Walking With Jesus Through Life

Easter Sunday begins a seven week period on the “Calendar” of the Christian Church known as the “Easter

Season.”  This morning we’re just past half-way through it.   During this period of the “Church Year,” we customarily make use of Scripture and hymn selections which, in various ways, look at the significance of Christ’s resurrection for the Church, and the Church’s response to Christ’s victory for us over sin, death, and Satan.  

            Consistent with that emphasis, this morning we have developed our worship service around our Gospel Lesson and Sermon Text, Luke’s account of Jesus’ “incognito”  meeting, walking with, and instructing two disciples who were traveling the 7 miles from Jerusalem to the little village of Emmaus late on the afternoon of Christ’s resurrection.   Keeping his identity from them until the very last moment, Jesus took those two followers of His – initially sorrowful over His death – through the OT Scriptures, pointing out to them the prophecies which found their fulfillment in Him.   In short order, as Jesus opened the Word to them, their hearts began to “burn” with joy and a stronger, renewed faith.     They came to the understanding, courtesy of Jesus, that their Lord had to die and rise in order to be the Messiah.   Finally, shortly afterward, while they were enjoying a meal together, the two disciples were allowed to recognize that their Teacher was none other than their Lord Jesus, and as quickly as they recognized Him, Jesus vanished from their sight.   But their joy in knowing Christ had indeed risen would never vanish from their hearts…..nor should it vanish from our hearts. 

            This morning’s Children’s Lesson and Old Testament Lesson is Psalm 119 – the longest chapter in the Bible….but more important, a chapter that stresses the blessing and importance of the written Word (the Scriptures) to the believer.  

            Finally, our Epistle Lesson will show Jesus as the fulfillment of OT prophecies about the Promised Messiah, Who would die and rise to save not only the Jews, but also the Gentile peoples….indeed, He died for all.   We’ll also be reminded in the opening verse that God has given us His Word so that, through our faithful use of it, He might grow our faith and, in so doing, increase our confidence and joy in the blessings of heaven that are ours through faith in Him.

This Sunday on the Church’s “Calendar” 

 Over the 6  Sundays that follow Easter, the Christian church traditionally focuses its energies during its worship on continuing the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.  One of the ways we’ll do that today is by singing as our opening hymn the Easter Hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”.    Each Sunday in “Easter” has a particular emphasis (Strengthened Faith in the Risen Savior, Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the Joy we have as Christians, etc.) which serves to reinforce the truths and blessings that we share as believers in the risen Christ.   And so, according to the calendar of the Church, this Fifth Sunday of the Easter Season is traditionally known as “Cantate Sunday,” a designation name taken from the Latin word for “sing,”   which is found throughout our Psalm for this morning, Psalm 98, starting with the first verse.   As Christians we want to gratefully ponder the significance of Christ’s resurrection for our salvation.  And so we’ll want to follow the good counsel of Psalm 98 and “sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things;   His right hand and His holy arm (i.e., the crucified and risen Christ) have worked salvation for Him.”  

            On this “Cantate”/Sing Sunday, the concept of worshiping our risen Lord and Savior, especially through singing, is going to be emphasized.   Our English word “Worship” has its origin in the Old English term “worthship.”   Both the latter and the former mean the same thing:   what someone is “worth” to another – and more specifically, what our God is worth to us.   It’s also worth noting that worship encompasses far more than a just being a spectator in a “service” on Sunday morning for an hour or so.  And so we invite you to actively participate in today’s service.  After all, worship involves sincerely singing God’s praises, eagerly and earnestly listening to (and taking to heart), His Word, along with confidently offering the LORD our heartfelt prayers, and bringing Him our generous, willing offerings.   What’s more, true worship goes well beyond Sunday…..it is a 24 hour per day/7 day a week/lifelong activity that centers on the Christian’s willingness to live for God in all aspects of his/her life.  

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 OneLicense.net #A712831

Prayer Upon Entering Church    Heavenly Father, having brought me safely to the beginning of another day under Your grace, receive and bless my worship of You and Your Son, and God the Holy Spirit, this morning.  As I hear and meditate on Your Word in this service, please  send Your Spirit into my heart to continue His work of  filling me with a greater measure of joy, increasing my faith, and further developing my expressions of love and devotion to You.  Bless all my fellow worshipers today, that they might also grow in their Christian faith and service to You.  And finally, Lord, use us all in whatever capacities You see fit, to willingly and actively testify to others – as the Emmaus disciples did – through our words and lives, about the love, forgiveness, and salvation which You graciously offer to us and all people, through Your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ.  It is in His name that I pray.   Amen.

