The Fifth Sunday of the Easter Season –  April 28, 2024

known, liturgically, as Cantate Sunday  (“Sing”)


Singing the Praises of our Savior


In 1988 Orel Hershiser was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.   The Dodgers were leading 5-2 on the top of the ninth inning of game 5 of the World Series.   The Dodgers held a 3-1 overall lead in that series.   Victory was just an inning away.   (Some of you might remember that world series because of Kirk Gibson’s famous bottom of the 9th, 2 out, 2 strike walk-off home run, that won that first game against Oakland in dramatic fashion.)    Orel was minutes away from being named the Series “Most Valuable Player” because he was about to win his second game in the World Series.   As the ninth inning was moments from starting, the TV broadcast showed Hershiser in the dugout.   He was leaning against the wall….and his lips were moving.   It seemed obvious that he was saying something to himself.    But what?    And so, the next day, when he was a guest on the Tonight Show, the program’s host, Johnny Carson, asked him what he had been saying in the dugout just before the ninth inning began.


“I wasn’t saying anything,” Orel responded.  


“Well, then, tell us what you were doing.”


Somewhat reluctantly, Orel replied, “I was singing.”


“You were singing?” Johnny said. “I didn’t know you were a singer.”


“Aw,” Orel said, “I’m not.”


Johnny persisted, “What were you singing? Sing it for us now.”


“Nah, I don’t want to sing.”


But by that time the audience was chiming in with “C’mon, sing it.   Sing it to us!”


Finally, Orel Hershiser started to sing the song he had sung in the dugout:    “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.   Praise Him all creatures here below.   Praise Him above Ye heav’nly host.    Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”     What followed was a rare moment on the Tonight Show.    Johnny Carson was absolutely speechless.   In fact, the whole audience was stunned to silence.    But then one person started clapping, and soon the whole audience joined in applause.


Orel had been singing…..praising God for the World Series victory he had his team were about to receive.


This morning we’re going to focus, not on baseball victories or singing baseball players, but on your and my singing the praises of the one true Triune God, because of the great Spiritual blessings He has given us through the resurrection victory of Jesus Christ, our Savior.    He has shown us His love.   He has granted us complete forgiveness of all our sins.   He has guaranteed us, through Jesus bodily resurrection, that our bodies will one day rise – perfected and prepared for everlasting life in heaven.   And, through God the Holy Spirit, the LORD has given us the faith to believe all this.


Of course, down through the centuires the Christian Church has always sung God’s praises for His many mercies to us.   But this particular Sunday has been set aside on the church’s “calendar” as a special occasion for your and my singing God’s praises as we work our way through the six Sunday “Easter Season,” with its emphasis on the many assurances that Jesus’ resurrection gives us.   This Fifth Sunday of the Easter season is traditionally known as “Cantate,” or “sing,” Sunday.   This designation is taken from this morning’s Psalm reading, Psalm 98, which encourages us in its opening verse to “sing to the Lord a new song, because He has done marvelous things.   His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him.”  


Today’s Scripture Readings  

 On this “Cantate”/Sing Sunday, the concept of worshiping, and the Christian’s responsibility to worship the LORD, are at the center of each of this morning’s Scripture readings.   Our English word “Worship” has its origins in the Old English term “worth-ship.”   Both the latter and the former mean the same thing:   what someone is “worth” to another – and more specifically, what our God is worth to us.   It’s also worth noting that worship encompasses far more than a just being a spectator in a “service” on Sunday morning for an hour or so.   It involves sincerely  singing His praises, eagerly and earnestly listening to God’s Word (and taking it to heart), praying to Him, as well as bringing generous, willing offerings (of our treasure, time and talents) to the LORD.   True worship goes well beyond Sunday … is a 24 hour per day/7 day a week/lifelong activity that centers on the Christian’s willingness to live for God in all aspects of his/her life.  


Our Old Testament Lesson for today is from Isaiah 12.   Through it we’ll consider why we can and should worship the Lord…..with our lips and our lives…..since He’s forgiven us all our sins for Jesus’ sake.   Not only are we to sing His praises by worshiping Him publicly, we are also to sing God’s praises as we share our faith in Him with others.


