The Third Sunday of the Easter Season – April 23, 2023   

known, liturgically, as Misericordia Domini Sunday  (“the Lord’s Unfailing Love”)

and known, traditionally, as  Good Shepherd Sunday




Worshiping Our Shepherd-King….the Savior of our Souls


            “The LORD is my Shepherd” is one of the most comforting statements in all of Scripture, one many believers throughout the ages have cherished.  The Holy Spirit put those words into the heart of a shepherd-king named David approximately 1000 years before Jesus was born. They have been sung and spoken, shared and declared. They have brought comfort to the fearful, compassion to the hurting, and peace to the dying.

When David wrote, “The LORD is my Shepherd,” he was making a statement about himself and God. David

realized his need for God. Like one of the many sheep he had cared for in his time as a shepherd he saw how helpless and weak he was. He saw this world as a wilderness filled with dangers to his soul.  He also saw the LORD as the only One Who could and would truly comfort him when he was afraid, protect him when he was in danger, oversee and guard his life throughout his days, and provide for all his needs of body and soul.

            On this Good Shepherd Sunday each of us has the opportunity to once again take the inspired words of King David as our own.   May we all, always, gladly and genuinely confess, “The LORD is my Shepherd!”   

            Of course, we also want to admit that we are at somewhat of a disadvantage in comparison to the human author of those divinely-given words.    Few, if any of us have ever tended (or even seen) a flock of sheep.   As a result, we don’t fully realize the subtle truths that can be found in identifying ourselves as sheep and the LORD as our Good Shepherd.   Nevertheless, it’s our prayer this morning that as we meditate upon the Word of our God today we might be led to more clearly see the LORD as our ultimate Good Shepherd.   May we also see in these portions of Scripture, just how much like sheep we really are.

This Day on the Church’s “Calendar”   

            From ancient times, the Christian Church has traditionally designated one of the six Sundays after Easter as “Good Shepherd Sunday.”  Its purpose is to provide Christians with a specific, annual occasion through which we can reflect both upon Jesus’ role as our “Good Shepherd,” and upon our privileged position as His “sheep.”   Historically, the Christian Church has celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday on the Second Sunday after Easter (the 3rd Sunday of the Easter Season), as we are doing this morning.   Early on it was referred to as “Misericordia Domini” Sunday.  The term “Misericordia Domini” is Latin for “the Lord’s unfailing love,” and is taken from the fifth (also, underlined) verse of our Preparatory Psalm for this morning, Psalm 33.    This reading, as well as the rest of today’s Scripture lessons emphasize the importance of trusting in Jesus as our Good Shepherd to lead us through all the trials and troubles of this life, and to ultimately rescue us from any and every adversity.

Today’s Scripture Lessons

            In today’s Old Testament Lesson, Ezekiel 34, we will see part of the reason why this Sunday was — centuries ago — given its “liturgical name:”    Misericordia Domini,  that is “the Unfailing Love” of Our Lord, the Good Shepherd, for us, His sheep.  We’ll see that the Shepherd’s love moves Him to seek and deliver the lost and straying, and it further moves Him to faithfully feed and care for His beloved sheep.     Specifically Ezekiel is depicting the Lord as the Good Shepherd to His often-wayward people, Judah.  Having had to discipline them for their sin of idolatry by sending them into exile in the land of Babylon for a period of 70 years, the Lord nevertheless reassures them that He has a plan in place to rescue, restore and comfort them as His sheep.   In spite of the troubles they have met in this life, their future is bright for He is their Shepherd!  

            In our Children’s Lesson (as will be the case in today’s sermon) we’ll talk about how we – like sheep – occasionally “go astray” – that is, we get ourselves into spiritual danger by wandering away from the direction and protection that God gives us in His Word.    But, as our Good Shepherd and the Overseer of our souls, our Lord – Who spent His blood to own our souls – refuses to lose us.   In love, He keeps on coming after us, His precious (though often stubborn and foolish) sheep, until He finds, rescues and returns us to Himself.

            This morning’s Epistle Reading encourages us to live righteous lives and to suffer patiently in the service of our Good Shepherd Who Himself set the example for us to follow. For, says Peter, He Himself suffered patiently without protest or complaint. In Him we find the salvation we need.    

