The 6th Sunday of Easter
May 17, 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 143 He’s Risen, He’s Risen
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 17:22-31
Summary: In Him we live and move and have our being
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. `For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, `We are his offspring.’
“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone– an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
PSALM 66 hymnal page 90
*Sung in unison.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!
Praise our God, O peoples,
Let the sound of his praise be heard.
He has preserved our lives
And kept our feet from slipping.
Come and listen all you who fear God;
Let me tell you what he has done for me.
If I had cherished sin in my heart,
The Lord would not have listened;
But God has surely listened
And heard my voice in prayer.
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 1 Peter 3:15-22
Summary: Living in the living Lord means witnessing for Him
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand– with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
VERSE OF THE DAY John 14:23
P: Alleluia. Alleluia. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia. If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 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 John 14:15-21
Summary: Living in the Lord means loving and obeying Him
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
PRAYER OF THE DAY
P: Father of lights, every good and perfect gift comes from you. Inspire us to think those things that are true and long for those things that are good, that we may always make our petitions according to your gracious will; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
SERMON HYMN 377:1-4 Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice
SERMONETTE John 14: 19b (underlined in Gospel lesson)
“Because I Live, You Also Will Live”
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of 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.
HYMN 377:5-8 Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice
EASTER SEASON PRAYER
*Read by Pastor
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 HYMN 377:9, 10 Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice
Next week’s theme: May 24, 2020 The 6th Sunday after Easter:
“The Risen Lord Offers Protection”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
For the past 2 months now, our nation’s “Safer 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 <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 Sellnow’s for recording weekly school chapel devotions and for Pastor Dolan for recording weekly Bible studies.
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 depost 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 “Safer At Home”. President Trump also advises that we continue this “social distancing” for the forseeable future. 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.” (Job 23:10)
We Confess The Risen Christ
The Sixth Sunday of Easter – A
God’s Word for Today
Confession of Christ and of our hope in him is the calling of all who have been baptized. Such confession includes not only our faithful testimony but also our loving obedience to Jesus’ commands. As we live out our confession of Christ, we are comforted by the presence of the Spirit whom the Son has sent while we await his return.
First Lesson (Acts 17:22-31)
- How did Paul make use of Greek “items” readily at his disposal in order to point to the true God?
Second Lesson (1 Peter 3:15-22)
- Who will ask us the questions that we should be prepared to answer?
- What makes me “prepared to give an answer”?
- What does Peter mean by “the hope that you have”?
- Why did Jesus descend into hell?
Gospel (John 14:15-21)
- How can Jesus say that the Spirit “lives with you and will be in you”?
- What comfort is ours when Jesus says, “Because I live, you also will live”?
- Many of the philosophers of the day were pantheists. They believed god was in everything. But they confused the Creator with his creation. Paul, pointing to the altar “To An Unknown God” and quoting two Greek poets, emphasized that the living Creator-God is unlike the false gods of the Greeks, which were crafted out of stone or metals into an image made by a man. This God, the Creator, is alive. Paul was urging them to repent and turn to the living God.
- The unbelieving world will see the way we live under the cross and ask us why we are so happy to live like that.
- A true knowledge of the Scriptures through prayerful study and meditation on how it applies to my life not only prepares me to give an answer, but calms my own fears.
- The hope that we have is that this life of humble living and service will someday be followed with the glories of heaven.
- Jesus proclaimed that Good Friday had not been a defeat, but a glorious victory. It was a public humiliation that was inflicted upon the defeated forces of Satan.
- The Holy Spirit, together with the Father and the Son, was already at work in the hearts of the disciples bringing them to faith in Jesus. But there was also going to be a special outpouring of the Spirit on the disciples on Pentecost.
- Jesus’ living assures our living. In a short while, Jesus would go through crucifixion and death. He would suffer for the guilt of our sins. But then he would rise, and sin and death would no longer rule us. So his life now counts for our life, just as his death counted for our death. By Jesus’ Spirit we believe and live that life now.