Being Joyful in Jesus


The story has been told of a man who had converted to the Christian faith after setting aside his Moslem heritage.  It cost him everything.  No sooner had he been baptized than his possessions were taken from him, and his friends and family deserted him.    “How are you able to bear your troubles?” a Christian friend once asked him.  “Many ask me that,” was his response, “but they never ask me whether I am able to bear my joys, for I enjoy a special joy in my heart since I know that Christ has forgiven me that nobody has been able to take away from me.”

Although true joy is something that eludes many people in our world, for Christians such as ourselves there’s a special “joy” in life — even in the face of persecution and hardship — that should be routine and expected.  That’s because we have a Savior Who loves every one of us, and Who has delivered us all from sin, death and the power of the Devil.  The love of Christ and His free gift of salvation to us are the bases for the joy we have in life and for eternity.  And it’s a joy that lasts and lasts, even in the face of life’s all-too-frequent adversities and disappointments.

Across the ages, people have pursued joy down every avenue imaginable.    For most, any joy found has been, at best, temporary and incomplete.   There are so many dead ends and unsatisfying results!    Since the experience of not finding real joy is more common, perhaps it would be best for us to consider first where joy cannot be found:


*  Not in Unbelief — the Frenchman, Voltaire, was one of history’s greatest and boldest

unbelievers.  Throughout his life he ridiculed Christians and Christianity, but near his life’s end, Voltaire sadly wrote:   “I wish I had never been born.”

Not in Pleasure — the Englishman Lord Byron proudly lived a life of decadent and disobedient pleasure if anyone ever did.   Surveying the results of his life, just before he passed away, Byron reluctantly wrote: “The worm, the cancer, and grief are all mine alone.”

*  Not in Money — Jay Gould was a 19th century American millionaire, who had far more money than he needed, but he always wanted more.    While on his death bed, Gould said, “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”

*  Not in Fame or Military Glory — Alexander the Great is known as one of the world’s greatest ancient figures and military leaders.  He conquered the known world in his day — over three centuries before Christ’s birth.    Having done so, he wept in his tent, overcome by a feeling of emptiness and lack of fulfillment, for – he said – “There are no more worlds for me to conquer.”


Where then is real joy found? — the answer is simple – and we celebrate it today – in Jesus Christ alone, and the salvation He gives us through faith in Him.


Traditionally the Christian Church has used this 3rd Sunday after Easter as the day on which to concentrate on the “joy” which Christians enjoy because of Christ’s resurrection for our salvation.  That Sunday (today) has for centuries been referred to as “Jubilate Sunday,” taken from the Latin word for “rejoice” (which just happens to be found in the first verse of our Psalm for today, Psalm 66).  The opening verses of Psalm 66 have customarily been read responsively in Christian churches for many centuries as a part of the Jubilate/Rejoice Sunday celebration.

Our Epistle Lesson also serves as our Children’s Lesson for this morning.   It offer us the encouraging and joy-filled words that God gave Paul to share with us in his letter to the Philippians.  Though in prison, with death as a martyr a very real possibility, Paul still expresses his gratitude to God for his circumstances.  He shows us how a Christian can be joyful, no matter what his/her situation.   That’s because, when you really know God’s love and grace in Christ, every day is a day to be glad in your spirit… matter what the situations and circumstances you are facing in this life.

Today’s Gospel Lesson also serves as the Text for our Sermon.   It is the story of Jesus’ sending out 72 of His disciples to do mission work on His behalf throughout Galilee during the second year of His public ministry.   When the disciples returned to Jesus they were filled with joy both because they He had given them the privilege of proclaiming the Good News for Him, and because of the results of their work for Him.   But Jesus reminds them (and us) that there is a joy even more important than what we have because of our personal successes and experiences.  He says that the greater joy, by far, that a Christian has comes from knowing through faith, that God – by grace – has forgiven us our sins and has written our names in His book of life…..thereby guaranteeing us eternal life in heaven.    We also see Jesus rejoicing through the influence of the Holy Spirit in our reading today, as He thanks His Father for the saving faith that His followers possess.



Pre-Service Prayer In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank You my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, for keeping me through the night from all harm and danger.  Keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You.  Into Your hands I commit my body and soul and all things.  Let your holy angel be with me, that the Devil may have no power over me.  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




Let Us Praise The Lord


The Greeting and Invitation to Worship


The Invocation


In the name of the Father

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

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

And of the Son,

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

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

heaven for the good of His Church,

and Who will return in glory on the Last Day to deliver that Church;;

And of the Holy Spirit

through Whom Christ was made alive,

Who has worked and sustains saving faith in our hearts,

Who lives in us now through the Word,

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




The Responsive Psalm for Today                                                                                                                                                                    Psalm 66

P:         Shout for JOY to God,  all the earth!

C:        Sing the glory of His name;   +   give to Him glorious praise!

P:         Say to God, “How awesome are Your deeds!   So great is Your power that Your enemies come cringing before You.

C:        All the earth worships You and sings praises to You.  +  they sing praises to Your name.


P:         Bless our God, O peoples,  let the sound of His praise be heard.

