As this Coronavirus challenge continues……we will be continuing to broadcast our services over the internet at     Videos of Bible classes will also be posted online, along with study materials. Please feel free to call me at any time with any Spiritual or personal concerns/needs you have (either 756-0020…home or 685-2440…cell).    If you find them edifying to you, please consider sharing our web site and sermons with your family, friends and neighbors. I especially want to thank Ryan Bratton and Dale Johannes for all the work that they have done and are doing to develop and improve our web page, as well as to make possible the broadcasts of our worship sermons.  Also, you are welcome to share any critiques and suggestions for improvements with me. We promise that we’ll do the best we can to meet your needs and expectations.  – Pastor


Grace Lutheran Church & School

a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

415 N. 6th Place   Lowell, Arkansas 72745

659-0905/659-5999 (Offices) (Pastor) 756-0020/685-2440


March 22, 2020    The Fourth Sunday in Lent

 which is also known by the traditional name    “Laetere” (Rejoice) Sunday

The Christian Can Always Find Joy in God’s Grace


One of the most consistent and nagging questions we encounter in our life is the question, “Why?” Almost no other question has us bothered, frustrated, angry or frightened than the question, “Why?”   As many of us who are parents recall, one of the first questions that comes out of the mouths of little children – once they gain the power of speech – is “Why?” “Daddy, why is the sky blue?” “Mommy, why is the grass green?”    “Why do I have to eat my spinach?” “Why do I have to clean up my room?” “Why do some people hate each other?” Most parents try to answer those questions the best they can, yet ultimately often end up saying: “I don’t know,” or “Because I said so.”     I used to think that last answer was unfair….until I became a parent.

But the questions don’t end with the end of childhood.   Even as adults we still struggle with that one question, “Why?”    The only difference is that our questions became more complex, and more frustrating.    “Why doesn’t somebody do something about this?” “Why are my taxes so high?” “Why can’t we get along?”   “Why don’t we ever talk anymore?” “Why is it we don’t love each other anymore?” Unlike when we were kids, we can’t as easily rush to our parents to get all the right answers.    Even when we approach the “throne of grace” to receive the answers that we want…..(and think we need)….. and we’re hard pressed to get them: “God, if you’re so powerful, why did you let my mother die?” “Why is there so much sadness and disappointment in the world?”  “Why do evil people apparently prosper, while Your children seem to suffer? One day God will answer all our questions…..but that day won’t come until we get to heaven (I Corinthians 13:12-13). 

In preparing for this morning’s worship service, I pondered the circumstances of the apostle Paul when he wrote this letter to the church in the city of Philippi.    The congregation was flourishing….doing so well that Paul called it his “joy and crown.” In fact, over-riding the theme of this entire book is the joy that only a Christian can know…….    And what makes this portion of Scripture all the more remarkable and impressing is that Paul wrote it while in prison, possibly facing execution. Yet, even with the prospect that the end of his life drawing near, all the Apostle could think about in this letter was his continuing joy in the Lord. 
I’m not able this morning…..and on this side of heaven I won’t ever be able to give you every answer to your questions starting with “why?”    But –as the Holy Spirit led Paul to write and believe – even so I know that if we keep the proper, spiritual perspective on life….regardless of our circumstances… and I can – with the faith-sustaining and strengthening help fo God the Holy Spirit – always rejoice in the Lord and His blessings for us……from His love and forgiveness, to His working everything out on earth for our good and His guarantee that one day we’ll live forever in heaven.   You can be joyful, regardless of the circumstances…..even when people disappoint us…..even when it seems our world is falling apart….even when we have problems with our bosses, our spouses, our children, our cars and plumbing and arthritis.   

We know – as Christians – that real joy and happiness in life can’t (and won’t ever) be found in money, position, pleasure, possessions, fame, or anything else earthly.   

Real 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 faith…..a change in our attitudes, expectations, and purpose for living – from being earthly-oriented, materially-minded, success-seeking men and women, to that of persons who are joyful due to our forgiveness in Christ, confident of God’s direction for our lives, and men and women who know, by grace through faith that we are heaven-bound…for Jesus’ sake!

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).    

