+ NINETEENTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST +
Husband, Wife … and Children, Too!
3 October 2021
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. A Fellowship Hour follows this morning’s worship. Please 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
Today’s gospel lesson combines a saying that makes many of us uncomfortable with a story we find comforting. Jesus’ saying on divorce is another of his rejections of human legislation in favor of the original intent of God’s law. Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples who are fending off the children should challenge us as well. What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God as a child does?
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
Lord God, it is through our lives that your love touches others. Stir us by your Spirit to serve all people with willing hearts and bring them the message of your love. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
+ THE ORDER of CELEBRATING +
LSB Setting Four adapted
PRELUDE The Peaceful Forests—Heinrich Isaak
Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Organ
INVOCATION & CONFESSION
In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Turn to me and be saved,” says the Lord. “For I am God and there is no
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 relationships into which the Lord has placed us, especially our families, and how we treat one another.
Most merciful God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. Selfishly we turn from one another and from you, separating what you have joined together. 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.
For our sake, Jesus was made lower than the angels. As a member of the human family, he tasted death for everyone. It is in his Name and by his authority that I declare to you the entire forgiveness of 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.
PASSING of PEACE
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship 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.
PRAYER of THE DAY
Lord God, you have created us to live in loving community with one
another. Form us for life that is faithful and steadfast, and teach us
to trust like little children, that we may reflect the image of your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
FIRST LESSON Genesis 2:18-24
[The second chapter of Genesis stresses that people are not meant to live in isolation but in relationship. Out of love for humanity, God creates them male and female, to provide companionship for each other and to become “one flesh” with each other. The Hebrew words used here are ish (man) and ishshah (woman).
The LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
PSALM 8(Read responsively)
You adorn us with glory and honor. O LORD our Lord, how exalted
is your name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children your name is
praised above the heavens. You adorn us with glory and
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the
moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
what is man that you should be mindful of him, the son of man that you should seek him out.
You have made him but little lower than the angels; you adorn him with
glory and honor; You adorn us with glory and honor.
You give him mastery over the works of your hands; you put all things under his feet:
all sheep and oxen, even the wild beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatsoever walks in the path of the sea.
O LORD our Lord, how exalted is your name in all the world! You adorn
us with glory and honor.
SECOND LESSON Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
[Quoting from the psalms, this passage from Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus the one through whom God created everything and who sits at God’s right hand, is also the one who experienced human suffering and death in order to blaze the path of salvation for us.]
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone
has testified somewhere,
What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals that you care for them?
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with
glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet
see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower
than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by
the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to
glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who
sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not
ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,
I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation
I will praise you.”
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
SPECIAL MUSIC O Thou Kind and Gracious Father—Geo Careless
GOSPEL Mark 10:2-16
The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 10th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus announced and enacted in history the new reality of God’s surprising activity. These two Markan stories demonstrate this new reality: women and children are accepted and valued, not dismissed as inferior to men.]
Some Pharisees came, and to test [Jesus] they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write
a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But Jesus was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. And he took them up in his arms, and blessed them.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
HYMN of THE DAY LSB 861 Christ Be My Leader
HOMILY Receiving the Kingdom—Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel
RECEIVING THE KINGDOM
+ In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. +
Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem to be. Today’s gospel is one of those times. Listening to the two incidents in this text may give the impression that Jesus is theologically bi-polar … treating people in different ways depending on his mood or the set of circumstances. On the one hand, he comes down hard on divorce. On the other hand, he is gentle and kind to disruptive parents who are disturbing his teaching by bringing little children to him. Including both incidents in a single text may cause some complications for us … BUT perhaps there’s something more than a text about judgment and another about mercy and grace. At a deeper level … it seems to me … these two incidents focus us on something at the heart of our Christian understanding … the matter of Christian community.
Basic to our Christian faith understanding is the fact that we are baptized into the community of God’s people. We are helped through worship and education to love and serve not only those in this community of faith … BUT even those outside it … friend or foe. And we are assured that just as we have lived together in love and service here in this life, we will continue to do so for all eternity in ways that eye has not seen, and ear has not heard.
Yet circumstances in life often separate us from this loving community into which we’ve been baptized. The past 18 months plus of COVID and its variants are just one example of separation … a lost sense of community within the Church and society in general. Even before the pandemic focus on individual achievement or personal success was evident in our technical, industrial, and economically driven work ethic.
The problem is that we’ve developed a different attitude toward community … toward one another … that we have allowed individualism … my rights … and my freedom to take precedence over the way we live our lives and relate to others. In an individualistic society we focus on what “I’ve got coming to ME.” We forget that we are our brother’s keeper … we forget St. Paul’s words that “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” In other words, whether in a committed relationship of two or a community of many, we are compelled to live in community by the love of Christ that is alive within us.
In today’s text, Jesus challenges his disciples who also have an exclusive view of community. They’ve given up home and family to follow Jesus. They’ve sat with him day after day and night after night … struggling with new ideas … parables … and challenges to their own narrow views of acceptance … who’s the greatest … who can heal and who can't. Suddenly a bunch of mothers and children disrupt their focus on bigger issues to have Jesus embrace their kids. You can almost hear them say: “C’mon, ladies, we’re into some serious theological discussion and business here! Scram, ladies, and take your kids with you.” But Jesus challenges their view of community … their way of receiving the kingdom as he takes the children into his arms and blesses them.
