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Second Sunday After Pentecost - "The Real Strong Man" by Pr. Jim



660 Frances Lane

Ashland, Oregon 97520


The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim Pastor


Lord of All Sunday

6 June 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. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   “Lord of All”

The demonic often catches the imagination of Holly-wood and its film makers. It seems to be beyond the influence of goodness and holiness. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is accused of being in league with Satan, for he has cast out demons. It apparently didn’t occur to his critics that God might have a hand in his success! We, unfortunately, often feel helpless in the face of evil. Genesis 3:8-15 was only the first time. But Jesus is Lord over evil. How lordly is he? So lordly that in 2nd Corinthians 4:13-5:1, St. Paul

asserts of us sinner-saints that “inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” On this Second Sunday after Pentecost, where are you the weakest? How might you invite Jesus to lord it over that part of your life?


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.


PRE-SERVICE MUSIC Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me LSB 722

On Eagles’ Wings LSB 727



PRELUDE O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee—Henry P. Smith

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Organ


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 other.”

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

and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Today, let us be aware of temptation, and of our inability to overcome it by ourselves.

Most merciful God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. Like our ancestors in Eden, we have disobeyed your will and we have done what you have forbidden. We have heeded the tempter’s voice. 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.

In his mercy, Almighty God promised a Savior to overcome the tempter’s might. Jesus Christ was given to die for us and for his sake our sins are forgiven. In him

we are redeemed and set at liberty 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 Jesus Christ you turned death into life and defeat into

victory. Increase our faith and trust in him, that we may triumph over all

evil in the strength of the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who

lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


[Immediately after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they hide from God. Neither of them

takes responsibility for their sin, instead blaming each other, the snake, and even God. The

curse on the snake was understood as a messianic prophecy by the Early Church, who associated

Eve’s “offspring with Christ.]

The man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking

in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among

the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are

you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I

was naked, so I hid.”

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the

tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman

you put here with me—she gave some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate it.”

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all the wild animals!

You will crawl on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The word of the Lord.

                Thanks be to God!

PSALM 121(Please join Worship Team in singing the Refrain)

Refrain: Keep me, keep me as the apple of your eye. Hide me, hide me in

the shadow of your wings.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills. The LORD watches over you,

Where does my help come from? The LORD is your shade at your right hand.

My help comes from the LORD, The LORD will keep you from all harm,

the maker of heaven and earth. He will watch over your life;

He will not let your foot slip, The Lord will watch over your coming and going

He who watches over you will Both now and forevermore. Refrain

not slumber;

Indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep. Refrain

SECOND LESSON 2nd Corinthians 4:13-5:1

[Life in the present is transitory and cannot compare with the eternal home God has prepared for us. So we do not despair no matter what life might bring because we know that as God raised Jesus from the dead, God promises to bring us into eternal life.]

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With the same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though inwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!       

SPECIAL MUSIC In God We TrustR. J. Hughes  

GOSPEL Mark 3:20-35

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 3rd chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[In response to charges that he is possessed, Jesus wonders aloud how anyone who is demon-possessed can cast out demons. Those who do the will of God are possessed by the Holy Spirit and are siblings of Christ.]

Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, he is guilty of an eternal sin.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.

GRACE CHOIR Compassion Hymnarr. Craig Courtney

HOMILY The Real Strong ManPr. Jim Text: The Gospel

The Real Strong Man

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

Most of us have had "bad hair days” when we’d like to step off the face of this planet because Murphy's Law has kicked in. You know the one …"If anything can go wrong, it will."

It was that kind of day for our Lord … the perfect storm … our Lord is bad-mouthed first by His family, and then the scribes. Think for a moment … how you would react? We all know full well about doing the right thing with the best of intentions, only to have it back-fire!