             Today’s Gospel Lesson comes from John 10, Scripture’s principal reference to Jesus as the “Good Shepherd.”  In fact the whole of John chapter ten is called “the Good Shepherd chapter.”  In the first paragraph of our reading,  Jesus describes His relationship with the Church in terms of a shepherd who tends a flock.   As our Good Shepherd, He not only watches over us, but warns against following false shepherds (notably false teachers) who try to lead His followers astray, even with violence.    He came to give us spiritual life and preserve us into eternal life, a fact we celebrate with joy this Easter season.     In the second part of this reading (vv 11-16)  Jesus tells us why He is the Good Shepherd, and what His purpose and goal is for us.    He also reminds us that the proof that He, alone, is the Good Shepherd is found in His willingness to lay down His life for us – His sheep – and then in His power to conquer death itself.  Finally, in the closing section (vv 22-30) Jesus assures us that He knows us all by name, and that His flock will prove themselves to be His followers by faithfully listening to His Word (the Scriptures).   He further promises that He will protect and preserve us from those who would try to deprive us not only of our faith-relationship with Him, but of the eternal life in heaven which He promises to all who are a part of His flock of believers.

            Our Sermon for today is based on Jeremiah 23’s prophecy about the coming Savior, Who would serve God’s people as their Good Shepherd and King.  He has graciously provided us with the righteousness that we, as sinners, need if we are ever going to enter eternal life in heaven.   Jeremiah speaks a word of condemnation about the false shepherds of God’s people then, and today, who do not care properly for their souls, but who instead lead them into destructive behaviors and beliefs.  

            Finally, prior to our sermon we will read Psalm 23, called by many “the world’s most beloved Psalm.”  Through all of our Scripture lessons, hymns, psalms, and prayers on this “Good Shepherd Sunday,” let’s thank our Heavenly Father for giving His Son to be our Good Shepherd, and let’s praise Jesus for being such a Good Shepherd to us.




We Welcome You To Grace Lutheran Church

            We welcome you this morning, in the name of our living Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.   May you find abiding peace and renewed strength for your faith and Christian life in His Word of truth today.   The chief purpose of our ministry, as our Lord enables us, is to serve all people with the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the verbally inspired, inerrant Scriptures.  And so it is our privilege and intent to   proclaim the Law and Gospel keenly and clearly, in order to convict sinners of their sins, to lead them to repentance, to comfort penitent souls, and to build each other up in the true faith in the only true, Triune God through the Means of Grace (the Word and Sacraments of our Lord).  It is also our intent to equip you, our fellow believers, through that same Means of Grace, to grow in your Christian life as God’s faithful servants, stewards, and witnesses regarding the redeeming grace of our God in Christ Jesus.

            We take a “liturgical” (Greek for “ordered/structured”) approach as we worship our Lord.   For centuries, even before the beginning of the early Christian Church – going back to the days of the ancient Jewish “Synagogue” service and temple observances – God’s people have worshiped Him by following a basic arrangement, or “order of service.”  Rich in its Biblical content and emphases, this liturgical approach is time-tested, and is (as it ought to be) centered – not on mere feelings or emotions, but  – firmly on the saving actions of our merciful God as revealed to us in the Holy Bible.

            This approach to worship is not one that can always be fully appreciated and understood instantly.   If this style of worship is new to you, we encourage you to be patient, allowing yourself sufficient time to become familiar with its purposes and meaning.   We are confident that with time, patience, and instruction, you will find it very edifying for your faith.   Throughout today’s worship service you will hear the Good News of God’s love for you in the inspired words of God’s prophets, evangelists, apostles – and especially God’s Son – as they speak to from the Holy Scriptures.  In addition, we worship as a congregation (we are not part of an audience, but are participants in the act of worshiping).  We are seated to listen to God’s Word and to sing the regular hymns.  When praying, we stand.  The pastor faces the congregation when he is serving as God’s spokesman.  He faces the altar when he is serving as the congregation’s representative before the Lord, and also when he joins them as a fellow worshiper.   In addition, please note that because Jesus is our King and Lord, as well as our Redeemer and Savior, we typically stand to hear the reading of the daily Gospel lesson as an expression of our respect for the inspired words of Christ.




Pre-Service Prayer


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

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

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

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

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

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


Pre-service Prayer                                                                                                                  Pre-service Music

We Praise Our God

The Introduction and Invitation To Worship


following which, 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.

The Responsive Psalm for Today                                                                           Psalm 33, selected verses

P:         Shout joyfully to the LORD,  you righteous:    The praise of the upright is beautiful.

C:         Sing to Him a new song;    play skillfully and shout praises.


