The First Sunday of Epiphany

The Commemoration of the Baptism of our Lord

January 10, 2021 


Christ’s Baptism Has Opened   Heaven For Us Who Believe


           This past Wednesday, January 6th, “officially” marked the transition on the church’s calendar from the Christmas season to the Epiphany season (the word “Epiphany” was taken from the Greek language of the original New Testament and means “to reveal” or “to make manifest”).   Traditionally, the purpose of the Epiphany season has been to continue the joy and celebration of Christ’s incarnation.   We’ve done that by drawing the worshiping Church’s attention to various Biblical accounts that present some of the ways during His public ministry – mostly through His messages and miracles – by which Jesus revealed Himself as the Promised Messiah Who is truly God yet truly human, and Who especially is the specially-selected Savior of the world.  

     This morning, we “kick off” our Epiphany season examination of Who Jesus is by studying the account of His baptism, in which the Father affirms His approval of Christ as His Chosen Servant.   Over the years both this morning’s Gospel Lesson, which includes the story of Jesus’ Baptism (Luke 3:15-23; also Matthew 3:13-17 and Mark 1:9-11), along with the account of His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; and Luke 9:28-36) served to “frame” (or bookend) the Scripture lessons read in our churches during the Epiphany season.   Why?  Because in today’s baptism account we have an instance were where each of the persons of the Trinity manifested Himself….while in connection with Jesus’  transfiguration the LORD revealed His glory and reaffirmed  the truth that the Jesus Christ Who walked and talked on earth, and Who would suffer, die and rise again as the Messiah, was, is, and always will be the one, true, eternal God.   In addition, both accounts also emphasize God the Father’s public affirmation of Jesus and His redemptive mission with the words:   “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.”


     In today’s Gospel Lesson/Sermon Text we find Jesus receiving the Holy Spirit’s anointing at His baptism.  That anointing – as well as the Father’s affirmation – both formally and publicly designate (or inaugurate) Him as the One Who was to take mankind’s place under God’s wrath as the Messiah, our righteous, sin-Substitute and Deliverer.  Beginning here, with His baptism, Jesus’ redemptive work is set in motion…..redemptive work that will extend through a three year public ministry and which will culminate ultimately in His crucifixion and resurrection. 

     Our First Lesson also speaks about Baptism through the story of the evangelist Philip’s God-managed encounter with the Eunuch (a governmental official) from Ethiopia.    The Eunuch was a follower of Judaism who was returning to his homeland from worship in Jerusalem.   While riding in his chariot, he was reading the book of the prophet Isaiah, and came to a passage he found confusing – Isaiah 53 (which we know speaks about Christ’s sufferings and death).   God sent Philip to meet the Eunuch, and to explain to him not only the passage from Isaiah, but much more of God’s Word.   In particular, he presented the Gospel so that the Eunuch could be brought to faith in Christ.   Somewhere as Philip taught, the topic of Baptism must have come up, because when the Eunuch saw water by the side of the road, he asked Philip if he could be baptized.   Philip baptized him….and then immediately, Philip miraculously disappeared.  But the now-baptized Eunuch went home rejoicing….because, through the blessing of Baptism, he had become a believer in Jesus.


     In addition,  our Epistle Lesson speaks about the benefits of baptism for us by comparing Christian Baptism to two events in Christ’s life:  His death and His resurrection.   As Christ died and rose, so through Baptism, our old sinful nature is put to death and the new man (the believer) rises to lead a life that is God-pleasing.  Please also note that this portion of Scripture is quoted by Luther in the Fourth part of his lesson in the Small Catechism on baptism (included on the opening pages of today’s bulletin).


           Finally, under the theme, “One Hand Washes The Other,” our Children’s Lesson will use a dirty hand and a clean hand to show us what we’re like naturally (dirty sinners), but also what we have become (cleaned children of God) through our being “washed” in the water of Baptism by the power of God, the promise of Christ’s forgiveness, and the present (gift) of faith through the working of the Holy Spirit.


