The Eighth Sunday of the Epiphany Season

also known as Quinquagesima (50) Sunday

and, as the Sunday of the Transfiguration

February 27, 2022

“I Saw His Face..And All Is Well”

A ship was in grave distress, caught in a severe storm.   The passengers were all alarmed.   Finally one of them,

 against orders, went up on deck, perilously – yet safely – making his way to the bridge.   The seaman piloting the ship was at his post, firmly holding onto the ship’s wheel.   Seeing the passenger enter the bridge, obviously very afraid, he turned toward him and gave a reassuring smile and nodded his head

toward the man.   After speaking with the ship’s captain and other crew members, he returned below to his fellow passengers.   The told them, “As soon as I stepped onto the bridge, I looked into the face of the ship’s pilot and he smiled at me.  From that moment on, I was certain ‘All is well.’”

……..”I looked into the face of the ship’s pilot and he smiled at me.   From that moment on I was certain ‘All is well.’”…….That’s a good way to describe what happened at Jesus’ transfiguration.   Our Savior took with Him to the top of a mountain, Peter, James and John.   There Jesus was changed, transformed through an astonishing glow that could never be duplicated on earth.   In addition to His unearthly glow, two great believers of the past, Elijah and Moses, suddenly appeared.   Stunned, Jesus’ disciples didn’t know what to make of what was taking place.

It was the often-impulsive Peter who suggested they should build three shelters, monuments really, for this wondrous occasion.   Not without reason he added that they should all stay on that mountain top for some time and enjoy the experience. 

However, the LORD had something else in mind.    Out of the blue, a voice from heaven spoke: “This is my beloved Son;   listen to Him.”   The disciples were dumb-struck, confused, and – frankly – terrified.   Just as suddenly as Jesus’ glory, the two heavenly visitors, and the voice of God had manifested themselves…..everything was over and gone.

Jesus told them to follow Him down the mountain and that they were not supposed to tell anyone what they experienced.  

Peter, James and John could as much have thought to themselves, “We’ve seen the face of our Divine Pilot, and He smiled.  All is well.”   After all, they had just experienced the glory of God through Jesus, Moses and Elijah.  What’s more, they had heard the voice of God Himself!    

Somewhat naturally, their first impulse was to stay put on that mountaintop with all that heavenly glory surrounding them….to stay and worship what they saw and heard….to be at peace and remain secure through God’s presence and power.   

Many times, as Christians we would also like to have that kind of mountaintop experience in our lives of faith.   “If only Jesus would reveal His power and His presence to us!”   Sometimes, Christians even feel (or have been told) that if their lives aren’t always Spiritually glorious, then something’s wrong with their faith.   This “false theology of glory” suggests that if you aren’t healthy, wealthy, and wise….if you aren’t feeling good or enjoying success, it’s because something is wrong with you, and, in particular, something’s wrong with your faith.   The corrupt thinking behind that is that if you’re a follower of Jesus, then everything’s supposed to be good, great, even glorious.

But Jesus never taught that…..and He definitely didn’t experience that in His own life and ministry.   Remember?   He was chased out his homeland as a baby, when Herod tried to kill Him.   He was rejected by the people of His hometown at the start of His ministry.   The large crowds that followed Him through the first years of His ministry quit on Him when He wouldn’t tell them what they wanted to hear.   

To top it all off, after His transfiguration experience on the mountain, let’s remember what Jesus did.    He went down the mountain, back into a world of suffering, sickness and sin.  We’re told that He “set his face toward Jerusalem”….which mean He headed resolutely toward His cross.    

Without a doubt, our Savior was personally blessed and encouraged by that mountaintop experience.   He also recognized that it was good for His disciples to see His glory, to get a glimpse of the heaven that was ahead for them.   But our LORD also knew that His work of completing our redemption was still ahead of Him….down in the valley of the shadow of death, down in the unfathomable misery of His assuming our fallen, sinful human condition that would take Him to the cross, to enduring all that hell is for our sakes, so that we might be forgiven and reconciled to God.

