The Seventh Sunday of the Easter Season      May 21, 2023   

known, liturgically, as Exaudi (hear) Sunday

and as The Sunday of Anticipation

Can Christians actually live

“in the world” without being

a part “of the world”?

….that’s a question that’s much easier for us to answer with our lips than it is to answer with our lives.  We

 know that our Lord has called us to be His faithful followers and servants in this world, but He expects us not to become “worldly” in the process.  Yet, too often, though you and I are God’s children living in this world, we allow ourselves to “blend in” too well with the children of this world, and we become far too comfortable with the ways and attitudes of this world.  Sometimes we look and sound and think in such a worldly way that people don’t recognize any difference between us and non Christians.  Let’s consider the following story:

            It seems that a certain young Christian man spent his summer working in a Canadian lumber camp.   The loggers at this particular logging camp had a reputation for being rather notorious for their rough and godless behavior.  When that young man returned to his home a few months later, one of his friends asked him how he, as a Christian, had fared among that kind of company.   “Oh, fine.”  He said.   “I blended in as best I could. And they never caught on to the fact that I was different.” 

            Evidently, it had been more important for him to “fit in” and to “avoid embarrassment and harassment,” than to let the light of his faith shine out in a spiritually dark setting.   How shameful, and how disappointing!

            But before censuring his type too strongly….and before you and I begin to stroke our egos in self-righteous satisfaction…..let’s ask ourselves:  “What’s my record of behavior as a Christian among those who are the children of this world?”    “Am I really  much more exemplary than the young man in the story above?”

            Sadly, every one of us — some, perhaps, more than others — has at one time or another hid our spiritual colors…..shaved the truth…..and dodged the faith issue…by trying to be a “Christian incognito” — known in our hearts to be a believer, but keeping our faith-relationship with Christ hidden from those children of the world in whose company we’ve sometimes been…..and subsequently breathing a “sigh of relief” that “they never caught on that I was different.”   

            Consequently, each one of us has more than sufficient reason to ask God to forgive us our sins of spiritual cowardice and worldly accommodation….perhaps even of worldly affection.   And, praise God, for Jesus’ sake He already has forgiven us!    May each one of us, then, like Simon Peter after he had been forgiven and restored by the Lord Whom he had shamefully denied, also pray for the courage and commitment to confidently confess our Savior before friend and foe alike…..for that  is a key part of our continuing privilege and responsibility as Christians… live faithfully as believers who have been called by Christ to be “in the world, but not part of the world.”

This Day on the Church’s “Calendar”   

            As we welcome you to worship this morning, we want remind you that today on the Church’s “Calendar” is traditionally known by they ancient name Exaudi Sunday.  (“Exaudi” is the Latin word for “hear,” and is taken from verse 7 of our Psalm for day, Psalm 27).   Across nearly 15 centuries that particular Psalm has been regularly read by Christian congregations on the Sunday after the Lord’s Ascension in order to remind us that our Lord, in His love, does “hear” our prayers and continues to bless in both earthy and everlasting ways all those persons He has called into faith to be His followers and heaven’s heirs.  

            With this morning’s service, we are also closing out what is  known as “The Easter Season.”  During the 7 Sundays of this portion of the Church Year, you and I have been able to give our attention to a number of resurrection-oriented Scripture readings.   The purpose has been to reassure us of the risen Christ’s providence, protection, receptiveness, and favor for us, His redeemed followers, so that we might be to strengthened in our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, and encouraged in our lives of faithful service and devotion to Him.   

            This Seventh, and Last, Sunday of the Easter Season is also known as “The Sunday of Anticipation,” since, through our First Scripture Lesson, it provides us with the historical transition between Christ’s Ascension Day command to His disciples to be His witnesses to an unbelieving world, and their Pentecost (next Sunday) powerful reception of the Holy Spirit in order to assist them in the Gospel ministry which Christ gave to them….and now — nearly 20 centuries later — to us.  In it Luke gives us a brief account of the what the disciples did following Christ’s Ascension, as they waited in Jerusalem for Jesus to send them His Holy Spirit.   In addition to praising their Savior, they took up the responsibility to fulfill  another of Scripture’s prophecies  by selecting, with God’s guidance, Judas’ replacement — the new twelfth Apostle, whose name was Matthias.