Today’s Epistle Lesson has us turning to Scripture’s final book:  Revelation.   In chapter five John introduces one of the book’s many “visions” – the Vision of the Seven Seals.   But before the vision is presented and the seals opened (in chapter 6) John describes the activity of the saints and angels in heaven as they worship Jesus.  He receives their worship because He is the Lamb of God Who, by virtue of His sinless blood shed to save us,  alone is worthy to open the seven seals (that is, to know and to control the future…..since He is truly God).   


In today’s Gospel Lesson/Sermon Text Jesus – again – informs His disciples of His impending death, and of the sorrow that they would temporarily experience before they would know the joy of His resurrection.    He also told them that He would be leaving them to return to heaven.   But He also promised to send them (and us, His Church on earth) the Counselor, namely the Holy Spirit, Who would guide them – and keep them – in all the truths of God.

            Some of the reasons and different ways that we can “Worship The Lord” will be the focus of this morning’s Children’s Lesson.    But at the center of our lesson will be the real reason why we come to church, and why we worship God with our lives.  It’s because we love Jesus, Who sacrificed Himself for us to earn God’s forgiveness for all our sins, and a guaranteed place in heaven for everyone who believes in Him.





Pre-Service Prayer   Heavenly Father, please guide me in wisdom and truth through Your Holy Spirit, as I spend this hour meditating on Your Word and rejoicing in Your limitless love for me.  Assist me in being attentive in heart and mind to Your Word, as well as to the hymns of praise, the various petitions, and the prayers of thanksgiving my voice directs toward You.  Use this worship service, O Lord, to deepen my love for You, to strengthen my trust in You, and to renew my commitment to You.  All this I ask for the sake of and in the name of Your One and only Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Amen.



Pre-service prayer

Pre-service music



Let Us Praise The Lord


The Invocation


P                           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.



Our Psalm Reading for Today                                                                                                           Psalm 98


P:  Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!   For He has done marvelous things;  His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him.

C: The LORD has made His salvation known;    + He has remembered  His righteousness to the eyes of the nations.


P:  He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;   

C: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


P:  Shout for joy to  LORD, all the earth;   Break out in joyful song!   Make music!

C: Make music to the LORD with the lyre,    +   With the lyre and the sound of music.


P:  With trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn;

C: Shout for joy before the King, the LORD.

P:  Let the sea roar, and everything that fills it   +   the world and all who live in it;

C: Let the rivers clap their hands;   Let the mountains sing for joy together before the LORD,


P:  For He comes to judge the earth.

C: He will judge the world in righteousness   +   and the peoples with fairness.



After which the Congregation will be seated for



The Opening Hymn                                                                  Hymn 145   “Jesus Lives, the Victory’s Won”


1 Jesus lives! The vict’ry’s won!   Death no longer can appall me.

Jesus lives! Death’s reign is done!   From the grave Christ will recall me.

Brighter scenes will then commence;   This shall be my confidence.


2 Jesus lives! To him the throne   High o’er heav’n and earth is given.

I shall go where he is gone,    Live and reign with him in heaven.

God is faithful; doubtings, hence!   This shall be my confidence.


3 Jesus lives! For me he died;   Hence will I, to Jesus living,

Pure in heart and act abide,    Praise to him and glory giving.

All I need God will dispense;   This shall be my confidence.


4 Jesus lives! I know full well   Nothing me from him shall sever,

Life nor death nor pow’rs of hell    Part me now from Christ forever.

God will be a sure defense;   This shall be my confidence.


5 Jesus lives! And now is death   But the gate to life immortal;

This shall calm my trembling breath   When I pass its gloomy portal.

Faith shall cry, as fails each sense:   “Jesus is my confidence!”


After which, the Congregation will be asked to rise as


We Confess our Sins to the Lord


Pastor       God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts. Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.


Congregation        Holy and merciful Father, +   I confess that I am by nature sinful   +   and that I have disobeyed You in my thoughts, words, and actions;    +    I have done what is evil in Your sight   +   and have failed to do what is good.   +    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment,   +    both now and for eternity.     +     But I am truly sorry for all my sins,     +   and trusting in the perfect life   +   and innocent death of my Savior, Jesus Christ, +   I plead:    +  God have mercy on me, a sinner.


