precisely why the authorities did not arrest Him….they were afraid of His popularity with the people.

Anyway, my point here is that this crowd can be identified by its overwhelming approval of Jesus and its affection for Him.    But within the span of just a very few days, the attitude changed dramatically.

The Bible goes into quite a bit of detail about Jesus’ last days. It tells us that:

…He cleared the temple,
…Told some more parables, two of which (the parable of the 2 sons and the parable of the tennants) really upset the Pharisees

and the Sadducees…..because through them Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy and unwarranted sense of spiritual entitlement.

…He spoke about paying taxes to Caesar and silenced the Sadducees regarding their false ideas about the resurrection,
…Reiterated that the greatest commandments were, first to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and then to

love our neighbor as ourselves,
…He Pronounced seven woes, mainly pointed at the Pharisees,
…Jesus talked about Jerusalem’s impending destruction, as well as about the signs that would usher in the coming of the end of

the world.
…He spoke about Judgment Day, and who would – and who wouldn’t – be in heaven.
…And He celebrated the Passover with His disciples before going to Gethsemane where He prayed, and subsequently

surrendered Himself to His enemies for His trial and death for our sins.

Now remember, the Pharisees and scribes already didn’t like Jesus.  In fact, they hated him – especially after so many people (even some of their own) began to believe in Jesus following His recent raising of Lazarus from the dead.   And now – the last straw for them – Jesus had taken deadly aim at them and their failed faith in a religion of salvation by works.

It is no surprise that they now took deliberate action to have Him killed.   It was either Him, or them.

Shortly thereafter, Judas appeared on the scene to help them kill Christ.

II. The Crowd At Pilate’s Palace.

By the time we get to our next crowd, Jesus has been arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, which is the religious ruling council of the Jews.   They found an innocent Jesus guilty of blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God – which He is! – and they decided that He had to be put to death as a heretic!

Now, even though the Law of Moses demanded, within the Jewish religion, the death penalty for the sin of blasphemy (but again….Jesus was not blaspheming;   He was telling the truth!), the Roman government did not allow them to exercise that privilege without permission – only Rome could sentence someone to death.

Aware of this, the Jewish leaders brought Jesus to Pilate, and tried to paint Him as a person attempting to undermine the authority of the emperor and incite and insurrection among the people.

Pilate has questioned Jesus, and found nothing for which to condemn him.   In fact, the Bible tells us that Pilate could see that it was out of envy that the Jews were trying to get rid of Jesus.

15 At the time of the Festival the governor had a custom to release to the crowd any one prisoner they wanted. 16 At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17 So when they were assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you? Barabbas—or Jesus, Who is called Christ?” 18 For Pilate knew that they had handed Jesus over to him because of envy.   19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, Pilate’s wife sent him a message. “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man,” she said, “since I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus put to death. 21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”    “Barabbas!” they said.   22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus, Who is called Christ?”   They all said to him, “Crucify Him!”   23 But the governor said, “Why? What has He done wrong?”   But they kept shouting even louder: “Crucify Him!”  24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing and that instead it was turning into a riot, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this righteous Man’s blood. It is your responsibility.”    25 And all the people answered, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!”   26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but he had Jesus flogged and handed Him over to be crucified.

The crowd at the city gates just a few days before had been hailing Him as the Promised Messiah and the Son of David…..the Savior of the nation.


But now….in part, disillusioned with Him (because Jesus had made it clear in the days prior that He would not lead a revolt against Rome), and also deceived by the lies about Jesus told to them by their Jewish religious leaders….the crowd called for Christ’s condemnation.

Whipped into a frenzy, the crowd that had been praising Him on Palm was now calling for His death on Good Friday.   How ironic. They couldn’t get enough of Him earlier, now they couldn’t wait to get rid of Him.

How this must have broken Jesus’ heart!   He loved these people so much that He had come to redeem them from their sins.    He knew what that would mean –– that He would have to die for them, shedding His innocent blood on the cross, being forsaken by His Father so that they – and we – can be forgiven of all our sins and given the gift of heaven by His grace.     But I can’t help but think that, personally,  His heart was breaking to see and hear these the people that He loved so much screaming for His death like a bunch of crazed animals.

You know, sometimes we’re a little bit like that.    We want all we can get from God, and we want it now! As long as He provides us with deliverance from our problems and perils – including this increasingly looming threat of the Coronavirus – we’re fine with Him as our God.    As long as we get what we want.   But when God starts convicting us through His Law about some of our sins – particularly our favorite, pet sins that we don’t want to give up or even feel guilty about – we are offended with the LORD and try to ignore Him…..some – foolishly and arrogantly – even push faith in Him out of their hearts.

