Bulletin- Emmanuel & St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Churches 4/19/20

The 2nd Sunday of Easter

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April 19, 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!

OPENING HYMN 143: 1-3          He’s Risen, He’s Risen                                                          

INVOCATION           hymnal page 15                                                                                            

M: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

OPENING PRAYER                                                                                                    hymnal page 10

M: 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

M: 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. 

M: 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.

PSALM 16                                                                                                                  hymnal page 68

*sung in unison. 

Keep me safe, O God,

For in you I take refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;”

Apart from you I have no good thing.

I have set the Lord always before me,

Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Refrain

My heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

My body also will rest secure,

Because you will not abandon me to the grave,

Nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

You have made known to me the path of life;

You will fill me with joy in your presence.

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.

Refrain

T H E   W O R D

The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON                                                                                              Acts 2:14a, 22-32

Summary: God’s Holy One (Jesus Christ) did not decay

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.

“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

“Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.

HYMN 165: 1-3                                                                              O Sons and Daughters of the King 

1 O sons and daughters of the King, 

   Whom heav’nly hosts in glory sing, 

   Today the grace has lost its sting! 

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

2 On that first morning of the week

   Before the day began to break, 

   The Marys went their Lord to seek.

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 An angel bade their sorrow flee,

   For thus he spoke unto the three,

   “Your Lord will go to Galilee.”

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

EPISTLE LESSON                                                                                                                               1 Peter 1:3-9 

Summary: Praise God for the blessings He gives us through the risen Lord

     Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

HYMN 165: 4-6                                                                              O Sons and Daughters of the King 

4 That night th’ apostles met in fear;

   Among them came their Lord most dear

   And said, “Peace be unto you here.” 

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

5 When Thomas afterwards had heard

   That Jesus had fulfilled his word,

   He doubted that it was the Lord.

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

6 “Thomas, behold my side,” said he,

   “My hands, my feet, my body see;

   And doubt not, but believe in me.”

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

GOSPEL LESSON                                                        John 20:19-31 (today’s sermon text underlined)

Summary: Thomas hailed Jesus as Lord and God

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

HYMN 165: 7-9                                                                           O Sons and Daughters of the King 

7 No longer Thomas then denied;

   He saw the feet, the hands, the side;

   “You are my Lord and God,” he cried.

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

8 Blessed are they that have not seen

   And yet whose faith has constant been;

   In life eternal they shall reign

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

9 On this most holy day of days

   To God your hearts and voices raise

   In laud and jubilee and praise.

   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

PRAYER OF THE DAY                                             

O risen Lord, you came to your disciples and took away their fears with your word of peace. Come to us also by your Word and sacrament, and banish our fears with the comforting assurance of your abiding presence; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

SERMONETTE                                                                                                               John 20: 24-31

“Seeing Is Believing”

VERSE OF THE DAY                     John 20:29b

Alleluia. Alleluia. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Alleluia. 

♫ Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

APOSTLES’ CREED                                                                                                   hymnal page 41

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker or heaven and earth. 

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH            

*Read responsively.

P: Risen Savior, we come to you in our weakness. We turn to you in our time of need. We place before you the disease present in our world. Bring wisdom to doctors. Give understanding to scientists. Endow caregivers with compassion. Bring healing to those who are ill. Protect those who are most at risk. Give comfort to those who have lost a loved one. Stabilize our communities. Unite us in our compassion. Remove all fear from our hearts. Fill us with confidence in your care. Lord, in your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.

P: Risen Savior, use this pandemic to remind us that sickness and death are symptoms of the greater problem of sin. Fill our hearts with joy that through your death you have healed our souls, and in your resurrection you have granted us the hope of a life that death cannot overcome. Give us the courage to share our Easter faith, so that this news of healing and redemption might spread far and wide. Lord, in your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.

P: Risen Savior, in this time of isolation, give us comfort and assurance that you hear our prayers and our praise raised together with the saints and angels. The whole Church in heaven and on earth thanks you for your great victory. Lord, in your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.

