The Fourth Sunday in Lent

which is also known by the traditional name

“Laetere” (Rejoice) Sunday

March 14, 2021                                                         


Rejoicing in God’s Grace


A woman stood on her bathroom scale after two weeks of dieting on butter-less toast, plus taking chilly early morning jogs around the park. The needle was still stuck on the same number where she’d started 14 days earlier.   She sighed heavily, because she “just knew in her heart” that she’d never be happy.   A lot of people feel that way…..maybe you’re one of them.   It seems that day after day we’re relentlessly barraged with the message that there’s something we’re supposed to do, or possess, or become in order to really be happy.   It’s so American!   After all, our own Founding Fathers wrote into the Declaration of Independence that we are all entitled to the inalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”   You can add to that the idea that if a person isn’t happy, there’s a problem.  Yet…. we have problems with our bosses, our spouses, our children, our cars, our plumbing, and with arthritis….among other things.   So what’s the solution when it comes to being happy?    It’s found in the knowledge that real joy and happiness in life can’t (and won’t ever) be found in money, position, pleasure, possessions, people, success or anything else that’s earthly.   Real, true and lasting joy comes not from within us, but from outside of us – specifically, through the Holy Spirit’s transformation of our souls from unbelief to faith– and with that a change in our attitudes, expectations, and purpose for living – from being earthly-oriented to Christ-centered and heaven-bound.


Today’s Scripture readings bear that out, starting with our First Lesson in which Jesus tells His disciples that, though they would  mourn over His impending death while the world rejoices, their grief would be turned into joy three days later at His death-, sin- and world-overcoming resurrection for their (and our salvation). 


Peter, in our Epistle Lesson, encourages Christians facing persecution not to despair, but look past their earthly trials to the heavenly goal (and focus of every believer’s joy) that is guaranteed them (and us) through faith in Christ Jesus.  

This morning’s Gospel Lesson is Jesus’ parable of the lost coin – and its finder’s celebration when that coin was found.    Specifically, we’ll talk about the joy of heaven’s angels whenever a person is brought to faith, and about how our real joy in life should (and can) come – not from our earthly situations and successes – but from the spiritual blessings that we receive from God and share with others!  


We’ll remind ourselves through today’s Children’s Lesson (based on Psalm 51:10-12) that  real joy does not come from inside us, but from outside of us.   It comes through the Holy Spirit’s turning our souls from unbelief to faith– and with that God works a change in our attitudes, desires, and our reason for living – from being earthly-centered to Christ-centered people.


Finally, this morning’s Sermon Text is (at least in this pastor’s estimation) one of the most positive, encouraging and comforting portions of Scripture.    These ever-so-familiar, and joy-filled words come to us from the opening chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the congregation in Philippi……a group of believers very near and dear to the apostle’s heart because of their tender concern for and support of him and his ministry.   Paul is writing from a prison cell – something that, understandably, was distressing to his readers.  Yet, as he begins his letter to them, he doesn’t complain about his understandably difficult circumstances (even about the prospect of his death just for being a Christian).  Instead, he urges them to do as he has done – to find his joy in his faith-relationship with Christ, his Savior, and in the guarantee he has of everlasting life in heaven one day through faith in Jesus.    Christians have a joy that the unbelieving children of this world will never know….unless, by God’s grace, they are subsequently brought to faith.   


The Apostle reminds the Philippians of 19 ½ centuries ago, and our congregation in Lowell, Arkansas today that no matter what troubles and tests or successes and satisfactions we face in life, we can always rejoice in the LORD because we know we already have that which is most important for eternity:   God’s gifts of forgiveness, faith, and everlasting life in heaven through Jesus Christ.   


