The Festival of Pentecost    May 28, 2023   

also known as “Witsunday” (White Sunday)


More Power For Us….the Spiritual Legacy of Pentecost

Many of you will recall the famous eruption of Mount St. Helen in Washington state on May 18, 1980.   The story dominated the news for weeks, and even 40 years later it’s still often talked about.    The volcanic eruption propelled approximately one cubic mile of earth 60,000 feet into the air.   It shook the surrounding countryside and dumped volcanic ash on thousands of square miles of the Pacific Northwest.   (I actually have a small bottle of that ash sitting on one of my bookshelves at home, sent to me years ago by a cousin who lived in Spokane at the time of the blast).    On the day of the blast, one woman was quoted, complaining about what had occurred.   She said, “You know, that’s just like the government.  They knew Mount St. Helen was going to erupt.   Why didn’t they just get a bunch of bulldozers up there and push it shut?”   ….If only it really were that easy to control something as powerful as a volcanic eruption, or a hurricane or tornado, or a flood.   Terrific forces of nature (all, nonetheless, controlled by God) came into play that day on Mount St. Helen.  Humanly-speaking there was no stopping it.   Nothing humans can do can begin to control such awesome power!

     That’s the way it was on Pentecost.    Through God the Holy Spirit awesome power flowed into the hearts and lives of a small band of Christians in Jerusalem (numbering 120 souls).  It dramatically enabled them to powerfully proclaim His Word to others in a way they never had before.  God caused the Church to grow astonishingly that day…..with over 3000 souls being added to His Kingdom!   As we remember that amazing occasion this morning, we’ll also want to reflect on the way the Holy Spirit has also brought His amazing power into our own hearts and lives – not only converting us from unbelief to saving faith, but empowering us to lead Godly lives and to serve our Lord faithfully, and give our witness about Him to others – as we wait for the day when He will call us from our earthly service into His heavenly presence.

The History and Significance of Pentecost

     The Festival of Pentecost which we are observing today,   sometimes known as “The Birthday of the Christian Church.”  It commemorates Christ’s sending of the Holy Spirit upon the early Church.  It occurred fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ.  Even before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the day of Pentecost (the name is Greek for “50″) was an important day in the hearts of God’s Old Testament people.  Approximately 1400 years prior to Christ’s incarnation, faithful Jews observed it as “the Festival of Weeks” (Ex 34:22; Deut 16:10) making use of this occasion to thank God for His gift of the early wheat harvest (cf Leviticus 23:15). 

     The other designation for this day is the traditional title of “Whitsunday.”  It’s an old English term associated with the white garments that were customarily worn on Pentecost Sunday by those about to be baptized into the membership of the Church.  The early church’s practice of including the Sacrament of Baptism as a regular part of its Pentecost celebration was intended, in part,  to commemorate the reception of 3000 souls into the Holy Christian Church on the first Pentecost (which will be recounted in today’s opening Scripture Lesson, Acts 2).  


     Pentecost, as a Christian festival, dates back (obviously) to the first century although we have no concrete record of its formal, church-wide observance until the early 3rd century (a reference in I Corinthians 16: 8 probably is connected to the Jewish, rather than Christian, observance of Pentecost).   The liturgical color of the altar paraments and clerical vestments is red, which is the color for “the Church.”   Red symbolizes either the love of the Holy Spirit or the tongues of fire that rested on the disciples’ heads.  On Pentecost in Italy it is the custom to scatter rose leaves from the ceiling of the churches as an illustration to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues.  And so, in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy, Pentecost is called “Pascha rosatum.”   The French customary blow trumpets during the worship service, as a way of recalling the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the arrival of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s Scripture Lessons and Worship Service

     Our worship service today is dedicated to praising the Holy Spirit for His work of bringing people to faith and keeping them in the one true faith.   Recognizing that He does this faith-imparting and faith-strengthening work through “The Means of Grace,” that is – the Gospel of forgiveness and salvation as conveyed to us in the Inspired Word of God and as applied to us in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, it is fitting for us to go for our Spiritual growth to the Word as the centerpiece of our service today.   Accordingly…..