Today’s Order of Worship  

            This morning’s Worship service has been organized around the “Order of Matins.”   Used routinely by us in our worship services, “Matins” is the oldest form of public worship still in common use within the Christian Church.  The Matins liturgy (order) which we use is actually a combination of two early Christian worship service liturgy-orders, “Matins” and “Lauds.”  Both date back to the very earliest days of the Christian Church.  Originally “Matins” was the first of 8 daily worship services, each occurring at 3 hour intervals. Matins was the midnight order, while Lauds was used at daybreak.  By the fifth century, Lauds and Matins had been combined into the Order of Matins which, with small variations, we will use today. The one addition we have made, consistent with our Lutheran worship heritage, is the inclusion of a Confession of Sins and a public Absolution of those sins.

The Scripture Lessons for This Morning

            Our First Reading is described earlier in this “service introduction.”  

            Through our Second Lesson  the Apostle John urges his listeners — us, included — for their/our souls’ sake to remain faithfully distinct and different from the children and the ways of this world.   Although many people build their lives around earthly pleasures and priorities, to the neglect of their souls, on the Last Day this world and everything in it (to which too many people have devoted their efforts and hearts) will be destroyed.  Only those who believe in Christ will  survive to live eternally in heaven.  

            As Paul, the Apostle, will remind us  in today’s Epistle Lesson, many early Christians made great personal sacrifices to follow and serve Christ — but they were glad to do so for Him Who had given everything for their (and our) salvation.  Paul, for example, happily gave up the lifestyle and public approval/adoration of a Jewish Pharisee in order to believe in and to serve Christ, crucified and risen.   He urges his listeners in our reading to follow his example, by continuing to forsake the sinful, unbelieving world with all its material pleasures, for the sake of following Christ and enjoying the infinitely greater spiritual blessings that He guarantees His Church.   

            Next, our Gospel Lesson and Sermon Text (the italicized part) consists of what has come to be known as “Jesus’ Great High Priestly Prayer” which He offered in the Upper Room before His disciples on Maundy Thursday.  Divided into three prayer-sections, Jesus prays for Himself, His immediate disciples, and for His Church across the ages.   We’ll note, especially, that Jesus has called His followers to live and serve Him in this sinful world, but not to “belong” to (or live in conformity with) it.   

            Finally, in our Children’s Lesson, from I Peter 2, we’ll talk about how it can sometimes be hard, but how it is always important to Jesus that we live differently from the unbelieving world all around us…..He tells us to live like people who don’t belong, like “strangers and aliens” in this world…..and we do that by following Him and His will, and not the sinful ways of this world.


Pre-Service Prayer -Heavenly Father, please guide me in wisdom and truth through Your Holy Spirit, as I spend this time meditating on Your Word and rejoicing in Your limitless love for me.  Assist me in being attentive in heart and mind to Your Word, as well as to the hymns of praise, the various petitions, and the prayers of thanksgiving my voice directs toward You.  Use this worship service, O Lord, to deepen my love for You, to strengthen my trust in You, and to renew my commitment to You.  All this I ask for the sake of and in the name of Your One and only Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Amen.




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                                                                                                                 Pre-service Music



We Praise Our God

Welcome and Introduction to Worship

After which, at the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for

The Invocation

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

Our Psalm Reading for Today                                                                                                           Psalm 27

P:         The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?   The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of           whom shall I be afraid?

C:         When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,   +    when my enemies and my foes attack me,     +            they will stumble and fall.


P:         Though an army besiege me,  my heart will not fear;    though war break out against me,  even then will I be   confident.

C:         One thing I ask of the LORD, +   this is what I seek:   +   that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,   +   to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD    +   and to seek Him in His temple.

