The First Sunday in Lent /  Invocavit (“He Will Call”) Sunday

February 18, 2024

Taming Temptation

              A number of years ago an article in “Leadership” magazine included a discussion of how an Eskimo kills a wolf.   First, the Eskimo coats his knife in animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by the frozen blood.   Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He gets so excited he begins to lick faster, lapping the blade until the edge is bare.   Because he’s so caught up in licking the blood and because it’s so cold, he doesn’t notice the sting of the knife on his tongue, nor does he notice that the blood he’s now drinking is his own blood.    His appetite just craves more until the Eskimo comes the next morning to find the wolf dead in the snow.  

            When it comes to the temptations that you and I daily face to sin, the “unholy trinity” of Satan, this wicked world and our own sinful flesh do their damnable best not merely to damage – but to destroy – our souls.   Often more enticing (and more deadly) than a blood-coated knife might be to a hungry wolf, the temptations that we face are intended to make our souls salivate for sin…..leading us into all sorts of shameful behaviors and, possibly, even separation from our God and the salvation He wants us to have.    Those temptations might satisfy your sinful desires and tastes for a while, but eventually they could sap the life out of you and leave you for dead – eternally.   Too many people have been devastated, spiritually-speaking, because they wouldn’t run from temptation when it confronted them.   Marriages have fallen apart.   Relationships between parents and children have been ruined.   Respect in the community has been irreparably lost.  

            But regardless of how the Devil works to ensnare us in sin and unbelief, our all-powerful God always provides a way of escape for us, so that we can not only identify temptations as they come, but “tame” them by resisting them successfully through God’s strength.  The real question before us all today is:   “Are we looking for temptation to embrace it, or – with God’s help – to resist it?”


The Word of God before us this Morning

            Today’s First Scripture Lesson is “The Full Armor of God” lesson from Ephesians 6.   Tying this lesson in with the Scripture readings and their truths that will be following this first reading, it will do each of us well not only to recognize that we are under daily assault from Satan, but also that ultimate and inevitable victory against him is already assured us through the redemptive work and power of Christ, our Savior.   Wrapped in the “spiritual armor” that He gives us, we can safely stand against all Satan’s assaults certain that our souls remain eternally secure through faith in Christ.

            Through this morning’s Epistle Lesson the inspired Apostle John will urge us to stop sinning, and warns us that those who claim Christ as their Lord  – yet who are committed to continuing to impenitently sin – are actually followers of the Devil…..and not of the Lord.   Among the key “litmus tests” of a person’s Christianity is his/her willingness expressed in word and action to love their fellow Christians  as brothers/sisters-in-Christ.    Those who won’t love a brother, but who instead bear and share hard, harsh feelings about a fellow Christian, are finally more like Cain the murderer, more like a follower of the Devil, than a faithful follower of Christ.    That person even dares to risk his/her eternal salvation and heavenly home…..all because he/she prefers feelings of hatred and hostility toward others, rather than preferring to love a life of Christian love toward all.   

            In our Gospel Lesson/Sermon Text for today, each time the Devil tried to tempt Him, Christ turned away the temptation by relying on a portion of God’s Word.  Nearly 2000 years later the Devil continues to work his wiles of temptation on God’s people.   Since he never gives up, let us always be on our guard against Satan’s repeated temptations, and may we always be prepared to use the power of God’s Word as our best defense against any and all of the Devil’s temptations.  

            Finally, through this morning’s Children’s Lesson we’ll listen to our Lord’s warning to beware of the Devil, who hungrily looks at our souls in much the same way that a starving person looks at a meal… something to be devoured.    The only way we can avoid becoming hooked by the Devil’s bait is to rely on the power of God’s Word and the victory of Jesus over the Devil for support in resisting his temptations.  


The Origin of the Season of Lent

             “We are going up to Jerusalem.”  With these words Jesus invites us to follow Him as He travels the way of the cross during another season of Lent.   Having already begun this past Ash Wednesday (February 14th) , Lent is a 40 day period which ends on Holy Saturday, just before Easter Sunday.     While Ash Wednesday actually takes place 46 days prior to Easter, the six Sundays in Lent are traditionally not included in the 40 day count of this Lenten season with its penitential emphasis.   The reason for this omission is that, by custom, the Sundays during Lent are regarded as interludes during which the Church can celebrate, however briefly and still with a measure of solemnity, the joy that continues to be ours by virtue of God’s grace to us in Christ.  