           Our Opening Scripture Lesson on this Pentecost Day is Luke’s inspired (and, most likely, eyewitness) account, found in Acts 2, of the Spirit’s dramatic coming with power to the Church in Jerusalem on that first Pentecost, nearly two millennia ago.   On that day, working through Peter’s Pentecost preaching, the Holy Spirit brought about the conversion of 3000 souls.   Then, as now, the Holy Spirit works through the preaching of the Gospel to bring souls from unbelief to faith, from hostility toward Christ to being in love with Him.   Let’s resolve today and in the future, to do as Peter did then:  to personally and collectively, faithfully and boldly proclaim the Gospel of forgiveness and salvation through Christ to others, and may the Spirit build the Church through our preaching of that Word.

           In this morning’s Children’s Lesson we’ll use the example of a cell phone, its battery and that ever-important battery charger to describe how the Holy Spirit works in us as our Spiritual “power source.”  He powers our faith and our ability to witness to others about Jesus, and to do the other work God assigned to us on earth.

           Today’s Old Testament Lesson relates to us the story of Moses’ being overwhelmed by the burdens of leading Israel, particularly of dealing with their complaints.  The Lord’s solution was to pour out the Holy Spirit on some of Israel’s elders, so that they might assist Moses in serving and guiding the nation.  1400 years later, in an even more dramatic way, God again poured out His Spirit on His Church to equip its members for service to Him.  

           Our  Gospel Lesson  presents Jesus promising His disciples that He will send them another Counselor (the Holy Spirit) Who will be with them forever once He [Jesus] returns to heaven.  Note in the closing verses one of the reasons for our certainty regarding the plenary (full) inspiration of the Scriptures:  the Spirit “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said.”

           Our Sermon today is based on verses 22-36 (italicized) of our opening reading (Acts 2).   We’ll focus on the “core” of Peter’s Pentecost sermon where he explains the significance of that day’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the crowd assembled before him.   We’ll concentrate on three elements of his message:   “The Main Point” (that Christ crucified and risen IS our Lord and Savior);    “God’s Plan” (first, that we have been saved by God’s grace [NOT our works/goodness], and also that God has brought us to faith [something we can’t do] through the faith-imparting work of the Holy Spirit);   and finally “Our Purpose” (which is to live Godly, faithful lives for our good and especially for God’s glory…..something the Holy Spirit empowers/enables us to do through our faithful use of His “Means of Grace” – namely, His Word and the Sacraments).

           Next, in what has become a “traditional” part of our congregation’s Pentecost observances, we will sing Hymn 177, “Come Holy Ghost Creator Blest,” as our Sequence Hymn  (a “sequence” hymn is a hymn sung between the morning’s various Scripture lessons).   Originally sung in Latin as “Veni Creator Spiritus,” this ancient hymn has been a customary part of Christian celebrations of Pentecost for 14 centuries.  Though the melody can be somewhat challenging to sing, please give it your best effort this morning, knowing you are joining countless Christians down through the centuries who have shared with you in the celebration of God the Holy Spirit’s work in and for the Church.  (To help those of you who might not be well acquainted with this hymn, our organist will play through the first verse in its entirety before we begin singing it today.)  

Welcome To Grace Lutheran Church    If you are a first time friend and guest today, we are honored that you’ve chosen to worship with us.  If you’ve been with us before, we are very glad to have you back!  We pray that you will be comfortable during the worship service and in these surroundings today.  If you have any questions about our congregation, or if we can be of service to you in any capacity, today or in the future, please talk with our Pastor or any of our other members.  At the conclusion of today’s service we encourage you to join those around you for a few minutes of Christian fellowship time (around snacks and drinks).   It will be held in our gymnasium/fellowship building – immediately east of this church structure.  Finally, we invite you to come back to Grace Lutheran on future Sundays to again join us in the worship of our Lord.   It would be our privilege to serve you with God’s Word as a regular part of our church family.  May the comfort of God’s love and His forgiveness through Jesus Christ be with you throughout this service, this day, and this week.