P:         For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling;    He will hide me in the shelter of His      tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

C:         Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;    +    at His tabernacle will I sacrifice          with shouts of joy;    +   I will sing and make music to the LORD.


P:         HEAR my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.

C:         My heart says of You, “Seek His face!”   +  Your face, LORD, I will seek.

P:         Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger;   You have been my Helper.   Do    not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.

C:         Though my father and mother forsake me,     +    the LORD will receive me.


P:         Teach me Your way, O LORD;    lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

C:         Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,    +   for false witnesses rise up against me,  breathing out       violence.  


P:         I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD  in the land of the living.

C:         Wait for the LORD;   +    be strong and take heart +  and wait for the LORD.


After which, the Congregation will be seated for

Opening Hymn                                                              Hymn 380   “Lord, ‘Tis Not That I Did Choose You”


1 Lord, ’tis not that I did choose you;    That, I know, could never be,

For this heart would still refuse you   Had your grace not chosen me.

You removed the sin that stained me,   Cleansing me to be your own;

For this purpose you ordained me,   That I live for you alone.


2 It was grace in Christ that called me,    Taught my darkened heart and mind,

Else the world had yet enthralled me,    To your heav’nly glories blind.

Now I worship none above you;    For your grace alone I thirst,

Knowing well that, if I love you,   You, O Father, loved me first.


3 Praise the God of all creation;   Praise the Father’s boundless love.

Praise the Lamb, our expiation,    Priest and King enthroned above.

Praise the Spirit of salvation,    Him by whom our spirits live.

Undivided adoration   To the great Jehovah give.


Following this hymn,  the Congregation will rise as….


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  “O God our Father,   +   since You have set forth the way of life for us in Your Beloved Son,   +   we

                                    confess with shame   +   our slowness to learn of Him,  +   our failure to always follow Him,   +   our

reluctance at times to bear the cross for Him.           +   Forgive us the poverty of our worship,   +   our frequent neglect of fellowship   +   and of the Means of Grace,   +   our hesitating and inconsistent witness for Christ,   +  our evasion of our  responsibilities in Your service,   +  our imperfect stewardship of Your gifts.   +   Forgive us also,   +   that so little of Your love has reached others through us,  +   and that we have often been thoughtless in our judgments,   +   hasty in our condemnation,   +   grudging in forgiving others the way You have forgiven us,   +   and unwilling to serve our neighbors as we ought.   +    Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your unfailing love;  +  according to Your great compassion blot out our transgressions.   +   Wash away all our iniquity  +   and cleanse us from our sin.   +    Create in us pure hearts,  O God,   +  and renew steadfast spirits within us.   +   Do not cast us from Your presence   +   or take Your Holy Spirit from us.   +   Restore to us the joy of Your salvation,   +   and grant each of us a willing spirit to sustain  us.


Pastor              Having faithfully confessed your sins, now hear Your heavenly Father’s promise of forgiveness to

                                    you.  Jesus explained God’s will and promise as clearly as possible in John 6:40 when He said,  “For

my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believers in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise Him up at the last day.”  And now, carrying out my office as a called servant of the Living Word, I proclaim the grace and mercy of God to all of you, and according to the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, and in His place, I forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Peace be with you.  Amen.

The Order of Matins                                                                                             

Pastor –            O Lord, open my lips.

Congregation (Sung)  And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.


Pastor                  Hasten, O God, to deliver me.

Congregation              (Sung)     Hasten to help me, O Lord

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost  

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.    World without end.  Amen.   Hallelujah

Psalm 95

Pastor –            O come, let us worship the Lord.

Congregation              (Sung)       For He Is our Maker

Oh Come, let us sing to the Lord,     Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation

Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving    Let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise.

For the Lord is a great God   And a great King above all gods.

The deep places of the earth are in His hand   The heights of the hills are also His.

