The Third Sunday during Lent 

which is also known by the traditional name   “Occuli” Sunday

March 07, 2021


God’s Forgiveness….For Those Who Know How Much

We All Need It…. And For Those Who Don’t Realize That


A pastor once had a church member who always had the same comment after every one of his sermons: 

“You sure told ‘em today, Reverend!”   This dear fellow was the most faithful member of the congregation, attending services every time the church doors were open.   But, somehow he always seemed to think the sermon was for everyone else, and not for him.  

            Finally, his pastor prepared a special sermon just for him….to address this matter of his failing to apply to himself the message of the sermon.    The preacher decided to save it for a Sunday when few others – if any – would be in church.  At last the pastor’s opportunity came because of a terrible snowstorm.   Nobody showed up for church except –– you guessed it –– Brother “Told ‘em.”    He happened to be the only member in church on that snowy morning.   The pastor hauled out his special sermon and pulled every trigger available at Brother “Told ‘em’s” heart. At the end of the two-man worship hour, guess what was heard going out the door?    “Preacher, if they’d-a-been here you sure woulda’ told ‘em this time!”   

            Some people just don’t get it.   They can “see” everyone else’s sins, but they won’t admit their own spiritual faults, flaws, and failings.   Simon the Pharisee, in today’s Sermon Text, was that sort of man.   The “sins” of the sinful woman who crashed his dinner party for Jesus were more than evident to Simon.   He was offended not only by her presence in his home, but by the fact that she dared to approach Jesus AND that the Rabbi from Nazareth graciously welcomed her.   Simon’s proud, self-righteous attitude kept him from recognizing that he needed God’s grace every bit as much as the “sinful woman” did.  

            Lest Simon’s arrogant, minimally-penitent spirit somehow become our own, we are going to turn to five  special portions of God’s Word this morning in order to remind us that His grace extends to everyone, since we’re all undeserving sinners – even if we don’t all sin in all the same ways.   Remember: one sin, all by itself, is enough to convict each of us eternally to hell’s prison….and we’ve all already sinned countless times in our lives.   But our Heavenly Father, because He is merciful to us for Jesus’ sake, has chosen not to count any of our sins against us…not even one of them!   It’s amazing, but it’s true.   Someone had to pay for all those sins, but that Someone was Jesus….not us.   And did He pay for all of them for all of us!   Beginning with His incarnation (His becoming human for us), through the sinless life He led on our behalf, to His innocent death on Calvary’s cross enduring God’s wrath against our sin, and His victorious, bodily resurrection three days later – Jesus willingly accepted the entire responsibility for all the sins of every sinner throughout history…..mine and yours included.   So what does that mean for us today?   It means what you and I are fully and freely forgiven and – with God’s gracious guarantee of forgiveness – we are now His children and heirs of everlasting life in heaven through faith in Christ.   That’s the Gospel! 

            Today we get to see the Gospel grace of God in action through our Old Testament Lesson, where the LORD speaks to Israel through His prophet Isaiah regarding their sinful condition, their confession of being/doing/thinking evil, and their genuine repentance of  their sins – turning away from them in order to live more Godly lives.

            The Epistle Lesson for this morning urges us not to have any “fellowship” with the ways of darkness (sin), but rather to walk in the light (the righteous truths of God).   We’re also encouraged to acknowledge the many occasions when we have sinned, repent of them, receive from Jesus the assurance that He has forgiven all our sins, and recommit (with the Holy Spirit’s enabling power) to producing those godly fruits of faith that are consistent with a penitent heart.

            This morning’s Gospel Lesson is Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son (also occasionally known as the parable of the unforgiving brother….and (my favorite) the parable of the waiting,  forgiving Father).    Here Jesus gives us a picture of our heavenly Father in the character of the prodigal son’s father.    After that wayward son foolishly mismanages his inheritance, and then – hitting his emotional and Spiritual bottom – repents of his sin, he humbly returns to his father who is waiting for him – eager to receive him back with open arms and a loving heart – and even a celebration.   In an infinitely greater way, your Heavenly Father and mine graciously embraces every wayward sinner (us, included), welcoming us all back into fellowship with Him as we repent of our sins and trust in His forgiving mercy.  

