The Seventh Sunday after the Festival of the Holy Trinity

also known as The Ninth Sunday of the Pentecost Season

July 18, 2021


The Story(and Example) of Simon of Cyrene…..

the Man who Carried the Cross for Christ


            This morning we’re continuing our summer series on various persons whose faith and experiences serve as examples and encouragements for us (last week we learned from Noah).  Today you and I will get to study the story of Simon of Cyrene in connection with our calling as Christians to – among other things – “carry the cross” faithfully for Christ.  

            Simon is mentioned in three of the Gospel accounts:   Matthew (27:32), Mark (15:21), and Luke (23:26).   His name, in both Hebrew and Greek, means “God has heard.”   It was a name that entered the Hebrew family when Jacob named his second-born son Simeon.   Quite probably he is also mentioned in Romans 16:13 as the father of Rufus, a well-known member of the Christian congregation in Rome, both men and Simon’s wife being acquaintances  of Paul the Apostle.

            There are actually a number of Simons are mentioned in the New Testament.   Perhaps the most well-known is Simon, son of Jonah (also known as Simon Peter) one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:2).   Another Apostle was also named Simon – Simon the Zealot (Matthew 10:4).   One of Jesus’ half-brothers (one of the biological children of both Joseph and Mary – see Mark 6:3) was known by the name Simon.   There was also Simon the Pharisee, at whose home Jesus once ate (Luke 7:40,44).   Acts 8:9-24 tells us about a man of questionable character, Simon the Sorcerer, who associated with the early church.   And, finally, we meet yet another Simon early in the story of Christ….He was called “Simeon” in Luke 2:25-35.   Along with the prophetess Anna, Simeon encountered in the temple the answer to his prayers in the person of the infant Jesus, and Simeon praised God for that precious experience.

            The Simon before us this morning also encountered Jesus, not at the beginning, but rather near the end of his time on earth.   Simon of Cyrene was the individual who carried Jesus’ cross for Him from somewhere in the streets of Jerusalem between Gabbatha (Pilate’s judgement seat) and Golgatha, the location of Jesus’ crucifixion and death.  

            The North African city of Cyrene (now called Tripoli), from which Simon hailed, was the capital of the Roman province of Cyrenaica.   (Today Cyrenaica is known as the country of Libya.)   Originally it was a colony established by people from Greece.  In Simon’s day Cyrene’s population was ethnically Gentile.   The city’s size was approximately 100,000….of which roughly 25% were Jewish people.  The sizeable Jewish community had its own synagogues in which to worship.   They also maintained their distinctive Hebrew culture and faith while living some 900 miles from Jerusalem and its Temple.

            Some commentators have speculated that since Simon came from North Africa he might have been a dark-skinned African man (see also Acts 13:1).   However, since only his hometown was specified and since many Jews lived in Cyrene during this time, no one can say for certain what his skin color was.    Instead of speculating we should simply let the Holy Spirit, Who gave us the Scriptures, tell us from it what He wants us to know about Simon.   What we learn regarding him in the Bible is more than enough to get a good picture of the man who uniquely carried the Cross for Christ.

            The Biblical facts given to us about Simon of Cyrene include the following:   First, he was a Jewish believer, and so was a worshiper of the one, true God.   His Hebrew name (Simeon/Simon) suggests he was an ethnic Jew and so was part of the “dispersed” Jewish people, who years earlier had spread throughout the Mediterranean world due to persecution, war, Judea’s small geographic confines,  and economic opportunity.    It is possible that he also could have been a proselyte (a Gentile convert to Judaism).    Ultimately, we don’t know for certain whether he was a proselyte or native Jew.   Regardless, we certainly can say that Simon of Cyrene was a devout Jewish believer.

            Second, he was a father and had brought his two sons to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover with him.  Their names are given in Mark 15:21 as Alexander and Rufus.  The boys were old enough to travel to Jerusalem from Cyrene and so were likely twelve, or older at the time).   Nothing is mentioned of their mother accompanying them, so her Spiritual status at that time remains unknown, as far as the Gospel records are concerned.

