The Fourth Sunday of the Epiphany Season   January 28, 2024

Are You Saving the Seed God has given You in Your Barn….Or Are You Sowing It?


     Imagine that two men are seated in a plane.  The flight attendant gives one of them a parachute and instructs him about how to put it on, telling him that it will make his flight better.   Not understanding how a parachute could improve his flight, the first man is a bit skeptical, but he decides to strap on the parachute, to see if what the flight attendant said is true.   Once he puts on the parachute, he quickly notices a couple of problems:   it’s heavy, and it keeps him from sitting comfortably.   Still, having taken the attendant at her word, he tells himself that he’ll get used to it.   After all, the parachute is going to make his flight better.   In a little while he notices that he’s one of only two passengers wearing a parachute, and that many of the other passengers are staring and even pointing at him.  He’s sure it’s because he’s wearing that parachute.  Then someone makes fun of him.   Finally he slumps back in his seat, unbuckles the parachute and tosses it to the floor, telling himself that the attendant lied to him.   The parachute didn’t make his flight better;   it made it worse.   And he won’t ever wear one again. 

     The other passenger wearing a parachute received it  from a different attendant, but he was also given a different reason for putting on that parachute.   The flight attendant had told him that the plane had a potential problem, and that – at any moment – he might have to jump out of the plane and would need that parachute to save his life.   So the  second passenger gratefully straps on his parachute, not at all noticing its weight, or that it keeps him from sitting comfortably.   Instead, he thinks about what could happen to him if the plane was in danger of crashing and he wasn’t wearing that parachute.   He’s grateful to have it on, because he knows it can save his life…..if the plane on which he’s riding fails and falls from the sky.   What’s more, instead of being intimidated by the other passengers looking at him and laughing at him, he tries to encourage them to put parachutes on too.  He tells them it’s important, and that those parachutes will keep them safe.  He even warns them, “if you don’t have a parachute on, you won’t be laughing if you end up having to jump out of the plane.”   Unfortunately, almost everyone else refuses to listen to him.   Eventually the plane does crash, with a great loss of life – much of it needless, because so many of the passengers had heard, but rejected, the opportunity to wear a parachute.
     In a similar way, often Christians encourage others who don’t believe in Jesus to learn more about Who He is, even inviting them to come to church, promising that it will make their lives better, plus they’ll be able to find new friends.  Now, while it’s true that being a Christian can certainly make a person’s life better here on earth, and that going to church does give us an opportunity to have more friends, that’s not even close to the main point of having faith in Christ, of worshiping Him and of being part of His Church on earth!    If the best offer from Christianity is merely a “better life,” then all that’s being offered is a superficial “Christianity Lite.” Consequently, it shouldn’t be surprising that, after a while of “trying out” that offer (and that’s the offer often given to non-believers) most people who are only looking for emotional satisfaction and personal success end up becoming disillusioned with Christianity and disappointed with Church.   Usually they end up convincing themselves that it was all a waste of time and that they’ll never try that again..   

     On the other hand, when you and I encourage people to know Christ and to become part of His Church, it’s because we realize that their souls are truly in grave spiritual danger without faith in Jesus.   And while many people who hear the Gospel still won’t believe it, those who end up believing are grateful to God for the gifts of forgiveness and everlasting salvation that they receive through faith in Christ.    Possessing a genuine joy and peace in their hearts from knowing that Jesus (like a parachute) has saved them from eternal death in hell and guaranteed them a place in heaven, they not only have the confidence to withstand the world’s insults, they are grateful to live for Christ each day here on earth – until they live with Him eternally in heaven.

Today’s Scripture Lessons

     By now, you’ve undoubtedly concluded that the focus of our worship service today has to do with “Evangelism,” or “Outreach” – and specifically our calling as Christians to let Christ’s light shine from our lips and lives, as we show and share the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus with others.  That’s what we’ll see the Apostles Andrew and Philip do in today’s Gospel Reading.   Once they found the Savior, those two couldn’t wait to share with a brother and friend, respectively, that they had found the long-Promised Messiah.   Each had been brought to Christ – and each was convicted and committed to bringing Christ to others too.    And did they ever do that!   

