The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity – October 08, 2023

The Twentieth Sunday of the Pentecost Season

The Final Word


What follows are some of the last words of some famous historical figures and celebrities:


*           I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”   – Leonardo da Vinci, artist

*           “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…”   – General John Sedgwick, Civil War Union Commander

*           “Go on, get out – last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”    Karl Marx, founder of communism

*           “Et tu, Brute?”  (“And you, Brutus?”)  – Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman Emperor

*           “All my possessions for another moment of time.”  – Elizabeth I, Queen of England

*           “Don’t you dare ask God to help me”  – Joan Crawford, actress, spoken to her maid who was praying for her.   And…..

*           “I’m gonna go see Jesus, want to see Jesus.”   – Singer Whitney Houston, to a close friend, shortly before her death.


            As we come to the end of our summer service and sermon study of the life of the Old Testament Patriarch Joseph, this morning, through our Old Testament Lesson (and Sermon Text) we are going to consider the last words of that exemplary believer as he faced death, but also as he looked forward – in faith – to the enduring promises that God gave to him and his people.    In the face of many trials and troubles in his life, Joseph had – by God’s grace – remained faithful to the LORD.   He trusted in the one true God to provide for him physically and to preserve him Spiritually no matter what he encountered.   In fact, the adversities he experienced brought him closer to the LORD and grew his faith.   In grateful response to God’s grace, Joseph gave evidence to his faith through the Godly life that he lived.     us.   Now, at the end of his life’s journey, at the age of 110 years, Joseph confesses his faith in God, looking 300 years forward to the day when God would bring the nation of Israel out of Egypt to finally take possession of the Promised Land of Canaan.    As our Children’s Lesson also notes, Joseph, in faith,  gave directions that his body should be carried for burial in the Promised Land by the people of Israel at that time.   And, of course, Joseph also faithfully looked forward to living in ultimate the Promised Land of heaven.   

            That reading, as well as today’s other Scripture lessons reinforce for us that each of us, by God’s grace, through faith, can anticipate the same eternal future in the Promised Land of heaven that Joseph anticipated.   

            Today’s Epistle Lesson we will listen to the last words the Holy Spirit had Paul record in Scripture.   Death is approaching for the apostle.   He is not afraid, because of his faith in Christ, his Savior.  Paul encourages Timothy to serve faithfully – and also vigilantly – in the ministry God has given him, and he also encourages other fellow believers to persevere in their faith in and service to Christ.

            Finally, in our Gospel Lesson Jesus, on Maundy Thursday, tells His disciples – and us today – that He is going to be leaving them to return to heaven.  There He will prepare a place for all who believe in Him (us, included) as the only Way to eternal life in heaven.   And one day, He would come to bring them home to heaven, as He will for us too.




We Welcome You 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 o 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.




The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831




Pre-Service Prayer

Lord Jesus, though but two or three    In Your dear name assembled be,

You will among them show Your face         And bless them with Your saving grace.

In Your dear name again we meet    And worship humbly at Your feet;

You will Your gracious Word fulfill        And cheer us with Your presence still.


Jesus, from Whom all blessings flow,      Your peace and comfort now bestow;

Abide with us till life is o’er     And keep us Yours forevermore.     Amen.




Pre-service prayer                                                                                                                                                 

Pre-worship music


Let Us Praise The Lord


The Congregation will be asked to 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 Opening Prayer


O Lord,    our Maker,    Redeemer,    and Comforter,    we are assembled in Your presence     to hear Your Word    and to offer You our worship and praise.     We pray that You would open our hearts    by means of Your Holy Spirit    so that through the preaching of Your Word     we may be taught to repent of our sins,   to believe on Jesus in life and in death,     and to grow day by day in grace and godliness.    Hear us now, for Jesus’s sake.    Amen.



After which, the Congregation may be seated for


Opening Hymn                                                                                            “God Is Here Among His People”

                                                                                                 sung to the melody of “‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus”

cwh, 2000


God is here among His people!    As we join in praise and prayer,

May we find in fuller measure,    Jesus’ grace which we all share.

Here, though in the world abiding,    as God’s children set apart,

We rejoice to join together,    one in faith, in love, in heart.


Here the Means of Grace    remind us of our life-long need for grace.

Here are altar, font, and pulpit;     here Christ’s cross has central place.

Here in faithful Bible preaching,    here in silence and in songs,

Here the Spirit, edifying,   heart-felt joy in us prolongs.


Here our children find in Baptism    entry to the Shepherd’s fold;

Here, in Sacramental Union,    Christ sustains us, young and old.

Here the servants of the Servant,    seek in worship to explore

What it means in daily living,   to believe and to adore.


Lord of all, the Church and Kingdom,    in an age of change and doubt,

Keep us faithful to all Scripture;    Help us work Your purpose out.