The Traditional Emphasis For The Fourth Sunday In Lent   

As we work our way through the season of Lent, we arrive this morning at the Sunday traditionally known as Laetere Sunday (Latin for “Rejoice”).  This name is taken from a word in the opening verse of our composite Psalm reading for today:  Psalm 122:1, “I rejoiced when the said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord.”  As David rejoiced at the opportunity to worship the Lord nearly 3000 years ago, so today we rejoice at the privilege of entering our Lord’s “house,” here to worship Him, to confess our sins, to receive the good news of His forgiveness in the Gospel, to offer Him our prayers, and to gain wisdom and guidance for Christian living through our study of His Word. One of the more interesting historical facts connected to Laetere (“Rejoice”) Sunday is this:   in the early days of the Christian Church, Lent was first  celebrated as a three (instead of a six) week season.  Accordingly, if we were still following that three week approach, tomorrow would mark the formal/official beginning of the penitential season of Lent.   For the early Christians, then, Laetere Sunday was actually the last Sunday (until Easter) to “rejoice” before the more subdued and sober atmosphere of Lent dominated the public worship services.            



Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church


            We welcome you this day in the name of our living Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.   May you find abiding peace and renewed strength for your faith and Christian life in His Word of truth today.

            The chief purpose of our ministry, as our Lord enables us, is to serve all people with the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the verbally inspired, inerrant Scriptures.    To that end, it is our privilege and responsibility:


  • To proclaim the Law and Gospel keenly and clearly, in order to convict sinners of their sins, to lead them to repentance, to comfort penitent souls, and to build each other up in our faith in the one, true, Triune God through the Means of Grace (the Word and Sacraments of our Lord). ….


  • To equip believers, through that same Means of Grace, to grow in their Christian lives as faithful servants, stewards, and witnesses to others of the redeeming grace of our God in Christ Jesus.


            Grace Lutheran Church is a fellowship of individuals and families who have found Jesus Christ to be the only safe and reliable answer to all of life’s problems and critical questions.   We are members of the WELS, that is, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.   

            Wisconsin indicates the geographical beginnings of a group of Christians who, over a century and a half ago, because of their comprehensive commitment to all that God’s Word teaches, united themselves in a join public ministry which we in the WELS carry on, by God’s grace, to this day.   

            Evangelical declares that we believe and proclaim the great, foundational principles of the Christian faith:  namely, that we are saved by God’s free grace alone (His undeserved love), through faith alone  in Jesus Christ.  And that this truth is found in Scripture alone (that is, the 66 “canonical” books of the Bible).    

            Lutheran  affirms that we believe, teach, and confess all the doctrines of the historic Christian faith as taught by Jesus to His Apostles, now contained in the written Word of God.   Those truths, once all but lost to the Church because of the influences of false teachers, were – by God’s grace and blessing – restored to the Christian Church through the 16th century Lutheran Reformation led by Dr. Martin Luther.    We humbly remain today, the grateful heirs of that Lutheran Reformation, Apostolic legacy.  

            And, finally, Synod states that we, as a congregation, have united in a shared ministry together with 1259 other like-minded WELS congregations across this country, as well as like-teaching Lutherans in 23 other nations.   We join them in working together for the purposes of growing in our Christian faith, serving our glorious Lord, and proclaiming His gracious salvation in Christ to the world.




To our Guests and Friends……An Invitation To You

  If you have no church home of your own, and/or are looking for religious truth and spiritual certainty as a foundation for your life and to insure your eternal future, then we invite you to consider becoming a part of this Christian fellowship called Grace Lutheran Church.  Communicant membership in our church is established by an informed declaration of fellowship upon transfer from a Lutheran congregation, or upon completion of our Pastor’s New Membership / Bible Information Course, whichever is appropriate for you.  To make a personal appointment to discuss this further, please speak with Pastor Huebner today or at your convenience. We thank you for the opportunity to serve you with God’s Word and to have you as a part of our worshiping family today.  We do hope that you will worship and study with us again soon, and often.    Please know that you will always be welcome at Grace Lutheran Church.   May God bless you, now and always… Jesus’ name.



