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May 21st, 2023 - Seventh Sunday of Easter

Sermon: "Oneness" by Pastor Joshua Heimbuck

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 21, 2023

The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor


Welcome to all who have gathered to worship in the Name of our risen and victorious Lord. On this Seventh Sunday of Easter, we joyfully affirm Christ’s resurrected presence among us in Word and Sacrament. We celebrate his presence among us in the breaking of bread and wine in The Eucharist for the assurance of our forgiveness, the nurturing of our faith, and the strengthening of our lives for service in Christ’s Name. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave this morning’s worship. If you have no church home of your own, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. After this morning’s worship, join us for a cup of coffee and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER      Answer to Anxiety

The Sunday after The Ascension must have been a tough and anxious time for the disciples. First the good years of learning from Jesus, then the trauma of his death, the euphoria of seeing the Risen Lord, and now he’s gone. The disciples had to search for courage and vision to go on in his Name by pondering his words: “I am with you always.” … “I will send the Comforter.” … “Go and make disciples.”



Lord, overtake our weakness with your power so that we may proclaim the saving Gospel to all nations. Remove from us all fear and doubt, and move us toward those who have not heard the story of your love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

+ The Order of Celebrating the Fifty Days of Easter +

Jazz Mass Setting



[Remembering our baptism, we gather in the Name of the Triune God to confess our sins and receive the assurance of our forgiveness as his people.]


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

When we were baptized, we died and were buried with Christ.

We were baptized so that we might have a new life, as Christ was raised to life by the glory of the Father.

As we approach the mystery of God, let us confess our sins to God Almighty, trusting the love of Christ crucified and risen.

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection & Self-examination +

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in our thinking, in our speaking, and in our doing. We deserve your wrath and punishment. For the sake of Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our redemption, we beg your forgiveness, and seek the power to become more faithful servants of Christ the King. Amen

You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your minds on what is in heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Rejoice in the Lord, your sins are forgiven 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 congregation is encouraged to share the peace of Christ and greet one another with the words: “The Lord’s peace be with you.” The response: “And also with you…”]


Alleluia! Christ is risen!

                  Risen indeed. Alleluia!

The grace of our risen Savior, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

                  And also, with you.

Almighty and eternal God, your Son our Savior is with you in eternal glory. Give us faith to see that, true to his promise, he is among us still, and will be with us to the end of time; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

+ WORD +

[Whenever we worship, God speaks, and we listen. We hear the Word of God read aloud in our midst, bringing us both God’s judgment and grace.]


FIRST LESSON Acts 1:6-14

[Today’s reading is part of the introduction to the narrative of the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost. These verses tell of the risen Lord’s conversation with his disciples on the eve of his ascension, in which he promises that they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit.]

When the apostles had come together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

SECOND LESSON 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11

[Our faith in Christ does not make us immune from the scorn of others. Nevertheless, we are to resist the designs of evil when we experience disparagement from others because we trust God’s grace will strengthen and guide us.]

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. Humble yourselves therefor under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for some to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

HOLY GOSPEL John 17:1-11

The gospel according to John, the 17th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[On the night of his crucifixion, Jesus prays to his heavenly Father, asking that those who continue his work in this world will live in unity.]

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, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

I have manifested your name of 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. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know the truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 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 have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

 SERMON “Oneness” Text: Gospel Pr. Josh


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


+ MEAL +

[As the first-fruit offerings of all that we are and have, are gathered, The Lord’s Table is prepared to celebrate “The Feast that knows no end” instituted by Christ our Lord for the strengthening of our faith and the assurance of our forgiveness.]

OFFERINGS are brought forward


Holy God, you provide us with every gift of creation, and you quench our thirst with living water. Receive these tokens of your goodness to us. May our lives be bread for the hungry and streams in the wilderness, signs of the abundance of your grace in Jesus Christ. Amen


The Lord be with you.

And also, with you

Lift up your hearts

We will lift them up to Him

Let us give thanks always to the Lord our God.

It is right, it is just, it is well

Father, it is our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ

Holy, holy, holy, Lord

For our sake He opened His arms on the cross, He put an end to death and revealed the resurrection

               Holy, holy, holy, Lord

In this He fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people. And so, we join the angels and the saints in proclaiming your glory:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord

Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest!



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




[Strengthened in faith and empowered for service, we leave with thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing.]


May the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you steadfast in the true faith to life everlasting. Amen  


We have tasted your goodness, O God, in your gifts of Word and Sacrament. May our hearts burn within you, that we may proclaim your mighty acts and joyfully live as your chosen people; through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen




Go in peace. Love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!

+ The Worship is Over. Let the Service Begin! +



Grace Notes

THE PRESENCE of CHRIST is celebrated in The Lord’s Supper. He comes to us in a real and present way with his life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament to assure us of our forgiveness and to strengthen us in faith and service. All who trust and believe the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” are welcome. Come, receive Christ’s presence in the meal prepared for you. Enjoy his presence. Children are encouraged to come forward with their parents and/or grandparents and receive a blessing.

BIBLE STUDY – Our Bible Study continues to examine modern technology as we discuss the book, “Redeeming Technology: A Christian Approach to Healthy Digital Habits” by A. Trevor Sutton. Each Sunday a new chapter of the book will be discussed. If you would like to join in, please see Pastor Josh to get your copy of the book. Hope you can join us!


CHURCH OFFICE HOURS Next week only, the Church Office will be open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to Noon. Please contact your Lay Minister if anything is needed outside of these hours.

PASSING OF MARILYN MEIER It is with sadness that we’ve learned of former member Marilyn Meier’s passing at the age of 95 on Monday, May 1st, 2023. Marilyn and her husband, Harry were members of Grace prior to moving away a couple of years ago.

JOHN ROSS MEMORIAL SERVICE Please join in the Celebration of Life honoring John Ross on Saturday, June 10th, 2023, at 11:00 AM here at Grace. Lunch will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts/donations can be made to Grace Lutheran Church. Please note John Ross AV Scholarship Fund on the memo line of your check.