The 3rd Sunday of Easter
April 26, 2020
Emmanuel & St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Churches
Mecan & Montello, WI
✠P R E P A R A T I O N F O R W O R S H I P ✠
We prepare ourselves to worship the one Savior God by expressing our humble repentance, offering our fervent prayers and singing our thankfulness of praise.
P: Christ is risen!
C: He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
HYMN 152: 1,5,7,8 I Know that My Redeemer Lives
INVOCATION hymnal page 15
P: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
OPENING PRAYER hymnal page 10
P: O Lord — our Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter — we are assembled in your presence to hear your holy Word. We pray that you would open our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that through the preaching of your Word we may repent of our sins, believe in Jesus, and grow day by day in grace and holiness. Hear us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION hymnal page 38
P: We have come into the presence of God, who created us to love and serve him as his dear children. But we have disobeyed him and deserve only his wrath and punishment. Therefore, let us confess our sins to him and plead for his mercy.
C: Merciful Father in heaven, I am altogether sinful from birth. In countless ways I have sinned against you and do not deserve to be called your child. But trusting in Jesus, my Savior, I pray: Have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin, and take away my guilt.
P: God, our heavenly Father, has forgiven all your sins. By the perfect life and innocent death of our Lord, Jesus Christ, he has removed your guilt forever. You are his own dear child. May God give you strength to live according to his will. Amen.
✠ T H E W O R D ✠
The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.
FIRST LESSON Acts 2:14a, 36-47
Summary: Christians live in joy of the risen Savior
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
PSALM 67 hymnal page 91
*Read verses and sing refrains.
May God be gracious to us and bless us
And make his face shine upon us;
May your ways be know on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy
For you rule the peoples justly
And guide the nations of the earth.
Then the land will yield its harvest,
And God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us,
And all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
And to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and will be forever. Amen.
EPISTLE LESSON 1 Peter 1:17-21
Summary: God raised the lamb who shed his blood for us
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
VERSE OF THE DAY Luke 24:32
P: Alleluia. Alleluia. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia. Our hearts were burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us. Alleluia.
♫ Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
GOSPEL LESSON Luke 24:13-35
Summary: The risen Lord revived the hopes of the Emmaus disciples
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God, by the humiliation of your Son you lifted up this fallen world from the despair of death. By his resurrection to life, grant your faithful people gladness of heart and the hope of eternal joys; through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
SERMON HYMN 439 Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me
SERMONETTE Luke 24:13-35
“Thrown for a loop!”
*Sung to the tune of CW 486 “Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us”. See lyrics below.
1. I believe in God the Father, Maker of the heav’n and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, our Savior, God’s own Son of human birth.
Virgin-born, the Lord incarnate, whom the Spirit did conceive;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; he’s the God whom I believe.
2. Crucified, was dead and buried, down to hell in victory,
From the dead he rose the third day; up to heav’n triumphantly.
There at God’s right hand he’s ruling, by his will the world is led.
He will come to judge the nations, both the living and the dead.
3. I believe in God the Spirit, in his Church, his chosen band.
They are joined in sweet communion, holy in his sight they stand.
I believe in sins forgiven; I believe I’ll rise again;
I believe in life eternal. Amen, Amen, Amen.
EASTER SEASON PRAYER
P: O Lord God, our strength, our song, and our salvation, you fulfilled your promises by the
resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, from the dead.
C: Thanks be to God! You gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
P: In your compassion you sent Christ, the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life to rescue the lost.
C: Drive out all doubt and gloom that we may delight in your glorious triumph.
P: Lift our eyes heavenward to see him who lives to make intercession for the saints, and grant us confidence in the greatness of his power. Keep before us the vision of your redeemed people standing before your throne and singing the song of victory.
C: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive wisdom and power and honor and glory and
P: Make us instruments of your peace as we bring the good news of hope and new life to those around us. Guide us in the use of all that you have entrusted to us: our time, our talents, and our treasures.
C: Risen Lord, live in us that we may live in you.
P: Merciful Lord Jesus, grant healing to the sick, and strengthen the faith of the suffering and the dying. Assure them of your abiding presence, and comfort them with the hope of eternal life.
Special prayers and intercessions may follow.
P: Hear us, Lord, as we bring you our private petitions.
P: Gracious Father, you have restored to us the joy of your salvation. With happy hearts, we come before you and say:
C: Alleluia! Thanks be to God! Amen.
LORD’S PRAYER hymnal page 43
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by 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.
CLOSING PRAYER hymnal page 43
P: O Lord God, our heavenly Father, pour out the Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep us strong in your grace and truth, protect and comfort us in all temptation, and bestow on us your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
BLESSING hymnal page 44
M: Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. Serve the Lord with gladness.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
Then Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.
CLOSING SOLO “Christ Is Risen! He’s Risen Indeed!” by Keith & Krysten Getty
*Soloist James Wachholz.