            The term “Lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for “spring,” the time when the days lengthen.  The earliest Christians to observe Lent did so over 40 hours, remembering the 40 hours during which our Savior lay in the tomb.  The period of commemoration was later extended to two weeks (that period is still referred to as “Passiontide”), and eventually to forty days. 

             The 40 days, incidentally, are representative of several Biblical events: Jesus’ 40-day fast at the beginning of

 His ministry (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12,13; Luke 4:1-13);   Moses’ stay on Mt. Sinai in connection with the Lord’s giving the Ten Commandments and His other laws to Israel (Exodus 24:18);  and Elijah’s period of fasting on his way to the mountain of God (I Kings 19:8) .

The Focus of Worship during Lent

             The Christian Church traditionally has made use of the season of Lent as a period of spiritual preparation –

 specifically, a time during which it has devoted itself to the contemplation of the cross of our Savior, and all for which it stands.  While the midweek Vespers (evening) worship services during Lent have a more “penitential” character, and thus focus the worshiper’s attention on Christ’s Passion (His sufferings for our sins), the Scripture readings and prayers for the Sundays of Lent are typified by a general spirit of “celebration” which anticipates Jesus (and our) victories won on Easter morning.    And so, all of the traditional Scripture lessons and prayers of the six Sundays in Lent deal in one way or another deal with the challenges and battles which our Savior waged and won against the kingdom of Satan.  Each victory “prefigures” (points ahead to) the glorious triple- victory which Jesus won through His resurrection – His (and His Church’s ) victories over sin, death, and Satan’s power.   


Why Is Today also known as “Invocavit” Sunday?

            Over the past sixteen centuries, the Christian church – at least that portion of the church which follows the

 traditional “Church Calendar” –  has retained the custom of identifying the six Sundays of Lent by the first words of their Latin “introits” (Psalm readings for the day;  “introit” is the Latin word for “he enters” and refers to a particular point in the worship liturgy/order when the minister approached the altar/the symbolic “presence” of the Lord in worship).   The first Sunday in Lent, then, is known as Invocavit Sunday, taken from verse 15 of our Psalm for this morning, Psalm 91 (“invocavit” means “He will call”).  The Scripture readings for this day were originally assembled to focus the Church’s attention on Satan’s relentless efforts to tempt Jesus (and us), as well as on Christ’s ability to successfully overcome all of the Devil’s temptations.  

Special Prayers and Scripture Lessons During Lent

             Today’s (and our entire Lenten season’s) Scripture lessons and “Collect-Prayers” can be traced back to the

 first centuries of the early Christian Church.  Initially “collect-prayers” were simply the product of early church pastors gathering/collecting prayer requests from church members prior to the worship service.   The “collected” requests would then be offered in one, general prayer.    Over time, and due to the consistency of many prayer-requests, formal “collect-prayers” were written down and used from one year to the next, and were handed down from one generation to the following – all the way to us today.   In addition, during its early era the Church customarily required its adult candidates for Baptism to undergo a 40 day period rigorous discipline, prayer, and fasting, which — in time — came to be known as the season of Lent.  The intent was to provide spiritual discipline for the soon-to-be baptized members so that they might be freed from affection for worldly matters and from any attachments to the Devil’s and this sinful world’s wicked works and ways.  The final point in their period of Lenten denial was Easter Eve (or Holy Saturday), when they were baptized into the Christian faith and first permitted to commune with their Savior through the Lord’s Supper.  

             In the weeks ahead, we will be hearing – with some variation – many of the same Scripture readings those

 early Christian candidates for Baptism also heard during the worship services that they attended over 19 centuries ago.  We will also join in offering essentially the same “Collect-Prayers” to the Lord which they joined in offering.  In addition to giving us a sense of the heritage we possess, which connects us with the earliest Christians and believers since then, these specially-selected readings and prayers should also help us  better prepare our hearts and lives both for the reception of the Sacrament during Holy Week, for the observance of Christ’s death on Good Friday, and for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morn.

The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been

 taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831

Pre-Service Prayer

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.   Amen.

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, for keeping me through this night from all harm and danger.   Keep me this day also, from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may be pleasing in Your sight.  Into Your hands I commit my body and soul and all things.  Let Your holy angel be with me, that the wicked Foe may have no power over me.  Amen.