     So did the Apostle Paul, who declares in our Epistle Lesson for today that what we, as Christians must preach – simply yet faithfully – is nothing else than that Jesus Christ was crucified and has risen for the salvation of sinners!    Nothing else we can say, from talking about our families to current events, from the latest weather to yesterday’s sports news, can come close to this Greatest of all News that we’re called by God to share with others.   

     In our First Lesson for today, Jesus shows us how to witness to others – in a very casual, clear, yet caring conversation, as He brings the woman at the well to faith in Him as her Savior.    She, in turn, invites people from her community and circle of friends to also come and get to know her Savior and theirs….and they do!

   In our Children’s Lesson for today we’ll use the example of the links of a chain to talk about our personal responsibility to “pass on” to others the Good News of salvation in Christ that others have shared with us.  

     Finally, the Sermon for this morning is based on Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed.   The seed, of course, is the Gospel.   And while not everyone will believe it, we’re called to spread it out to others anyway…..just as the farmer in our text casts his seed far and wide, knowing that – while it won’t grow everywhere it falls – some of the seed will sink into the soil and will produce an abundant harvest.  That’s also true when it comes to “sowing” the Gospel.   Not everyone believes.   But some will.   The question we’ll address this morning is, simply, “What are you doing with the ‘Seed’ Jesus has given you to sow for Him?”  In other words, are you being the Christian witness/evangelist that Jesus wants you to be, and that lost souls need you to be?

As we consider each of these portions of God’s Word this morning,

which speak about the Christian’s mission (or calling) in life, I hope it’s apparent to each of us that we can all get back more (in some cases, much more ) “on task” as individuals and as a Christian congregation when it comes to our outreach/evangelism work. Having been given our “parachute” (the gift of saving faith in Christ), let’s all embrace the mission that God has also given us to share that Good News of savomg faith in Christ with others.  And let’s all do this –  not merely to grow our congregation numerically so as to make our “church organization” more secure, and so others can join us in enjoying the earthly  blessings and benefits of being part of a church family; but – so that many others can share with us in God’s gift of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus, and so that the LORD might be glorified as His Kingdom grows through the grateful service of evangelism that we render to Him.

           The importance and value of every one of us being involved in doing this work of personally proclaiming the Gospel of salvation … God has given each of us the ability and opportunity… (I believe) quite well expressed in the following poem .   As you read it, please consider both what you haven’t done, and what (God-enabling) you can do to share His Word with others…..out of your love for Him:

  • Ten little Christians, standing in a line,

one disliked the preacher, then there were nine.
• Nine little Christians stayed up very late,

one slept in on Sunday, then there were eight.
• Eight little Christians on their way to heaven,

one took his own road, then there were seven.• Seven little Christians chirping like some chicks,

 one disliked the music, then there were six.
• Six little Christians seemed very much alive,

 but one lost his interest, then there were five.
• Five little Christians pulling for heaven’s shore,

but one stopped to rest, then there were four.
• Four little Christians, busy as a bee,

one got her feelings hurt, then there were three.
• Three little Christians knew not what to do,

one couldn’t forgive another, then there were two.
• Two little Christians, our rhyme is nearly done,

quarreled over petty stuff, then there was only one.
• One little Christian, can’t do much ‘tis true;  

brought his friend to Bible study – then there were two.
• Two earnest Christians, each brought one more,

that doubled the number, then there were four.
• Four sincere Christians worked early and worked late,

each found  another, then there were eight.
• Eight splendid Christians, if they doubled as before,

 in just a few short weeks, there’d be 1,024.