            Finally, in our Children’s Lesson we’ll talk about what real repentance is not…..(just feeling sorry or bad for ourselves because we got caught doing something wrong).   Instead, real repentance is genuine sorrow over the fact that through our sins we’ve disobeyed and dishonored the God Who loves us and blesses us in so many ways.   That is the kind of repentance that pleases God and leads to positive change in our sinful ways, moving us to turn away from any and all sinful behavior and toward the kind of behavior that is honors, serves and obeys our merciful God.


The traditional emphasis of this third Sunday in Lent

…..  is on our “eyes”….and Him on Whom our eyes should be focused.  Consequently, the sixteen centuries’ old Latin name for this 3rd Sunday in the Lent is “Occuli” Sunday – meaning “my eyes.”   That Latin name is drawn from the fifteenth verse of Psalm 25 (the traditional Psalm reading for today): My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only He will release my feet from the snare.“   Eyes need light in order to function.    Light bounces off of things, is focused through lenses and reaches the retinas.  From there electrical signals are sent to the brain which processes the information and identifies the image(s).   We call that rather complicated process “seeing.”    What’s interesting is that beyond the electrical signals they subsequently send to the brain, the eyes really do nothing other than to receive the light that comes into them.    Eyes certainly add nothing to the light, nor do they produce light.  They are actually quite passive.    In the total absence of light, eyes simply cannot work;    they are blind. 

            Figuratively-speaking, without Jesus we humans are spiritually blind.    Only through faith in Jesus do we truly see ourselves as we are (hopeless, hapless sinners) and God as He must be (holy, just, and yet the God of limitless love).   For in Jesus alone do we have the One Who is the “Light of the world.”    One of the chief questions that confronts us, then, on this “Occuli Sunday” morning is:    “How can eyes that were born blind ever come to be (and remain) focused on the Lord Jesus Christ?”   The answer:   by God’s amazing grace alone!  Through the faith-imparting work of Holy Spirit in the Means of Grace (the Gospel in the Word and the Sacraments), our Lord enables us blind men and women to see Him as the true God of grace and glory, and to live lives of faithfulness and obedience…for our good and to God’s glory.   Then and only then can we, in the words of Hebrews 12:1-3, “fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down a the right hand of the throne of God.”



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



Pre-Service Prayer:  


            The day has dawned and duty calls              Guide me to do my best for You

            So many tasks await.                                      To shun each sinful way.

            Strengthen me when my spirit falls —            Jesus, forgive the wrongs I do

            Or when I hesitate.                                         And keep me safe today.        Amen.



The Order of Worship for the 3rd Sunday during Lent



Silent Prayer upon entering the worship area



The Service Introduction and Invitation to Worship


At the pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for


The Opening Psalm                                                                                                  Psalm 25, selected verses


P:         My Eyes are always on the Lord, because He frees my feet from the net.

            C:         Turn toward me and be gracious to me,   +   for I am lonely and afflicted.


            P:         The distress of my heart increases.    Bring me out of my anguish.

            C:         See my affliction and my trouble   +   and take away all my sins.


P:         Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your mercy, for they are from eternity.

            C:         Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;   +   according to Your mercy

                        remember me,   +   because of Your goodness,   O Lord.


            P:         To You, O Lord, I will lift up my soul;   in You I have trusted, O my God.

            C:         All who hope in You will never be put to shame.



After which the Congregation will be seated for


The Opening Hymn                                                                                                     Hymn 610    “Now Thank We All Our God”


1 Now thank we all our God   With hearts and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done,   In Whom His world rejoices,

Who from our mother’s arms   Has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love  And still is ours today.


2 Oh, may this bounteous God   Through all our life be near us,

With ever-joyful hearts   And blessed peace to cheer us

And keep us in His grace   And guide us when perplexed

And free us from all ills  In this world and the next.


3 All praise and thanks to God   The Father now be given,

The Son, and Him Who reigns   With Them in highest heaven,

The one eternal God,   Whom earth and heav’n adore!

For thus it was, is now,  And shall be evermore.        Amen


After which the Congregation will rise for




P:         We make our beginning this morning, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.              Amen.