Jesus simple answer: “You receive the kingdom like a child” cuts through the smokescreens of the Pharisees’ question about divorce and the disciples’ limits on who could or couldn’t approach Jesus. That’s why Jesus is so unbending in his interpretation of the Law in today’s gospel lesson. He cuts through who can be saved … who is or who is not part of community? He cuts through it all … showing what community looks like. In urging the women to step forward and gathering the little children into his arms, Jesus gives us a picture of how the kingdom of God works … the picture of community in Christ. You enter the kingdom of God like a child. You receive the kingdom the way a child receives. A child doesn’t punch a time-clock; he/she doesn’t go out and earn food or a roof over his/her head – the child simply receives everything from a loving father and mother. To be a child is to be totally and completely dependent upon one’s parents. To be a child of God … is not earned but received. It’s a grace thing. God’s favor and undeserved kindness to us in Jesus Christ is simply received not earned. It is a “Gift we Receive And Cannot Earn.” By God the Father’s mercy and grace everyone is welcomed into community … into the Family of God … by faith in his Son Jesus Christ.
Jesus‘ concern for partners in life and little children is a desire to help us appreciate community in which individuals are drawn to love and respect one another in Christ no matter who they are. Community then becomes any gathering beyond our selves that needs the support that we are empowered to give in Jesus’ Name. To be honest, we’ve all failed to follow our role as members of the Body of Christ … the communion of saints. On a bad day we have every right to hear God’s word of judgment over our actions. However, in the community of Jesus‘ disciples we are privileged to accept forgiveness for our failures in the Name of our crucified and risen Savior and Lord. Through Word and Sacrament, we are empowered to embrace those given to us as partners in faith and life … in families and in communities of all kinds. Among all the teachings we value as Christians, cherishing and building community in the Name of our Lord is the most important.
+ In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. +
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.
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH
As children and heirs of God’s promise, let us pray for The Church, the world, and all in need.
Holy God, we pray for The Church and its ministry around the world. Unite us in our love for you and sustain us as members of the body of Christ in lives of prayer, service, and worship. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of creation, you have blessed us with a diverse and beautiful creation. Revive declining species and renew lands devasted by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. Protect and strengthen fire-fighters who are working in dangerous wildfire environments as they seek to control and manage further devastation. Strengthen first responders and relief agency workers to help meet the complex needs of those who have lost their homes due to floods, tornadoes, forest fires, and lava flows. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of the peace, your desire for us is not to be alone but to live in community with one another. Strengthen relationships between nations and peoples. Inspire leaders and those in authority with wisdom and compassion to protect the vulnerable and care for those underserved. Watch over all who are fleeing violence, persecution, or death, and sustain them as they seek safe havens through uncertain and unstable times. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of comfort and healing, we pray for those who are in need and cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry, reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who need your touch this day, especially those who are suffering with cancer, dementia, COVID-19 and its variants.
Bless the hearts of all who are homebound and unable to travel to worship with us, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, Marguerite, together with those we name in our hearts. Remind us of their continued role in this community of faith. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of compassion, we pray for our congregation. Continue to nurture the leadership and ministries of this congregation. We thank you for the opportunity to meet with Pr. Heimbuch and Rebecca in a virtual setting last evening. Guide us by the power of your Spirit during this time of discernment as we move toward calling a pastor to join us in serving our community and seeking the lost. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of our redemption, you promise eternal life to all your children. Thanks you for the people of faith who have gone before us with the sign of faith. Inspire us by their example and strengthen our faith, trusting that we will be united with them in your eternal presence at The Feast which knows no end. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Receive the prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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.
Holy God, our Bread of life, our Table, and our Food, you created
a world in which all might be satisfied with your abundance.
You dined with Abraham and Sarah, promising them life, and
fed your people Israel with manna from heaven.
You sent your Son to eat with sinners and to become food for
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.
Remembering, therefore, the sacrifice of his life and death and the
victory of his Resurrection, we await with all the saints his loving
redemption of our suffering world.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Send your Spirit on these gifts of bread and wine and on all who
share in the body and blood of your Son; teach us your mercy and
justice and make all things new in Christ.
Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.
Through Him all honor and glory are Yours, Almighty Father, with
the Holy Spirit, in Your Holy Church both now and forever. Amen.
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 Music We Come to the Hungry Feast
PRAYER of THANKSGIVING
O God of love, we thank you for the living bread that rains down from
heaven. From this feast of love may we carry your eternal life as daily
food for the well-being of the world; through Jesus Christ the Lord of life.
SONG LSB 632 O Jesus, Blessed Lord to Thee (Join in singing)
Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +
COFFEE CONNECTION …THE FELLOWSHIP WINDOW is open for coffee only!
We encourage everyone to participate in this very welcome hospitality ministry by signing up to either host or assist with serving. For further details, please speak with either Pearl, Nan, or Mary.
STUDY OPPORTUNITIES this week: Women’s Study, Tuesday, beginning at 10:00 am in the Fireside Room. Set the time aside to join us in our study of the Book of Acts. NewMen’s Coffee Study will take place this coming Saturday morning, October 9th, beginning at 8:30 am. Set the time aside now for a good discussion and fellowship.
THIS WEEK at GRACE
TODAY: Coffee Hour 11:00 am
Walk-up Communion 11:15 am
TUESDAY: Women’s Study 10:00 am
SATURDAY: NewMen’s Coffee Study 8:30 am
NEXT SUNDAY: Worship 10:00 am
Coffee Hour 11:00 am
Voters’ Call Meeting Sunday, October 10th - 11:15 am
A SPECIAL VOTERS’ ASSEMBLY will take place next Sunday, 10 October, immedi-ately following Coffee/Fellowship Hour for the purpose of calling a pastor to join us in the ministry of Grace. Be certain to set the time aside now for this important meeting.