The Third Sunday  After the Festival of the Holy Trinity

The Fifth Sunday of the Pentecost Season

also known, traditionally in our country, as Father’s Day


June 16, 2024 


The Ultimate Father


The Traditional Observance of Father’s Day


The idea for establishing a special day for children to honor their fathers began nearly a century ago in Spokane, Washington.  A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.  Having been raised by her father, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her.   It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man.   Her father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.   By 1924 the observance had become so popular that President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as a national Father’s Day, and it has remained so to this day. 


At Grace Lutheran Church on Father’s Day 2024


On this “Father’s Day 2024″ we certainly want to thank God for His gift to us of our earthly fathers, for all that they have done for us, and the good things they mean to us.    However, giving thanks for “Father”  is not an easy or automatic thing for all of us to do.   To be sure, many of us do carry in our hearts special feelings and cherished memories of “Dad.” But there are  some gathered here today who never knew (or will never know) their fathers.    For a variety of reasons, these people grew up without a  father being present or involved in their lives.   Others have bittersweet memories of a father who – instead of being a positive personal and spiritual influence –  was less than loving, too harsh, never available, a poor role model of Christian manhood, or worse.    The sad truth is that even the best of human fathers are flawed and fallible…..because every earthly father is a sinner.   Consequently, while we will thank the Lord for the blessings of fathers and fatherhood, our main emphasis today will be on the privilege we enjoy, as Christians, in being able to confidently call God “Our Father” and to know that we are His dearly loved, forgiven children through the reconciling work of Jesus Christ.   So, regardless of how good or bad our human fathers were (or are),  we can celebrate on this Father’s Day 2004 the incomparable relationship that we enjoy as true children of  “The Perfect Father,” the Lord God Himself…… In connection with this fact, in this morning’s worship service we will emphasize first – and especially –  the essential and eternal relationship that every one of us enjoys with our Heavenly Father, by His grace, through faith.     Second, we will hold out before all of us – but particularly before the  men, husbands, and fathers gathered here today – the importance of repenting daily of our shortcomings, and  of rededicating ourselves to growing spiritually,  positively and effectively in our roles as Christian leaders, servants, spouses, parents, and children.



Today’s Scripture Lessons


            Today’s Scripture Lessons provide us with some very encouraging examples of human and heavenly fatherhood.   The Children’s Lesson will consider the fact that each of us has two fathers…..a human father…..and  a Father in Heaven, Who happens to be the Savior-God.     In our Old Testament Lesson we have the story of God’s testing of Abraham, where that great believer was directed to sacrifice, as a sign of his devotion to the Lord, his son Isaac – through which God had promised Abraham would become a great nation and through whom the Promised Savior would come.   His love for God was so great that, had the Lord not stopped him at the last moment, Abraham would have taken Isaac’s life.   Here we see not only the depth and devotion of Abraham’s faith, we also see a number of Old Testament “types” of Christ (examples that, in one way or another, pointed ahead to some aspect of Jesus’ redeeming work)…….Isaac, for instance, who went voluntarily to his apparent execution to fulfill God’s will (just as Jesus did through the cross)……and the ram that eventually was sacrificed (it served as Isaac’s substitute, just as Jesus served as our sin-substitute).    We can also make a legitimate comparison here between Abraham’s love for His son, yet his painful willingness to sacrifice Isaac as a love offering to the Lord, and the willingness of God the Father to offer His beloved Son into death in order to secure our redemption and restoration.     In our Second Lesson we have that part of the Sermon on the Mount through which Jesus encourages us not to worry about any of our earthly needs because, He assures us, our Father in heaven is well aware of our needs and will see to it that we are properly provided for.    Let us, then, put our full trust in our Heavenly Father as the ultimate provider of everything we truly need.  Jesus further exhorts us not to put our highest pleasure in earthly matters and things, but instead to make God’s Kingdom (that is, the eternal well-being of our souls) our greatest priority in life…….so that we may die in faith and inherit everlasting life in heaven.    This morning’s Gospel Lesson is our Savior’s parable of the Prodigal Son……sometimes also known as the parable of the Waiting Father.     For our purposes today, we’ll want to consider the amazing devotion of that rejected father whose son had squandered an inheritance only to return home to the continued love of his waiting, forgiving father.   In the same way, our Heavenly Father  has a relentless and unsurpassed love for humanity, even though we daily reject Him and rebel against Him through our sinfulness.   In His mercy, our Lord continues to forgive us, and to restore and renew us as His children – and for that, not only do the angels in heaven rejoice, but we also give thanks to God.   Finally, today’s Sermon, is based on God’s encounter with the Children of Israel, 3 months after the Exodus, on Mt. Sinai.   Through Moses – before the LORD gives them His Commandments, He shows His grace to Israel by affirming that He has chosen them to be His children and heirs of a heavenly inheritance through the coming Promised Savior.   And He promises to be their God and Father.