Prayer upon entering the sanctuary                                                                                      Pre-service Music


Let Us Praise The Lord

The Greeting and Invitation to Worship


after this, at the invitation of the Pastor,  the Congregation will rise for the invocation

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.

Our Psalm Reading for Today                                                                                                           Psalm 98

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

P:  For He comes to judge the earth.

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

The Prayer for “Cantate” Sunday 

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

Next, the Congregation will be seated for

The Opening Hymn                                                              Hymn 152   “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”



1 I know that my Redeemer lives;  What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

He lives, he lives, who once was dead;   He lives, my ever-living Head!


2 He lives triumphant from the grave;   He lives eternally to save. 

He lives all-glorious in the sky;   He lives exalted there on high.


5 He lives to silence all my fears;   He lives to wipe away my tears.

He lives to calm my troubled heart;   He lives all blessings to impart.


7 He lives and grants me daily breath;   He lives, and I shall conquer death.

He lives my mansion to prepare;    He lives to bring my safely there.


8 He lives, all glory to his name!   He lives, my Jesus, still the same.

Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives:   “I know that my Redeemer lives!”


After which, the Congregation will be asked to rise for

The Confessional Order of Service

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.

Pastor      The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.

Congregation    (Sung)      A broken and a contrite heart,

                                         O Lord, You will not despise

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.

We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor          I now ask you before God, who searches your heart, do you confess that you have sinned against God  and deserve His wrath and punishment?  Then declare so by saying, “I do confess.”

Congregation    “I do confess.”


Pastor         Truly you should confess, for the Holy Scriptures say, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive  ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

                      Second, do you, with all your heart, repent of all your sins, committed in thought, word, and   deed?  Then declare so by saying, “I do repent.”

Congregation   “I do repent.”

Pastor          Truly, you should repent, as other penitent sinners have done:  King David, who prayed for a contrite  heart;  Peter, who wept bitterly;  the sinful woman, the prodigal son, and others.

                 Third, do you sincerely believe that God, by grace, for Jesus’ sake, will forgive you all your sins?  Then declare so by saying, “I do believe.”

Congregation    “I do believe.”

Pastor          Truly you should so believe, for the Holy Scriptures say, “God so loved the world that He gave His  one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Fourth, do you promise that with the help of the Holy Ghost, you will, from this time forward, reform your sinful life?  Then declare it by saying, “I do promise.”


Congregation   “I do promise.”

Pastor         Truly, you should so promise, for Christ, the Lord says:  “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”     

      Finally, do you believe that through me, a called servant of God, you will receive from God the  forgiveness of all your sins?   Then declare it by saying, “I do believe.

Congregation   “I do believe.”

Pastor         Upon this, your confession, I, because of my office as a called and ordained servant of God’s Word, announce the  grace of God to all of you.  And, in the place, and by 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 Ghost.  Peace  be with you.  Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated


Feed Us, Lord                                                        

The Old Testament Lesson and Our Children’s Lesson                                                        Psalm 119:9-16


9 How can a young man keep his path pure?  By guarding it with your words.   10 With all my heart I seek you.  Do not let me stray from your commands.  11 I have hidden your sayings in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.  12 Blessed are you, O Lord!   Teach me your statutes. 13 With my lips I tell about all the judgments that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in the way that is taught by your testimonies

 as much as I delight in all riches.  15 I will meditate on your precepts,

and I will consider your paths. 16 In your statutes I delight. I will not forget your words.


Where Do You Keep Your Bible?



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                  Romans 15:4-13


4 Indeed, whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that, through patient endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we would have hope. 5 And may God, the source of patient endurance and encouragement, grant that you agree with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one mind, in one voice, you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 For this reason, accept one another as Christ also accepted you to the glory of God. 8 For I am saying that Christ became a servant of those who are circumcised for the sake of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs. 9 He also did this so that the Gentiles would glorify God for his mercy, as it is written:   For this reason I will praise you among the Gentiles, and I will sing to your name.  10 And again it says:  Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.   11 And again:

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples give him praise.