P: Risen Savior, we ask you to grant strength and wisdom to our president, the Congress of these United States, and all state and local officials. May their labors for our nation’s health and welfare not be in vain. May their actions demonstrate compassion for the vulnerable, aging and unemployed. Lord, in your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.

P: Risen Savior, fill us with the fire of your love, that in the difficult days and weeks ahead we may see your face in our neighbor’s face and serve you by serving them. Grant to us the willingness to bear any burden or make any sacrifice for the well-being of others. Lord, in your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.

P: Risen Savior, you have opened up for us the way to eternal life. Embolden us by your resurrection to be fearless in the face of disease, chaos, loneliness and every sorrow of this world. Our Redeemer lives, and so we know that we too shall be resurrected and glorified to live with him and one another in an eternal Kingdom. Lord, in your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.

P: INTERCESSORY PRAYERS (listed on bulletin page 15)

C: THE LORD’S PRAYER: 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.

P: BLESSING  Now may the glorious Father, who by his power raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, give you the Spirit of wisdom to know the hope to which he has called you. And may he preserve you in body, soul, and spirit until our own resurrection on the day of Christ Jesus. Amen.

P: Christ is risen!

C: He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

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. 

Amen. 

CLOSING HYMN 162           He is Arisen! Glorious Word!                                   

*Soloist James Wachholz. 

Announcements 

Next week’s theme: April 26, 2020 The 3rd Sunday after Easter: 

“The Risen Lord Brings Hope”

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

   “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 55:6-11 Evangelical Heritage Version)

   For the past month now, our nation’s “Safe At 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 <scsecretary@stjohnsmontello.org> 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, Lynn Sellnow, Lucas Stelter, James Wachholz and Lauren Zietlow. And many thanks to Larry & Lynn Sellnow for recording Wednesday 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.

Elders:

Darrell Buchholz at E – (608) 215-7871, darrell.buchholz@gmail.com

Jerre Duerr at SJ – (608) 697-8706, jerre.asc@gmail.com

Jim Eisermann at SJ – (608) 297-8171, jay.diane.eisermann@gmail.com

Wayne Stelter at E – (608) 297-2761, shieldscreamery@gmail.com

James Wachholz at SJ – (608) 369-2635, lwmsreporter@stjohnsmontello.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.”

 (Job 23:10)

                                     * * * * * * * *

Our Hope Is Certain In The Risen Christ

The Second Sunday of Easter – A

God’s Word for Today

Today we have the sure testimony of the resurrection before us.  Our Savior’s resurrection is validated through the Holy Scriptures and by the eyewitness accounts of those who personally saw him.  Our faith holds unto these clear testimonies and places confidence in the sure hope of Jesus Christ, our risen Savior. In faith we look beyond the troubles of this world to the glories of the next.  It is in that blessed hope that we now live each day.

First Lesson (Acts 2:14a,22-32)

  1. What was the purpose of the miracles that Jesus performed?
  2. What do the words quoted from Psalm 16 teach us about death?

Second Lesson (1 Peter 1:3-9)

  1. What does Peter mean when he says we have a “living hope”?  (v. 3)

Gospel (John 20:19-31)

  1. What greater meaning did the common greeting, “Peace be with you!”, take on when spoken by Jesus that first Easter evening?
  2. What comfort was gained when Jesus showed the nail marks?
  3. What did Thomas confess?

Answers:

  1. Peter said that those works were God’s certification that Jesus came from God and did God’s work.  Those works bore witness that Jesus’ message was God’s message. They attested to the fact that he was the promised Messiah.
  2. As David, we too can be filled with joy and hope confident that God will not simply leave our bodies to decay in the grave.  We are one of God’s “holy ones” certain of the joys of eternal life.
  3. Our attention is once again directed to the empty tomb.  While many religions hold out a hope of either blessings here on this earth or in the hereafter to their hearers, that hope is acquired as one earns them.  Thus, one can never be sure and their hope is tainted. A Christian’s hope is a “living hope” because it is founded on Christ, our Savior, who has conquered sin and death, and has given us the sure promise of eternal life.
  4. With the word peace, Jesus is proclaiming what he was giving to the world, through his crucifixion and resurrection.  It wasn’t the shallow peace that the world frantically seeks, but rather peace with God, which comes to us through the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation won for us through Christ, our Savior.
  5. It absolutely proves that he wasn’t a ghost.  The nail marks also were a visible reminder of the forgiveness that was theirs through Christ.
  6. After having struggled with doubt earlier, he now boldly confessed that Jesus is the one true and eternal God.  Thomas confessed that Jesus was indeed his gracious Savior. Jesus had overcome the doubt and unbelief of Thomas.