             The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you


C:         And also with you.


The Confession of Sins


Pastor    God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us acknowledge our sinfulness and ask Him to forgive us.


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 failed to do what is good.   +    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment,   +    both now and in eternity.     +     But I am truly sorry for the evil that I have thought, spoken and done,     +   and trusting in the sinless life,   +   sacrificial death for me   +   and the resurrection of Your Son, my Savior,  Jesus Christ,   +   I pray:    +  God have mercy on me, a sinner.


Pastor      God our heavenly Father, has been merciful to us and has given His only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for all our sins.   Therefore, as a called servant of God and according to His command and under His authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.    Amen.


Lord Have Mercy


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


C:         (sung)   Lord have mercy.



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


C:         (sung)   Christ have mercy.



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


C:         (sung)   Lord have mercy.



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


C:         (sung)   Amen.



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


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

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

You take away our sin;    You comfort our spirit;

You make us pure and holy in Your sight.

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

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

O Son of God, eternal Word of the Father,

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

You washed us from our sins in Your own blood.

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

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



The Prayer for Today


O Almighty God, our Heavenly Father  +  as we meditate on Your Word today   +   move us to repent of all our sins  +  particularly the sins of worrying,   +   of being insecure and untrusting, +   selfish,   +   weak-willed,   +   worldly,   +   and indifferent toward Your Word.   +    Enable us,  +   through Your Spirit’s aid,   +   and motivated by the Gospel,   +     to resist the Devil’s temptations,   +   the evil influences of this wicked world,   +   and the deceitful desires and wicked ways of our own sinful nature.   +   Empower us to grow in our faithfulness to You  +   and increase our trust in You, O Lord, +   that we might  be more confident of Your love   +   and of Your direction for our lives.    +     Through Your Spirit’s empowering us,   +   enable us to daily bring honor and glory to Your holy name  +   by the way that we live in this world.   +  All this we ask  in the name and for the sake   +    of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Savior,   +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God, for ever and ever.  +  Amen.


after which the Congregation  may be seated for


The Word of God For Today


The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                      Isaiah 59, selected verses


Listen to me! The Lord’s arm is not too short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear.  2 No, it is your guilt that has separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden God’s face from you, so that He does not hear.   3 Look, your hands are polluted with blood, and your fingers drip guilt.  Your lips speak lies.  Your tongue mutters dishonesty. 4 No one calls for justice, and no one argues his cases honestly.  They rely on empty arguments and commit perjury!  They conceive trouble and give birth to wickedness!…….


Their deeds are evil deeds, and violent actions fill their hands.  7 Their feet run to do evil,  and they hurry to shed innocent blood.  Their thoughts are futile thoughts.  Destruction and ruin are the destination of their highways.

8 They do not know the road to peace, and there is no justice on the route they follow. They made crooked paths for themselves……10 We grope along a wall like blind men.  We grope like people with no eyes.  We stumble at noon as if it were twilight.  Among the healthy, we are like dead men…..


12 Yes, our rebellious deeds are many before You, and our sins testify against us.  Our rebellious deeds are with us,

and as for our guilty deeds, we are aware of them.  13 Those deeds are rebellion and treachery against the Lord.

We turn back from following our God.   We incite oppression and apostasy.   We conceive and mutter deceitful words from our hearts…..  

15 The Lord looked and saw something evil—  there was no justice.   16 He saw that there was no one.  He was appalled that there was no one who could intervene.  So His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness supported Him…… 19 From the west they will fear the Lord’s name, and from the rising of the sun they will fear His glory, for He will come like a raging river, driven by the Spirit of the Lord.  20 Then a Redeemer will come for Zion and for those in Jacob who turn from rebellion.  This is the declaration of the Lord.   21 As for Me, this is My covenant with them, says the Lord. My Spirit, Who is upon you, and My words, which I placed in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or from the mouth of your offspring or from the mouth of their offspring, from this time forward and forever, says the Lord.


The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                       I John 1:5-2:6


5 This is the message we heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with Him but still walk in darkness, we are lying and do not put the truth into practice. 7 But if we walk in the light, just as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His Word is not in us.