(In connection with today’s service theme which deals with the Sacrament of Baptism, and because of our confession as Lutheran Christians, we hope that you will use the following excerpt from Martin Luther’s Small Catechism to review what the Scriptures teach and what we believe about the doctrine of Baptism.   The translation is from the current WELS edition of that Catechism……)


The Sacrament of Holy Baptism


As the head of the family should teach them in the simplest way to those in his household.



First: What is Baptism?

Baptism is not just plain water, but it is water used by God’s command

and connected with God’s Word.


Which is that Word of God?

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”





Second: What does Baptism do for us?

Baptism works forgiveness of sin, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.


What are these words end promises of God?

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”





Third: How can water do such great things?

It is certainly not the water that does such things, but God’s Word which is in and with the water, and faith which trusts this Word used with the water.  For without God’s Word the water is just plain water and not baptism.  But with this Word it is baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of rebirth by the Holy Spirit.



Where is this written?

St. Paul says in Titus, chapter 3, “God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy saying.”




Fourth: What does baptizing with water mean?

Baptism means that the old Adam in us should be drowned by daily contrition and repentance, and that all its evil deeds and desires be put to death.  It also means that a new person should daily arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.


Where is this written?

St. Paul says in Romans, chapter 6, “We were buried with Christ through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”



Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church


We welcome you this day in the name of our living Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.   May you find abiding peace and renewed strength for your faith and Christian life in His Word of truth today.


The chief purpose of our ministry, as our Lord enables us, is to serve all people with the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the verbally inspired, inerrant Scriptures.    To that end, it is our privilege and responsibility:


  • To proclaim the Law and Gospel keenly and clearly, in order to convict sinners of their sins, to lead them to repentance, to comfort penitent souls, and to build each other up in our faith in the one, true, Triune God through the Means of Grace (the Word and Sacraments of our Lord).      ….


  • To equip believers, through that same Means of Grace, to grow in their Christian lives as faithful servants, stewards, and witnesses to others of the redeeming grace of our God in Christ Jesus.



Grace Lutheran Church is a fellowship of individuals and families who have found Jesus Christ to be the only safe and reliable answer to all of life’s problems and critical questions.   We are members of the WELS, that is, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.   


Wisconsin indicates the geographical origin of a group of Christians who, over 170 years ago, because of their comprehensive commitment to all that God’s Word teaches, joined together

in a public ministry which we in the WELS carry on, by God’s grace, to this day.   


Evangelical declares that we believe and proclaim the great, foundational principles of the Christian faith:   namely, that we are saved by God’s free grace alone (His undeserved love), through faith alone  in Jesus Christ.   And that this truth is found in Scripture alone (that is, the 66 “canonical” books of the Bible).    


Lutheran affirms that we believe, teach, and confess all the doctrines of the historic Christian faith as taught by Jesus to His Apostles, now contained in the written Word of God.   Those truths, once all but lost to the Church because of the influences of false teachers, were – by God’s grace and blessing – restored to the Christian Church through the 16th century Lutheran Reformation led by Dr. Martin Luther.    We humbly remain today, the grateful heirs of that Lutheran Reformation, Apostolic legacy.  


And, finally, Synod states that we, as a congregation, have united in a shared ministry together with 1259 other like-minded WELS congregations across this country, as well as like-teaching Lutherans in 23 other nations.   We join them in working together for the purposes of growing in our Christian faith, serving our glorious Lord, and proclaiming His gracious salvation in Christ to the world.

Christian Education at Grace Lutheran  


     In addition to our Sunday School program, we offer Bible Classes on Sunday, Tuesday at 10:30a.m.  and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.    We also offer “Confirmation” (membership) classes as requested;   please speak with our Pastor for more details about them.   Additionally, our congregation operates Grace Lutheran Academy in order to instruct children in God’s truths from Kindergarten through 9th Grade.   Our ministry also includes Grace Pre-school, which serves 3 through 5 year olds.   For more information, please contact our school office at 659-5999.

An Invitation To You

If you have no church home of your own, and/or are looking for religious truth and spiritual certainty as a foundation for your life and to insure your eternal future, then we invite you to consider becoming a part of this Christian fellowship called Grace Lutheran Church.    For further information on becoming a member of our church family, please speak with our Pastor after today’s worship service or at your convenience, or sign our guest book in the entryway – indicating your interest.    We thank you for the opportunity to serve you with God’s Word and to have you as a part of our worshiping family today.  We do hope that you will worship and study with us again soon, and often.    Please know that you will always be welcome at Grace Lutheran Church.   May God bless you, now and always … Jesus’ name.