It was on Calvary’s cross that Jesus experienced the ultimate horror and brutality of humanity’s sinfulness.  There He experienced a depth of suffering as our Substitute under God’s wrath against sin that you and I – praise God! – will never know.   He experienced eternal death for us so that, through His substitutionary sacrifice for us, and through His glorious resurrection on Easter, He could conquer sin, death and Satan for us…..and secure our eternal salvation, through faith in Him.  

It was on His way to the cross that Jesus stopped on that mountain to be transfigured, and to be encouraged for His redemptive work.  Then, He came down that mountain, Spiritually encouraged, prepared to complete His mission to be the world’s – and so our – Savior.  

Today, He calls you and me – as He called His disciples 20 centuries ago – to join Him in the often-hard work of pointing souls to heaven.  And today we can find encouragement too, as those disciples and our Savior were, by the fact that, through Jesus’ His transfiguration (in which we also participate by faith, confident in the reliability of the Holy Scriptures), we have seen our heavenly Pilot’s glorious face…..assuring us that He is our God and Lord.  And so we, too, are confident that all will be well for us!

Today’s Place on the “Church Calendar”    

This date on the “Church Calendar” has been known by a variety of names down through the centuries, such as: the Last Sunday in Epiphany, the Last Sunday of “Pre-Lent,”  also as “Quinquagesima Sunday” and as the Sunday of the Transfiguration.   Each name holds significance for us on this somewhat “transitional” Sunday. 

As the traditional “Sunday of the Transfiguration,” this day “transitions” us out of Epiphany season and into the penitential season of Lent.  We do so by recalling the glory and power that belong to Jesus as the Almighty God (and which He voluntarily chose to lay aside during His state of humiliation).  It was His divine glory which our Savior manifested for His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration.  That day He also informed His “inner circle” of apostles that, although He soon would be put to death by His enemies, He would rise three days later as the ultimate Victor over sin, Satan, and the grave.  The occasion of the Transfiguration, then, is a fitting “transition” between Epiphany’s emphasis on Christ revealing His power and glory as the LORD through His message and miracles, and the season of Lent’s dual focus on Christ’s sacrificial, atoning death for our sins. (the midweek services) and Christ’s — and His believing children’s — victories over sin, death and the Devil (on the Sundays of Lent).

This morning is also, of course, the Final Sunday of the Epiphany Season.  “Epiphany,” as many of you know, means “to reveal” or “to manifest.”  Over the past seven weeks we’ve been examining select portions of God’s Word through which Jesus’ deity has been demonstrated by either His miracles or His preaching.  Often, those Scripture lessons also contained an evangelism/Christian witnessing element – which is another of the Epiphany emphases.   Finally, today is the last Sunday of a 3 Sunday period known as “Pre-Lent.”  Through the ancient (Latin) title of “Quinquagesima,” we are reminded  that there are only fifty days before the Church celebrates Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday (Quinquagesima means “fifty”).   

