"At Just the Right Time!"
Sermon for June 14, 2020


Christ Lutheran Rawlins, Wyoming
Second Sunday after Pentecost
June 14, 2020
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Welcome to Christ Lutheran!
We are here to meet with Christ and receive from Him forgiveness, encouragement & peace.

Enter in Stillness ... know that the Lord is God.
Receive the gift ... it is God who saves us.
Sing with delight ... it is God who hears us.
Speak with conviction ... there is no other God.
Depart in peace ... it is God's gift for you.
Serve with joy ... it is your gift to God.

Hymn: “In Christ Alone” 
In Christ Alone In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Pastor: In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

A responsive reading of “Be Still, My Soul” Hymn # 752

Pastor: Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side; bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
People: leave to your God to order and provide; in ev'ry change He faithful will remain.

Pastor: Be still, my soul: your best, your heav'nly Friend
People: through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Pastor: Be still, my soul: your God will undertake to guide the future as He has the past.
People: Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Pastor: Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
People: His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Pastor: Amen, That Is, So Shall It Be. Make strong our faith in you, that we - may doubt not - but with trust believe That what we ask we shall receive.
People: Thus in your name and at your word - - We say, "Amen, Oh hear us, Lord!"

Pastor: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
People: But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Pastor: Let us then confess our sins to God our Father.
People: Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

Pastor: We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
People: We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

Pastor: Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. In the stead and by the command of Jesus Christ I announce the grace of God to you. Your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the (+) Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen.

Hymn: “Glory to God, We Give You Thanks and Praise” # 945
Glory to God, we give You thanks and praise; Of heavenly joy and earthly peace we sing.
We worship You, to You our hears we raise, Lord God, almighty Father, heavenly King.

Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s only Son, You bore for us the load of this world’s sin.
O Lamb of God, Your glorious victory won. Receive our prayer, grant us Your peace within.

Alone, O Christ, You only are the Lord, At God’s right hand in majesty most high:
Who, with the Spirit worshiped and adored, With all the heavenly host we glorify.

Pastor: The Lord be with you.
People: and also with you.

Pastor: (Collect of the Day -)
Almighty, eternal God, in the Word of Your apostles and prophets You have proclaimed to us Your saving will. Grant us faith to believe Your promises that we may receive eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
People: Amen.

In our Old Testament Lesson we see Moses serving as the chief mediator between God and the Israelites. God spoke to Moses and Moses taught the people. Moses provides access to God for the people and they can seek God's will through Moses. The Lutheran study Bible says, "This role of Moses foreshadowed Jesus, our mediator with the Father. God has revealed himself in Jesus for all to see, and through Jesus we may approach God as one of his own children." The Old Testament Lesson for the Second Sunday after Pentecost is from Exodus, chapter 19.

Exodus 19:2-9 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel." 7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do." And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. ESV

Reader: This is the Word of the LORD
People: Thanks be to God.

Gradual:
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised*
     and his greatness is unsearchable.
On your wondrous works, I will meditate,*
     and I will declare your greatness.

In our Epistle Lesson we are reminded that Adam's sin brought death to all people. Along with that, it also gave the desire to sin to everyone. But, God did not give up on His creation. When we were weak and condemned and could do nothing for our own salvation - Christ came to die in our place. We were enemies of God and have been changed into His redeemed children. All of this comes from the grace of God who gave His only Son, Jesus, as a gift to His creation. The Epistle Lesson for today is from Romans chapter 5

Romans 5:6-16 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. ESV

Reader: This is the Word of the LORD
People: Thanks be to God.

In our Gospel Lesson for today we see that Jesus was filled with compassion for all people. He wanted all people to come into the salvation that He was bringing to the world. Jesus wants His laborers (His followers) to go out into the fields of the world and to bring a message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Gospel is according to St Matthew, the 9th Chapter.

Matthew 9:35-10:8 35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." 10 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. ESV

Pastor: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to You, O Christ.

[The Apostles' Creed] I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And 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 sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence 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: “O Blessed Spring” # 595

O blessed spring, where Word and sign
Embrace us into Christ the Vine:
Here Christ enjoins each one to be
A branch of this life-giving Tree.

Through summer heat of youthful years,
Uncertain faith, rebellious tears,
Sustained by Christ's infusing rain,
The boughs will shout for joy again.

When autumn cools and youth is cold,
When limbs their heavy harvest hold,
Then through us, warm, the Christ will move
With gifts of beauty, wisdom, love.

As winter comes, as winters must,
We breathe our last, return to dust;
Still held in Christ, our souls take wing
And trust the promise of the spring.

Christ, holy Vine, Christ, living Tree,
Be praised for this blest mystery:
That Word and water thus revive
And join us to your Tree of Life.

Sermon: “At Just the Right Time” Romans 5:6

Hymn “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” # 780
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer;
When I call answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer;
Come and listen to me. (Repeat)

Prayers: O Lord, our God and King, We give You thanks that You have come to us in the person and work of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. May Your people everywhere sing aloud of Your grace and righteousness. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. Father, we pray for our Church. Be with Christ Lutheran and help us to be a light shining on a hill. Bless our families and help us to be ambassadors of your grace and love to Rawlins. Lord God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another. Lord in Your mercy. Hear our prayer

O Lord, please help our country. Give our leaders wisdom and courage in this time of anger and chaos. Please help us to preserve our country and our freedom. Protect those serving in our armed forces - ..... Lord in Your Mercy. Hear our prayer

Almighty God and gracious Father, be a source of strength and hope for the children in our families. When they stray, protect them from all danger and be with them wherever they go. Guide them by Your Word into paths of wisdom and faith and send Your holy angels to watch over them, that no evil one may have power over them. Lord in Your mercy. Hear our prayer

Father, guide and protect the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, our Wyoming District, and all its congregations. May the Spirit of truth unite us in the pure proclamation of Christ's Gospel and may we always keep Christ at the center of all that we do. Lord in Your mercy. Hear our prayer We pray for the sick, the suffering, (especially ___________) O God, your compassion never fails, give healing to the sick, relief to the suffering, peace to the sorrowful, and mercy to every soul that is distressed, that they may find in You the help that only You can give them; Lord in Your mercy. Hear our prayer

P: Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
C: Amen.

Offering:“Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow” #805
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Amen. P: Lord God, our heavenly Father, we, Your servants and Your people bring offerings of tribute and offerings of thanksgiving to You. Bless our gifts and help us to be a blessing to others. In Jesus' name.
People: Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer (Tune: Finlandia)
Dear Lord, Who art wherever love abideth,
May all mankind revere Thy holy name;
Thy kingdom come in all its power and beauty
In all men’s hearts, o’er all the earth, we pray;
Thy will be done, each of us true to duty,
In all we think, in all we do or say.

Give us this day our daily bread, our Father;
Forgive our debts, for we too have forgiven.
Lend us Thy grace when we must face temptation;
Save us from evil at our work or play.
Thine is the kingdom, Thine the power, our Father;
Thine be the glory, evermore. Amen

Pastor: Almighty and merciful God, we have again worshiped in Your presence and received both forgiveness for our many sins and the assurance of Your love in Jesus Christ. We thank You for this undeserved grace and ask you to keep us in faith until, with all Your saints, we inherit eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
People: Amen.

Hymn: “Thy Strong Word” # 578
Thy strong word did cleave the darkness; At Thy speaking it was done,
For created light we thank Thee, While Thine ordered seasons run.
Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!

2.Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness, Dark as night and deep as death,
Broke the light of Thy salvation, Breathed Thine own life breathing breath.
Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!

3.Thy strong word bespeaks us righteous; Bright with Thine own holiness,
Glorious now, we press toward glory, And our lives our hopes confess.
Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!

4.From the cross Thy wisdom shining Breaketh forth in conqu'ring might;
From the cross forever beameth All Thy bright redeeming light.
Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!

5.Give us lips to sing Thy glory, Tongues Thy mercy to proclaim,
Throats that shout the hope that fills us, Mouths to speak Thy holy name.
Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!

6.God the Father, light-creator, To Thee laud and honor be.
To Thee, Light of light begotten, Praise be sung eternally.
Holy Spirit, light-revealer, Glory, glory be to Thee.
Mortals, angels, now and ever Praise the holy Trinity!

Farewell and Godspeed to A Pastor Entering Retirement Wyoming District President - Pastor Hill:

L: Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Pastor Wiley is retiring from his pastorate at this congregation. At this time a farewell and Godspeed, let us hear the Word of the Lord.
Philippians 1:3-8 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

I lift my eyes to the Hills*
From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,* who made heav’n and earth.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place* in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world,* from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty.* Yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,* that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Let your work be shown to your servants* and your glorious power to their children.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us;* yes, establish the work of our hands!

(Stand - retiring pastor may kneel)
Let us pray. Lord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks for all the blessing You have bestowed on this congregation through the ministry of Your servant Terry. By Your Holy Spirit grant him grace that, by his example of faithful devotion to Your Word, he may continue to be a blessing to many. In Your mercy support and strengthen him, and grant him a cheerful spirit, peace, and blessedness; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

L: Go in peace and joy. The almighty and most merciful God, the Father, the + Son and the Holy Spirit, be with you, and bless and strengthen you for faithful service in His name.
C: Amen.

The Benediction:
Pastor: Receive the blessing of the Lord: The Lord bless you and keep you The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you - The Lord look upon you with His favor and (+) give you peace.
People: Amen!
Closing : “Jerusalem My Happy Home” # 729 [The choir will sing verses 1 - 3]
Jerusalem, my happy home, When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end? Thy joys when shall I see?

O happy harbor of the saints, O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow may be found, No grief, no care, no toil.

Thy gardens and thy gallant walks Continually are green;
There grow such sweet and pleasant flowers As nowhere else are seen.

There trees forevermore bear fruit And evermore do spring;
There evermore the angels dwell And evermore do sing.

Apostles, martyrs, prophets, there Around my Savior stand;
And soon my friends in Christ below will join the glorious band.

O Christ, do Thou my soul prepare For that bright home of love
That I may see Thee and adore With all Thy saints above.

Jerusalem, my happy home, Would God I were in thee!
Would God my woes were at an end, Thy joys that I might see!

✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✞ Christ Lutheran - The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Worship Service - 9:00 AM Box 397 Rawlins, WY 82301 Church Phone (307)324-4168 Our website: christlutheranrawlins.com
Sermon for June 14, 2020
Pastor Wiley’s final Sermon

Rom 5:6 For while we were still weak, at just the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

In our Old Testament lesson God told Moses to say to the “house of Jacob” that He had carried them on eagle’s wings and brought them to Himself. God calls His people “the house of Jacob.” What do we know about Jacob?

Imagine we are walking at night in a desert. There is not much to see by moonlight, but there he is sleeping; and he is using a rock for a pillow. It is easy to wonder which is harder, his head or the rock? This is Jacob. He had his way - tricking his blind father into giving him a blessing that rightly belonged to his brother. Sneaky - very sneaky. Jacob - the famous “deceiver” Jacob is not exactly your model citizen and certainly not what we would consider a devoted follower of God. His very name means “supplanter” or “cheater”. But this time, the cheater has been found out and his own brother has plans to kill him. Oh, poor Jacob - head on a rock, heartsick for home, dog-tired from running away. The future does not look very bright for Jacob.