III. What are some lessons you and I might learn from (or be reminded by) these crowds?

A. First, don’t let the crowd (or public opinion) do your thinking for you.    That includes the folks you Facebook with, the media, stuff you read that “makes sense” but isn’t Scriptural.

Now, they say that there’s strength in numbers, and in this case that was true.   When the crowd against Jesus really got going on that first Good Friday, there was no stopping them.    Pilate was defeated in his efforts to sway them to see that Jesus was an innocent man, and that what they wanted (Christ’s crucifixion) would be a tragic miscarriage of justice.

In our society, we often present the same kind of mentality.   Many of us are tempted to think that because the crowd is doing it…..because the majority are thinking and wanting it……it must be right.

Let me tell you, not only is that foolish thinking, it’s flat-out dangerous. If you don’t believe me, look at the many thousands of people – heading toward millions – who have died or are dying all around the world because of their and others foolish choices and opinions tied to this Cornonavirus.    Too many belittled it and nothing but a big hoax….something that was far away, but wouldn’t affect us, or at least affect me.   So they didn’t change the way they behaved.   They continued their old patterns of social behavior…..and not only became infected with the virus….but selfishly infected and endangered others too…..


But the Coronavirus is not the worst enemy….it’s not even close.    Sin and unbelief are.

Some years ago, one of my favorite family members and his family left the Christian faith and became part of a cult group – the Jehovah’s Witnesses.    I remember coming home from school during the summer and talking with my cousin about what he believed and why.    I did my best to remind him of what He had been brought up to believe as a young Lutheran boy……the truth about the true, Triune God…..and the truth about Jesus as our one and only Savior from sin.   I hoped that I might help Him to see the light.   But….. during the discussion, he said that he felt the Jehovah’s Witnesses had to be right…..since – according to him at the time – “millions of people who believe what He believed can’t be wrong.”

Well, back then – as is the case today – there are a lot more Christians than there are Jehovah’s Witnesses. And I would hope that they would have all told him that his church was wrong.    But the truth – who’s right and who’s wrong – isn’t determined by the numbers and it never will be.    There are billions of people all around the world who deny that the Lord Jesus Christ is their God and Savior.    But that doesn’t mean they are right.   Truth is never determined by opinion polls or majority rule, and it never will be.

Truth is truth, even if only a few believe it.    Look, for example, at Jesus’ 12 apostles, a small band facing the long-established and well-supported traditions of the Jewish faith, as well as the impressive power and longevity of the Roman Empire.   Those Apostles were vastly outnumbered, yet they continued to faithfully preach the Gospel – in spite of the daunting opposition against them.   By God’s grace, they turned the world upside down…and – in part – are responsible for handing down to us the legacy of saving faith in Christ today.   They didn’t let the opposing numbers of the enemies of the Gospel stop them.   The continued to preach the truth about Christ, and – praise God – you and I are among the beneficiaries of their faithfulness and their truthful  message today.

Besides all that, if you let the crowd – the majority – do your thinking for you, then you might as well admit that you’re unable to think for yourself.    Do you really want that?    Particularly in matters of faith, may we never be afraid to go against the crowd in order to know and hold onto the truths of God’s Word – and to be different (even if we’re in the minority) because we love God more than we love being popular.

So, don’t ever let the crowd do your thinking for you.    Next……

B. Don’t let “religion” stand in the way of truth.

What do I mean by that?         Let me explain a bit by going back to the Pharisees for a minute.    The Pharisees and their buddies, the Scribes (who were experts in the Law of Moses and the other laws the Jews created), were so intent on slavishly keeping the Law and their Jewish religious traditions that they actually forgot about the God that they thought they were serving.  That’s because they ended up serving themselves instead of Him.    They were going through the motions and their hearts were not truly in their worship.  Their rituals mattered more than the truth, and any sincerity of faith that would have come from that truth.    Jesus said that Isaiah was right when he prophesied about them, saying that they honored God with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him.

There is a danger for us of doing the same thing.

We can easily convince ourselves that coming to church, taking communion, bring offerings, being involved in church activities and work, even reading the Bible and praying are the religious “requirements” we need to meet for us to enjoy God’s favor.

The danger in that is that we legalistically start to trust our religious activities and customs rather than in what Christ did for us.