Today’s Worship Service and Lessons    

The traditional thrust of this Sunday is to recall the majestic way through which Jesus displayed His divine power and authority as the only true God during a unique event in His public ministry:  the transfiguration.   The words of today’s Sermon Hymn capture the apostle Peter’s expression of joy at being in the presence not only of Moses and Elijah, but especially His “transfigured Lord.”   In today’s Gospel Lesson (and it’s parallel account, our Sermon Text)  Peter wanted to stay on that mountaintop, basking in the glory of God, far removed from the mundane matters and wearying pressures of daily life.  But, just as Jesus had to come down from the mountaintop in order to continue His mission that would inevitably lead to Him climbing one more mountain, Calvary, on which He would suffer death by crucifixion to carry out His mission of saving sinful mankind, so Peter had to come down from the mountain and go back to the less-awesome (and arguably more arduous) side of life.  At times each of us would also like to set aside our responsibilities and get away from all the headaches, hassles, and heartbreaks of life by sequestering ourselves away in a more secure and less threatening spiritual environment where all we have to do is commune with the Lord.   Granted, that day will come when we are with our glorious Lord forever in heaven.  However, in the meantime, like Peter whose faith was strengthened through being an eyewitness to Jesus’ glorious transfiguration (Peter later speaks about this to encourage others in today’s Epistle Lesson), we must leave the spiritual safety of this house of worship later today and go back out into the world in which we live in order to work for our Lord here on earth — keeping our hearts and minds firmly focused on our glorious Lord and His promises to us.  Most important we must remember (as Peter did) that we never come down from this mountaintop alone, nor do we traverse the other mountains of life all by ourselves;  Jesus is always with us, promising to cheer and direct us with His power and through His Word, and to lovingly support us as we go through every change and challenge of life.  In today’s Old Testament Lesson we see God’s glory revealed to an exhausted, discouraged Elijah who was running for his life from Jezebel’s death threats, and who was ready to just give up and die.   The LORD encourages Elijah to continue in his work as a prophet, coming to Elijah – not in an impressive earthquake or violent wind (as one might expect) but – through a quiet, small voice.  So, today, many people wrongly expect to be spiritually impressed by some display of God’s awesome power – and so miss out on the presence and power of the LORD as He comes to them through the simple, quiet voice of Holy Scripture.  

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 

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 fills  my life with peace and purpose.  Amen.

Pre-service prayer   Pre-worship music

The Greeting and Invitation to Worship

We Worship Our Lord

The Invocation

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

The Psalm for Today Psalm 8

O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!   Set this glory of Yours above the heavens. 

From the lips of little children and nursing babies You have established strength because of Your foes, to put a stop to the enemy and the avenger. 

Whenever I look up at Your heavens, the works of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place –  what is man that You remember him, the Son of Man that You pay attention to Him?

Nevertheless, You make Him suffer need, apart from God for a little while, but Your  crown Him with glory and honor. 

You make Him the Ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under His feet: all flocks and cattle, and even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea, which pass through the currents of the seas.

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

After which the Congregation will be seated for

The Opening Hymn   “Christ’s Majesty Displayed, How Fair!”

(Sung to the melody, “From Heav’n Above To Earth I Come”;   cwh 2001)

Christ’s majesty displayed, how fair!  A glimpse of what the Church shall share.

His glory on the mount He showed  When brighter than the sun, He glowed.

From age to age the Word declares:   To Peter, James and John, all there

With Moses and Elijah….He  Revealed His heav’nly deity.

The Father’s voice, from up above   Proclaims “This is the Son I love,

With all He does I am well-pleased.  Let all unto His words give heed.”


This radiant Lord, God’s sinless Son, Upon the cross the vict’ry won – 

For sinners He His life laid down To earn for us our heav’nly crown.

With shining face and bright array   Christ manifests for us today

The glory of His dwelling place   Which we’ll enjoy through faith, by grace.    Amen.

The Confession of our Sins

Pastor  Let us join now in confessing our sins to God our Father.

Congregation Almighty Lord God, we have come together to stand in Your presence,   +   to hear Your Word, and to worship You.

Pastor But who may appear in Your presence, Heavenly Father, and who may call on You for help?

Congregation He who has clean hands and a pure heart;   +   He shall receive blessings from the Lord.

Pastor O holy and righteous God, You alone can make us clean.  We have rebelled against You and become worthless.  But Your mercies never end;  they are new every day.  At Your command and promise, therefore, we come to You and confess our sins.

Congregation Miserable person that I am,   +   I confess and lament to You, O most holy God,  +   that I  am a weak and sinful creature,  + guilty of every sin, of unbelief, and of blasphemy. +   I also confess that Your

 Word has not brought forth good fruit in me.   +   I hear it, but do not receive it earnestly.   +   I do not show works of love toward my neighbor.   +   I am full of anger, hate, and envy.   +   I am impatient, greedy, and bent on every evil.   +   Therefore my heart and conscience are heavy.   +   Lord, I ask You, free me from my sins,   +   strengthen my faith,   +   and comfort my weak conscience by Your divine Word,   +   that I may obtain Your promised grace.