This is not exactly a situation you would expect God to come into is it? But, lo and behold, this is exactly where God shows up. As Jacob slept he dreamt and in his dream the God of Isaac and Abraham appeared to him. What God said to Jacob could be summed up in this: “Jacob, you’re my man and I’m your God.” Words of undeserved grace to a truly undeserving man. In the depth of his fear and hopelessness, Jacob is given words that filled his empty heart with hope. God had not abandoned him! He probably thought he had left God far behind but this was the night that Jacob found out that God is a God of Grace.

The Lord is the seeking Shepherd who does not rest until He finds His lost sheep. There is a little Jacob in all of us - lies, half deceptions, trying to get an advantage just to make sure things go our way. When it comes to self-interest people use all the tricks of the trade. Just like Jacob, we get the same results - broken relationships, broken lives, broken promises. What can be done about it? Should we look for a rock for a pillow? No, but what can we do? The answer is one word - REPENT!

Tell God the truth about ourselves no matter how much it hurts. Speak it out, confess to God what He already knows. Tell God we cannot save ourselves, only God can do that. REPENT! Then follow Jacob down the path that leads to a cross. There at the cross of Christ, God works His most amazing grace and our Lord Jesus Christ gives us forgiveness and peace with God and peace with ourselves.

It was to all us Jacobs that the apostle Paul wrote in our text:
For while we were still weak, at just the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Our peace with God is more than a good feeling in our heart. Our peace is rooted in the One who is our peace. Jesus is our peace.

“The Lamb, the Lamb, as wayward sheep their shepherd kill; So still, His will On our behalf the law to fill; He sighs, He dies, He takes my sin and wretchedness. He lives, forgives. He gives me His own righteousness.”

Jesus took our sins onto Himself. His flesh took the nails of our judgment. His head wore the thorns of our sin. His heart and soul burned with divine justice meant for us. Our text says: “We have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.” “Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me His own!”

We are talking about real life here. In this fallen world there is good and there is evil. Life here has its ups and downs - its good and bad - its beginnings and endings. Life here can often be like walking in a forest. Imagine we are walking in a thick forest. It is just tree after tree in front of us and sometimes it is hard to get around some of these trees. Life can be a mass of problems and worries - it is a virus, it is our country all messed up, it is an ending and a goodby that we would rather avoid. Sometimes we need to find some higher ground, a clearing with no trees that gives us a chance to look out on the forest and gives us the chance to remember where we are going.

“For while we were still weak, at just the right time Christ died for us.” We are still here on the battlefield of life. We are in the middle of that long wandering prayer of the Celtic Christians.
“God bless to me this day, then I shall make my journey by the sunlight and know the way. Christ, bless to me this uncertain step, then I shall find the step more certain. Spirit, bless to me this lonely moment, then I shall not be alone. I am coming to you O Three-in-One. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one step at a time.”

It gives me hope to know that God would rescue a man like Jacob; that God would bless and use a man who made a lot of mistakes. That means God can rescue, bless and use us! God does that every day. And He bring us His gifts every time we meet here at Christ Lutheran as His family. I believe that God carries Christ Lutheran on eagle’s wings. He lifts us up with the Word and the Sacraments. He forms us into His body, the church. It has been amazing to be on this journey with you - the people of Christ Lutheran. We have shared the grace of Christ together. You have blessed our family - and you have loved us. And we have loved you! Thank you for the privilege and honor of serving you as Pastor.

Would you pray with me... Oh Lord God, thank You so much for being here for Christ Lutheran in all the times when we rejoice together and when we cry together. Thank You for having compassion on us. Thank You for helping us when we are totally helpless. Thank You for taking our death and giving us Your life. Help us to follow You and to produce the fruits that You love to see in us. Help us to give others the grace that You have given us. Thank You so much for being our Shepherd and our Savior in life! Thank You for the time that we have had together. Amen.

May the Peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

"With You Always"
Sermon for Trinity Sunday
June 7, 2020


Worship Service for Trinity Sunday - June 7, 2020

Christ Lutheran Rawlins, Wyoming
Holy Trinity Sunday June 7, 2020
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

This Morning We Have the Joy of Sharing in The Baptism of Kambree Noel Young May God Bless the Young and Bonnett Families, The Whole Family of God Here at Christ Lutheran, And Remind Us of Our Baptism When Jesus Claimed Us as His Children!

See This Wonder in the Making # 593

See this wonder in the making: God Himself this child is taking
As a lamb safe in His keeping, His to be, awake or sleeping.

Miracle each time it happens As the door to heaven opens
And the Father beams, "Beloved, Heir of gifts a king would covet!"

Far more tender than a mother Far more caring than a father,
God, into Your arms we place them With Your love and peace embrace them

Here we bring a child of nature; Home we take a new-born creature,
Now God's precious son or daughter, Born again by Word and water.

[The candidate and witnesses gather at the front of the church.]
Pastor: In the name of the Father and of the Son [+] and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen
Pastor: Our Lord commanded Baptism, saying to his disciples in the last chapter of Matthew: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age." The holy apostles of the Lord have written: "The promise is for you and your children," and: "Baptism now saves you." We also learn from the Word of God that we all are conceived and born sinful and so are in need of forgiveness. We would be lost forever unless delivered from sin, death, and everlasting condemnation. But the Father of all mercy and grace has sent his Son Jesus Christ, who atoned for the sin of the whole world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Pastor: Kambree, receive the sign of the holy cross both upon your forehead + and upon your heart + to mark you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified. Hear the word of our Lord Jesus Christ telling of the new birth by the water and the Spirit. “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to You, O Christ.
Pastor: It is the task of sponsors to confess with the whole Church the faith in our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in whose name this child is to be baptized. After this child has been baptized you are at all times to remember her in your prayers, put her in mind of her Baptism, and, as much as in you lies, give your counsel and aid, especially if she should lose her parents, that she be brought up in the true knowledge and worship of God and be taught the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer; and that, as she grows in years, you place in her hands the Holy Scriptures, bring her to the services of God's house, and provide for her further instruction in the Christian faith, that she come to the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood and thus, abiding in her baptismal grace and in communion with the Church, she may grow up to lead a godly life to the praise and honor of Jesus Christ. This, then, you intend gladly and willingly to do?
Sponsors: Yes, with the Help of God.
Pastor: God enable you both to will and to do this faithful and loving work and with His grace fulfill what we are unable to do. In order to implore the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the gathering of this child into the family of our Father, we pray the prayer Christ gave us. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be 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 Pastor: Kambree, the Lord preserve your coming in and your going out from this time forth and even forevermore.
People: Amen

Pastor: Now we shall all, together with the family and sponsors, faithfully speak in testimony of the forgiveness of sin and the birth of the life of faith which God our Father bestows in and through Baptism.
Pastor: Do you renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways?
People: I Do Renounce Them.

Pastor: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?
People: Yes, I Believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Pastor: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son?
People: Yes, 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 Sits at the Right Hand of God, the Father Almighty. From Thence He Will Come to Judge the Living and the Dead.
Pastor: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
People: Yes, 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.
Pastor: Who brings this child to be baptized?
Parents: We Do.
P: How is this child to be named?
Parents: Kambree Noel Young

Kambree Noel Young, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit + C: Amen

Pastor: Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given you the new birth of water and of the Spirit and has forgiven you all your sins, strengthen you with His grace to life everlasting. Peace be with you.
C: Amen
[A white cloth is given to the baptized.] Pastor: Receive this white cloth to show that Christ has taken away and borne your sin and put upon you his perfect righteousness. So shall you in faith ever stand before him.
[A baptismal candle may now be lighted from the paschal candle. In giving the candle, the minister says.] Receive this burning light. Live always by the light of Christ, and be ever watchful for his coming that you may meet him with joy and enter with him to the marriage feast of the Lamb in his kingdom, which shall have no end. [The baptismal group gathers before the altar.]
Pastor: Let us pray. Almighty and most merciful God and Father, we thank and praise you that you graciously preserve and enlarge your family and have granted Kambree the new birth in Holy Baptism and made her a member of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and an heir of your heavenly kingdom. We humbly beseech you that, as she has now become your child, you would keep her in her baptismal grace that according to all your good pleasure she may faithfully lead a godly life to the praise and honor of your holy name and finally with all your saints obtain the promised inheritance in heaven; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. C: Amen
[ A representative of the congregation says:] Through Baptism God has added Kambree Noel to his own people to declare the wonderful deeds of our Savior, who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Congregation: Kambree, We Welcome You into the Lord's Family. We Receive You as a Fellow Member of the Body of Christ, a Child of the Same Heavenly Father, to Work with Us in His Kingdom.
P: And you, Kambree, the Lord bless you in all your ways from this time forth and even forevermore.
C: Amen [All return to their places. The service continues]

Confession and Absolution
P: We confess our sins to God our Father.
C: Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
P: We have not loved You with our whole heart;
C: we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment.
P: For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
C: Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen
P: God has promised His merciful forgiveness to those who repent of their sins and turn to Him in confession. He will revive them and speak peace to His people. In His stead and by His command, therefore, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.
P: May our God keep you in His grace by the Holy Spirit, lead you in ways of peace and joy, and finally bring you to live with Him forever, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
C: Amen.
Hymn of Praise: “Heavenly Hosts in Ceaseless Worship” # 949
Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship "Holy, holy, holy!"cry;
"He who is, who was and will be, God Almighty, Lord Most High."
Praise and honor, power and glory be to him who reigns alone;
we, with all his hands have fashioned, fall before the Father's throne.

All creation, all redemption, join to sing the Savior's worth;
Lamb of God whose blood has bought us, kings and priests, to reign on earth.
Wealth and wisdom, power and glory, honor, might, dominion, praise
now be his from all his creatures and to everlasting days

Prayer of the Day:
Pastor: Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever.  (LSB)
C: Amen.

A Reading from the Old Testament:
Our Old Testament Lesson is the account of God's creation of the heavens and the earth. God gives us a front row seat to witness Him create everything that is from nothing. God speaks creation into existence. After each day of creation God gives an evaluation of His work – it is very good! God created mankind in His own image and this image of God is given only to mankind. The Old Testament Reading for the Holy Trinity is from Genesis, chapter 1.
Genesis 1:1-2:4
R: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
C: And God said, "Let there be light,"
R: and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
C: And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
R: And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven.
C: And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
R: And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.
C: God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas.
R: And God saw that it was good. And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
C: And there was evening and there was morning, the third day
R: And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
C: And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day
R: And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens." So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. C: And God saw that it was good.
R: And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
C: And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
R: And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds — livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind.
C: And God saw that it was good.
R: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
C: And God blessed them.
R: And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.
C: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
R: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

The Gradual:
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised*
and his greatness is unsearchable.
On you wondrous works, I will meditate, *
and I will declare your greatness.

The Reading from the Book of Acts: In the Second lesson the time is just after the Pentecost experience and the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is the account of Peter in Jerusalem telling the news about Jesus of Nazareth. Speaking to a Jewish audience, Peter talked about a passage from the Psalms which promised protection from the powers of death that could not have applied to King David, but instead was a prophecy about Jesus' resurrection. Here again, we see the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith. The Second Reading is from Acts, chapter 2
Acts 2:14a; 22-36 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, "'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.' "Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.' Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." ESV

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Reading: [Please stand]
Our Gospel Lesson for today is the account of Jesus commissioning his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations through baptism and teaching. Christ promised that He would go with them and in fact He would be the One who would be making disciples by baptism and teaching through His church. The Lutheran study Bible says, "disciples are made not only through baptism, but through the ongoing catechetical (teaching) work of the church." The Holy Gospel is according to St Matthew, the 28th Chapter.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

P: This is the Gospel of our Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.