C:        He has kept our soul among the living   + and has not let our feet slip.   +   For You, O God, have tested us;     +   You have tried us as silver is tried.


P:         Come and hear, all you who fear God;   I will tell you what He has done for my soul.

C:        I cried to Him with my mouth;     +   And high praise was on my tongue.


P:         If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.    But truly God has listened;    He has attended to the voice of my prayer.

C:        Blessed be God, because He has not rejected my prayer   +    or removed His steadfast  love from me!   



The Opening Hymn                                                                                                                                                                                 “Rejoice, the Lord Is King”

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Music: John Darwall, 1731-1789;   Tune: Darwalls 148TH, 66.66.88


Rejoice, the Lord is King!    Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;     Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!


Jesus, the Savior, reigns, the God of truth and love;

When He had purged our stains He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;     Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!


His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and Heav’n,
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus giv’n;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;      Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!


He sits at God’s right hand till all His foes submit,
And bow to His command, and fall beneath His feet:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;      Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!


Rejoice in glorious hope     Jesus the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear  th’ archangel’s voice;   The trump of God shall sound, rejoice!    Amen.


We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor: As we approach the Lord in worship today, let us all confess our sins and seek God’s forgiving mercy:


Congregation: O Lord, hear my prayer,   +    Listen to my cry for mercy   + and in Your faithfulness, come to my relief.    +    Do not bring Your servant into

judgment,   +   for no one living is righteous before You.    +    Answer me quickly, O Lord;    +    my spirit fails.   +     Do not hide Your face from me,   +    For I have put my trust in You.    +     Show me the way I should go,   +   for to You I lift up my soul.  +    Teach me to do Your will,   +   for You are my God.


Almighty God, merciful Father,   +    I, a troubled and repentant sinner    + confess that I have sinned against You  in my actions, thoughts and words.    +    I have not loved You with all my heart;   +    I have not loved others the way I should.   +    I have not been a faithful steward  of the time, abilities, opportunities and resources    +    which You have entrusted to my care.    +   I have not always been eager and willing to worship You, serve You, or learn from You as I ought.   +     My transgressions,  whether deliberate or done out of ignorance    +    are too numerous for me to recall.   +   I know that because of them   +    I deserve Your punishment  both now and eternally.    +    But I truly am distressed by   +   and deeply sorry for my sins.    +   And so I implore You,  for Jesus’ sake,   +   to have mercy upon me   +   and to forgive me,   +   a poor, sinful being.


Pastor:            And now, upon this – your confession – and according to the command and promise of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and in His  place, I forgive you all your

sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.    Amen.     Be at peace once more with your God, assured that you are a dear child of God and an heir of eternal life in heaven through faith in Christ Jesus.

Congregation:             O Lord, my God    +   I called to You for help   +   and You answered me.   +   I thank You for the love You have shown me  in Jesus Christ, my

Savior.    +   Through Him You have rescued me from the guilt and curse of my sin.   +   Renew me now, through Your Holy Spirit    +   that I might faithfully fight against all temptation,   +   correct whatever wrongs I can,   +   and live in the peace of Your forgiveness.   +    Let my life be filled with Your love and praise.   +   Now and forever.   +    Amen.



Feed Us, Lord


The First Lesson and Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                                        Philippians 4:4-13


We Can Always Be Joyful….In the LORD


4 Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.    8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent, and if anything is praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 The things that you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: Keep doing these things. And the God of peace will be with you.


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



The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                                                                                    Luke 10:1-24


After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.    2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go your way. Look, I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Do not carry a money bag or traveler’s bag or sandals. Do not greet anyone along the way. 5 Whenever you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 And if a peaceful person is there, your peace will rest on him, but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in that same house, eating and drinking what they give you, because the worker is worthy of his pay. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they welcome you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are in the town and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’

10 “But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust from your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom on that day than for that town.   13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will be brought down to hell. 16 Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!”

18 He told them, “I was watching Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Look, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing will ever harm you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names have been written in heaven.”   21 In that same hour, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and have revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, because this was pleasing in your sight.   22 “Everything was handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wants to reveal him.”

23 Turning to the disciples, he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 Indeed, I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see the things that you are seeing, yet did not see them, and to hear the things that you are hearing, yet did not hear them.”



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                                                                                                                                                   “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You”

                                                                                                                                                                 cwh, 1999;    sung to the melody “Ode to Joy”


Joyful, joyful we adore You,   God of glory, God of love!

Heav’n and earth bow down before You,     Praising You, our Lord above.

You our Father,   Christ our Savior,    With the Spirit faith provides,

Life eternal we’ve been granted, gracious gift that e’er abides.


You are giving and forgiving,      Ever glorious, Ever blest.

Source of every kind of blessing,    Giver of eternal rest.

You have claimed us as Your children    Heaven’s heirs through faith alone

In the Rock of our salvation,   Jesus Christ, our Lord, Your Son.


Lord, receive our prayers and praises, weak and humble though they be.

Yours the power, Yours the glory,   Both today and endlessly.