2 My children, I write these things to you so that you will not sin. If anyone does sin, we have an Advocate before the Father: Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning Sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the whole world.  3 This is how we know that we have known Him: if we keep His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 If anyone keeps God’s word, the love of God is truly made complete in him. This is how we know that we are in Him: 6 The one who says he remains in him should walk as Jesus walked.


After which the Congregation will rise for


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                                                     Luke 15:11-32


11 Jesus said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all that he had and traveled to a distant country. There he wasted his wealth with reckless living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 He went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He would have liked to fill his stomach with the carob pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.


17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, and I am dying from hunger! 18 I will get up, go to my father, and tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’


20 “He got up and went to his father. While he was still far away, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, hugged his son, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’


22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick, bring out the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let us eat and celebrate, 24 because this son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.’ Then they began to celebrate.


25 “His older son was in the field. As he approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. 27 The servant told him, ‘Your brother is here! Your father killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 The older brother was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.


29 “He answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I’ve been serving you, and I never disobeyed your command, but you never gave me even a young goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours arrived after wasting your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’


31 “The father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 But it was fitting to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.’”



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



The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                        II Corinthians 7:10


10 In fact, godly sorrow produces repentance, which leads to salvation, leaving no regret.


What Do You Mean When You Say To God, “I’m Sorry” ?



This Morning’s Hymn of the Day                                                 Hymn 304     “Jesus Sinners Does Receive”


Jesus sinners does receive;  Oh, may all this saying ponder

Who in sin’s delusions live   And from God and heaven wander.

Here is hope for all who grieve–  Jesus sinners does receive.


Sheep that from the fold did stray   Are not by the Lord forsaken;

Weary souls who lost their way   Are by Christ, the Shepherd, taken

In his arms that they may live–   Jesus sinners does receive.


I, a sinner, come to You   With a penitent confession.

Savior, show me mercy, too;   Grant for all my sins remission.

Let these words my soul relieve–  Jesus sinners does receive.


Jesus sinners does receive.   Even I have been forgiven.

And when I this earth must leave,   I shall find an open heaven.

Dying, still to him I cleave  –  Jesus sinners does receive.     Amen



After which the Congregation will remain seated for



The Pre-Sermon Greeting


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



Today’s Sermon Text                                                                                                                    Luke 7:36-50


36 A certain one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him. Jesus entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 Just then a sinful woman from that town learned that He was reclining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 stood behind Him near His feet weeping, and began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she began to wipe them with her hair while also kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this Man were a Prophet, He would realize who is touching Him and what kind of woman she is, because she is a sinner.”


40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”  He said, “Teacher, say it.”  41 “A certain  moneylender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he forgave them both. So, which of them will love him more?”   43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the larger debt forgiven.”


Then He told him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, but you did not give Me water for My feet. Yet she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give Me a kiss, but she, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with perfume. 47 Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that is why she loved so much. But the one who is forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”   49 Those reclining at the table with Him began to say among themselves, “Who is this Who even forgives sins?”      50 He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”


Who Do You Know Who Needs God’s Forgiving Grace?



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 Respond To God’s Word through our Offerings


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today during today’s worship

service those in attendance may leave their offerings in the offering plates

by the exit door at the close of our service today.

For those watching today’s service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:  

1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address

(415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go online to our website (

and use the giving option there.


At the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for


We Bring Our Prayers to the Lord


            The Prayers for this Day  – 


In our Prayers this morning we include:


A Prayer of Intercession for Mary Fisher (wife of Pastor Wayne Fisher)

Mary remains hospitalized at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, recovering

a stroke caused by a brain aneurysm;


A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Vic Walker, whom our Lord

successfully took through a heart operation this past Thursday



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,   forever and ever.  Amen.



We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


P:         The Lord be with you.


C:         (sung)    And also with you.



P:         Lift up your hearts.


C:         (sung) We lift them up to the Lord.



P:         Let us give thanks to the Lord our God


C:         (sung) It is right to give Him thanks and praise.



            P:         Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!   In love He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.   He sends His Holy Spirit to testify that we are His children, to strengthen us when we are weak, and to enable us to grow in our faith in the one, true God.