Pre-service music                                                                                                                            Silent Prayer

We Praise Our God

Greeting and Introduction to Worship

After which, the Congregtion will rise

The Invocation

            Pastor        We begin this service

In the name of the Father,

Who gave His Son into death for us

and raised Him in glory on the third day;

And of the Son,

 Who laid down His life only to take it up again on the third day;

And of the Holy Spirit

through Whom Christ was made alive,

Who has worked 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 Today                                                                                                                            Psalm 91

P:         One who lives in the shelter of the Most High will stay in the shadow of the Almighty.

C:         I will say to the Lord, “My Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in Whom I trust.”


P:         Surely He will rescue you from the fowler’s trap, from the destructive plague.  With His feathers He will            cover you, and under His wings you will find refuge;   His truth s will be your shield and armor.


C:         You will not fear the terror of night,   +   nor the arrow that flies by day,   +  nor the plague that prowls in         the darkness,   +   nor the pestilence  that destroys at noon.  +   A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,   + but it will not come near you.   +   You will only observe it with your eyes.           You will see the punishment of the wicked.   +   Yes, Lord, You are my Refuge!


P:         If you make the Most High your shelter — evil will not overtake you.   +   Disaster will not come near your        tent.

C:         Yes, He will give a command to His angels concerning you  +   to guard you in all your ways;   +  so that you      will not strike your foot against a stone.   +   You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;  +   you will          trample the great lion and the serpent.

P:         The LORD says, +   “Because He clings to Me,  I will rescue him.   +   I will protect him   +   for he             acknowledges My name.”     


C:         He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;   +   I will be with him in distress,   +  I will deliver him and I        will honor him.   +   With long life I will satisfy him + and I will let him see My salvation.


After which the Congregation will be seated for

The Opening Hymn                                                                                     “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”


1 A mighty Fortress is our God,   A trusty Shield and Weapon;

He helps us free from ev’ry need    That hath us now o’ertaken.

The old evil Foe   Now means deadly woe:

Deep guile and great might   Are his dread arms in fight;  On earth is not his equal.


2 With might of ours can naught be done,  

 Soon were our loss effected;

But for us fights the Valiant One,    Whom God Himself elected.

Ask ye, Who is this?–    Jesus Christ it is,

Of Sabaoth, Lord,   And there’s none other God,  He holds the field forever.


3 Tho’ devils all the world should fill,    All eager to devour us,

We tremble not, we fear no ill,    They cannot overpow’r us.

This world’s prince may still    Scowl fierce as he will,

He can harm us none,    He’s judged; the deed is done;   One little word can fell him.


4 The Word they still shall let remain,  

 Nor any thank have for it;,

He’s by our side upon the plain    With His good gifts and Spirit.

And take they our life,    Goods, fame, child, and wife,

Let these all be gone,    They yet have nothing won:   The Kingdom ours remaineth.    Amen.


After which, the Congregation will rise as


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor:     As we approach the Lord in worship today, let us all confess our sins and seek God’s forgiving mercy:


Congregation:             O Lord, hear my prayer,   +    Listen to my cry for mercy   + and in Your faithfulness, come to my relief.    +    Do not bring Your servant into judgment,   +   for no one living is righteous

 before You.    +    Answer me quickly, O Lord;    +   m spirit fails.   +     Do not hide Your face from me,   +    For I have put my trust in You.    +     Show me the way I should go,   +   for to You I lift up my soul.   +    Teach me to do Your will,   +   for You are my God.


Almighty God, merciful Father,   +    I, a troubled and repentant sinner    + confess that I have sinned against You  in my actions, thoughts and words.    +    I have not loved You with all my heart;   +    I have not loved others the way I should.   +    I have not been a faithful steward  of the time, abilities, opportunities and resources    +    which You have entrusted to my care.    +   I have not always been eager and willing to worship You, serve You, or learn from You as I ought.   +     My transgressions,  whether deliberate or done out of ignorance    +    are too numerous for me to recall.   +   I know that because of them   +    I deserve Your punishment  now and eternally.    +    But I truly am distressed by   +   and deeply sorry for my sins.    +   And so I implore You,  for Jesus’ sake,   +   to have mercy upon me   +   and to forgive me,   +   a poor, sinful being.

Pastor: Jesus says to His followers:    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven.”    Do you believe this word and promise of your Savior?

Congregation:             Yes, I believe.

Pastor: Then according to the command and promise of our Savior, 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.    Amen.     Be at

 peace once more with your God, assured that you are a dear child of God and an heir of eternal life in heaven through faith in Christ Jesus.