A Word to our Guests Regarding our Approach to Worship: 


     We take a “liturgical” (Greek for “ordered/structured”) approach to worship.   For centuries, even before the beginning of the early Christian Church – going back to the days of the ancient Jewish “Synagogue” service and temple observances – God’s people have worshiped the Lord by following a basic arrangement, or “order of service.”   Rich in its Biblical content and emphases, this liturgical approach has been tested by time and usage, and is (as it ought to be) centered – not on the feelings or emotions of those worshiping, but – firmly on the saving actions of our merciful God as revealed in the Holy Bible.

     Nothing as unique as this liturgical approach is, can be appreciated and understood instantly.   If you are new to liturgical worship, we invite your patience and encourage you to allow yourself sufficient time to become familiar with its purposes and meaning.   We are confident that you will not find it difficult, but rather – with time,  patience, and instruction – very edifying for your faith.   Already this first time you will hear throughout the service the Good News of God’s love clearly in the inspired words of God’s prophets, evangelists, apostles – and especially God’s Son – as they speak to from the Holy Scriptures.   ………..A very brief explanation of some outward actions might also prove helpful.   The congregation in worship (we are not part of an audience, but are fellow participants in the act of worshiping) generally is seated to listen to God’s Word and to sing the regular hymns.  When praying, we stand.   The pastor faces the congregation when he is serving as God’s spokesman.  He faces the altar when he is serving in the capacity of the congregation’s representative before the Lord, and when he joins them as a fellow worshiper.    Please also note that because Jesus is our King and Lord, as well as our Redeemer and Savior, we typically stand to hear the reading of the daily Gospel lesson as an expression of our respect for the inspired words of Christ.


Pre-Service Prayer    Heavenly Father, You showed Your grace by bringing me to faith in Christ through the work of Your Holy Spirit, and then by giving me the blessing of being called Your child.  Though what I offer You today is so small, compared to all You have done for me, please accept my humble offerings of praise and thanksgiving, as well as my gifts.  Also, Lord, help me gladly hear and take to heart the Good News of salvation from sin for me and all people through faith in Your Son, my Savior.  Renew and invigorate me with Your Holy Spirit today and every day, that I might live a confident life of faith and love to Your glory,  and that I might share, by all possible means, at every opportunity, the same Good News of salvation through Christ which has filled my life with peace and purpose.  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.


Silent Prayer upon entering the worship area

Pre-service music                                                                                                                                              


We Praise Our God


The Welcome and Introduction to Worship


After which the Pastor will invite the Congregation to rise for


The Invocation


We make our beginning


In the name…. of the Father,

Who created and preserves this world and every one of us, and Who gave

His Son into death for us and raised Him in glory on the third day;


And of the Son,


Who became fully human in order to be our Savior-Substitute, Who laid

down His life only to take it up again on the third day, Who rules over all things from

heaven for the good of His Church, and Who will return in glory on the Last Day

to deliver that Church;


And of the Holy Spirit


through Whom Christ was made alive,

Who has worked and sustains saving faith in our hearts,

Who lives in us now through the Word,

and Who will one day give life to our mortal bodies.



The Psalm for this Morning                                                                                                                 Psalm 8


           P:   O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

           C:  You have set Your glory above the heavens.


           P:   From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies,

           C:  to silence the foe and the avenger.


           P:   When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,

           C:  the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,


           P:   What is man that You are mindful of him,

           C:  the Son of Man that You should care for Him?


           P:   You made Him a little lower than  the heavenly beings,  and crowned Him with glory and honor.

           C:  You made Him Ruler over the works of Your hands;  You put everything under His feet.

           P:   all the flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,

           C:  the birds of the air,  +  and the fish of the sea,   +   all that swim the paths of the seas.

           P:   O Lord, our Lord,

           C:  how majestic is Your name in all the earth!


after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Opening Hymn                                                                                      “The Morning Sun Is Dawning”


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Connected to You firmly,     And for eternity.