Pastor Having faithfully confessed your sins, now hear Your heavenly Father’s promise of forgiveness to you.  Jesus explained God’s will and promise as clearly as possible in John 6:40 when He said, “For

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

We Respond To God’s Forgiveness

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow   Praise Him, all creatures here, below.

Praise Him above, Ye heav’nly host.    Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.   Amen.

The Prayer for “Quinquagesima” Sunday

Lord Jesus Christ, +   You are a safe refuge in this troubled world.    +   In Your Word You assure us    +   that You are our Great High Priest,  +   Who offered Yourself as the supreme + once-for-all-time sacrifice  +   to deliver us from the curse of our sins   +   from the fear of death, +  and from the Devil’s power.    +  In Your mercy You have exalted us   +   to be members of  Your Church now and forever.    

Precious Savior, as we mediate upon Your Word today,   +   through the Holy Spirit’s working   +   fill our hearts with the desire to always love what is right   +   and to strive to avoid whatever is evil in Your sight.   

Enable us to follow You obediently   + to live sacrificially for You,  +  and to serve You faithfully all our lives   +   until that day comes   +   when You call our earthly pilgrimage to a close   +   and graciously grant us the fullness   +   of everlasting life in heavenly glory with You. +   Hear and answer our prayer, dear Lord,   +   as we offer it in Your name,   +   and for Your sake.  +   Amen.

We Listen to God’s Word

The Old Testament Lesson I Kings 19:1-18

Then Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the fact that he had killed all their prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to say to Elijah, “May the gods punish me severely and even double it, if by this time tomorrow I have not made your life like one of theirs.”    3 Elijah was afraid, and he ran for his life. He went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. There he sat down under a broom tree, where he prayed that he would die. He said, “I’ve had enough, Lord. Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 Then he lay down and went to sleep under the broom tree.

Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”   6 Then he looked around, and near his head there was a loaf of bread baking on coals and a jar of water, so he ate and drank, and then he lay down again.    7 Then the angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, because the journey is too much for you.”   8 So he got up and ate and drank. Then, with the strength gained from that food, he walked for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 He came to a cave and spent the night there.

Then the word of the Lord suddenly came to him, saying, “Why are you here, Elijah?”    10 He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of Armies, but the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant. They have torn down your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking to take my life.”   11 Then the Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is passing by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains and shattered rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.   After the wind came an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.   12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.    After the fire there was a soft, whispering voice.

13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak, and he went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. Then a voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?”    14 He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of Armies, but the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant. They have torn down your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking to take my life.”   15 Then the Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came and go to the Wilderness of Damascus. When you get there, you are to anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16 You will also anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah as prophet in your place. 17 Whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill, and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18 But I have preserved in Israel seven thousand whose knees have not bent to Baal and whose lips have not kissed him.”

The Epistle Lesson   II Peter 2:12-21

10 Therefore, brothers, be more eager to make your calling and election sure for yourselves.   r if you do these things, you will never stumble. 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly supplied with an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 That is why I intend always to keep reminding you of these things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to keep you wide awake by reminding you, 14 because I know that the putting off of my tent is going to happen soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 I will also make every effort so that after my departure you always have a reminder of these things.

16 To be sure, we were not following cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the powerful appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when the voice came to him from within the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We heard this voice, which came out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 We also have the completely reliable prophetic word. You do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts, 20 since we know this above all else: No prophecy of Scripture comes about from someone’s own interpretation. 21 In fact, no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were being carried along by the Holy Spirit.