Next week’s theme: May 3, 2020 The 4th Sunday after Easter:
“The Risen Lord Is Our Good Shepherd”
“Seek the Lord while he may be found! Call on him while he is near! Let the wicked man abandon his way. Let an evil man abandon his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will show him mercy. Let him turn to our God, because he will abundantly pardon. Certainly my plans are not your plans, and your ways are not my ways, declares the Lord. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my plans are higher than your plans.
Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return there unless they first water the earth, make it give birth, and cause it to sprout, so that it gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater, in the same way my word that goes out from my mouth will not return to me empty. Rather, it will accomplish whatever I please, and it will succeed in the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:6-9 Evangelical Heritage Version)
For the past month now, our nation’s “Safe St Home” social distancing mandate has changed how we live and how God feeds and leads us with his Word. However, we need to remember that the power of God’s Word and the comfort of the gospel is not diminished by the way it is delivered. You will hear law and gospel. You will be assured of Christ’s forgiveness. Your faith will be nourished and our trust in God’s unchanging promises will be strengthened.
Perhaps God will use this experience to lead us to never take public worship for granted again. I pray that God is also using this crisis to draw many in our nation to see the value of forgiveness, faith and the Word of God. As He tells us, “My Word will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11). If you know of someone who doesn’t have access to these on-line worship opportunities, please let us know. Call (608-297-2866) or email email@example.com church/school secretary Ciara Neuhauser at the church office or leave a message.
At the encouragement of our church synod leaders, we will be reserving distribution of the Lord’s Supper for its regular and normal use within the gathering of the body of believers, except in special circumstances. We take comfort in knowing that we have two forms of the means of grace – Word and sacrament. Forgiveness received through God’s Word is no less powerful and effective than the sacrament.
Every Saturday at 11am (either at Emmanuel at St. John’s) we will record an abbreviated service that will be uploaded to our website <www.stjohnsmontello.org> & linked You Tube channel together with a bulletin file available for viewing at your convenience. These services will also be available via DVD, printed sermon & bulletin mailings. Many thanks to those helping with our recorded services including: Darrell Buchholz, Pastor John Dolan, Kerry Mann, Rachel Naumann, Ciara Neuhauser, Larry & Lynn Sellnow, Lucas Stelter, Sue Tutaj, James Wachholz and Lauren Zietlow. Thanks also to the Sellnows for recording weekly school chapel devotions.
While we might be tempted to face this situation with a great deal of disappointment and chagrin, we also recognize the opportunity God is placing before us to ponder and grasp ever more firmly his promise of spiritual health for our souls and to reflect the light of his love to others. We can:
– pray for God’s healing for those affected by the virus
– pray for those involved in essential services – medical personnel, first responders, and those who keep the peace
– share the links to our website and worship service with family, friends, and acquaintances
– renew our daily devotional life
– continue to support the message and ministry of our congregation by responding in thanks to God for his gift of eternal life through offerings mailed to the church office, by electronic-ACH-auto-pay-direct-deposit giving or via credit card at <www.stjohnsmontello.org> menu button “Church Recorded Service” DONATE NOW yellow button. Call Ciara at the church office for direct deposit giving details.
– offer care and compassion for those who need support and a listening ear
Church elders, shepherd, trustees, other concerned members and Pastor Zietlow have been contacting all E/SJ members (via email, text, and phone) to make all aware of the situation, to offer alternatives for those who do not have a computer or internet access, and to offer any special assistance during these challenging times. Following our governor’s announcement on 3/24, all WI residents are to stay “Safe At Home”. President Trump also advises that we continue this “social distancing” until May. These are trying times…times for personal reflection, Bible study, devotion and prayer. Pastor Zietlow (608-408-7830 talk/text) and our E/SJ Elders are available for emergency home visits. Please reach out to them directly.
Darrell Buchholz at E – (608) 215-7871, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerre Duerr at SJ – (608) 697-8706, email@example.com
Jim Eisermann at SJ – (608) 297-8171, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayne Stelter at E – (608) 297-2761, email@example.com
James Wachholz at SJ – (608) 369-2635, firstname.lastname@example.org
We as your church family want to be able to help and serve you, but we can all rejoice as we look to the One who is our real and lasting helper. He is our strength and that’s especially comforting in a time like this, when our human weakness is made so clear!
In Jesus Christ our loving, protecting, crucified & risen Savior,
Pastor Pete Zietlow (608-408-7830 talk/text & ZietlowPL6@hotmail.com)
“The Lord knows the way that I take, and when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
* * * * * * * *
We Rejoice In The Risen Christ
The Third Sunday of Easter – A
God’s Word for Today
Most of our celebrations are very brief. The festival of Easter, however, inspires a certain “afterglow” that by God’s grace burns ever brighter as we celebrate anew each Sunday during the Easter season. Led by the Spirit to believe in the resurrected Lord, we rejoice in holy awe in this glorious truth and are filled with a desire to speak of our hope with others.
First Lesson (Acts 2:14a,36-47)
- For whom is baptism intended?
- Why could and did the first congregation: in Jerusalem continue to use the temple courts as a place to meet and worship?
