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HOLY TRINITY & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES

Greetings to you; blessed Sunday!  ABOVE, please listen to an AUDIO of the Service of the Word for the 4th Sunday after Trinity (July 5).    A WRITTEN FORMAT is included immediately BELOW, and is PRINTED OUT at the Churches.  Services/audios for the four most recent services are included further below.  

 God's blessings on your Divine Worship!

† DIVINE SERVICE OF THE WORD FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY (7.5.20), 
HOLY TRINITY & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES †

OPENING HYMN – 411, FROM ETERNITY, O GOD
1. From eternity, O God, In Thy Son Thou didst elect me; Therefore, Father, on life’s road Graciously to heaven direct me; Send to me Thy Holy Spirit That His gifts I may inherit.

2. Though alive, I’m dead in sin, Lost to all good things by nature.  Holy Ghost, change me within, Make of me a new-born creature; For the flesh works ruination And can never gain salvation.

3. Oh, create a heart in me That in Thee, my God, believeth And o’er the iniquity Of my sins most truly grieveth.  When dark hours of woe betide me, In the wounds of Jesus hide me.

4. As a branch upon a vine In my blessed Lord implant me; Ever of my Head divine To remain a member grant me.  Oh, let Him, my Lord and Savior, Be my Life and Love forever!

5. Faith and hope and charity Graciously, O Father, give me; Be my Guardian constantly That the devil may not grieve me; Grant me humbleness and gladness, Peace and patience in my sadness.

6. Help me speak what’s right and good And keep silence on occasion; Help me pray, Lord, as I should, Help me bear my tribulation; Help me die and let my spirit Everlasting life inherit.  Amen.

INVOCATION (CALLING UPONG GOD’S HOLY TRIUNE NAME)
Pastor:
In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
Congregation: Amen.

CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
P:
Beloved in the Lord!  Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God, our Father, beseeching Him in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

P: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
C: Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

P: I said, “I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord.
C: And Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

P: Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto Thee that we are by nature sinful and unclean and that we have sinned against Thee by thought, word, and deed.  Wherefore we flee for refuge to Thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Thy grace for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
C: O most merciful God, Who hast given Thine only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by Thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of Thee and of Thy will and true obedience to Thy Word, to the end that by Thy grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

P: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and hath given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins.  To them that believe on His Name He giveth power to become the sons of God and hath promised them His Holy Spirit.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.  Grant this Lord, unto us all.
C: Amen.

INTROIT (ENTRANCE SCRIPTURE/PSALM)
P:
The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.  Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear, though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.  One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life.  For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent;      He will lift me high upon a rock. (Ps. 127:1-4)
C: (Sung) 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.


KYRIE (LORD, HAVE MERCY)
C: (Sung) Lord, have mercy upon us.  Christ, have mercy upon us.  Lord, have mercy upon us.
(Psalm 123:3)

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS (GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH)
C: (Sung) Glory be to God on high: And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.  We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory.  O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.  O Lord the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, That takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer.  Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.  For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord.  Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen. 

SALUTATION
P:
The Lord be with you.
C: And with thy spirit.

COLLECT (PRAYER) OF THE DAY
P:
Merciful God and Father, You make the son to rise on the wicked and the righteous, and You show kindness to the thankful as well as the thankless, teach us by Your Holy Spirit to have compassion on all people, covering our neighbor’s faults and frailties, being always ready to forgive and demonstrate everywhere the fruits of faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 
C: Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSONS: OLD TESTAMENT LESSON – GENESIS 50:15-21
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

PSALM 138 (RESPONSIVE READING)
P:
I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise;
C: I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your Name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word. 

P: On the day I called, You answered me; my strength of soul You increased. 
C: All the kings of the earth shall give You thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of Your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.

P: For though the Lord is high, He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar.
C: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life; You stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand delivers me.

P: The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;
C: Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.  Do not forsake the work of Your hands.
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.

EPISTLE LESSON – ROMANS 12:14-21
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

C: (Sung) Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

P: The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the 6th chapter.
C: (Sung) Glory be to Thee, O Lord!

GOSPEL LESSON – LUKE 6:36-42
Jesus said, 36 “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man?  Will they not both fall into a pit? 40  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: (Sung) Praise be to Thee, O Christ!

APOSTLES’ CREED

HYMN OF THE DAY – 395, O GOD, THOU FAITHFUL GOD
1. O God, Thou faithful God, Thou Fountain ever flowing, Who good and perfect gifts In mercy art bestowing, Give me a healthy frame, And may I have within A conscience free from blame, A soul unhurt by sin!

2. Grant Thou me strength to do With ready heart and willing Whate’er Thou shalt command, My calling here fulfilling; To do it when I ought, With all my might, and bless The work I thus have wrought, For Thou must give success.

3. Oh, let me never speak What bounds of truth exceedeth; Grant that no idle word From out my mouth proceedeth; And then, when in my place I must and ought to speak, My words grant power and grace Lest I offend the weak.

4. And let me with all men, As far as in me lieth, In peace and friendship live.  And if Thy gift supplieth Great wealth and honor fair, Then this refuse me not, That naught be mingled there Of goods unjustly got.

5. Let me depart this life Confiding in my Savior; Do Thou my soul receive That it may live forever; And let my body have A quiet resting-place Within a Christian grave; And let it sleep in peace.

6. And on that solemn Day When all the dead are waking, Stretch o’er my grave Thy hand, Thyself my slumbers breaking.  Then let me hear Thy voice, Change Thou this earthly frame, And bid me aye rejoice With those who love Thy Name.  Amen.

SERMON - MERCY FROM GOD TO US TO OTHERS – GEN. 50:15-21; LK. 6:36-42
“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Lk. 6:36)  Amen.

God’s mercy, peace, and love in Christ Jesus be multiplied to you. (See Jude 1:2) Amen.  Truth be told, we have no mercy about us apart from the Lord Jesus.  Yes, people know what mercy is apart from faith in the Lord and knowledge of Him as true God.  But all who don’t believe in and know Jesus as Lord don’t believe in or know divine mercy.  Only divine mercy separates life and death, eternal salvation and woeful, endless judgment.   

Mercy is “kind or forgiving treatment shown to someone who could be treated harshly.” (m-w.com/dictionary/mercy)  A person may have mercy on another who’s wronged him or her. What usually moves a person to be merciful is when he or she sees the regret and remorse of the person who’s wronged him or her.  A contrite spirit of “I’m sorry I hurt you.  Please forgive me.”   

Holy Scripture speaks of divine mercy as God withholding His anger entirely, completely cancelling the judgment we deserve because of our sins – solely for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ. “God, Who is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5)

Our Lutheran Confessions – faithfully and clearly confessing Scripture as they do – also speak of divine mercy as God’s promise to us in Jesus.  God entirely and forever withholds, cancels out all His anger and judgment against us guilty sinners for Christ’s sake.  That’s divine mercy!  God pardoning us and releasing us from all our guilt and a well-deserved condemnation.  Only because of the Holy Son of God and His justifying, pardoning, saving work for us!  The benefit of Christ is offered through mercy. The merit or saving action of Christ is the price, because there must be a certain propitiation or restitution for our sins. (Apology of the A.C., Art. 4, 45, 53)   

That God’s mercy is certain means that it’s a sure and irrevocable truth!  It’s done to you by Jesus since God the Father has willed this and has made it happen.  Your heavenly Father is always merciful to you in Christ Jesus and for His sake!  In fact, it’s not your contrite heart and true confession of sins that moves God to have mercy upon you and to forgive you your sins.  It’s never your godly remorse, your sorrow over your trespasses, your deep desire to be forgiven, even, that prompts God to have mercy on you.  Jesus Christ alone moves His Father’s heart to have mercy on you!  Only Jesus prompts God the Father to blot out all your transgressions, to wash you thoroughly from your iniquity, and to cleanse you from your sin. (See Ps. 51:1-2)    

Oh, we still need to have true remorse over our sins – godly sorrow which the Holy Spirit works in our hearts through God’s law, so that we cry out to Him: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in distress.” (Ps. 31:9)  And also, “Be merciful to me, for my soul trusts in You.” (Ps. 57:1)  But again, our repentant hearts don’t move God to have mercy on us, to forgive us.  Only our Savior Jesus does this for us.  So see to it that you always have a contrite heart before God.  The opposite of such a heart is an impenitent, hard heart that neither cares for God’s judgment against sin and His call to repent, nor cares about the forgiveness He freely offers in Jesus.  An unrepentant, hard heart God will despise.    

Jesus says, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Lk. 6:36)  But we’re not by nature merciful.  By nature we’re sinful and unclean.  Joseph wasn’t by nature merciful either.  Had God not lovingly moved Joseph – by faith in Him – to be merciful to his brothers in his position of power in Egypt, after they came to Egypt to buy food during the famine, you know he would’ve exacted terrible revenge upon them after they hated Joseph and treated him so horribly.  But God had mercy on Joseph in his captivity – blessing him and taking good care of him.  Christ the Lord was truly present with Joseph to turn an angry, embittered heart in him – such as he had to have had against his brothers for despising him so – into a loving, forgiving heart!  Only the goodness and power of God could do this for Joseph; only God’s goodness, power and mercy can do this for you, me and others, too! 

Jesus speaks in Luke 6 this way, and through St. Paul His Apostle as well, saying, “Bless those who persecute you,” “Repay no one evil for evil,” and “do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:14, 17, 21)  These words sound childish, naïve, stupid to the world.  But they’re our life’s calling.  Jesus also says, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also.” (Mt. 5:39)  This isn’t us showing how tough we are, how we can take a blow on the other cheek too.  We’re not to be defiant toward those who strike us.  No, Jesus means for us to turn our cheek in love toward the person who hurt us!  Saying, “You’ve hit me, but I won’t hit back.  My Lord wouldn’t have me do so.  He’s called me to show love, not hate.”

“Be merciful.”  But we’re not always merciful.  “Judge not.”  But we do judge others in ways we wouldn’t want to be judged.  “Condemn not.”  But how easy it is to condemn others!  Someone says or does something cruel to you, deeply hurts, wounds you or a loved one of yours.  So that you insist that God withholds His mercy from whoever deeply wounded you.  But this is never the will of God!  “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” (James 2:13)

As with Joseph, God’s Word and the Holy Spirit never move our hearts to repay evil with evil.  God through His Word has saved you and me from having a heart that only repays evil with evil or insult with insult. (See 1 Pet. 3:9)  Now we have a new heart that overcomes evil with the goodness of God!  We possess a heart of faith from God that’s not all about attacking and reviling others, but is kind and tender-hearted to others, forgiving them just as God in Christ has forgiven us. (See Eph. 4:32)

Jesus isn’t telling you to be merciful, and only then God will show you mercy.  He wants to comfort you and fully assure you that God graciously works His divine mercy in the lives of His dear saints, so that you have and share the mercy of God with others.  First and foremost, there’s Christ’s mercy to you in His words, “I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” “I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you," and “Take; drink; this is My blood which is shed for you for the remission of sins.” (Holy Liturgy)  Then, as a direct result of the mercy of Christ, we speak words of mercy, forgiveness, and kindness to those who’ve hurt us, whom we could easily treat harshly, as Joseph could’ve treated his brothers, as God could’ve treated those who hated and mistreated His Son…but didn’t.      