Pre-Service Prayer   O Lord God, Almighty Creator, from Whom every good and perfect gift comes, You have bountifully blessed me across the course of my life.   You have preserved me in Your Word.  You have provided for my bodily needs.   You have protected me from spiritual harm and have kept me in the true Christian faith.  For your abundant goodness to me, I humbly praise and thank You.  In the days and years that might lie ahead for me, I implore You to continue to bless me with Your abiding presence, Your Fatherly protection, and Your guidance in all areas of my life.   I submit myself to Your gracious will, with the confidence that You will use me, as Your humble servant, in whatever ways will serve to further Your glory and Your kingdom. Bless and enrich my faith as I hear Your Word today, and receive my heart-felt praises and generous, first-fruits offerings, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Savior and Lord.  It is in His name that I pray.   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



Prayer upon entering the worship area                                                                                 Pre-service Music


We Praise Our God

Service Introduction and Invitation to Worship


after which, at the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for


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 Preparatory Psalm                                                                  selected verses of Psalms 122, 32, and 138


P:         I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

C:         I will praise You, O God, with all my heart;   before the “gods” I will sing Your praise.

P:         If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?

C:         But with You there is forgiveness;  therefore You are feared.


P:         When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

C:         For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;   +   my strength was sapped like in the heat of summer.

P:         Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”

C:         and You forgave the guilt of my sin.


P:         O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love, and with Him is full redemption.

C:         He Himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.

P:         The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;

C:         Your love, O Lord, endures forever.



                                    after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Opening Hymn                                                                Hymn 234  “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”


1 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,    the King of creation!

O my soul, praise Him,   for He is your health and salvation!

Let all who hear Now to His temple draw near,   Joining in glad adoration!


2 Praise to the Lord, Who o’er all things    is wondrously reigning

And, as on wings of an eagle,   uplifting, sustaining.

Have you not seen All that is needful has been  Sent by His gracious ordaining?


3 Praise to the Lord, Who has fearfully,   wondrously, made you,

Health has bestowed and, when heedlessly  falling, has stayed you.

What need or grief Ever has failed of relief?   Wings of His mercy did shade you.


4 Praise to the Lord, Who will prosper   your work and defend you;

Surely His goodness and mercy   shall daily attend you.

Ponder anew What the Almighty can do   As with His love He befriends you.


5 Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all   that is in me adore Him!

All that has life and breath, come now   with praises before Him!

Let the Amen Sound from His people again;  Gladly forever adore Him!


Following the hymn, the Congregation will rise



Hear Us and Forgive Us, Lord


Pastor –                        We have come together to worship the Triune God.

Congregation –            He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


            P:         Jesus said, “Wherever two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.”

            C:      The LORD Almighty is with us.  The God of Jacob is our Refuge.


            P: –       But who may come into His presence?   And who may call on Him for help?

            C:       He whose walk is blameless   +   and who does what is righteous.


            P: –       Who speaks the truth from his heart,  and who has no slander on his tongue.

            C: –       Who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man.


            P: –       Who keeps His oath even when it hurts.

            C: –       Who honors those who fear the Lord.



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 O God our Father,   +   since You have set forth the way of life for us in Your Beloved Son,   +   we confess with shame   +   our slowness to learn of Him,  +   our failure to always follow Him,   +   our

 reluctance at times to bear the cross for Him.   +    Forgive us the poverty of our worship,   +   our frequent neglect of fellowship   +   and of the Means of Grace,   +   our hesitating and inconsistent witness for Christ,   +  our evasion of our responsibilities in Your service,   +  our imperfect stewardship of Your gifts.   +   Forgive us also,   +   that so little of Your love has reached others through us,  +   that we have often been thoughtless in our judgments,   +   hasty in our condemnation,   +   grudging in forgiving others the way You have forgiven us,   +   and unwilling to serve our neighbors as we ought.   +    Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love;  +  according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.   +   Wash away all my iniquity  +   and cleanse me from my sin.    


The Song of Penitence                                                                                                              “Create in Me”

                                                                                                                 sung to the melody of “Abide With Me”


Create in me, O God, a spotless heart.

Renew in me a spirit that is right

And from Your presence    Never make me part

Or take Your Holy Spirit from my sight.


Restore to me    Salvation’s joy, O Lord.

Give me a willing Spirit    Keep me true

Then I will teach transgressors in Your Word

And many sinners will turn back to You.



We Receive and Celebrate God’s Absolution


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, in the place of, and according to the command of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ, 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.


