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6th Sunday after Pentecost - Like the Prophets of old Sunday - Homily by Pr. Jim "Called To Be Sent"


4 July 2021

Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim

Like the Prophets of old Sunday


Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship this morning. Through Word and Sacrament, Christ our Lord promises to lead and guide us by the power of his Spirit. May today’s worship be a blessing to you as he reveals his love for you and assures you of his presence in your life. If you are a guest or visitor and have not done so already, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Pastor Jim or this morning’s lay assistant will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our parish. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   “Lord of All”

Jesus does great deeds of power and give his disciples authority over demons. Yet none of the power is unilateral; it must be received by faith.

Jesus asks his disciples to go out without money

or supplies, so that they will be dependent on how others receive them. When we are sent from the assembly to witness and to heal, we are asked to

be vulnerable, to be dependent on the reception of others. The Spirit always operates in the “between”: between Jesus and his Abba, between Jesus and us, between you and me, between us and those to whom we are sent.


O God, you see how busy we are with many things. Turn us to listen to your teachings and lead us to choose the one right thing which will not be taken away from us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.





PRELUDE America the Beautiful—Jason W. Krug

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Organ


In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“As I live,” says the Lord, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that

the wicked turn from their ways and live.”

     If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins

and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Today we consider the message God sends us, and reaction to it.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you—in our thinking, in our speaking, and in our doing. Impudent and stubborn, we have rebelled against you, opposing the grace you offer. For the sake of your Son 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.

God’s grace is sufficient for us. His power is made perfect in weakness. Jesus was given to die for us and for his sake God forgives us all our sins. In his Name and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share the peace of the Lord as we greet each other.



The grace of our Risen Savior, the love of God, and the communion of the

Holy Spirit be with you all.

               And also with you.

GLORY to GOD (Join in singing)

To God on high be glory and peace to all the earth;

Goodwill from God in heaven proclaimed at Jesus’ birth!

We praise and bless You Father; Your holy Name we sing—

Our thanks for Your great glory, Lord God, our heav’nly King.

To You, O sole-begotten, the Father’s Son, we pray;

O Lamb of God, our Savior, You take our sins away.

Have mercy on us, Jesus; Receive our heart-felt cry,

Where You in pow’r are seated at God’s right hand on high—

For You alone are holy; You only are the Lord.

Forever and forever, be worshiped and adored;

You with the Holy Spirit alone are Lord Most High,

In God the Father’s glory. “Amen!” our glad reply.


Almighty God, in the waters of baptism you call us to proclaim the coming

of your kingdom. Give us the courage you gave the apostles, that we may faithfully witness to your love and peace in every circumstance of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy

Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Ezekiel 2:1-5

[In 597 BC, the priest Ezekiel was removed into exile in Babylon. While there, he received a vision of God appearing majestically on a chariot throne. Today’s reading recounts God’s commissioning of Ezekiel during this vision. The prophet is to speak God’s word to a people unwilling to hear.]

A voice] said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to

me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the LORD GOD.” Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

The word of the Lord.

                Thanks be to God!

PSALM 123 (Read responsively)

Refrain: Our eyes look to you, O God, until you show us your mercy.

To you I lift up my eyes, to you enthroned in the heavens.

As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and the eyes

of a maid to the hand of her mistress,

          so shall our eyes look to the LORD our God, until he shows us his mercy.

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy, for we have had more than

enough of contempt,

too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, and of the derision of the proud. Refrain

SECOND LESSON 2nd Corinthians 12:2-10

[Christians do not boast in their own accomplishments. Rather Christian boasting focuses attention on how the power of Christ is present in our lives, especially in times of weakness and vulnerability. No matter what our circumstance in life, Christ’s grace is sufficient for us.]

I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—

whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows—was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but not on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it should leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. So I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

SPECIAL MUSIC O Thou King and Gracious FatherA. Schreiner 

GOSPEL Mark 6:1-13

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 6th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[At home and abroad, Jesus and his disciples encounter resistance as they seek to proclaim God’s word and relieve affliction.]

Jesus] came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did

this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kind, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went out among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.