The Athanasian Creed The Church’s Confession of the Holy Trinity Early in the fourth century, a new teaching appeared which claimed that Jesus was not true God. Arius, the north African priest who first proposed this theory, was extremely persuasive, and soon the controversy was so widespread that a church council was called to settle the matter. Out of that meeting in A.D. 325 came the Nicene Creed, which clearly confesses Jesus to be true God. That creed, which was expanded in A.D. 381 in order to defend the divinity of the Holy Spirit, is still widely used today as a confession of the triune faith. Despite the clarity of the Nicene Creed, the controversy continued for some time. Toward the end of the fifth century, another creed was written that marveled at the mystery of the Trinity in a way that no creed had ever done. Though attributed to Athanasius, a fourth- century opponent of Arius, this anonymous creed clearly came at a later stage in the debate. It was given Athanasius’ name to honor his efforts to defend this central part of our faith. The Athanasian Creed proclaims that its teachings concerning the Holy Trinity and our Lord’s incarnation are the catholic (Christian) faith. In other words, this is what the true church of all times and all places has confessed. More than 15 centuries later, the church continues to confess this truth, confident that the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has given himself for our salvation. * We Confess our faith using the Athanasian Creed (Insert)
THE ATHANASIAN CREED
L: Whoever will be saved shall, above all else, hold the catholic faith. Which faith, except everyone keeps whole and undefiled, without doubt he will perish eternally. C: And the catholic* faith is this, That we worship one God in three persons and three persons in one God, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance. L: For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. C: Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. L: The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible. C: The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. L: And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal. As there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. C: So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty. And yet they are not three almighties but one almighty. L: So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three Gods but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord. C: For as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge every person by himself to be both God and Lord, So we cannot by the catholic* faith say that there are three Gods or three Lords. L: The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. C: And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another; but the whole three persons are coeternal together and coequal, L: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. He, therefore, that will be saved is compelled thus to think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. C: For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God is God and man; L: God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood; C: Who, although he is God and man, yet he is not two but one Christ: L: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether, not by confusion of substance but by unity of person. For the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; C: Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. L: At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies and will give an account of their own works. And they that have done good will go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. C: This is the catholic* faith which, except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved

Hymn: # 507 “Holy, Holy, Holy”

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy, All the saints adore thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee; Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy, Though the darkness hide thee, Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee, Perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Sermon: “With You Always” Matthew 28: 16-20

Hymn “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” # 780
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer; When I call answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer; Come and listen to me. (Repeat)

Named as Christ's own in Holy Baptism, let us call on our Savior - O LORD God, You tell us to give all our cares and concerns to You since You care for us. You invite us to Follow you. Listen to our requests, and fulfill them according to Your will. Lord of glory, You want Your church to be a refuge of peace to an exhausted world. Remember in mercy all those who do not know the Savior and help them find the joy of laying their burdens and their sins down at the foot of Jesus’ cross Heavenly Father, we pray for those who are entrusted with civil authority - give our congress and president wisdom as they act. Lead them all to exercise this public trust in such a way that the weak and helpless, especially the unborn, are protected, and Your will is not ignored. Lord of all compassion, we ask You to remember today all those who are passing through difficult situations: the lonely, the unemployed, the sick, the hospitalized, the dying, the grieving (and we bring especially before You. .). LORD, Bring them the comfort that You alone can give, and grant them relief according to Your wisdom. Gracious Lord, we give thanks that in Holy Baptism we receive forgiveness of sins, deliverance from death and the devil, and eternal salvation. We ask you to bless Kambree, and all of us in our baptism that we may faithfully keep the covenant that we have been called to and boldly follow Christ wherever He may lead. Master of all, Your Son wants us to celebrate His Supper in joy until the day of His appearing. Help us to receive this most holy gift in repentance and in faith, that we may be forgiven and refreshed in body and soul. O Lord, we pray for our country. Protect the law enforcement personnel, the peaceful protesters, and those who live and work in the areas that are being looted. Help us find solutions to the problems that we are facing that are fair and just. All these things, kind Father, and whatever else You see that we need, grant us for the sake of Him who ever lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. C: Amen.

Offering: "Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow" # 805
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, O heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen
The Lord’s Supper at Christ Lutheran In the Lord's Supper, the Risen Christ is at once the Giver and the Gift! By His promise, His very body and blood are really present; and thereby we come into immediate contact with the exalted Christ! Since not all Christians believe that we receive the true body and blood of Christ in the Supper, we ask that guests observe the way we celebrate the Supper and read the communion card in the pew, in order to understand our celebration of the Lords Supper. If you wish to commune with us please speak with pastor before the next service. All Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod members are invited to commune with us. Thank you for respecting our faith.

Luther’s Admonition to Communicants:
P: I exhort you in Christ that you give attention to the Testament of Christ in true faith, and above all take to heart the words with which Christ presents his body and blood to us for forgiveness; that you take note of and give thanks for the boundless love that he showed us when he saved us from the wrath of God, sin, death, and hell by his blood; and that you then externally receive the bread and wine, that is, his body and blood, as a guarantee and pledge. Let us then in his name, according to his command, and with his own words administer and receive the Testament. C: Amen. Taught by our Lord and trusting His promises we are bold to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be 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.

The Words of Institution P: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: Take, eat; this is My + body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me. In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: Drink of it, all of you; this is My + blood of the new testament, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

P: When we eat this bread we share the body of Christ. When we drink this cup we share the blood of Christ.
C: Thank You, LORD, for the Bread of Life!

The Distribution:

 The Post-Communion Prayer
Pastor: Gracious God, our heavenly Father, You have given us a foretaste of the feast to come in the Holy Supper of Your Son’s body and blood. Keep us firm in the true faith throughout our days of pilgrimage that, on the Day of His coming, we may together with all Your saints, celebrate the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. People: Amen.

Pastor: Let us bless the Lord.
People: Thanks Be to God.

Pastor: May the blessing of the eternal God be upon us and upon our work and worship; His light to guide us, His presence to strengthen us; His love to unite us; Now and always. Receive the blessing of the Lord: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with His favor and give you peace.
People: Amen!

Hymn: “Lord, dismiss Us with Your Blessing” # 924
Lord, dismiss us with your blessing. Fill our hearts with joy and peace;
Let us each, your love possessing, Triumph in redeeming grace.
Oh, refresh us; oh, refresh us, Traveling through this wilderness.

Thanks we give and adoration For your Gospel's joyful sound.
May the fruits of your salvation In our hearts and lives abound.
Ever faithful, ever faithful To your truth may we be found.

Savior, when your love shall call us From our struggling pilgrim way,
Let not fear of death appall us, Glad your summons to obey.
May we ever, may we ever Reign with you in endless day.

Parts of the liturgy in this service were reprinted from Lutheran Worship, copyright (c) 1982 by Concordia Publishing House and from The Hymnal Supplement 98, copyright (c) 1998 by Concordia Publishing House ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ Christ Lutheran - The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Pastor Terry Wiley Box 397 Rawlins, WY 82301 Church (307)324-4168 Pastor’s Cell (307)321-0669 (text or call) website: christlutheranrawlins.com
Sermon for Trinity Sunday 2020     June 7, 2020

Matthew 28:20 Jesus said: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." NASU

Hope! Hope is a powerful force in life. There is a tale about a little town in Maine called Flagstaff. Flagstaff was a quiet little town, a nice place to raise kids. But the people of Maine wanted to move ahead; and if they were going to have progress that demanded electrical power. The best place for the dam and lake were in the valley where Flagstaff was located. And so, Flagstaff would exist only at the bottom of the new lake. In the months before the town was flooded all repairs and improvements stopped. Why paint your house when it would be under water in six months? In fact, why repair anything in the town at all? So week by week the town looked more and more run down. It was a real mess by the time the lake covered it. For you see: "Where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present."

Why would I put effort or invest my time into something when I believed that my effort would not have any effect? Why would I even try if there is no hope? Christians are hopeful people. We are willing to do things that will benefit others in the future. We are willing to plant a tree that we will never see fully grown because we have hope. Hope is hard to find in 2020. One of my friends said he thought we should unplug 2020 and try for a reset. When I look out at our country today, I can hardly recognize it. It looks very little like it did when Tina and I began our marriage. All of the older people I talk to express concern not so much for themselves but for our children and grandchildren. Our lives have been so amazing. What will it be like for them?

Anton Chekhov the Russian writer said: “I think a human being has got to have some faith, or at least he's got to seek faith. Otherwise his life will be empty, empty.... How can you live and not know why the cranes fly, why children are born, why the stars shine in the sky! . . . You must either know why you live, or else .. . nothing matters .. . everything's just wild grass.”

How do we motivate ourselves? How do we keep going when it really looks like we are so insignificant - we can’t make a difference? I would say: you keep going by knowing why cranes fly; why children are born; and why the stars shine in the sky! We believe that our work is not in vain because that is what God tells us no matter what is happening in the world. Hope comes from knowing God - the God of creation who did not give up on His children.

Our Old Testament text in Genesis is the history of how life started. It all began with God. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God.” This was all His idea and it was a good idea. C.S. Lewis compares God’s creation to an author who is writing a story with characters and with a plot. What a plot this is! God loves His creation even though it rebelled against Him. So He sent His only Son to take His creation’s punishment and set them free to really live, to restore them to life! And we are the characters in the middle of this amazing story!

In the beginning God created ... Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” (ESV) But God didn't leave it that way. On the first day God created water and light for the earth. On the second day God created the atmosphere around the earth. On the third day God created dry ground. Now there were seas and oceans and land masses. Then He created plants of all kinds all over the world. And God saw that it was good. On the fourth day God created the sun, moon and stars. He made the sun for the day and the moon and stars for night. There was a separation of light and darkness. And God saw that it was good. On the fifth day God made all the living creatures in the water and the sky and told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. And God saw that it was good. On the sixth day God made the land creatures. And then, as the crowning jewel of His creation, God made mankind. Male and female in His image He made them. He told them to be His stewards of the earth, to care for it and use it well. And God saw that it was very good! Then God took the seventh day off and admired all His good work.

Now we are coming to the bad part - the part where mankind messes it all up. Man rebelled against God and mankind’s sin effected the whole creation. Romans 8:20-21 “Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God's curse.” (NLT) So evil entered the world and death and decay. But it is still God’s world. Genesis chapter 1 does give us hope. Genesis one tells us that God made this world just for us. God says that there is meaning to life. We were created by God who loves us. He created us so that He would have someone to share His love.

His love and care are seen in His creation. Look at the world we live on. It had to be in a system with just the right kind of star putting out just the right amount of heat and radiation. Our planet had to be just the right distance from that star. If it was any closer in, water would not exist in liquid form. If it was any further out, water would not exist in liquid form. The world had to have just the right mix of gasses in its atmosphere. For that to happen it had to be just the right size. If it was too small it couldn't hold the gasses; too big it would hold too many. The moon had to be just the right size and have just the right orbit. If it was too big, it would cause the oceans to destroy the land with waves like tsunamis. If it was too small, it would not be able to create the oceans’ tidal movement and the oceans would become stagnant. We could go on and on: the rotation of the earth - the tilt on its axis - the depth of its crust. They all had to be perfect for life to exist here. It is enough to say, the earth is constructed perfectly for life. It is good. When God creates, it is always GOOD.