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



Our Response To God’s Forgiveness                                                                        “The Gloria in Excelsis”

                                                                                                to the tune of “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less”


All glory be to God on high we praise, we thank, we glorify

And worship You Who gives earth peace   Whose love and favor never cease

Lord God, our King on heaven’s throne, Our Father THE Almighty One!


O Lord, the Sole-Begotten One, Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son.

O Lamb of God You take away the sin of all    Now hear us pray

You rule at God’s right hand this day   Have mercy on us, Lord, we pray.


You only are the Holy One.   O’er all things You are Lord alone.

Lord Jesus Christ we glorify You   Only as the Lord, Most High

Who, with the Spirit, e’er shall be    One in the Father’s majesty.




The Prayer For This Morning


O LORD, God   +   We implore You to favorably hear   +   and grant the prayers of Your people, so that we   +   who justifiably deserve to be punished for our transgressions,  +   will instead continue to receive    +    the benefits of Your boundless grace and mercy:   +  namely full forgiveness of all our sins,   +   the status of being Your sons and daughters,   +  and the blessed assurance of everlasting life in heaven,   +   not because of our works or personal worthiness   +   but because of the mercy and merits of Jesus Christ,   +   Your Son, our Savior,   +   Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit,   +   One God forever and ever  +  and in Whose name we pray.  +   Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated

We Hear God’s Word


The First Lesson                                                                                                                           John 16:17-33


17 Therefore some of His disciples asked one another, “What does He mean when He tells us, ‘In a little while you are not going to see Me, and again in a little while you will see Me,’ and ‘Because I am going away to the Father’?” 18 So they kept asking, “What does He mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what He’s saying.”


19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask Him about this, so He said to them, “Are you trying to determine with one another what I meant by saying, ‘In a little while you are not going to see Me, and again in a little while you will see Me’? 20 Amen, Amen, I tell you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth has pain, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of her joy that a person has been born into the world.   22 “So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 23 In that day you will not ask Me anything. Amen, Amen, I tell you: Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be made complete.


25 “I have told you these things using figurative language. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you using figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I am not telling you that I will make requests of the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am going to leave the world and go to the Father.”


29 “Yes!” his disciples said. “Now You are speaking plainly and not using figurative language. 30 Now we know that You know everything and do not need to have anyone ask You anything. For this reason we believe that You came from God.”


31 Jesus answered them, “Now do you believe? 32 Listen, a time is coming, in fact it is here, when you will be scattered, everyone to his own home. You will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not going to be alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 I have told you these things, so that you may have peace in Me. In this world you are going to have trouble. But be courageous! I have overcome the world.”



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                       I Peter 1:1-21


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,   To the elect, temporary residents in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ:   Grace and peace be multiplied to you.


 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He gave us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 into an inheritance that is undying, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 Through faith you are being protected by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of time.


6 Because of this you rejoice very much, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various kinds of trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—which is more valuable than gold, which passes away even though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.


8 Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not see Him now, yet by believing in Him, you are filled with a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


10 The prophets, who prophesied about the grace that has come to you, searched and studied carefully concerning this salvation, 11 trying to find out what person and what time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, when they wrote about these things. These are the things that have now been announced to you by those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even the angels long to look carefully into these things.


13 Therefore, after preparing your minds for action by exercising self-control, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 Rather, just as the One Who called you is holy, so also be holy in everything you do. 16 For it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.”


17 If you call on the Father Who judges impartially, according to the work of each person, conduct yourselves during the time of your pilgrimage in reverence, 18 because you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, not with things that pass away, such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like a Lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was chosen before the foundation of the world but revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through Him you are believers in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.


After which the Congregation will please rise, out of respect for the words of Christ


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                       Luke 15:1-10


All the tax collectors and sinners were coming to Jesus to hear Him. 2 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law were complaining, “This Man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”


3 He told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, if you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that was lost until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls together his friends and his neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ 7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.


8 “Or what woman who has ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, would not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”


After which the Congregation may be seated for


The Apostles’ Creed                                                     to the melody of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”


I believe in God the Father,   Maker of the heav’ns and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, our Savior, God’s own Son, of human birth.

Virgin born, the Lord incarnate,    Whom the Spirit did conceive,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate;     Our salvation to achieve.


Crucified, was dead and buried,    Down to hell in victory;

From the dead He rose the third day;    Up to heav’n triumphantly.

There at God’s right hand He’s ruling,     By His will the world is led.

He will come to judge the nations,    Both the living and the dead.

I believe in God the Spirit,    In His Church, His chosen band.

They are joined in close communion,    Holy in His sight they stand.

I believe in sins\forgiven;    That the dead will rise again;

I believe in life eternal.    Amen!   Amen!   A – – men!


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                              Psalm 51:10-12

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.   11 Do not cast me from Your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me.   12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.


The REAL Joy of Every Christian


The Sermon Hymn                                                                                          “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You”


Joyful, joyful we adore You,   God of glory, God of love!

Heav’n and earth bow down before You,     Praising You, our Lord above.

You our Father,   Christ our Savior,    With the Spirit faith provides,

Life eternal we’ve been granted, gracious gift that e’er abides.


You are giving and forgiving,      Ever glorious, Ever blest.

Source of every kind of blessing,    Giver of eternal rest.

You have claimed us as Your children     Heaven’s heirs through faith alone —

In the Rock of our salvation,   Jesus Christ, our Lord, Your Son.


Lord, receive our prayers and praises, weak and humble though they be.

Yours the power, Yours the glory,   Both today and endlessly.

None beside You, None before You, God of mercy, full and free.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, ever blessed Trinity.



The Greeting

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge

of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.


The Sermon Text                                                                                                                 Philippians 4:4-13


12 I want you to know, brothers, that the things which happened to me actually took place to advance the gospel. 13 And so it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to all the rest, that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And, through my chains, the majority of the brothers in the Lord have become much more confident about daring to speak the word of God fearlessly. 15 Some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, and others out of good will. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, but thinking they can cause trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 What does it matter? Only this, that in every way, whether for outward appearance or for the truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.


Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 because I know that this will turn out for my deliverance, through your prayer and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20 This matches my earnest expectation and hope that I will in no way be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, so even now, Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 Yes, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to go on living in the flesh, that will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet which should I prefer? I do not know. 23 I am pulled in two directions, because I have the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. 24 But, it is more necessary for your sake that I remain in the flesh. 25 And since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and will continue with all of you, for your progress and joy in the faith. 26 And so by my coming to you again, my goal is to give you even more reason to boast in Christ Jesus.


Rejoicing in What Really Matters….God’s Grace To Us


following the sermon 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.



We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


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

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

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

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

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

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

2) You can go online to our website (

and use the giving option there.


The Prayers for this Day  – 


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


C:       We rejoice in the freedom from condemnation and in the redemption that is ours through Christ.    On account of Jesus’ saving work we are Your treasured possession. We thank You for all those persons in our past    which You used to proclaim to us the Gospel of the crucified and risen Savior,    and which caused faith to arise in our hearts.


P: As the Gospel continues to be proclaimed throughout the world, we pray that the leaders of its many nations would make the kind of decisions, O Lord, that reflect Your love for the whole human race.  Guide and protect our nation’s citizens from all harm – physical and spiritual.   Also cause all the governments of the world to work for the well-being of all people.   We especially pray that You would move the world’s leaders to give the Gospel free course in their lands, so that it might find fertile ground in the hearts of all who hear it.


C:       We also pray for our own congregation,     that in our Christian lives we might consistently walk – not according to the flesh, but – according to the Spirit,     caring for one another,    and showing generosity toward all those whose needs are evident.  But enable us also to look outside these walls where we worship,     to the many other treasured souls all around us    for which Christ also went to cross,    and lead us to do all within the means that You have given us     to proclaim Jesus’ love to them.



P: Through Holy Baptism and the ministry of Your Word we became – and have remained – members of Your family of faith.   As we reflect upon this great blessing, move us to joyfully raise our hearts and hands in grateful and faithful service to You – the God of our salvation. 