            Third, many commentators have connected the Rufus mentioned in Mark 15:21 with the Rufus whom Paul mentioned in Romans 16:13: “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord;   and his mother, who was a mother to me too.”   If they are correct, then the Rufus of Mark 15 and the Rufus of Romans 16 are one in the same.  That would mean at least one – if not both – of Simon’s sons was a prominent member of the Christian congregation in Rome.  In addition, the mother of Rufus was certainly a Christian by the time Paul wrote Romans (about 30 years after the crucifixion).   While it is not absolutely certain that these two Rufus’ are the same person….the connection is not only a possibility, but is highly probable.    That’s because we know that Mark wrote the Gospel named after him especially for the benefit of those Christians living in Rome.  (Actually this Gospel was  Peter’s account of Christ’s life, and the writer, Mark [also known as John Mark], was the Apostle’s partner in the ministry.)   Mark’s connecting Simon of Cyrene, as the father of Rufus and Alexander, thirty years after Good Friday to two prominent believers who were known to Paul and the Roman congregation – Alexander and Rufus — strongly suggests that Paul and Mark are speaking about the same family.   It would also lead us to conclude that Simon, Rufus and Alexander brought the Gospel into their home where it produced faith in the heart of his wife/their mother.

            Fourth, people from Cyrene were among the first Christian believers on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10). Perhaps Simon, Alexander, and Rufus were among those who heard the Gospel and came to faith in Christ that day.  If so, it’s another explanation for why connecting the Rufus in Romans 16:13 with the Rufus in Mark 15:21 would not be surprising.

            On that first Good Friday, Simon of Cyrene was the individual whom the Roman soldiers (who managed the crucifixion) pulled out from the crowd and forced to carry the cross of Jesus to Golgatha.   Simon had no choice but to cooperate, even though he probably did not want to perform that duty.   You see, Roman law allowed soldiers of the Empire to impress, or order, any civilian to assist them in their work….provided that person had to go no farther than a mile out of his way.   To refuse a Roman solider’s order was neither wise, nor safe.   Simon, obviously, cooperated.

            Carrying Christ’s cross for Him, Simon likely came in contact with the blood of Jesus.   Perhaps he even touched the battered body of Jesus as the cross was handed off between the two men on the day the Savior would die for the world’s and Simon’s sins (as well as all our sins).   Doing so (touching the dying Jesus’ blood) could have made Simon ceremonially unclean (Numbers 19:11-13) just prior to his observing the Passover.   That contamination (ceremonial uncleanness) would have prohibited him from such important matters as entering into the Temple area, having his Passover lamb blessed by one of the priests, and joining other believers in public worship and celebration.   Given that he had traveled so far and that he had come so close to participating in what was, probably, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it must have been heart-breaking and perhaps even upsetting to Simon that he had become “unclean” through no fault of his own.    What Simon, obviously, didn’t realize at the time was that his encounter with Jesus was all part of God’s plan of salvation for him and his family.

            Whether or not his unique experience of carrying Christ’s cross and – perhaps – also observing Him die, helped bring Simon to faith in Jesus on Good Friday, we cannot say for certain.   But, in time, God would bring Simon to faith in Christ as his Savior.   Simon’s encounter with Jesus that day on the streets of Jerusalem was not an accidental act of some Roman soldiers ordering a civilian (him) to help an exhausted Jesus carry His cross in order to hurry up the process of His crucifixion.   Instead, it was all according to God’s divine design.   The Lord had chosen Simon and his family (as He has chosen all of us, from eternity) to believe in Christ.    Perhaps the time to hear and believe the Gospel occurred for Simon and his sons on the Day of Pentecost.   After all, given how far he lived from Jerusalem, as other Passover pilgrims typically did, Simon probably also would have remained in Jerusalem a few more weeks following Passover to observe the Jewish Festival of Weeks….during which the Day of Pentecost took place.    If so, he and his sons would certainly have heard the talk about Christ crucified and risen that undoubtedly circulated throughout Jerusalem in the days and weeks following the first Easter.    Consequently Simon and his sons could easily have been brought to faith through the preaching of Peter or one of the other Apostles on the streets of Jerusalem on Pentecost.   After all, mentioned among those who heard and believed Peter  were Jews from Cyrene (Acts 2:10)….and Simon was a Jew from Cyrene.  