God judges sin by judging His beloved Son in our place.  Christ took all our sin and the judgment we deserve for it upon Himself.  Yes, He was forsaken by the Father, judged in our place…completely!  Jesus paid for our sins by suffering, dying our judgment.  Since your sins, your condemnation are gone in Him Who died and was raised for you, all grudges you hold against anyone must also be gone.  God has forgiven you all your trespasses, as we ask in prayer.  So now you’re at peace with God in Jesus to forgive those who trespass against you.   

Joseph is finally like Jesus to his brothers, forgiving and loving them unconditionally.  Not just because God says so, but because God does so!  So be like Jesus, too, to those who’ve wronged you.  Yes, imitate Jesus Christ; live, share God’s mercy in Christ Jesus with all others.  Amen.   In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

For an increase of mercy among all the baptized, that we would bless and not curse, forgive as we have been forgiven, give as we have been given to, and speak the truth in love, not with anger and pride, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all pastors in Christ, that they would remain bold to preach the Gospel in its purity and administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For favorable weather and thanksgiving for recent rains; that crops and cattle and all other bounties of the earth would receive God’s nurture and blessing, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy. 

For industries and the service sectors of this land, that their labors may be just and the work they do may be profitable for all people, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For a culture of life in our land and throughout the world, that all life from the womb to the grave would be cherished, and that all who view life as expendable would have their hearts and minds changed, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For those who have been placed in authority over us, that they would govern with a mind focused on peace and the general welfare of all, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy. 

For an end to the pandemic and for mercy on all who suffer physical, spiritual and economic hardship because of it, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the freedoms we enjoy in our country, let us give thanks to the Lord; that we would never take these freedoms for granted and always strive to defend and protect them, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy. 

For the sick, for those preparing to undergo surgery, for the elderly and shut-in, and for all who desire our prayers, especially: [Holy Trinity] Betty, Charles, Edna, Carolyn, Herbert, Andrew, Ricky, [St. James] Donald, Marvin, Eugene, Ginger, Doug, Robert, Charles, Walter, Shelby, Lorine, Stephanie, Angie, our homebound members and all other fellow members, family, friends and acquaintances, that, according to God’s good and gracious will, they may receive healing, comfort and assurance of His care for them, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

HYMN – 15, FROM ALL THAT DWELLS BELOW THE SKIES
1. From all that dwell below the skies Let the Creator’s praise arise; Alleluia! Alleluia!  Let the Redeemer’s Name be sung Through every land, by every tongue. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord; Eternal truth attends Thy Word: Alleluia! Alleluia!  Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore Till suns shall rise and set no more.  Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!  Amen.

CONCLUDING COLLECTS
P:
Grant, O Lord, according to Your gracious care, that the course of this world may be so peaceable ordered by Your governance that Your Church may joyfully serve You in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
C: Amen.

P: O God, by Whose wise and righteous order the whole creation groans, eagerly awaiting the Day of Redemption, we humbly implore You to graciously help the infirmities of Your people and to raise us up through the strong power of Christian hope, that we who have received the first fruits of the Spirit may not seek our rest and finality in this mortal state, but inwardly long after that which is far better, to be with Christ in heaven, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 
C: Amen.

BENEDICTION (PARTING BLESSING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD)
P:
The Lord bless thee and keep thee.  The Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious to thee.  The Lord lift up His † countenance upon thee and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
C: Amen.

CLOSING HYMN – 577, GOD BLESS OUR NATIVE LAND
1. God bless our native land!  Firm may she ever stand Thro’ storm and night!  When the wild tempests rave, Ruler of wind and wave Do Thou our country save By Thy great might.

2. For her our prayer shall rise To God above the skies; On Him we wait.  Thou Who art ever nigh, Guarding with watchful eye, To Thee aloud we cry, God save the State!  Amen.
 

† DIVINE SERVICE OF THE WORD FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY (6.28.20), 
HOLY TRINITY & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES †

OPENING HYMN – 317, ALAS, MY GOD, MY SINS ARE GREAT
1. Alas, my God, my sins are great, My conscience doth upbraid me; And now I find that in my strait No man hath power to aid me.

2. And fled I hence in my despair In some lone spot to hide me, My griefs would still be with me there And peace still be denied me.

3. Lord, Thee I seek, I merit naught; Yet pity and restore me. Just God, be not Thy wrath my lot;
Thy Son hath suffered for me.

4. If pain and woe must follow sin, Then be my path still rougher.  Here spare me not; if heaven I win, On earth I gladly suffer.

5. But curb my heart, forgive my guilt, Make Thou my patience firmer; For they must miss the good Thou wilt Who at Thy chastenings murmur.

6. Then deal with me as seems Thee best – Thy grace will help me bear it If but at last I see Thy rest And with my Savior share it.  Amen.

INVOCATION (CALLING UPONG GOD’S HOLY TRIUNE NAME)
Pastor:
In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
Congregation: Amen.

CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
P:
Beloved in the Lord!  Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God, our Father, beseeching Him in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

P: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
C: Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

P: I said, “I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord.
C: And Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

P: Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto Thee that we are by nature sinful and unclean and that we have sinned against Thee by thought, word, and deed.  Wherefore we flee for refuge to Thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Thy grace for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
C: O most merciful God, Who hast given Thine only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by Thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of Thee and of Thy will and true obedience to Thy Word, to the end that by Thy grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

P: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and hath given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins.  To them that believe on His Name He giveth power to become the sons of God and hath promised them His Holy Spirit.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.  Grant this Lord, unto us all.
C: Amen.

INTROIT (ENTRANCE SCRIPTURE/PSALM)
P:
Turn to me and be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am lonely and afflicted.  Consider my afflictions and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.  To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  O my God, in You I trust; do not let me be put to shame.  You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day long.  My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.  Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!  Do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in You. (Psalm 25:1-2, 5, 15, 16, 18, 20)
C: (Sung) 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.

KYRIE (LORD, HAVE MERCY)
C: (Sung) Lord, have mercy upon us.  Christ, have mercy upon us.  Lord, have mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:3)

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS (GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH)
C: (Sung) Glory be to God on high: And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.  We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory.  O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.  O Lord the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, That takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer.  Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.  For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord.  Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen. 

SALUTATION
P:
The Lord be with you.
C: (Sung) And with thy spirit.

COLLECT (PRAYER) OF THE DAY
P:
O gracious Lord Jesus Christ, Who came into the world to seek and to save the lost and Who was not ashamed to eat with sinners, we thank You for Your goodness and we implore You to grant us daily and sincere repentance, that there may be joy in heaven over every sinner who repents, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: (Sung) Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSONS: OLD TESTAMENT LESSON – MICAH 7:18-20
Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance?  He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love.  19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot.  You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.  20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as You have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

PSALM 103:1-13 (RESPONSIVE READING)
P:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name!
C: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all His benefits.

P: For He forgives all your iniquity, He heals all your diseases,
C: He redeems your life from the pit, He crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

P: He satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
C: The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.

P: He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the people of Israel.
C: The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

P: He will not always chide nor will He keep His anger forever. 
C: He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

P: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;
C: as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.

P: As a father shows compassion to his children,
C: so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
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.

EPISTLE LESSON – 1 PETER 5:6-11
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

C: (Sung) Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

P: The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the 15th chapter.
C: (Sung) Glory be to Thee, O Lord!

GOSPEL LESSON – LUKE 15:1-24
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Jesus. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

3 So He told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: (Sung) Praise be to Thee, O Christ!

APOSTLES’ CREED

HYMN OF THE DAY – 292, LORD JESUS CHRIST, WITH US ABIDE
1. Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide, For round us falls the eventide; Nor let Thy Word, that heavenly light, For us be ever veiled in night.

2. In these last days of sore distress Grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness That pure we keep, till life is spent, Thy holy Word and Sacrament.

3. Lord Jesus, help, Thy Church uphold, For we are sluggish, thoughtless, cold.  Oh, prosper well Thy Word of grace And spread its truth in every place!

4. Oh, keep us in Thy Word, we pray; The guile and rage of Satan stay!  Oh, may Thy mercy never cease!  Give concord, patience, courage, peace.

5. The haughty spirits, Lord, restrain Who o'er Thy Church with might would reign And always set forth something new, Devised to change Thy doctrine true.

6. And since the cause and glory, Lord, Are Thine, not ours, to us afford Thy help and strength and constancy. With all our heart we trust in Thee.

7. Oh, grant that in Thy holy Word We here may live and die, dear Lord; And when our journey endeth here, Receive us into glory there.  Amen.

SERMON – PRAISE THE LORD, YOUR FINDER AND SAVIOR – LUKE 15:1-24
“Rejoice with me!  I have found my lost lamb, coin, son.” (See Lk. 15:6, 9, 23)  Amen.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.  Luke 15 provides three successive parables – each of them teaching us the same priceless truth: God is the Finder, the Rescuer and therefore the Savior of the lost.  In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the lost lamb is as lost as all-get-out, doomed as it strays further and further from its Shepherd and His sheepfold.  How desperately it needs to be found, scooped up and loved!  In the Parable of the Lost Coin, the coin would be lost forever – if not for the diligence of its owner, who stops at nothing to find it.  In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, a son “loses himself” as he goes away from his father, totally abandoning his father’s house, and his only true home – never intending to return.  In this parable, too, the father seeks and finds his lost son.

The key to understanding these three parables is found in the opening verses of Luke 15, and that is that God accepts sinners who repent and seek His mercy in Jesus.  He casts aside the self-righteous and arrogant who claim to have no need for the forgiveness of sins, or being found and saved by His Son.  We read in Luke 15:1-2: “Now tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Jesus.  And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’”  The Lord Jesus has come to call everyone – Pharisees as well as sinners and tax collectors - away from their persistent unbelief to saving faith and restored life in Him and the Father through Him.