Here, in bringing praise and off’rings,   all we have to give, receive;

We who cannot live without You,   We adore You!   We believe!”      Amen.

After which the Congregation will rise



Hear Us and Forgive Us, Lord


Pastor   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.       


Congregation        And also with you.


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


Congregation    Holy and most merciful Father,     I confess that I am by nature sinful, and that I have disobeyed You in  my thoughts, words, and actions; Each day I turn away from Your  Will.    I have left

 undone those things which You have asked me to do,    and I have done those things which You tell me not to do.    I do not love You or my neighbor the way I should.     Because of these,    and all of my other sins,    too numerous for me to recall,      I acknowledge that I deserve nothing less than Your punishment      both now and for eternity.     But I am truly sorry for the evil that I have thought, spoken, and done,     and trusting in the perfect life,   and innocent death of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray:    Lord, forgive me all my sins,      restore to me the joy of Your salvation,   and strengthen my weak faith through the promises of Your divine Word     that I may obtain Your promised grace.


Pastor          Find comfort for your souls, then, in these words of our Lord:   “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will purify us from all unrighteousness,  because we have One Who speaks to the Father

 in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.   We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”   And now, upon this, your voluntary confession,  I, because of my office as a called servant of God’s Word,  announce the grace of God to all of you.  And, in the place of, and according to the command of my Lord 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 be with you.  Amen.”


Our Response To God’s Forgiveness


ALL sing:                                                                                   to the tune of “I Know That My Redeemer Lives


All praise, eternal Son, to Thee

For Thy forgiveness, full and free,

He, who by grace, this truth believes

The blessings of Christ’s love receives


Praise God the Father, God the Son

And God the Spirit,   Three in One,

As ’twas, is now, and so shall be

World without end,  eternally!     Amen.


Feed Us, Lord


The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                             Genesis 50


Joseph put his face against his father’s face, wept over him, and kissed him. 2 Joseph commanded the physicians who served him to embalm his father, so the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 Forty days were set aside for him, for that is how many days it takes to embalm. The Egyptians mourned for him for seventy days.


4 When the days of mourning for Jacob were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh. He said, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak directly to Pharaoh for me and say 5 that my father made me take an oath. He said to me, ‘Look, I am dying. Bury me in my tomb that I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will return here again.”


6 Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, just as he made you swear to do.”


7 Joseph went up to bury his father, and all the officials of Pharaoh went up with him: the senior officials of Pharaoh’s household, all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. 9 Both chariots and horsemen went up with him. It was a very great entourage.


10 They came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is on the other side of the Jordan, and there they mourned with a very loud and bitter lament. Joseph mourned for his father seven days. 11 When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, witnessed the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a very solemn mourning by the Egyptians.” That is why they named the place Abel Mizraim.[a] It is beyond the Jordan. 12 His sons did for him just what he commanded them to do: 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field at Machpelah, which Abraham had purchased along with the field. He purchased it from Ephron the Hittite, as a piece of property for a burial site near Mamre. 14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt—he and his brothers, and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.


15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and will pay us back in full for all of the evil that we did to him.”


16 They sent the following message to Joseph: “Before he died your father commanded us, 17 ‘You are to tell Joseph, “Please forgive the offense of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ Now, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father.”


Joseph wept when they spoke to him.


18 His brothers also came and fell down in front of him, and they said, “See now, we are your servants.”


19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring this to pass and to keep many people alive, as it is this day. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid. I will nourish you and your little ones.” He comforted them and spoke to them in a kind way.


22 Joseph lived in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Joseph lived one hundred ten years. 23 He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children also of Makir, the son of Manasseh, were placed on Joseph’s knees when they were born. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying, but God will surely visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Joseph made the descendants of Israel swear an oath. He said, “God will surely visit you. Then you shall carry my bones up from here.” 26 So Joseph died when he was one hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.


Our Psalm for Today                                                                                                                    Psalm 31



                 Surely it is God Who saves me. 

                  I will trust in Him and not be afraid.

                 For the LORD is my Stronghold and my sure Defense

                 And He will be my Savior



                 Verse 1


                 In You, O LORD I have taken re – – fuge

                       Deliver me in Your – –  righteousness


                 Be my rock of re – – fuge

                       A strong fortress to  – save me


                 Into Your hands I commit my spir – – it.

                       Redeem me, O LORD, the  – – God of truth




                 Verse 2


                 My times are  – – in Your hands

                       Save me in Your un –  – failing love.


                 How great is your go – – odness,

                       Which You have stored up for those who fe – – ar You.


                 You heard my cry for mer – – cy

                       When I called to You – – for help.