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

Empower us to serve You – throughout our earthly race.


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

No more Your ways transgressing,     Our calling to fulfill;

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

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


after which the Congregation will rise 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  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.


           In joyful response to this reassurance of God’s love and forgiveness for us in Christ, please join me now as we sing the praises of our gracious and glorious Lord:


All glory be to God on high,   Who has our race befriended.

To us no harm shall now come nigh;   the strife at last is ended.

The Father’s love, the Savior’s birth, Bring peace, good will to all on earth.

Oh, thank Him for His goodness.


We praise, we worship You, we trust;   We give You thanks forever,

O Father, that Your rule is just and Wise and changes never.

In boundless pow’r, with mighty reign, Done is whatever You ordain.

Your rule brings countless blessings.


O Jesus Christ, the only Son      of God, Your heav’nly Father,

You did for all our sins atone,   And Your lost sheep You gather.

O Lamb of God, to You on high,   From depths of woe we sinners cry.

Have mercy on us, Jesus!


O Holy Spirit, precious Gift,   Our Comforter from heaven,

Our weary hearts and souls uplift;   For this our praise is given.

Deliver us from doubt and fear;   When Satan troubles us, be near.

We trust Your love and power.


The Prayer for Today


Almighty and eternal God   +    direct our actions that we may always please You.   +   Open our eyes by the power of the Holy Spirit   +   that we may see and confess Your Son,  Jesus Christ, +  as truly God and truly Man, + and as the one and only Redeemer of the entire world.    +  Also give us the strength of faith +  in this new year  +   to live each day to the honor of Your glorious name.   +   We ask this for Jesus’ sake  +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit   +   one God, for ever and ever.  +   Amen.


after which the Congregation  may be seated


We Hear God’s Word


The First Lesson                                                                                                                             Acts 8:26-40


26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is an isolated area.) 27 So he got up and went. And there was a man, an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship. 28 He was on his way home, sitting in his chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.


29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go over there and stay close to that chariot.” 30 Philip ran up to it and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet.   Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”   31 The man replied, “How can I unless someone explains it to me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.


32 Now the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading was this:  He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He does not open His mouth.  33 In His humiliation justice was denied Him. Who will talk about His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.


34 The eunuch said to Philip, “I ask you, Who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began to speak. Starting with that very passage of Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were traveling along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What is there to prevent me from being baptized?”


38 He ordered the chariot to stop. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they stepped up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away. The eunuch did not see him anymore, but went on his way rejoicing.


40 Philip, however, found himself at Azotus. And as he went from place to place, he preached the Gospel in all the towns until he came to Caesarea.



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                    Romans 6:1-14


What shall we say then? Shall we keep on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 Absolutely not! We died to sin. How can we go on living in it any longer? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 We were therefore buried with Him by this baptism into His death, so that just as He was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too would also walk in a new life.


5 For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection.


6 We know that our old self was crucified with Him, to make our sinful body powerless, so that we would not continue to serve sin. 7 For the person who has died has been declared free from sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9 We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, He will never die again. Death no longer has control over Him. 10 For the death He died, He  died to sin once and for all, but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11 In the same way also consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.


12 Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires. 13 Do not offer the members of your body to sin as tools of unrighteousness. Instead, offer yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and offer the members of your body to God as tools of righteousness. 14 Indeed, sin will not continue to control you, because you are not under law but under grace.


after which the Congregation will rise for


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                       Luke 3:15-23


15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might be the Christ. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But Someone mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing shovel is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor. He will gather the wheat into His barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”


18 Then with many other words, he appealed to them and was preaching good news to the people. 19 But after John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things he had done— 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John in prison.


21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. While He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are My Son, Whom I love. I am well pleased with You.”


23 Jesus Himself was about thirty years old when He began His ministry.


The Congregation will then be seated as we offer – set to song –



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 Corinthians 6:9, 11


9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? …… 11 And some of you were those types of people. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.


One Hand Washes The Other


The Hymn of the Day                                                            Hymn 89   “To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord”



  1. To Jordan’s river came our Lord, The Christ, Whom heav’nly hosts adored,

The God from God, the Light from Light,    The Lord of glory, pow’r, and might.