We need to go to church, take communion, read the Bible and pray……How I missing being able to do that with all of you the way we used to before this enforced “social distancing.”    Indeed, we need time in God’s Word, the Sacrament, prayer, and fellowship with one another to remain strong in Christ.   But performing the acts of worship, communing, prayer and church work – in and of themselves – do not get us to heaven.    ONLY Holy Spirit-produced faith in Christ saves us.   Never our efforts, no matter how “religious” they might be.

We all know people who trust in their “religion,” whether it’s their church membership, their repetitious prayers, or whatever, to get them to heaven, don’t we?    They have let their religion become an impediment to true faith…..for them, it’s gotten in the way of the truth that Christ came to die for them so they didn’t have to earn heaven by their efforts, but instead to receive it as a free gift of God’s grace through faith.

Finally…..    C.    Hold on to Your God-given convictions…..and not merely your personal opinions.

Your and my opinions can change overnight.    But your moral, and especially our Biblical convictions should stay with us through thick and thin.    Our convictions are those beliefs that are the bedrock of our life.       For instance, it is my opinion that hamburgers and pizza are the best food on the earth.    It’s not my conviction, however.    I’m surely not ready to die for my food preferences.

However, I am ready, willing and able to die for my conviction that Jesus is the Son of God, and the only Way to heaven for me, for you, and for everyone else.   And I am willing to stake my eternal destiny on that truth!

How about you?    (And this is a serious, personal question….)    Is your view of Jesus more of an opinion or is it your steadfast conviction?

The fickle crowds of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and Good Friday threw their previously high opinion of Jesus out the window when it was convenient.    But convictions are rarely convenient.   They are, however, defining, and essential when it comes to matters of our faith.    Convictions not only mold your lifestyle and mine…..they guide our thought processes.   They determine how we make decisions.    And they set us apart from the crowd.
I want to wrap up our time together today by just reminding you that the crowd at Pilate’s palace did not kill Jesus.

Jesus came to earth for one reason:    to lay down His life for you and for me so that we might be saved eternally through faith in Him.

Some like to blame the Romans for Jesus’ death, and others like to blame the Jews.   The fact is that neither of them killed Jesus.   He voluntarily came down from heaven to earth, becoming fully human in order to perfectly obey God’s Law in our place and to lay down His life sacrificially for us.     He did it all out of love for me and for you.   He chose to die so that we might live.

Actually, when it comes right down to it, if you want to know who killed Jesus, all you need to do is look in the mirror.    Because your sins caused Him to hang on that cross and suffer God’s wrath against sin until He died the death of hell for the benefit of our sinful human race.    Your sins and mine were what caused Jesus to suffer, and to shed His sinless blood as the Lamb of God, Who took away the sins of the world.   Your sins and mine caused Him to pay the wages of sin….which included both His physical death and His sufferings the consequences of eternal death for us.

Your sins. And mine.

Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death…..how true that was for Jesus!    He became sin for us, so that – through Him – we might again become righteous before God.    In fact, the rest of Romans 6 says that the free gift of God is eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

He secured our salvation on that old rugged cross of His.   It’s yours and mine, by grace, through faith.   We know we have an eternal home in heaven.

So, recognize that you’re a sinner.   (And make no mistake about it….you are a sinner.)  The Bible tells us that everyone has sinned, and that sin disqualifies us from living forever with God in heaven.    So admit your need for Christ’s forgiveness.

Trust in Christ as your only hope of salvation, recognizing that His death on the cross has completely paid for all your sins.

Then, believe that Jesus Christ died for you that horrible first Good Friday at Calvary, and that He rose bodily and gloriously three days later to prove that Your sins are all forgiven, that Your eternal salvation in heaven is assured, that He truly is our God, and that one day our bodies will rise from our graves – perfect – prepared to join our souls everlastingly in heaven.

No matter what the crowds today might think to the contrary…….Jesus has promised that all who believe in Him will be saved. And you can count on God to keep that promise to You, today, tomorrow, and



In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

after the Sermon, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for the post-sermon blessing


Pastor              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


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today, as we would during a regular worship service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:


1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go online to our website (www.gracelutherannwa.com) and use the giving option there.

3) You can also contact the Pastor about bringing your offering by the church during the week….

or, if you have a key to the church, by leaving it in the offering plate on the altar.


