ELEVENTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST
August 13, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
"Take Heart, It is I." Sunday
Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship; and we pray that this hour of praise and thanksgiving will be a blessing to you as Christ 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 located 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. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee Hour/Fellowship Hour following worship. Do join us 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 Shouts and Whispers
The theme of today's liturgy is found in the communication of God with his people. Sometimes the voice of God may be heard directly and plainly, as when Jesus says to Peter and the disciples, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Sometimes communication comes in quieter ways, such as when Elijah heard the gentle whisper of the Lord. In whatever way God chooses to make himself known and heard, we are to be ready hearers and listeners.
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
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. We ask this in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
+ THE ORDER of CELEBRATING +
With One Voice Setting
INVOCATION & CONFESSION
In the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
“As I live,” says the Lord God, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live.”
If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins, and
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Whatever storms we may face, our Lord is here to see us through. How firmly do we believe that?
+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +
Most merciful God, we confess to you our sinfulness, and our helplessness to escape from it. We despair of your goodness and doubt your power. Heedless of your strengthening call, we seek to struggle alone. We are wicked; we are doomed to die. We beg your mercy for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son. Forgive us and turn us from our ways.
“Why do you doubt?” the Savior asks. “Take heart, for it is I.” In the midst of our helplessness, Jesus Christ was given to die for us. For his sake, your sins are forgiven in the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Our God has turned to us, and we shall live.
Thanks be to God!
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.”]
The love of God the Father, made known in Christ Jesus our Lord, and poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also, with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God our defender, storms rage around us and within us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith that we may cheerfully accomplish what you want done; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
FIRST LESSON 1st Kings 19:9-18
[On Mount Horeb, where God had appeared to Moses with typical signs of God’s presence—earthquake, wind, and fire—Elijah now experiences God in “sheer silence.” Elijah is now presented with a dramatic shift in understanding where God is to be found. God is not to be found in the typical signs of his presence. Rather, God is among his people, where the will of God is being lived out.]
At Horeb, the mount of God, Elijah came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of host, for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire the sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” Then the LORD said to him, “Go return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, when you arrive, you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees who have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
SECOND LESSON Romans 10:5-15
[A right relationship with God is not something we achieve by heroic effort. It is a gift received in the proclamation whose content is Jesus Christ. This proclaimed Word creates our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence Christian proclamation is an indispensable component of God’s saving actions.]
Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who shall ascend into heaven?’” (That is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will descend into the abyss?’” (That is to bring Christ up from the dead.) But what does it say? “The word is near to you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is in him no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!
HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 14:22-33 Please stand
The gospel according to Matthew, the 14th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Matthew’s gospel typically portrays Jesus’ disciples as people of “little faith,” who fail despite their best intentions. In this story, Matthew shows how Jesus comes to these disciples when they are in trouble and sustains them in their fear and doubt.]
Immediately, [Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So, Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save- me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Text: The Gospel Lesson 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.
PRAYERS of THE CHURCH
Gracious God, with great joy we bring before you a portion of what you first gave us and
with these gifts our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, 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.
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 call 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 the day when all the universe will rejoice in his life-giving light.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
By your Holy Spirit, bless us and this meal, that refreshed by it
we might be light for the world.
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
[The Distribution of The Sacrament is continuous. Those who desire to receive The Sacrament are asked to present themselves in the center aisle.]
PRAYER of THANKSGIVING
We thank you, O God, that you have strengthened our hearts through this feast of life and salvation. Be the light for our path, that we may do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you, now and forever. Amen
+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +
this week at grace
August 14th – August 20th
Sunday, August 20th @ 10:00 AM Worship
11:00 AM Coffee Hour
Please note: The Church Office will be open this week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The office will return to its Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday schedule the week of August 20th. Thank you.
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.
ELECTION OF CHURCH OFFICERS – The annual election of Church Officers will be held on Sunday, August 27th, 2023 following the Worship Service. Nominations are currently being accepted for all Council and Lay Ministry positions. If you or someone you know might be interested in serving, contact Bill Lemke to include them on the ballot for consideration.
Here are the current nominees:
President: Gary Plano
Vice President: William Lemke
Secretary: Nan Gunderson
Treasurer: Lyle Hinrichs
Financial Secretary: Jeff Morlok
Chairman of the Lay Ministry Robert Janssen
Chairman of Trustees: Interim Robert Janssen
DONATION’S NEEDED – SOU’s, “Meet Ashland” event will be held on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. This event is an opportunity for new and returning students, staff and faculty to get to know local Ashland businesses and organizations. Grace was on site last year meeting the SOU community, handing out 100 goody bags. This year the goal is 150 bags! Donations of non-perishable goodies such as chips, nuts, granola bars, candy, drinks and of course, cookies are needed. If you can donate, please bring your items to the church.
PICK UP YOUR COPY TODAY
- August Calendar with August birthdays and anniversaries
- July/August Newsletter
Grace Lutheran Church
660 Frances Lane
Ashland, Oregon 97520