August 25-27, 2012
13 Weekend After Pentecost
Pastor Don Sutton
Greet & Meet
255 v. 1&2 – Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty
Invocation & Prayer
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. O Holy Spirit, come to us with your comforting Word, which alone can drive away our doubts, fears, and weaknesses. Fill us with awe over the greatness of your love. Direct us to our Savior, Jesus, that we may trust in him with our whole heart and receive power to do your will. In his name we pray. Amen.
Reasons for Worship – Creation
Exodus 20:11 – For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
The world in which we live and the universe of which we are part – do you just take them for granted?
For us they’ve always been here, haven’t they . But God’s creation is truly amazing. Consider the
complexity and the amazing diversity of life on earth, and the mathematical precision of the laws of physics and chemistry. These are all indicative of the incomprehensible creativity, intelligence, and power of the Creator.
Psalm 19 says that the heavens declare God’s glory. They do so in a special ways. The universe has incredible beauty. This alone would be sufficient reason to praise God for His creation, but not only did God make the universe beautiful, he made it unimaginably large. The range of scales in the universe is truly staggering. The universe contains objects of incredible size and mass at distances which the human mind cannot fully grasp – light years! It’s interesting that the sun which is 400 times more distant from us than the moon and 400 times large, appears the same size to our human eyes.
We are truly amazing creature of God. Consider the magnificent intricacy of a living cell. It’s a mini solar system and there a trillions of them in our bodies. Human bones are four times stronger than concrete. There are 45 miles of nerves in the human body. All the parts of our body are amazingly connected and wonderfully synchronized. We are creations of God – fearfully and wonderfully made.
When we consider the wisdom and power of the Lord who made all this, we cannot help but feel humbled, awed, and be moved to worship and an ever greater faith in our Creator.
Hebrews 11:3: By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
256 v. 1&2 – How Great Thou Art
Reasons Not to Worship – Sin
Even though God created us, who are we to think that we can call on God and he will listen to us or
that we can worship him and he cares? He’s holy; we’re not. As a matter of fact through his writers God says some pretty harsh things about us – things like ….
Ephesians 2:1&3 -As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins… 3 All of us also lived
among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
God says we entered life spiritually dead, sinful, and damned. ….. Jesus said in Matthew 15,
Matthew 15:19,20 – 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man ‘unclean……’”
Or, the apostle Paul wrote,
1 Corinthians 6:9,10 – Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
So why does God waste his time on and have mercy on us? Jesus said that God’s love moves him to this. The apostle Peter put it this way in 2 Peter 3,
2 Peter 3:b – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
With this in mind, we confess our sins and ask God to have mercy on us.
Confession of Sins
Holy and merciful God, I confess that I am by nature sinful, and that I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I have failed to love you as you command or to love my neighbor as myself. I deserve your punishment now and in eternity. But I am truly sorry for my sins. I trust in Jesus as my Savior. Because of Him, have mercy on me.
397 v. 1&4 – Just As I Am Without One Plea
Reasons to Worship – Our Savior
1 John 4:9,10 – This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Play Segment 1 of Road to Emmaus
Revelation 1:5,6 – To him (Christ) who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father —to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
369 v. 1&2 – Beautiful Savior
Reasons to Worship – Forgiveness
We don’t know the population of the world on the day that Jesus died and investigation reveals that
estimates vary greatly. But on Good Friday, I believe it safe to say, that most people on earth were
not aware of Jesus’ death. If for a few hours they were enveloped in the darkness they suspected
something unusual was happening but didn’t know what. For those who knew Jesus died, they probably didn’t they realize the great impact of Jesus’ death. The Apostle Paul spotlights this impact in Colossians 2:
Colossians 2:13b& 14 – He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its
regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
Christ fulfilled God’s law. He suffered the curse of sin. He won for us forgiveness. His resurrection is proof of this. So the apostle Peter pointed out to a Roman named Cornelius that God forgives sins because of Jesus said that everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness. He said,
Acts 10:43 – All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
752 v. 1-3 – In Christ Alone
Reasons to Worship – Faith
Faith in Jesus brings forgiveness. Through faith in Jesus we are God’s children. Through faith in Jesus we have eternal life. These are all reasons to worship God. So is our saving faith in Jesus. It is God’s gift to us. St. Paul wrote:
2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 – But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you[a] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So our faith is reason to worship God. But worshiping God strengthens faith. This is true of worship that includes sacraments as well as God’s word at the heart of the service, the songs, the scriptures, and the sermon. The Holy Spirit works through word and sacrament to strengthen faith. God wants this for us. It’s something good to pursue for ourselves.
Someone once said, “Little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” Let the Holy Spirit work in you through worship to strengthen the faith he began in you.
We now stand and join in using God’s gift of faith as we say the Apostles’ creed.
I believe in God the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of the virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Christian Church – the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
402 v.1&2 – My Faith Looks Up to Thee
Reasons to Worship – Joy & Strength
Opening of Segment 10 – Road to Emmaus (50+ Seconds up to where Jesus appears)
Seeing the risen Jesus brought joy to the Emmaus disciples. So did understanding God’s plan for
saving humankind through Jesus. At the same time it strengthened these disciples of Jesus just as it did the other disciples of Jesus.