12 And again Isaiah says:  There will be a Root of Jesse, and he is the one who will rise up to rule the Gentiles; on him the Gentiles will place their hope. 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with complete joy and peace as you continue to believe, so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

After which, at the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                     Luke 24:13-35

13 Now, on that same day, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about all of these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing this, Jesus himself approached and began to walk along with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” Saddened, they stopped.   18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”   19 “What things?” he asked them.    They replied, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be condemned to death. And they crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he was going to redeem Israel. Not only that, but besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Also some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning. 23 When they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb. They found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.   28 As they approached the village where they were going, he acted as if he were going to travel farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, since it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.”    So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he reclined at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and began giving it to them. 31 Suddenly their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Then he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was speaking to us along the road and while he was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those who were with them assembled together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord really has been raised! He has appeared to Simon.” 35 They themselves described what had happened along the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.

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.

The Hymn of the Day                                                                                         Hymn 588  “Abide With Me”

                                                                                                                                                         Verses 1-4, 7


1 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide.   The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,   Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!


2 Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;   Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.

Change and decay in all around I see;    O thou who changest not, abide with me!


3 Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,   But kind and good, with healing in thy wings,

Tears for all woes, a heart for ev’ry plea;   Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.


4 Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,    And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,

Thou hast not left me oft as I left thee.   On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.


7 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;   Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.

Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

after which the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for


The Pre-Sermon Salutation

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord!   May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  Amen.

The Sermon Text                                                                                                         based on Luke 24:13-35

                                                                                                                                          (Today’s Gospel Lesson)


Walking With Jesus Through Life

after the Sermon, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for

The Post-Sermon Blessing

May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.   May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.   The One Who calls you is faithful and He will do it.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.   Amen.

following which the Congregation will be seated

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:  www.gracelutherannwa.com

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

We Offer Our Prayers to the Lord


Today’s Prayers

Included in our Prayers today:

Intercessory Prayers for

Allen Skogen, who is recovering from back surgery;   plus for

Dan Beck, who is contending with pancreatic cancer;  also for

Norman Steinhoff (a friend of Tom Otto).  Norman has

been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

And also  a Prayer of Thanksgiving for Ryan and Lindsey Bratton,

who celebrated their wedding anniversary this past 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.




We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


Consecration of the Elements                                                                                                                                                                            


Pastor         The peace of the Lord be with you always.   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.


The Exhortation Regarding the Lord’s Supper


The Distribution of the Sacramental Elements


The Distribution Hymns                                         Hymn 309   “Dear 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.


                                                                                     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.




                                                                                   (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. 



After the distribution, at the Pastor’s invitation  the Congregation will rise as


We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Closing Prayer


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 upon you with favor, and grant  you His peace.   Amen.


The Closing Hymn                                                                Hymn 279   “O Word of God Incarnate”Flow”


1 O Word of God incarnate,   O Wisdom from on high,

O Truth unchanged, unchanging,   O Light of our dark sky,

We praise you for the radiance  That from the hallowed page,

A lantern to our footsteps,   Shines on from age to age.


2 The Church from you, dear Master,   Received the gift divine,

And still that light is lifted   O’er all the earth to shine.

It is the chart and compass   That, all life’s journey through,

Mid mists and rocks and quicksands   Still guides, O Christ, to you.


3 Oh, make your Church, dear Savior,   A lamp of burnished gold

To bear before the nations    Your true light, as of old.

Oh, teach your wand’ring pilgrims   By this their path to trace

Till, clouds and darkness ended,   They see you face to face.


Silent Prayer,

Announcements, Post-service Music




Last Week at Grace           Worship Attendance: 65    Online views; 30

Sunday Bible Class:   29   (12 online views)                                                                  Tuesday Bible Class: 14

Wednesday Evening Bible Classes:   4 men;   5 women

Budgetary Offerings: $3055       Online Budgetary Gifts: $241.10

School Fund: $51.60    Capital Improvement: $50    Benevolence: $20


Serving Us Next Sunday                                                                              Elders:   Steve Stone, Vic Walker

Ushers:   Taylor Ashley, John Wambold, John Johnson

Video: Tim Huebner    Altar Guild: Mary Karloski, Vicki Walker

Fellowship:   POT LUCK DINNER

This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Today            Worship Service, with the Lord’s Supper  9:30 a.m.    Fellowship Period, 10:45                 Bible Study/SS,11:05am

                       Youth Confirmation Class, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday        Morning Bible Class, 10:30 to 11:30

Wednesday   Evening Bible Classes, 6 to 7 p.m.