This Morning’s Gospel Lesson Mark 9:1-32

He said to them, “Amen I tell you: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God come with power.”   2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him and led them up a high mountain where they were alone by themselves. There he was transfigured in front of them. 3 His clothes became radiant, dazzling white, whiter than anyone on earth could bleach them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them together with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He did not know what to say because they were terrified.   7 A cloud appeared and overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him.”   8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing with one another what this “rising from the dead” meant.   11 They asked him, “Why do the experts in the law say that Elijah must come first?”

12 He said to them, “Elijah does come first and restores all things. Why was it also written about the Son of Man that he must suffer many things and be rejected? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they wanted, just as it was written about him.”

14 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some experts in the law were arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people in the crowd saw Jesus, they were very excited and ran to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”   17 One man from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. 18 Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”

19 “O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied. “How long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring him to me.”   20 They brought the boy to Jesus. As soon as the spirit saw him, it threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell on the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.   21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been happening to him?”   “From childhood,” he said. 22 “It has often thrown him into the fire and into the water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”   23 “If you can?” Jesus said to him. “All things are possible for the one who believes.”   24 The child’s father immediately cried out and said with tears, “I do believe. Help me with my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit. “You mute and deaf spirit,” he said, “I command you to come out of him and never enter him again!”   26 The spirit screamed, shook the boy violently, and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many of them said, “He’s dead!” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him up, and he stood up.   28 When Jesus went into a house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why were we not able to drive it out?”   29 He said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out, except by prayer and fasting.”

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know this, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill him. But three days after he is killed, he will rise.”    32 But they did not understand the statement and were afraid to ask him about it.

After which the Congregation will rise to confess

the faith we share together in the Triune God through the words of

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.   And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;  Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost;  Born of the virgin Mary;  Suffered under Pontius Pilate;  Was crucified, dead, and buried;  He descended into hell;  The third day He rose again from the dead;  He ascended into heaven;  And sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.   I believe in the Holy Ghost;  The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints;  The forgiveness of sins;  The resurrection of the body;  And the life everlasting.  Amen.

The Children’s Lesson John 1:14

We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only,  Who came from the Father full of grace and truth.

          One Shining Moment…..That Proves Our Faith Is Not Wasted

The Hymn of the Day   Hymn 97  “Down From The Mount of Glory”

Down from the mount of glory Came Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

Recall the wondrous story, Rich gem in sacred Word.

Again your faith will view him in double glory here; 

The greater homage due him Will in your life appear. 

Transfigured, Christ, the lowly, Stood radiant in the light, 

Light found in Godhead solely, For human eyes too bright. 

Then came a voice from heaven, Confirmed what here we see; 

The words “my Son” were given To seal his deity. 

Yet mark this glory hidden! See him the mount descend 

And, by the Father bidden, His willing footsteps bend 

To seek humiliation In deepest depths of woe, 

To suffer degradation No mind can probe or know. 

Strange how his journey ended! In love that is his fame 

Our Lord again ascended A mount—the hill of shame. 

Upon the cross he proffered Himself to agony; 

His holy soul he offered To set the guilty free. 

Then hail the double glory Of Jesus Christ, our Lord, 

And let the wondrous story Full peace and joy afford! 

The holy mount acclaims him The majesty divine; 

Mount Calvary proclaims him Redeemer—yours and mine.

The Greeting

Grace and peace be yours in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  May the God of peace fill you with all joy in believing!   Amen.

Today’s Sermon Text Mark 9:1-32

our Gospel Lesson

It Is Good For Us To Be Here

following which the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for

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.