Congregation:             O Lord, my God    +   I called to You for help   +   and You answered me.   +   I thank You for the love You have shown me  in Jesus Christ, my Savior.    +   Through Him You have rescued

 me from the guilt and curse of my sin.   +   Renew me now, through Your Holy Spirit    +   that I might faithfully fight against all temptation,   +   correct whatever wrongs I can,   +   and live in the peace of Your forgiveness.   +    Let my life be filled with Your love and praise.   +   Now and forever.   +    Amen.


(Sung)    We praise You O God, our Redeemer Creator

In grateful devotion our tribute we bring:

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

We bless Your holy name;   glad praises we sing.

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

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

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

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


With voices united, our praises we offer;

To You, Great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise.

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

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



The Prayer for This Morning                                                                                                         (in Unison)

O Lord God,   +   mercifully hear our prayers,   +   and help us in our need.   +   Stretch forth Your majestic right hand   +  to defend us from every attack of the devil,  +   from every assault of this evil world,   +   and from every inclination of our sinful human nature,  +   through Jesus Christ,   +   Your Son, our Lord,   +   Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God, forever and ever.   +    Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated as

We Hear God’s Word

The First Lesson                                                                                                                   Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can stand against the schemes of the Devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to take a stand on the evil day and, after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness fastened in place, 15 and with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace tied to your feet like sandals. 16 At all times hold up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 17 Also take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

18 At every opportunity, pray in the Spirit with every kind of prayer and petition. Stay alert for the same reason, always persevering in your intercession for all the saints. 19 Pray for me also, that when I open my mouth a message will be given to me that boldly reveals the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may speak about it boldly, as it is necessary for me to speak.



The Second Lesson                                                                                                                       I John 3:4-10

4 Everyone who commits sin also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away our sins and in him there is no sin. 6 Anyone who remains in him does not sin. The person who keeps on sinning has not seen him or known him.

7 Dear children, do not let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what is right is righteous just as Jesus is righteous. 8 The one who continues to sin is of the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning. This is why the Son of God appeared: to destroy the works of the Devil. 9 Nobody who has been born of God continues to commit sin, because God’s seed remains in him. He cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how the children of God and the children of the Devil are obvious: Everyone who does not do what is right is not from God, along with everyone who does not love his brother.

After which the Congregation will rise for


This Morning’s Gospel Lesson                                                                                                      Luke 4:1-13

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. 3 The Tempter came and said to him, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”   4 But Jesus answered, “It is written: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”

5 Then the Devil took Him into the holy city. He placed Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and he said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:   “He will command His angels concerning you. And they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”   7 Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written: “You shall not test the Lord your God.”

8 Again the Devil took him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 He said to Him, “I will give You all of these things, if You will bow down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written:   “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”

11 Then the Devil left Him, and just then angels came and served Him.

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.


                                                            After which the Congregation will be seated for


Today’s Children’s Lesson                                                                                                            I Peter 5:8-9

Be self-controlled and alert.   Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

How To Stop Satan From Having You for a Snack

Hymn of the Day                                                                   Hymn 472  “Rise My Soul To Watch and Pray”


1 Rise, my soul, to watch and pray;  From your sleep awaken!

Be not by the evil day     Unawares o’ertaken.

For the foe, Well we know,   Is a harvest reaping  While the saints are sleeping.

2 Watch! Let not the wicked world  With its lies defeat you

Lest with bold deceptions hurled   It betray and cheat you.

Watch and see Lest there be     Faithless friends to charm you      Who but seek to harm you.


3 Watch against yourself, my soul,       Lest with grace you trifle;

Let not self your thoughts control       Nor God’s mercy stifle.

Pride and sin Lurk within,        All your hopes to shatter;       Heed not when they flatter.


4 But while watching also pray      To the Lord unceasing.

God protects you day by day,      Strength and faith increasing,

So that still Mind and will       Shall unite to serve him      And forever love him.

The Pre-Sermon Salutation

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ!  And grace and peace to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come.  Amen.

The Sermon Text                                                                                                                                                         Luke 4:1-13

                                                                                                                                    (Today’s Gospel Lesson)

Dueling with the Devil….Like Jesus Did

after this, the Congregation will rise for the post-sermon blessing

The Post-Sermon Blessing

May the God of peace, Who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, now equip you with everything good for doing His will!   Amen.