            And so, if we put all of this information from Scripture together, it is quite possible that Simon of Cyrene was the first convert (or at least one of the first converts) to Christianity from Africa.    Then he certainly could have gone back to his home and shared the Good News about Christ crucified and risen with his family and friends, as many of those Pentecost coverts from around the world eventually did.  

            Finally, it’s also possible that Simon and his family moved a few years later from Cyrene to Antioch.    For in Acts 13:1 we learn concerning the believers who were in Antioch that two of them were Simon called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene.   (“Niger” means black, or dark.  It’s from this reference that some commentators suggest that Simon might have been dark-skinned.)   More important, it was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26).   Who knows how much this Simon (who could have been our Simon from Mark 15, and who on Good Friday carried the cross for Christ) might have had to do with the proclamation of the Gospel in Antioch and its impressive influence on those people there who believed it?    It also reasonable to think that in Antioch, Paul, who – along with Barnabas – was a key leader and teacher in that congregation, would have been able to get to know Simon’s family, so that he could later speak so highly of them when he wrote his epistle to the church in Rome, of which Simon’s family (Rufus, Alexander, and their mother) were members by that time. 

            And so, in so many ways what an impressive example Simon of Cyrene can set for us!


Today’s Scripture Lessons

            In our First Lesson Paul talks to the congregation in Corinth about how God has enabled them to embrace the Gospel in faith, but how the unbelieving world around them persists not only in rejecting the Gospel, but in despising it….and anyone who embraces it.  What was true nearly 2000 years ago in Corinth is true today in our world as well.  The unbelieving community around us not only despises the Gospel but despises – and persecutes – us and everyone who accepts in faith that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection are the only means by which we are forgiven and can be saved for heaven.  The “sinful world” considers the Gospel to be nothing more than “foolishness,” but for us – who have been saved through the Gospel – it provides (through the Holy Spirit in it) the “power” we need to believe in Christ for our salvation.  So, far from despising it, we praise God for His gift of the Gospel!

            In today’s Epistle Lesson the Apostle Paul talks about the struggles Christians face as we bear the cross for Christ.   We need to embrace the situations God has set us in, with faith in Him to bring us through them, as He enables us to bear the troubles and difficulties that come upon us as His children.   Just as Jesus humbly and faithfully accepted His demanding role as our Savior, even to the point of dying on the cross for us (Philippians 2:8), let us be content and confident in all that God calls us to do and in whatever circumstances He chooses to place us for His glory and our good.  

            This morning’s Gospel Lesson Jesus calls all believers (including us) to deny ourselves (particularly any and all sinful affections) and instead take up the crosses He gives us and follow Him in faith.    Of course, Jesus isn’t urging us to court martyrdom.   Instead He is talking about an overall approach to life that He wants us to embrace for Him….that of crucifying the self-centered impulses of sinful human nature, so that we might live instead godly lives for His glory and as a witness before others who watch us.  Practically speaking, this means subordinating our egos with their preoccupation with “I,” “me,” and “mine”…. denying our sinful selves for the sake of embracing Christ’s cause and honoring Him.

            Finally, in our Children’s Lesson Paul speaks about a problem he faced as a servant of God that was so serious he actually thought it would cost him his life.   He learned from it not to trust in himself, but in the LORD.   He encourages them (and us) to face all our problems in life with the same confidence in God, certain that “Tough Times Build Trusting Christians.”



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




Pre-Service Prayer:  


                The day has dawned and duty calls                       Guide me to do my best for You

                So many tasks await.                                              To shun each sinful way.

                Strengthen me when my spirit falls —                    Jesus, forgive the wrongs I do

                Or when I hesitate.                                                  And keep me safe today.        Amen.