As for the tax collectors and sinners – basically rich thieves as well as those who live dissolute, perverse lifestyles – they’re lost in their own sin-confused belief that acquiring the most money possible or self-gratification, pleasing the flesh is the way to go in life.  Meaning, that’s all they think they have going for them.  All they really have, though, is a God-shaped hole in their hearts – and desperation.  Jesus’ call to repentance and faith in Him resonates with them because they know that they’re terrible lawbreakers who deserve God’s condemnation.  The tax collectors hear Jesus and realize that they’re stealing from and so hurting other people and bowing down to their riches in place of God.  The proverb is meant for folks like them: “Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit a person, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Prov. 10:2)  The sinners – prostitutes, the sexually immoral and others hear Jesus and understand from His words that they’re sinning against God, their own bodies and those of others.  They’ve trapped themselves in degenerate living; they’re lost and have no way out at all.  No way except Jesus!  Another proverb speaks to them, too: “The sexually immoral and adulterers lack understanding; they bring destruction down upon themselves.” (Prov. 6:32) 

The Pharisees believe that they don’t need a Finder and Savior from sin since they’re convinced that they’re great keepers of God’s law.  What sins they’ve committed, well, they think that they can pay for them with their own “righteous” deeds. 

So these three parables powerfully indict and condemn the supposed “law keepers” in Jesus’ day and in our own.  They also comfort and console hurting and – without Jesus – lost and hopeless sinners.  

Where do we find ourselves in these parables?  Are we supposedly “safe-and-sound” among the ninety-nine sheep who do not need to repent before God?  Who need no finding, saving?  Or are we the lost, hopeless sheep, coin, son?  Destitute without our Finder and Savior, Comforter and Provider?     

O members of the Body of Christ, His Church, watch out for getting lulled into the false belief that you’re safe in God’s House simply because of your membership here.  Beware of being like the ninety-nine sheep who don’t think they have much need to repent of their sins, who believe everything’s pretty good between God and them because they’re good sheep.  People who attend the Divine Service believing that they have little-to-no need to turn from their sins to their Savior each time they gather are in a bad spot.  It’s even worse for members who rarely, if ever attend God’s forgiving, loving service to them.  Apparently, they don’t have many sins to confess.  They must not need   much – if any – pardon and forgiveness from God.  Or they don’t care about the tremendous need they have for His holy Absolution. 

In identifying ourselves with the lost sheep, we don’t belittle or demean ourselves.  We’re simply being honest, stating an unfortunate but true fact.  We’re frankly admitting that if it weren’t for our Good Shepherd, Jesus, finding and saving us unto God, then we’d never find Him, come to Him or even somehow stumble upon Him on our own.  Same goes for the lost coin.  It’s plain lost; it can’t find its owner or even help itself be found. The prodigal son is every bit as lost.  He doesn’t find his father or get him to love him again.  Actually, his father finds, runs to and accepts him back into his household. 

Confessing our sins to God isn’t some formula we follow to get God to love, forgive and bless us.  It’s honestly admitting to His face that we once completely left Him and lost ourselves, and that we keep on straying from Him because we want something that we think is better, more important to us than He is.  

A drug addict may for a little while, anyway, feel good taking a narcotic, but then the drug wears off so that he crashes, feels miserable and is the worse off for it in his body and emotions.  He needs to admit that his drug abuse is destroying him, and that he needs help.  This is how it is with the lost sheep, coin and son.  The rebellious, straying sheep may really like its independence for a time, but it just can’t stay this way – not unless it wants to starve, get eaten or perish from injury.  The coin is no good to its owner lost.  The lost son really can’t live apart from his father and home.  This is also how it is with us since we’re lost and condemned in our sins and need to be found and saved from them.       

You have no part and you should want no part in the nine-nine sheep who really don’t trust in the Good Shepherd as their Seeker, Finder, Savior because they think they’re already in good with Him by their own doing – not His doing alone.  Church is no time for self-affirmation or a pat on the back from God.  For us it’s first a time to “grieve, mourn and weep” over our unconscionable guilt.  Here we must “turn [our] laughter into mourning, and [our] joy into gloom.” (James 4:9)  We must get rid of our worldly joy and laughter when it comes to being serious in our confession of sin before God.   

Church is all the more so a time for celebrating and rejoicing – the wonderful culmination of each parable.  The Good Shepherd and His holy angels rejoice over the one lost sheep, the sinner whom He leads to repentance and saving, enduring faith in God.  The woman, her friends and neighbors rejoice over the lost coin she’s done everything possible to find.  The father throws a large feast and parties with his formerly lost son after finding, embracing and welcoming him back home.

Isn’t this the perfect picture of us?  We who honestly confess our straying-from-God, self-destructive ways and deeds to His face?  We who admit we’re lost and will remain lost without Him?         

God has moved heaven and earth to find, save, deliver you unto Himself through His own dear Son!  Jesus your Good Shepherd sought you all the way and stopped at nothing to hoist you in love on His shoulders as His found lamb, to add you to the coin-purse of His Kingdom of Grace and Salvation, to embrace you, ring you, welcome you home forever!  You belong to God in Christ Jesus – not to yourself, this world, another – especially not to the devil and his hell.

Christ gave His life for you in order to find you who were all alone, lost.  He paid the ultimate price to make you His own dearly-beloved, treasured people; to gather you back safe-and-sound into the Household of God, His Church.  Again, He didn’t do this in order for you to praise yourself to Him, but for you to praise, worship and adore Him alone in this place.  “Christ suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Pet. 3:18)  Now, in Jesus, you’re righteous as He’s righteous.  After all, He has conferred His righteousness, His holiness His godliness upon you!

Let the wonderful reality of you’re being found and, not only that, you’re being under God’s good and gracious care, comfort you and assuage your troubles and worries.  Especially during these uncertain times – what with the current pandemic and upheaval in society.  If God has found you and made you His own – and He has!, what can crush, defeat and destroy you?  Nothing at all, since Jesus has come for you, died for you and delivered you forever!  Amen.  In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

OFFERATORY (CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD)
C: (Sung) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.  Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

Lord of heaven and earth, consider our afflictions and troubles, and forgive all our sins.  To You, we lift up our souls. In You, we trust; do not let us be put to shame. Seek us when we stray, work in us repentance, and by the voice of Your Son, our Good Shepherd, always bring us back into the fold.  Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Bless the pastors and teachers of Your Church. Preserve them from all error, false belief or other great shame and vice.  Fortify them for their vital work – especially during these difficult times – as Your Holy Spirit gathers – through them – Your congregations around Your Holy Word and Sacrament.  Bless their preaching and teaching, that it would lead their hearers to confess that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Defend Your Holy Church throughout the world.  Keep her safe from all harm and danger.  Defend those who suffer for Your Name’s sake, and give them boldness to confess the faith no matter the consequences.  Even as we love life and strive to preserve it, do not let us love this life above the eternal life won for us in Christ Jesus. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Bless our country as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, that we would cherish the freedoms we have and always stand ready to defend them. Give wisdom to all those who have been placed in authority over us, that, as they strive to preserve life and livelihood in our land, they would do it with an eye toward sustaining the freedoms enjoyed in our nation, especially our religious liberty. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Support and defend all who face trials and tribulations of any kind; those in any want or need; those who are burdened with animosity in the home and community; those who are suffering from illness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, unemployment or any other affliction, especially: Betty, Charles, Edna, Carolyn, Herbert, Andrew, Ricky, Marvin, Eugene, Ginger, Doug, Robert, Charles, Walter, Shelby, Lorine, Stephanie, Angie and our homebound members.  Give strength and endurance in the midst of all difficulty and, if it be Your will, grant restoration and relief. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Do not remember our many sins but remember us according to Your mercy and for the sake of Your Son, Whom You put to death for our deliverance. Give us Your Holy Spirit, that through the affliction of this pandemic He may create honest and contrite hearts in us and turn us away from our own self-confidence toward You, our only true confidence.  Spare us, O Lord, relieve us of pandemic, drive it from our nation and world.  Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy Father, receive our praise this day for all who have fallen asleep in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life in Christ. Keep us in that same faith and hope, that we would rise with them on the Last Day and enter the inheritance prepared for us before the foundation of the world was laid. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

HYMN – 388, JUST AS I AM, WITHOUT ONE PLEA
1. Just as I am, without one plea But that Thy blood was shed for me And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

2. Just as I am and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot, To Thee, Whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

3. Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt, Fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind, Yea, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

5. Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

6. Just as I am; Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down.  Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Amen.

CONCLUDING COLLECTS
P:
O Lord our God, strong to deliver and mighty to save, Who has been our Refuge and Dwelling Place in all generations, fulfill and perfect in us the work of Your grace, and be pleased to confirm us in every good purpose and deed, that, having been called into the way of righteousness, we may have power to continue steadfast in the true faith until the Day of the Lord Jesus, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.  
C: Amen.

P: O God, the Protector of all who trust in You, without Whom nothing is strong and nothing is holy, multiply Your mercy on us so that, with You as our Ruler and Guide, we may pass through this temporal life in such a way that we do not lose eternal life; through Jesus Christ  our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

BENEDICTION (PARTING BLESSING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD)
P:
The Lord bless thee and keep thee.  The Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious to thee.  The Lord lift up His † countenance upon thee and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
C: Amen.

CLOSING HYMN – 32, REDEEMED, RESTORED, FORGIVEN
1. Redeemed, restored, forgiven, Through Jesus’ precious blood, Heirs of His home in heaven, Oh, praise our pardoning God!  Praise Him in tuneful measures Who gave His Son to die; Praise Him Whose sevenfold treasures Enrich and sanctify.

2. Once on the dreary mountain We wandered far and wide, Far from the cleansing fountain, Far from the pierced side; But Jesus sought and found us And washed our guilt away; With cords of love He bound us To be His own for aye.

3. Dear Master, Thine the glory Of each recovered soul. Ah! who can tell the story Of love that made us whole?       Not ours, not ours, the merit; Be Thine alone the praise And ours a thankful spirit To serve Thee all our days.

4. Now keep us, holy Savior, In Thy true love and fear And grant us of Thy favor The grace to persevere Till, in Thy new creation, Earth’s time-long travail o’er, We find our full salvation And praise Thee evermore.  Amen.
 

† DIVINE SERVICE OF THE WORD (TLH 5) 2ND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY (6.21.20), 
HOLY TRINITY & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES †

OPENING HYMN – 294, O WORD OF GOD INCARNATE
1. O Word of God Incarnate, O Wisdom from on high, O Truth unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky, We praise Thee for the radiance That from the hallowed page, A lantern to our footsteps Shines on from age to age.

2. The Church from her dear Master Received the gift divine, And still that light she lifteth O’er all the earth to shine. It is the golden casket Where gems of truth are stored; It is the heaven-drawn picture Of Christ, the living Word.

3. It floateth like a banner Before God’s host unfurled; It shineth like a beacon Above the darkling world.  It is the chart and compass That o’er life’s surging sea, ‘Mid mists and rocks and quicksands, Still guides, O Christ, to Thee.