If You Would Like to Know More about this Congregation   because of your time spent among us today, our pastor is available to speak with you at your convenience.   We have available a number of informative brochures which you can find in our entryway.  They describe our church and the work we endeavor to do in Jesus’  name.  Some of them also explain the main Bible-based beliefs that we hold in common as members both of this Lutheran-Christian church family and of our parent church body, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (the WELS).   Please help yourself to them.  Communicant membership in Grace Lutheran Church is established by an informed declaration of fellowship upon transfer from a Lutheran congregation, or upon completion of our Pastor’s New Membership Course, whichever is appropriate for you.  To make a personal appointment to discuss this further, please speak with Pastor Huebner today after the service, or at your convenience.

Pre-Service Prayer     Heavenly Father, I pray that You would send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts this morning, as You so blessed Your Church on that first Pentecost Sunday, so many years ago.  As we meditate on Your Word and receive again the assurance of full forgiveness of all our sins through Christ Jesus, please renew and invigorate us all, that we might be comforted in all our afflictions, led into all truth, and equipped for every good work for You.   Bless our worship, study, and fellowship this morning in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Savior and Redeemer.  Amen.       




The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible,

Evangelical Heritage Version     Copyright 2019,   The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.

Used with permission.     Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831

Silent Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service music                                                                                                                                              


Pre-Service Hymn singing, beginning at 9:25 a.m.


We Praise Our God

The Opening Lesson for the Festival of Pentecost                                                                        Acts 2:1-47

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the rushing of a violent wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw divided tongues that were like fire resting on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, since the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak fluently.

5 Now there were godly Jewish men from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 When this sound was heard, a crowd came together and was confused, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were completely baffled and said to each other, “Look, are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them speaking in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, and of Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya around Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own languages the wonderful works of God.” 12 They were all amazed and perplexed. They kept saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocked them and said, “They are full of new wine.”

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and spoke loudly and clearly to them: “Men of Judea, and all you residents of Jerusalem, understand this, and listen closely to my words. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day. 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 This is what God says will happen in the last days:

I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.

Your sons and your daughters will prophesy.

Your young men will see visions.

Your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on My servants, both men and women,

I will pour out My Spirit in those days,

and they will prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in the sky above,

and signs on the earth below,

blood and fire and a rising cloud of smoke.

20 The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

21 And this will happen: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus the Nazarene was a Man recommended to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did through Him among you, as you yourselves know. 23 This Man, Who was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, you killed by having lawless men nail Him to a cross. 24 He is the One God raised up by freeing Him from the agony of death, because death was not able to hold Him in its grip.


25 “Indeed, David says concerning Him:

I saw the Lord always before Me.

Because He is at My right hand,

I will not be shaken.

26 Therefore My heart was glad,

and My tongue rejoiced.

My flesh also will rest in hope,

27 because You will not abandon My life to the grave,

nor will you let Your Holy One see decay.

28 You have made known to Me the paths of life.

You will fill Me with joy in Your presence.


29 “Gentlemen, brothers, I can speak confidently to you about the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that He would seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he saw what was coming and spoke about the resurrection of Christ, saying that He was neither abandoned to the grave nor did His flesh see decay.


32 “This Jesus is the One God has raised up. We are all witnesses of that. 33 So, after He was exalted to the right hand of God and after He received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father, He poured out what you are now seeing and hearing.


34 “For David did not ascend into heaven, and yet he says:

The Lord said to My Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, 35 until I make Your enemies a footstool under Your feet.’


36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

37 Now when the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Gentlemen, brothers, what should we do?”

38 Peter answered them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

40 He testified solemnly with many other words and was appealing to them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.

42 They continued to hold firmly to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread, and to the prayers. 43 Awe came over every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They were selling their possessions and property and were distributing the proceeds according to what anyone needed.

