TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY after PENTECOST
October 29, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
+ REFORMATION SUNDAY +
Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church! This is a place of prayer for all who love and serve the Lord. We pray that through this hour of prayer and praise you will be strengthened in faith and life as you serve the Lord. 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. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book located on the table in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee/Fellowship Hour following worship. Do join us and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. 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 Josh or the lay assistant for the day will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our parish. Come to worship with us again and often!
AS WE GATHER Returning Thanks
On the day of All Hallows Eve, 31 October 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 Theses for debate on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. That event became the focal point of The Reformation. Today, we celebrate the 506th Anniversary of The Reformation. The celebration of Reformation provides us with something of a paradox. On the one hand, it is difficult to find much to rejoice about, given the fact that divisions within Christendom seems to fly in the face of Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17, where he prayed that his followers “may be one” even as he and the Father are one. At the same time, we recognize our diversity and give thanks to God for preserving the truth of the Gospel in our midst throughout the ages. We give thanks especially for the reformers of The Church like Martin Luther, Phillip Melancthon, and others, who fought to preserve and proclaim the clear Gospel message of salvation for all people by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, in worship we praise God for his grace and pray for unity among his people.
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
God our Father, you see how busy we are with many things. In this hour of worship, give us rest from al that would cause us to be anxious. Turn us to listen to your teachings and lead us to choose the one right thing which will not be taken away from us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
+ THE ORDER OF CELEBRATING +
Divine Service Festival Setting Two
INVOCATION & CONFESSION
In the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Let us confess our sins to God and in the presence of one another.
+ A Brief Silence for Reflection +
Most merciful God, we confess to you our disobedience and our unworthiness. Without your grace, we could not stand in your presence. Without your mercy, we would be doomed on the day of judgment. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, 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 the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you. For his sake and by his authority, I declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins 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 our Lord as we greet each other.
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 Lord be with you.
And also, with you.
PRAYER of THE DAY
Almighty God, gracious Lord, pour out your Holy Spirit upon your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in your Word, protect and comfort them in all temptations, defend them against all their enemies, and bestow on The Church your saving peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
FIRST LESSON Jeremiah 31:31-34
[The exiles in Babylon blamed their captivity on their ancestors who had broken the covenant established at Mount Sinai. But the prophet envisions a future day when the people can no longer make such a complaint, for there will be no need to teach the law. Knowledge of God and of God’s laws will be a gift from God, written on the heart.]
The days are surely coming, says the lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt a covenant they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
SECOND LESSON Romans 3:19-28
[Martin Luther and other leaders of The Reformation believed the heart of the gospel was found in these words of Paul written to the Romans. All people have sinned, but God offers forgiveness of sins through Christ Jesus. We are justified—put right with God—by the gift of God’s grace, through faith in Jesus.]
Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no human being will be justified in his sight by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested
by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from the works prescribed by the law.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
HOLY GOSPEL John 8:31-36
The gospel according to John, the 8th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
[The Reformation sought to emphasize that true freedom is not related to ethnic distinctions or social class. Only Jesus can free us from slavery to sin, which he does through the truth of the gospel.]
Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly
my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON True Freedom —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
OFFERINGS are brought forward
God of harvest, to your table we bring wine and bread, and gifts from the labor of our hands. Receive the offering of our lives, talents, and treasure, and feed us with your living bread from heaven, that we may serve others in your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Holy God, our Bread of life, our Table, and our Food,
you created a world in which all might be satisfied
by your abundance.
You dined with Abraham and Sarah, promising them life,
and fed your people Israel with manna from heaven.
You sent your Son to eat with sinners
and to become food for the world.
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 eat; this is my ☩ body, 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 life given for us and his
rising from the grave, we await his coming again to
share with us the everlasting feast.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
By your Spirit nurture and sustain us with this meal:
Strengthen us to serve all in hunger and want, and
by this bread and cup make of us the body 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, 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. Amen
Please Be Seated
DISMISSAL The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Chris strengthen and preserve you in body and soul to life everlasting. Depart in peace. Amen
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Lord Jesus Christ, You have in this food proclaimed Your death for all people. May the whole
world come to know also of Your resurrection as this communion raises us to new lives of love and service. We bless you now and forevermore. Amen
+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +
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.
BIBLE STUDY - Our newest study continues with the book of Daniel. Two Bible Study sessions are available. One at Starbucks (corner of Ashland and Walker Streets) on Wednesdays at 9:30 AM and of course the Sunday morning bible study, which starts at 8:45 AM. Hope to see you there!
SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES - All Saints Sunday will be observed next Sunday, 5 November. Those parish members who received the crown of life since last All Saints' Sunday will be remembered during the reading of the roll of saints. Join in celebrating the saints who have gone before us by placing a white or gold votive candle holder & candle at the base of the baptismal candle in memory of a loved one(s) or someone instrumental in your faith life. Should you forget to bring a votive candle holder and candle with you, there will be a limited amount of votives available for you.
This Week at Grace
October 30th – November 5th
Tuesday, October 31st @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study
Wednesday, November 1st @ 9:30 AM - Bible Study at Starbucks
7:00 AM – Choir
Sunday, November 5th @ 8:45 AM – Bible Study
9:00 AM – Sunday School
10:00 AM – Worship
11:00 AM – Coffee Connection