Sunday           Morning Worship,  9:30 a.m.      Fellowship, 10:40 a.m.

                                    Bible Class/Sunday School  – 11:05 a.m.                                                                       

                       POT LUCK DINNER, after Bible Class/Sunday School

This Week’s Birthdays and Anniversariess    May 20 – Baylee Hesgard;     May 20 – Tim Pfortmiller    

May 20 – Jim Taylor;      May 21 – Terry and Amy Bruns;      May 21 – Landen Finch

Ascension Day Special Worship Service ADVANCE Reminder    …..in 12 days (specifically on Thursday, May 26th) we will conduct an Ascension Day service, beginning at 7:00 p.m.    Please note this on your calendar so you can join us for this special (and significant) celebration of Christ’s saving work.

2 Corinthians                                                                                                           Bible Study – Lesson One


AUTHOR—Paul (1:1; 10:1)   The holy writer identifies himself in this letter in the opening verse as, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother.” Later in the letter we read again, “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you…” (10:1).

RECIPIENTS – The Christians to which Paul is writing also are identified in the opening verses: “To the church of God that is in Corinth, together with all the saints who are everywhere in Achaia.”

DATE— approximately 55-56 AD

LOCATION —Written from Macedonia, possibly Philippi (2:13; 7:5).   Paul writes in anticipation of his third visit to Corinth (13:1).   Titus and two companions, going ahead of Paul, will deliver the epistle to the church (2 Corinthians 8:6,16-24).


The City Of Corinth.

During Paul’s time, Corinth was the most important city of Greece, probably the fourth largest

city in the Roman Empire.  It was a strategically-located seaport on the narrow Isthmus of Corinth, between the Aegean and Adriatic Seas.   Its history dates back over a thousand years before Christ was born.  Destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, it was rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 44BC and quickly became the capital of Achaia (the southern portion of Greece).

            While Athens was a greater center of culture, religion and philosophy, with the goddess Athena, the goddess of the mind, overshadowing that city (Acts 17:16-34), Corinth was a great center of wickedness.   The city contained 12 prominent heathen temples, the most influential being the temple to Aphrodite.  Corinth was characterized by greed, lust, immorality and debauchery—with the decadent worship practices to the goddess Aphrodite, goddess of love – undergirding the corruption of the city (1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 6:9-11).    Here’s what some commentators have said about the Corinth.  It was….

             “…a city conspicuous for its depravity even amid the depraved cities of a dying heathenism.”

             “a seaman’s paradise, a drunkard’s heaven, and a virtuous woman’s hell.”

 “ a by-word for evil and immoral living. The very word korinthiazesthai (to live like a Corinthian), has become a part of the Greek language; and it meant to live with drunken and immoral debauchery…”

Corinth was world-renowned for the temple of Aphrodite, which sat on the hill of the Acropolis, with her 1000 priestesses, who were nothing more than temple prostitutes. Yet, it was this ungodly city wherein God told Paul “I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9-11).

History of the Early Christian Church in Corinth.

            Established near the end of Paul’s second missionary journey, around 50/51AD, the church from its very beginning was a mixture of Gentiles (Acts 18:7) and Jews (Acts 18:2,8,17).  Its membership consisted mainly of non-affluent, non-influential individuals (I Corinthians 1:26).   Nevertheless, its members were very talented (I Corinthians 1:7), had a high opinion of themselves, and had difficulty being loving (I Corinthians 13).   This lack of love displayed itself in the various divisions and factions within the congregation, and also in the sad matter of some members taking other members to court to settle disputes (I Corinthians 6)   The immorality of the community in general had a telling (and disappointing) influence on the congregation of believers gathered there.  Immoral behavior (notably an incestuous relationship between a member and his mother or step-mother ….I Corinthians 5) was tolerated rather than properly disciplined.