  1. The Savior came to be baptized– The Son of God in flesh disguised–

To stand beneath the Father’s will   And all His righteousness fulfill.


  1. As Jesus in the Jordan stood And John baptized the Lamb of God,

The Holy Spirit, heav’nly dove,   Descended on Him from above.


  1. Then from God’s throne with thund’rous sound

 Came God’s own voice with words profound:

“This is My Son,” was His decree,   “The One I love, Who pleases Me.”


  1. The Father’s word, the Spirit’s flight Anointed Christ in glorious sight

As God’s own choice, from Adam’s fall   To save the world and free us all.


  1. Now rise, faint hearts, be resolute; This Man is Christ, our Substitute!

He was baptized in Jordan’s stream,   Proclaimed Redeemer, Lord supreme.


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                                                                                                                    Matthew 3:13-17


13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John at the Jordan. 14 But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, because it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John let him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, He immediately went up out of the water. Suddenly, the heavens were opened for Him! He saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and landing on him, 17 and a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My Son, Whom I love. I am well pleased with Him.”

Heaven Has Been Opened For You, Too!


after the Sermon, the Congregation will rise 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.



after which the Congregation may be seated as



We Offer Our Gifts to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today during this morning’s worship service, those in attendance may leave their offerings in the offering plates by the exit at the close of our service.    For those watching this worship service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

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

2) You can go to our website ( and use the giving option.


after the offerings are brought forward, the Congregation will rise as


We Bring our Prayers Before Our Lord


P:  Lord God, on account of your rich mercy poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, hear our prayers. Continue to look graciously on us and Your whole Christian Church on earth.


C: We rejoice in the freedom from condemnation and in the redemption that is ours through Christ.    On account of Jesus’ saving work we are Your treasured possession. We thank You for all those persons in our past    which You used to proclaim to us the Gospel of the crucified and risen Savior,    and which caused faith to arise in our hearts.


P:  As the Gospel continues to be proclaimed throughout the world, we pray that the leaders of its many nations would make the kind of decisions, O Lord, that reflect Your love for the whole human race.  Guide and protect our nation’s citizens from all harm – physical and spiritual.   Also cause all the governments of the world to work for the well-being of all people.   We especially pray that You would move the world’s leaders to give the Gospel free course in their lands, so that it might find fertile ground in the hearts of all who hear it.


C: We also pray for our own congregation,     that in our Christian lives we might consistently walk – not according to the flesh, but – according to the Spirit,     caring for one another,    and showing generosity toward all those whose needs are evident.  But enable us also to look outside these walls where we worship,     to the many other treasured souls all around us    for which Christ also went to cross,    and lead us to do all within the means that You have given us     to proclaim Jesus’ love to them.


P:  Through Holy Baptism and the ministry of Your Word we became – and have remained – members of Your family of faith.   As we reflect upon this great blessing, move us to joyfully raise our hearts and hands in grateful and faithful service to You – the God of our salvation. 


C: Bless all who worship and serve You through this family of faith.  Let Your Word touch the lives of everyone here     as we meditate upon the mysteries of Your great love for us in Christ Jesus.   Help us also to remember our responsibility    to work together with the other congregations of our Synod,    in order to see to it that the Gospel is proclaimed    throughout our country and around the world.   Also, watch over our Synod’s missionaries and lay workers    who have gone out into the world on our behalf with the Gospel of Jesus.


P:  Lord, we know that the devil will do his upmost to ruin our lives on this earth and our hope for going to heaven.    When Your children are damaged by the struggles of this life continue to strengthen and sustain them with the blessed assurance that they are Your treasured possession, and that You are always working for their earthly and eternal good.   In particular this morning, we pray:


on behalf of Jim and Jo Allen (grandparents of MiKaela Lemmon)

who live in Arizona, and who have the Corna virus;


and for Bev and Darrell Anderson, who are recovering from Covid.


In addition, we pray for our those  brothers and sisters within our church and extended family who are facing health and personal problems ranging from cancer to diabetes, from vision disorders to fibro- and polymyalgia, from respiratory distress to heart disease, from Parkinson’s Disease and depression to various physical injuries and their complications…… and other ailments and afflictions, as well as loneliness, marital and family problems, employment and financial difficulties, and more.      


