SIXTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST
Grace Lutheran Church
The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim
+ TENTH SUNDAY after PENTECOST +
Bread from Heaven for You Sunday
1 August 2021
Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship this morning. Through Word and Sacrament, Christ our Lord promises to lead and guide us by the power of his Spirit. 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. 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. Please 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 “Bread that Gives Life”
Apparently not satisfied by Jesus’ feeding of thousands, some who were there press him for a sign of his power; perhaps it is daily manna they want. As always in John’s gospel where people want a sign, Jesus offers himself. He is the bread come down from heaven to give life to the world. He calls us to come to him and believe in him; and through that relationship to know the One who sent him.
“Lord of All”
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
O God, you see how busy we are with many things. 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 +
PRELUDE The Bread of Life—Sam Allson
Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Organ
INVOCATION & CONFESSION
In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“I am the Bread of Life,” says the Lord, “Whoever eats of this bread will never die.”
If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Prepare to be invited to the banquet of the Lord.
+ A Brief Time for Silence and Reflection +
Most merciful God, despite the kindness of your generosity, we live in the
futility of greed. Darkened by sin and deluded by Satan, we seek what only you can give; we hunger and thirst for righteousness. For the sake of your Son 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.
The Bread of Life was given for the life of the world. In the mercy of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins. In his Name and by his authority, I therefore forgive you 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 the Lord as we greet each other.
PASSING of PEACE
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 (Join in singing)
To God on high be glory and peace to all the earth;
Goodwill from God in heaven proclaimed at Jesus’ birth!
We praise and bless You Father; Your holy Name we sing—
Our thanks for Your great glory, Lord God, our heav’nly King.
To You, O sole-begotten, the Father’s Son, we pray;
O Lamb of God, our Savior, You take our sins away.
Have mercy on us, Jesus; Receive our heart-felt cry,
Where You in pow’r are seated at God’s right hand on high—
For You alone are holy; You only are the Lord.
Forever and forever, be worshiped and adored;
You with the Holy Spirit alone are Lord Most High,
In God the Father’s glory. “Amen!” our glad reply.
PRAYER of THE DAY
Gracious Father, your blessed Son came down from heaven to be the true
bread which gives life to the world. Give us this Bread of Life that only
comes only from you, that he may live in us and we in him; 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 Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15
[A food crisis becomes a faith crisis for the Israelites in the wilderness. The hungry people forget God’s saving work in the exodus, and they wish for the food they had in Egypt. Nevertheless, God miraculously meets their needs, with manna for bread and quail for meat.]
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.
Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near
to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.”’ And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.”’
In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
PSALM 78 (Read responsively)
Refrain: The LORD rained down manna upon them to eat.
So he commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them grain from
So mortals ate the bread of angels; he provided for them food enough.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and led out the south
wind by his might.
He rained down flesh upon them like dust and winged birds like the sand of
He let it fall in the midst of their camp and round about their dwellings.
So they ate and were filled, for he gave them what they craved. Refrain
SECOND LESSON Ephesians 4:1-16
[Christians share fundamental unity and diversity. Our unity consists in the one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. Our diversity is expressed in various
forms of ministry whose goal is equipping the saints and building up Christ’s one body.]
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,
‘When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.’
(When it says, ‘He ascended’, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens,
so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
SPECIAL MUSIC Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring—J. S. Bach
GOSPEL John 6:24-35
The Holy Gospel according to John, the 6th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Many of the five thousand people Jesus fed in the wilderness continued to follow him throughout the countryside. Jesus challenges them to consider the real nature of their quest.]
So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
HYMN of THE DAY LSB 642 O Living Bread from Heaven
HOMILY Satisfying the Hungry Heart—Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel
Satisfying the Hungry Heart
+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +
It’s difficult it to keep up with a teenage son’s appetite. Jan and I speak from experience. It was amazing to me, as I’m sure it was to my Father, to see how our sons could raid the refrigerator or pantry before dinner was ready … sit down to dinner … reach for seconds before the rest of the family filled their plates … and then, less than hour and a half later, checked out the refrigerator to see if there was something that needed to be polished off.
Teenage appetites notwithstanding, we all know what it means to be hungry again after we’ve eaten. The only difference is the rest of us need a few hours … or more … before the munchies kick in and our stomachs begin to growl. All of us eat … and all of us get hungry again.
The verses that form today’s Gospel Lesson begin with that universal fact. The people were hungry again. They were the same people whom Jesus fed before with five loaves of bread and two small fish. They had followed Him. Their stomachs were growling, and they clamored for the next meal.
