The Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 7th, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
We are happy that you have joined us for worship this morning. Through Word and Sacrament, Christ our Good Shepherd promises to lead and guide as his people. 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. 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 the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. After this morning 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 Christ is Our Cornerstone
We continue to focus our attention on Jesus’ resurrection. We see that Jesus is the stone that was rejected by the religious leaders. He was crucified and killed by them. Yet God raised Jesus from the dead, making Him the cornerstone, the foundational stone upon which all the other stones in the building are aligned and built. As we build upon the foundation and cornerstone of Jesus, we are conformed and aligned to Him.
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
Heavenly Father, you sent your Son to show us your love and the way of life. Make us sincerely thankful for this gift and your patience with our sins and sorrows. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
+ THE ORDER OF CELEBRATING +
In the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Christ is our cornerstone;
on Him alone we build.
In Him we are a newborn, chosen, priestly people.
We are called to proclaim His excellencies to the world.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
Though Christ is our cornerstone and has changed our identity to be His chosen people, we often build upon things other than Jesus. Such building crumbles to the ground, for unless we build on Christ, we labor in vain. Still, our heavenly Father is merciful, and He invites us to draw near to His throne in confidence to ask for forgiveness.
Silence for reflection.
Heavenly Father, though we are Your chosen people, we have acted in accordance with the world rather than Your Word. We have proclaimed hatred and violence rather than Your excellencies. Forgive us, renew us, and restore as Your newborn, chosen, priestly people, on account of Jesus. Amen
Though Jesus Christ was rejected and killed, God raised Him from the dead, and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. We are forgiven. We are a newborn, chosen, priestly people.
THE PASSING OF PEACE
[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.”]
PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God, You make the minds of Your faithful to be of one will. Grant that we may love what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes of this world our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
FIRST READING Acts 7: 55–60
Stephen was one of the seven men chosen by the apostles to serve tables so that the apostles could be free to serve the word (Acts 6:1-6). Stephen does more than distribute food, however. For his preaching of God’s word, he becomes the first martyr of the faith.
But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
EPISTLE 1 Peter 2:2–10
Christ is the cornerstone of God’s saving work and the foundation of our lives. We are God’s chosen, holy people who continuously celebrate and declare the mercy of God we experience through Jesus Christ.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So, the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
VERSE Romans 6:9; John 14:23
Alleluia. We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. Alleluia. If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Alleluia.
HOLY GOSPEL John 14:1–14
The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the fourteenth chapter.
Glory to You, O Lord.
On the night that he is to be arrested, Jesus shares final words with his disciples. As the one through whom God is known, he promises to go before them and act on their behalf.
[Jesus said:] “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.
SERMON “One Way, One Truth, One Life.” Pastor Josh
Text: The Gospel Lesson
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH
in this meal you offer your very self.
We give thanks for these gifts of the earth.
In the breaking of this bread reveal to us the Risen One.
In the pouring of this wine pour us out in service to the world;
through Christ our Lord.
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.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Blessed are You, Lord of heaven and earth, for You have had mercy on those whom You created and sent Your only-begotten Son into our flesh to bear our sin and be our Savior. With repentant joy we receive the salvation accomplished for us by the all-availing sacrifice of His body and His blood on the cross.
Gathered in the name and the remembrance of Jesus, we beg You, O Lord, to forgive, renew, and strengthen us with Your Word and Spirit. Grant us faithfully to eat His body and drink His blood as He bids us do in His own testament. Gather us together, we pray, from the ends of the earth to celebrate with all the faithful the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end. Graciously receive our prayers; deliver and preserve us. To You alone, O Father, be all glory, honor, and worship, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
THE WORDS OF OUR LORD
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 cup is the new testament in My ☩ blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
PROCLAMATION OF CHRIST
As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
O Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, in giving us Your body and blood to eat and to drink, You lead us to remember and confess Your holy cross and passion, Your blessed death, Your rest in the tomb, Your resurrection from the dead, Your ascension into heaven, and Your coming for the final judgment. So, 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
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
We give thanks to You, almighty God, that You have refreshed us through this salutary gift, and we implore You that of Your mercy You would strengthen us through the same in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
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 favor and ☩ give you peace and may you be a blessing to others!
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 new Bible Study examines 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!
EUNICE “MIM” PEDERSEN MEMORIAL SERVICE — The Memorial Service for Eunice “Mim” Pedersen is scheduled for this Saturday, May 13th at 11:00 AM at Grace.
THIS WEEK AT GRACE
May 8th - May 14th
Tuesday, May 9th
Woman's Bible Study - 10:00 AM
Council Meeting - 12:30 PM
Wednesday, May 10th
Mariner's Medford American Little League (Quality Fence Fields) Field 3 - 5:30 PM
Choir - 7:00 PM
Saturday, May 13th
Men's Bible Study/Breakfast - 8:00 AM
RVMT Assoc. Meeting (Fireside Room) - 10:30 AM
Eunice "Mim" Pedersen Memorial Service - 11:00 AM