The Second Lesson                                                                                                                       2 Timothy 4


I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom: 2 Preach the word. Be ready whether it is convenient or not.   Correct, rebuke, and encourage, with all patience and teaching.  3 For there will come a time when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, because they have itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in line with their own desires. 4 They will also turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.


5 As for you, keep a clear head in every situation. Bear hardship. Do the work of an evangelist. Fulfill your ministry.


6 You see, I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 8 From now on, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will give it to me on that day, and not only to me but also to everyone who loved his appearing.


9 Make every effort to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this present world, has forsaken me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is useful to me for ministry. 12 I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak I left in Troas with Carpus, and the scrolls, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will pay him back for what he did. 15 You be on your guard against him also, because he vehemently opposed our message.


16 At my first hearing, no one came to my defense, but everyone deserted me. May it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message would be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles would hear it, and I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


19 Greet Prisca and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus because he was sick. 21 Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers.              22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.   Amen.



After which, the Congregation will rise for


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                          John 14:1-6

“Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions.   If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.   3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that you may also be where I am. 4 You know where I am going, and you know the way.”


5 “Lord, we don’t know where you are going,” Thomas replied, “so how can we know the way?”


6 Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.



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 at 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                                                                                                              Hebrews 11:22


22 By faith Joseph, as he neared the end of his life, mentioned the Exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions about his bones.


Joseph Died With Faith In God’s Promises



Hymn of the Day                                                                     Hymn 435   “The Will of God Is Always Best”


1 The will of God is always best   And shall be done forever.

And they who trust in him are blest;   He will forsake them never.

He helps indeed    In time of need;    He chastens with forebearing.

They who depend   On God, their friend,   Shall not be left despairing.


2 God is my comfort and my trust,    My hope and life abiding,

And to his counsel, wise and just,     I yield, in him confiding.

The very hairs,     His Word declares,    Upon my head he numbers.

By night and day    God is my stay;   He never sleeps nor slumbers.


3 Lord, this I ask; oh, hear my plea –    Deny me not this favor:

When Satan sorely troubles me,    Then do not let me waver.

Keep watch and ward,     O gracious Lord;    Fulfill your faithful saying:

All who believe    By grace receive    An answer to their praying.


4 When life’s brief course on earth is run    And I this world am leaving,

Grant me to say, “Your will be done,”    Your faithful Word believing.

My heav’nly Friend,      I now commend     My soul into your keeping,

O’er sin and hell      And death as well    Through you the vict’ry reaping.



The Greeting


Grace and peace be yours in abundance, from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come.   May our God and Father in heaven, through His Holy Spirit, fill you with joy and enrich your faith as you open your hearts and minds to His saving Word today, in Jesus name.  Amen.



The Sermon Text                                                                                                                    Genesis 50:22-26


22 Joseph lived in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Joseph lived one hundred ten years. 23 He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children also of Makir, the son of Manasseh, were placed on Joseph’s knees when they were born. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying, but God will surely visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Joseph made the descendants of Israel swear an oath. He said, “God will surely visit you. Then you shall carry my bones up from here.” 26 So Joseph died when he was one hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.


When You Come To The End of the Road





following which the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for


The Post-Sermon Blessing


May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers;    May He never leave us or forsake us.   May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways.    Amen.



We Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


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

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

2) You can donate through our website:


After which the Congregation rises for prayer

  • The Prayers for this Day     


    In our Prayers this morning we include:

    A Prayer of Intercession on behalf of:

    Steve Johannes (Dale’s brother) who is hospitalized with a severe leg issue;


    A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of  Christine and Pat Quinlan, who will celebrate

    their wedding anniversary this Thursday;


    The 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   for ever and ever.    Amen.   



    Now Dismiss Us, Lord


    Benediction                                         Brothers and sisters, now go in peace.  

                                                                     Live in harmony with one another.  

                                                                     And Serve the LORD in gladness.


    The LORD bless you and keep you.

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

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


    Closing Hymn                                                                                                        Hymn 321   “Savior Again”


    1 Savior, again to thy dear name we raise    With one accord our parting hymn of praise.

    Once more we bless thee ere our worship cease,    Then, lowly bending, wait thy word of peace.


    2 Grant us thy peace upon our homeward way;    With thee began, with thee shall end the day.

    Guard thou the lips from sin, the hearts from shame,    That in this house have called upon thy name.


    3 Grant us thy peace, Lord, through the coming night;    Turn thou for us its darkness into light.

    From harm and danger keep thy people free,   For dark and light are both alike to thee.


    4 Grant us thy peace throughout our earthly life,   Our balm in sorrow and our stay in strife.

    Then, when thy voice shall bid our conflict cease,   Call us, O Lord, to thine eternal peace.


    Silent prayer, 


    Post-service music