The Structure of Today’s Worship Service


            Structurally, our worship service today is a modified form of the “Order of Matins” (or “Morning Praise”).     In its entirety it is found on pages 45 through 51 in our Hymnal.    Matins is actually the oldest traditional form of public worship still in common use within the Christian Church. The Matins/Morning Praise liturgy (order) as found in our hymnal is actually a combination of two worship orders, “Matins” and “Lauds.”   Both were in use in the early Christian Church by the fourth century AD.   Originally both “Matins” and “Lauds” were two of eight daily worship services, all occurring at three hour intervals;  “Matins” happened to be the first order of the day, and was held at midnight.   “Lauds” was the third order, used at daybreak.    By the late fifth century, Lauds and Matins had been combined into the Order of Matins which, with slight variation, Christians have continued to use to this very day.   The only addition that we have made to the Matins order is the inclusion of a Confession of Sins and the absolution (both of which are traditional/essential components of our worship as Lutheran Christians).    One of the characteristic features of the Matins Liturgy is the “Venite”  (Latin for “O Come”) which is Psalm 95 set into musical/chant form.




Pre-Service Prayer O Lord God, Almighty Creator, merciful Father, from Whom every good and perfect gift comes, You have bountifully blessed me throughout my life.   You have persevered 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 faith.  For your abundant goodness to me, I humbly praise and thank You.  As I prepare for worship this morning and every day You allow me to live on this earth, I implore You to bless me with Your continued presence, Your Fatherly protection, and Your divine 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 in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Savior.  It is in His name that I pray.   Amen.




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




      The Order of Matins (modified)



Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service Music                                                                                                                                               


We Praise Our God


The Introduction and Invitation to Worship


at the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation shall rise


The Invocation


Pastor –            We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.



The Psalm for Today                                                                                                                           Psalm 103

P:       Praise the Lord , O my soul;   all my inmost being, praise His holy name.    Praise the Lord , O my soul,  and forget not all His benefits  

C:         Who forgives all your sins    +   and heals all your diseases,  


P:         Who redeems your life from the pit   +  and crowns you with love and compassion


  • Who satisfies your desires with good things +  so that your youth

             is renewed like the eagle’s.


P:         The Lord works righteousness  and justice for all the oppressed.    He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel:

C:         The Lord is compassionate and gracious, +    slow to anger, abounding in love.  


P:         He will not always accuse,  nor will He harbor His anger forever;    He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.          

C:         For as high as the heavens are above the earth, + so great is His love for those who fear Him;  +   as far as the east is from the west,    + so far has He removed our transgressions from us.



  • As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him;  for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.

C:         As for man, his days are like grass,   +  he flourishes like a flower of the field;   +  the wind blows over it and it is gone,   +   and its place remembers it no more.


P:         But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ‘s love is with those who fear Him,  and His righteousness with their children’s children,  with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.

C:         The Lord has established His throne in heaven, +  and His kingdom rules over all.

P:         Praise the Lord , you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His word.

C:         Praise the Lord , all His heavenly hosts, +   you His servants who do His will.    +    Praise the Lord , all His works everywhere in His dominion.   +   Praise the Lord , O my soul.


  • The Opening Hymn “The Morning Sun Is Dawning”
  • To the tune of “The Morning Light Is Breaking”………


The morning sun is dawning,    And I thank God once more

Beneath Whose care awaking    I find the night is o’er:

I thank Him that He’s called me     To be His child and heir;

I know, whatever happens    I’m safely in His care.


O Lord of all creation,    Watch over me this day;

In all I do be near me,     For others too I pray –

To You I do commend them:    Our church, our youth, our land;

Direct them and defend them,    When dangers are at hand.


You are the Vine, O Savior,    May we, Your branches be,

Connected to You firmly,     And for eternity.