Lord, Receive our Offerings and Prayers

Our Offerings of Love to our Lord

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

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

2) You can donate on our website: 

the Congregation will please rise as the offerings are brought to the altar

The Prayer for Transfiguration Sunday

Included in our prayers today are:

A Prayer of Intercession for Dan Beck as he continues to contend with the challenge of cancer;

A Prayer of Intercession regarding the fighting that is occurring in the country of Ukraine;

A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of Jean Goeringer, whom our 

Lord called home to heaven this past Wednesday;   and

A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of

Kent and Karen Swogger, whose wedding anniversary is Wednesday

and Jennifer and Robbie Hahn, whose anniversary is Friday

P Finally, O Lord, we commend ourselves and all for whom we pray, into Your hands, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.   We offer this prayer in His name, and continue now — by praying:

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  

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 Hymn 95    “How Good Lord, To Be Here”

1 How good, Lord, to be here! Your glory fills the night;

Your face and garments, like the sun, Shine with unborrowed light.

2 How good, Lord, to be here Your beauty to behold,

Where Moses and Elijah stand, Your messengers of old.

3 Fulfiller of the past, Promise of things to be,

We hail your body glorified And our redemption see.

4 Before we taste of death, We see your kingdom come;

We long to hold the vision bright And make this hill our home.

5 How good, Lord, to be here! Yet we may not remain;

But since you bid us leave the mount, Come with us to the plain.

Silent Prayer, Announcements, Post-service music


Last Week   Worship Attendance: 66   Communed: 52   Online views: 15

 Bible Class:  24 (10 Online)    Sunday School: 6    Tuesday Bible Class: 11

Budgetary Offerings: $1022 Online Offerings:   $431.18      

Memorial in honor of Rich Benske:   $50      Capital Improvement: $10

Birthdays and Anniversaries        Feb 27 Lindsey Bratton;              Feb 27 – Helen Mayer;       Mar 02 – Ken Abernathy;      Mar 02 – John Luedtke;               Mar 02 – Kent & Karen Swogger;     

Mar 04 – Ann King;      Mar 04 – Robbie & Jennifer Hahn

Serving Us Next Sunday                              Altar Guild: Harriet Johnson, Tina Wambold

Ushers:   Fred Cusanelli, Chris Roberts, Trent Schroeder              Elders:   Vic Walker, Steve Stone

Looking Ahead at Grace Lutheran Church

Feb 27 (Sun) Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m    Fellowship, 10:40-11:05 am 

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

Mar 01 (Tues) Morning Bible Study, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Mar 02 (Wed) ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE, 7:00 p.m.   

Mar 06 (Sun) Choir, 8:30 a.m. Worship 9:30 a.m. with Communion

Fellowship 10:45 a.m. BC/Sunday School, 11:05 p.m.    Youth Confirmation, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Easter Outreach Encouragement: “Each one Brings One”….   We’re a long way from Easter Sunday (April 17th), but Easter always arrives faster than we think.   Our hope (and plea) this year is for every person  and family in our congregation this year to starting praying now about those persons that you can invite to join you (and us) to celebrate Christ’s resurrection here at Grace Lutheran Church.   (You can invite them for an earlier Sunday service, too, if you’d like.)    Imagine how wonderful it would be for them and for all of us, if everyone in our church family could bring one person to worship here that day!   That can happen, through prayer, with each of us purposefully inviting (and, if needed, transporting) someone…..and with God’s blessing.   Many non-churched persons, if they are inclined to go to church at all in the course of a year, will come to celebrate on  Easter.  What’s more, 15% of non-churched people say that they would come to church – if only someone would invite them.   Maybe you’ll have to invite one, two, or seven or eight people….but if we ask enough people, those guests will come.   So, please pray and plan now already, to make those Easter invitations to your friends, relatives, acquaintances …..and even to folks you don’t know at all.   And may God bless our efforts…to His glory!  

This Week’s Bible Classes

In Bible Class today we’ll be studying what God has to say to us through I Corinthians chapter 14.  For our Tuesday morning Bible class we’ll continue our study of 2 Kings.  This week are in chapter 25.  