Paul, in our Epistle Lesson, encourages Christians to rejoice – even in the face of sufferings and persecution – because of the reconciliation that they have experienced with God and the salvation that is theirs through faith in Christ,   

This morning’s Gospel Lesson is Jesus’ familiar and endearing parable of the Prodigal Son, which is sometimes (and for very good reason) also referred to as the parable of the Waiting Father.   It’s been said that this portion of Scripture has been preached on more often, by more ministers, than any other passage in God’s Word…..and that may well be true both because of its clear Gospel content, and because we sinners relate so well to the attitudes and behaviors which both sons manifest in this parable.    Neither boy understood, let alone appreciated, his father’s all-encompassing love. Among other deficiencies, each son saw service to his father as a burden. Both were materialistic and selfish – though in differing ways. Each felt that he was owed much by his father. And both lacked the very necessary personal qualities of an appreciation for family and of compassionate love.   In spite of their deficiencies, their father loved them deeply and showed it by waiting and then eagerly welcoming home the Prodigal Son, and by seeking out and instructing the jealous and antagonistic Older Brother. Both sons were lost in their sinful natures. Both sons needed and received reconciliation and restoration through the compassionate love of their forgiving father.   

Next, today’s Children’s 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!

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 final 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 began his letter to them in chapter one, so now at its close, he urges them to follow his example and “rejoice in the Lord always” regardless of ones circumstances in life….whether things are going fabulously well, very poorly or somewhere in between.   Whether “well-fed, hungry, living in plenty or in want, “ the Christian can be content in any and every situation in life, and can 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 of this 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. 


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.


Grace Lutheran Church of Northwest Arkansas

is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a church body which spans the United States and Canada, and which also operates a number of foreign missions.

Our Vision:      Extend God’s Kingdom through His Word, serving each Soul.

Our Mission:  Share the Gospel, Encourage Faith, and Prepare Souls

through Worship, Education and Fellowship.

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

The Order of Worship for the 4th Sunday in Lent


We Praise Our God


Service Introduction and Invitation to Worship


The Invocation

We make our beginning

In the name of the Father

Who created and preserves this world and every one of us, and Who gave

His Son into death for us and raised Him in glory on the third day;

And of the Son,

 Who became fully human in order to be our Savior-Substitute, Who laid

down His life only to take it up again on the third day, Who rules over all things from

heaven for the good of His Church, and Who will return in glory on the Last Day to deliver that Church;

And of the Holy Spirit

through Whom Christ was made alive,

Who has worked and sustains saving faith in our hearts,

Who lives in us now through the Word, 

and Who will one day give life to our mortal bodies.   



Today’s Psalm Reading  –  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.


The Opening Hymn  – “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”


Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.   (REFRAIN)

(REFRAIN)   Great is Thy faithfulness!   Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.   (REFRAIN)

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!    (REFRAIN)


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God 


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, carrying out my office as a called servant of Christ, and according

to His command and authority,   I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you. Amen. 


In joyful response to this reassurance of God’s love and forgiveness for us in Christ, please join me now as we sing the praises of our gracious and majestic Lord:


“Majesty” written by Jack Hayford, Rocksmith Music


Majesty, worship His majesty.   Unto Jesus, be all glory, honor and praise.

Majesty….Kingdom authority,   flow from His throne, unto His own, His anthem raise.

So exalt – lift up on high, the name of Jesus.

Magnify, come glorify, Christ Jesus the King.

Majesty, worship His majesty.   Jesus Who died. Now glorified. King of all Kings.


The Prayer For This Morning

O Almighty God,   + Only You can change us   + from people whose affections and actions are selfish and evil,   + into people who want to love and do the things which You command.  + Please give us all the faith to confidently believe + what You promise us in Your Word;    + so that, in the middle of the many changes that take place + in this world in which we live,   + our hearts and souls will remain firmly fixed + on You and Your Word, + in which alone, now and always, +    we can find true and lasting joy. + All this we humbly ask in the name + and through the merits + of Jesus Christ, Your Son our 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 – 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 – Romans 5:1-11


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we also have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice confidently on the basis of our hope for the glory of God.

3 Not only this, but we also rejoice confidently in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patient endurance, 4 and patient endurance produces tested character, and tested character produces hope. 5 And hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.