Now have come the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ.  To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and thanks and honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen


(Sung)    Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord of hosts. 

The whole earth is full of Your glory

You are my God and I will exalt You.

I will lift You up for You have become my salvation.

Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord of hosts. 

The whole earth is full of Your glory



The Words of Institution


P:         “The peace of the Lord be with you always.”


            C:         (sung)    Amen.


O Christ, Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world;

Have mercy on us.

O Christ, Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.

O Christ, Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world;

Grant us Your peace.   Amen.



After which the Congregation may be seated.



The Exhortation Regarding the Lord’s Supper                                                                                               


The Distribution of the Sacramental Elements




                                                                                 (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.                            

     We believe, according to Scripture, that only those who are “one,” that is, in complete doctrinal agreement, united in a common public confession of faith, are to commune together at the same altar (see I Corinthians 10:17 and I Corinthians 1:10).

     To be “in communion” means to share and to hold in common.   By eating and drinking at our Lord’s Table, we are not only sharing in, with, and under the bread and wine, Jesus’ very body and blood…we are also publicly declaring that we hold in common a specific confession of faith.  In other words, as a result of having comprehensively studied the Scriptures together all of our communicants have agreed to accept and proclaim the same Biblical doctrines and practices.

     Through membership in a particular church body (for us, that church body is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), each person makes a public statement that he/she is in full agreement with the teachings and practices of that body.  Because not every church body or Lutheran Synod teaches and practices the same things, we in the WELS want to be honest in our recognition of the doctrinal differences that, here on earth, separate us from other church bodies.   Please bear in mind that we are not, in any way, judging the legitimacy of your Christian faith.  Still, we ask that  if you have not (upon study of the Word with us) declared yourself to be in full doctrinal agreement with us, you would respectfully not join us in the Lord’s Supper this morning.  

     It is our prayer that our Scripture-based practice of “Close Communion” will encourage anyone among us today who is not presently in full fellowship with us to seriously examine the teachings and practices of his/her church in order to determine if those teachings and practices are really in full agreement with God’s Word. 

     And if you are guest among us today, we want you to know that it is our earnest desire that you might become familiar with the Biblical doctrines our congregation confesses, in order 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 understanding and respect of our Communion practice. 





The First Distribution Hymn                                  Hymn 309   “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord”


1 Draw near and take the body of the Lord, And drink the holy blood for you outpoured.

Offered was he for greatest and for least,  Himself the victim and himself the priest.


2 He that his saints in this world rules and shields  To all believers life eternal yields,

With heav’nly bread makes them that hunger whole, Gives living waters to the thirsty soul.


3 Come forward, then, with faithful hearts sincere,  And take the pledges of salvation here.

Before your altar, Lord, your servants bow; In this your feast of love be with us now.




The Second Distribution Hymn                                 Hymn 315   “Here, O My Lord I See You Face to Face”


1 Here, O my Lord, I see You face to face;   Here would I touch and handle things unseen,

Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,  And all my weariness upon You lean.


2 This is the hour of banquet and of song;  Here is the heav’nly table spread anew.

Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong  The brief bright hour of fellowship with You.


3 I have no help but Yours nor do I need   Another arm but yours to lean upon.

It is enough, O Lord, enough indeed;   My strength is in Your might, Your might alone.


4 Mine is the sin but Yours the righteousness;   Mine is the guilt but Yours the cleansing blood.

Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace:  Your blood, Your righteousness, O Lord, my God.


5 Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear.   The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.

The bread and wine remove, but You are here,  Nearer than ever, still my Shield and Sun.


6 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,   Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,

Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,   The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.



following the distribution of the Lord’s Supper at the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation will rise



The Thanksgiving


(Sung)   Thank the Lord and sing His praise.   Tell everyone what He has done.

Let all who seek the Lord rejoice, and proudly bear His name.

He renews His promises and leads His people forth in joy,

With shouts of thanksgiving, Alleluia!   Alleluia!



