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Sunday, August 27th, 2023 - Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Sermon by: The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor


August 27th, 2023

The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor


“Upon This Rock Sunday”


Welcome to all who have gathered to worship as we celebrate God’s continued presence in our lives and world. We pray that in this hour of worship, God would strengthen us through Word and Sacrament so that we might give witness to all he has promised in his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. After this morning’s worship, join us for a cup of coffee and let us become acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER "On this Rock"

Rocks endure. They last for thousands of years, from generation to generation. Many people have their names and dates carved on rocks and set on their graves, with the intention that those rocks may endure and proclaim the memory of that person. Today we celebrate the rock, Jesus Christ, upon whom The Church is built. Peter confessed this faith, and so do we. Through Word and Sacrament, The Church is built upon the truth revealed in Christ Jesus—the eternal Son of the Living God.


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; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Now the Feast and Celebration— Marty Haugen





[Remembering our baptism, we gather in the Name of the Triune God to confess our sins and receive the assurance of our forgiveness as his people.]

ORDER OF CONFESSION                                                                                                                                                                                

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


“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.

We have been called to confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God. How faithfully have we done that?

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +

Most merciful God, we confess to you our sinfulness, and our helplessness to escape from it. Our lives do not confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We are wicked; we are doomed to die. We beg your mercy for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ. Forgive us, renew us, and let your light shine upon us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy Name.

The gates of death shall not prevail! 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. By him we are redeemed and set at liberty.

          Thanks be to God!

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 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.


In peace, in peace,


O God, with all your faithful people of every age, we praise you, the Rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son that your Name may be known throughout all the earth; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

+ WORD +

[Whenever we worship, God speaks, and we listen. We hear the Word of God read aloud in our midst, bringing us both God’s judgment and grace.]

FIRST LESSON Isaiah 51:1-6

[In this text, the prophet appeals to a people who seem apathetic, if not despairing. Isaiah reminds Israel that God’s actions in the past (v.2) are the basis for hope in the future. God’s deliverance will come soon and will never end.]

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD; look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dub. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might multiply him. For the LORD comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

“Give attention to me, my people, and give ear to me, my nation; for a law will go out from me, and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples. My righteousness draws near, my salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge the people; the coastlands hope for me, and for my arm they wait. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.”

The Word of the Lord.

                    Thanks be to God!

SECOND LESSON Romans 12:1-8

[Paul offers practical advice to the Christians in Rome, suggesting new ways of relating to God, to the world, one’s self, and to other believers. God’s grace empowers different forms of service among Christians, but all forms of ministry function to build up the body of Christ.]

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body, we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity, the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!

Please Stand

GOSPEL               Matthew 16:13-20

The gospel according to Matthew, the 16th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[At a climactic point in Jesus’ ministry, God reveals to Peter that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and Jesus responds by revealing his vision of The Church that will overcome the very gates of Hades.]

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to You, O Christ.

SERMON             — Pr. Josh Text: The Gospel Lesson


We believe in one God,

the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

and of all things visible and invisible.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

begotten from his Father before all worlds,

God of God, Light of Light,

very God of very God,

begotten, not made,

being of one substance with the Father,

by whom all things were made;

who for us and of our salvation came down from heaven

and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary

and was made man;

and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.

He suffered and was buried.

and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures

And ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of the Father.

And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and

the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

The Lord and giver of life,

Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and

glorified, who spoke by the prophets.

We believe in one Holy Christian and Apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen


+ MEAL +

[As the first-fruit offerings of all that we are and have are gathered, The Lord’s Table is prepared to celebrate “The Feast that knows no end” instituted by Christ, our Lord, for the strengthening of our faith and the assurance of our forgiveness.]




God of all creation, all that we have comes from your hand. We bring what you have already given us—bread and wine for your table, and the gifts of all that we are and have for the work of your Kingdom. Most of all we give you thanks for your greatest gift to us in Jesus Christ, our 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, gracious Father, endless is your mercy and eternal

is your reign. You have filled all creation with light and life;

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

In your love, you sent your Son, Jesus, to us, who reached out

to heal the sick and suffering, who preached good news to the

poor, and who, on the Cross, opened his arms to all.

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

Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray …



The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also, with you.

  [We come to The Sacrament sincerely believing in the real presence of Christ and that in the eating and drinking of the bread and wine of The Sacrament we receive the true body and blood of our Lord for our forgiveness, salvation, and strength for Christian life and witness.]



May the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you steadfast in the true faith to life everlasting. Amen


[Strengthened in faith and empowered for service, we leave with thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing.]


Cultivate and nourish us, O God, that we may be good soil. Let the presence of Christ in word and sacrament, planted in us now, bring forth rich and beautiful fruit for the life of the world; through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen




DISMISSAL Go in peace. Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!

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

Grace Note’s

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 IS TODAYShortly after today’s Worship Service, a Congregational Meeting will be held to elect Church Council Officers for next year. Please plan to attend this important meeting.

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.

this week at grace

August 28th – September 4th

Sunday, September 3rd @10:00 AM – Worship

11:00 AM – Coffee Hour