Early Rummage Annoucement…..our Women’s Group will sponsor a  rummage sale again this year…..on May 14-15.   As you start planning your spring cleaning, please keep our rummage sale in mind.  For those who might need to bring items earlier than the week prior to the sale, early drop offs will be available in early May.   Please speak with Pastor about this  when the time comes.  We’ll do our best to work with you.


so that you can make the necessary scheduling adjustments and plans to enable you to join us for all of these services.   Beginning this coming Wednesday, March 2nd, at 7 p.m., and continuing through Wednesday, April 6th, our congregation will be offering six mid-week evening worship services to assist you in spiritually preparing for the commemoration of our Savior’s death and the Easter celebration of His resurrection.   We hope that you’ll make it your priority to be with us as we gather together each Wednesday in March and early April.    Please also consider using these special services as opportunities to invite any non-churched friends and family you know to spend some time with us gathered around God’s Word.  These midweek services also give us an opportunity to invite to worship with us people who ordinarily have to work on Sunday.   Please pray about whom you might encourage to attend a midweek  service, and then offer that person or family your invitation (and maybe even a ride) to be in God’s house with us. In addition, please join us each Wednesday evening during Lent, from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. on for our soup and sandwich fellowship meals.  

Finally, please remember that something special will take place for this week’s Ash Wednesday (March 2nd) worship service:  our Synod’s Martin Luther College Choir will visit to present a sacred concert called “Age to Age.  As choirs from our Synod schools rarely visit churches in our area, this is a special opportunity that we hope you’ll take advantage of.    Please invite and bring others to be a part of this occasion, too.   If you are able, we could still use some help housing two pairs (male or female) of students after the concert.   They’d also need to be returned to church in the morning.   Please speak with Pastor if you might be willing to help.

I Corinthians, Chapter 14    

Babbling in Tongues…..or Worshiping with Order


How important is intelligible speech for edifying worship?   Consider this incident that happened

over 130 years ago in Nebraska.   A Lutheran “circuit rider” Pastor preached to a group of settlers in his native German language.   The people listened quite passively, showing almost no enthusiasm and barely responding to anything he said.   When he had finished conducting the service, he asked one of those who’d attended why everyone seemed so unresponsive.   He was simply told, “We are Swedes.  Most of us understood very little of what you said.”   Hmmmm.

Language is a blessing….but it can also be a curse.   Take, for example, our own English language, or should I say English “languages”?    As something of a “melting pot” of a number of languages, English has a huge assortment of nuances, archaic words, and colloquial expressions….as well as all sorts of new words and terms that can make it very hard to understand and speak…..even for “native” English speakers.   

Similarly, there are a large number of Biblical and theological terms that convey little or no meaning to those who have not yet become (or who do not wish to become) “schooled” in the Scriptures.   Simply put, the terminology of Christianity can be very difficult to understand.   And so the church today faces some rather challenging obstacles to communicating the Word of God in meaningful, faithful ways.

The language problem in first century Corinth was a bit different from the one which the church of today faces.  Corinth’s problems arose because individuals with a “gift of tongues” used and abused their gift – particularly during public worship.  What they were saying was meaningless to their fellow worshipers who were unable to interpret the particular “tongue” being spoken (kind of like the German-speaking pastor addressing the Swedish-speaking congregation).   And when several spoke in different languages at the same time, the confusion that reigned within the assembly was chaotic.

Overview of Chapter 14

Paul has been speaking over the past three chapters about the importance of propriety in the

Corinthians’ worship services.  Back in chapter 12 he touched on the matter of speaking in tongues when he discussed the diversity of Spiritual gifts with which God had blessed the congregation.   Here, in chapter 14, Paul speaks especially to the issue of the Gift of “tongues”….about its proper uses and abuses.  

The Apostle would much prefer that the Corinthian worship leaders “prophesy,” that is, speak the Word of God in a language that all the worshipers can understand.   But because he recognizes speaking in tongues as a gift of the Holy Spirit, he is not inclined to totally forbid its use in the church’s Gospel ministry.    However, Paul is compelled to point out the limitations of such speaking, and to outline the conditions necessary for orderly public worship.    Peace and good order naturally should prevail in public worship, since Christians will want to edify each other in worship, and will especially want to glorify God through their worship.