The sea is His, for He made it.   And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh Come, let us worship and bow down.   Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker

For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture     And the Sheep of His hand.



after which the Congregation  may be seated

The Prayer for Today

Dear Jesus, I know that as one of Your disciples   +   I will face opposition in this world.   + Strengthen and settle me spiritually   +  so that I may remain faithful to You in any trial  +   and in every temptation —  even rejoicing that I am being permitted to suffer  because of You.  +  Bring me safely through all my life’s tribulations and trials,   +  using them – Lord – as You alone know best,  +  for my blessing and Your glory.   +   Give me the confidence I need to live devotedly for You   +   and to serve You faithfully throughout my life,   +  by continually reassuring me that, as my ascended Lord,  +  You now live and rule over all things for the good of Your Church   +   and so for my earthly and everlasting good.   +   Finally, bless each of us gathered here for worship today,  +    by enriching our faith through Your Means of Grace,  +   equipping us all for greater Christian service for Your glory, precious Savior,  +   as well as for the glory of Your Father and the Holy Spirit,   +   with Which You reign as the one true God, +   forever and ever.  +  Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated as



We Hear God’s Word

The First Lesson                                                                                                                             Acts 1:12-26

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

13 When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John were there, also James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All of them kept praying together with one mind, along with the women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

15 In those days, when the group there numbered about 120 people, Peter stood up among the brothers and said, 16 “Gentlemen, brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David about Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 Judas was counted as one of us and was given a share in this ministry.

18 “Now this man acquired a field with what he was paid for his wicked act. When he fell headfirst, his middle burst open, and all his intestines spilled out. 19 This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, and so in their own language that field was called Akeldem­a, which means Field of Blood. 20 Indeed, it is written in the book of Psalms:   “May his residence be deserted.  Let there be no one dwelling in it.”     And,    “let someone else take his position.”

21 “Therefore it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us during the entire time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from His baptism by John until the day Jesus was taken up from us, become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

23 They proposed two: Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, You know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two You have chosen 25 to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”

26 Then they assigned lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was counted with the eleven apostles.

The Second Lesson                                                                                                                      I John 2:15-17

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, boasting about material possessions—is not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

The Sequence Hymn                                                                        Hymn 477   “What Is The World To Me”


1 What is the world to me   With all its vaunted pleasure

When you, and you alone,   Lord Jesus, are my treasure!

You only, dearest Lord,   My soul’s delight shall be;

You are my peace, my rest.   What is the world to me!


2 The world seeks to be praised   And honored by the mighty,

Yet never once reflects   That they are frail and flighty.

But what I truly prize   Above all things is he,

My Jesus, he alone.   What is the world to me!


3 The world seeks after wealth    And all that money offers,

Yet never is content   Though gold should fill its coffers.

I have a higher good;   Content with it I’ll be;

My Jesus is my wealth –  What is the world to me!


4 What is the world to me!    My Jesus is my treasure,

My life, my health, my wealth,    My friend, my love, my pleasure,

My joy, my crown, my all,   My bliss eternally.

Once more then I declare:   What is the world to me!



Our Epistle Lesson                                                                                                              Philippians 3:1-21

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things again to you, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Beware of the dogs. Beware of the evildoers. Beware of the mutilation.  3 For we are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who are confident in Christ Jesus, and who place no confidence in the flesh, 4 even though I have grounds for confidence also in the flesh. If anyone else thinks that he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 in regard to zeal, persecuting the church; in regard to the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.         

            7 But, whatever things were a profit for me, these things I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. 8 But even more than that, I consider everything to be a loss because of what is worth far more: knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For His sake, I have lost all things and consider them rubbish, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, which comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God by faith. 10 I do this so that I may know him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 in the hope that in some way I may arrive at the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus also took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it yet, but there is one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and straining toward the things that are ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal, for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore, let all of us who are mature continue to think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you too. 16 Only let us think the same thing and walk in line with what we already have attained.

            17 Brothers, join together in imitating me and in paying attention to those who are walking according to the pattern we gave you. 18 To be sure, many walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. I told you about them often, and now I am saying it while weeping. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their appetite, and their glory is in their shame. They are thinking only about earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. We are eagerly waiting for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 By the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself, He will transform our humble bodies to be like His glorious body.

after which the Congregation will rise, for the reading of



The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                        John 17:1-26

After Jesus had spoken these things, He looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son so that Your Son may glorify You. 2 For You gave Him authority over all flesh, so that He may give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3 This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You sent. 4 I have glorified You on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify Me at Your own side with the glory I had at Your side before the world existed.