Silent Prayer                                                                                                                          Pre-Service Music


The Service Introduction and Invitation to Worship


At the pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for


The Opening Hymn                                                                                                      Hymn 238    “Oh, Bless the Lord, My Soul”


1 Oh, bless the Lord, my soul!    Let all within me join

And aid my tongue to bless his name   Whose favors are divine.


2 Oh, bless the Lord, my soul,   Nor let his mercies lie

Forgotten in unthankfulness   And without praises die.


3 ‘Tis he forgives my sins;   ‘Tis he relieves my pain;

‘Tis he that heals my sicknesses   And makes me young again.


4 He fills the poor with good;   He gives the suff’rers rest;

The Lord has judgments for the proud   And justice for th’ oppressed.


5 His wondrous works and ways   He made by Moses known,

But sent the world his truth and grace   By his beloved Son.


After which the Congregation will rise for




P:         We make our beginning this morning, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.


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


C:         And also with you.


The Confession of Sins


Pastor    God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us acknowledge our sinfulness and ask Him to forgive us.


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 failed to do what is good.   +    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment,   +    both now and in eternity.     +     But I am truly sorry for the evil that I have thought, spoken and done,     +   and trusting in the sinless life,   +   sacrificial death for me   +   and the resurrection of Your Son, my Savior,  Jesus Christ,   +   I pray:    +  God have mercy on me, a sinner.


Pastor      God our heavenly Father, has been merciful to us and has given His only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for all our sins.   Therefore, as a called servant of God and according to His command and under His authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.    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.

after which the Congregation  may be seated for

The Word of God For Today


Our First Lesson                                                                                                              I Corinthians 1:18-31


18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. 19 In fact, it is written:   I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;   the intelligence of the intelligent I will bring to nothing.


20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Jewish law? Where is the probing thinker of the present age? Has God not shown that the wisdom of this world is foolish? 21 Indeed, since the world through its wisdom did not know God, God in His wisdom decided to save those who believe, through the foolishness of the preached message. 22 Yes, Jews ask for signs, Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified—which is offensive to Jews and foolishness to Greeks, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 We preach Christ crucified, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.


26 For example, consider your call, brothers. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view, not many were powerful, and not many were born with high status. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are strong, 28 and God chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things, and the things that are not, to do away with the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before God. 30 But because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who became for us the wisdom from God, namely, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31 God did this so that, just as it is written, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”



Today’s Second Lesson                                                                                                       Philippians 2:1-18


So if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility consider one another better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look carefully not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.


5 Indeed,  let this attitude be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. 6 Though He was by nature God, He did not consider equality with God as a prize to be displayed,   7 but He emptied Himself by taking the nature of a servant. When He was born in human likeness, and His appearance was like that of any other man,   8 He Humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


12 So then, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you, but also now much more in my absence, continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 In fact, it is God Who is working in you, both to will and to work, for the sake of His good pleasure. 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish among a crooked and perverted generation. You shine among them like lights in the world, 16 as you hold on to the word of life. Then I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I continue to be glad and rejoice with you all. 18 In the same way, also be glad and rejoice with me.


After which the Congregation will rise for


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                                                       Luke 9:23-27


23 Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 After all, what will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world, but destroys himself or is lost? 26 In fact, whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels. 27 I am telling you the truth: There are some standing here who will certainly not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”



The Nicene Creed


     I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,  and of all things visible and invisible.  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God,  Light of Light.  Very God of Very God.  Begotten, not made.  Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made;  Who for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven   And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary   And was made man;  And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried;  And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures;  And ascended into heaven,  And sitteth on the right hand of the Father;   And he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead;  Whose Kingdom shall have no end.   And I believe in the Holy Ghost,  The Lord and Giver of Life,  Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,  Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,  Who spake by the Prophets.  And I believe one holy Christian and Apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,  And I look for the resurrection of the dead,  And the life of the world to come.  Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                     II Corinthians 1:8-11


8 Brothers, we do not want you to be unaware of the trouble that happened to us in the province of Asia. We were burdened so greatly, so far beyond our ability to bear it, that we even gave up hope of living. 9 Yes, we even felt the sentence of death within ourselves. This happened so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God, Who raises the dead. 10 He rescued us from such a terrible death, and He will continue to rescue us. We have set our hope on Him that He will also rescue us again, 11 as you join in helping us with your prayers for us. Then many people will thank God for the gracious gift given to us through many prayers.