We are so small, so frail, so powerless to manage life’s challenges and even life’s ordinary situations.    Lord, please help all those we know and care about who are in need – granting them Your gifts of healing and health, support and success….and the continuing assurance that You are fully aware of their personal and spiritual needs, and that You have the ability and commitment to meet them….. indeed, that You have a perfect plan for the lives of every one of us (whether or not we understand and appreciate it), and that You will never take us into any circumstances in which You will not work things out, in the end, for our best personal and spiritual interests, and particularly for Your glory and honor.


  • We also pray this morning for your continued blessings on the marriage and home of Wilma Jean and Rob Carr, who will be celebrating their wedding anniversary this coming Friday. Father, increase their love for You and for each other, enabling them to continue to faithfully serve you and to serve before us and others as an example and encouragement of Christian marital faithfulness and love.

P:  Hear us also, LORD, as we take a few moments to silently offer You our personal petitions and praises.     

A Moment For Silent Prayer


P:  Finally,  Lord God, accept our thanks for the tremendous privilege of being called Your children, and of being able to come to You now and at any time in prayer.   Help us to grow intellectually, emotionally, spiritually through Your Word, so that we may be faithful servants for You in our homes, and communities, in our congregations, and as members of Your Church on earth. Mercifully hear our prayer, and bless us one and all, for the sake  and in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, eternally one God, forever and ever.   And in Whose name we also offer our 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,   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                                                                                       “God the Father, Son and Spirit”

Melody 8787   (Regent Square)  cwh 2009


God the Father, Son and Spirit:    As our service ends today  —

Thank You, LORD, for granting us this   time to study, sing and pray —

May our faith, which You have strengthened, be for Your praise, now, alway.


From eternity You chose us, All by grace and grace alone.

Through Your saving Word You called us,    In our hearts, You made Your throne

Gave us faith in Christ, our Savior, Who for our sins did atone.


Help us all, Lord to be faithful  Throughout life, unto the end.

May each one of us be useful —   that your Kingdom might extend

Through this town, across this nation, and to earth’s remotest end.


Grace for all, from every station,  blood-bought souls from near and far —

Christ has earned for us salvation:  “Reconciled to God, we are —

Life through His death.   It is all done.”     Glorify our Morning Star!


LORD, for Your great love, we praise You,    Guiding us our whole lives through

Day by day our faith, You renew   —    May we e’er to You be true

Serving You in all that we do  —  ‘Til in heav’n, we live with You.   Amen.   


Silent Prayer.  Announcements, Postlude





This Past Week at Grace Lutheran Church            Sunday Worship Attendance:   48        Communed: 41                                                       Bible Class: 16               Sunday School: 2                 Budgetary:  $2150

Online Offerings:   $154.79                                                                     Tuesday Bible Study Participants:  11


Serving Us Next Week (1-17)                                                                   Ushers – Drake Schwartz, Tom Otto

Altar Guild – Tammy Schwartz, Harriet Johnson                                    Elders – Tim Pfortmiller, Vic Walker


Birthdays & Anniversaries This Week                                                                           Jan 11 – Debbie Jones;

Jan 13 – Dale Johannes;        Jan 13 – Macy Roberts;       Jan 15 – Wilma Jean & Rob Carr


This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church


Today                                                                               Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m.                                                   Bible Class/Sunday School – 10:55 to 11:30 a.m.

                             Youth Confirmation Class, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m.

     Tuesday          Morning Bible Class, 10:15 a.m.

                                                                                                                                               Church Council Meeting, 6 p.m.                                   Elders Meeting, after Council                                                           

     Wednesday    Evening Bible Classes, 6 to 7 p.m.

     Sunday           Morning Worship, including the Lord’s Supper,  9:30 a.m.                         

                             Bible Class/Sunday School – 10:55 to 11:30 a.m.

                        Youth Confirmation Class, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m.


Midweek Evening Bible Classes RESUMEfor both women and men – this coming Wednesday evening (January 13), from 6 to 7 p.m.    We invite – and encourage – all of you to join us for this additional opportunity to study and grow in the Word our Lord.