God also gave us gifts that are just “extras.” We don't just take in foods that we burn like fuel, like some steam locomotive being fed coal. No, there are an infinite variety of tastes and textures. We can taste the difference between chocolate cake and a t-bone steak. We can tell the difference between pizza and strudel! It is amazing! And it is wonderful! It is good! God gave us music - a series of notes and sounds played in just the right order - that can move us to tears because it is good. And this good and wonderful God did not abandon us in our sins... John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (NASU) God takes a sinful man or woman and re-creates them in Christ! God gives us life, forgives our sins and sets us free. He gives us purpose to go into all the world, to love like Jesus loves us. He gives us hope and promises us a future with Him. God tells us to enjoy the earth that He made - to take care of it -to witness the wonder of it -to see Him in His work.

In the beginning God created... And He is still doing that every day in our lives. Every morning is a new day. Every day God gives us His wonderful gifts. Why do cranes fly? Because that is what God made them to do. Why are children born? Because God gave them life to enjoy with Him. Why do the stars shine in the sky? To mark the separation between light and darkness.

No matter where you are in your journey of life, you are not like the town of Flagstaff, Maine just waiting to be covered with water, just waiting for your time here to be up. That light on the horizon that we are moving towards is eternal life. We are not approaching the end; we are approaching the door to more. Why read another book? Why learn a new recipe? Why baptize this child when the world is tearing itself apart? Because we are alive!! It is what God calls us to do!! The end is not coming. There is no end for us; we are re-created in Jesus!

Why keep going when it all looks so hopeless? When things are not going well for us ... when life is hard? Why try to be the best fathers or mothers or kids that we can possibly be? Because Jesus is with us. Jesus is for us. That is all that we need. Jesus is our Hope! What’s going to happen in our country and the world? I don’t know the future but I know who holds the future. Listen to the Lord, brothers and sisters, Jesus is speaking to us! “Behold... I am with you always.” Amen.

"The Breath of God"
Sermon for Pentecost 2020


Service for Pentecost 2020

Christ Lutheran Rawlins, Wyoming
The Day of Pentecost
May 31, 2020
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Welcome to Christ Lutheran

AS WE GATHER Today is the Day of Pentecost —the birthday of the Christian Church. A more descriptive name might be the Festival Day of the Holy Spirit. The first Pentecost was a most dramatic occasion filled with the fury of wind and burning flames. On this occasion, Jesus' disciples were transformed from timidity and fear to bold, commissioned proclaimers of the Christ's saving Gospel. If the Church could possess a solitary cornerstone of brick and mortar it would bear witness to this momentous day, as the Spirit of God is unleashed upon the Church to ignite faith and sanctify lives.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today is a special day for our Jr. Confirmation class of 2020. Welcome to our celebration! We are glad that you have joined us this morning! May the prayers of our hearts and the acts of our hands be acceptable in God’s sight. Christ Lutheran Confirmation Class of 2020 Britney and Brooklyn Larson

Hymn: "Today Your Mercy Calls Us" # 915

Today your mercy calls us To wash away our sin. However great our trespass, Whatever we have been,
However long from mercy Our hearts have turned away,
Your precious blood can wash us And make us clean today.

Today your gate is open, And all who enter in Shall find a Father's welcome
And pardon for their sin. The past shall be forgotten, A present joy be given,
A future grace be promised, A glorious crown in heaven.

Today our Father calls us; His Holy Spirit waits;
His blessed angels gather Around the heavenly gates.
No question will be asked us, How often we have come;
Although we oft have wandered, It is our Father's home.

O all embracing Mercy, O ever open Door,
What should we do without you When heart and eye run over?
When all things seem against us, To drive us to despair,
We know one gate is open, One ear will hear our prayer.

Pastor: In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

A Responsive Reading from The Small Catechism Christian Questions and Their Answers.

Pastor: Do you believe that you are a sinner?
People: Yes, I believe it; I am a sinner.

Pastor: How do you know this?
People: From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.

Pastor: Are you also sorry for your sins?
People: Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.

Pastor: What have you deserved from God by your sins?
People: His wrath and displeasure, temporal death and eternal damnation. [Romans 6:21 and 23.]

Pastor: Do you also hope to be saved?
People: Yes, this is my hope.

Pastor: In whom, then, do you trust?
People: In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor: Who is Christ?
People: The Son of God, true God and man.

Pastor: How many Gods are there?
People: Only one; but there are three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Pastor: We confess our sins to God our Father.
People: Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

Pastor: We have not loved You with our whole heart;
People: we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment.

Pastor: For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
People: Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen

Pastor: God has promised His merciful forgiveness to those who repent of their sins and turn to Him in confession. He will revive them and speak peace to His people. In His stead and by His command, therefore, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen.

Hymn: “Heavenly Hosts in Ceaseless Worship” # 949

Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship "Holy, holy, holy!" cry;
"He who is, who was and will be, God Almighty, Lord Most High."
Praise and honor, power and glory be to him who reigns alone;
we, with all his hands have fashioned, fall before the Father's throne.

All creation, all redemption, join to sing the Savior's worth;
Lamb of God whose blood has bought us, kings and priests, to reign on earth.
Wealth and wisdom, power and glory, honor, might, dominion, praise
now be his from all his creatures and to everlasting days

Prayer of the Day: O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
People: Amen.

Readings from the Word of God:

When we reach our Old Testament Lesson Moses has complained to God that he cannot possibly be the only leader among all of these rebellious people. The Israelites were making it difficult, or Moses would say impossible, to lead them. God gave Moses a solution by having Moses appoint 70 elders to help him. The Lutheran study Bible says, "Like Moses, you may at times feel frustration and become angry with the Lord. In His mercy, the Lord provides for you and calls you to repentance and faith through his faithful servants." The Old Testament Reading for the day of Pentecost is from Numbers, chapter 11.

Numbers 11:24-30 24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it. 26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, "My lord Moses, stop them." 29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!" 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. ESV

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

The Gradual:
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,*
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
With the heart one believes and is justified,*
and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

The Second Lesson is the account of the Holy Spirit descending as a gift from God. The Holy Spirit filled the apostles and empowered them to share the message of the gospel with people of different languages. Clearly this was a dramatic moment in the life of the early church. The Holy Spirit came in wind and fire. From this time forward, the mighty works of God done in Jesus will be told to all the peoples of the earth crossing barriers of language and culture. Now the Holy Spirit will work with and through the people of God to spread the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. The Second Reading is from Acts, chapter 2

Acts 2:1-21 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13 But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine." 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17 "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' ESV Reader: This is the Word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. Our Gospel Lesson for today is the account of Jesus in Jerusalem for the final day of the feast of "the Booths." Jesus promised that all believers would receive the Holy Spirit after his death. God's people cry "Oh Holy Spirit, bring refreshing showers of blessings each day of our lives." The Holy Gospel is according to St John, the 7th Chapter. John 7:37-40 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. ESV

Pastor: This is the Gospel of our Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Hymn: “Holy Spirit the Dove Sent from Heaven” # 502
Holy Spirit, the dove sent from heaven, Ever one with the One who is Three,
From the Father You came, Words of peace to proclaim,Come and comfort us, speak tenderly,
You, the fragrance of life we are seeking; Fill Your temple, Your altar make clean.
Joyous shelter of love, Gracious friend from above, In Your care we are resting, serene.

Holy Spirit, the fire celestial, Who on Pentecost came as foretold,
To descend from on high And the Church occupy As the cloud filled the temple of old;
All the baptized You seal with Your promise, All believers Your gift there receive,
So that all the elect All in Christ may expect To enjoy what by grace they believe.

Holy Spirit, the unction of blessing, Sacred oil of the green olive tree,
Giving heat, giving light, As the tent lamps ignite And as Aaron praised God joyfully.
Blessed living and life giving water, Now preserve us from evil within;
For in Jesus, God's Son, All believers are one In this washing that cleanses from sin.

Holy Spirit, the wind of great power, Source of strength and of peace and of love,
Truest Comforter, plead, As You bring all our need To the throne of God's glory above.
Be the light that enlightens the Scriptures; Keep our feet from each devilish snare;
Only You can make whole All that troubles our soul; By Your chrism, Christ's triumph we share.

The Sermon: “The Breath of God” Acts 2:1-21

Hymn “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” # 780

O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer;
When I call answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer; Come and listen to me. (Repeat)

Prayers (Lord in your mercy - Hear our prayer)
Almighty God, You have blessed us with the Savior to whom the nations cry and in whom is forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. Grant us Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter whom You have promised. Help us to treasure in our hearts Your mercy and to give ourselves fully to Your service. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, You have ordered all things in heaven and on earth. Bless Donald, our president; Mark, our governor; the Congress of the United States; and all elected and appointed civil servants, that the rule of law may protect the weak, preserve life from conception to its natural end, and peace may reign for the benefit of all. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, have mercy and spare us. Put an end to the pandemic, and restore the communities of the world to their common life.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the sick, the suffering, (especially ___________) O God, your compassion never fails, give healing to the sick, relief to the suffering, peace to the sorrowful, and mercy to every soul that is distressed, that they may find in You the help that only You can give them; Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord God in Holy Baptism You began Your good work in Britney and Brooklyn, and You have blessed Their instruction and training in Your Word. We ask you to pour out Your Holy Spirit on their hearts and minds so that they will truly love and revere You - that they will confess the faith with joy and boldness - that they will try to live according to Your commandments and that they will praise and glorify You as their faithful God and Lord. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer

Lord God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Giver of life, we give thanks for all the mercies you granted to our brother Duane during his earthly life especially for calling him to faith in Jesus Christ. Comfort the survivors who mourn his death with the hope of the glorious resurrection and a happy reunion in heaven. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

P Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
C Amen.

The Pastor: Confirmation marks the completion of our congregation’s program of confirmation ministry, a period of instruction in the Christian faith as confessed in the teachings of the Lutheran Church. Those who have completed this program were made members of the Church in Baptism. Confirmation includes a public profession of the faith into which the candidates were baptized, thus underscoring God’s action in their Baptism. An Elder of the Congregation says: Britney and Brooklyn Larson have been instructed in the Christian faith and desire to make public profession of the faith into which they were baptized. Pastor: Dear Sisters, we rejoice that you now desire to make public profession of your faith and assume greater responsibility in the life of our Christian community and its mission in the world. In Holy Baptism our Lord Jesus Christ received you and made you a member of his Church. In the community of God’s people, you have learned from his Word - God’s loving purpose for you and all creation. You have been called to be a witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, therefore, I ask you to profess your faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the Church, the faith in which we baptize. [The Congregation Is Also Invited To Respond ]

P: Do you renounce all the forces of evil, the devil, and all his empty promises?
C: I do.

P: Do you believe in God the Father?
C: I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

P: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
C: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

P: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
C: 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.

[The Congregation Will Please Stand]
P: We pray for Britney and Brooklyn who are making public confession of the faith that they were baptized into, and for all the baptized everywhere: We pray that they may be redeemed from all evil and rescued from the way of sin and death: Lord, in your mercy, C: hear our prayer. P: That the Holy Spirit may open their hearts to your grace and truth: Lord in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer

P: That they may be kept in the faith and communion of your holy Church: Lord in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer

P: That they may be sent into the world to witness to your love: Lord in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer

P: That they may be brought to the fullness of your peace and glory: Lord in your mercy,
C: hear our praye

P: Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
C: Amen.