HYMN of THE DAY LSB 861 Christ Be My Leader

HOMILY Called To Be SentPr. Jim Text: The Gospel

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

News reports tell us that more than 44.2 million people are “on-the- go” this 4th of July weekend … 2.2 million traveling by air … 42 million on the road. Today’s Gospel is also about being “on-the-go.” But it has little or nothing to do with vacation or time-off. The 6th chapter of Mark’s Gospel is not a text calling for shade trees … hammocks … gentle breezes … sun tans … lemonade, or a cold beer. To preach … anoint the sick with oil … to heal … to exorcise demons … these gospel imperatives give rise to increased activity during the Season of Pentecost and the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Listen to the words of the alternate Prayer of the Day:

Lord God, use our lives to touch the world with your love. Stir us by Your Spirit

to be neighbor to those in need, serving them with willing hearts; through Your

Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

On this Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, you and I need to pay close attention to the Gospel for the Day: “He called … the twelve ….” It was and is an invitation … a call to come and be with the Lord.

Yet, on the other hand, there’s a directive to go … “He sent them out” … to preach, to anoint with oil, and to heal. Growing out of this tension (“Come and See—Go and Tell”) is the direction of mission and ministry … our mission and ministry together as God’s people in this corner of The Vineyard. It’s been said that life is never really fulfilled unless we, as individuals, hear and respond to the word go!

But first, the text says, Jesus invites the disciples to come … to learn … to follow … to give example … to grow … to know the will of the Father. These humble twelve were ordinary individuals with not a lot of formal education. They were spiritually helpless. But Jesus’ coming together with them has a significant impact on them … one of preparation and training for service and mission.

In the text, Jesus calls His disciples together to prepare them for mission outreach. I know some of you have heard the old saying before: “The church is only one generation away from extinction.” It’s a true reality when you stop to think about it … for unless the church reaches out to serve others with the good news of God’s love for them in Jesus Christ, it becomes a self-serving country club and eventually dies. It wasn’t easy for the disciples to comprehend what all this business of mission and ministry was about in one or two easy lessons. They had to see and experience the ministry of our Lord firsthand while He mentored them. They were, after all, to be the succession of His ministry when He ascended and returned to His heavenly Father following His death on the Tree of the Cross and the Resurrection. They were to be His on-going incarnation … His on-going presence in the world to and for others. The twelve, you see, grew in their understanding of what ministry means. And as they grew in understanding by the power of the Spirit, they became more and more aware of why they were called. They were called to be sent.

And that’s the key to the text: “Called to be sent.” “Come and See—Go and Tell.” It’s a key because very often churches and parishes become too cozy in their little corners of the vineyard. So cozy that they need to again hear and heed the imperatives of today’s Gospel: “Come to hear the words of the Lord then sent to share the Good News of Jesus Christ … crucified and risen … with others as you serve them. That is after all the imperative of our Baptism, isn’t it? Called to be sent.

Listen to the marching order of today’s Gospel … the agenda for the missionary work and life of our Baptisms. We are called to leave the comfort of these walls … the security of our homes … and set our feet upon the dusty road of opportunity as we live out our life in Christ.

Notice in the text, this particular mission was not to be a long, overseas mission experience. It’s a short trip to neighboring communities and villages. Jesus admonishes the twelve not to take a lot of extra baggage along. Rather, He encourages them to “pick up your walking stick, put your traveling clothes on, and get ready for work.” That’s the important directive … “Get on with the work.” Don’t get wrapped up in methodologies. Don’t appoint another committee to study it further. Don’t wait for the next pastor to show up. Just get on with it. Witness the gospel according to you. Tell the story of God’s love for you in Christ Jesus. Tell the story of what Jesus means to you in your life experiences. Tell the story in your own words. Tell others how God has touched your life with hope and healing and how it continues to touch you … giving you meaning … strength for daily living … and hope.

Nervous? Scared? Worried? Take a look at the text. Jesus says, “Don’t worry about the reception. Just plant the seeds. If people are unwilling to hear you, shake the dust off your feet and move on.“ You and I are to move on from difficulty and frustration to new efforts. We are simply called to cultivate the ground and sow the seed of God’s love in Christ. The Spirit will nurture the growth and reap the harvest.