4. O make Thy Church, dear Savior, A lamp of purest gold, To bear before the nations Thy true light, as of old.  O teach Thy wand’ring pilgrims By this their path to trace, Till, clouds and darkness ended, They see Thee face to face.  Amen.

INVOCATION (CALLING UPONG GOD’S HOLY TRIUNE NAME)
Pastor:
In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
Congregation: Amen.

CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
P:
Beloved in the Lord!  Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God, our Father, beseeching Him in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

P: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
C: Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

P: I said, “I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord.
C: And Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

P: Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto Thee that we are by nature sinful and unclean and that we have sinned against Thee by thought, word, and deed.  Wherefore we flee for refuge to Thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Thy grace for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
C: O most merciful God, Who hast given Thine only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by Thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of Thee and of Thy will and true obedience to Thy Word, to the end that by Thy grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

P: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and hath given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins.  To them that believe on His Name He giveth power to become the sons of God and hath promised them His Holy Spirit.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.  Grant this Lord, unto us all.
C: Amen.

INTROIT (ENTRANCE SCRIPTURE/PSALM)
P:
The Lord was my support in the day of my calamity.  He brought me into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.  I love You, O Lord, my Strength.  The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer.      For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes You bring down.  This God – His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true.  For this I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to Your Name. (Psalm 18)
C: (Sung) 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.

KYRIE (LORD, HAVE MERCY)
C: (Sung) Lord, have mercy upon us.  Christ, have mercy upon us.  Lord, have mercy upon us.
(Psalm 123:3)

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS (GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH)
C: (Sung) Glory be to God on high: And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.  We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory.  O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.  O Lord the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, That takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer.  Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.  For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord.  Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen. 

SALUTATION
P:
The Lord be with you.
C: And with thy spirit.

COLLECT (PRAYER) OF THE DAY
P:
Almighty and everlasting God, the Source of all life and joy, Who by the glad sound of the Gospel has called us to be part of Your Kingdom and glory, shine into our hearts, we implore You, by Your Word and Spirit, and draw us always to Yourself in Your steadfast love for us, that we may heartily choose that good part which will not be taken away from us, and give us all diligence to make our calling and election sure; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, now and forever.   
C: (Sung) Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSONS: OLD TESTAMENT LESSON – PROVERBS 9:1-10
1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.  2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.  3 She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”  To him who lacks sense she says, 5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.  6 Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”  7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.  8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.  10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

PSALM 34 (SELECTED VERSES, READ RESPONSIVELY)
P:
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
C: What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?

P: Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
C: Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

P: The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry.
C: The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

P: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
C: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

P: Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
C: The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
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.

EPISTLE LESSON – EPHESIANS 2:13-22
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, Who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who wear near. 18 For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, 21 in Whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

C: (Sung) Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

P: The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the 14th chapter.
C: (Sung) Glory be to Thee, O Lord!

GOSPEL LESSON – LUKE 14:15-24
15 When one of those who reclined at table with Jesus heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God!” 16 But He said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it.  Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: (Sung) Praise be to Thee, O Christ!

APOSTLES’ CREED

HYMN OF THE DAY – 349, JESUS, THY BOUNDLESS LOVE TO ME
1. Jesus, Thy boundless love to me No thought can reach, no tongue declare; Unite my thankful heart to Thee And reign without a rival there.  To Thee alone, dear Lord, I live; Myself to Thee, dear Lord, I give.

2. Oh, grant that nothing in my soul May dwell but Thy pure love alone!  Oh, may Thy love possess me whole, My Joy, my Treasure, and my Crown!  All coldness from my heart remove; My every act, word, thought, be love.

3. This love unwearied I pursue And dauntlessly to Thee aspire.  Oh, may Thy love my hope renew, Burn in my soul like heavenly fire!  And day and night be all my care To guard this sacred treasure there.

4. Oh, draw me, Savior, e’er to Thee; So shall I run and never tire. With gracious words still comfort me; Be Thou my Hope, my sole Desire.  Free me from every guilt and fear; No sin can harm if Thou art near.

5. In suffering be Thy love my peace, In weakness be Thy love my power; And when the storms of life shall cease,   O Jesus, in that final hour, Be Thou my Rod and Staff and Guide And draw me safely to Thy side!  Amen.

SERMON - FEAST ON JESUS - HIS WORD AND SACRAMENT - AND NOTHING ELSE - LUKE 14:15-24
“Come [to the banquet-feast,] for everything is now ready.” (Lk. 14:17)  Amen.

Grace and peace to you in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.  How right the man is to say to Jesus, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God!” (Lk 14:15)  Maybe Jesus should just let these words stand on their own…and not add to them.  Actually, Jesus doesn’t add to them.  What He does do is describe what eating bread in the Kingdom of God really is…and what it isn’t.  

In Jesus’ Parable of the Banquet, the issue isn’t that those initially invited to the banquet buy property, cattle and get married, but that they do these things instead of coming to the banquet that has been prepared for them – as in, they never attend it at all.  In the end, they demonstrate that only the affairs of this life have real value to them.  The great feast prepared for them is utterly worthless in their eyes.  Since they’ve flat-out rejected the banquet-feast that’s been freely and richly provided to them, the master of the feast sees fit to gather others into the banquet in their place.  These favored few “enter into the joy of the master” (Mt. 25:33) or share in his gladness, for He becomes their master and shares His endless joy with them!  But for those discontent with the master and His heavenly Kingdom…  For all who’re only content with themselves and their earthly lives, all there’ll finally be is weeping and gnashing of teeth as they’re thrown into the fiery furnace. (See Mt. 13:42)     

A good Biblical text to help us better understand Jesus’ words here is Hebrews 4:1: “Therefore, while the promise of entering God’s rest still stands, be careful that none of you falls short of it or fails to reach it.”  What is God’s rest in Holy Scripture?  It’s everlasting rest in His heavenly Kingdom.  It’s “the gift of God [which] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)  No, it’s not sleeping or being idle forever.  Resting in God is abiding in His endless peace, delivered and saved forevermore from sin and sadness, from the law and God’s wrath, from death and the grave, from Satan and his hell.     

Psalm 95 and Hebrews 3 and 4 take up the subject of entering into God’s rest versus not entering into it in earnest.  The Psalmist writes: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put Me to the test and put Me to the proof, though they had seen My work.  For forty years I loathed that generation and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’  Therefore I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” (Ps. 95:8-11)  Hebrews 3:7-11 lets us know that God the Holy Spirit is the Speaker in Psalm 95, calling us there and again in Hebrews 3 to hear God our heavenly Father, believe His Word and not refuse Him by hardening our hearts in rebellion against Him. 

Simply put, the Holy Spirit calls and urges all people into God’s eternal rest by the preaching of the law and condemnation against sin, unbelief, rebellion…and by the preaching of the Gospel – the unsought, unearned, undeserved mercy of God – His saving grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ, Who was slain for the life of all sinners.  All who hear the Spirit, take His Word seriously, repent of their abominations and receive His comforting mercy by faith alone in Jesus shall enter into God’s rest!  But everyone who hardens his or her heart – as Israel did in its forty-year-long rebellion in the wilderness – will never enter God’s rest, but will perish just like Israel’s rebellious generation fell dead in the desert.  

The starting point for every one of us – every person on earth – is loving and prizing self over God; treasuring worldly matters, affairs and riches over heavenly ones.  Oh, if only being baptized into the one true Christian faith reversed this completely so that our reality now as Christians is one where we only love and prize God all the time and never ourselves!  If only we concerned ourselves with godly, heavenly thoughts and aims…and not earthly, time-bound ones!  But you know, since this isn’t the case; since we love ourselves, the world, its ways and riches as much as we do, we need God to do more than keep us on edge, letting us know we’re on shaky ground.  We need Him to destroy the false ground from underneath us so that we see how feeble and fake a foundation we’ve made for ourselves!  Then, all we can do is fall into God’s ever-present, protecting arms since He alone is our firm Foundation!      

That’s what’s going on in this parable.  The man who speaks first to Jesus isn’t wrong, but his words might be taken to mean that everyone in Jesus’ day is blessed and will eat bread in God’s Kingdom since they’re Hebrews who believe that they’ve kept the law perfectly – or well enough, anyway – in order to enter God’s Kingdom.  Jesus’ response crushes this claim!  After all, He’s the Master Who’s been calling, inviting, urging His fellow Jews to God’s feast.  “But they all alike have made excuses” (Lk. 14:18) to Him.  They want to belong to a different kingdom – one in which they live their lives how they please, believe what they please about God – rather than what the Scriptures say.  Their false kingdom is one which they’re content to enter in their own time and way.  But again, the only entering they’ll be doing is into judgment – not God’s rest.

Take care, O saints of God purified by the blood of Christ, O sinners always in need of God’s strong rebuke and purification; be careful to never concoct a false kingdom of your own and brand it the Kingdom of God!  And if you’ve done so or are doing so, that false kingdom of yours must come crashing down one way or the other.  Better for you to abandon it and give it over to God to demolish for you – so that you’re not demolished along with it.
Yes, you’ve bought or will buy land, property as well as livestock or other goods of this world.  Many of you’ve entered into holy matrimony.  There isn’t a thing wrong with any of this – provided it’s not done to replace God-for-you and His Kingdom come-for-you in the person and work of Jesus Christ.      

The initial invitees in the parable have their false gods to worship on earth, and reject any need for the true God of heaven.  They’ve already received their reward in full, as Jesus says elsewhere. (See Mt. 6:2)  They have no part in the banquet feast they want no part of.  Trust that God has already delivered, saved you from being that sorry lot, people of God!  How your sinful hearts want you to once again love yourselves, this world, its ways and wealth most of all!  So that you lapse away from the First Commandment – having no other gods but the Lord your God as your one true God; fearing, loving and trusting in Him above all things.  So that you lapse into never entering into God’s rest, but find yourself in your own rest, or restlessness leading to everlasting condemnation.  

And so, as God lays waste to our tendency to make earthly goods our security, our foundation, our idols, hear the voices of Jesus Christ and His Spirit above all other voices!  Repent; tusrn from your love of self, world, stuff!  Let God put this to death in you – and not you with it!  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mt. 22:37)  Do so since Jesus Christ gave His life unto death for you, to save you forever from being those who make excuses to God for not caring about Him and His Kingdom above all else.  Rest assured in the peace of Jesus that you’re not condemned today or ever for valuing yourself above God; for treasuring worldly matters and riches over heavenly ones…since Jesus your Savior sacrificed Himself for you, delivering you from this all.  This isn’t you anymore.  So hold fast to God Who first held fast to you in His beloved Son by raising Him from the dead so that now you’re among those whom He’s gathered into His holy House for His sacred feast: Jesus’ blessed body and blood!    