[The Congregation Is Seated] the Pastor Addresses the Confirmand:
Pastor: You have made public profession of your faith. Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in Holy Baptism: to live among God’s faithful people, to hear his Word and share in His supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?
Each Confirmand answers: I do, and I ask God to help and guide me.

Pastor: Is it your sincere intention to be faithful in Church attendance and in attendance at the Lord’s Supper?
C: It is my intention with God’s help.

Pastor: Should Satan succeed in luring you into a life of sin do you request that your fellow Christians do all they can to restore you to your walk of faith in Christ?
C: I ask my brothers and sisters to help me in my walk of faith.

Pastor: We pray: Gracious Lord, through water and the Spirit you have made these women your own. You forgave them all of their sins and brought them to newness of life. Continue to strengthen them with the Holy Spirit, and daily increase in counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and the spirit of joy in your presence; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
C: Amen.

The Catechumen Gives Her Right Hand and Kneels. The Pastor Lays His Hand upon her Head and Says: Father in heaven, for Jesus’ sake, stir up in [Britney / Brooklyn] the gift of your Holy Spirit; confirm her faith, guide her life, empower her in her serving, give her patience in suffering, and bring her to everlasting life.
The Catechumen answers: Amen.

A confirmation text is then given to the catechumen.
Pastor: Peace be with you.

Catechumen: And also with you.
P: Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us — ourselves, our time, and our possessions, signs of your gracious love.
C: Receive them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Since its beginning, congregations of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod have followed the practice of close communion, a practice rooted in the early Christian Church. Since not every Christian believes that we truly receive the Body and Blood of the LORD - in - with - and under, the bread and wine; we ask that guests who are not L.C.M.S. members, observe the way we celebrate the Supper and read the communion card in the pew, in order to understand our celebration of the Lords Supper. If you wish to commune with us please speak with pastor before the next service. Thank you for respecting our faith.

P: The Lord be with you.
C: And also with you.

P: Lift up your hearts.
C: We lift them to the Lord

P: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
C: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

P: It is indeed good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through Christ our Lord; who on the tree of the cross gave salvation to all, that, where death began, there life might be restored, and that he who by a tree once over-came, might by a tree be over-come. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join in their unending praise: C: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Our Father Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed Be 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: Holy God, mighty Lord, gracious Father: endless is your mercy and eternal your reign. You have filled all creation with light and life; heaven and earth are full of your glory. Through Abraham you promised to bless all nations. You rescued Israel, your chosen people. Through prophets you renewed your promise; and, at this end of all the ages, you sent your Son, who in words and deeds proclaimed your kingdom and was obedient to your will, even to giving his life. In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me. In the same way also he took the cup after supper, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying: Drink of it, all of you; this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death, until he comes.
C: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

P: Therefore, gracious Father, with this bread and cup we remember the life our Lord offered for us. And believing the witness of his resurrection, we await his coming in power to share with us the great and promised feast.
C: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Communion Hymns: + 547 - “The Lamb” +
The Lamb, the Lamb, O Father, where’s the sacrifice?
Faith sees, believes God will provide the Lamb of price!

Refrain: Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me His own!
The Lamb is reigning on His throne!

The Lamb, the Lamb, One perfect final offering.
The Lamb, the Lamb, Let earth join heaven His praise to sing. Refrain:

The Lamb, the Lamb, As wayward sheep their Shepherd kill
So still, His will On our behalf the Law to fill Refrain:

He sighs, He dies, He takes my sin and wretchedness.
He lives, forgives, He gives me His own righteousness. Refrain:

He rose, He rose, My heart with thanks now overflows.
His song prolong Till every heart to Him belong. Refrain:

+ 629 - What Is This Bread +

What is this bread? Christ's body risen from the dead:
This bread we break, This life we take,
Was crushed to pay for our release
O taste and see--the Lord is peace.

What is this wine? The blood of Jesus shed for mine;
The cup of grace Brings His embrace Of life and love until I sing!
O taste and see--the Lord is King.

So who am I, That I should live and He should die
Under the rod? My God, my God, Why have You not forsaken me?
O taste and see--the Lord is free.

Yet is God here? Oh, yes! By Word and promise clear,
In mouth and soul He makes us whole–
Christ, truly present in this meal.
O taste and see--the Lord is real.

Is this for me? I am forgiven and set free!
I do believe That I receive His very body and His blood.
O taste and see--the Lord is good.

+ 635 O Gracious Lord, I Firmly Am Believing +

O gracious Lord, I firmly am believing Your boundless love will bless each faithful soul,
and from this altar we are here receiving Your body and Your blood to make us whole,
Your body and Your blood to make us whole.

Lord, I have sinned a thousand times offending;
My thankless thoughts and words and deeds erase,
to me Your hand of mercy now extending,
O God my Savior I implore Your grace.
O God my Savior I implore Your grace.

You see my sin yet seat me at Your table;
Lord as a guest, I surely am the least
Unclean, unfit, of worthy deeds unable-
My heart prepare for this most holy feast,
My heart prepare for this most holy feast.

O Lamb of God, my faithful loving Savior,
You I embrace in faith and holy love;
Grant me the strength to show by my behavior
A life now hidden in Your reign above,
A life now hidden in Your reign above.

Heavenly Bread, my life and benediction,
this cup You give can take away each ill.
Come and relieve my soul from all affliction;
Calm every sigh until my heart is still,
Calm every sigh until my heart is still.

Pastor: We pray: Pour out upon us the spirit of your love, O Lord, and unite the wills of those whom you have fed with one heavenly food; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Receive the blessing of the LORD: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine on you And be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.
C: Amen.
The Hymn: "Lord of All Hopefulness" # 738

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith, Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace, Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm, Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Special Thanks to Our Quilters! The beautiful quilt that you see hanging on the wall of the church was made by the skilled and loving hands of our Quilters Group. Each of our High School graduates receives a handmade quilt to take with them to remember Christ Lutheran and to be a reminder of the love of Christ that we all share here and in eternity. Very nicely done, Quilters! Congratulations Brett! Be sure and take your quilt home with you today.

The will of the Lord will never take you Where the grace of God can not hold you.

CHRIST LUTHERAN The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Summer Worship Service - 9:00 AM Pastor Terry Wiley Box 397 Rawlins, WY 82301 Church Phone (307)324-4168 Pastor’s Cell Phone (307)321-0669 Visit our website! christlutheranrawlins.com or our facebook page
Sermon for Pentecost 2020

Acts 2:1-2 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. ESV

Pentecost was called the Feast of Weeks, one of the seven major feasts celebrated by the Jewish people. It was also called “day of first fruits” or “the feast of the harvest”. The feast was celebrated fifty days from the Sabbath that marked the beginning of Passover. It is known as “Pentecost” which is Greek for fiftieth. It was a holy gathering time for the faithful Jews. The Jews believed the seasons were the work of the Creator and that the seasons benefitted the earth and mankind. The seasons showed God’s good will towards His creation. Pentecost helped them acknowledge and remember that God was their provider. Pentecost focused on the Lord’s unbounded love and favor to His chosen people. This was a joyful feast! It was a joy that came from the heart. The Jews believed that their relationship and commitment to God went right along with taking pleasure in the gifts God gave to them. God’s people believed that they could really enjoy the good things in this life because they knew where the gifts came from. All good gifts come from God!

The seven feasts God’s people celebrated involved an acknowledgment of sin and a declaration of devotion to the Word of God. Sacrifices were offered to remind the people of God that God gave them forgiveness and reconciliation. It wasn’t the sacrifice that set them free - it was God’s grace. So the believing Jew was at the feast as a beneficiary of God’s favor and he was there to give back to the Lord as he had been blessed. The feasts reflected the love of God for His people and the love of His people for God with thanksgiving and joy!

Remember, Jesus was a Jew and all His disciples were Jewish. It was into this context of a feast celebrating the harvest the Holy Spirit is sent and the Christian church was given the power Jesus promised. The Holy Spirit - - Spirit is an interesting word in the Bible. In the Greek (in verse 4) the word used is peneuma which could mean breath, breeze or spirit. We get our English word pneumonia and other words that have to do with the lungs and breathing from this term. This word used in the New Testament has a rich history in the Old Testament where “ruach” the Hebrew word meant breath, wind, and spirit all at once.

Anne Robertson says: “Our current words are so sterile. Breath, to us, is biology. Wind is meteorology. Spirit is theology. Not so for those who wrote the Bible. For them, the wind that blew by, some of which you breathed in, was all the Spirit of God. God was blowing in the storm; God was giving you every breath; you lived by the Spirit of God.”

So often in our modern culture we miss God in the elements around us. This “spirit” goes back to the origin of man. God “breathed into him the breath of life.” The prophet Ezekiel was taken to a valley of dead, dry bones. When the Spirit of God blew on them they were given life! The wind - the breath - the Spirit of God brings life! Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:7-8: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." ESV

Our modern ears hear this and we say, of course we know where the wind comes from. But we are not hearing all that Jesus is saying. Jesus is not talking about the weather. The wind was the Spirit of God.

Now at Pentecost another promise of Jesus gets fulfilled as a mighty wind - the Spirit - the breath of God blows across the members of His church and gives them life! Jesus had given them a promise that was hard to understand - that His going away would help them. Earl Fedderson says: “By going away Jesus teaches His disciples and us that we cannot nail Him down to any one place and time... I once heard a comparison of Christ’s presence to an heirloom that is handed down within a family from one generation to another. We can have it for years, use it, admire it, take care of it, but never fully possess it. It belongs to us only as much as it belongs to those before us and those who will come after us. Jesus’ presence is a gift to enjoy, to share, to put to good use, but never to own or possess, not completely.” As Fedderson says, Jesus is not our bread king or “sugar daddy.” He is not our knight in shining armor, our earthly king or even our earthly possession.

The Spirit brings Jesus into our hearts as Savior and Lord. His death isn’t some tragic story of a great teacher killed unjustly. It is the story of God making a way of salvation for His children. God’s own Son would die and pay the price of His people’s sins. It is the story of the gracious, all loving, totally just God bringing salvation to every one of us through Jesus taking our death. Jesus resurrection isn’t just one man’s miraculous escape from death. Jesus is the first to rise from death! His followers join in His resurrection. Death cannot hold Christ or those who believe in Him! When the Spirit of God comes the dead are given life. The lost are restored. The broken are repaired.

Jesus left so the Spirit would come to be with us constantly. The breath of God brings new life, fresh hope, encouragement, power, and forgiveness. When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. ESV
It is important to remind ourselves that the fire, power, enthusiasm comes from the Holy Spirit not the disciples. Like the burning bush Moses saw it is God’s fire. It is a fire that burns but is not consumed. It is not that way for us. We are consumed rather rapidly. Consumed with the troubles and worries of this life. Consumed by all there is to get done. Consumed by losses and griefs we face. God is not consumed by any of the things that we may face. He can help guide us through all things.

The Holy Spirit connects us to the salvation Jesus won for us. We do not live by strength or might but by His Spirit. Pentecost is for you and for me! Who will save us from this desert of sin? Who will bring these dead, dry bones to life? The wind - the breath of God - the Spirit blows across us just like those early Christians. We come to God to celebrate His grace and love for us. We come realizing: that God shows good will to His creation and provides for it; that God gives grace and love to His chosen people; that we can really enjoy the good things of life because we know that all good gifts come to us from God! In our worship feast we acknowledge our sin and we remember the sacrifice Jesus has given once and for all in payment for our sins. This is the feast of Victory for our God. Alleluia!! Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain, whose blood set us free to be people of God. The Spirit reminds us over and over that Christ loves us. Christ is our forgiveness and healing. The Spirit takes us back again and again to the cross. And he also teaches us that separations and painful events in life are often in our own best interests.