C:       Bless all who worship and serve You through this family of faith.  Let Your Word touch the lives of everyone here     as we meditate upon the mysteries of Your great love for us in Christ Jesus.   Help us also to remember our responsibility    to work together with the other congregations of our Synod,    in order to see to it that the Gospel is proclaimed    throughout our country and around the world.   Also, watch over our Synod’s missionaries and lay workers    who have gone out into the world on our behalf with the Gospel of Jesus.


P: Lord, we know that the devil will do his upmost to ruin our lives on this earth and our hope for going to heaven.    When Your children are damaged by the struggles of this life and challenged by difficult decisions, continue to strengthen and sustain them with the blessed assurance that they are Your treasured possession, and that You are always working for their earthly and eternal good.   In particular this morning, we pray for:


A Prayer of Intercession on behalf of the following:

Bill Krizsan, who was hospitalized this past week;   and

Mary Fisher, who is continuing her recovery from a stroke at

Mercy Health Extended Rehab in Rogers


           In addition, we pray for our those  brothers and sisters within our church and extended family who are facing health and personal problems ranging from cancer to diabetes, from vision disorders to fibro- and polymyalgia, from respiratory distress to heart disease, from Parkinson’s Disease and depression to various physical injuries and their complications…… and other ailments and afflictions, as well as loneliness, marital and family problems, employment and financial difficulties, and more.      


We are so small, so frail, so powerless to manage life’s challenges and even life’s ordinary situations.    Lord, please help all those we know and care about who are in need – granting them Your gifts of healing and health, support and success….and the continuing assurance that You are fully aware of their personal and spiritual needs, and that You have the ability and commitment to meet them….. indeed, that You have a perfect plan for the lives of every one of us (whether or not we understand and appreciate it), and that You will never take us into any circumstances in which You will not work things out, in the end, for our best personal and spiritual interests, and particularly for Your glory and honor.


P:        Hear us also, LORD, as we take a few moments to silently offer You our personal petitions and praises.     


A Moment for Silent Prayer


P:        Finally,  Lord God, accept our thanks for the tremendous privilege of being called Your children, and of being able to come to You now and at any time in prayer.   Help us to grow intellectually, emotionally, spiritually through Your Word, so that we may be faithful servants for You in our homes, and communities, in our congregations, and as members of Your Church on earth. Mercifully hear our prayer, and bless us one and all, for the sake and in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, eternally one God, forever and ever.   And in Whose name we also offer our Lord’s Prayer:


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



We Conclude our Worship


The Benediction


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


           The LORD bless you and keep you

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

                        The LORD look upon you with favor, and give you peace.



The Closing Hymn                                                                                           Hymn 50  “Lord, Dismiss Us With Your Blessing”


1 Lord, dismiss us with Your blessing; Fill our hearts with joy and peace.

Let us each, Your love possessing, Triumph in redeeming grace.

Oh, refresh us, oh, refresh us, Trav’ling through this wilderness.


2 Thanks we give and adoration For the gospel’s joyful sound;

May the fruits of Your salvation In our hearts and lives abound!

Ever faithful, ever faithful To Your truth may we be found.


3 So whene’er the signal’s given Us from earth to call away,

Borne on angels’ wings to heaven, Glad the summons to obey,

May we ever, may we ever Reign with Christ in endless day.


Silent Prayer


Post-service Music                                                                                                                                             




Last Week at Grace Lutheran                                                                                                                           

Sunday Worship Attendance: 54             Communed:    46            Sunday School: 5

Budgetary Offerings:  $ 5575         Capital Imv: $10

Tuesday  Bible Class:  15      

            Midweek Lenten Worship:   35           Wednesday Offerings:    Budgetary:  $260        


Looking Ahead For the Family of Grace Lutheran Church


Today        Morning Worship, 9:30 a.m.      Bible Class & Sunday School, (15 min afterward)

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

     Tuesday    Adult Bible Class, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

     Wednesday     Midweek Lenten Worship Service # 5, 7:00 p.m.