6 For at the appointed time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 It is rare indeed that someone will die for a righteous person. Perhaps someone might actually go so far as to die for a person who has been good to him. 8 But God shows his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Therefore, since we have now been justified by his blood, it is even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, it is even more certain that, since we have been reconciled, we will be saved by his life. 11 And not only is this so, but we also go on rejoicing confidently in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received this reconciliation.


The Gospel Lesson – Luke 15:11-32


11 Jesus said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all that he had and traveled to a distant country. There he wasted his wealth with reckless living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 He went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He would have liked to fill his stomach with the carob pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, and I am dying from hunger! 18 I will get up, go to my father, and tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

20 “He got up and went to his father. While he was still far away, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, hugged his son, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick, bring out the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let us eat and celebrate, 24 because this son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.’ Then they began to celebrate.

25 “His older son was in the field. As he approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. 27 The servant told him, ‘Your brother is here! Your father killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 The older brother was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.

29 “He answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I’ve been serving you, and I never disobeyed your command, but you never gave me even a young goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours arrived after wasting your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’

31 “The father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 But it was fitting to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.’”


The Apostles’ Creed  


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


The Children’s Lesson – Luke 15:8-10


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.”


Joy Over Every Soul’s Salvation


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

To the melody of “Ode to Joy”;   cwh 1999


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 our Father, and through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.


The Sermon Text – Philippians 4:4-13

4 Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent, and if anything is praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 The things that you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: Keep doing these things. And the God of peace will be with you.

10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord now that you have revived your concern for me once again. Actually, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I lack anything; in fact, I have learned to be content in any circumstances in which I find myself. 12 I know what it is to live in humble circumstances, and I know what it is to have more than enough. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, while being full or hungry, while having plenty or not enough. 13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.



You and I are Blessed with True Joy….

Something that, by God’s Grace, Only A Christian Can Know


The Post-Sermon Blessing

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 Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord

Our Offerings of Love to our Lord 

Today’s Responsive Prayer   

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 our church family even though we are separated from each other     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


We pray for our world, this country, our community and everyone in our congregation and extended families as we together face the “great unknown” of this world-wide pandemic caused by the Coronavirus-19.   Calm our concerns with the assurance that You are capably in control of all things and are aware of our every need. Keep all of us physically safe from this deadly virus….especially those who are working in the health care field, the public service field, and those who are providing essential services for the good functioning of our society.  During these trying times, keep us from being selfish, angry, despondent, and whatever other emotions and behaviors would prove harmful to us and others, and would dishonor You, Lord. Bless our governmental leaders at every level as they struggle to maintain public health, good order, and a sound economy for us. Also bless the efforts of those people who are searching to find the medical means to control and to cure this virus.   Quickly and miraculously, Lord, grant them the success they seek….and even more than they are seeking.


We also seek your special blessings on the following couples in our church family, which are celebrating their wedding anniversaries this week.  For all the blessings You have graciously given to Kent and Helen Mayer (Monday);   Chris and Amanda Tart (Monday);   and Murray and Emily Mansch (Tuesday);   we join these couples, Lord, in praising and thanking You.   Allow each of them to grow in their love for each other and for You, O Lord.  Make them effective witnesses of Your grace in Christian marriage to all who watch them.   And as You have united them into families here on earth, even so one day – when their days on earth come to a close – bring them into Your greater family of believers who are united in heaven.


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 Few Moments 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 

P: 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 unto you.

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


The Closing Hymn Hymn 334   “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow”


Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.   Praise Him, all, creatures, here, below.

Praise Him above You Heav’nly host,   Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.


Silent Prayer



This Past Week at Grace Lutheran  

Sunday Worship Attendance: 94                 Bible Class: 44           General Offerings: $2795

Special Offering for School Dishwasher:   $50


This Week’s Birthdays and Anniversaries                                         March 22 – Emma Larson;       

March 23 – Helen and Kent Mayer       March 23 – Chris and Amanda Tart;     March 24 – Lilly Finch;     

March 24 – Emily and Murray Mansch;       March 24 – Jami Heinemann; March 24 – Joey Weed;     


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 to have short,  morning devotions sent straight to our smart phones 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 “Recent Devotions,” and (on the right side of the page) click “Get It Delivered.”  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.