Confirmation brings with it a whole new relationship with God. Britney and Brooklyn will not just be observing the Lord’s Supper. They will now receive the very body and blood that saved them! It is God who gave them life. And God who will guide them through life. The loving God who sent us His Spirit. That’s Pentecost! We know we are not alone. We know who is in control of all things. We can trust God to do all things well. God is good - all the time!!
Blow on us - O Spirit of God - O Breath of God and make these dry bones live! Be with us in our feast - our celebration of life in You. Amen.

Waiting and Serving
Sermon for May 24, 2020


Worship Service for May 24, 2020

Christ Lutheran Rawlins, Wyoming
The Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 24, 2020
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Great to Have You with Us! Thanks for coming!  ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙

This past Thursday, May 21, was Ascension Day. The Ascended Lord Jesus Is with Us Always in His Church on Earth After He rose from the dead, the Lord Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles, "appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). When He ascended to the right hand of the Father, He did not orphan His Church, but He fills all things in heaven and on earth and gives gifts to His disciples. Even now, through His Church, He continues "to do and teach" (Acts 1:1), preaching "repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Luke 24:47) even "to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Though the cloud hid Jesus from the sight of His disciples then, and He remains hidden from sight even now, He remains with His people through His Gospel and Sacraments. He comes to us by the Word of His apostles, by the promise of His Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, whom He pours out upon "the church, which is his body" (Eph. 1:22–23). In this holy Christian Church, we bless God and worship Christ with joy, for in His Church He blesses us with forgiveness, lifts us up in His hands and seats us with Himself "in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1:20).

Welcome and Announcements:

Hymn: “Up through Endless Ranks of Angels” # 491

Up through endless ranks of angels, cries of triumph in his ears,
to his heavenly throne ascending, having vanquished all their fears,
Christ looks down upon his faithful, leaving them in happy tears.

Death-destroying, life-restoring, proven equal to our need,
now for us before the Father as our brother intercede:
flesh that for our world was wounded, living, for the wounded plead.

To our lives of wanton wandering send your Spirit promised guide,
through our lives of fear and failure with your power and love abide:
welcome us, as you were welcomed, to an endless Eastertide.

Alleluia, alleluia, oh, to breathe the Spirit's grace!
Alleluia, alleluia, oh, to see the Father's face!
Alleluia, alleluia, oh, to feel the Son's embrace!

Pastor: We make our beginning in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

Responsive reading of “Word of God, Come Down on Earth” # 545

P: Word of God, Come down on Earth, Living Rain from Heaven Descending;
C: Touch Our Hearts and Bring to Birth, Faith and Hope and Love Unending.

P: Word Almighty We Revere You ;
C: Word Made Flesh, We Long to Hear You.

P: Word Eternal, Throned on High, Word That Brought to Life Creation
C: Word That Came from Heaven to Die, Crucified for Our Salvation.

P: Saving Word, the World Restoring
C: Speak to Us, Your Love Outpouring

P: Word That Speaks God’s Tender Love, One with God Beyond All Telling
C: Word That Sends Us from Above, God the Spirit, with Us Dwelling

P: Word of Truth, to All Truth Lead Us;
C: Word of Life, with One Bread Feed Us. Amen.

Pastor: We confess our sins to God our Father.
People: Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

Pastor: We have not loved You with our whole heart;
People: we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment.

Pastor: For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
People: Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen

Pastor: Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. In the stead and by the command of Jesus Christ I announce the grace of God to you. Your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the (+) Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

Hymn of Praise: “Heavenly Hosts in Ceaseless Worship” # 949

Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship "Holy, holy, holy!" cry;
"He who is, who was and will be, God Almighty, Lord Most High."
raise and honor, power and glory be to him who reigns alone;
we, with all his hands have fashioned, fall before the Father's throne.

All creation, all redemption, join to sing the Savior's worth;
Lamb of God whose blood has bought us, kings and priests, to reign on earth.
Wealth and wisdom, power and glory, honor, might, dominion, praise
now be his from all his creatures and to everlasting days

Prayer of the Day:
Pastor: O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
People: Amen.

Our First Lesson is the account of the disciples seeking the Lord's guidance in choosing a replacement for Judas who betrayed the Christ. We note that Peter applied writings from the book of Psalms to guide them in this undertaking. The First Reading for the Seventh Sunday of Easter is from Acts, chapter 1.

Acts 1:12-26 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." 18 (Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'May his camp become desolate,and let there be no one to dwell in it'; and "'Let another take his office.' 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place." 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. ESV

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

The Gradual:
Christ has risen from the dead*
[God the Father] has crowned him with glory and honor,
He has given him dominion over the works of his hands;*
he has put all things under his feet.

In our Epistle Lesson we learn that God permits suffering in our lives for a variety of reasons. Sometimes our suffering comes as a direct result of our own sin and is there to discipline us. Other suffering comes to us simply because we are Christians and are seen as enemies by the world that opposes God. The Lutheran study Bible says "Although we do not know God's hidden will, we trust he has only the best in mind for us. He will strengthen, uphold, and bless us in the midst of persecution." Peter also reminds us that the great "Good Shepherd" is with us and will strengthen us and help us to get through all the challenges of this life. The Epistle Lesson for today is from 1 Peter chapter 4 and 5.

1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And "If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 5:6-11 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. ESV

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Reading: [Please stand]
Our Gospel Lesson for today is part of Christ's "high priestly prayer." The Lutheran study Bible says, "Knowing that he is going to the cross, Jesus prays for his disciples and asks that they be united by faith in him. Whenever Christians ignore God's word, they foster divisions within the church and diminish their witness. But God's word is the truth and will unite His church, glorify Him, and enable His people to fulfill their calling in a troubled world." The Holy Gospel is according to St John, the 17th Chapter.

John 17:1-12 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 "I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. ESV

Pastor: This is the Gospel of our Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

[The Apostles' Creed] I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And 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 sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence 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: “God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It” # 594

God's own child, I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ!
He, because I could not pay it, Gave my full redemption price.
Do I need earth's treasures many? I have one worth more than any
That brought me salvation free Lasting to eternity!

Sin, disturb my soul no longer: I am baptized into Christ!
I have comfort even stronger: Jesus' cleansing sacrifice.
Should a guilty conscience seize me Since my Baptism did release me
In a dear forgiving flood, Sprinkling me with Jesus' blood!

Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptized into Christ!
Drop your ugly accusation, I am not so soon enticed.
ow that to the font I've traveled, All your might has come unraveled,
And, against your tyranny, God, my Lord, unites with me!

Death, you cannot end my gladness: I am baptized into Christ!
When I die, I leave all sadness To inherit paradise!
Though I lie in dust and ashes Faith's assurance brightly flashes:
Baptism has the strength divine To make life immortal mine.

There is nothing worth comparing To this lifelong comfort sure!
Open-eyed my grave is staring: Even there I'll sleep secure.
Though my flesh awaits its raising, Still my soul continues praising:
I am baptized into Christ; I'm a child of paradise!

Sermon: “Waiting and Serving”Acts 1:1-14

Hymn “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” # 780
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer;
When I call answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer;
Come and listen to me. (Repeat)

Prayers: (Lord in your mercy - Hear our prayer)

Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs. Almighty God, we give You thanks for the gift of Your Church, purchased by the blood of Jesus. Refresh us here, Lord. Help us to rejoice in Your forgiveness and love. Make us ready to face anything that comes our way this week. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, be with Pastor Wiley as he prepares for the next phase of his life and with Pastor elect Baldwin as he finishes up at seminary and gets his family ready to travel across the country. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, Bless Donald, our president; Mark, our governor; and all who make, administer and judge our laws. As we render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto You what is Yours, help us to acknowledge that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given by You. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, please give us a way to defeat this virus and drive it from our land. Uphold Your children who are ill and suffering [ _____ ] - keep the sick and hurting from doubting Your love and care for them as they endure these trials; give wisdom to those who serve their medical needs, and, if it be Your will, restore them to health. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, You are the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Bless those who teach, those who learn and especially those who graduate this year. Be the hope of those whose plans have been disappointed, and grant that all graduates would find good employment. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

Offertory: “Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow” # 805
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

P: Lord God, our heavenly Father, we, Your servants and Your people bring offerings of thanksgiving. Bless us, and help us to also give ourselves to others in service. In Jesus' name.
C: Amen.

Taught by our Lord and believing the promise we are bold to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be 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: Almighty and merciful God, we have again worshiped in Your presence and received both forgiveness for our many sins and the assurance of Your love in Jesus Christ. We thank You for this undeserved grace and ask you to keep us in faith until, with all Your saints, we inherit eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
C: Amen.

P: Receive the blessing of the Lord: The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.
C: Amen.

Closing : “Jerusalem, My Happy Home” # 673

Jerusalem, my happy home, when shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end? Thy joys when shall I see?

O happy harbor of the saints, O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow may be found, no grief, no care, no toil.
Thy gardens and thy gallant walks continually are green;
there grow such sweet and pleasant flow'rs as nowhere else are seen.

There trees forevermore bear fruit and evermore do spring;
there evermore the angels dwell and evermore do sing.

Apostles, martyrs, prophets, there Around my Savior stand;
And soon my friends in Christ below Will join the glorious band.

O Christ, do Thou my soul prepare For that bright home of love
That I may see Thee and adore With all Thy saints above.


Parts of the liturgy in this service are reprinted from Lutheran Worship, copyright (c) 1982 by Concordia Publishing House and from The Hymnal Supplement 98, copyright (c) 1998 by Concordia Publishing House and Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 CPH CHRIST LUTHERAN The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Church Phone (307)324-4168 Pastor’s Cell Phone (307)321-0669 website: christlutheranrawlins.com
Sermon for May 24, 2020

Acts 1:1-14 - - After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven."

Waiting is not very popular. Dave Barry said: “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”
One day a man was speaking with God and he asked, "God from your perspective, what is a million years like?" “In my perspective a million years is like a second," answered God. So the man asked, "God, in your perspective what is a million dollars like?" "In my perspective a million dollars is like a penny," said God. "God," said the man, "can I borrow a penny?" "Sure," God replied, "just a second."

We spend a lot of life waiting for one thing or another. Right now, we are waiting for this corona virus to get tired of making us crazy. Waiting can be the "in between" time. You're not where you were and not where you want to be.

The disciples were in "between time." They were between the Ascension of Christ into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They had just spent time with Jesus after His resurrection - 40 days with Him teaching, guiding, strengthening them. In spite of having Jesus as their teacher the disciples were still looking for earthly achievements - power, fame and glory! But everything was so much bigger than they imagined. Jesus redefined glory not in terms of power or fame.

Leon Morris said: “the gospel of John uses glory words - People commonly use them for majesty, for what is high and lifted up, for what is ornate and richly decorated. But John's great idea is that "glory", real glory is to be seen in lowly service. When someone who is high and powerful chooses to leave that secure and comfortable place in order to engage in a piece of humble service, that in John's eyes is real glory. And the cross is the place where we see what real glory means. There the Son of God who is supreme in heaven accepted abuse and rejection and torture from evil earthlings. He could have destroyed them in a moment, but he accepted what they did to him, for this was the path by which forgiveness and salvation would become available to sinners. John tells us of the cross, the lowliest of lowly service and therefore the most splendid revelation of glory."

