Let All Creation Join to Praise
A Thanksgiving Service
November 21 6:30 p.m. St. John’s
November 22 9 a.m. Emmanuel
Pastor Peter Zietlow
The First Day Reading: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was a formless void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light; and God separated the light from the darkness. Evening passed and morning came—the first day.
A Hymn of Invocation is sung by the congregation to the tune of Hymn 193, “Come, Now, Almighty King.” 4 verses.
God, whose almighty word chaos and darkness heard And took their flight; hear us, we humbly pray, and where the Gospel day Sheds not its glorious ray, let there be light!
Lord, who once came to bring, on your redeeming wing, Healing and sight, health to the sick in mind, sight to the inly blind; Oh, now to humankind let there be light!
Spirit of truth and love, life-giving holy dove, Speed forth your flight; move on the water’s face bearing the lamp of grace, And in earth’s darkest place let there be light!
Holy and blessed three, glorious Trinity, Wisdom, love, might! Boundless as ocean’s tide, rolling in fullest pride. Through the earth, far and wide, let there be light!
The Litany is spoken responsively by the pastor and the congregation:
P Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
C Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
P Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
C His steadfast love endures forever!
The Prayer of the Day
P Praise and thanksgiving be to you, O faithful Creator. According to your word and promise, you take delight in prospering us. With your good gifts of sun and rain the earth brings forth its bounty; with your good gifts of health and strength, we too perform the work which you have given us to do. Make us truly grateful for each evidence of your delight, and give us grace to show our gratitude; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.
The Second Day Reading: And God said, “Let there be an expanse to divide the water and separate water from water.” And it was so. God make an expanse, and it separated the water under it from the water above it. He named the expanse “Sky.” Evening passed and morning came—the second day.
The Old Testament Reading, portions from Isaiah 55: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! … Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. …Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
“Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
The Third Day Reading: And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. And God said, “Let the land produce vegetation, plants yielding seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so. And God saw that it was good. Evening passed and morning came—the third day.
Congregation Hymn sung in place of Psalm. Hymn 609, “We Praise You, O God, Our Redeemer.” 3 verses
We praise you, O God, our Redeemer, Creator! In grateful devotion our tribute we bring. We lay it before you; we kneel and adore you; We bless your holy name; glad praises we sing.
We worship you, God of our fathers; we bless you; Through trial and tempest our guide you have been. When perils o’ertake us, you will not forsake us, And with your help, O Lord, our battles we win.
With voices united our praises we offer; To you, great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise. Your strong arm will guide us; our God is besides us. To you, our great Redeemer, fore’er be praise!
The Fourth Day Reading: And God said, “Let there be lights in the sky to give light upon the earth, to serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.” And it was so. And God saw that it was good. Evening passed and morning came—the fourth day.
The New Testament Reading, from portions of 1 Corinthians 15:
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” … How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. … There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable. … Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. … But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
The Fifth Day Reading: And God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the heavens.” And God saw that it was good. Evening passed and morning came—the fifth day.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise him, for he is your health and salvation! Let all who hear now to his temple draw near, Joining in glad adoration!
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things is wondrously reigning And, as on wings of an eagle, uplifting, sustaining. Have you not seen all that is needful has been Sent by his gracious ordaining?
Rise for the Gospel Reading, Matthew 6:25-34.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Congregation Hymn, Hymn 234, ”Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” Verses 4-5
Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you; Surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do As with his love he befriends you.
Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore him! All that has life and breath, come now with praises before him! Let the amen sound from his people again. Gladly forever adore him!
The Sixth Day Reading: And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over all the earth.” So God created human beings in his own image. He made them male and female and blessed them. And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Evening passed and morning came—the sixth day.
Sermon Theme and Text Matthew 6:25-34
Congregation Hymn, Hymn 610, 3 verses
Now thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices, Who wondrous things has done, in whom his world rejoices. Who, from our mothers’ arms, has blest us on our way With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us, With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us, And keep us in his grace, and guide us when perplexed. And free us from all ills in this world and the next.
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given, The Son, and him who reigns with them in highest heaven, The one eternal God, whom earth and heav’n adore; For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
The Seventh Day Reading: Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and rested from all his work, blessing the day and making it holy.
The Offering. (During the offering, greet one another and sign the friendship register.) There is a solo at St. John’s during the offering. The words are printed below:
We plough the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land, but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand; he sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain, the breezes, and the sunshine, and soft, refreshing rain.
Refrain: All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above; then, thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, for all his love.
He only is the maker of all things near and far: he paints the wayside flower, he lights the evening star; the winds and waves obey him, by him the birds are fed; much more to us, his children, he gives our daily bread. [Refrain]
We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good, the seed-time and the harvest, our life, our health, our food. Accept the gifts we offer for all thy love imparts, and, what thou most desirest, our humble, thankful hearts. [Refrain]
Rise for Prayer: To you, O God, do we give thanks: for your great mercy toward us; for our creation, preservation, and redemption; for the pardon of sin; for the numerous gifts of your love; and for the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ our Savior. These are your great mercies, but as we rejoice in them we would not forget that you have given us even more. In the ripening of the grain, in the coming to maturity of the fruit, in the abundance which the land so freely yields, we see your hand and we give you our thanks. Enlarge our spirit of thankfulness, that we may with full willingness and in your spirit of giving share our abundance with all who are in need, that they too may praise you, through Jesus Christ. Amen
The Lord’s Prayer, a hymn version sung to the tune of Hymn 618, “Before the Lord We Bow.” 3 verses
Our heav’nly Father, hear your faithful children’s prayer: Your name, divine and dear, be hallowed ev’rywhere! Your kingdom come! Your heav’nly will Among us, still, on earth be done!
The bread for which we yearn each day, O Father, give. Forgive us, as in turn our debtors we forgive. Your people lead in trial’s hour. From Satan’s pow’r let us be freed!
For you, O Lord, are King; all pow’r is yours, we own; Your glory now we sing, the glory yours alone. So shall it be; your kingdom, might, And glory bright, eternally!
As you, O God, have blessed our coming in, now bless our going forth; and grant that when we leave your house we may not leave your presence, but be ever near us and keep us near to you.
God bless you and keep you. God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. God look upon you with love and give you peace.
And they all said
The Closing Hymn, Hymn 334 “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.”
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, son, and Holy Ghost!