Palm Sunday

April 5, 2020

Emmanuel & St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church

Mecan & Montello, WI

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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.

WELCOME, EXPLANATION OF WHAT WILL FOLLOW & WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT                                               

HYMN 133                    Ride On, Ride On in Majesty          Led by soloist James Wachholz.

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 24                                                        hymnal page 73, Refrain led by soloist James Wachholz. 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,

The world, and all who live in it;

For he founded it upon the seas

And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?

Who may stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

He will receive blessing from God his Savior.


Lift up your heads, O you gates;

Be lifted up, you ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord almighty in battle.

Lift up your heads O you gates;

Lift them up you ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory?

The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory.

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.


T H E   W O R D

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

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON                                                            Zechariah 9:9,10

Summary: See, your King comes to you

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations.  His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

EPISTLE LESSON                                                                                                                       Philippians 2:5-11 

Summary: Christ humbled himself to save us and is now exalted

     Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!
     Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

GOSPEL LESSON                             Matthew 21: 1-11 (today’s sermonette text)

Summary: The King is coming

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her.  Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, `See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” {Zech. 9:9}

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” {Psalm 118:26} “Hosanna in the highest!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”  The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

PRAYER OF THE DAY                                             

We praise you, O God, for the great acts of love by which you redeemed us through your Son, Jesus Christ. As he was acclaimed by those who scattered their garments and branches of palm in his path, so may we always hail him as our King and follow him with perfect confidence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

SERMONETTE                                                                                                             Matthew 21: 1-11

“Worship the King of Love”

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.

PALM SUNDAY PRAYER & INTERCESSORY PRAYERS           read by pastor, bulletin page 13

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 

M: 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 341      Crown Him with Many Crowns  Led by soloist James Wachholz. 


Next week’s theme: April 12 , 2020 Easter Sunday: “The Resurrection Of Our Lord”


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)

   Yes, this is definitely a change from what we’re used to. Wisconsin’s state directive “Safer At Home” has changed how we will worship, for now. 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 and available for viewing at your convenience. This week’s Maundy Thursday (4/9) and Good Friday (4/10) services will also be recorded and available on-line, or via DVD, printed sermon & bulletin mailings.

   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 begun 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, 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 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)

Through Faith We See Our King

Riding on a Donkey

The Sixth Sunday of Lent – A Palm Sunday

God’s Word for Today

Today is Palm Sunday, named for that day nearly two thousand years ago when Jesus entered Jerusalem to the sounds of praise and adoration of the people there.  Laying palm branches and their cloaks in the road, the people honored this prophet from Nazareth as their Savior. Some surely saw their Savior from sin; others likely saw their earthly savior from the Romans and foreign rule.  But either way, the songs of exultation rose: “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he that comes!”

First Lesson (Zechariah 9:9-10)

  1. How is Christ “your king”?
  1. How would this king be different than other earthly kings?

Second Lesson (Philippians 2:5-11)

  1. What quality of Christ is stressed as a model for us?
  1. Where was Christ’s humility most obvious?
  1. What was the end result of Jesus’ humility?

Gospel (Matthew 21:1-11)

  1. Of what significance is the fact that Jesus is the Son of David?


  1. Though he was more than qualified, Jesus never claimed an earthly kingdom like we normally think with the word “king.”  Instead, Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. We often consider him ruling in three kingdoms: the Kingdom of Power (his power places him above all things in heaven and earth), the Kingdom of Grace (where he rules in the hearts of his believers), and the Kingdom of Glory (he rules in heaven and will continue there into all eternity).
  1. This king is gentle and humble, not the ruthless, power-hungry despot of earthly kingdoms.  He also extends peace, contrasting the bloody kingdoms of the worldly empires.
  1. His humility which caused him willingly to lay aside the honor and majesty that were his as God.
  1. In the death he died, a form reserved for the worst of criminals, “death on a tree.”
  1. “God exalted him to the highest place,” and at his name, “every knee should bow.”  Jesus extends the same promise to us when he says that the last shall be first (Mark 10:31).
  1. The Messiah was foretold to be of David’s family (2 Samuel 7:16), and Jesus could trace his line back to King David through both his mother and his earthly father.  The Jewish people knew well that the Messiah must have these credentials.