As we see Jesus through the window of God’s word, it gives us joy and strength. As we hear him say, “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven,” it gives us joy and strength. As Jesus speaks to us of eternal life and the resurrection of the body through faith in him, he gives us joy and strengthens us.
It’s like the effect of our tall cool glass of water on a hot day that satisfies, quenches and renews. Isaiah spoke of the joy and strength come through Jesus with these words:
Isaiah 12:3 – With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
234 v. 1&5 – Praise to the Lord
Reasons to Worship – Provision
One of the big concerns people have is making ends meet. Doing so takes managing our resources well and controlling urges to buy and spend foolishly. Sometimes, however, the challenges we have in making ends meet come from unexpected things that we don’t control. The result is that we are tempted to worry. But someone once observed, “Worry like rocking in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” Jesus talked about worry in this way:
Matthew 6:25-33 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
449 v. 1,2,4 – Children of the Heavenly Father
Reasons to Worship – Protection – Psalm 91:1-16 (Responsively)
Another reason to worship God is to thank him for his protection. We reflect on God’s protection as
we read responsively verses of Psalm 91.
P: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
C: I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
P: Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
C: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will
be your shield and rampart.
P: You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
C: Nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
P. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
C: You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
P: If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge—
C: Then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
P: For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
C: They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
P: You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
C: “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges
P: He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and
C: With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation. ”
440 – On Eagles Wings (Children come forward during v. 3 for children’s devotion.)
Reasons to Worship – Guidance – Children’s Devotion
(Welcome) Have you played follow the leader? Those you who go to school sometimes line up and
follow someone else – another student or aid or teacher lead the way with you following. Marching bands follow leaders. When we go to parks or other special places sometimes we follow leaders and they take us around and tell us about the places we visit.
God is a leader is our lives. Psalm 48 tells us this.
Psalm 48:14 – For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
God guides us through the truths he gives us in his word – the word we hear or that we’ve learned
and remember. He leads us to see his love in Jesus and then to love and live for him. He leads us to eternal life through faith in Jesus. When we seek guidance and pray to God in prayer, we can trust that he will hear and answer our prayers. He also leads us through the people he puts in our lives – our parents, spiritual leaders
451 v.1&2 – Precious Lord Take My hand
Reasons to Worship – Eternal Life
Thinking of the fullness and duration of this wonderful life, W. B. Hinson, a great preacher of a past generations, spoke from his own experience just before he died. He said, “I remember a year ago when a doctor told me, ‘You have an illness from which you won’t recover.’ I walked out to where I live 5 miles from Portland, Oregon, and I looked across at that mountain that I love. I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God’s own poetry to my soul. Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting His lamps, and I said, ‘ I may not see you many more times, but Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and River, I shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets in the great downpulling of the material universe!’”
Hinson, of course, was pointing to eternal life that we have through faith in Jesus. This is our ultimate destiny. This is the brilliant and blessed future to which we can look forward by God’s grace through faith in Jesus. Paul the apostle wrote of this life in this way:
Philippians 3:20,21 – But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the
Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will
transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
728 v.1&3 – Jerusalem, the Golden
Reasons to Worship – Encourage & Witnesses
God tells us in his word:
Hebrews 10:24,25 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Do you ever stop to think that when you, for no really good reason, fail to gather for worship of God, not only do you rob God of worship he wants and deserves, you may discourage others? “Where is so-n-so,” people may wonder. “Or if we have all these members, why don’t they worship? Don’t they care?” On the other hand, when we gather with our fellow Christian, we encourage them. “It’s good to see so many people. It’s good to hear so many singing.”
At the same time we encourage each other, we witness to one another with our worship. When we say the creed we say, “This is what I believe.” When we commune, “we proclaim the Lord’s death ‘til he comes.” We say to others who know we worship, “God is important. Jesus is important. Worshiping them is important.” We witness. When we worship we are being equipped to witness with words to those around us who need to hear the message.
1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
579 v. 1-3 – Lift High the Cross
Communion (8:00 AM Only)
310 – I Come, O Savior, to Your Table
Dear Lord, we thank you for the arts and today especially the gifts of music and song. May your word dwell in us richly . Move us to join in faithful worship where we speak to one another with songs, hymns and spiritual songs, always giving thanks to you through our Lord Jesus Christ. Move us to see that when we worship, we gather not only with you and with one another, but also with your people throughout
the world and in heaven to sing your praises. Accept our worship and praise for Jesus’ sake.
We praise you today that Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School and Martin Luther College have the
privilege to start another school year this week. Bless these ministries and through them your kingdom.
As our area commemorates tragic events of the early 1860’s that resulted in war between Native Americans and settlers who came from other countries, we are saddened by injustice that brought about the war, by the brutality that rose up during the war, and by the many needless deaths that resulted from the war. Help us to love one another and live together in peace that we never repeat the dreadful events connected with this war.
Look with mercy on those from our church family who have been ill and hospitalized – Lloyd Hahnke, Elmer Fenske, Tom Yokim, and Dan Buboltz who will undergo surgery this coming Thursday. Grant them your blessing, peace and power.
Comfort the family and friends of Mr. Ronald Johnson who passed away recently. Grant them your strength and peace.
Bless your Church throughout the world. Bless our nation and our Leaders. Bless our families and homes. We pray these things in Jesus’ name and in his name come to you with the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
321 v. 1&4 – Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise