Return to site

Sunday, June 18th, 2023 - Third Sunday after Pentecost - Sermon: Follow Me by Pastor Joshua Heimbuck


June 18, 2023

The Rev. Joshua J. Heimbuck, Pastor


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 better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER Come, Follow Me

All over the world today, God calls and gathers believers through the Holy Spirit, and in response the community acclaims God in song and prayer. We take our place in the long line of faith who, “from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,” are about the good and proper work of The Church—praising the Name of the Lord for all that he has said and done.


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.


   “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 leanse us from all unrighteousness.

              We have been called for service. How faithfully have we served?

+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +

Most merciful God, we confess to you our sins of thought, word, and deed, our woeful inadequacy. We have promised to serve you faithfully, but we have broken that promise. We are unworthy servants. Without your help, we perish. Therefore, we implore your mercy for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son. Forgive us our sin and empower us for faithful witness.

Our Lord Jesus Christ sees us in our need. His are open wide to welcome us. For the sake of his suffering and death, our sins are forgiven 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 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.




O God, you direct our lives by your grace, and your words of justice and mercy reshape our world. Mold us into a people who welcome your Word and serve one another in love; 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 Hosea 5:15-6:6

[Because God’s people have trusted in military powers and not God, today’s reading begins with the surprising declaration that God will withdraw from Israel and Judah. Perhaps then, the people will recognize their sin and repent. God does not desire pious prayers apart from a life of committed action that results in the living out of the covenant.]

I will return again to my place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face. In their distress they will beg my favor: “Come let us return to the LORD; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will raise us up, so that we may live before him. Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come down to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.” What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like dew that goes away early. Therefore, I have hewn them by the prophets, I have killed them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light. For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

SECOND LESSON Romans 4:13-25

[In his letter to the Romans, Paul presents Abraham as a living model of right relationships. For Abraham and for us, a right relationship with God involves trusting that God’s promises will be fulfilled because God makes the dead alive and calls into existence what otherwise does not exist.]

The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or his descendants though the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null, and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God but he grew strong in faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore, his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “It was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26

The gospel according to Matthew, the 9th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[Matthew’s gospel presents Jesus as a healer of the sick and sinful. Through him, God’s mercy overcomes exclusivism, prejudice, disease, and even death.]

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat down to dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what his means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners. While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing the woman, said, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd make a commotion, he said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district.

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

SERMON             Follow Me          Pr. Josh Text: The Gospel Lesson


I believe in one God,

the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth

and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the only-begotten Son of God,

begotten of 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 for 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.

And I 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.

And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,

I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,

and I 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 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 our salvation, 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.

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


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.


[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.]


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




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

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

Grace Notes

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.

SUMMER HIATUS – As a reminder, the Women’s Bible Study, LWML and the Men’s Saturday Bible Study Breakfast will be on a summer hiatus during June, July and August. Hope you can join us when we reconvene in September.

COMMEMORATIVE PRAYER SERVICE OF THE EMANUEL NINE – On June 17, 2015, Dylan Roof studied scripture with a room full of faithful members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. At the end of the Bible Study as they bowed their heads in prayer, Dylan began shooting at them, murdering nine people. Rev Janell Monk invites you to attend the ecumenical Commemorative Prayer service remembering the Emanuel Nine. The service is on Saturday, June 17th at 7:00 PM at: Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 N. 2nd Street in Ashland.

WEEKLY DEMENTIA SUPPORT GROUP – Are you or someone you know caring for a loved one with Dementia? HOPE Caregiving Services is offering a weekly Dementia Support Group on Tuesdays from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 717 Siskiyou Boulevard in Ashland. For more information, contact Becky at (541) 941-2861



June 19th – June 25th, 2023

Monday, June 19th – Juneteenth

Tuesday, June 20th – Student Piano Recital @ 6:30 PM

Wednesday, June 21st – Student Piano Recital @ 7:00 PM

Sunday, June 25th – Bible & Sunday School @ 9:00 AM

Worship Service @ 10:00 AM

Coffee Connection @ 11:00 AM

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!