46 Day after day, with one mind, they were devoted to meeting in the temple area, as they continued to break bread in their homes. They shared their food with glad and sincere hearts, 47 as they continued praising God and being viewed favorably by all the people. Day after day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

The Opening Hymn                                                               Hymn 176 “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord”


Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord    May all your graces be outpoured

On each believer’s mind and heart    Your fervent love to them impart

Lord, by the brightness of your light    In holy faith your church unite

From ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue    This to your praise, O Lord, our God, be sung

Alleluia! Alleluia


Come, holy Light, guide divine       Now cause the word of life to shine

Teach us to know our God aright    And call Him Father, with delight

From ev’ry error keep us free    Let none but Christ our Master be

That we in living faith abide   In him, our Lord, with all our might confide

Alleluia! Alleluia


Come, holy Fire, comfort true    Grant us the will your work to do

And in your service to abide   Let trials turn us not aside

Lord, by your pow’r prepare each heart    And to our weakness strength impart

That bravely here we may contend   Through life and death to you, our Lord, ascend

Alleluia! Alleluia

the Congregation will rise for the invocation

The Invocation

Pastor                   We begin this service in the name of the Father

Congregation       Who gave us our lives through His almighty power.


P:        And of the Son

C:       Who redeemed our lives with His precious blood.


P:        And of the Holy Spirit

C:       Who gave us eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.

P:        Amen.

We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor      We have come together in the presence of God, our Heavenly Father, who created us to love and serve Him as His dear children.    But We have disobeyed Him through our thoughts, words, and actions, and

deserve only His wrath and punishment.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.   In the words of Jeremiah, we confess:

Congregation       Although our sins testify against us, O LORD, do something for the sake of Your name.    For our

                             backsliding is great;   we have sinned against You.


Pastor      In the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, we acknowledge how thoroughly sin fills our lives, even our very being:

Congregation       From within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.    All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’


Pastor      Along with the Apostle John, we recognize:

Congregation       If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.


Pastor      And in the words of David, before the Lord we plead:

Congregation       I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.   Against You, You only have I sinned   

                             and done what is evil in Your sight,   so that You are proved right when You speak    and justified when You judge.     Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


Pastor      Jesus says to His people:   “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven.”   Our Savior’s perfect life and sacrificial death have paid for the guilt and penalty of our sins, and for the sins of the whole world.   Do you believe this?

Congregation       Yes, I believe this.


Pastor      Then be assured that you are a dear child of God and an heir of everlasting life.   And carrying out my office as a called servant of Christ,  and according to His command and authority,   I forgive you all your sins   in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.     May the peace of God rest upon all of you.    Amen.

                                                                                                                                                           Hymn 609

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 name;   glad praises we sing.


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

Through trial and tempest, our Guide You have been;

When perils o’er take us, You will not forsake 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 Today

Almighty God,  +  bless the preaching of Your Word  + throughout Your Church on earth.   +   Continue to bless us with the gift of Your  Holy Spirit   +   so that we remain wise unto salvation through faith in Christ.   +   Also continue to equip us for faithful service to You   + and fill  us with joy as we carry out our work for You.   +   Strengthen our faith through Your Word and Sacraments  +   so that we will remain in the true Christian faith as long as we live.   +   We ask this in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ,  +   Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit,   + as the one, true God,   +   now and forever.   +  Amen.

The Sequence Hymn                                                              Hymn 177  “Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest”

                                                                                                                                                            verses 1-3





“Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest” (in its Latin original, “Veni Creator, Spiritus”)  is one of the oldest hymns in Christendom as well as in our hymnal.   Originally it was sung as a “chant” rather than as a congregational hymn.  By tradition this hymn has been part of the Christian Church’s observance of Pentecost for nearly 14 centuries.   That’s why we have chosen to include it in our worship this morning.   While its melody is somewhat foreign to our ears, please sing it with enthusiasm, and with the understanding that you are joining, this hymn of praise, a Pentecost-procession spanning some 1400 years.

1 Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,   And make our hearts your place of rest;

Come with your grace and heav’nly aid,   And fill the hearts which you have made.


2 To you, the Counselor, we cry,    To you, the gift of God most high;

The fount of life, the fire of love,   The soul’s anointing from above.


3 Your light to ev’ry thought impart,   And shed your love in ev’ry heart;

The weakness of our mortal state   With deathless might invigorate.