The Closing Prayer


P:         Hear the prayer of Your people, O Lord, that the lips which have praised You here may glorify You in the world, that the eyes which have seen the coming of Your Son may long for His coming again, and that all who have received in his true body and blood the pledge of Your forgiveness may be restored to live a new and holy life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.    Amen.



The Benediction


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


            The LORD bless you and keep you

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

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



The Closing Hymn                                                                     Hymn 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.       Amen






Last Week at Grace Lutheran                                                                                                                           

Sunday Worship Attendance: 71                            Sunday School: 5

Budgetary Offerings:  $ 2417.75                Benevolence: $100           Tuesday  Bible Class:  11

            Midweek Lenten Worship:   25           Wednesday Offerings:    Budgetary:  $252         Endowment Fund: $600


Looking Ahead For the Family of Grace Lutheran Church


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

                                    Resumption of Voters’ meeting                                        Bible Class & Sunday School

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

            Tuesday          Adult Bible Class, 10:30 a.m.

                                    Church Council Meeting, 6 p.m.   

            Wednesday     Midweek Lenten Worship Service # 4, 7:00 p.m.

            Saturday         Outreach Calling/Visitation, meet at church at 10:00 a.m.

                                                                                                            Sunday            Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m                                                                  Sunday School/Bible Class, 11:05 a.m.

                                    Confirmation Class, 12:00-1:15 p.m.


This Week’s Birthdays and Anniversaries         March 16 – Joseph and Kenzie Benedict;

March 16 – Adam Larson;     March 17 – Kent Swogger;    March 19 – Braden King;

March 22 – Emma Larson;      March 22 – Kent and Helen Mayer;   


Serving Us This Coming Sunday                                                         Elders:   Tim Pfortmiller & Vic Walker

Ushers:   Robbie Hahn, John Johnson, Tom Otto, Kent Mayer

Altar Guild:    Harriet Johnson, Debbie Jones, Marilyn Outlaw


Time Change NEXT WEEKEND….technically at 2 a.m. this coming Sunday, March 14th, we all get to turn our clocks AHEAD one hour.   Yes, it means we lose an hour’s sleep, but the reward is that we get an extra hour of daylight in the evening from now on.   So, before you go to bed a hour earlier this coming Saturday evening, don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead.   And getting that extra hour’s sleep will mean you’ll be fresh and ready to join us for worship this coming Sunday morning.   We’ll see you bright and early then!


Church Council Meeting Tuesday – Council members, please keep in mind that we are meeting in the gym this coming Tuesday evening, March 9th, at 6 p.m.


Voters Meeting Continuation Today – After worship today we’ll continue our Voters’ Meeting from last Sunday (which we recessed).   Today’s meeting will allow us to look over, discuss and receive answers regarding our financial matters.


“Bible Classes Today and Tuesday – Today’s adult Bible class is studying First John (this morning we’ll be talking about  our responsibility to love one another in chapters 3 & 4).   On Tuesday mornings from 10:30-11:30 we’re studying First Kings.   Tuesday’s class will continue to examine  Solomon’s efforts to build and dedicate a Temple for the Lord, as that story is recorded in I Kings 7-9.


Who will you bring to worship this Easter Sunday?   …..Your son or daughter?   Grandchildren?    Your parents?  An unchurched neighbor?   Someone with whom you work?    How about a stranger that you’ve yet to meet….but will meet between now and Easter Sunday?    Maybe even a member of Grace who hasn’t been in church with us for a very long time…..?  


Midweek Lenten Worship  This Wednesday evening (March 10th ), at 7:00 p.m. we will be holding our fourth midweek Lenten worship service.  Wednesday evening’s service will continue our Sunday/Wednesday Lenten worship series,  “Our Spiritual Vision Problems and How They Can Be Corrected.”    The focus of the service

Wednesday evening will be on God’s Remedy for Macular Degeneration,” based on John 11:45-53; 19:12-15.    Please make it your priority to join us!


Special Holy Week Worship Services Reminder  – In less than one month we’ll have two special opportunities to gather together here for worship during the week we know as Holy Week..  We urge all of you to make your preparations and plans now so that you will be able to join us for our Maundy Thursday (April 01) worship service with the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m., and our April 2nd Good Friday worship service, which will also begin at 7:00 p.m.