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 – Dear Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul once referred to himself as the Chief of Sinners.   But in my heart I know that – not Paul, but – I am that Chief of Sinners…..wholly undeserving of Your love, of Your many mercies, and particularly of the forgiveness and salvation You won for me through Your innocent suffering and death along with Your resurrection.   As I confess my sins to You this morning, please remove the burdens of guilt and unworthiness that afflict my heart and conscience.  As I hear the assurance that You have wiped my sin-slate clean because of Your great love for my sou, fill me once more with the joy and confidence for eternity that every Christian ought to possess.   As I meditate on Your Word today, strengthen my faith and remind me once again of why I am here:    To live a life of love and faithful obedience….all to Your glory alone.    And, finally, Lord Jesus, send me back out into the world at the conclusion of this day, certain of my salvation, motivated and better equipped by the Holy Spirit to serve You with all that I am and have, eager to share with everyone I can the blessed hope of everlasting life that is ours through faith in You.   Now bless the Pastor as he brings Your Word to me.   Bless my fellow Christians as they worship You with me.   And bless my soul as I mediate on Your Word and worship You today.    In Your name I pray.   Amen.

Silent Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service music

Pre-Worship Hymn Singing, beginning at 9:25 a.m.

We Praise Our God

The Introduction and Invitation To Worship


following which, 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.

The Opening Prayer


O Lord God, Heavenly Father,   +   You have prepared for those who love You +   blessings that greatly exceed our understanding:    +   Pour into our hearts such love toward You,   + that we may love You above all things, + and lead us, by faith, +   to Your eternal promises,   + which exceed all that we can desire.   +   All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, +   Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, + one true God, + now and forever. +   Amen.

after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Opening Hymn                                                                                           The morning sun is dawning”

To the tune of “The Morning Light Is Breaking”………

vv 1 & 3 adapted from Johannes Nuhlmann’s “Dank Sei Gott in der Hohe”

vv 2 & 4 by cwh, 2001   (CW 560)


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Connected to You firmly,     And for eternity.

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

Empower us to serve You – throughout our earthly race.


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

No more Your ways transgressing,     Our calling to fulfill;

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

through faith in Him, forgiven —  Have heaven eternally.

After which the Congregation will rise as


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor Brothers and sisters in Christ:    the Word of God urges us to confess to our Lord all our sins of thought, word, and action.   This is something that ought to be daily part of our spiritual lives, and should come  forth from every heart that is humble and penitent.    But we should especially do this when we meet together in His house to thank God for all that He has done for us, to praise Him, and to hear His life-giving Word.    Therefore, come with me now, to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, and let us confess our sins together.

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 humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before Almighty God, now be strengthened in your faith, mindful  that our Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but that everyone should  come to repentance, turning from their evil ways and receiving from Him everlasting life.    God has commanded His ministers to declare His forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent.   Therefore, rest assured that your sins have been fully covered by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ your Savior.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

     Now, in the peace of God’s forgiveness, let us together praise our gracious and glorious Lord!

The Congregation responds                                                                                                                                


The Lord, my God be praised, My God, Who ever living

To Whom the heavenly hostAll praise and honor giving.

The Lord, my God, be praised,      In Whose great name I boast

God Father, God the Son,    And God the Holy Ghost.


To Him with joyful song    Our praises we are bringing

And with the angel throng   Thrice “Holy” we are singing,

With one united voice   The Church does Him adore

The Lord, my God, be praised   Now and forevermore.    Amen.



The Psalm for Today                                                                                                                        Psalm 145


P:  I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your name for ever and ever.

C: Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever.

P:  Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.

C: One generation will commend Your works to another; they will tell of Your mighty acts.

P:  They will speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and I will meditate on Your wonderful works.

C: They will tell of the power of Your awesome works, and I will proclaim Your great deeds.

P:  They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

C: The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

P:  The LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.

C: All you have made will praise You, O LORD; Your saints will extol You.

P:  They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your might, so that all men may know of Your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.

C: Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. 

P:  The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.

C: The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

P:  The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time.

C: You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

P:  The LORD is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made.

C: The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

P:  He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.

C: The LORD watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.

P:  My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.

C: Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever.

After which the Congregation will be seated as

We Give Our Attention To God’s Word

This Morning’s First Lesson                                                                                                         John 4:25-42

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”

26 Jesus said to her, “I, the One speaking to you, am He.”

27 Just then His disciples returned and were surprised that He was talking to a woman. Yet no one asked, “What do You want?” or “Why are You talking to her?”