We Listen to God’s Word

The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                Numbers 11, selected verses

4 The foreign rabble who were among the Israelites were overcome by their craving. The Israelites also wept once again and said, “Who is going to give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt free of charge, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our lives are wasting away.  We have nothing at all to look at except this manna.” ……10 Moses heard people from all the clans weeping, each one at the entrance to his own tent. At the same time, the Lord’s anger burned fiercely, and Moses was displeased. 11 Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You treated Your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in Your eyes? Why do You put the burden of all these people on me?……14 I am not able to carry all these people by myself, because that is too much for me. 15 If You are going to treat me this way, please kill me right now. If I have found favor in Your eyes, do not let me see my own ruin.”     16 So the Lord said to Moses, “Gather seventy men from the elders of Israel for Me, men whom you know to be elders and officers for the people. Take them to the Tent of Meeting and make them stand there with you. 17 I will come down and talk with you there. I will take from the Spirit that is on you and will put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it by yourself. …..24 Moses went out and told the people the Lord’s words. He gathered seventy men from the elders of the people and had them stand all around the tent. 25 The Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him. He took from the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do it again.   26 Two men, however, remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other was Medad. They were listed among the elders, but they had not gone out to the tent. The Spirit rested on them, and they prophesied back in the camp. 27 A young man ran and reported this to Moses. He said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!”   28 Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide from his youth, answered, “My lord Moses, stop them!”   29 Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? If only all of the Lord’s people were prophets so that the Lord would put His Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses returned to the camp along with the elders of Israel.

The Congregation anticipates the Gospel Lesson by singing


The Sequence Hymn                                                              Hymn 177  “Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest”

                                                                                                                                                            verses 4-6


4 Drive far away our wily foe,    And your abiding peace bestow;

If you are our protecting guide,   No evil can with us abide.


5 Teach us to know the Father, Son,   And you, from both, as Three in One

That we your name may ever bless    And in our lives the truth confess.


6 Praise we the Father and the Son   And Holy Spirit, with them One,

And may the Son on us bestow   The gifts that from the Spirit flow!

after which the Congregation will rise out of respect for the words of our Savior to hear


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                     John 14:15-26

15 “If you love Me, hold on to My commands. 16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him or know Him. You know Him because He stays with you and will be in you.  18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 The one who has My commands and holds on to them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I too will love him and show Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what has happened that You are going to show Yourself to us and not to the world?”  23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he will hold on to My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 The one who does not love Me does not hold on to My words. The word that you are hearing is not Mine, but it is from the Father Who sent me.

25 “I have told you these things while staying with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I told you.



                                                                                                                               (Martin Luther’s Explanation

The Confession of our                                                                                                      to the Third Article of

Faith in God the Holy Spirit                                                                                               the Apostles’ Creed)

Cong:       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.

Pastor:                                                                 What does this mean?”

All:           I believe that I cannot, by my own thinking or choosing,   +    believe in Jesus Christ my Lord,  or come to Him.    +    But the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel;     +  enlightened me with His gifts,   +   sanctified and kept me in the one true faith.    +   In the same way,    +    He calls, gathers, enlightens,    +  and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth,    +    and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.    +  In this Christian Church,   +    He daily and fully forgives all sins, to me and all believers in Christ.   +    On the last day He will raise me and all the dead;    +   And He will give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.    +    This is most certainly true!  +    Amen.

After which the Congregation will be seated for


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                          Acts 1:8


But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Powered by the Holy Spirit

The Hymn of the Day                                                                                    “Come, O Mighty Spirit, Come”

                                                                                  to the tune of Liebster Jesus (“Blessed Jesus, At Your Word”)


Come, oh mighty Spirit, come     Make our hearts Your habitation.

Work within and cleanse us from    Sin and guilt and condemnation.

Come to us in times of gladness   Be our strength in days of sadness!


Holy Spirit, like a wind    Guide us toward Your heavenly portals.

When we falter, then extend     Loving grace to sinful mortals.

Bless us with Your supplication   In our moments of temptation!


We cannot by our own strength    Trust in Christ our Lord and Savior.

So dear Spirit, work at length    That Your gifts we all might savor.

Bless us with Your gifts of teaching,     Faith, and service, and of preaching.


Lift the veil up from our eyes    So we all might see more clearly.