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mt. 6:19-21)

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mt. 6:33)

Since you have been raised with Christ, “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ Who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4)  Amen.  In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

OFFERATORY (CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD)
C: (Sung) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.  Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

Heavenly Father, by Your grace we who were once far off have been brought near to You by the blood of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Remove from us all pride and vanity, and give to us humble hearts that recognize that You have graciously made us members of Your household, without any merit or worthiness in us. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Gracious Father, continue to raise up faithful servants among us, that the invitation to Your great banquet would be delivered in all places and Your banquet hall would be filled with sinners redeemed by Christ the Crucified. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Eternal Father, bless the Churches of the Augsburg Confession throughout the world with continued zeal for the truth of Your Word.  Keep us steadfast in the faith and devoted to the proclamation of the pure Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Merciful Father, look upon the poor, hungry, homeless and unemployed with compassion, particularly during the pandemic and economic downturn in our nation and world, and tend to all their needs. Remove from us any excess love of earthly treasures, that we would be moved to aid those in need around us when able. Bless the charitable organizations and social agencies of our land, that relief would be found in them for those who need it, especially those affected by the pandemic and the response to it. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Loving Father, bestow Your blessing on the vocation of fatherhood, that fathers would love and provide for their children, and that children would respect and honor their fathers. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Compassionate Father, have mercy on all who are suffering and desire Your aid at the present time, including: HT: Charles, Edna, Carolyn, Herbert, Andrew, Ricky, our homebound members and all other fellow members, family, friends and acquaintances with healing needs.  STJ: Marvin, Eugene, Ginger, Doug, Robert, Charles, Walter, Shelby, Lorine, Stephanie, Angie, Pat, our homebound members and all other fellow members, family, friends and acquaintances with healing needs.  According to Your gracious will, heal their infirmities and give them strength to bear all their crosses in Christian patience. Give continued wisdom to those who lead and those who serve, especially those in harm’s way.  Grant Your healing mercy to those afflicted with the coronavirus in our county, state and country.  In Your mercy remove this illness from us.  Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

HYMN – 391, BLESSED ARE THE SONS OF GOD
1. Blessed are the sons of God, They are bought with Christ’s own blood; They are ransomed from the grave, Life eternal they shall have: With them numbered may we be Here and in eternity!

2. They are justified by grace, They enjoy the Savior’s peace; All their sins are washed away, They shall stand in God’s great Day: With them numbered may we be Here and in eternity!

3. They are lights upon the earth, Children of a heavenly birth; One with God, with Jesus one; Glory is in them begun: With them numbered may we be Here and in eternity!  Amen.

CONCLUDING COLLECTS
P:
Merciful God, we implore You to cast the bright beams of Your light upon Your Church that, being instructed by the doctrine of the blessed apostles, we may walk in the light of Your truth and in the end attain the light of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
C: Amen.

P: Grant us, we implore You, almighty God, a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Thy mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  
C: Amen.

BENEDICTION (PARTING BLESSING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD)
P:
The Lord bless thee and keep thee.  The Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious to thee.  The Lord lift up His † countenance upon thee and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
C: Amen.

CLOSING HYMN – 53, ABIDE, O DEAREST JESUS
1. Abide, O dearest Jesus, Among us with Thy grace That Satan may not harm us Nor we to sin give place.

2. Abide, O dear Redeemer, Among us with Thy Word And thus now and hereafter True peace and joy afford.

3. Abide with richest blessings Among us, bounteous Lord; Let us in grace and wisdom Grow daily through Thy Word.

4. Abide with Thy protection Among us, Lord, our Strength, Lest world and Satan fell us And overcome at length.

5. Abide, O faithful Savior, Among us with Thy love; Grant steadfastness and help us To reach our home above.  Amen.
 

† DIVINE SERVICE OF THE WORD (TLH 5), 1ST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY (6.14.20), 
HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES †

OPENING HYMN – 235, O HOLY SPIRIT, ENTER IN
1. O Holy Spirit, enter in And in our hearts Thy work begin, Thy temple deign to make us; Sun of the soul, Thou Light Divine, Around and in us brightly shine, To joy and gladness wake us.  That we, In Thee Truly living, To Thee giving Prayer unceasing, May in love be still increasing.

2. Give to Thy Word impressive power That in our hearts, from this good hour, As fire it may be glowing;
That we confess the Father, Son, And Thee, the Spirit, Three in One, Thy glory ever showing.  Stay Thou, Sway now Our souls ever That they never May forsake Thee, But by faith their Refuge make Thee.

3. Thou fountain whence all wisdom flows Which God on pious hearts bestows, Grant us Thy consolation That in our pure faith’s unity We faithful witnesses may be Of grace that brings salvation.  Hear us, Cheer us By Thy teaching; Let our preaching And our labor Praise Thee, Lord, and serve our neighbor.

4. Left to ourselves, we shall but stray; Oh, lead us on the narrow way, With wisest counsel guide us And give us steadfastness that we May ever faithful prove to Thee Whatever woes betide us. Come, Friend, And mend Hearts now broken, Give a token Thou art near us, Whom we trust to light and cheer us.

5. Thy heavenly strength sustain our heart That we may act the valiant part With Thee as our Reliance, Be Thou our Refuge and our Shield That we may never quit the field, But bid all foes defiance.  Descend, Defend From all errors and earth’s terrors; Thy salvation Be our constant consolation.

6. O mighty Rock, O Source of Life, Let Thy dear Word, mid doubt and strife, Be strong within us burning That we be faithful unto death, In Thy pure love and holy faith, From Thee true wisdom learning.  Thy grace And peace On us shower; By Thy power Christ confessing, Let us win our Savior’s blessing.  Amen.

INVOCATION (CALLING UPONG GOD’S HOLY TRIUNE NAME)
Pastor:
In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
Congregation: Amen.

CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
P:
Beloved in the Lord!  Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God, our Father, beseeching Him in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

P: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
C: Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

P: I said, “I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord.
C: And Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

P: Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto Thee that we are by nature sinful and unclean and that we have sinned against Thee by thought, word, and deed.  Wherefore we flee for refuge to Thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Thy grace for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
C: O most merciful God, Who hast given Thine only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by Thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of Thee and of Thy will and true obedience to Thy Word, to the end that by Thy grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

P: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and hath given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins.  To them that believe on His Name He giveth power to become the sons of God and hath promised them His Holy Spirit.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.  Grant this Lord, unto us all.
C: Amen.

INTROIT (ENTRANCE SCRIPTURE/PSALM)
P:
O Lord, I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.  How long, O Lord?  Will You forget me forever?  How long will You hide Your face from me?  How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?  How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?  Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
C: (Sung) 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.

KYRIE (LORD, HAVE MERCY)
C: (Sung) Lord, have mercy upon us.  Christ, have mercy upon us.  Lord, have mercy upon us.
(Psalm 123:3)

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS (GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH)
C: (Sung) Glory be to God on high: And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.  We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory.  O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.  O Lord the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, That takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer.  Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.  For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord.  Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen. 

SALUTATION
P:
The Lord be with you.
C: And with thy spirit.

COLLECT (PRAYER) OF THE DAY
P:
Help us, O Lord, that we may not despair in the day of want and trouble.  Grant us Your aid as well so that we may not abuse Your gifts or set our hearts on earthly riches, but in true faith and love wait patiently for another life, which, when all earthly griefs are past, You will give to all who believe in You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSONS: OLD TESTAMENT LESSON – GENESIS 15:1-6
After these things the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, You have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the Word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

HYMN – 40, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM PRAISE
1. The God of Abr’ham praise; All prais-ed be His Name Who was and is and is to be And still the same!  The One eternal God, Ere aught that now appears; The First, the Last: beyond all thought His timeless years!

2. The God of Abr’ham praise, At Whose supreme command From earth I rise and seek the joys At His right hand.  I all on earth forsake, Its wisdom, fame, and power, And Him my only Portion make, My Shield and Tower.

3. He by Himself hath sworn – I on His oath depend – I shall, on eagles’ wings upborne, To heaven ascend; I shall behold His face, I shall His power adore And sing the wonders of His grace Forevermore.

4. The whole triumphant host Give thanks to God on high; “Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”  They ever cry.  Hail, Abraham's God and mine! – I join the heavenly lays – All might and majesty are Thine, And endless praise.  Amen.

EPISTLE LESSON – 1 JOHN 4:16-21
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  19 We love because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God Whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

C: (Sung) Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

P: The Holy Gospel according to, the chapter.
C: (Sung) Glory be to Thee, O Lord!

GOSPEL LESSON – LUKE 16:19-31
9 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.  The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house – 28 for I have five brothers – so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

At the conclusion of the reading:
P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: (Sung) Praise be to Thee, O Christ!

APOSTLES’ CREED

HYMN OF THE DAY – 425, ALL DEPENDS ON OUR POSSESSING
1. All depends on our possessing God’s abundant grace and blessing, Though all earthly wealth depart.  He who trusts with faith unshaken In His God is not forsaken And e’er keeps a dauntless heart.

2. He Who hitherto hath fed me And to many joys hath led me, Is and ever shall be mine.  He Who did so gently school me, He who still doth guide and rule me, Will remain my Help divine.

3. Many spend their lives in fretting Over trifles and in getting Things that have no solid ground.  I shall strive to win a treasure That will bring me lasting pleasure And that now is seldom found.

4. When with sorrow I am stricken, Hope my heart anew will quicken, All my longing shall be stilled.  To His loving-kindness tender Soul and body I surrender; For in Him alone I build.

5. Well He knows what best to grant me; All the longing hopes that haunt me, Joy and sorrow, have their day.  I shall doubt His wisdom never – As God wills, so be it ever – I to Him commit my way.

6. If on earth my days He lengthen, He my weary soul will strengthen; All my trust in Him I place.  Earthly wealth is not abiding, Like a stream away is gliding; Safe I anchor in His grace.  Amen.

SERMON - RICH-IN-CHRIST LAZARUS AND THE POOR-TOWARD-GOD RICH MAN– LK. 16:19-31
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt. 23:12)  Amen.

After Rev. Martin Luther’s death in 1546, his last words were found written in his pocket: “We are all beggars.  This is true.”  In imparting his final words, Luther may well have had Christ’s parable of Lazarus and the rich man in mind. 

Every one of us baptized believers in Jesus is the poor, sore-covered Lazarus, neither able to earn nor be worthy of God’s gracious favor and love.  Nor are we worthy to receive daily bread from Him. 

Though each of us is, like Lazarus, a poor, helpless, unworthy beggar covered with the sores of our sins and suffering the effects, we’ve not had to settle for the leftover, discarded scraps from some rich man’s table.  We pray for and we receive our daily bread with thankful hearts.  Better still, we’re invited to the Lord’s table to feast on the source of all riches and goodness.  We’re given the very body and blood of our Savior to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of our sins, for life and salvation in God’s heavenly Kingdom.