Pastor      Our gracious Lord and Master has shown us His mercy:   He has given His one and only Son to save us from all our sins.     And now, under 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.   


Congregation   Amen.



Lord Have Mercy


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


C:             (sung)   Lord have mercy


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

C:         (Sung)   Christ have mercy.


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


C:        (Sung)    Lord have mercy.


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


C:            (sung)   Amen.


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


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

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

You take away our sin;    You comfort our spirit;

You make us pure and holy in Your sight.

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

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

O Son of God, eternal Word of the Father,

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

You washed us from our sins in Your own blood.

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

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



The Prayer for “Cantate” Sunday


Almighty and merciful God, +   You have filled us with the new light of the Word, +   Who became flesh and lived among us. +   Let the light of faith in You as the one, true God   +  shine forth in all that we say, think, and do.   +   And mercifully grant that we might continue to grow   +   in our faith, knowledge and service to You all our days,   +   until – by Your grace, through faith,   _   we inherit everlasting life in heaven ….. there to sing Your praises eternally.   +    All this we pray in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ,  +   Your Son our Savior and Lord,   +  Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit   +  as the one true God, now and forever.   +   Amen.



We Hear God’s Word


The First Lesson                                                                                                                            Isaiah 12:1-6


And in that day you will say:   “O Lord, I will praise You;  Though You were angry with me,  Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.   2 Behold, God is my salvation,  I will trust and not be afraid;  ‘For the Lord, is my strength and song;  He also has become my salvation.’ ”


3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.


4 And in that day you will say:  “Praise the Lord, call upon His name;

Declare His deeds among the peoples,   Make mention that His name is exalted.  5 Sing to the Lord,   For He has done excellent things;   This is known in all the earth.   6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,  For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                Revelation 5:1-14


And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.


4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”


6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.


8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:


“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals;  For You were slain,   And have redeemed us to God by Your blood  Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,  10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;  And we shall reign on the earth.”


11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:


“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”


13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:


“Blessing and honor and glory and power  Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”


14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.


after which the Congregation will rise for the reading of



This Morning’s Gospel Lesson                                                                                                     John 16:1-24


“I have told you these things so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who murders you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 But I have told you these things so that when their time comes, you may remember that I told them to you. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.


5 “But now I am going away to Him Who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 Yet because I have told you these things, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth: It is good for you that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.


12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears He will speak. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is Mine. This is why I said that He takes from what is Mine and will declare it to you.


16 “In a little while you are not going to see Me anymore, and again in a little while you will see Me, because I am going away to the Father.”


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.



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.


Afterward, the Congregation will be seated for


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                           Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7


1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!   Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  2   Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;   Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.   …..  6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;   Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.  7   For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture.   And the sheep of His hand.


Why Should We Worship the LORD ?



The Hymn of the Day                                                                        Hymn 241  “Alleluia, Let Praises Ring”



1 Alleluia! Let praises ring!    To God the Father let us bring

Our songs of adoration.    To him through everlasting days

Be worship, honor, pow’r, and praise   Whose hand sustains creation.

Singing, Ringing: Holy, holy,   God is holy. Spread the story

Of our God, the Lord of glory.


2 Alleluia! Let praises ring!    Unto the Lamb of God we sing,

In whom we are elected.    He bought the Church with his own blood;

He cleansed her in that blessed flood   And as his bride selected.

Holy, Holy Is our union   And communion. His befriending   

Gives us joy and peace unending. 


3 Alleluia! Let praises ring!   Unto the Holy Ghost we sing

For our regeneration.   The saving faith in us he wrought

And us unto the Bridegroom brought,   Made us his chosen nation.

Glory! Glory! Joy eternal,   Bliss supernal; There is manna  

 And an endless, glad hosanna.  


4 Alleluia! Let praises ring!     Unto our triune God we sing;

Blest be his name forever!    With angel hosts let us adore

And sing his praises more and more    For all his grace and favor.