                                          * * * * * * * *

QUARANTINE PRAYER CHECKLIST

                      Use This List To Pray Every Day

  • Praise God for His mighty power and perfect love.
  • Thank God for promising to always be with us.
  • Ask God to heal those who are sick.
  • Ask God to comfort those who are afraid.
  • Ask God to protect those in the medical field.
  • Ask God to give leaders wisdom.
  • Ask God to forgive your sins and heal our nation.
  • Ask God to use the church to share His love.
  • Ask God to bring revival through this time.
  • Read Psalms 121 out loud to close out your prayer time.

Dear Members of St. John’s and Emmanuel,

I assume the present situation has changed your plans for when you will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the school, but I wanted to let you know I was thinking of that special milestone as April 19 approaches. Perhaps you are also doing something on that day.

Either way, I join you in thanking God that he has allowed you carry on this ministry for all these decades, and I also express my personal gratitude that I was able to personally benefit from your devotion to Christian education.

My family moved to Montello in the summer of 1964 as I was about to begin second grade. I don’t remember all the details, but I know that for some period of time we went to school at the “old public school” on the top of the hill, while the construction of our new school was being finalized. It was especially a treat to get into that new gym! Many us had a lot of fun in that gym, especially with Mr. Mateske and Mr. Runke developing us into such good basketball teams for our little school.

I believe Mrs. Griepentrog, Mrs. Wilkens and Mr. Runke were our teachers in those first years. A few years later my mom began teaching kindergarten. I always appreciated the opportunity to learn in multiple-grade classrooms. When we were younger, we could “learn ahead” from the older kids, and when we were older, we could help teach the younger ones. It really helped us become a family of learners. The one thing that stymied me, though, was Grade 7-8 Science. To this day I think that Grade 7-8 Science workbook was the most difficult textbook I ever encountered in school!

Another special memory was our morning devotions and all the singing we did. Some of us older kids were able to go into Mrs. Wilkens’ room to play the piano for her devotions. We also were able to be part of the Junior Choir. We sang in many worship services. During a spring or early summer Sunday worship service we had a concert at which we sang all the songs we had sung during the course of the church year. We also sang for a number of funerals. It was quite an experience to sit in the balcony and observe the comfort given to families that their loved one was in heaven because of the work of Jesus.

Our confirmation class was held in the church basement at that time, with my dad writing his notes on an old chalkboard. I remember that we had to know the answers to almost every single question in the Catechism for our Examination! On Confirmation Day I received a hymnal from my parents, engraved with the date April 4, 1971. I have always tried to reflect on that special day – and my Confirmation verse from Romans 1:16 (“I am not ashamed of the gospel…”) at the many confirmation services I have been able to be part of since that time.

In a way it seems appropriate that you should be observing this anniversary during a time of uncertainty. After all, one of God’s messages to us is that everything about this life is uncertain. Certainty certainly comes from knowing we have a God whose love never changes, because the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus are always exactly what we need for comfort and for peace and for joy.

I thank God that my siblings and I were strengthened in that certainty of forgiveness and eternal life as students at St. John’s Lutheran School. I praise God that that message was shared with us, and I know that message continues to be shared and proclaimed today.

God bless you as you join in that praise to God for yourselves, as well. And if you going to be doing so officially at a later date, then praise God all the more for when he lets everyone get together!

In Our Risen and Ruling Lord,

David Kolander

St. John’s Lutheran School, Class of 1971

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