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

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

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


This Week’s Birthdays                           March 16 – Adam Larson;

March 17 – Kent Swogger;       March 19 – Braden King;



Serving Us This Coming Sunday                                      Ushers:   Kent Mayer, Tom Otto, Drake Schwartz

Altar Guild:    Harriet Johnson, Tammy Schwartz                               Elders:   Tim Pfortmiller & Vic Walker


“Bible Classes Today and Tuesday – Today’s adult Bible class is studying First John (this morning we’ll be talking about  our responsibility to love one another in chapters 3 & 4).   On Tuesday mornings from 10:30-11:30 we’re studying First Kings.   Tuesday’s class will continue to examine  Solomon’s dedication of the Temple for the Lord, as that story is recorded in I Kings 8-9.


Midweek Lenten Worship  This Wednesday evening (March 17th ), at 7:00 p.m. we will hold our fifthmidweek Lenten worship service.  Wednesday’s service will continue this year’s  Lenten theme:    “Our Spiritual Vision Problems and How They Can Be Corrected.”    The focus of the service on Wednesday evening will be:    “God’s Remedy for Spiritual Glaucoma” and will be based on I Kings 12:1-20.    Please make it your priority to join us!


Palm Sunday Afternoon BROCHURE DISTRIBUTIONS After our routine Sunday activities on March 28th  (Palm Sunday), we hope you’ll bring to church a “brown bag lunch” to fortify yourself for about an hour’s worth of Easter brochure distribution work.  It’s an important part of our Easter Outreach effort, as we’re planning to deliver brochure-invitations to worship with us on Easter Sunday to about 1500 homes immediately around our church.  We hope (and pray) that you would be willing to help us.


Special Holy Week Worship Services Reminder  – In 2 ½ weeks we’ll have two opportunities to gather together here for worship during the week we call “Holy Week.”   We urge all of you to make your preparations and plans now so that you will be able to join us for our Maundy Thursday (April 1st) worship service with the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m., and our April 2nd Good Friday worship service, which will also begin at 7  p.m.


Daily Devotions for Your Smart Phone, Computer or Tablet – Through a web site identified as “What About Jesus” (, operated by our Synod, we can sign up for short,  morning devotions sent straight to your smart phone each day via an email address.    Each devotion is Biblically accurate, and takes about a minute to read.  They arrive around 4 a.m, so you can start your day with it.   Just go to the web address, and click the word “worship” on the far right.   Then click “Devotions,” and, after providing some information to identify you, you’ll be sent an email with directions to complete the sign up process.   It takes a few minutes….and you will be blessed by these devotions on a daily basis.


Who will you bring to worship this Easter Sunday?   …..Your son or daughter?  Your Grandchildren?    Your parents?  An unchurched neighbor?   Someone with whom you work?    How about a stranger that you’ve yet to meet….but whom you will meet between now and Easter Sunday?    Maybe even a member of Grace who hasn’t been in church with us for a very long time…..?   Many people we know haven’t been in church to worship our Lord in a very long time.   And for far too many of them, the reason for their absence isn’t due to their concern over contracting the Covid virus from being with people in church.   Often people “lose interest” in church….and worse, some lose interest in Christ.   Others are interested in Him, sort of, occasionally.  

     God has put each of us in the lives of these people because He wants us to be examples of faith in Christ to them.   He’s also called us all to verbally witness to them about how essential faith in the crucified and risen Christ is for us…and for them.   After all, all of us are Christ’s “ambassadors” whose privilege it is to present the Gospel to people so the Holy Spirit can work, or strengthen, saving faith in their hearts.  

     There’s no better opportunity to do that than this time leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter.   So, be a witness for Jesus…..and please invite some of the non-churched people you know and meet to worship Him with us on Easter morning.


Easter Brunch-Dinner Planned    At our Tuesday evening Church Council meeting, it was decided that we would hold an Easter dinner following our Easter Sunday worship service.  We determined this after inquiring of the State Health Department if a dinner was possible.  We were told that it is possible, as long as we function like a normal restaurant and maintain proper spacing (which we already do on Sunday mornings for worship).   We will NOT have a pot-luck meal this year, but instead will provide all the food items through our fellowship fund and donations.   Please plan now to join us, and bring some guests too.  This is going to be the first time in an entire year that we’ve had an opportunity to enjoy this kind of fellowship.   We’d really like all of you to be a part of it.