None beside You, None before You, God of mercy, full and free.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, ever blessed Trinity.         Amen.



The Pre-Sermon Greeting


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 10:1-24

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Today’s Gospel Lesson


What Gave Jesus His Joy



The Post-Sermon Blessing


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


We Offer Our Gifts to the Lord


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today, as we would during a regular worship service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:

1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address

(415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go online to our website (

and use the giving option there.

3) You can also contact the Pastor about bringing your offering

by the church during the week….

or, if you have a key to the church, by leaving it in the offering plate on the altar.

We Bring Our Prayers to the Lord


The Prayers for this Day 


P:         Lord God, on account of your rich mercy poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, hear our prayers. Continue to look graciously on us and Your whole Christian Church on earth.

C:         We rejoice in the freedom from condemnation and in the redemption that is ours through Christ.    On account of Jesus’ saving work we are Your treasured possession. We thank You for all those persons in our past    which You used to bring to us the Gospel of the crucified and risen Savior,    and which caused faith to arise in our hearts.


P:         Cause all the governments of the world to work for the well-being of all people.   We especially pray that You would move the world’s leaders to give the Gospel free course in their lands, so that it might find fertile ground in the hearts of all who hear it.   


C:         We also pray for our own congregation,     that in our Christian lives we might consistently walk – not according to the flesh, but – according to the Spirit,     caring for one another,    and showing generosity toward all those whose needs are evident.  But enable us also to look outside these walls where we worship,     to the many other treasured souls all around us    for which Christ also went to cross,    and lead us to do all within the means that You have given us     to proclaim Jesus’ love to them.


P:         Through Holy Baptism and the ministry of Your Word we became – and have remained – members of Your family of faith.   As we reflect upon this great blessing, move us to joyfully raise our hearts and hands in grateful and faithful service to You – the God of our salvation. 


C:         Bless all who worship and serve You through our Church family.  Let Your Word touch the lives of all of us as we meditate upon the mysteries of Your great love for us in Christ Jesus.   Help us also to remember our responsibility    to work together with the other congregations of our Synod,    in order to see to it that the Gospel is proclaimed    throughout our country and around the world.  


P:         Lord, we know that the devil will do his utmost to ruin our lives on this earth and our hope for going to heaven.    Whenever Your children are damaged by the struggles of this life continue to strengthen and sustain them with the blessed assurance that they are Your treasured possession, and that You are always working for their earthly and eternal good. 


We pray for our those  brothers and sisters within our church and extended family who are facing health and personal problems ranging from cancer to diabetes, from vision disorders to fibro- and polymyalgia, from respiratory distress to heart disease, from depression to various physical injuries and their complications…… and other ailments and afflictions, as well as loneliness, marital and family problems, employment and financial difficulties, and more.      


In particular today we pray for our community, our state, our nation, and the people of this world, as we seek relief from the Covid-19 pandemic that is circulating the globe. According to Your will, O LORD, grant us protection from this deadly virus.   Keep it far away from us, and – in time – allow the world’s collective scientific and medical communities to very soon find both successful treatments and an effective vaccine for this virus. 


Allow our state and nation in the coming weeks to safely return to our routine work and other activities.   Bless our nation’s economy with the kind of recovery that will benefit us and all our fellow Americans. 


Continue to support and keep safe the health care workers here and around the world who are caring for the sick and dying.   Grant your blessing of safety and satisfaction to those persons who are providing us and others with the various essential services that are sustaining us during these difficult times.  


This pandemic reminds us vividly of how small, frail and powerless we truly are to manage even daily life, let alone life’s challenges.  Lord, please help us all to recognize anew that You are fully aware of their personal and spiritual needs, and that You have the ability and commitment to meet them….. indeed, that You have a perfect plan for the lives of every one of us (whether or not we understand and appreciate it), and that You will never take us into any circumstances in which You will not work things out, in the end, for our best personal and spiritual interests, and particularly for Your glory and honor.


Hear us also as each of us brings our personal and private praises, requests and petitions before You.


Silent Prayer


P:         Now heavenly Father, answer our prayers according to Your will, not because we earned or deserve any of Your blessings, but because of Jesus our Savior who has also taught us to pray:


C:         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 Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Benediction


            The LORD bless you and keep you.

            The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

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



The Closing Hymn                                                                                                                                Hymn 323   “Almighty Father, Bless the Word”


1 Almighty Father, bless the Word   Which through Your grace we now have heard.

Oh, may the precious seed take root,   Spring up, and bear abundant fruit!


2 We praise You for the means of grace    As homeward now our steps we trace.

Grant, Lord, that we who worshiped here   May all at last in heav’n appear.


3 Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;   Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host:   Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.




This Week at Grace Lutheran     Online viewings of our Worship service:  73 households Tuesday Bible Class:   18 participants;                Wednesday Bible Classes:    11 Men;   5 Women

Regular Offerings (Budget):  $ 1725            Online Offerings: $ 420


This Week’s Birthdays         May 04 – Micah Galvan;     May 07 Ben Quinlan;    

May 08 Sadie Huebner;       May 08 Andy & Bill Franzmeier;