Your Spirit place within us,     And let His gifts of grace

Empower us to serve You – throughout our earthly race.


So grant us, Lord, Your blessing   That we may do Your will,

No more Your ways transgressing,     Our calling to fulfill;

To go and tell the Good News:    Christ died for all, that we –

through faith in Him, forgiven —  Have heaven eternally.



after which the Congregation will rise



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.



  • The Order of Matins


Pastor  O Lord, open my lips.


Congregation             (sung)    And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.



Pastor   Hasten, O God, to deliver me.


Congregation                           (Sung)   Hasten to help me, O Lord.


Glory be to the Father and to the Son

And to the Holy Ghost

As it was in the beginning

Is now and ever shall be.

World without end.   Amen.  Hallelujah



Pastor   O come, let us worship the Lord.


Congregation                                                   (Sung)       For He is our Maker


O come, let us sing unto the Lord

Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving.

And make a joyful noise unto Him with songs.

For the Lord is a great God.

And a great King above all gods.

In His hands are the deep places of the earth.

The strength of the hills is His also.

The sea is His, for He made it.

And His hands formed the dry land.

O Come, let us worship and bow down.

Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.

For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture

and the sheep of His hand.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

And to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.

World without end.   Amen.



The Prayer for Today


Gracious God + Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, + and through Him also my true Father, + I thank You for giving me my earthly father.   + Thank You also, and especially, + for loving me as Your child,   + for granting me the faith to believe in You,   + and for the many blessings You daily shower upon me.   +   On this day set aside for honoring fathers, + I pray that You would impress upon all fathers everywhere  + their responsibilities before You   +  as heads of their households.   +  Help them to faithfully provide   +  for the physical needs of their families. +  And grant them the grace   + to lead their families according to Your Holy Word.  +   Allow these men to find success and satisfaction   +   in Godly service to their families, their congregations, and their communities, + and certainly in their Christian service to You.   + Finally, when their – and my – time on earth is through, + grant us the joy and bliss +   of spending eternity with You,   + our Heavenly Father.   +   In Jesus name we ask this.   +   Amen.



after which the Congregation may be seated



We Hear God’s Word


  • The Children’s Lesson Matthew 7:9-11

9 Which of you, if his son asks for a bread, will give him a stone?    10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?


Our Father in Heaven


  • The Old Testament Lesson Genesis 22:1-18


Some time later God tested Abraham. He called to him, “Abraham!”   Abraham answered, “I am here.”   2 God said, “Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains there, the one to which I direct you.”   3 Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, along with Isaac his son. Abraham split the wood for the burnt offering. Then he set out to go to the place that God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.   5 Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go on over there. We will worship, and then we will come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and loaded it on Isaac his son. He took the firepot and the knife in his hand. The two of them went on together.   


7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father?”    He said, “I am here, my son.”    He said, “Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”   8 Abraham said, “God Himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them went on together. 9 They came to the place that God had told him about. Abraham built the altar there. He arranged the wood, tied up Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.   11 The Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!”   Abraham said, “I am here.”  12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”   13 Abraham looked around and saw that behind him there was a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord Will Provide.”    So it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” 


 15 The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “I have sworn by Myself, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your descendants greatly, like the stars of the sky and like the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the city gates of their enemies. 18 In your Seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”


  • The Second Lesson Matthew 6:25-34


25 “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?   27 “Which of you can add a single moment to his lifespan by worrying? 28 Why do you worry about clothing? Consider how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin, 29 but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not clothe you even more, you of little faith?   31 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the unbelievers] chase after all these things. Certainly your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


After which, out of respect for Jesus’ words, the Congregation will rise for



  • 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 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.


Following which the Congregation may be seated for


  • The Sermon Hymn Hymn 501     “Our Father, By Whose Name”


Our Father, by Whose name    All fatherhood is known,

In love divine You claim    Each fam’ly as Your own.

Bless mothers, fathers, guarding well,    With constant love as sentinel,

The homes in which Your people dwell.


O Christ, Yourself a child   Within an earthly home,

With heart still undefiled    You did to manhood come.

Our children bless in ev’ry place    That they may all behold Your face

And, knowing you, may grow in grace.


O Holy Spirit, bind    Our hearts in unity,

And teach us how to find    The love from self set free.

