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Seventh Sunday of Easter - "Sanctify Us in Your Truth" by Pr. Jim


16 May 2021

Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim


Welcome to all who have come 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 in the bread and wine of The Eucharist for the forgiveness of our sins, the nurturing of our faith, and the strengthening of our lives for service. 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   Assured and Equipped

The gospel for Easter’s seventh Sunday is always taken from the long prayer, Jesus prayed for his followers in John’s gospel on the night before his death, and always includes that his followers will be one as he and the Father are one. This oneness

is not mere agreement on doctrine or institutional unity, but mutual abiding, mutual love, and joy that permeates life. This oneness is the work of the Spirit whom we have received but also await. Come, Holy Spirit!


Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened for us the gate of eternal life. Give us your continual hope; put good desires into our minds and bring them to full effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


PRE-SERVICE MUSIC LSB 465 Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds

LSB 539 Christ Is the World’s Redeemer



PRELUDE Lord, Be Glorified—Mark Hayes

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano


Alleluia! The Lord is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Jesus Christ was the first to conquer death, the

Ruler of all the kings of the earth.

He loves us, and by his blood he has set

us free from our sins.

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace

with boldness, so that we may receive mercy,

and find grace to help in time of need.


Most merciful God, we confess that we are dead in trespasses and sins. We have neglected the truth and followed the world; we are in danger of being forever lost. In your great mercy deliver us from the death we deserve, for

the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Thus it is written that the Messiah had to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins must be proclaimed in his Name.” That word is now proclaimed to you. Your sins are forgiven in the Name

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

We are risen to new life!

In Christ, we are risen indeed!



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    Refrain:     Glory to God, glory to God,

Glory to God in the Highest

And peace to his people on earth

  1. Lord God, heavenly King, Almighty God, and Father, we worship

you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.Refrain

  1. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.You are

seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer.Refrain

  1. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy

Spirit in the glory of God the Father.

   Refrain:     Glory to God, glory to God,

Glory to God in the Highest

And peace to his people on earth.

Amen, Amen, Amen


Almighty God our Father, you have chosen us as your own, and by the

powerful Name of Christ you protect us from evil. By your Spirit transform

us and your beloved world, that we may find our joy in 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 Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

[In the days between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, Peter oversees the process by which one

of the members of the community of believers is chosen to be the twelfth apostle, in order to fill

the vacancy created by Judas’ treachery and death.]

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.

“So one of the men who have accompanied us during the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsab-bas, whose was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

The word of the Lord.

   Thanks be to God!

PSALM 47 (Please join Worship Team in singing the Refrain)

            Refrain: Let the people praise you, O God. Let all the people praise you.

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth.  Refrain

God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.

God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. 


Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. Refrain

SECOND LESSON 1st John 5:9-13

[God has borne witness to the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in the Son of God believes in the witness of God and has the promise of eternal life.]

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the

testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

SPECIAL MUSIC     Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise—Robert Williams

GOSPEL John 17:6-19

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

[In this reading The Church hears Jesus’ words on the night before his death. This gospel reports the word of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, a prayer for his disciples and for all who would believe in him through their words.]

Jesus prayed:] “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.

GRACE CHOIR Shout Glory! —Byron Smith

HOMILY Sanctify Us in Your Truth—Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel Lesson

Sanctify Us in Your Truth

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

Today’s Gospel lesson focuses our attention on the 17th chapter of John’s Gospel known as the High Priestly Prayer of our Lord.

The setting is the day before Passover. Earlier in the week there had been a quiet visit with friends in Bethany … followed by Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Time was running short. There was still more that needed to be said. As if to capitalize on the short time left, Jesus provides a capsule statement of His ministry as He shares a last Passover meal with his disciples. As He does so, He uses an object lesson. Taking a basin and towel, He washed their feet and said, “I have given you an example that you also should do as I have done to you.” It was the menial task of a servant, but it vividly reinforced the nature of His ministry and the scope of their discipleship. They were called to serve … even as He served.

“Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth,” our Lord prays.

The truth … mankind has always been fascinated by the illusive concept of truth. “What is truth?” was Pilate’s comment to our Lord.

The truth of which our Lord speaks, however, is not an arrogant exclusiveness that separates one person from another … nor is it the hopeless cynicism that drives one to despair. Rather, truth is that which breaks down the walls and barriers that divide us from each other. Truth is that which liberates and sets one free. Truth, as our Lord speaks of it, is that which brings hope and promise to life.

It’s the recurring theme that the blessed Apostle John returns to again and again. Listen …

· And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we beheld his

glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father.

· If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

· I am the way, the truth, and the life.

· For this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.

The truth is a person! Jesus of Nazareth—born of Mary by the power of the Spirit … at His baptism, confirmed by the Spirit to be the chosen and anointed Son of God … and by the Spirit announced that God’s love for the whole world is fulfilled in His person.

“I am the truth,” Jesus said. Not that He is truth because His teachings are true. His teachings are true because He Himself is the truth.  Freedom in the face of captivity … justice in the face of oppression … forgiveness in the face of guilt … brotherhood in the midst of prejudice … love in the face of hatred begins and ends in Him.