This is the most important lesson for us to take away from this parable.  But in order to get this lesson out of this parable, we must understand the context in which our Lord tells it – that is, to whom He is speaking and why. 

Not long before telling this parable, Jesus had called out the Pharisees for their inordinate love of self and money.  Needless to say, they were less-than-pleased with Jesus’ accusation, especially His words to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.  For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:14-15)

So with this parable, Jesus gives the Pharisees – the rich, self-righteous, religious leaders and everyone like them – a powerful warning from God.  He’s addresses those who call Abraham their father, telling them that if Abraham were really their father, then they’d be doing the works that Abraham did by faith in God.  As it is, they want to kill Jesus; to get rid of God – something Abraham would never have done since he trusted in God and loved Him.  Then those false Hebrews who have no care for God, who blaspheme Jesus and the Father with Him, call Jesus an illegitimate child, claiming that only they have God as their true Father.  In other words, Jesus doesn’t have God as His Father.  To which Jesus replies, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and I am here.  I did not come of My own accord, but He sent Me.  Why do you not understand what I say?  It is because you cannot bear to hear My Word.” (Jn. 8:42-43)

The Pharisees and everyone on their side puts their trust in themselves, their riches and their efforts to appear pious and godly before God.  So Jesus’ warning to them is essentially the warning of Psalm 146:3: “Do not put your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”

We need to heed this warning ourselves. We all have the sinful inclination to favor the rich man over Lazarus.  We want to be like the greater of the two and not like the lesser of them in the eyes of man.  How self-assured the rich man is during his life – certain that his worldly success and wealth mean that he’s favored by God…a shoe-in for eternal life!  But he doesn’t have the true God at all since, to paraphrase the Apostle Paul, his god is his belly, his mind is set on earthly things, he glories in his shame and his end is destruction. (See Phil. 3:19)

Like it or not, we’re all Lazarus.  We’re all poor, miserable sinners – not rich and mighty at all before God – regardless of our worldly status. We have much to get off our chest, much to confess to Him every day, saying things like “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Lk. 18:13) instead of, “Look what a fine person I am, O God; how good and faithful I am to You.”  Hopelessly indebted, sick-unto-death people, we need to look away from ourselves – all that we have and are – and look to Jesus bloodied-up and slain for us, poor and miserable upon the cross!  We need to see that we’re tallest; we’re greatest when we’re on our knees in humble, contrite confession before God – at the foot of the cross.      

When Jesus was attacked and ridiculed for eating dinner with sinners and tax collectors, He explained to His detractors why He did so: Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:29-32)  Lazarus would gladly be found at that supper table – not so for the rich man!  That dinner table is for you, too, since Jesus keeps on calling you and all His faithful to repentance and life.  He keeps on giving you what you can’t and don’t possess on your own – the righteousness of God and immortal life. 

Rev. Luther tells us that Abraham’s bosom is the Word of God. Hebrews 11 confirms the Reformer’s teaching: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.  By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.’  He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead.” (Heb. 11:8; 17-19)  So Abraham’s faith – like ours – comes from hearing God’s Word.  According to this Word, Abraham, the Apostles, we receive the promises of God.

Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is the Word Who became flesh to dwell among us.  In this flesh He didn’t become like the rich man; He became like Lazarus.  And when He, a lowly Lazarus bearing the sin of the world, died and rose from the grave, He Himself was and remains to this day the Angel of God Who bears every Lazarus, every baptized believer, in His flesh to the bosom of God the Father in heaven.

“God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-7)

Finally, if this Gospel parable is about Jesus for you – and it definitely is!, then it must be about His Church, for that is where the Holy Spirit “calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith [the bosom of Abraham].” (SC, Luther’s Explanation of the 3rd Article of the Creed)  In other words, God’s Church is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth where the Holy Spirit shows the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The Church is never to be the rich man, clothed in purple and fine linen, feasting sumptuously every day, wrapped up in her own glory, concerned only about herself.  How can she flaunt the riches of the Gospel while ignoring the lost, the hungry and hurting around her?

Do not let your hearts be troubled, dear baptized saints of God, dear Lazarus’ all.  Whatever your status in the eyes of the world – no matter your outward appearance, success or importance as measured by earthly standards – you have been carried by angels to the bosom of Abraham; that is, the Word of the Lord and the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.  You’ve been brought to the right hand of God the Father in heaven in your Baptism by the work of the Holy Spirit Who forgives you all your iniquity in Jesus’ Name and for His sake.  So gratefully receive your daily bread from above, and feast sumptuously all the more so on the Meal of Immortality: Jesus’ sacred body and blood given and shed for you.  Amen.  The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

OFFERATORY (CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD)
C: (Sung) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.  Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, for the spread of sound Lutheran Christian teaching and preaching, for the defeat of false teaching, for the doctrinal unity of us all, and for protection from the assaults of the devil, let us pray to the Lord.  Lord, have mercy.

For our Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, her congregations, pastors and all Church workers, that we would be given grace to look to the Lord for His aid in every time of need, and to find in His gracious hands provision for our every want of body and soul, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For our congregation and for all our sister Churches of the Augsburg Confession throughout the world, that together we may devote ourselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and to prayers, and that we would be strengthened in our mission of holding forth Christ for the life of the world, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy. 

For the conversion of unbelievers to the one true Christian faith, that God may open the closed ears of unbelievers to hear and believe Him and His Word of deliverance: let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy. 

For the restoration of those who are cold to the Church and have left her, that they would be renewed in the true confession of the faith and delivered from abandoning it; and that they would be gathered back into God’s holy flock and around our Good Shepherd, Jesus, let us pray to the Lord, Lord, have mercy. 

For President Donald Trump, for all public servants, for the government and those who protect us, especially the members of our armed forces, police departments, fire departments and emergency services, that they may be upheld and strengthened in every good deed, and that the citizens of our country would be kept safe and all social unrest and violent uprisings in our land would be quelled, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the unemployed, that they would be blessed with useful, beneficial work.  For those who hunger and who are in need, that the Lord, according to His good and gracious will and mercy, would grant them daily bread, and see to their aid and well-being – including by way of our giving hands as we have the opportunity to help others, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For those who seek from the Lord’s hand relief of bodily or emotional affliction, and especially for [Holy Trinity] Edna, Carolyn, Herbert, Andrew, Ricky, [St. James] Donald, Marvin, Eugene, Ginger, Doug, Robert, Charles, Walter, Shelby, Lorine, Stephanie, Pat, our homebound members, all other fellow members, family, friends and acquaintances with healing needs, including those that we name in our hearts (pause), that they may know His saving peace and the comfort of His healing presence.  And finally for all who suffer the effects of the coronavirus, that their lives would be spared and that this dreaded disease would be removed from us all, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For rain and favorable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy

For the faithful departed, let us give to God our thanks and praise, asking that He would grant us to feast with them in the joys of His heavenly Kingdom, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

HYMN – 429, LORD, THEE I LOVE WITH ALL MY HEART
1. Lord, Thee I love with all my heart; I pray Thee ne’er from me depart, With tender mercies cheer me.  Earth has no pleasure I would share Yea, heaven itself were void and bare If Thou, Lord, wert not near me.  And should my heart for sorrow break, My trust in Thee no one could shake.  Thou art the Portion I have sought; Thy precious blood my soul has bought.  Lord Jesus Christ, My God and Lord, my God and Lord, Forsake me not! I trust Thy Word.

2. Yea, Lord, ‘twas Thy rich bounty gave My body, soul, and all I have In this poor life of labor.  Lord, grant that I in every place May glorify Thy lavish grace And serve and help my neighbor.  Let no false doctrine me beguile And Satan not my soul defile.  Give strength and patience unto me To bear my cross and follow Thee.  Lord Jesus Christ, My God and Lord, my God and Lord, In death Thy comfort still afford.

3. Lord, let at last Thine angels come, To Abram’s bosom bear me home, That I may die unfearing; And in its narrow chamber keep My body safe in peaceful sleep Until Thy reappearing.  And then from death awaken me That these mine eyes with joy may see, O Son of God, Thy glorious face, My Savior and my Fount of grace, Lord Jesus Christ, My prayer attend, my prayer attend, And I will praise Thee without end.  Amen.

CONCLUDING COLLECTS
P:
O gracious Father, God of love, Who, loving us from eternity, gave Your Son into death for us when were still enemies, and  Who desires for us to know the love with which You love us, so that we may love You and our neighbor, we implore You, remove from our hearts tormenting fear, and fill them with childlike faith and trust in You.  Cleanse us also from hatred and ill will.  Incline us to treat one another with kindness and love.  And grant us boldness in the faith on the Day of Judgment; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

P: O God, the strength of all who trust in You, mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing, grant us Your grace to keep Your commandments that we may please You in word and deed; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 
C: Amen. 

BENEDICTION (PARTING BLESSING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD)
P:
The Lord bless thee and keep thee.  The Lord make His face shine upon thee and to gracious unto thee.  The Lord lift up † His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.
C: Amen.

CLOSING HYMN – 541, O BLESSED HOLY TRINITY
1. O blessed Holy Trinity, Divine, eternal Unity, God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Be Thou this day my Guide and Host.

2. My soul and body keep from harm, O’er all I have extend Thine arm, That Satan may not cause distress Nor bring me shame and wretchedness.

3. The Father’s love shield me this day, The Son’s pure wisdom cheer my way, The Holy Spirit’s light divine Illume my heart’s benighted shrine.

4. My Maker, strengthen Thou my heart, O my Redeemer, help impart, Blest Comforter, keep at my side That faith and love in me abide.

5. Lord, bless and keep Thou me as Thine; Lord, make Thy face upon me shine; Lord, lift Thy countenance on me And give me peace, sweet peace, from Thee.  Amen.

† DIVINE SERVICE OF WORD (TLH 5) FOR HOLY TRINITY SUNDAY, HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN, FEDOR & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN, LEXINGTON †

OPENING HYMN – 237, ALL GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH
1. All glory be to God on high, Who hath our race befriended!  To us no harm shall now come nigh, The strife at last is ended; God showeth His good will to men, And peace shall reign on earth again; Oh, thank Him for His goodness!

2. We praise, we worship Thee, we trust, And give Thee thanks forever, O Father, that Thy rule is just And wise and changes never.  Thy boundless power o’er all things reigns, ‘Tis done whate’er Thy will ordains: Well for us that Thou rulest!

3. O Jesus Christ, Thou only Son Of God, Thy heavenly Father, Who didst for all our sins atone And Thy lost sheep dost gather: Thou Lamb of God, to Thee on high, From out our depths, we sinners cry, Have mercy on us, Jesus!