Tough Times Build Trusting Christians



The Hymn of the Day                                                               Hymn 465     “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken”


1 Jesus, I my cross have taken,    All to leave and follow you.

Destitute, despised, forsaken,   You on earth once suffered, too.

Perish ev’ry fond ambition,   All I’ve ever hoped or known;

Yet how rich is my condition!   God and heav’n are still my own.


2 Let the world despise and leave me;   They have left my Savior, too.

Human hearts and looks deceive me;   You are not, like them, untrue.

And since you have smiled upon me,   God of wisdom, love, and might,

Foes may hate and friends may shun me –  Show your face, and all is bright.


3 Go, then, earthly fame and treasure!   Come, disaster, scorn, and pain!

In your service pain is pleasure;   With your favor loss is gain.

I have called you Abba, Father!  You my all in all shall be.

Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;  All must work for good to me.


4 Haste, my soul, from grace to glory,   Armed by faith and winged by prayer.

All but heav’n is transitory;   God’s own hand shall guide you there.

Soon shall end this earthly story;   Swift shall pass the pilgrim days,

Hope soon change to heav’nly glory,   Faith to sight and prayer to praise.


After which the Congregation will remain seated for


The Pre-Sermon Greeting


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord!  Amen.



Today’s Sermon Text                                                                                                                      Mark 15:21


21 A certain man, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), was passing by on his way in from the country. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.


He Carried the Cross for Christ


The Post-Sermon Blessing


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



We Respond To God’s Word through our Offerings


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Those in attendance will be able to place their offerings in the offering plates

that will be passed among us at this time.

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.

We Bring Our Prayers to the Lord


The Prayers for this Day  – 


Included in our prayers this morning are:

A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of Carl Boettcher, who is continuing to recover

at Mercy Hospital from a recent heart procedure;    also

A Prayer of Intercession for Janet Milas, as she continues to undergo rehabilitation therapy at Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital in Fayetteville;   in addition

A Prayer of Intercession for Fred Cusanelli, as he recovers from a recent heart operation;

And also

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Ken and Tammy Abernathy, whose anniversary is 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,   forever and ever.  Amen.



The Celebration of the Sacrament


Our Self-Examination Before Receiving The Lord’s Supper


Pastor –            Let us now examine ourselves in preparation for receiving this Sacrament, as the inspired Apostle Paul so instructs us in I Corinthians 11, where he  writes,  “…whoever eats  the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgement upon himself.”


Pastor –            Accordingly, are you sincerely sorry for your sins and determined, with God’s help, to change your sinful ways?


Congregation  Yes, I am sorry for my sins and desire to serve Jesus and not a sinful lifestyle.


Pastor –            Do you believe that here in the Lord’s Supper you will receive, along with the bread and wine, the true body and blood of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?                   


Congregation Yes, I believe that I will be receiving the true body and blood of my Lord and Savior, which was given into death for my sins.


Pastor –            Are you coming to the Lord’s table as one in the faith with this Christian congregation, as the Scriptures teach?


Congregation  Yes I have studied the teachings of this congregation concerning God’s Word;  I agree with them;  And am one in faith with them, as the Scriptures command me to be before I come to the Lord’s table with anyone.


Pastor –            Finally, do you recognize your need for forgiveness and do you believe that you will receive through the Lord’s Supper the full and free forgiveness of all your sins?


Congregation  Yes, I have examined my life, see the need for God’s forgiveness and believe that I will receive complete forgiveness for all my sins, as my Savior has promised.