            Silas and Timothy joined Paul in the Gospel ministry there shortly after his arrival. After his conversion, Apollos also preached and helped to build up the church in Paul’s absence (Acts 18:24-19:1).  He evidently was the instrument through which God converted many of the church’s members (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:4-6,22; 4:6).   It’s also quite possible that Peter ministered among the Corinthians for a time (1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:22; 9:5), although his name also could have been used to Paul simply to illustrate the point that the congregation’s various personality divisions were hurting it and the ministry of the Gospel (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:6).   On this first visit, Paul spent about a year and a half with the Corinthians before moving on.

            During his third missionary journey Paul spent three years working in Ephesus.   During that time he wrote his two letters to the Corinthians (one “lost,” and then 1st Corinthians) regarding some problems that had arisen within the church and bout which he had heard reports. After leaving Ephesus, Paul went to Troas expecting to meet up with Titus, but when he did not find him, he went on to Macedonia: “12 When I came to Troas to proclaim the gospel of Christ and a door was opened for me by the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-bye to them and went on to Macedonia.” (2:12-13).

            Somewhere in Macedonia, Paul did meet up with Titus who brought good news about the situation at Corinth: “5 In fact, when we came to Macedonia, our flesh had no relief. Instead, we were troubled in every way—conflicts on the outside, fears on the inside. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us with the arrival of Titus, 7 and not only with his arrival, but also with the comfort he had received concerning you. He told us about your longing, your sorrow, and your serious concern for me. As a result, I rejoiced even more.” (7:5-7).

            As a result of the good news that Paul had received about the Corinthian congregation, he wrote his second letter to the Corinthians from Macedonia sometime in 55/56 A.D.   This letter was most likely sent back with Titus who was sent there to gather the special offering for the saints about which Paul had spoken in his first letter, as well as encouraged in this second this letter (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15).  After the completion of his work in Macedonia, Paul visited Corinth again and spent three months there with them (Acts 20:2-3).



It is an Intensely Personal Letter.

Some might mistakenly consider the letter of 1 Corinthians to be cold and stern—but that is not at all the case with 2 Corinthians. Here the apostle pours out his heart to his fellow Christians (2:4).  One commentator suggested this letter “is written with a quill dipped in tears.”  Paul’s concern for them was so great, and his heart so restless, that he passed up an opportunity to preach in Troas, in order to learn of the Corinthian’s condition from Titus (2:12-13; 7:5-7,13). With his heart opened wide to them, he longed for them to open their hearts to him too (6:11-13; 7:2).   He had boasted of them to Titus (7:14), to other churches (8:24), as well as to the Macedonians (9:2-4).  Paul was jealous for them like a father is for his children (11:2; 12:14), and he gladly sacrificed himself for them (11:7-9; 12:14-15).

Throughout, it Focuses on the Ministry Of the Gospel.

The ministry of the gospel is greater than any man who preaches it (2:16; 3:5). It is an aroma of life to those who accept it.  On the other hand the Gospel is a prelude to death for those who reject it (2:14-16). It is a glorious ministry (3:6-18), demanding sincerity (2:17), and pointing men to Christ instead of themselves (4:1-6).  The Gospel’s effectiveness comes from God’s power (4:7) and its value is apparent in the minister’s determined perseverance to proclaim it (4:8-15).   Knowing the fear of the Lord (5:11), and compelled by the love of Christ (5:13-15,18-21), he implores people to believe it.  The Gospel ministry demands commitment and sacrifice (6:3-10), in spite of conflicts without and fears within on the part of the minister (7:5). There is no place for self-promotion (10:12-18), but only for self-denial (12:14-15).   The Gospel has its false ministers (11:13-15,23), as well as its faithful (12:11-12, 19; 13:8).

Contrasts Abound

This epistle is full of contrasts—suffering and comfort (1:3-7), glory of old and new covenant (3:7-18), distressed but not defeated (4:8-12), affliction and glory (4:16-18), temporary and eternal (4:16-5:8), poverty and riches (8:1-15), boasting and humility (10:12-18), true ministers and false (11:2-4,13-15), proud boasting and reluctant boasting (11:16-12:6), strength and weakness (12:7-12), tenderness (10:1; 12:14-15,19) and biting irony (11:4,7,19-20). As ministers of the gospel, they were faithful in contrasting things (6:4-10).

In It Paul Has To Defend His Apostleship.