28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back into town. She said to the people, 29 “Come, see the Man Who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 They left the town and came to Him.

31 Meanwhile, the disciples kept urging Him, “Rabbi, eat.”

32 But Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”

33 Then the disciples said to each other, “Did anyone bring Him something to eat?”

34 Jesus told them, “My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘Four more months and the harvest will be here’? Pay attention to what I am telling you. Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are already ripe for harvest. 36 The reaper is getting paid and is gathering grain for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together. 37 Indeed in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap a harvest for which you did no hard work. Others have done the hard work, and you have benefitted from their labor.”

39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony: “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them. And He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His message. 42 They told the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said. Now we have heard for ourselves. And we know that This really is the Savior of the world.”

The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                          I Corinthians 9:19-23

19 In fact, although I am free from all, I enslaved myself to all so that I might gain many more. 20 To the Jews, I became like a Jew so that I might gain Jews. To those who are under the law, I became like a person under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might gain those who are under the law. 21 To those who are without the law, I became like a person without the law (though I am not without God’s law but am within the law of Christ) so that I might gain those who are without the law. 22 To the weak, I became weak so that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all people so that I may save at least some. 23 And I do everything for the sake of the gospel so that I may share in it along with others.

after which the Congregation will rise out of respect for our Savior’s words


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                        John 1:35-51

35 The next day, John was standing there again with two of his disciples. 36 When John saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.   38 When Jesus turned around and saw them following Him, He asked, “What are you looking for?”

They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are You staying?”

39 He told them, “Come, and you will see.” So they came and saw where He was staying. They stayed with Him that day. It was about the tenth hour.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his own brother Simon and say to him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated “the Christ”).  42 He brought him to Jesus.   Looking at him, Jesus said, “You are Simon, son of Jonah.   You will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).

43 The next day, Jesus wanted to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.   45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about Whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 Nathanael said to him, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”

“Come and see!” Philip told him.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Truly, here is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

48 Nathanael asked him, “How do You know me?”

Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, while you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus replied, “You believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that!” 51 Then He added, “Amen, Amen,  I tell you:   You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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.



After which the Congregation will be seated for


Our Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                 Acts 22:14-15

14 “Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear the sound of His voice. 15 For you will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.

Be A “Link” in the Good News Chain

The Sermon Hymn                                                                        “Let Us Talk About The Savior” (CW 411)


Let us talk about the Savior,   Jesus Christ, our Lord and King.

With our tongues and whole behavior    Let us each His praises sing.

With our unchurched friends and neighbors,  With the strangers that we meet.

Let our share our Priceless Treasure – Jesus, Savior, oh so sweet!


Let us tell them how He suffered,   Died and rose to set us free

From the power of sin and Satan,   Life to give to you and me.

When we see them lost and stumbling   In the wilderness of sin –

Let us tell how God gave Jesus  Everlasting life to win.


Let us talk about the Savior,   Let us speak of sin and grace –

For there’s nothing but the Gospel   That can save our fallen race.

Go and tell to all who’ll listen:   “Jesus is the only Way.”

He alone has died to save us –  This is what the Scriptures say.


Let us talk about the Savior,   Christian members, go and tell!

For this spot where God has placed us     Needs this message just as well.

Every single congregation   Faithful witnesses must be – 

When it comes to Gospel preaching,    Now and ‘til eternity.     Amen!



after which, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for

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                                                                                                                      Luke 8:4-15

4 As a large crowd was gathering and people from one town after another were making their way to Him, He spoke using a parable. 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path. It was trampled, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 6 Other seed fell on rocky ground. As soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns. The thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 Other seed fell into good soil. It grew and produced fruit—one hundred times as much as was sown.” As he said these things, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”

9 His disciples asked Him, “What does this parable mean?”  10 He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest I speak in parables so that ‘even though they see, they may not see, and even though they hear, they may not understand.’  11 This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear it, but then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts to keep them from believing and being saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root. So they believe for a while, but then fall away in a time of testing. 14 The seeds that fell into the thorns are the ones who hear the word, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of life, so they do not mature. 15 And the seeds in the good ground are the ones who hear the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it tightly, and produce fruit as they patiently endure.