Today’s Prayer


Almighty, eternal God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that through Your Holy Spirit You would rule Your holy Christian Church with all its pastors, teachers, and servants, so that through the pure teaching of Your holy Word your Church may be preserved here and everywhere, so that Your kingdom may be increased through us,  that our faith in You might be strengthened, and also that our love – and the evidence of that love – for all Your precious blood-bought souls might increase day by day.


We further pray, O Lord of all lords, that You would look down on this nation of ours with your grace.    Forgive us for our national failure to honor You and Your Will as faithfully as we ought.   Use the coronavirus sweeping our land and endangering many lives to lead people everywhere to recognize their own mortality, to repent of their sins, and – through Your Holy Spirit working in the Word – to look in faith to You for deliverance from this deadly virus.    Indeed, through the power of Your Word work in our nation a spiritual reformation.   Lead people to see not only their sin, and their need for You, but to recognize that – in Christ – You have saved us from the far deadlier virus of sin, and the eternal death it earns for us.


According to Your mercy, guild the leaders of your medical community and our government to work together effectively for the best welfare of our people.    Please keep the freedoms that we enjoy as a nation from being diminished, especially the freedom we have to publicly worship and serve You.    We commend all the officials of this land to Your divine protection and guidance.    Grant their efforts Your blessing insofar as they seek to carry out Your will.     And give them hearts of wisdom, kindness, and selflessness, so that through their efforts, we might be allowed to once again – very soon – lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and respectability.


Especially we ask You, in Your grace to be particularly mindful of our congregation and all its needs, as well as the spiritual and material needs of our church body, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.   Almighty Protector of the Church, do not forsake us, but in Your love continue to be present among us and keep us spiritually united – even as we are currently physically separated.    Help us in all of our endeavors, and grant Your divine success so that our earthly  and eternal welfare might be enhanced.   Gift each one of us with a steadfast faith, godly courage, good judgment, and righteous works.


In Your grace receive and grant the prayers of all who are sick or disabled, as well the poor and lonely;  comfort and encourage all who are facing immanent death, as well as their families and friends.  Support and sustain all our nation’s military service personnel, law-enforcement agents and all of those serving in our medical community and those who are carrying out essential duties for the benefit of everyone and the smooth functioning of our society.    Protect us also, as a nation, from all our enemies – physical and spiritual, as well as from famine, scarcity, fear, danger from fires and floods, and any other adversities.


Stay with us, O faithful Father, until our end, and never let Your Spirit leave us alone, so that we may live in Your fear, die in Your grace, and finally receive the goal of our faith:   our soul’s salvation.   All this we ask for the sake of Your dear Son Jesus Christ and His precious blood, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, coequal in majesty and honor, now and forever, and in Whose name we also pray:


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 Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Benediction


The LORD bless you and keep you.

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

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


The Closing Hymn                                                              Hymn 341  ‘”Crown Him With Many Crowns”


1 Crown Him with many crowns,    The Lamb upon His throne;

Hark how the heav’nly anthem drowns   All music but its own.

Awake, my soul, and sing   Of Him who died for thee,

And hail Him as thy matchless King   Through all eternity.

2 Crown Him the virgin’s Son,   The God incarnate born,

Whose arm those crimson trophies won   Which now His brow adorn;

Fruit of the mystic rose,  Yet of that rose the stem,

The root whence mercy ever flows, The babe of Bethlehem.

3 Crown Him the Lord of Love,   Behold His hands and side,

Rich wounds, yet visible above,   In beauty glorified.

No angels in the sky   Can fully bear that sight,

But down-ward bends their wond’ring eyes   At mysteries so bright.

4 Crown Him the Lord of Life,   Who triumphed o’er the grave

And rose victorious in the strife   For those He came to save.

His glories now we sing,   Who died and rose on high,

Who died eternal life to bring   And lives that death may die.

5 Crown Him the Lord of heav’n,   Enthroned in worlds above,

Crown Him the King to whom is giv’n   The wondrous name of Love.

Crown Him with many crowns   As thrones before him fall;

Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns,   For He is King of all.




Last Sunday at Grace Lutheran                                                               Online worshiping households: 38

Worshiping at home with written materials (without the internet):   13 households

Budget Offerings sent to church:    $2290                  Online Budget Offerings:   $2881.80


(Some offerings that were left at church, or that arrived in yesterday’s [Wednesday’s] mail have not yet been recorded.  They will be included in next week’s bulletin.)