4. O Holy Ghost, Thou precious Gift, Thou Comforter unfailing, O’er Satan’s snares our souls uplift And let Thy power availing Avert our woes and calm our dread.  For us the Savior’s blood was shed; We trust in Thee to save us.  Amen.

INVOCATION (CALLING UPONG GOD’S HOLY TRIUNE NAME)
Pastor:
In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
Congregation: Amen.

CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
P:
Beloved in the Lord!  Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God, our Father, beseeching Him in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

P: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
C: Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

P: I said, “I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord.
C: And Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

P: Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto Thee that we are by nature sinful and unclean and that we have sinned against Thee by thought, word, and deed.  Wherefore we flee for refuge to Thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring Thy grace for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
C: O most merciful God, Who hast given Thine only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us and for His sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by Thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of Thee and of Thy will and true obedience to Thy Word, to the end that by Thy grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

P: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and hath given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins.  To them that believe on His Name He giveth power to become the sons of God and hath promised them His Holy Spirit.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.  Grant this Lord, unto us all.
C: Amen.

INTROIT (ENTRANCE SCRIPTURE/PSALM)
P:
Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity.  Let us give glory to Him because He has shown His mercy to us.  I have set the Lord always before Me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices, my flesh also dwells secure.  For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let Your holy one see corruption.  You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Liturgical text; Psalm 16:8-11) 
C: (Sung) 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.

KYRIE (LORD, HAVE MERCY)
C: (Sung) Lord, have mercy upon us.  Christ, have mercy upon us.  Lord, have mercy upon us.
(Psalm 123:3)

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS (GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH)
C: (Sung) Glory be to God on high: And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.  We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory.  O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.  O Lord the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, That takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer.  Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.  For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord.  Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen. 

SALUTATION
P:
The Lord be with you.
C: And with thy spirit.

COLLECT (PRAYER) OF THE DAY
P:
Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. 
C: Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSONS: OLD TESTAMENT LESSON – ISAIAH 6:1-6
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above Him stood the seraphim.  Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” 

4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me!  For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.  7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

HYMN – 240, FATHER MOST HOLY, MERCIFUL AND TENDER
1. Father most holy, merciful, and tender; Jesus, our Savior, with the Father reigning; Spirit of comfort, Advocate, Defender, Light never waning;

2. Trinity blessed, unity unshaken, Goodness unbounded, very God of heaven, Light of the angels, joy of those forsaken, Hope of all living,

3. Maker of all things, all Thy creatures praise Thee; All for Thy worship were and are created; Now, as we also worship Thee devoutly, Hear Thou our voices.

4. Lord God Almighty, unto Thee be glory, One in three persons, over all exalted!  Glory we offer, praise Thee and adore Thee, Now and forever. Amen.

EPISTLE LESSON – ROMANS 11:33-36
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!  34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?”  35 “Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?”  36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever. Amen.

P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

C: (Sung) Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

P: The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the 3rd chapter.
C: (Sung) Glory be to Thee, O Lord!

GOSPEL LESSON – JOHN 3:1-17
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak of what We know, and bear witness to what We have seen, but you do not receive Our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except He Who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. 

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: (Sung) Praise be to Thee, O Christ!

ATHANASIAN CREED (CONFESSION OF FAITH)
C: Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic (universal, Christian) faith.  Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish eternally.

And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance.  

For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is another.  But the Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.  

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit:  The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit uncreated; The Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Spirit infinite; The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Spirit eternal.  And yet there are not three Eternals, but one Eternal, Just as there are not three Uncreated or three Infinites, but one Uncreated and one Infinite.  In the same way, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, the Holy Spirit almighty; And yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.  

So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; And yet there are not three Gods, but one God.  So the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord; And yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord.  Just as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so also are we prohibited by the catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords.

The Father is not made nor created nor begotten by anyone.  The Son is neither made nor created, but begotten of the Father alone.  The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding.  

Thus, there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.  And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another; But the whole three persons are coeternal with each other and coequal, so that in all things, as has been stated above, the Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity is to be worshiped.  

Therefore, whoever desires to be saved must think thus about the Trinity. 

But it is also necessary for everlasting salvation that one faithfully believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, it is the right faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at the same time both God and man.  He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; And He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age: Perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father with respect to His humanity.  

Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ: One, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, Ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the living and the dead.  At His coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds. And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire.  

This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.

HYMN OF THE DAY – 245, GOD LOVED THE WORLD SO THAT HE GAVE
1. God loved the world so that He gave His only Son the lost to save, That all who would in Him believe Should everlasting life receive.

2. Christ Jesus is the ground of faith, Who was made flesh and suffered death; All then who trust in Him alone Are built on this chief cornerstone.

3. God would not have the sinner die; His Son with saving grace is nigh; His Spirit in the Word declares How we in Christ are heaven’s heirs.

4. Be of good cheer, for God’s own Son Forgives all sins which you have done; And, justified by Jesus’ blood, Your Baptism grants the highest good.

5. If you are sick, if death is near, This truth your troubled heart can cheer: Christ Jesus saves your soul from death; That is the firmest ground of faith.

6. Glory to God the Father, Son, And Holy Spirit, Three in One!  To Thee, O blessed Trinity, Be praise now and eternally!  Amen.

SERMON - CONFESS THE HOLY TRINITY FOREVER; BE SAVED BY FAITH ALONE - JN. 3:1-17 
Dear baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  How good it is to make the good confession of our most holy Christian faith!  As with the Psalmist David, the Lord has opened our hearts and lips to believe and to speak: “I will speak Your Name [O Lord] to my brothers; I will praise You in the midst of the congregation.” (Ps. 22:22)  Just like St. John the Baptist and St. Peter the Apostle, we do not deny the Lord Jesus or zip our lips about Him.  We too profess by faith alone that He is the “Christ, the Son of the living God” (Jn. 1:34; Mt. 16:16) Who takes away the sin of the world! (See Jn. 1:29)  By faith we hold firmly to the Biblical pronouncement spoken to all creation that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.  And that “He who believes in the Son of God has everlasting life; but he who does not believe the Son of God shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (Jn. 3:36)  And so, God’s grace alone in Christ comforts and consoles our sin-wounded, hurting consciences, since forgiveness, life and salvation are certainly ours through faith alone in the Lord Jesus.  The powerful warning against unbelief – which always threatens each of us – shakes us to our depths so that we don’t forsake Jesus and His Word, fall away from Him and It, and lose God as our heavenly Father and everything in divine judgment.

Dear baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  How good it is to make the good confession of our most holy Christian faith!  As with the Psalmist David, the Lord has opened our hearts and lips to believe and to speak: “I will speak Your Name [O Lord] to my brothers; I will praise You in the midst of the congregation.” (Ps. 22:22)  Just like St. John the Baptist and St. Peter the Apostle, we do not deny the Lord Jesus or zip our lips about Him.  We too profess by faith alone that He is the “Christ, the Son of the living God” (Jn. 1:34; Mt. 16:16) Who takes away the sin of the world! (See Jn. 1:29)  By faith we hold firmly to the Biblical pronouncement spoken to all creation that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!  And that “He who believes in the Son of God has everlasting life; but he who does not believe the Son of God shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (Jn. 3:36)  And so, God’s grace alone in Christ comforts and consoles our sin-wounded, hurting consciences, since forgiveness, life and salvation are certainly ours through faith alone in the Lord Jesus.  The powerful warning against unbelief – which always threatens each of us – shakes us to our depths so that we don’t forsake Jesus and His Word, fall away from Him and It, and lose God as our heavenly Father and everything in divine judgment.

O people of God, always believe in and confess Jesus Christ as Lord, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for these three persons of the blessed Holy Trinity are our one true God forever!  Look to Jesus as the first Confessor of our dear Christian faith.  Speak what He’s spoken to you.  Believe that the faith-content of our confession is that which justifies you or declares you righteous before God and delivers you from His wrath, sin, death and hell.  Live always by the words of your beloved Lord Jesus in Revelation 2:10: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”    

Without God the Holy Spirit calling us to the one true Christian faith by the Gospel, enlightening us with His gifts, sanctifying us and keeping us in the faith, we’d certainly be non-confessors of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  No, we’d never call God our Father, Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier – if our Holy Triune God hadn’t first had total mercy on us and made us – who were dead in our trespasses and sins – alive together with Christ. (See Eph. 2:4-5)

As it is, what poor confessors of God and faith in Him we so often make.  We have a mind as wretched sinners to confess ourselves, other people, life in this fallen, collapsing world as that which is most important to us.  Let’s not lie to ourselves and to each other, and especially to God, claiming that this isn’t so, or mostly isn’t true.  If we were perfect confessors of God all the time, then the Word of the Lord wouldn’t have to urge us as it does: “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, since He Who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23)  If our act of confessing were constant and always rock-solid, then we’d have no need to swear an oath before God and heaven by answering the following question in the affirmative for youth and adult Confirmation: “Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?”

The Gospel Lesson appointed for today provides us with a great example of Jesus’ confession of the Holy Triune God and Holy Scripture – the faith by which we’re saved eternally.  A religious ruler of the Jews, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, comes to Jesus to find out more about Him: Who He really is and what He believes, teaches and confesses.  Even though Nicodemus – coming to Jesus as he does under the cloak of darkness, in secret – doesn’t believe in Him as the Son of God, at least he comes to give Jesus a “fair-hearing” so that He may present His teaching.  

In his opening statement to Jesus, Nicodemus heaps false praise upon Him.  Fact is, Nicodemus and his fellow Pharisees don’t really believe that Jesus is a teacher sent from God, or that God is actually with Jesus.  So Nicodemus is believing one thing about Jesus, but saying something else.  Notice Jesus’ response.  He doesn’t call Nicodemus out for this.  He just speaks the truth of God’s Word to the man.  He confesses the persons and the work of God the Holy Trinity to him!

The Lord’s first line of confession is to declare and describe God’s saving gift of Holy Baptism via water and the Holy Spirit.  This involves being “born again,” or better put, “born from above,” from God in heaven.  Unless one is born anew, or spiritually reborn by God’s saving action in Christ alone, Jesus says that that person will never see heaven.  He says the exact same thing in Mark 16:16: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”  

Jesus’ words floor Nicodemus, who with his unbelieving mind is unable to comprehend the Lord.  Nicodemus is earthly-minded, wedded so much to this world in his thinking and beliefs that Jesus’ words seem nonsensical to him.  He somewhat mockingly asks what Jesus means by this, as in, do we all have to be born a second time from our mothers’ wombs – which is completely ridiculous – in order to enter God’s Kingdom?   

Jesus responds by teaching that birth from above, from God, is His saving action done to the unbelieving sinner to make him or her a believing saint of God!  It’s not man-made, not man-centered, but God-made, God-centered.  The water wedded with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in Holy Baptism is indeed God’s gracious act by which He washes, purifies and saves the baptized unto Himself and His Church.  