A new problem had arisen—the Judaizers who plagued the church in Antioch (Acts 15) and Galatia (Galatians 1:6-7), had finally arrived in Corinth. They had convinced some to challenge Paul’s authority and motives. The leaders of this group were arrogant, domineering men (11:19-20), who boasted of their pedigree (11:22) and preached a perverted gospel (11:4).  They attacked Paul as a second rate apostle (12:11-12), who was weak and vacillating (10:10), and who either did not think enough of himself to accept financial support from them (11:7), or was cunningly planning to defraud them later (12:16-18). Their empty boasting (5:12; 10:13,15; 11:12,16) made it necessary for Paul to respond (11:17-28; 12:1-6). This kind of defense of himself is obviously distasteful to Paul (11:21,23; 12:11), but necessary because the attack on him was also an attack on the Gospel which he preaches.   He would have much rather boasted in the strength of God (10:17; 11:30; 12:9).


            Evidently written under stress, this epistle exudes the kind of emotion which we do not often associate with the apostle Paul.   Through it we get to catch a glimpse into the apostle’s soul—regarding his hopes and fears, his joys and anguish, his love and pain, his commitment and sacrifice.

            He begins the epistle explaining his past actions. He accounts for the delay in his visit and the tone of his rebuke in the first letter (1:12-2:11). He then explains for them his Gospel ministry by describing the glorious nature of the Gospel (2:14-4:6), the frail nature of its ministers (4:7-5:10), and the gracious effect it has on the lives and souls of those who believe it (5:11-7:16).

            He continues this letter by addressing a special need.   Paul encourages the church in Corinth to continue to participate in the special offering for the struggling, famine-stricken congregation in Jerusalem by speaking about the participation of the Macedonian churches (8:1-8), the Lord’s gift of salvation to them through faith (8:9; 9:15) and their prior offerings that led the way in this special giving effort (8:10-9:14).

            He concludes his epistle by expressing his apprehension about a future confrontation with his critics.   Unlike their jealousy and boasting, his authority had come directly from the Lord (10:1-18).   He was very concerned for those who were being misled by these false ministers of the Gospel (11:1-15).   Reluctantly, he felt compelled to make some foolish boasts about himself and his call from God in order to silence those who selfishly boasted about  lesser things (11:16-12:10; cf. Proverbs 26:4-5).   He bore the signs and “battle-scars” of an apostle, and he intended to come to Corinth with authority in order to challenge those false teachers as well as his critics (12:11-13:10).



  1. Salutation (1:1-2)
  2. Principles Of Paul’s Ministry (1:3-7:16)
  3. Comfort In Suffering (1:3-11)
  4. Explanations For His Actions (1:12-2:13)
  5. Nature Of Paul’s Ministry (2:14-7:3)
  6. The Fragrance Of Christ (2:14-17)
  7. Minister Of Glorious New Covenant (3:1-18)
  8. Honesty (4:1-6)
  9. Suffering (4:7-15)
  10. Hopeful (4:16-5:10)
  11. Reconciling (5:11-21)
  12. Blameless (6:1-10)
  13. Open-Hearted (6:11-7:3)
  14. The Corinthians’ Repentance (7:4-16)

III. Necessity For Corinthians’ Ministry (8:1-9:15)

  1. The Macedonians’ Gift (8:1-9)
  2. The Corinthians’ Gift (8:10-9:15)
  3. The Exhortation (8:10-15)
  4. The Messengers (8:16-24)
  5. Ministering To The Saints (9:1-15)
  6. Vindication Of Paul’s Ministry (10:1-13:10)
  7. Reality Of Paul’s Authority (10:1-11)
  8. Measure Of True Authority (10:12-18)
  9. True And False Apostles (11:1-15)
  10. Paul’s Reluctant Boasting (11:16-12:13)
  11. Boasting In Suffering (11:16-33)
  12. Boasting In Revelations (12:1-6)
  13. Boasting In Christ (12:7-10)
  14. Signs Of An Apostle (12:11-13)
  15. Warning Of Paul’s Impending Visit (12:14-13:10)
  16. Closing Remarks And Greetings (13:11-14)


2 Corinthians 1:1-11                                                                                                Bible Study – Lesson Two

Why Do Bad Things Happen to God’s People?

KEY VERSE— “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (1:3)

SUMMARY:  This second letter to the Corinthians is unique among Paul’s writings, because it is very personal, showing us the depth of his heart and emotions.   It gives us insight into his motives, his struggles, and his yearnings.   It shows us the impulses of his heart, which are behind his actions.   Many people view Paul as an uncompromising, hard-nosed servant of Christ.   In this letter we get an insight into another aspect of his personality – his tenderness and concern for the people he was privileged to serve the with Gospel.   Paul begins this letter with a greeting that affirms his Divine calling as an apostle (1:1-2).   He then gives thanks to God for the comfort God gives us in our suffering—a comfort which we can share with others (1:3-7).  In the closing verses of this section, the Apostle gives thanks to God for delivering him in the midst of his own sufferings (1:8-11).


1)         Why does Paul affirm his apostleship at the very beginning of this epistle (1:1)?   What does he have to battle throughout the entire epistle (12:11-12; 13:3)?

2)         Who had elevated Paul to this position (1:1; Acts 26:12-18)?

3)         What does the word “saint” mean (1:2)?   How could Paul describe the Corinthians as “saints” in view of all the problems they had and sins they had committed?

4)         How does Paul describe God?

5)         What two reasons does Paul give as the bases for his thanksgiving?  (3-7:   8-11)

6)         How many times do these verses mention “comfort/consolation” (1:3-7)?   What does that tell us about the emphasis of this section?

7)         What’s one of the reasons why God comforts us (1:4)?  

8)         For what reason was Paul encountering sufferings that required God’s comfort?  (1:5)

9)         Who else benefitted from the comfort Paul received (1:6)?  

10)       For what purpose were the Corinthians receiving comfort in the midst of their sufferings?  (1:6)?

11)       How bad were Paul’s troubles (1:8-9)?  What did he learn through those difficulties (1:9)?

12)       Who else does Paul credit with his deliverance through such suffering (1:11)?  What had they done for him?

2 Corinthians 1:12-2:13                                                                                          Bible Study – Lesson Three

Promises and Faithfulness

“21 God is the one who makes both us and you to be strong in Christ. He anointed us. 22 He sealed us as his own and gave us the Spirit as the down payment in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

The God Who comforts you understands the many kinds of sufferings you undergo in daily life.  Although Paul wrote earlier in this chapter about the persecution he and his friends experienced that made them fear for their lives, suffering doesn’t only come from persecution, physical danger, or from outside your circle of friends.  It can also come from within the circle of those whom you love and trust the most.   Misunderstandings, behavioral conflicts, and slanderous words from others close to us can cause us hurt feelings and foster a lack of trust between us and the people we care most about.

Regardless of the source, and painful thought it is, suffering can serve a blessed purpose.   It can drive us to a greater dependence on God….provided we look to Him for strength, wisdom and deliverance more than we look to ourselves.    Those who do this, trust in the Lord to work in the situation, to work everything out for our earthly and everlasting good….and then they remember to give Him thanks afterward.

2 Corinthians 1:12-14.

Paul’s conscience testifies he and his associated behaved in what way?  (v. 12)

What didn’t they rely on in their interactions with the Corinthians? (v. 12)

What did Paul intentionally not do? (v. 13)

What does Paul hope that they will do? (v. 14)

What was Paul’s goal for the Corinthians? (v. 14)

“Boast” is based on a Greek word meaning “the act of glorying, rejoicing.” As a key word in 2 Corinthians, Paul uses it 30 times in various forms. Pay attention to all the references to those who are boasting and about what they are boasting.

Summarize what you think Paul is trying to communicate to the Corinthian believers in these three verses.

Go back to 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.  When Paul first met the Corinthians, how did he approach and minister to them?   What didn’t he choose to do in presenting the Gospel to them?     Why?    What does Paul say in 2 Corinthians 1:12 to remind them about his initial ministry to them?

“Wisdom” (Greek. “sophia,” meaning “knowledge, intelligence, learning”) was one of the Corinthians’ (and ancient Greeks’) greatest affections.   The Greeks highly valued wisdom.   Paul used this word or variations of it 15 times in 1 Corinthians plus here in 2 Corinthians 1:12.

Being misrepresented by someone and, therefore, misunderstood is very painful for anyone.   Paul basically tells the Corinthians in these verses, “Look at my behavior.  I’ve been single-minded and sincere. I’m telling you the truth. Please trust me. Then, we can be proud of each other’s faith.”    Have you been in a similar relationship where you were misrepresented and/or misunderstood by someone you cared deeply about?   How did you handle (and, perhaps, rectify) the situation?

2 Corinthians 1:15-22

Since Paul was confident the Corinthians would understand the truth, what was his plan for visiting them?   (vv. 15-16)

What accusation apparently had been made against Paul?  (v. 17)

Referring back to v. 12, what does Paul declare in v. 18?

Whose example did Paul state that he was following? (vv. 19-20)?

What does it mean for you that Jesus is the “Yes” of God’s promises to us?

Through Whom is Paul’s “amen / may it be fulfilled” spoken (v. 20)?

What purpose does Paul state in this verse 20?

What four things does God do to fulfill His promise and receive glory? (vv. 21-22)

How did God set His seal of ownership on us?  (v. 22) When did that happen in your life?

What does it mean when today we put down a down-payment, deposit or guarantee?

Can humans back out of a promise like that?

Does God ever back out of a promise to us? See v. 20.

So, what does God pledge or guarantee to us?   (See also Ephesians 1:13-14)

The Holy Spirit is referred to as a “deposit” or “down payment” for our salvation, giving us the assurance that He will complete His work that begins with our conversion and continues onward to our reception into heaven.    At the moment of our conversion we are transformed by the Holy Spirit from unbelievers to believing children of God.   What Christ achieved for us through His sinless life, sacrificial death and glorious resurrection has reconciled the world to God (2 Corinthians 5:19-21; John 3:16).   Spirit-given faith in Christ makes each of us individually part of God’s family for time and eternity.   This faith is what assures us of our personal salvation (we believe what Jesus has done for us), and it gives each of us the status of being a child of God and an heir of heaven.  Jesus Christ now lives in us through the faith-enabling and strengthening power of God the Holy Spirit.   Through the Holy Spirit’s work in you, you have received:  1) Spiritual life (regeneration);   2) power for godly living (sanctification);   and 3) the privilege and blessing of living in a reconciled, loving relationship with the Almighty God.  How awesome is that?

2 Corinthians 1:23-2:13.

Why didn’t Paul return to Corinth as he had initially planned?  (v. 23 & 2:1)

Paul reminds them that his role is to serve them for especially what purpose ?   (v. 24)

Why had Paul previously written them?   (2:3)

As he wrote, what feelings/hope was he expressing?   (2:4)

What was result about the member who had been confronted over his deliberate, unrepented sin (v. 5)

What was the punishment that the congregation inflicted on the offender? (v. 6)

Now what does Paul direct them to do? (vv. 7-8)

What might happen if they don’t forgive this once-erring, now-repentant brother?

For what other reason had Paul written them that severe letter? (v. 9)

What does Paul intend to do regarding the once-erring brother?  (v. 10)

What did he hope to avoid for himself and for the Corinthians?    (v. 11)

What two things happened when Paul left Ephesus and went to Troas?   (vv. 12-13)

Correcting a brother’s or sister’s error in conduct or thinking is typically hard but is also very necessary for the benefit of the individual, and for the church as a whole (Matthew 18:15-20).   What had previously happened in connection with the once-erring, now-reconciled brother?   (See 1 Corinthians 5:1-7.)    Now what was the problem?

Give a reason why is it necessary to address the matter of ungodly behavior before the congregation?

What are some goals that a congregation might have if it has to excommunicate an unrepentant sinner?

Is there someone in your present (or past) that you need to forgive and comfort?

In these verse Paul warns of a danger that is always a threat to believers:  the “schemes” of Satan.    What are some of Satan’s schemes with which you’re familiar?

What accomplishment(s) would Satan achieve by taking advantage of church leaders in allowing bad examples to remain part of the church community?

Paul sent his “painful letter” to Corinth in the hands of Titus.   Read Galatians 2:1-3, Titus 1:4-5, and 2 Corinthians 7:5-7.   What do these passages tell us about Titus and his relationship with Paul?

Paul trusted Titus to represent him and help in this matter of rebuking and subsequently reconciling the church in Corinth to himself, and especially to the Lord.   Whom would you trust enough that you would send him/her to a Spiritually struggling family member in order to (humanly-speaking) effect repentance and reconciliation….the way Paul trusted Titus?    Why this person and not someone else?