Empowered by the Spirit, the disciples’ ministry is the ministry of Jesus. On the hill of the Ascension, Jesus commissioned the twelve to proclaim the same gospel of the kingdom that He preached; they are to proclaim repentance and forgiveness as He had done. They are to be the prophetic voice of God “setting at liberty those who were oppressed” just as He had been that prophetic voice.

You see … to be sanctified … to be set apart … to be consecrated in Jesus is to do the truth. To do the truth … as God’s people you and I need to be reminded of that often for truth is not merely the recital of a creed. The world beyond the four walls of this sacred space could care less about the truth we speak and confess, but it watches very closely how we do the truth.

And how does one do the truth? Baptized into the death and resurrection of our Lord, the truth is done wherever and whenever the people of God share His ministry. The Letter to Diogenites, an anonymous 2nd Century writing of the Early Church put it this way:

Christians cannot be distinguished from the rest of the human race by country or

language or customs. They do not live in cities of their own; they do not use a

peculiar form of speech; they do not follow an eccentric pattern of life. They live

in their own countries, but only as aliens. They have a share in everything as

citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. They busy themselves on earth,

but their citizenship is in heaven. They love all men, and by all men are persecuted.

They are unknown, and still they are condemned; they are put to death, and yet

they are brought to life. They are poor, and yet they make many rich; they are

destitute, and yet they enjoy abundance. They are dishonored, and in their very

dishonor they are glorified.

How does one do the truth? As Jesus shared a last meal and a last word with His friends in the Upper Room He said:

I have given you an example that you should also do as I have done to you. A new

commandment I give to you, that you should love one another, even as I have loved


How does one do the truth? On the Hill of the Ascension, Jesus said it like this:

Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of

the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe everything that I have

commanded you.

Doers of the truth. That’s the ministry to which God has called each of us as his people here in this place called Grace. Doers of the truth.

So … “How ‘ya doing?”

Let us pray:

Lord, teach us that what we do is just as important as what we say. Help us to

consecrate ourselves to accomplish Your holy will. Help us to be a blessing to others,

+ 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.


Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all those in need.

Holy God, in Christ Jesus the joy of The Church is made complete. Root The Church in your Word and unify us as Christ’s body. Send us into the world as your loving people,

ready to testify to your Spirit at work. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Mighty God, the world is your handiwork, displaying your creative hand. Seas teem with life, forests reach up to praise you, and the mystery of life lies deep in the soil. Guard and keep this world for the well-being of all your creatures and the generations yet to come. Cultivate in us greater care for what you made so that all the inhabitants of the earth may be sustained. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Sovereign Lord, those who follow your ways are like trees planted near streams of water. Establish the leaders of nations and all in authority in your grace. Strengthen them, so that the people they serve will live in peace and harmony. Bring resolution to the conflict in the Middle East. Enable diplomatic negotiations for a cease fire and an end to all hostility. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Gracious Savior, you befriend those who are sick, suffering, poor, outcast, or rejected. Grant healing and love to all in need especially Charlie and Marguerite (MaryAnn’s father and mother), Rusty (under hospice care), Shari (continued cancer therapy), Tim (Judy’s son recovering from knee replacement surgery), Todd (Dean and Mary’s son recovering from open heart surgery, 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 as we pray for them. 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. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving Father, here in this community we share the gift of praying, learning, and supporting one another. Give us thankful hearts as we claim the gifts that are unique to us and keep us from being envious of others with different gifts. Guide the members of our Call Committee in their request for a new list of potential candidates for the pastoral office of our parish. Continue to give us patience that in due time provide us with a pastor. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all times and ages, your wonderful promise is the gift of eternal life in Jesus. We give you thanks for the witness of those who have gone before us with the sign of faith and now live in the fullness of eternal life. Strengthen and assure us of the peace you have promised that we may join them in everlasting life. 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.


Heavenly Father, in Christ’s resurrection you raised up new life for the world. Receive what we offer, that others might know that life through the gifts you

give us to use and to share. 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 holy God:

You are the Life and Light of all.

By your powerful word you created all things.

Through the prophets you called your people

to be a light to the nations

Blessed are you for Jesus, your Son.

He is your Light, shining in our darkness

And revealing to us your mercy and might.


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, his preaching and healing,

his dying and rising, and his promise to come again,

we await that day when all the universe will rejoice in

your holy and life-giving light.

                    Come, Lord Jesus, live in us that we may live in you.

By your Spirit bless us and this meal, that refreshed with

this heavenly food, we may be light for the world, revealing

The brilliance of your Son.

Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father,

with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and

forever. Amen.


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. And also with you.


            Distribution Music I Am the Bread of Life WOV 702



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. Amen.


HYMN Beautiful Savior LSB 537 vs. 1 & 4(Join in singing)

Beautiful Savior, King of Creation,

Son of God and Son of Man!

Truly I’d love thee, truly I’d serve thee,

Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations,

Son of God and Son of Man!

Glory and honor, praise, adoration

Now and forevermore be thine!



Alleluia! Christ is risen.

             He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!

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

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