Daily Devotions for Your Smart Phone, Computer or Tablet – Through a web site identified as “What About Jesus” (www.whataboutJesus.com), operated by our Synod, we can sign up to have short,  morning devotions sent straight to our smart phones each day via an email address.    Each devotion is Biblically accurate, and takes about a minute to read.  They arrive around 4 a.m, so you can start your day with it.   Just go to the web address, and click “Recent Devotions,” and (on the right side of the page) click “Get It Delivered.”  After providing some information to identify you, you’ll be sent an email with directions to complete the sign up process.   It takes a few minutes….and you will be blessed by these devotions on a daily basis.


What Will Happen This Week, as Holy Week Begins……..?????       For the first time in 35 years as a congregation, we are not meeting for worship on Palm Sunday, nor will we meet for worship on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, but we will offer online devotions (see below).   We will have an online Easter Sunday service…..and we are also looking into the possibility of a “in your car/parking lot” Easter Sunday service as well (see below).   We’ll inform everyone in sufficient time if/when we can get the logistics worked out…..or not).


The spread and dangers of the Coronavirus have led to the temporary closing of many “institutions” in our country…..churches like ours being but one of many.    It remains our prayer that in the days ahead God will provide a dramatic decrease in the spread of the virus, as well as the restoration to good health of many who are suffering with it.   In these next two weeks that many in the health field and our government have already identified as “critical” – when the virus throughout our country and in our communities may very well peak in terms of the number of people who contract it, and end up being hospitalized……we are praying that God will keep every one of you and your loved ones safe.    As His believing children we know, in faith, that whatever God allows to happen with this virus will be what He knows is best for us as individuals, as a church, as a country and for our world.

We care continuing to post our worship services on line (our YouTube account is Grace Lutheran Church and Academy…..and it is fairly easy to find us;    You can also find us at www.gracelutherannwa.com).                  It is our intent to have a special service and devotion on Maundy Thursday, as well as our customary Tennebrae service on Good Friday (although those of you watching will need to progressively turn down your lights at home until the are off…..and do plan this ahead of time).   We will, of course, also worship on Easter Sunday on line…..but, as we noted above, we’re also trying to arrange a parking lot/in-your-car service for Easter Sunday.   If we can acquire or adapt the right equipment, we would broadcast our service to your FM car radio.

For those in our church family who have access to the Internet in their homes, it should not prove difficult to worship with us.   For some who have “smart phones,” you also can worship along with us through accessing the internet on your phone.    For anyone who does not have internet, please let me (Pastor Huebner) know so that I can send you, in advance, copies of the sermon and services so that you can worship in your home with us in spirit.


This Week’s Birthdays             April 05 – Andy Franzmeier;     April 05 – Cindy Ryan;     April 06 – Mary Beck;   April 07 – Tammy Abernathy;     April 11 – Dawn Watkins


DO YOU KNOW ANYONE YOU COULD INVITE & BRING TO CHURCH?….  Perhaps there’s  someone from within your circle of friends, relatives, acquaintances, or neighbors who is not currently involved with a church.   Please consider encouraging them to find us on the internet at either our web site (www.gracelutherannwa.com) or through our YouTube page (Grace Lutheran Church and Academy, Lowell, Arkansas) and join in our online worship services.

Others among you might consider sharing a copy of our worship flyer and Sunday sermon with someone whom you think would benefit from it.   (We can mail these to them also, if you give us their names and addresses.)            And don’t forget that this “suspension” of public worship services across our country is only a temporary one.    Soon we will be back in church together, thanking and praising God for His grace to us….not only for His physical deliverance from the Coronavirus, but for the Spiritual deliverance His has provided us from the damnably-deadly virus that produces sin in us.   Be planning, praying about, and even encouraging others you know to join us at Grace Lutheran when we do resume meeting together again.


A Few Closing Encouragements and Appeals from Your Pastor…..


*          I am praying for you.   Please keep each other in your prayers.   (Use your church directory….)   Please keep me and my family in your prayers too.

*          Continue to read your Bibles and have your devotions daily.

*          Call, email, text, and write your fellow members during this time.   Let’s keep “tabs” on each other to see how we are all faring during this time of social distancing, and let’s encourage and support one another as we are able.

*          Worship with us on line, or through the mail…..preferably on Sunday mornings, so that we are all keeping up the good habit and practice of worshiping together.

*          Encourage people you know outside our church to worship with us on line and/or share your worship materials with them as you have the opportunity.

*          CALL me anytime, if you need anything…..including if you’re facing any personal, health, Spiritual, or other challenges.


I am praying for you.   I miss you all very much (more than you might imagine!).   God bless you, until we meet again!

Pastor Chuck Huebner