In the verses before today’s Gospel text, Mark tells us that Jesus had been doing what He came to do … He healed and cast out demons (Mark 3:10 & 11) … attracting the attention of crowds, and with it, criticism, and rejection from Naysayers. Jesus answers His critics with a word about life in the Kingdom, and compares that to how we live in the kingdom of this world:

 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house

is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen

up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.

History reflects the truth that any human organization or group that is divided against itself, destroys itself. The same is true of Satan's kingdom. To illustrate, Jesus uses an example of household robbery: "No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.”

It's a parable we don't expect to hear. It seems to defy the do not steal of the 7th commandment. Yet the emphasis is upon the “strong man." Who or what is the strong man? What kind of strong man demands our attention? For, one must defeat the strong man in order to plunder the house. Put another way … you have to de-activate the alarm system before you break in to get the goods!

From a burglar’s point of view, it’s utter nonsense to enter a strong men's house to steal his stuff ... unless you’re stronger or have the advantage. That’s just what Jesus is saying to His critics. He isn’t in league with Beelzebub … He’s stronger than the prince of demons. Satan may be strong, but He, Jesus, is stronger! And the moment that He triumphs over Satan is a moment of triumph for His Church … for to plunder Satan's domain is when God's Kingdom comes, and His will is done "on earth as it is in heaven." Our Lord couldn't be clearer. He not only stands in opposition to Satan, He has defeated him!

So, every time someone comes to faith … every time someone is baptized … every time someone is released from bondage to sin in any way ... every time sins are confessed, and forgiveness is believed, the strong man's house is being plundered!

Looking at the text, there are at least three things to understand: First … There’s a spiritual war or struggle going on that we can’t ignore. The social ills … the despair and chaos … the violence … we see all around us are all symptoms of living under the dominion of Satan "the strong man." Each time we pray, "Thy kingdom come," or "deliver us from evil," we are praying for our Lord Jesus Christ to plunder the strong man's house and to prevail against the devil. That’s what prompted St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians :

"Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons

we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine

power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that

sets itself up against the knowledge of God. (2 Cor. 10:3-4)"

And so, a part of the responsibility of claiming to be Jesus' disciples means that we will be engaged in a battle against evil … remembering that while we are called to fight in the battle, the victory is not ours, but His! … unless He -the Christ- first binds the strong man, then indeed He may plunder his house.

Second … Jesus assures us of the ultimate outcome. Our Lord decisively engaged Satan in a fight to the finish. When our Lord uttered the words, "it is finished," from the Tree of The Cross, He declared that everything necessary to save humanity had been done; including the defeat of the devil. Satan may be strong, but Jesus is stronger and will not allow the Evil One to prevail.

But there’s the third thing to remember … If our Lord was able to defeat the Strong Man, then He’s able to deliver us from evil as well. We need not be subject to the "bondage to sin" that we talk about in the confession. Whatever disappointments we may have in ourselves or our inability to overcome harmful habits or behaviors that are destructive to our life; our Savior is strong enough to save. God's arm is not so short that it cannot save. Through the power of The Cross, Jesus frees and forgives. He plunders the house we build by our own reason and strength.

To tell it a different way … It’s like the story of the old landlord. Imagine that you live in a run-down apartment; the best you can afford. There are holes in the walls and ceiling …the carpet is threadbare … the linoleum has worn through in spots … the faucets drip constantly … there are roaches everywhere. Yet the landlord still collects the rent, and when you hesitate to pay because of the poor conditions, he threatens to raise the rent. Because you have nowhere else to live and can't afford anything better, you keep on paying the rent until one day, when you hear a knock at the door. You open it and are greeted by a well-dressed, polite young man who tells you that he has just purchased the building you live in! He asks if he might step inside and inspect your apartment. As he looks at each of the rooms, he’s appalled and promises to make repairs and lower the rent. Shortly after he leaves, you hear another harsher urgent knocking on the door, only to open it and find the angry old landlord standing there demanding his rent. Do you give in to his intimidations and pay, or do you resist him? For a moment, you’re filled with apprehension and fear as you realize that you don't have the power that he has to make you pay! Then you remember, the place doesn't belong to him anymore; you have a new landlord and tell him to take the matter up with the new owner.