Pastor –            Having examined yourselves and confessed your sins, come now with confidence and joy to your Lord’s table and receive here, through His body and blood, the guarantee that your sins are all forgiven, and that eternal life and salvation are surely yours.


The Words of Institution                                                                                              (Spoken by the Pastor)


The Distribution of the Sacramental Elements




                                                                                 (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                           our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)



     We ask that only “Confirmed, Communicant” members of this congregation, or of one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod congregations come forward to receive the Lord’s Supper at this time.                            

     We believe, according to Scripture, that only those who are “one,” that is, in complete doctrinal agreement, united in a common public confession of faith, are to commune together at the same altar (see I Corinthians 10:17 and I Corinthians 1:10).

     To be “in communion” means to share and to hold in common.   By eating and drinking at our Lord’s Table, we are not only sharing in, with, and under the bread and wine, Jesus’ very body and blood…we are also publicly declaring that we hold in common a specific confession of faith.  In other words, as a result of having comprehensively studied the Scriptures together all of our communicants have agreed to accept and proclaim the same Biblical doctrines and practices.

     Through membership in a particular church body (for us, that church body is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), each person makes a public statement that he/she is in full agreement with the teachings and practices of that body.  Because not every church body or Lutheran Synod teaches and practices the same things, we in the WELS want to be honest in our recognition of the doctrinal differences that, here on earth, separate us from other church bodies.   Please bear in mind that we are not, in any way, judging the legitimacy of your Christian faith.  Still, we ask that  if you have not (upon study of the Word with us) declared yourself to be in full doctrinal agreement with us, you would respectfully not join us in the Lord’s Supper this morning.  

     It is our prayer that our Scripture-based practice of “Close Communion” will encourage anyone among us today who is not presently in full fellowship with us to seriously examine the teachings and practices of his/her church in order to determine if those teachings and practices are really in full agreement with God’s Word.      

            And if you are guest among us today, we want you to know that it is our earnest desire that you might become familiar with the Biblical doctrines our congregation confesses, in order that you might one day join with us at the Lord’s altar in this public expression of full unity of doctrine and practice.  Until then, please know that we are most grateful for your participation as a fellow Christian in this worship service, and that we appreciate your understanding and respect of our Communion practice. 





The First Distribution Hymn                                  Hymn 309   “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord”


1 Draw near and take the body of the Lord,

And drink the holy blood for you outpoured.

Offered was he for greatest and for least,

Himself the victim and himself the priest.


2 He that his saints in this world rules and shields

To all believers life eternal yields,

With heav’nly bread makes them that hunger whole,

Gives living waters to the thirsty soul.


3 Come forward, then, with faithful hearts sincere,

And take the pledges of salvation here.

Before your altar, Lord, your servants bow;

In this your feast of love be with us now.


The Second Distribution Hymn                                             Hymn 313   “Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior”


1 Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior,   Turned away God’s wrath forever;

By His bitter grief and woe   He saved us from the evil foe.


2 As His pledge of love undying,   He, this precious food supplying,

Gives His body with the bread  And with the wine the blood He shed.


3 Jesus here Himself is sharing;   Take heed how you are preparing,

For if you do not believe,   Judgment instead you shall receive.


4 Useless would be Jesus’ passion   If salvation you could fashion.

Do not come if you suppose   You need not Him Who died and rose.


5 Christ says, “Come, all you that labor,   And receive My grace and favor;

Those who feel no pain or ill   Need no physician’s help or skill.”


6 Then hold fast with faith unshaken   That this food is to be taken

By the souls who are distressed,   By hearts that long for peace and rest.


7 Praise the Father, Who from heaven   Unto us such food has given

And, to mend what we have done,   Gave into death His only Son.


8 If your heart this truth professes   And your mouth your sin confesses,

Surely you will be His guest  And at His banquet ever blest.


After the distribution of the Lord’s Supper is complete, the Congregation will be invited to rise


We Conclude our Worship


P:         Hear the prayer of Your people, O Lord, that the lips which have praised You here may glorify You in  the world, that the eyes which have seen the coming of Your Son may long for His coming again, and that all who have received in His true body and blood the pledge of Your forgiveness, may be restored to live a new and holy life through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.    Amen.