Singing, Ringing: Holy, holy,     God is holy. Spread the story  

 Of our God the Lord of glory!



after which the Congregation will rise for


The Greeting


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge

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



Sermon Text                                                                                                                                   John 16:5-15

(part of today’s Gospel Lesson)


The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth

….from God the Holy Spirit



Pastor       To Him Who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, power, and authority now and forever.  Amen.



We Present our Prayers and 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, please) to our church address

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

2) You can donate through our website:


  • Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


    As the offerings are brought to the altar, the Congregation will rise for


    The Prayers of the Church


    Heavenly Father, You are our strength and song, and Your dear Son has become our salvation.   As You have graciously established true faith in our hearts through the working of Your Holy Spirit, we pray that You would both sustain and grow that faith within us throughout our days on this earth.   Enable us, in faith, to trust You in all things, and never to be afraid of anyone or anything on earth, or in heaven.  


    We gratefully acknowledge, LORD, that every good and perfect gift comes from You above.   Although we are not worthy of them, You have graciously showered us with both Spiritual and physical gifts far beyond what we ask for or deserve.   Enlighten our hearts and minds, so that we will never be deceived by the lies of the world, lest we boast of our self-sufficiency.  Instead, move us to recognize all Your good and gracious gifts and to receive them with thanksgiving.


    Heavenly Father, through Your Son’s death and resurrection You have  revealed Your grace and righteousness in the sight of the whole world. Continue to give Your Church on earth faithful pastors, missionaries and evangelists so that the increasing number of people who live in Spiritual darkness can hear of Jesus’ love, righteousness, and sacrifice for them, and – by believing – be saved.    Also, gracious God, through the proclamation of Your Word, bring back into Your Kingdom the many souls – particularly those we know and love – who have strayed from Your truth and from Your Church. 


    LORD God, You have taught us to be slow to wrath, for our human anger does not produce in us the righteousness and mercy that You expect from us.   Through Your Spirit, create and strengthen in us new and loving hearts, that we might love our fellow man – and especially our brothers and sisters in Christ – by displaying our kindness and love to them, and by gladly supporting them in all their physical and Spiritual needs. 


    As the Sovereign LORD of heaven and earth, You have the right to hold everyone accountable for the responsibilities You have given them.   And so, as we pray for ourselves, we also pray for our governmental leaders.   Please bless our president, our governor, the Congress and legislature, and all judges, magistrates and other civil authorities, by leading them to faithfully serve according to Your will and for the common good of all.    Give us virtuous leaders who will defend our liberty, and in particular who will support our right and privilege to worship and serve You as a Church family.   Also protect those in our nation’s armed forces and law-enforcement agencies who defend and protect us, even as we pray that You will also grant peace to all nations.


    Lord God, heavenly Father, through Your Son You promised to send Your Church on earth Your Holy Spirit, Who would convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.    We plead with You to so enlighten our hearts that we will readily and humbly confess all our sins, and – in true faith in Your mercy – lay hold of the gift of Christ’s righteousness and the assurance of everlasting life in heaven, through faith in Him.    Clothe us in Your Spiritual armor, so that we might faithfully face and overcome every trial and temptation we encounter. Also graciously deliver us – in Your way and in Your own appointed time – from all adversity, particularly from the wiles of the Devil, the ways of this sinful world and the internal threat of our sinful nature.  


    Finally, Lord God, accept our thanks for the privilege of being part of Your Church, not only for today but  for all eternity, through Your grace to us in Christ, our Savior.    Please receive and bless this prayer for Jesus’ sake, Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, as the one, true God, forever and ever.   It is in His name that 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 Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


    The Benediction      


    The LORD bless you and keep you.

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

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



    Closing Hymn                                                                     Hymn 324   “Almighty God Your Word Is Cast”


    1 Almighty God, your Word is cast    Like seed into the ground;

    Now let the dew of heav’n descend   And righteous fruits abound.


    2 Let not the foe of Christ and man    This holy seed remove,

    But give it root in ev’ry heart   To bring forth fruits of love.


    3 Let not the world’s deceitful cares    The rising plant destroy,

    But let it yield a hundredfold   The fruits of peace and joy.


    4 Whene’er the precious seed is sown,   Life-giving grace bestow

    That all whose souls the truth receive   Its saving pow’r may know.


    Silent Prayer, Announcements, Post-service music