            6 “I revealed Your name to the men You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have held on to Your word. 7 Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. 8 For I gave them the words You gave Me, and they received them. They learned the truth that I came from You. They believed that You sent Me.

            9 “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours. 10 All that is Mine is Yours, and what is Yours is Mine. And I am glorified in them. 11 I am no longer going to be in the world, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name, which You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are One. 12 While I was with them, I kept those You gave Me safe in Your name.  I protected them and not one of them was destroyed, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

            13 “But now I am coming to You, and I am saying these things in the world, so that they may be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them Your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the Evil One. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

            17 “Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world. 19 I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth.

            20 “I am praying not only for them, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. 21 May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one, as We are One: 23 I in them, and You in Me. May they become completely one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.

            24 “Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am so that they may see My glory—the glory You gave Me because You loved Me before the world’s foundation. 25 Righteous Father, the world did not know You, but I knew You, and these men knew that You sent Me. 26 I made Your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I may be in them.”

The Apostles’ Creed                                                                                                               to the melody of

                                                                                                                   “What A Friend We Have in Jesus”


I believe in God the Father,   Maker of the heav’ns and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, our Savior, God’s own Son, of human birth.

Virgin born, the Lord incarnate,    Whom the Spirit did conceive,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate;     Our salvation to achieve.


Crucified, was dead and buried,    Down to hell in victory;

From the dead He rose the third day;    Up to heav’n triumphantly.

There at God’s right hand He’s ruling,     By His will the world is led.

He will come to judge the nations,    Both the living and the dead.


I believe in God the Spirit,    In His Church, His chosen band.

They are joined in close communion,    Holy in His sight they stand.

I believe in sins forgiven;    That the dead will rise again;

I believe in life eternal.    Amen!   Amen!   A – – men!


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                I Peter 2:11-12

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and temporary residents in the world, to abstain from the desires of the sinful flesh, which war against your soul. 12 Live an honorable life among the Gentiles so that even though they slander you as evildoers, when they observe your noble deeds, they may glorify God on the day He visits us.

Aliens and Strangers in this World


after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Hymn of the Day                                                                          Hymn 417   “I’m But A Stranger Here”


1 I’m but a stranger here;   Heav’n is my home.

Earth is a desert drear;   Heav’n is my home.

Danger and sorrow stand   Round me on ev’ry hand.

Heav’n is my fatherland;  Heav’n is my home.


2 What though the tempest rage,   Heav’n is my home.

Short is my pilgrimage;   Heav’n is my home.

And time’s wild, wintry blast   Soon shall be overpast;

I shall reach home at last;   Heav’n is my home.


3 There at my Savior’s side –    Heav’n is my home.–

I shall be glorified;   Heav’n is my home.

There are the good and blest,    Those I love most and best,

And there, I, too, shall rest;    Heav’n is my home.


4 Therefore I murmur not;    Heav’n is my home.

Whate’er my earthly lot,    Heav’n is my home.

And I shall surely stand    There at my Lord’s right hand.

Heav’n is my Fatherland;    Heav’n is my home.


after which the Congregation will rise for

The Pre-Sermon Salutation


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

The Sermon Text                                                                                                                           John 17:9-16

                                                                                                        the italicized portion of today’s Gospel Lesson


The Great Christian Paradox:

   We live in the world…. but we cannot be part of the world


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

The Post Sermon Blessing


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

We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord

Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


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

1) You can mail a check (no cash, please) to our church address:     (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745); or

2) You can donate through our website:


After which the Congregation rises for prayer

Included in our joint prayers this morning are:

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Everette Hoins, whom God in His

grace called out of this world and into heaven this past Wednesday


A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of Amy and Terry Bruns,

who will celebrate their wedding anniversary this coming Tuesday.