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.


The Closing Hymn                                        “In Peace, Lord, At Your Word”

sung to the melody of “Our Father By Whose Name” (CW 501)

(cwh, 1998)

In peace, Lord, at Your Word, Now let Your servant go;

For I have seen and heard  What all the earth must know:

Salvation for the world is here!   And Israel’s Light shines bright and clear

Upon the nations far and near.

Eternal praise and fame   Be to our God alone!

We proudly bear His name,   Proclaim what He has done.

For our redemption, full and free,   To Father, Son, and Spirit be

All praise and thanks eternally!





Last Week at Grace Lutheran                                                       Sunday Attendance:  66    Online views:   31

Budgetary Offerings:  $4395     Online: $370.77      Capital Imv: $50       School Fund: $50

Sunday School:  7     Sunday Bible Class: 28  Online views: 10         Tuesday Bible Class: 25


Birthdays & Anniversary This Week:                                     July 19 Heath Jones;

July 22 Tammy & Ken Abernathy;       July 23 Murray Mansch;          July 24 – Rosy Krizsan;


This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Today              Morning Worship, with the Lord’s Supper, 9:30 a.m.

                        Fellowship Time, 10:45-11:05 a.m.     Bible Class / Sunday School – 11:05 a.m.

Tuesday          Morning Bible Study, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.         

Wednesday    Ten Minutes with Jesus “prayer call and devotion” 6 – 6:10 p.m.

Saturday         Outreach Calling, leaving from church at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday           pre-service hymn singing, 9:25 a.m.               Morning Worship, 9:30 am    

                        Fellowship Time 10:40 am                   Bible Class/Sunday School, 11 a.m.


TEN MINUTES WITH JESUS  Ladies…..This Wednesday from 6-6:10 p.m. please consider participating in a phone-in short devotion and group prayer opportunity.  To do this,  call 1-605-313-5470 and, when asked, dial in the access code, which is 334077#.


This Week’s Bible Classes ……..In today’s Adult Bible Class we’ll continue to study Paul’s letters to the Church in Corinth.  The overall theme is “God’s People in a Hostile Society” …which definitely fits our world today too!   This morning we’re in chapter two, with a lesson entitled “The Preaching of the Gospel…Divine Revelation, OR Human Wisdom?” ……This coming Tuesday morning, from 10:30-11:30 am, we’ll study I Kings 22 and 2 Kings 1.  In addition to seeing God’s earthly judgment on two of history’s worst (and ungodliest) persons – Ahab and Jezebel – we’ll see how God dealt with the wickedness that they handed down to their children.   If you can’t attend in person, do consider participating over the phone.   Call 1-701-802-5405, then dial 7519304#.   We also broadcast this Bible class over   (You can find us on YouTube under “Grace Lutheran Church & Academy.”)


For Daily Devotions sent to Your Computer or Phone consider subscribing to the excellent devotions available from for your tablet, phone, or computer.   Go to the drop down menu for “worship” on the right side of the home page.  Devotions are found there. At the bottom is a subscribe button.


Fellowship Volunteers Requested (and Needed)     We dearly need your help to preparing the after-worship fellowship-time coffee and other drinks, plus furnishing light snack items.  In the coming weeks and months we – so far – have only a few volunteers to carry out this work.  Won’t you please help?  A sign-up poster on the fellowship fall bulletin board covers the rest of this year.   You can volunteer to serve one or more Sundays.   A reimbursement for expenses can be provided of up to $25 per Sunday.   It comes through our “donation jar.”


Celebration of Life Invitation  Mary and Bill Book are inviting us to be part of Celebration and Remembrance of the Life of their Son, Nate Book, who recently passed away.  It will be  this Saturday, July 24th, from 4-8 p.m. at the Kingsdale Pavilion in Bella Vista.  Live music will be provided and food will be brought in.   All we are asked to bring are chairs and ourselves.