Are You Saving the Seed God has given You in Your Barn….Or Are You Sowing It?

following the Sermon, the Congregation will rise for the post-sermon blessing

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

after which the Congregation will be seated for

The Post-Sermon Hymn                                                                                    “We All Are One In Mission”

                                                                                                           to the melody Aurelia, 7676D   (CW 372)

We all are one in mission;   We all are one in call,

Our varied gifts united   By Christ, the Lord of all.

A single great commission   Compels us from above

To plan and work together   That all may know Christ’s love.


We all are called to service,   To witness to God’s name.

Our ministries are diff’rent;   Our purpose is the same:

To touch the lives of others   With God’s surprising grace,

So ev’ry folk and nation   May feel God’s warm embrace.


Now let us be united,   And let our song be heard;

Now let us be a vessel   For God’s redeeming Word.

We all are one in mission;   We all are one in call,

Our varied gifts, united,   By Christ, the Lord of all.


We Bring our Offerings to the Lord


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

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

2) You can also donate on our website:

  • We Offer Our Prayers to the Lord

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

    Our Prayers for Today


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

    C: We rejoice in the freedom from condemnation and rejoice in the redemption of Christ. On account of Jesus’ saving work we are your treasured possession. We thank you for those who proclaimed the gospel of the crucified and risen Savior which caused faith to arise in our hearts.

    P: As the gospel continues to be proclaimed throughout the world, we pray that leaders of the nations make decisions that reflect God’s care for the whole human family. Guide and protect citizens and cause governments to work for the well-being of all. Especially let there be peace so the gospel may have free course and find fertile ground in the hearts of people.

    C: We also pray for our congregation, that in our life together we walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, caring for one another, and showing generosity toward those whose needs are great. Then let us look outside these walls to the treasured souls won through the cross and lead us to proclaim Jesus’ love to them.

    P: Through Holy Baptism we became members of your family. Let this joy lift our hearts to serve. Keep us from neglecting others but move us to bear witness to Christ’s love in acts of mercy.

    C: Bless those who serve in this House of God. Let your Word touch the lives of everyone as we meditate on the mysteries of your great love for us. Help us to remember our walk together with other congregations to carry the gospel throughout the world. Watch over our missionaries and lay workers who go to the world on our behalf with the gospel of Jesus.

    P: The devil will do his best to ruin our lives on this earth and our hope for going to heaven. When some are torn by the struggles of this life—the poor, the hungry and the homeless, those struck down, and the unemployed—let them be strengthened and sustained with the knowledge of being your treasured possession. Be with those who are hospitalized, the sick, the homebound, and the dying. Comfort and sustain them with the gracious promises of Christ.   Hear us as we also bring our private requests, petitions and praises.

    Silent Prayer

    P: Now heavenly Father, answer our prayers according to your will, not because we earned or deserve any of your blessings, but because of Jesus our Savior who has taught us to pray….

    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


    Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. And serve the Lord by bearing witness to our Savior.

    The Lord bless you and keep you

    The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you

    The Lord look upon you with his favor, and grant you peace.   Amen.


    The Closing Hymn                                                                                          “The Time Has Come, O Lord”


    The time has come O Lord,   for us to leave this place.

    Tend Your sheep, Good Shepherd,   and lead us in Your grace.

    Wherever life may take us   as we go our separate ways,

    Help us share with others   the things we’ve shared today.


    May the peace of God the Father,    and the Love of Christ, His Son,

    Guide us in the days ahead,   and strengthen us, each one.

    May the blessings of the Spirit   fill us from within.

    God bless us and return us.   to this fellowship…..Once again.

    Amen.   Amen.   Amen.   Amen.   Amen.

    Silent Prayer, Announcements, Post-Service Music