In all our hearts such love increase    That ev’ry home by this release

May be the dwelling place of peace.

The Greeting  


            Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge

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


  • The Sermon Exodus 19:1-9


In the third month after the Israelites had left the land of Egypt, on that same day of the month, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim and came to the Wilderness of Sinai, they camped in the wilderness. Israel camped there in front of the mountain.   3 Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will carefully listen to my voice and keep my covenant, then you will be my special treasure out of all the nations, although the entire earth is mine. 6 You will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to speak to the Israelites.”


7 Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, and he set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together, “Everything that the Lord has said, we will do.” 

Moses brought back the people’s words to the Lord. 9 The Lord said to Moses, “Look, I will come to you in a dense cloud so that the people will hear when I speak with you, and then they will always believe you.”


The Perfect Father – Our Father in Heaven



after the sermon, the Congregation

will remain seated  for the post-sermon blessing



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


We Offer Our Gifts 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) to the church address:    (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can donate on our website:


the Congregation will please rise as the offerings are brought to the altar



    • We Offer Our Prayers to the Lord


      Our Prayers for Today


      In our prayers this morning we are including

      A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of the following couples which are celebrating their wedding anniversaries this week:

      Megan and Kris Arthur (today);     Jamaica and Tony Hoyord (Monday);    Ann and Mike King (Monday);    Katie and James Boatright (Tuesday)

      and Danielle and Taylor Ashley (Friday)

      We also offer A Prayer of Intercession on behalf of:

      Rick Guyton (a friend of John Luedtke;   Rick has cancer that is terminal)

      and   Luke Slaughter (the 26 year old son-in-law of one of Debbie Huebner’s co-workers.   Luke is in need of an immediate heart transplant)

    • 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.    



      We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


      Pastor                        The Lord be with you.


      Congregation                           (Sung)         And also with You


      Pastor                       Lift up your hearts.


      Congregation                           (Sung)     We lift them up unto the Lord



      Pastor                       Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.


      Congregation                           (Sung)    It is good and right so to do.


      • Consecration of the Elements


      Pastor                       The peace of the Lord be with you always.


      Congregation            (Sung)     Amen.



      Our Self-Examination Before Receiving The Lord’s Supper


      Pastor                          Let us now examine ourselves in preparation for receiving this Sacrament of our Lord, 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.


      After which the Congregation may be seated for


      The Distribution of the Sacrament




      • (Please read the following if you have not spoken with
      •                                                             our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)


      To our Guests this morning,  we appreciate your presence among us.  It is an honor to have you join with us as we worship our Lord and listen to His Word.   We truly consider it a privilege to spend this time with you!   It is our hope that you will both return in the future to worship with us again, and – perhaps – that You will even choose to become part of our congregation’s membership and our Synodical (WELS) fellowship, so that you might become even more involved in worship, study of God’s Word, and in Christian ministry and fellowship with us.

                  In connection with our worship as Christians, we regularly celebrate the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion.   But, as a key part of our church’s Biblically-based communion practice, before we can ask anyone to commune with us, we are compelled to first sit down with that individual and establish (upon a comprehensive study of the teachings of Scripture) that we are united in full doctrinal/ teaching fellowship…….which Scripture requires of any and all Christians before they can commune together.  

                  Accordingly, we can offer the Lord’s Supper this morning only to those individuals who have completed that course of study, and who have chosen to become confirmed, communicant members of Grace Lutheran congregation or from one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) or Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) congregations.

                  For some guests, this Biblical practice of “Close Communion“ is both unfamiliar and (quite possibly)  uncomfortable.   We realize that, unfortunately, few churches today continue to follow this approach to communion…..though, in the past (when many churches were more concerned about following all of God’s Word than is the case today)  nearly all did.    We understand that it is not necessarily easy to watch others receiving the Lord’s Supper, while being asked – respectfully — to refrain from receiving it.    Many of us who are communing today once also watched others receive the Lord’s Supper, as you are asked to do this morning, while waiting for the privilege of  one day  being an active partner in this “Close Communion.”   We want to assure you that we are not judging your faith in Christ today.   Nor it is our desire to offend you.     But it also is not our desire to offend or disobey our Lord’s expectations for the proper use of His Supper.    Indeed, we must all obey Him above all others, and we want to obey Him.   Consequently, if you have any questions or concerns about our use/practice of the Lord’s Supper (and we invite you to ask or express them — if you do),  please feel free to speak with our Pastor after theservice, or at your convenience.  He considers it a privilege to share with you and others the Biblical reasons for our approach to receiving and offering the Lord’s Supper.     In addition,  you can also find a brochure in our tract/brochure rack in the entryway;  it is entitled “Our Communion Practice.”   This brochure also provides our guests and friends with the  Scripture-based explanation for our understanding of and use of the Lord’s Supper.          