P:         Yes, the word of the Lord is right;   and everything He does is


C:         He loves righteousness and justice;   The unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth.

P:         Let all the earth fear the Lord;    let all the inhabitants of the world revere Him.

C:         How blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,    the people He chose to be His possession.

P:         Our souls wait for the Lord;    He is our Help and our Shield.

C:         Yes, in Him our heart rejoices,   because we trust in His holy name.


P:         May Your unfailing love, O LORD, be on us,

C:         even as we wait confidently for You.                                                            

After which the Congregation will be seated for

Opening Hymn                                                              “An Easter Season/Good Shepherd Sunday Medley”

                                                                                                     note…..each hymn selection uses a different tune

                                                                  …..there will be A BRIEF MUSICAL PAUSE after each verse grouping

Hymn 162

He is arisen!   Glorious Word!   Now reconciled is God my Lord;

The gates of heav’n are open.    My Jesus did triumphant die,

And Satan’s arrows broken lie,   Destroyed hell’s direst weapon.

Oh, hear, what cheer!    Christ victorious   Rises glorious……

Life He’s giving – He was dead, but see:   He’s living!



            Hymn 453, v 1

Come, follow Me, the Savior spoke,  All in My way abiding;

Deny yourselves, the world forsake,    Obey my call and guiding.

Oh, bear the cross, what e’er betide,    Take My example for your guide.


            Hymn 473, v 4

Savior, I long to walk   Closer with Thee;

Led by Thy guiding hand,   Ever to be

Constantly near Thy side,    Quickened and puqrified,

Living for Him Who died,   Freely for me.


            Hymn 432, v 2-3

Day by day, at home, away,   Jesus is my Staff and Stay.

When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,   Into pleasant pastures leads me;

When I thirst, He bids me go   Where the quiet waters go.


Who so happy as I am, Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?

And when my short life is ended,   By His angel hosts attended,

He shall fold me to His breast,   There within His arms to rest.

            Hymn 375, v 6

And so through all the length of days  Your goodness fails me, never!

Good Shepherd, May I sing Your praise    Within Your house forever!


            Hymn 157, v 4

Sing we to our God above,   Alleluia!

Praise eternal, as His love:    Alleluia!

Praise Him, all You heav’nly host,   Alleluia!

Father, Son and Holy Ghost.   Alleluia!     Amen!


After which the Pastor will invite the Congregation to rise as

We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor  Brothers and sisters in Christ:    the Word of God urges us to confess to our Lord all our sins of thought,          word, and action.   This is something that ought to be daily part of our spiritual lives, and should come forth

from every heart that is humble and penitent.    But we should especially do this when we meet together in His house to thank God for all that He has done for us, to praise Him, and to hear His life-giving Word.    Therefore, come with me now, to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, and let us confess our sins together.

Congregation  Miserable person that I am,   +   I confess and lament to You, O most holy God,  +   that I  am a weak

                        and sinful creature,  +  guilty of every sin, of unbelief, and of blasphemy. +   I also confess that Your

Word has not brought forth good fruit in me.   +   I hear it, but do not receive it earnestly.   +   I do not show works of love toward my neighbor.   +   I am full of anger, hate, and envy.   +   I am impatient, greedy, and bent on every evil.   +   Therefore my heart and conscience are heavy.   +   Lord, I ask You, free me from my sins,   +   strengthen my faith,   +   and comfort my weak conscience by Your divine Word,  +   that I may obtain Your promised grace.

Pastor  Having humbly and sincerely confessed your sins before  Almighty God, now be strengthened in your faith,       mindful that our Lord is not willing that anyone should perish eternally, but that everyone should come to

repentance, turning from their evil ways and receiving from Him everlasting life.    God has commanded His ministers to declare His forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent.   Therefore, rest assured that your sins have been fully covered by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ your Savior.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.      Now, in the peace of God’s forgiveness, let us together praise our gracious and glorious Lord!

The Congregation responds by singing:


   The Lord, my God be praised,    My God, Who ever living,

   To Whom the heavenly host   All praise and honor giving

   The Lord, my God, be praised,    In Whose great name I boast, 

  God Father, God the Son,   And God the Holy Ghost.


To Him with joyful song    Our praises we are bringing

And with the angel throng   Thrice “Holy” we are    singing,

With one united voice    The Church does Him adore.

 The Lord, my God, be praised      Now and forevermore.    Amen.



Our Prayer for This Morning           


O Lord Jesus Christ,   +  You are the Good Shepherd   +   Who gave His life for the sheep.   +   Nourish us in the pastures of Your Word,   +   that we may remain sheep of Your flock in this life   +   and for all eternity.   +   For You live and rule   +   with the Father and the Holy Spirit   +   as the One true God, forever and ever.   Amen.

after which, the Congregation will be seated for

We Give Our Attention To God’s Word

The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                      Ezekiel 34:1-16

The word of the Lord came to me.  2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds that this is what the Lord God says.

            Woe to you, shepherds of Israel, who have been shepherding for themselves. Aren’t shepherds supposed to shepherd for the benefit of the sheep? 3 You eat the fat.  You wear the wool. You slaughter the fattened ones—but you do not shepherd the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak. You have not healed the sick. You have not bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays, and you have not searched for the lost. Instead you have abused them with force and with violence. 5 So they scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep scattered and 6 wandered all over the mountains and on every high hill. Over the face of the whole earth, my flock was scattered, with no one looking for them and no one searching for them.

            7 Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. 8 As surely as I live, declares the Lord God, because My flock has become plunder, and because My flock has become food for all the wild animals, because they have no shepherd and My shepherds did not concern themselves about My flock, but the shepherds took care of themselves instead of taking care of My flock, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord.

            10 This is what the Lord God says. I am against the shepherds. Watch! I will remove My flock from their hand. I will remove them from taking care of the sheep, and no longer will those shepherds take care of themselves. I will rescue My flock from their mouths, so that they will no longer be food for them.

            11 For this is what the Lord God says. Here I am. I myself will seek the welfare of My flock and carefully search for them. 12 As a shepherd searches for his flock when his sheep that were with him have been scattered, so I will search for My flock and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own soil. I will shepherd them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys, and in all the settlements of the land. 14 I will lead them into good pasture, and their grazing land will be on the high mountains of Israel. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and they will pasture on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I Myself will shepherd my flock. I myself will let them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured. I will strengthen the weak. I will destroy the fat and the strong, and I will shepherd them with justice.


The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                     I Peter 2:19-25

19 For this is favorable:   if a person endures sorrows while suffering unjustly because he is conscious of God. 20 For what credit is it to you if you receive a beating for sinning and patiently endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is favorable with God.

            21 Indeed, you were called to do this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you would follow in His steps. 22 He did not commit a sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. 23 When He was insulted, He did not insult in return. When He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him Who judges justly. 24 He himself carried our sins in his body on the tree so that we would be dead to sins and alive to righteousness. By His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you are now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

after which the Congregation will rise for the words of our Savior

The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                        John 10:1-30

“Amen, Amen, I tell you: Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the door, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own sheep, he walks ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration in speaking to the people, but they did not understand what He was telling them.

            7 So Jesus said again, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: I am the Door for the sheep. 8 All who came before Me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the Door. Whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

            10 “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

            11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 The hired man, who is not a shepherd, does not own the sheep. He sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 Because he works for money, he does not care about the sheep.

            14 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know me 15 (just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father). And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I also have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This is the commission I received from My Father.”

            19 There was a division among the Jews again because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is out of His mind! Why listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

            22 Then the Festival of Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple area in Solomon’s Colonnade.

            24 So the Jews gathered around Jesus, asking, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

            25 Jesus answered them, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I am doing in My Father’s name testify about me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not My sheep, as I said to you.  27 My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, Who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One.” 

The Apostles’ Creed                                                                       Sung to What A Friend We Have In Jesus

I believe in God the Father, Maker of the heavens and earth,

And in Jesus Christ, our Savior, God’s own Son, of human birth —

Virgin-born, the Lord Incarnate, Whom the Spirit did conceive,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate, He’s the God Whom I believe.


Crucified, was dead, and buried.    Down to hell in victory,

From the dead He rose the third day, Up to heav’n triumphantly.

There at God’s right hand He’s ruling.    By His will the world is led.

He will come to judge the nations – both the living and the dead.


I believe in God the Spirit,   and His Church – His chosen band,

They are joined in Close Communion,    Holy, in His sight, they stand.

I believe in sins forgiven;    That the dead will rise again.

I believe in life eternal.    Amen!   Amen!   Amen!


After which the Congregation may be seated




The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                    I Peter 2:25

For you were like sheep going astray, but you are now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Lost, then Found


Today’s Choir Selection                                                                                         “The Lord’s My Shepherd”

                                                                                                  text and music by Stuart Townsend, Thank You Music

                                                                                                                         solo portions….Danielle Ashley

The Lord’s my Shepherd I’ll not want;   He makes me lie in pastures green.

He leads me by the still, still waters,    His goodness restores my soul.

Refrain (choir)

And I will trust in You alone,   and I will trust in You alone,

for Your endless mercy follows me,   Your goodness will lead me home.

He guides my ways in righteousness,    and He anoints my heat with oil,

and my cup, it overflows with joy,   I feast on His pure delights.   Refrain

And though I walk the darkest path,   I will not fear the evil one,

for You are with me, and Your rod and staff   are the comfort I need to know   Refrain



The Salutation                                                                                                                                                             Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.   He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.   He leadeth me beside still waters.   He restoreth my soul.   He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.   For Thou art with me.   Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.   Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.   Thou anointest my head with oil.   My cup runneth over.   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.   And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


The Sermon Text                                                                                                                            Luke 15:3-7

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! declares the Lord. 2 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people.  You have scattered my flock.  You have driven them away.  You have not taken care of them, but I will certainly take care of you, because of the evil things you have done, declares the Lord.  3 I will gather what is left of my flock     out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their pastures.  They will be fruitful and multiply.  4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them.  They will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing, declares the Lord.  5 Listen, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, who will reign wisely as king and establish justice and righteousness on earth. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell securely. This is his name by which he will be called:     The Lord Our Righteousness.

Our Shepherd-King and Our Righteousness

following the Sermon, the Congregation will rise for the post-sermon blessing


Pastor  May the God of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord          Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He        work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for ever and ever.   Amen.


after which the Congregation will be seated as

We Present our Prayers and Offerings to the Lord

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

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

2) You can donate through our website:


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


As the offerings are brought to the altar, the Congregation will rise for

    The Prayers of the Church               


    P          Heavenly Father, we praise with all our hearts, souls and minds for the gift of divine peace and pardon,           which You have graciously given us in Your Son, our Good Shepherd and Savior, Jesus Christ.


    C                     Through Your Holy Spirit You have granted us faith that saves +  and You continue to daily renew that faith        through Your Means of Grace:  +   the Gospel in the Word and in the Sacraments.  


    P:         As we reflect on the Good News of Your Son’s bodily resurrection, which confirms our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior, which assures us of Your full forgiveness of our sins, and which points ahead to the    resurrection of our bodies, glorified, on the Last Day……


    C:         Fill us with a spirit of joy and gratitude +   as we recall that He rose from His grave on the third day   +   to             guarantee salvation in heaven for us + and for all who believe in Him.   +   Move us to be eager and             determined witnesses to the world of our day    +   of Jesus’ resurrection victory for us and for all,   +   just             as the early Church proclaimed Christ as the crucified and risen Savior + to the world of their day. 


    P          For all who today do not know our Good Shepherd as their Savior,  Father we pray that they might be          brought to saving faith in You, along with the Son and the Spirit, as the one, true, Triune God, and that they might one day experience with us the joy and peace of being in Your glorious presence forever in heaven through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


    C         We pray today for all our governmental leaders   +  and the government’s various institutions that serve        and protect us,   +   that they might repent of their sinfulness,   +   and instead might first serve You,  Lord, in     righteousness,   +   and then us and our fellow citizens +  in integrity and through their good deeds.


    P          We also pray for those who are lonely, for the afflicted, for those enduring hardships in various ways,  for all   the sick and suffering, and for those who are enduring persecution for their faith.    May the Holy Spirit            comfort them in all their trials,   granting them strength and healing according to Your will.


    C         For all who are passing – or are about to pass –   +   through the valley of the shadow of death,   +   we beg of You, Lord,   +   that they would find contentment in the compassion of our Good Shepherd,   +   confident of His redeeming victory for them,   +    for us, +   and for all, +  over death, Satan, our sinful nature, and the grave,   +   and that they might experience no doubt of Your saving grace,   +   but instead approach         everlasting life in heaven   +   with the confidence only a Christian can know.


    P          Now, into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for which we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.   Hear us also, Gracious God, as each of us now takes a few moments to silently    offer You our personal petitions and praises.


    Silent Prayer


    P          Finally, O Lord, into Your hands we commend everything and everyone for which we pray, trusting in Your          wisdom and mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, in Whose name we offer this prayer, and in          Whose name we continue now, by praying in song:


    The Lord’s Prayer                                                         set to the melody of “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”


    Our Father in heaven, we hallow Your name,   May Your Kingdom grow, Lord, as it to us came.

    Your will, may it be done on earth as in heav’n,    Our daily bread, give to us and to all men.


    Forgive our sins, Father, and also may we   Forgive those who sin against us.   Now we plea:

    Guard us from temptation, without and within,   Deliver us finally, from Satan and sin.


    The kingdom, the power, the glory are Yours   both now, and forever, O Lord of all Lords.

    We offer this prayer, by Your Son’s name alone,   Through Whom we, in confidence, approach Your throne.    Amen.



    We Conclude our Worship


    The Benediction

    The LORD bless you and keep you.

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

    And the LORD look upon you with favor,   and grant you His peace.   Amen.


    Closing Hymn                                                                      Hymn 439  “Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me


    silent prayer

    announcements, post-service music                                                                                                                 




    Recently At Grace       Last Sunday’s Worship: 53     Online: 24     Sunday Bible Class: 26    Online views: 5     

    Sunday School: 3         Budgetary Offerings:  $2565       Capital Improvement: $10

    Online Budgetary Offerings:   $364.24       Online Audio/Video:   $101.31       Tuesday Bible Class:   16      

    Wednesday Bible Class:   5 men   plus 7 online views;   5 women


    Serving Next Sunday                      Elders: John Johnson, Rick Tragasz                Fellowship:   Steve and Janice Davis     Ushers:   John Luedtke, Ben Quinlan, Pat Quinlan           Altar Guild:   Linda Winnat      Video:  Tim Huebner


    Looking Ahead For our Church-Family This Week


    Today            Good Shepherd Sunday Worship , 9:30am          Fellowship Period, 10:40 a.m.  

                                 Bible Class/Sunday School time, 11:05 a.m.               Youth Confirmation Class, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

    April 25 (Tues)    Morning Bible Class, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

    April 26 (Wed)    Midweek Bible Class, 6-7 p.m.

    April 29 (Sat) Outreach Visits, 10 a.m

    Apr30 (Sun)        The 2nd Sunday after Easter  9:30 a.m. with Communion

                                 Fellowship, 10:45   Bible Class/Sunday School 11:05     Youth Confirmation Class, 12:15-1:30 p.m.

    Rummage Sale Announcement…..In three weeks our Women’s Group will sponsor a  rummage sale…..on May 19-20.   If you’re one of those persons who does an annual “spring cleaning” of your home, would you please keep our rummage sale in mind?   Even if you don’t do a “spring cleaning,” if you have items you could donate to our rummage sale, that would be very much appreciated.   And, if you might need to bring items earlier than the week prior to the sale, early drop offs will be available in early May.   Please speak with Pastor about this when the time comes.  We’ll do our best to work with you.


    This Week’s Bible Classes:     Today: Jesus’ Parables (The Narrow Door, the Wedding Seats, and the Great Banquet)

    Tuesday (10:30-11:30am)   Ecclesiastes…..Unfairness in Life        Wednesday (6-7pm)   Women…Bad Girls of the Bible

    Men….Christian Freedom/Adiaphora


    Outreach Calling SATURDAY  ….Please join us this coming Saturday at 10:00 a.m. to make visits to non-churched families nearby our church, or if you could help at another time or day, please speak with Pastor.


    Ascension Day Special Worship Service Reminder  – It’s only one month away…..but we want to remind and encourage you that on Thursday evening, May 18th we will conduct an Ascension Day service, beginning at 7:00 p.m.    Please make a note of this on your calendar so you will be able to join us for this often-overlooked, but spiritually significant celebration on the Christian church’s calendar.


    Daily Devotions for Your Smart Phone, Computer or Tablet – “What About Jesus” ( is a web site operated by our Synod.  It provides short,  morning devotions sent straight to our smart phones each day via an email address.  Each devotion is Biblically faithful and takes about a minute to read.  They arrive around 4 a.m, so you can start your day with it.   Just go to the web address, and click “Subscriptions” on the top line.   Simply follow the directions from there.   After providing some information to identify you, you’ll be sent an email with directions to complete the sign up process.   It takes a few minutes….and you will be blessed each day by these devotions.


    Fellowship Volunteers Needed    Would you be willing to volunteer to prepare after-worship coffee, drinks, and light snacks?   A sign-up poster is on the fellowship hall bulletin board.  We need more volunteers for the next few months.  Reimbursement of $25 per week for expenses is available to help defray costs.  (It comes through our “donation jar.”)