We Bring our Offerings and Prayers to the 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) to the church address

 (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can also donate on our website:

  • The Prayers for Today


    P          Lord God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier:  


    C:         We humbly come before Your throne of grace,   + asking for Your blessings upon the Church at large,   +   our congregation,   +   and each one of us.


    P          Fill us with thankful hearts for every gift, opportunity, and challenge that You provide.  


    C:         Merciful God, though we do not deserve them,   +   continue to grant us our daily bread +    and all of our other needs of body and spirit.   


    P          Instill in us, as Your people, a genuine hunger and thirst for Your righteousness.   Allow us to continue to      properly read, learn, and inwardly digest Your holy, true and mighty Word –

    C:         that our hearts and minds might remain firmly focused on You   +    as the true God — Father, Son and Holy         Spirit –    and that we might be eternally sustained    +   in this one, true, saving Christian faith.



    P:         Grant us all a strong faith especially in those times when we face temptation and doubt, so that we might trust in You with unwavering confidence.  


    C:         Guard us from the wiles of the Devil,   +   the ways of this wicked world,   +   and our own sinful nature.   +        Preserve us from all forms of selfish love and sinful ambition.   

    P:         We pray also for every nation and their respective residents – including our United States of America.  

    C:         For all those in harm’s way    especially those serving in our military and in our country’s law-enforcement    agencies     Almighty God we pray that You would continue to send Your protective angels   +    to guard   both the defenseless and those who defend others.

    P:         We also pray for the many individuals in our own church family, as well as our personal families and circles       of friends who are sick or hurting in other ways.    For those we know and love, as well as those with which        we are not acquainted,  sustain them in the midst of their injuries, difficulties, suffering, heartache, loneliness          and pain.  

    C:         Enable them to fix their eyes and hearts on You, Lord, +    trusting in You day by day +     for healing, relief,             strength, and hope.

    P:         Lord God, work powerfully through Your Spirit in the hearts of those who do not yet believe, that none    might perish eternally, but instead will be brought to that land flowing with milk and honey—heaven itself.

    C:         That we might personally share in extending Your kingdom,   +    grant each of us such a faith  +    that we            will boldly and confidently confess You   +    through our lives and with our voices  +    as the only true God,        +   upon Whom – alone – our everlasting salvation depends.


    P:         For all other things unspoken and hidden in our hearts,  we pray that You, O Lord,  would give Your    gracious and wise attention to our necessities and desires,  conforming all our hopes and needs to Your perfect will.    Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves and all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.   In His name we offer this prayer and continue now, by praying:


    C:         Our Father,  Who art in heaven    +    Hallowed be Thy name.    +    Thy Kingdom come.  +    Thy will be done,  on earth as it is in heaven.   +    Give us this day our daily bread.  +  And forgive us our trespasses     +    as     we forgive those who trespass against us.     +  And lead us not into temptation.     +     But deliver us from          evil.    +    For Thine is the kingdom  +    And the power     +  And the glory    +   Forever and ever.   Amen.



    We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


    The Words of Institution – Spoken by the Pastor


    Our Self-Examination Before Receiving The Lord’s Supper

    Pastor            Let us now examine ourselves in preparation for receiving this Sacrament of our Lord, as the inspired

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

    Congregation  Yes, I have examined my life, see the need for God’s forgiveness and believe that I will receive complete

                            forgiveness for all my sins, as my Savior has promised.


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

                                                                                     (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                               our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)



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

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

    The Distribution of the Elements 


    The Distribution Hymn                                                                                                                     Hymn 310

                                                                                                                       “I Come, O Savior, To Your Table”

                                                                                                                 sung in 3 verse groupings (1-3; 4-6; etc)


    We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing

    Pastor              Now, to Him Who is able to keep you from falling  and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy –

    Congregation  to the only God, our Savior,   be glory, majesty, power and authority,    through Jesus Christ our Lord,   before all ages,    now and forevermore!  Amen.

    The Benediction

                May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

    And the love of God the Father,

                And the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.   Amen.

    The Closing Hymn                                                                                                                                           “Search Me, O God”

                                                                                     (sung to the tune, “Savior Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise”


    Search me, O God, and know my heart today,

    Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts I pray

    See if there be some wicked way in me

    Cleanse me from every  sin and set me free.


    Lord, take my heart and make it wholly Thine

    Fill my poor soul  with Thy great love divine

    Take all I have, my passion, self and pride

    Now and forever,   Lord with me abide.         Amen.


    silent prayer,


    post-service music