The old landlord, Satan will harass and intimidate us, but the reality is that he’s already tied up! Our Lord has paid the price. The stronger One who is both God and man prevails.

Thanks be to God!

+ 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.

+ A Brief Silence +

God of wholeness, we pray for your holy Church around the world. Unify and renew us in the service of the Gospel, that we may work together as brothers and sisters in Christ and share your love with all. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of life, we pray for creation; the gardens, waterways, and creatures near to us and diverse forms of life that remain unseen. Teach us to treat the natural world with reverence, seeking restoration when human actions have caused harm to your beloved creation. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the nations, we pray for harmony among the nations and their leaders that led by your Spirit, they may work toward a world where all your children may enjoy justice, mercy, and peace. We give thanks for the cease fire in the Middle East. Continue to bless negotiations and all efforts to bring an end to all hostility. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of faithfulness, we pray for all who cry out to you. Restore to wholeness all who are in any need this day especially Rusty (under hospice care), Shari (continued cancer therapy), Bert (under doctor’s care for cardiac heart 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 God’s 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. Comfort Marguerite, MaryAnn and Mike who mourn the death of Charlie (beloved husband and father of MaryAnn)..Sanctify their tears and even now uplift their eyes to the joys and promise of eternal life promised to all who live and die in Christ. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of love, we pray for this community of faith Set our gaze upon things eternal, that in thanksgiving for your mercy, we may extend your grace to more and more people.

Renew our life together in the midst of the pandemic challenges that we face. By your Holy Spirit guide the members of our Call Committee as they interview a new list of candidates for the pastoral office of our parish. Give us patience and keep us mindful that in due 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 you thanks for those who have gone before us with the sign of faith and now raise their song of praise in your presence. By your Spirit, bring us also to dwell in your house forever. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Offerings Are Brought Forward


Heavenly Father, in Christ you have raised us up to new life. 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.

                             GREAT THANKSGIVING

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 Music What Is This Bread? LSB 629



          Jesus, Bread of life, at your table we have received more that we could

ever ask. As you have nourished us in this meal, now strengthen us to

love and serve the world with your own life. In your Name we pray. Amen.


SONG Give Thanks LSB 806 (Join in singing)

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One,

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One,

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.

And now let the weak say, “I am strong.” Let the poor say, “I am rich,”

Because of what the Lord has done for us.

And now let the weak say, “I am strong.” Let the poor say, “I am rich,”

Because of what the Lord has done for us.

Give thanks, give thanks.



BENEFIT PIANO RECITAL (benefiting Grace SOU Scholarship Fund) is scheduled from 11:00am - 1:00pm this Saturday June 12th in sanctuary. Depending on the attendance, seating will also be available outside on the lawn under the trees. So

bring your lawn chairs as the windows will be open.

The recital will feature Alexander Tutunov and Matt Goodrich from the music depart-ment at SOU and will be joined by most of the piano majors and graduate students at the university as well as by Rogue Valley pianists including Thor Polson who organized this event.

A suggested $10.00 donation or any other amount will be greatly appreciated. All proceeds will be contributed to the Grace Lutheran SOU Scholarship Fund. [Please make the check out to Grace Lutheran and on the memo line write SOU Scholarship.]

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the Benefit Piano Festival (benefiting Grace SOU Scholarship Fund) this coming Saturday, 12 June, beginning at 11:00 am, the NEWMEN’S COFFEE GET-TOGETHER is cancelled for this month.

BLESSED ARE THE DEAD who die in the Lord: Charley Means [MaryAnn Neely's Dad] died at 101 years old on May 24th 2021 in Kelso, Washington. Cards can be sent to Marguerite Means at 104 Corduroy Rd. Unit 108, Kelso Washington 98626.


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!

POST SERVICE MUSIC Go out with joy W&P 48       

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