In Jesus’ plan the kingdom of God would progress in His followers’ mission: to take the message of the grace of God in the glory of Christ to all people. To carry out this mission they would receive power from God when the Holy Spirit came. But it was confusing. Jesus told them to wait - - and then He left.

On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they met together, they asked Him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.

Just like that, in what seemed like the middle of a lesson, Jesus is gone.
“What do you suppose he meant by that?” asked Peter.
“Beats me,” replied James.

They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven."

Another promise. It was time to wait. Perhaps it is time for us to wait as well: waiting for life to come back a few clicks toward center; waiting for a time when everything doesn’t come back to trying to figure out how to stop a virus - an achievement that has very rarely been accomplished in history.

Waiting - “between times.” In a way we are always in “between times," not literally like the disciples between Ascension and Pentecost, but we are between Christ's first coming and His second. The Church calls the times we live in the "end times.” There is a constant tension between the now and the not yet. On the one hand, the end has arrived in Christ. We receive all the promised blessings of the Grace of God in Christ! We live in the age of fulfillment - the great "day of the Lord" has arrived. Christ has come. We are in the last days. On the other hand, the consummation is still a future reality. We have not yet entered into the glories of heaven.

The disciples went back to Jerusalem and they joined together in prayer. They prepared for the task that Jesus said would come. And the church today occupies herself as the disciples did carrying out Christ's words, trusting in His promises, sharing His sacraments, calling on Him in prayer. We wait and we serve. We have questions, sometimes doubts and often inadequacies but the mission remains and the promises of Christ are true.

God keeps His promises. We wait in the power of Christ. We wait for our time here to be completed. That helps me. There is a point to all of this. There is a destination. There is a reason for hope. Indeed it can be said of all the things happening to us in this life: this too shall pass.

It helps when life is tough. 1 Pet 4:12-13 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”

True glory is humble service, patient service, trusting service. "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." If we put it in God’s hands, we can be sure all is well. Time for another lesson from the early Celtic Christians.

This is from the “Long Wandering Prayer.”

“Father of all mankind, who keeps my journey and marks the horizon of my destiny, Love me through my journey towards tomorrow.
Son of God, leader and keeper of the maps, show me not the whole road at once, but give me the distance to be gained in single steps.
Spirit of God, who holds my inner compass, may your presence on the journey awaken trust within me when I don't know what lies around the bend.”

The lesson from the Celts is that God is with us. We can count on God and draw strength from God right now! Things are happening - perhaps not as fast as we would desire or perhaps it is not the answer we want. But His promises stand sure.

We join with the disciples between Christ’s Ascension and His coming again. It is not in a vain hope or wishful thinking but in faith and prayer to the Christ. Jesus, who showed us true glory on the cross. Jesus, who has promised to return and take us home. We remember His crucifixion, resurrection, ascension to heaven. We rejoice in the forgiveness Christ gives us!

This time between time belongs to Christ. “Son of God, leader and keeper of the maps, show me not the whole road at once, but give me the distance to be gained in single steps.”

As the great theologian Winnie the Pooh says: "Rivers know this: there is no hurry we shall get there someday."

When we arrive the waiting will be over. Christ will welcome us home. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven." Even so - come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen.

It's A Hard-Knock Life
Sermon for May 17, 2020


Christ Lutheran Rawlins, Wyoming
The Sixth Sunday of Easter May 17, 2020
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Great to Have You with Us!
✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙ ✙
Welcome and Announcements:

Hymn: “He’s Risen, He’s Risen” # 480

He's risen, He's risen, Christ Jesus, the Lord;
Death's prison He opened, incarnate, true Word.
Break forth, hosts of heaven, in jubilant song
While earth, sea, and mountain the praises prolong.

The foe was triumphant when on Calvary
The Lord of creation was nailed to the tree.
In Satan's domain his hosts shouted and jeered,
For Jesus was slain, whom the evil ones feared.

But short was their triumph, the Savior arose,
And death, hell, and Satan He vanquished, His foes;
The conquering Lord lifts His banner on high.
He lives, yes, He lives, and will nevermore die.

Oh, where is your sting, death? We fear you no more;
Christ rose, and now open is fair Eden's door.
For all our transgressions His blood does atone;
Redeemed and forgiven, we now are His own.

Then sing your hosannas and raise your glad voice;
Proclaim the blest tidings that all may rejoice.
Laud, honor, and praise to the Lamb that was slain;
In glory He reigns, yes, and ever shall reign.

Pastor: We begin in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

Responsive reading of “Word of God, Come Down on Earth” # 545

P: Word of God, Come down on Earth, Living Rain from Heaven Descending;
C: Touch Our Hearts and Bring to Birth, Faith and Hope and Love Unending.

P: Word Almighty We Revere You ;
C: Word Made Flesh, We Long to Hear You.

P: Word Eternal, Throned on High, Word That Brought to Life Creation
C: Word That Came from Heaven to Die, Crucified for Our Salvation.

P: Saving Word, the World Restoring
C: Speak to Us, Your Love Outpouring

P: Word That Speaks God’s Tender Love, One with God Beyond All Telling
C: Word That Sends Us from Above, God the Spirit, with Us Dwelling

P: Word of Truth, to All Truth Lead Us;
C: Word of Life, with One Bread Feed Us. Amen.

Pastor: We confess our sins to God our Father.
People: Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

Pastor: We have not loved You with our whole heart;
People: we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment.

Pastor: For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
People: Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen

Pastor: Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. In the stead and by the command of Jesus Christ I announce the grace of God to you. Your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the (+) Son and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

Hymn of Praise: “Heavenly Hosts in Ceaseless Worship” # 949

Heavenly hosts in ceaseless worship "Holy, holy, holy!" cry;
"He who is, who was and will be, God Almighty, Lord Most High."
Praise and honor, power and glory be to him who reigns alone;
we, with all his hands have fashioned, fall before the Father's throne.

All creation, all redemption, join to sing the Savior's worth;
Lamb of God whose blood has bought us, kings and priests, to reign on earth.
Wealth and wisdom, power and glory, honor, might, dominion, praise
now be his from all his creatures and to everlasting days

Prayer of the Day:
Pastor: O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
People: Amen.

Our First Lesson is the account of the apostle Paul visiting Athens, Greece. Athens was full of idols and religious objects of every type. The people of Athens liked nothing better than to discuss the newest teachings. Paul took advantage of this hunger for knowledge and addressed the Athenians at "Mars Hill" (Mars was the Roman god of war) or it was also called the "hill of Ares" who was the Greek god of thunder and war. Paul makes the arguement that his teaching about Jesus is the answer that they have been searching for in all of their idols and religious practices. The First Reading for the Sixth Sunday of Easter is from Acts, chapter 6

Acts 17:16-31 16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, "What does this babbler wish to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities"—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took hold of him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean." 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. 22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.' 29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." ESV
Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

The Gradual:
Christ has risen from the dead.*
[God the Father] has crowned him with glory and honor,
He has given him dominion over the works of his hands;*
he has put all things under his feet.

In our Epistle Lesson the apostle Peter gives us a plan for evangelism. Peter wants us to follow the Lord and the commandments. Then when others see how different our life is from theirs they will become curious about why we are able to find true joy and contentment in life. When they ask us for the reason we have this hope, we are to respond to them in gentleness and respect. The last section of this reading about Jesus' descent into hell has been interpreted in many ways. According to the Lutheran Study Bible a sound interpretation is that Christ in his glorified body went and preached to the spirits in prison(hell) to declare his victory over death and all the evil forces. Jesus did not go there to offer them a second chance. The formula of Concorde, one of our Lutheran confessions, says "It is enough if we know that Christ descended into hell, destroyed hell for all believers, and delivered them from the power of death and of the devil, from eternal condemnation and the jaws of hell. We will save our questions and not curiously investigate about how this happened until the other world. Then not only this mystery but others will be revealed that we simply believe here and cannot grasp with our blind reason." The Epistle Lesson for today is from 1 Peter chapter 3

1 Peter 3:13-22 13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. ESV

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Reading: [Please stand]
In our Gospel Lesson Jesus promised that He and His Father will dwell with those who love Him. He also promised to send us the Holy Spirit who will help us and guide us. The Lord Jesus revealed His grace to us in His Word and promised to return and take us home. He will not leave us as orphans. In Jesus Christ, we are the children of God. The Holy Gospel according to St John, the 14th Chapter.

John 14:15-22 15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." ESV

Pastor: This is the Gospel of our Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Pastor: We confess our faith with the Nicene Creed.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church, I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life + of the world to come. Amen.

Hymn: “Father Welcomes” # 605

Refrain:
Father welcomes all His children To His family through His Son.
Father giving His Salvation, Life forever has been won.

Little children, come to Me, For My kingdom is of these
Life and love I have to give, Mercy for your sin. Refrain

In the water, in the Word, In His promise be assured:
Those who are Baptized and believe Shall be born again. Refrain

Let us daily die to sin; Let us daily rise with Him
Walk in the love of Christ our Lord, Live in the peace of God. Refrain

Sermon: “Hard-Knock Life”John 14: 15-21

Hymn “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” # 780

O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer;
When I call answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer; Come and listen to me. (Repeat)

Prayers (Lord in your mercy - Hear our prayer)
Let us pray to the Father in the name of our blessed Lord, since He has promised that we will receive answers to our prayers. Father of mercy, we give You thanks that You have sent to us Your only Son and that He has accomplished all things for our salvation. Give us the joy of Your presence, help us to believe and follow You without fear. We are happy to know Jesus did not leave us as orphans but brought us into Your family. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father of mercy, we know that we will have tribulation in the world. During this pandemic give us confidence in Your presence, courage in adversity and the peace of Jesus who has overcome the world. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Father of mercy, bless our president, the Congress, all elected and appointed civil servants, and those who guard us at home and abroad. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord God, heavenly Father, receive our thanks for the knowledge gained by those who are graduating. Be with our pastor elect Patrick and Brett as they continue to learn and grow. Grant them Your Holy Spirit that their talents and abilities may be used for Your glory and as a blessing to others. Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, creator of all that exists, we thank You this day for the birth of Briar. Give health and protection to mother, father and child. By the gracious working of Your Holy Spirit, help her to grow in Your grace and favor that she may bring glory to You and serve others in Your name Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the sick, the suffering, (especially ___________) O God, your compassion never fails, give healing to the sick, relief to the suffering, peace to the sorrowful, and mercy to every soul that is distressed, that they may find in You the help that only You can give them. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. Holy Father we thank you for the rain and ask you to continue to bless our desert home. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy Lord Jesus, as You come to us in Your true body and blood, restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us in the faith. Forgive our sins, and guard our souls as we await the day when we will join in Your eternal wedding feast on that mountain where You swallow up death forever. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

P Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
C Amen.

Offering: "Praise God From Whom All Blessing Flow" # 805
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, O heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen

+ SACRAMENT + P: Bless the Lord, for he is good!
C: He Has Answered the Cries of His People. He Has Prepared a Table for Us in the midst of Our Starvation.

P: God has given us life from death.
C: We Praise the Lord of Our Life, for He Has Sent Salvation to Us in the Lamb of Life.