That our treasure surely lies    In the Lord, Who loves us dearly.

For He promised us a mansion   When He earned for us salvation!


As on that first Pentecost    Come to us, our faith inspire.

Grant us strength to reach the lost;    May Your will be our desire.

Guide us through our earthly story,   Til we live in heav’nly glory!     Amen.


after which the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for

The Greeting       Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ!   O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.  Amen.


The Sermon Text                                                                                                                            Acts 2:22-36

                                                                                                         The italicized part of today’s opening reading

“More Power For Us”

The Main Point……God’s Plan

and His Powerful Purpose For Us

The Post-Sermon Blessing


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

We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord

Our Offerings of Love to our Lord

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

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

2) You can donate through our website:


After which the Congregation rises for prayer

Today’s Special Prayers

Included in our prayers this morning is:

A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of Debbie and Pastor Huebner whose wedding anniversary is this Friday;    and   on behalf of Debby and Robert Pulley, whose anniversary is Saturday



P:  Heavenly Father, on this Pentecost Sunday we pray that You would pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your Church on earth, so that we might give You the honor and glory due You through our words, thoughts and actions.   We praise and thank You for Your many mercies to us, but especially for choosing us from all eternity to be Your redeemed children, for sending Your Son to be our Substitute in righteousness and the sufficient Sacrifice for our sins, and for bringing us to saving faith and for sustaining us in faith in You, Your Son and Your Spirit as the one and only, true Triune God.

C: On this Pentecost Sunday   +   we pray that You would empower us through Your Spirit   +   to gratefully acknowledge Your Lordship in every aspect of our lives,   +  and that – by regularly enriching our souls through Your Word and Sacraments –   +   You would enable us to keep in step with Your Spirit    +   in our lives of faith   +   and through faithful, obedient service to You and Your Church.

P:  Blessed Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray that, as individuals, and as a congregation, we might be filled with the transforming power of Your Holy Spirit, and that each of us might more devotedly trust in You alone – and never in ourselves – for our eternal salvation.    Through that same Spirit may we more fully take on the Your character, so that we can produce those fruits of repentance and faith that are pleasing to You.

C: Enrich our lives and this ministry which You have entrusted to us, +   so that we might shine forth Your light and redeeming love   +  throughout our community and around the world.   +   Through our ministry of the Gospel and the efforts of Your Church on earth,   +   may many more souls be brought to repentance and to saving faith in You,  +   as the only true Savior-God.

P:  O Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Guide, continue Your reformation our hearts and minds through the Means of Grace, that we might more fully be the kind of faithful people You expect us to be.    Also, through the ministry of Your inspired Word and Sacraments – as Your Church on earth faithfully administers them – reform and renew our community and our nation, as well as humanity around the globe.   Lead people here and everywhere to genuinely repent of their sins and – enabled by You – to be more godly in their hearts, minds and actions.

C: We pray, in particular,   +   that we as a church family, and Your Church at large, +   would be the faithful instruments of righteousness   +   that You require us to be.    + May we be unified in Christian love, based upon Your Word alone,   +   so that all our doctrine and our practice of those doctrines   +   might be pleasing to You and a blessing to others.   +   May all people everywhere   +   be brought to the knowledge of the truth of Your Gospel and Law,   +   so that they might gratefully, faithfully and always   +   embrace both Your love and Your lordship in saving faith.

P:  Lord God, move every government throughout the world to provide justice, protection and good order for their respective citizens.   Move and enrich the business communities of our state, nation and world so that they may provide meaningful employment, as well as useful services and goods to all people.  

C: Lord God also continue to grant Your love, protection and support   +   to the entirety of Your creation,   +   giving it all of the resources needed   +  to display and declare Your glory   +   and to be beautiful before You.

P:  Specifically, on this anniversary of the first Pentecost, we pray for Your forgiveness and restoration.   Forgive us for the many ways we have damaged Your reputation and Your Church, by our sins….too numerous – and too awful – for us to recall entirely.   Forgive us for having wasted and abused the good resources You have entrusted to us personally, as a church, and as Your creation.   Forgive us for having failed so often to see Your providing, guiding and governing hand in our lives.   Forgive us for trusting too much in ourselves and the things of this life, instead of gratefully, humbly and consistently entrusting ourselves in all circumstances and situations to Your care and direction.    Forgive us, as Your chosen and called people, for our part – either through our shameful cooperation or by our silence – in the sinful corruption of our culture, as well as in the evil practices that have arisen among us, and in the wickedness that permeates our land and people.  