Jesus then says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Jn. 3:6)  Natural, worldly birth begets those who’re naturally born, and that’s it.  They’re born in the flesh, live in the flesh, die in the flesh and perish forever in the flesh.  But to be born of the Holy Spirit, Jesus says, is to be re-born, recreated by the Holy Spirit, or brought from death to life, from unbelief to faith and new life in Jesus Christ.  As Jesus says later in this Gospel account: “The Holy Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.” (Jn. 6:63)  Flesh here means the natural, unbelieving, dead-in-sin person apart from saving faith and life in the Holy Trinity.

Jesus then goes on to describe that just like the wind, which blows wherever it pleases, whose direction can’t be controlled by us, God the Holy Spirit does His good and gracious work in ways pleasing to God – not sinful man.  Nicodemus is still in the dark, and I think it’s a testament to the sheer love and mercy of God that Jesus continues to preach the Word of God and the Doctrine or Teaching of the Holy Trinity to him.  As a teacher of Israel, Nicodemus ought to be tracking with Jesus word-for-word here, but he isn’t.  Tragically, the people of Israel have blinded themselves to God and His saving work among men, believing that they must earn His righteousness by deeds of the law and self-purity.  

John 3:11 contains extraordinary words!  Jesus says, “Truly, truly I say to you, We [meaning the entire Godhead] speak of what We know, and bear witness to what We have seen, and you do not receive Our testimony.”  You heard Jesus right!  The “we” isn’t Jesus and His disciples – at least not yet, anyway, but the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: Israel’s and our one true God!  Jesus won’t stop confessing the Trinity.  He keeps on speaking the faith to Nicodemus!  Foretelling His own Ascension into heaven, Jesus says that the first One to enter heaven is He Who came down from heaven as God and man to dwell with man.  Jesus then wonderfully tells Nicodemus that the bronze serpent which Moses crafted and raised on a pole – in order for all Israelites stricken by venomous snakes to look upon and be saved – points to Him as Lord and Savior!  Jesus is likewise to be lifted up on the cross so that all who see Him by faith and confess Him as Lord and God are saved by Him from death and hell!  

Jesus’ final words from our Gospel text are known as the “Gospel in a nutshell.”  God the Father and His great, eternal love for us in His only-begotten Son is declared here.  Also, the marvelous truth that Jesus’ didn’t come to earth to condemn and cast anyone into hell at all, but to save the whole lot of us!     

So this is the faith, as declared by our Lord Jesus, that we’re given to believe and confess, and by which we’re eternally saved…or we’re not…if we don’t believe it or fall away from it.  

O Confirmands; dear people of God!  Look to Christ alone as your Savior and His confession alone as your salvation!  He has lovingly made His confession your confession.  He’s placed it into your heart and upon your lips by way of His gift of faith!  Jesus Christ is the Apostle and Great High Priest of our confession of faith since “in His testimony before Pontius Pilate He made the good confession.” (1 Tim. 6:13) 

Your beloved Savior Jesus has given His life for you!  He’s bled for all your false confessions of self, of others and of this poor life.  He’s died for all the times you’ve failed to confess Him as you ought to have.  Be comforted that, in Christ’s holy body pierced and His precious blood shed, “your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Is. 6:7) – paid for in full!

See to it that you never turn an inch from Jesus’ faithful confession to Nicodemus, who came to believe in Jesus as his Savior, to Pontius Pilate, to you and to all people.  For since God’s Holy Word has proved true throughout the ages; since He’s fulfilled it and confirmed it without fail; since the Word of the Lord endures forever, “how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3)  Trust with all your heart that it is the content of “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) – which you confess in the three ecumenical Creeds – that eternally saves you in body and soul.  “For with your heart you believe [the doctrinal content of the faith] and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.” (Rom. 10:10)

“Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Col. 2:6-7)  Amen.  In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

OFFERATORY (CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD)
C: (Sung) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.  Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH – LITANY TO THE HOLY TRINITY
P:
Lord, have mercy.
C: Lord, have mercy. 

P: Christ, have mercy. 
C: Christ, have mercy. 

P: Lord, have mercy. 
C: Lord, have mercy.

P: Blessed Trinity, 
C: hear us.

P: Adorable Unity, 
C: graciously hear us.

P: God the Father of Heaven,
C: Have mercy on us.

P: God the Son, Savior of the world, 
C: Have mercy on us.

P: God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier, 
C: Have mercy on us. 

P: Holy Trinity, One God,
C: Have mercy on us. 

P: Father from Whom are all things, Son of God through Whom are all things, Holy Spirit in Whom are all things, Holy and undivided Trinity, 
C: Have mercy on us. 

P: Father everlasting, only-begotten Son of the Father, Spirit Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Co-eternal Majesty of Three Divine Persons.
C: Have mercy on us.

P: Father, the Creator, Son of God, the Redeemer, Holy Spirit, the Comforter, 
C: Have mercy on us.

P: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, Who is, Who was, and Who is to come, God Most High, Who inhabits eternity, to Whom alone is due all honor and glory, Who alone does great wonders, Power infinite, Wisdom incomprehensible, Love unspeakable, Mercy unending,
C: Graciously hear us, O Holy Trinity.

P: From all evil, from all sin, from all pride, from all love of riches, from all uncleanness, from all sloth, from all inordinate affection, from all envy and malice, from all anger and impatience, from every thought, word, and deed contrary to Your holy law, from Your everlasting condemnation,
C: Deliver us, O Holy Trinity. 

P: Through Your almighty power, through Your plentiful loving-kindness, through the exceeding treasure of Your goodness and love, through the depths of Your wisdom and knowledge, through all Your unspeakable perfections, 
C: Deliver us, O Holy Trinity. 

P: We sinners 
C: beseech You to hear us.

P: That we may ever serve You alone,
C: We beseech You to hear us. 

P: That we may worship You in spirit and in truth, 
C: We beseech You to hear us. 

P: That we may love You with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength;  that, for Your sake, we may love our neighbor as ourselves; that we may faithfully keep Your holy Commandments; that we may never defile our bodies and souls with sin; that we may go from grace to grace, and from virtue to virtue; that we may finally enjoy the sight of You in Glory; that You would hear us according to Your Grace, O Blessed Trinity, 
C: We beseech You to deliver us. 

P: O Blessed Trinity, 
C: We beseech You to save us. 

P: O Blessed Trinity, 
C: Have mercy on us. 

P: Lord, have mercy, 
C: Christ, have mercy. 
P:
Lord, have mercy.  
C: Amen.

P: Benevolent Father, look with kindness and compassion upon our fellow members and others in their time of need: [Holy Trinity] Edna, Carolyn, Herbert, Andrew, Ricky, [St. James] Marvin, Eugene, Ginger, Doug, Robert, Charles, Walter, Shelby, Lorine, Stephanie, Pat, Angie, Donald [Boettcher], as he recovers from leg surgery, our homebound members and all other fellow members, family, friends and other acquaintances.  Grant them Your divine protection, grace to endure their afflictions and Your healing and restoration.  Drive the coronavirus pandemic from our state, nation and all nations of the world; relieve the sick and suffering.  Grant Your good care to Jacki and Zach Lay as they welcome a new baby girl – Rebel Jayne – into their family.  Bless mother, father and baby and bring little Rebel safely to the Baptismal font.  We pray this all through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

C: Amen.

P: Almighty God, Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, deal graciously with the family and loved ones of Rev. Chris Nietubicz at his passing. Soothe them as they cast their sorrow and every care upon You.  Grant them to know the consolation of Your love, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  
C: Amen.

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.

HYMN – 243, OH, THAT I HAD A THOUSAND VOICES
1. Oh, that I Had a Thousand Voices To praise my God with thousand tongues!  My heart, which in the Lord rejoices, Would then proclaim in grateful songs To all, wherever I might be, What great things God hath done for me.

2. Dear Father, endless praise I render For soul and body, strangely joined; I praise Thee Guardian kind and tender, For all the noble joys I find So richly spread on every side And freely for my use supplied.

3. I praise Thee, Savior, whose compassion Hath brought Thee down to ransom me; Thy pitying heart sought my salvation, Though keenest woes were heaped on Thee, Brought me from bondage full release, Made me Thine own and gave me peace.

4. Glory and praise, still onward reaching, Be Thine, O Spirit of all grace, Whose holy power and faithful teaching Give me among Thy saints a place!  Whate’er of good by me is done Is of Thy grace and light alone.

5. Shall I not, then, be filled with gladness?  Shall I not praise Thee evermore And triumph over fear and sadness, E’en when my cup of woe runs o’er?  Though heaven and earth shall pass away, Thy loving’kindness stands for aye*.  Amen. * forever

CONCLUDING COLLECTS
P:
O God, the Creator and Savior of the world, Who has made Yourself known in the work of our redemption as the mystery of the most blessed Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Three in One and One in Three, we implore You, reveal in us the full power of this faith into which we have been planted by Baptism, that, being born of water and of the Spirit, we may by a life of holiness be formed into Your image here and rise to Your blissful presence hereafter, there to join, with the song of the seraphim, in praising You forever and ever.
C: Amen.

P: Almighty and everlasting God, Who has taught us to know and to confess in true faith that in three Persons or equal power and glory You are one true and everlasting God Who is to be worshipped as such, we implore You, keep us  at all times steadfast in this faith against whatever may assail us, for You live and reign as our one true God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

BENEDICTION (PARTING BLESSING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD)
P:
The Lord bless thee and keep thee.  The Lord make His face shine upon thee and to gracious unto thee.  The Lord lift up † His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.
C: Amen.

CLOSING HYMN – 244, GLORY BE TO GOD THE FATHER
1. Glory be to God the Father, Glory be to God the Son, Glory be to God the Spirit: Great Jehovah, Three in One!  Glory, glory While eternal ages run!

2. Glory be to Him who loved us, Washed us from each spot and stain: Glory be to Him who bought us, Made us kings with Him to reign!  Glory, glory To the Lamb that once was slain!

3. Glory to the King of angels, Glory to the Church’s King, Glory to the King of nations; Heav’n and earth, your praises bring!  Glory, glory To the King of glory sing!

4. Glory, blessing, praise eternal!  Thus the choir of angels sings: Honor, riches, pow’r, dominion!  Thus its praise creation brings.  Glory, glory, Glory to the King of kings!  Amen.

    HOLY TRINITY & ST. JAMES LUTHERAN CHURCHES
    PO Box 247
    Lexington, Texas 78947
    PH: 979.773.2634
    lexington.fedor.lcms@gmail.com
    ABOUT US

    We are two conservative, confessional Lutheran churches of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, who, in faithfulness toward God, gather around His Holy Word and Sacraments.

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