Teacher Call Update from our Principal Larry Sellnow

Dear Members of Emmanuel and St. John’s Lutheran Churches, and St. John’s Lutheran School and Little Lambs:

God’s blessings to all of you in this turbulent time.  May God grant you peace in knowing that He is in control and He will be glorified through this, too.

This past Monday our congregation leaders issued a Call to Ms. Kim Gnewuch (G-nay-vock – as in clock).  This Call is to replace Miss Naumann (gr. 3-5) who is getting married and will not be with us next school year.  Ms. Gnewuch currently teaches at Westside Christian School in Middleton, WI.  Ms. Gnewuch is single with no children.  She graduated from DMLC in 1994 and received her Master’s degree of Arts in Elementary Education from Viterbo University in 2008.  She has taught at Zion, Columbus, WI; Our Redeemer, Madison, WI; and now Westside in Middleton, WI.  She has a heart for teaching grades 3-5 and shows high interest and ability in drama, as well as all music categories – piano, organ, choir, and handbells.  She also shows high interest in Bible studies and VBS.  Kim also has strong or exceptional ratings in her classroom and professional duties.  

We encourage you to contact Kim if you would like to offer any words of encouragement through cards or emails.  Her contact information is as follows:
Miss Kim Gnewuch
302 Castle Oaks Xing
Waunakee, WI 53597-1417
Phone: 608-347-0551 (Home)

We pray that the Lord would bless her deliberations.  We also pray for God’s blessings on both schools at this time, that God’s will be done.

God bless you all!

Larry Sellnow

Call Acknowledgement Letter

Dear members of St. John’s:

Our loving King has blessed us all with the privilege of serving Him in many varied ways on this earth.  Recently, I received a call through your congregation to teach grades 3-5 at St. John’s in Montello, Wisconsin. Prayerfully considering both my present call here at St. Andrew and Westside Christian School in Middleton, Wisconsin as well as your call to St. John’s is a time to reflect on where I can serve my Lord to the best of my given abilities.  I welcome your prayers in the near future as I deliberate where I can best carry out God’s commission to “Feed His lambs.”  

Your servant in Christ,

Kim Gnewuch

Synodwide Holy Week Messages from WELS President Mark Schroeder

Brothers and sisters in Christ, 

   Many congregations throughout the synod have been, or soon will be, forced to find alternative ways to gather around God’s Word. My wife and I have already spent two Sundays worshiping at home via the online worship provided by my congregation. I’m gratified that so many congregations have moved so quickly to continue to serve their members with the comfort and guidance of the Scriptures. 

   This Sunday evening, Palm Sunday, I will be delivering a brief message to the members of our synod in an online video broadcast. The message will be broadcast live at 6:00 p.m. (central). I invite you to access that message live online. I look forward to speaking with you. If you are not able to view the video when it is broadcast live, it will be archived online. 

   A week later, we will be celebrating our Savior’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. Our Easter Sunday worship will be different than any we have ever experienced. Most likely you will gather “virtually” with members of your congregation (or that of another congregation) to gaze at the empty tomb and praise God for what he has done for us. 

   Not to replace your Easter morning worship, but to supplement it, we will be offering an opportunity for our entire synod to gather online for a special Easter Sunday evening service to be broadcast from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary at 6 p.m. (central). We will gather as one family of believers, from across the country and around the world, not only to celebrate our Savior’s Easter victory but also to express our unity of faith and mission as members of the Wisconsin Synod. The theme of the service will be, “Together at the Empty Tomb.” Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary President Earle Treptow will deliver the Easter message. A small choir, along with a few instruments, will enhance the worship with music and songs of praise. I’m thankful to Pastor Jon Hein, coordinator of WELS Congregational Services, for planning and coordinating this event. I look forward to being with you for this special Easter celebration. You can watch it live online. Stay online after the service for a live Q&A session hosted by President Treptow and Rev. Hein, where viewers can ask questions. 

   Elsewhere in this issue of Together, you will find information and resources that we have gathered to help congregations begin to make use of the CARES Act. This information, as well as the information provided on the synod website, will be continuously updated whenever anything new develops. 

   One other important item: President Mark Zarling of Martin Luther College has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus and has been hospitalized in Mankato, Minn. Please join me in approaching the throne of grace, fervently asking God to keep President Zarling and all those afflicted by this worldwide pandemic in his loving care and to grant them a full recovery. Our times, as well as President Zarling’s, are in God’s hands—no better place to be.