Pastor: O Lord, we give You thanks for Your mercy, that You did not leave us behind in our sins, but sent Your only-begotten Son to be our Savior. And now You bestow upon us the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of our faith by the body and blood in this Holy Supper. For all this we praise You with all the saints and angels before Your throne.
People: Amen.

[Luther’s Encouragement for the Lord’s Supper]
Pastor: Brothers and Sisters in Christ - we must give attention to the Testament of Christ in true faith, and above all take to heart the words with which Christ presents his body and blood to us for forgiveness; that we take note of and give thanks for the boundless love that he showed us when he saved us from the wrath of God, sin, death, and hell by his blood; and that we then externally receive the bread and wine, that is, his body and blood, as a guarantee and pledge. Let us then in his name, according to his command, and with his own words administer and receive the Testament.
People: Amen.
Lord's Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be 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.

Pastor: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: Take, eat; this is My + body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me. In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: Drink of it, all of you; this is My + blood of the new testament, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

Pastor: These are the gifts of God for the people of God.
People: Glory to You, O Lord. Amen.

The Distribution: + 629 - What Is This Bread +
What is this bread? Christ's body risen from the dead:
This bread we break, This life we take,
Was crushed to pay for our release.
O taste and see--the Lord is peace.

What is this wine? The blood of Jesus shed for mine;
The cup of grace Brings His embrace Of life and love until I sing!
O taste and see--the Lord is King.

So who am I, That I should live and He should die
Under the rod? My God, my God, Why have You not forsaken me?
O taste and see--the Lord is free.

Yet is God here? Oh, yes! By Word and promise clear,
In mouth and soul He makes us whole– Christ, truly present in this meal.
O taste and see--the Lord is real.

Is this for me? I am forgiven and set free!
I do believe That I receive His very body and His blood.
O taste and see--the Lord is good.

+ 635 O Gracious Lord, I Firmly Am Believing +

O gracious Lord, I firmly am believing Your boundless love will bless each faithful soul,
and from this altar we are here receiving
Your body and Your blood to make us whole,
Your body and Your blood to make us whole.

Lord, I have sinned a thousand times offending;
My thankless thoughts and words and deeds erase,,
to me Your hand of mercy now extending,
O God my Savior I implore Your grace.
O God my Savior I implore Your grace.

You see my sin yet seat me at Your table;
Lord as a guest, I surely am the least
Unclean, unfit, of worthy deeds unable-
My heart prepare for this most holy feast,
My heart prepare for this most holy feast.

O Lamb of God, my faithful loving Savior,
You I embrace in faith and holy love;
Grant me the strength to show by my behavior
A life now hidden in Your reign above,
A life now hidden in Your reign above.

Heavenly Bread, my life and benediction,
this cup You give can take away each ill.
Come and relieve my soul from all affliction;
Calm every sigh until my heart is still,
Calm every sigh until my heart is still.

The Post-Communion Prayer
Pastor: We give thanks to You, loving and faithful Lord, for by the ransom payment You have made with Your precious blood You have provided for our healing. You have restored us that we may now live in Your presence eternally. We rejoice that in this Sacrament You are at work in us enabling us to live with the Spirit. Give us the hearts of servants and fulfill Your good purposes in our lives; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
People: Amen.

Pastor: Let us bless the Lord.
People: Thanks Be to God.

Pastor: Receive the blessing of the LORD: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to You. The Lord look upon You with His favor and + give you peace.
People: Amen.

Closing Hymn “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing” # 643
Sent forth by God’s blessing, Our true faith confessing,
The people of God from His dwelling take leave.
The Supper is ended. O now be extended
The fruits of this service in all who believe.
The seed of His teaching, Receptive souls reaching,
Shall blossom in action for God and for all.
His grace did invite us, His love shall unite us
To work for God’s kingdom and answer His call.

With praise and thanksgiving To God ever-living,
The tasks of our ev’ryday life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing, In love ever caring,
Embracing His children of each tribe and race.
With Your feast You feed us, With Your light now lead us;
Unite us as one in this life that we share.
Then may all the living With praise and thanksgiving
Give honor to Christ and His name that we bear.

Parts of the liturgy in this service are reprinted from Lutheran Worship, copyright (c) 1982 by Concordia Publishing House and from The Hymnal Supplement 98, copyright (c) 1998 by Concordia Publishing House and Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 CPH CHRIST LUTHERAN The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Church Phone (307)324-4168 Pastor’s Cell Phone (307)321-0669 website: christlutheranrawlins.com
Sermon for May 17, 2020
John 14:15-18 "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.” (NIV)

The musical “Annie” is all about the life of an orphan in the 1930's and the depression is on. The first scene begins with a young couple talking. They leave a bundle in front of the orphanage. Miss Hannigan steps out and starts complaining about getting another orphan. The note left with the little one reads: "Please take care of our little darling. Her name is Annie. We have left half of a silver locket so that when we come back for her you will know that she's our baby.” As Annie grows up in the orphanage she clings to that promise. Someday her parents will come for her. There is a great song that the orphans sing: It's The Hard- Knock Life for us. It's The Hard Knock Life for us! 'Steada treated - we get tricked. 'Steada kisses - we get kicked. It's The Hard-Knock Life! Oh... Full of sorrow life! No tomorrow life! no one cares for you a smidge, when you're in an orphanage. It's The Hard- Knock Life!

To be an orphan is to be on your own with no family to protect you, to claim you, to love you. An orphan is a lot like a lost sheep. They both have to count on someone else to rescue them. The song goes on.... ‘steada treats - the world tricks us ‘steada kisses - the world kicks us. The world can make you hard. Out there, it’s every person for themselves! You have to grab every advantage to get ahead and learn to use any means necessary to get what you want. Success is having more, doing more, being more. That formula gives you a life with almost no peace. A life with few times of calm can lead straight to burn-out life.

The hard-knock life can produce people with no hope. Jesus came to change the hard-knock life into a life filled with hope. Jesus is going to leave his followers. His mission is a go. The time has come for the Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. The next few days will be very tough on the disciples as they watch their whole world fall apart. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem turns into the tragedy of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion. The bad guys won and no one stepped in to stop it. Jesus was going away and they were going to feel like orphans. But Jesus says it won't stay that way. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

That promise is for us too. No matter where this life takes us, Jesus will come to us. He will not leave us alone. Jesus was going away. They would not see Him or touch Him. Jesus leaves His people in this life where the effects of sin are all around us. He doesn’t just instantly take us home. Sickness, disease, hatred, greed, lust, pain, sorrow - all these are part of life. Life in this fallen world can be cruel and ruthless - it is a hard-knock life.

The world we live in does not like boundaries so it moves them whenever it wants to. There was a middle school group lock-in. After a study they discussed use of the building they were locked in. There were ribbons that marked "off limits" areas in the building-boundaries! During a break some kids ran through the marked off areas. When they came together again, the leader asked the group what they thought should be done to those who crossed the boundaries. The unanimous agreement of the group was to move the boundaries with no punishment, no confession, no forgiveness necessary. That is life all around us....constantly moving boundaries, pushing further and further. Soon you hardly recognize the old rules and there is no safety net that defines right and wrong. Grade schools have fences to make the kids feel more secure. They did studies and found where there were no fences the kids hovered close to the buildings. But where there were fences the kids used the whole playground. When we know there are limits, we know there is protection. Even high school kids when interviewed wanted some limits set by their parents.

Without limits life gets out of hand. 'Steada treated - we get tricked. 'Steada kisses - we get kicked. Full of sorrow life! No tomorrow life! No one cares for you a smidge, when you're in an orphanage. Annie's parents never make it back to claim her. Instead she is rescued by a man of wealth and power. Drowning in our sin and captured in a place where all the boundaries are moved or even done away with God came to rescue us. Jesus came for us. Jesus claimed us. Jesus adopted us as His own. Jesus gave His life for our life. He took the punishment and now our sins are forgiven in Christ. Jesus finds us and lifts us up on His shoulders and brings us home. And there will come a day when Jesus will come and get us for good. When He will do that is not known to us.

It's the hard-knock life that beats us up and drags us back into sin. Actually, most of the time we go willingly. But time after time Jesus comes to claim us Full of sorrow life! No tomorrow life! Jesus is the hope Peter is talking about - Jesus is our hope.

And now I get to share one of my favorite tales.
John Todd was born in Rutledge, Vermont, into a family with lots of children. They later moved to the village of Killingsworth back in the early 1800's and there, at a very young age, both John's parents died. The relatives wondered what they would do with so many children - how they could parcel them out to other friends and relatives. One dear and loving aunt said she would take little John. The aunt sent a horse and a servant to get John, who was only six at the time. The servant, Caesar, came and put the little boy on the back of the horse. On the way back this conversation took place: John: Will she be there? Caesar: Oh, yes, she'll be there waiting up for you. John: Will I like living with her? Caesar: My son, you fall into good hands. John: Will she love me? Caesar: Ah, she has a big heart. John: Will I have my own room? Will she let me have a puppy? Caesar: She's got everything all set, son. I think she has some surprises, too. John: Do you think she'll go to bed before we get there? Caesar: Oh, no! She'll be sure to wait up for you. You'll see when we get out of these woods. You'll see her candle shining in the window. When they got to the clearing, sure enough, there was a candle in the window and she was standing in the doorway. She reached down, kissed him, and said "Welcome home!" She fed him supper, took him to his room, and waited until he fell asleep. John Todd grew up to be a great minister of the gospel. But it was there at his aunt's, his new mother's home, that he grew up. It was always a place of enchantment because of his aunt. It awed him that she had given him a second home. She had become a second mother to him. Years later, long after he had moved away, his aunt wrote to tell him of her impending death. Her health was failing and she wondered what was to become of her. This is what John Todd wrote her: "My Dear Aunt, Years ago I left a house of death not knowing where I was to go, whether anyone cared, whether it was the end of me. The ride was long but the servant encouraged me. Finally, he pointed out your candle to me, and there we were in the yard and you embraced me and took me by the hand into my own room that you had made up. After all these years I still can't believe it - how you did all that for me!! I was expected; I felt safe in that room - so welcomed, it was my room. Now it's your turn to go and as one who has tried it out, I'm writing to let you know that Someone is waiting up. Your room is all ready, the light is on, the door is open, and as you ride into the yard - don't worry, Auntie. You're expected! I know. I once saw Jesus standing in your doorway - long ago!"

These are difficult times. We all face changes and challenges that we can’t even imagine now. Our world has changed. It seems like everything we do is more complicated and things we took for granted are suddenly precious and important. Like our Sunday morning worship service together!

It’s the hard knock life! Don’t it feel like the wind is always howlin’? Don’t it seem like there’s never any light? Once a day don’t you want to throw the towel in? It’s easier than putting up a fight. No one cares for you a smidge, when you’re in an orphanage.

When we get through this forest - and we will - we know Someone is waiting up. Your room is all ready, the light is on, the door is open, and as you ride into the yard - don't worry. You're expected! I know. I once heard Jesus tell us - long ago! “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you... Because I live, you also will live.” Amen. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

"Easy"
Sermon for May 10, 2020


The Sheep Hear His Voice
Sermon for May 3, 2020


Blest Be The Boat
Sermon April 26, 2020


Testing Our Faith
Sermon for April 19, 2020

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Easter Sermon
2020

data/files/001_a_001_wiley_easter2020_2020_04_11.mp3