Our blessed Savior assures us that His Spirit will accompany us and give shape to our words and deeds of witness. It is, after all, His Spirit that enables us to heal and serve. Out Lord makes it a grace and blessing to serve others in His Name. To discover that we have the power and authority for ministry blesses our comings and our goings … now and forevermore.

Lord God, use our lives to touch the world with Your love. Stir us with Your Spirit

to be neighbor to those in need, serving them with willing hearts; through Your

Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

APOSTOLIC 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 catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life + everlasting. Amen.


Confident in God’s steadfast love through Jesus Christ, and guided by the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all those in need.

God of all, through the waters of Baptism you claim people of all races, ethnicities, and languages as your beloved children. Sustain all that are baptized and increase their faith, that your gospel may be proclaimed throughout the world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of heaven and earth, your creating Spirit animates the universe. We give you thanks for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land that provides our food. Guard all species of plants and animals from harsh changes in climate and forest fires. Provide needed rains and weather conditions to bring all wildfires under control. Protect all firefighters and first responders, especially Jacob (Klint & Sharman’s son), Matthew (Margaret’s friend) as they seek to manage further devastation caused by all of the current burns. Sustain the families of all those who are deployed to fight and gain control of the forest fires. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of freedom, you have liberated and rescued us from all forms of spiritual, social, and political oppression. Defend us from tyrants in our midst and deliver us from all forms of slavery, prejudice, violence, and civil unrest. Direct our freedom for works of liberation and the wholeness that all people may live in harmony with one another. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of compassion and healing, your touch has the power to make us whole. Embrace all who are in need this day especially Rusty (under hospice care), Shari (continued cancer therapy), Bert (under doctor’s care for cardiac problems), those suffering from COVID-19, together with those we name in our hearts that they may receive hope, healing, and the mercies rendered by us as your servant people. Be close to the hearts of all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, and those we name in our hearts that they may be assured of your loving presence in our compassion, prayers, and care for them. In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection, comfort Keith & Delores and their family who mourn the death of their son Christopher. Sanctify their tears and even now uplift their eyes to the joys of eternal life promised to all who live and die in Christ. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of love, this community of faith and all those gathered around Word and Sacrament belong to you. Revive our spirits, renew our relationships, and rekindle our sense of community. Guide the members of our Call Committee in their discernment process of calling a pastor to serve with us in mission and ministry. Give us patience and keep us mindful that in your time you will provide us with a pastor yet unknown to us but known and loved by you. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the ages, we give thanks for the faithful who have gone before us with the sign of faith and pointed to us toward you. Strengthen us by their example that we may at last be reunited with one another at your feast which knows no end. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We raise our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Offerings Are Brought Forward


O Lord our God, Maker of all things. Through your goodness you have

blessed us with these gifts. Receive what we have to offer, that others

might know that life through the gifts you give to us to use and to share

in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you.

   And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

  We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for you have

had mercy on us and give your only-begotten Son

that whoever believes in him should not perish but

have eternal life.


We give you thanks for the redemption you have

prepared for us through Jesus Christ. Grant us

your Holy Spirit that we may faithfully eat and

drink of the fruits of his Cross and receive the

blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation that

come to us in his body and blood.

In the night in which he was betrayed,

our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:

Take and eat; this is my + body which is given

for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

And gave it for all to drink, saying:

This cup is the new covenant in my + blood

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness

of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.

The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.

Lord, remember us in your Kingdom and teach us 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.

DISTRIBUTION Distribution Music The Lamb LSB 547 (Join in singing)



O God of love, you bind us to yourself in this sacrament, and strengthen us through this meal for service to the world. Guide us by your Spirit that we

may forever give witness to the Name of Jesus Christ the Lord of life. We

ask this in his Name. Amen.


SONG God Bless Our Native Land LSB 965 (Join in singing)

God bless our native land; Firm may she ever stand

Through storm and night.

When the wild tempests rave, Ruler of wind and wave,

Do thou our country save by thy great might.

So shall our prayers arise to God above the skies;

On him we wait.

Thou who art ever nigh, Guarding with watchful eye,

To thee aloud we cry, God save the state!




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!       

+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +

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