Today’s General Prayer 


followed by  A Moment of Silent Prayer

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

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


The Closing Prayer                                                                                                                                             

O God,   +   from Whom all holy desires,   +   all good counsels,    +   and all just works do proceed,   +    give unto Your servants that peace which the world cannot give, +    that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments,    +     and also that we,  +    being defended by You from the fear of our enemies,   +    may pass our time in rest and quietness;    +    through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior,  +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,    +    One God, forever and ever.   Amen.



The Blessing             

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.



Closing Hymn                                                                      Hymn 323   “Almighty Father, Bless the Word”


1 Almighty Father, bless the word    Which through your grace we now have heard.

Oh, may the precious seed take root,   Spring up, and bear abundant fruit.


2 We praise you for the means of grace   As homeward now our steps we trace.

Grant, Lord, that we who worshiped here   May all at last in heav’n appear.


 Silent Prayer, Announcements,  Post-service Music


Last Week                                                                                              Worship Attendance: 64    Online: 12

Sunday Bible Class: 24   Online: 5       Tuesday Bible Class: 11         Budget Offerings:  $2929.57    Online: $60.91    

 Benevolence: $1050             Ascension Day:   31   (28 communed)    Offerings:   $392

Serving Us NEXT SUNDAY (5-26)                      Altar Guild – Mary Karloski, Vicki Walker

Ushers – Taylor Ashley, John Wambold,         Video:   Dale Johannes         Elder — Steve Stone                             Fellowship:   ?????

This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Today              Morning Worship with the Lord’s Supper, 9:30 a.m.                         Fellowship, 10:40 a.m.  

                        Bible Class/Sunday School, 11:05 a.m.   

Tuesday           Morning Bible Study, 10:30 a.m.                                                                                               

Wednesday    Men’s & Women’s Bible Studies,   6:00 p.m.      

Saturday         Outreach calls 10 a.m.

Sunday           Choir Rehearsal, 8:40 a.m.      Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m  Fellowship 10:45 a.m.

                        Bible Class/Sunday School, 11:05 a.m.                       Youth Confirmation Class, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Birthday & Anniversary This Week                   May 20 — Baylee Hesgard;    

May 20 – Tim Pfortmiller;     May 20 – Jim Taylor;      May 21 – Terry & Amy Bruns;


This Week’s Bible Classes:   

Today: More of Jesus’ Parables (The Ten Virgins)

Tuesday (10:30-11:30am)   Ecclesiastes…..Getting Ready for Judgment

Wednesday (6-7pm)      Women…Bad Girls of the Bible (Eve)    Men….A Study on Worry

Daily Devotions for Your Smart Phone, Computer or Tablet – “What About Jesus” ( is a web site operated by our Synod.  It provides short,  morning devotions sent straight to our smart phones each day via an email address.  Each devotion is Biblically faithful 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 “Subscriptions” on the top line.   Simply follow the directions from there.   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 to sign up, but you’ll be blessed each day by these devotions.

Fellowship Volunteers Needed    Would you be willing to volunteer to prepare after-worship coffee, drinks, and

 light snacks?   A sign-up poster is on the gymnasium/fellowship hall bulletin board.  We are still in need of additional volunteers to manage our morning fellowship – including next Sunday, May 26th  over the next few months.  Reimbursement of $25 per week for expenses is available to help defray costs.  (It comes through our “donation jar.”) 

Everette Hoins Funeral Service This Wednesday  – In His grace, our Heavenly Father chose this past Wednesday morning to bring the physical life of our brother-in-Christ, Everette Hoins to its earthly end, and its heavenly beginning.   Everette received the goal of our Christian faith into which he was baptized as an infant and which, by the Holy Spirit’s working, he continued to grow in across the 91 years of his time here on earth.   This coming Wednesday, May 24, at 11 a.m. we will hold a special service of celebration and praise to the Lord for calling Everette to faith and for taking our brother from this sinful world to his home in heaven.   Please join us in celebration, if you are able.  Also, you are invited to a luncheon which will follow that worship service.