Prophesy is Preferable to “Tongues” (vv 1-5)

In verse 1, Paul reminds us that whatever he says about worship in this chapter must be understood and practiced according to the type of Christian, selfless love he described and praised back in chapter 13.   Also, in this verse he identifies prophesy (preaching the Word) as one of the more preferable gifts of the Spirit.

“Speaks in a tongue” – the possibilities for understanding this are:   a) that “tongues” refers to known, but foreign languages;    or,   b) tongues refers to ecstatic utterances, audible sounds which are not identifiable with any known language.    In any case, the tongues speaker had to have his message explained to those assembled, either by interpreting it himself, or by having a “gifted” (legitimate, qualified) interpreter explain it to the general group.

1.  Why is the gift of prophecy preferable to tongues?

2.  What are the three purposes of preaching that are identified in this section?

3.  By what criterion is any Spiritual gift to be judged?

Mere Sounds Do Not Edify the Church    (vv 6-12)

The differences in Spiritual gifts:  “The greatest” = love.

The greater gifts = those gifts that build up the church.

The lesser gifts = gifts that are only individually beneficial.

In this section Paul sets himself up as an example, with regard to speaking in tongues, holding before the Corinthians that the primary purpose of the Church in its use of the gifts of the Spirit is believers are built up in their faith.   In other words, the edification of the group is more important than the emotional satisfaction and edification of the individual.

1. If he had his choice, by what type of speaking/communication would Paul personally prefer to benefit the church?

2. `To illustrate the confusion and damage that can occur when “tongues” are abused in church, Paul makes a number of practical comparisons to the problems that tongues cause when misused.    Identify those comparisons.

3. Does the church use a theological/church language that is unintelligible to anyone who is not an “insider?”   If so, what can be done to improve, or even eliminate the problem?

Praying and Praising with Spirit and Mind (vv 13-19)

1. What’s the difference between praying/singing “with the Spirit” and praying/singing “with the mind?”

2. Is there anything wrong with exclaiming “Amen!” out loud in worship?   Why, or why not?

3. Paul mentions another purpose for prophesying/preaching in verse 18.   What is that other purpose?

4. What is Paul saying to you in verse 19?

5. Is any of our worship a thoughtless saying of words….merely parrot-like repetition?    Why does Paul ask (v, 15) for intelligent worship?

6. Are there people in our worship services who sing/speak through the “liturgical responses,” prayers, and hymns without paying the slightest attention to what they are saying?    What can be done to prevent this type of “thoughtless worship”?

Tongues are not beneficial to non-Christians   (vv 20-25)

Paul appeals to the Corinthians to sue mature, common sense in resolving this matter.   He calls on them once more to remember that speaking in tongues neither edifies ones fellow Christian, nor does it help convert the non-Christian.

1. How does Isaiah establish this point in Isaiah 28:11,12?   (The passage is quoted here in verse 21)

2. Paul asks his fellow Christians to consider how a non-believer visiting their worship service would react to someone speaking in tongues, versus to someone prophesying/preaching.   How would the outsider react to the tongues….and to preaching in understandable speech?

Let Good Order Prevail    (vv 26-33)

1. What insights does Paul give us into the Corinthian congregation’s structure for worship?

2. Why, if someone is going to speak in a tongue, must there be someone to interpret?

3. What, according to Paul, is one of the important responsibilities that the congregation has during public worship?

Paul’s Instructions by Divine Authority   (vv 34-40)

1. On what basis does Paul demand “good order” during worship?

2. How does the Word of our Lord in verses 34-35 affect our worship?   (See also I Timothy 2:12-15)

3. What about the woman who has no husband to represent her, or the woman whose husband is not a Christian?

4. By what authority does Paul speak here?

5. A pastor-friend of mine likes to refer to verse 40 as “One of the most abused passages in Scripture.”   How could his observation be properly understood?