                  Finally, please know that we truly are grateful for your participation – as a fellow Christian – in this morning’s worship service.   We also thank you for your patience and understanding, and for respecting this Biblical approach we must take as we endeavor to faithful make us of our Lord’s Supper.  We hope and pray that you will come back to worship with us again — often.   And that one day you might become a part of this Christian fellowship, not only as we worship and hear God’s Word from these pews, but as we receive the Lord’s Supper together.   May God bless and keep you always!




      • The Distribution Hymn “I Stand Here Before You”
      • Sung to the melody of “How Firm A Foundation”
        • I stand here before You, O mightiest One
        • In need of forgiveness for wrongs I have done.
        • Oh, grant me Your pardon, my spirit now pleads
        • Forgive my transgressions in thoughts, words, and deeds.
        • The Tempter keeps taunting me day after day,
        • I often succumb and submit to his way.
        • From birth I’ve been evil — my mortal flesh weak,
        • I do not abide by the words that You speak.
        • I humbly confess with the deepest of shame
        • The times I abused Your magnificent Name.
        • In spite of Your right to demand faithfulness,
        • My life’s often guided by my selfishness.
        • I covet, I slander, I look with lust, too.
        • I fail to give honor where honor is due.
        • I steal and I gossip… far do I fall –
        • Your perfect commandments: I’ve broken them all.
        • Right here at Your table forgiveness is found
        • In Christ’s holy blood that flowed down to the ground,
        • His body and blood in the bread and the wine
        • A marvel of love that is truly divine!
        • That blood of Your Chosen was shed to erase
        • The sins of the world. How I cherish that grace!
        • Dear God I am thankful to be such a one,
        • Washed clean by the blood of my Savior, Your Son.



      • Second Distribution Hymn Hymn 315  

        “Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face”


      1 Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face;

      Here would I touch and handle things unseen,

      Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,

      And all my weariness upon you lean.


      2 This is the hour of banquet and of song;

      Here is the heav’nly table spread anew.

      Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong

      The brief bright hour of fellowship with you.


      3 I have no help but yours nor do I need

      Another arm but yours to lean upon.

      It is enough, O Lord, enough indeed;

      My strength is in your might, your might alone.

      4 Mine is the sin but yours the righteousness;

      Mine is the guilt but yours the cleansing blood.

      Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace:

      Your blood, your righteousness, O Lord, my God.


      5 Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear.

      The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.

      The bread and wine remove, but you are here,

      Nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.

      6 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,


      Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,

      Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,

      The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.


      At the close of the distribution of communion the congregation will rise as


      We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


      • The Closing Prayer


      The Benediction


      The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

      and the love of God,

      and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  Amen.



      • The Closing Hymn Hymn 460  “How Can I Thank Thee, Lord”


      1 How can I thank you, Lord   For all your loving-kindness,

      That you have patiently   Borne with me in my blindness!

      When dead in many sins   And trespasses I lay,

      I kindled, holy God,   Your anger ev’ry day.


      2 It is your work alone   That I am now converted;

      O’er Satan’s work in me   You have your pow’r asserted.

      Your mercy and your grace   That rise afresh each morn

      Have turned my stony heart   Into a heart new-born.


      3 Lord, you have raised me up   To joy and exultation

      And clearly shown the way   That leads me to salvation.

      My sins are washed away;   For this I thank you, Lord.

      Now with my heart and soul   All evil I abhor.


      4 Grant that your Spirit’s help   To me be always given

      Lest I should fall again   And lose the way to heaven.

      Grant that he give me strength   In my infirmity;

      May he renew my heart   To serve you willingly.


      5 O Father, God of love,   Now hear my supplication;

      O Savior, Son of God,   Accept my adoration;

      O Holy Spirit, be   My ever faithful guide

      That I may serve you here   And there with you abide.

      Silent Prayer, Announcements, Post-Service Music