Second Lesson (1 Peter 1:17-21)
- Why does Peter encourage us to live as “strangers” while here on this earth?
Gospel (Luke 24:13-35)
- Why do you think Jesus didn’t reveal his identity to the Emmaus disciples?
- They had just told Jesus not to go on because of the approaching night. But once Jesus revealed himself, why did they quickly go back to Jerusalem?
- What lessons can we learn from the account of the Emmaus disciples?
- Peter tells us that this means of grace is for all who hear his words. It is also for their children. It is also for those who were not there that day, including us. It is for all whom God has called or ever will call by the message which Peter proclaimed that day.
- They met at the temple because it was the house of the Lord and they were the Lord’s people. It was the Father’s house and they were his children. They gathered there daily.
- It will always be a temptation for Christians to set their hearts on what they can see⎯material things, institutions, approval from others, etc.. It is a lifelong struggle to learn that everything visible is perishable while what is not seen has lasting value. As Christians, we need to remember that we live in tents⎯temporary settings⎯because we are not yet home.
- It gave the disciples the chance to openly confess their unbelieving doubts. Jesus was providing them the opportunity to learn from him again as he reviewed what the Scriptures had to say about the Messiah.
- Their hearts were burning within them. They couldn’t keep the joy of this wonderful message to themselves, so they had to tell the others in Jerusalem.
- We need exactly what they received from Jesus. Through the Word we too need a call to repentance because of our foolish and slow hearts. We need a renewed sense of joy that the message of Easter gives us so that with the wonder of our risen Savior before us, we are compelled to proclaim the Easter message to others.
* * * * * * * *
Dear School Children & Families:
Your goodness and generosity have been displayed by the offerings already made to the 2019-2020 Kids C.A.R.E. mission project: Early Childhood Education in Indonesia. Why do we support a mission project? God gives us, even as children, the opportunity to serve Him by sharing Jesus, the Best Gift God gave to us and the Best Gift we can give to others. While we live on earth, God gives us the task of sharing the Hope that we have in our Savior Jesus with others. Giving to missions is one way to do just that! Kids C.A.R.E.–Kids Care About Reaching Everyone with the Gospel.
While the children cannot meet at chapel, they can still share their final gifts for children in Indonesia, and we hope parents will encourage their children to do so. Most children brought weekly offerings through March. Since social distancing continues during the weeks of April and May, perhaps you would take that into consideration as final gifts are made. Place your gift in an envelope labeled “Kids C.A.R.E.” and drop in off with school work to your child’s teacher or mail it to “Kids C.A.R.E., St. John’s Lutheran School, 313 East Montello Street, Montello, WI 53949. All gifts must be received No Later than Friday, May 15.
Working together wonderful things can be achieved. The Kids C.A.R.E. Giving Thermometer currently stands at $966.96—wouldn’t it be great to stretch that figure to over $1,000 to share Jesus with children in Indonesia!
How the Virus Stole Easter
A Poem by Kristi Bothur, inspired by Dr. Seuss, edited by Pastor Zietlow
Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began
Bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land.
People were sick, hospitals full,
Doctors overwhelmed, no one in school.
As winter gave way to the promise of spring,
The virus raged on, touching peasant and king.
People hid in their homes from the enemy unseen.
They YouTubed and Zoomed, social-distanced, and cleaned.
April approached and churches were closed.
“There won’t be an Easter,” the world supposed.
“There won’t be church services, and egg hunts are out.
No reason for new dresses when we can’t go about.”
Holy Week started, as bleak as the rest.
The world was focused on masks and on tests.
“Easter can’t happen this year,” it proclaimed.
“Online and at home, it just won’t be the same.”
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the days came and went.
The virus pressed on; it just would not relent.
The world woke Sunday and nothing had changed.
The virus still menaced, the people, estranged.
“Pooh pooh to the saints,” the world was grumbling.
“They’re finding out now that no Easter is coming.
“They’re just waking up! We know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
And then all the saints will all cry boo-hoo.
“That noise,” said the world, “will be something to hear.”
So it paused and the world put a hand to its ear.
And it did hear a sound coming through all the skies.
It started down low, then it started to rise.
But the sound wasn’t depressed.
Why, this sound was triumphant!
It couldn’t be so!
But it grew with abundance!
The world stared around, popping its eyes.
Then it shook! What it saw was a shocking surprise!
Every saint in every nation, the tall and the small,
Was celebrating Jesus in spite of it all!
It hadn’t stopped Easter from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the world with its life quite stuck in quarantine
Stood puzzling and puzzling.
“Just how can it be?”
“It came without bonnets, it came without bunnies,
It came without egg hunts, cantatas, or money.”
Then the world thought of something it hadn’t before.
“Maybe Easter,” it thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
The churches are empty – but so is the tomb,
And Jesus is victor over death, doom, and gloom.
So this year at Easter, let this be our prayer,
As the virus still rages all around, everywhere.
May the world see our hope when it looks at God’s people.
May the world see the church is no building or steeple.
May the world learn our faith that Jesus still lives,
And join us in hope his redemption now gives.