C: Forgive us gracious Lord,   +   and please restore and reform us by the power of Your Holy Spirit.    +   Draw every one of us much closer to You.    +   Enable us too, to gladly worship You and listen to Your Word daily,   +   until that day comes when – by enlightening Your grace,   +   through the redeeming work of Christ –   +  You take us from this world of sin +   and from the work You have called us to do as Your Church on earth,   +   so that we might live with You eternally   +   in heaven’s peace, perfection and glory, +   for Jesus’ sake.    

P:  We ask all of this in the name of, and for the sake, of Your Son, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.   In His name we also join now in 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 Prepare To Leave With Our Lord’s Blessing

           Pastor     The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

                             and the love of God,  and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.    Amen.

Closing Hymn                                                                 Hymn 536   “Lord Jesus Christ, the Church’s Head”


1 Lord Jesus Christ, the Church’s head,    you are her one foundation;

in you she trusts, before you bows,   and waits for your salvation.

Built on this rock secure,   your Church shall endure

though all the world decay   and all things pass away.     O hear, O hear us, Jesus!


2 O Lord, let this your little flock,    your name alone confessing,

continue in your loving care,    true unity possessing.

Your sacraments, O Lord,    and your saving Word

to us e’er pure retain;    grant that they may remain     our only strength and comfort.


3 Help us to serve you evermore     with hearts both pure and lowly;

and may your Word, that light divine,    shine on in splendor holy

that we repentance show,    in faith ever grow; 

the pow’r of sin destroy    and evils that annoy.   O make us faithful Christians.


4 And for your gospel let us dare    to sacrifice all treasure;

teach us to bear your blessed cross,     to find in you all pleasure.

O grant us steadfastness    in joy and distress.

Lord, for your mercy’s sake,    let us by grace partake    of endless joy and glory.


Silent Prayer, Announcements, Post-Worship Music                                                                                       



Last Week at Grace          Church Attendance: 63   Online: 21  Communed: 55           Sunday Bible Class:  24    Online: 5    

Tuesday Bible Study:   11          Wednesday Classes:    5 Men (plus 6 online);    4 Women

Budgetary Offerings: $2604    Online: $566.65     Audio-Visual: $101.31

Serving NEXT SUNDAY                                                                        Elders: Tim Pfortmiller, Terry Bruns

Fellowship: Carolyne Walker    Elders: Fred Cusanelli, Chris Roberts

Altar Guild: Tina Wambold and Harriet Johnson

This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church


Today            Morning Worship at 9:30 am        Fellowship: 10:40 am  

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

Tuesday        Morning Bible Study, 10:15 to noon

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

Sunday          Morning Worship 9:30 a.m.  (including Communion)

                       Fellowship, 10:45 a.m.      Bible Class/SS – 11:05 a.m.

                       Youth Confirmation Class, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Upcoming Birthdays/Anniversaries        May 28 – Erica Skogen;     June 01 – John Wambold;       

June 02 – Ryan Bratton;     June 02 – Debbie & Pastor Huebner      June 03 – Robert & Debby Pulley

Meditations Reminder   Copies of the latest edition of Meditations, (devotions beginning today and continuing through the end of August) — which is an excellent daily devotional booklet — are available for everyone on both tables in the church entryway.   Please do take home your copy and make use of it today.

Won’t you HELP????    …..We need the help of more of you to manage our Sunday morning fellowship snacks and drinks for the summer months.   Right now we have only a few people signed up for June through August.  If you’d be willing to serve our Lord and your fellow church members, you can sign up on the poster on the gymnasium bulletin board.   A reimbursement of $25 per week is available to help defray your expenses.    For additional information, please speak with Tina Wambold or Pastor.  Thank you.

Please Do Join us for Bible Study this morning …..where we’ll continue our study of the parables of Jesus.   This morning we’ll be moving into the last section of our study, where we’ll deal with some of Jesus’ lesser known parables, as well as parables that we’re categorizing as “miscellaneous parables.”   This morning we’ll talk about His parable of the patched garment and the wine skins (from Mt 9:16,17), as well as one He told about the children in the market place (Mt 11:16-19), and perhaps also a parable Jesus related about Himself as the promised Christ (Mt 12:22-30).   Please join us today for this added time in God’s Word.


Section Five:   Miscellaneous Parables


The Parable of The Patched Garment And The Wineskins

(Matthew 9:16,17; Mark 2:21,22; Luke 5:36-39)

Jesus has been baptized by John, thereby authenticating the ministry of John as well as giving public witness of his identity as God’s Son and chosen Messiah. He has returned from the wilderness to Galilee and chosen his disciples. He has worked his first miracle (turning water into wine) in Cana of Galilee. He has returned to Jerusalem for the Passover. He has made his way back to Galilee, where he has set up headquarters at Capernaum. He has gone throughout the region proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and healing many sick and demon-possessed people.

He has been ministering publicly long enough for the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law to become familiar with him and his message and to form some opinions about him. What do the following references tell you about the doctrine and practice of these religious leaders?



  • Matthew 6:5
  • Matthew 6:16-18
  • Luke 11:37-54
  • Luke 16:14

Is Jesus a friend or foe to them? Why?



  • John 1:13-22
  • Luke 5:17-26
  • Luke 5:27-32

Read Luke 5:33-39 in light of the last two references from Luke 5 we just studied. This was obviously not an honest question. It was meant to discredit Jesus. What did the question imply about Jesus and his disciples?

The Pharisees assumed that fasting won brownie points with God. Jesus answer implies that fasting isn’t a deed that impresses God. It is a sign of sorrow. When Jesus said his disciples shouldn’t fast in sorrow, because the bridegroom was with them, what was he claiming about himself?

The parable Jesus then speaks about the garment is designed to lead the Pharisees to conclude that their teaching doesn’t match Jesus’ teaching. Explain the difference and how the parable illustrates the incompatibility of the two.

The parable of the wineskins indicates that it is impossible to package Jesus’ message in the structure of Old Testament Law. Explain how the parable illustrates that and why the point of the parable is true.

This parable has to do with mixing up the Law and the Gospel. How do the following examples illustrate an improper use of Law and Gospel?
All you have to do to get to heaven is believe in Jesus and live a good life.

We really feel good about our church! We’re growing by leaps and bounds, we always have something going for every age group, and people say that we’re the friendliest group around!

No Christian who appreciates what Jesus did for them would EVER have done what you did! Does Jesus’ death for you mean ANYTHING to you at all?

The Ten Commandments are a real comfort to me because they keep me on track in my walk with God.

Children In The Marketplace

(Matthew 11:16-19; Luke 7:29-35)

This parable is directed to the Pharisees and experts in the law. How did these people regard John’s ministry? (See Luke 7:29,30) What did they think of Jesus? (See notes on the parable of the Wineskins)

Jesus compares the religious leaders of his day to children at play. In verse 32, what are we told about the way that children act when it comes to choosing what to play.

How did the religious leaders also act this way? (See vv. 33,34). In verses 33 and 34, what are we told about the different nature of John’s
and Jesus’ ministry?

Our sinful nature also resists both the Law and the Gospel. List some examples.


Parables Proving The Person Of Christ


 (Matthew 12:22-30; Mark 3:22-27)

What precipitated the parable-based teaching of this section? (See vv 22-24)

List the arguments Jesus uses to show how ridiculous and simple-minded the accusation that Jesus is driving demons out by the power of the devil is. (v26-29)
What conclusion, arising from Jesus’ obviously real and God-given miracle-working power, did the Pharisees not want to accept? Why not?

Many today want to find some reason to dismiss anything about Jesus that points to his divine nature. Why is it simple-minded for someone to think he can separate Jesus from his miracles and end up with “Jesus, the great humanitarian-teacher”?