So, Jesus did what He often did in similar circumstances. He received the hungry and insistent crowd. But notice the text, Jesus met them at a deeper level of need. To us, it seems all too obvious—Jesus isn’t the bread king … not a free daily meal ticket. But then again, the obvious isn’t always obvious when people are hungry. Nor is it always so obvious to those of us who have more than enough bread for our tables yet misread the hunger pangs that come from the depth of our innermost being … the very heart and soul of our being.
Jesus called out to the people looking for bread. “Do not labor for the
food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which
the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him has God the Father set his seal.”
Or, to put it another way … Jesus said:
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from
the mouth of God.
To all of us who don’t go to bed hungry at night … whose refrigerators and pantries are well-stocked … whose lives are filled with such a wide variety and quality of food that no previous generation has known—to us Jesus calls, “Do not labor for food which perishes.”
So … what are the deepest hungers within each of us? What are the deepest hungers for the unchurched? Do we not all hunger for acceptance? For understanding? Do we not all hunger for companionship and meaningful relationships? Do we not all hunger for belonging … for roots … for peace … for hope … for forgiveness and for faith that doesn’t turn out to be only a mirage? At the heart and core of all these hungers … at the heart and core of all of us … is our hunger and need for God. St. Augustine put it well: “Our souls are restless until they rest in Thee, O God.”
On the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, we need to pay attention to that restlessness … that longing and gnawing hunger within each of us. And we need to pay attention to the hunger within the lives of those around us in our families, neighborhood, and community. We need to heed those pangs and hear those sighs and longings … from deep within others. We need to let those signals tell us the truth which we ourselves so easily neglect or deny … that the deepest hunger of life can and must be met at the spiritual center of our lives—met within our very souls. No matter how long we have lived in the power of the Christian faith … no matter how long we have been members of The Church … this basic truth should never be taken for granted: Our lives and souls are restless until they find rest in God.
And what is true of us, my friends, is true of others beyond these walls.
You see in Christ, the Bread of Life—and for our life—God reveals the innermost hunger of all of us. “I am the Bread of Life,” our Savior said, “he who comes to me will never hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.”
We know that truth as we live it in faith. We witness that truth when we confess it with our lives and actions. And we live that faith in the midst of many things in our lives that remain unfinished … uncertain … and unknown. Feeding upon Jesus as the Bread that finally satisfies doesn’t mean that everything else is beautiful and “coming up roses and daffodils.” Raising children and mentoring grandchildren will continue to be a labor of love as well as hard work. The daily grind can and will still give us fits. People will still annoy us. We will still live with the certainty that we may not wake up tomorrow or that the bottom will fall out. We will keep on hungering for short and long-term goals to be met within our church and our parish. We will wait and pray for much that is seen through a glass darkly.
That’s why it’s so crucial for us to have a living faith in a living Lord. That’s why it’s so crucial for us to share our faith so that others might have it too. Knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior … knowing Him as the Way … the Truth … and the Life means that life’s long search for meaning is over. In Christ, the meaning of life is found. In Him, I know who I am and to whom I belong. In Him, the Bread of Life—my hunger … and your hunger … for God is met.
Lord, our souls are restless until they find rest in You.
I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Come then to His table, find your rest in Him, and be completely satisfied.
+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +
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.
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH
Confident in God’s steadfast love through Jesus Christ, and guided by the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all those in need.
Lord of The Church, you call your people to be the Body of Christ. Awaken all the baptized to the gifts you provide for carrying out the work of mission and ministry. Where The Church is divided, knit us together and restore the unity of the faith. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of heaven and earth, you command the clouds above and cause the wind to blow in the heavens. Watch over deserts and wilderness places. Regenerate rainforests, preserve species at risk of extinction, strengthen all conservation efforts. Provide needed rains and weather conditions to bring all wildfires under control. Protect all firefighters and first responders who are working in dangerous environments through-out our western states as they seek to control and manage further devastation caused by all of the current burns. Sustain those who are displaced and homeless, together with the families of those who are deployed to fight the forest fires. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of freedom, you summon leaders to respond to the needs of your people. Instill those who govern with wisdom and patience when confronted by prejudice, violence, and civil unrest so that all may live in harmony with one another. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of compassion and healing, you draw near to those who cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry, reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who are in need of your touch this day especially Shari, Bert, those suffering from COVID-19 and its variants, together with those we name in our hearts that they may receive hope, healing, and the mercies rendered by us as your servant people. Be close to the hearts of all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, Marguerite (MaryAnn’s mother), and those we name in our hearts that they may be assured of your loving presence through our prayers and care for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of love, you receive all who come seeking a sign of grace. Make this congregation a place of hospitality and welcome in the Name of Christ. In these anxious times of cautiously emerging from the pandemic, revive our spirits, renew our relationships, and rekindle our sense of community. Guide Bishop Linneman as he develops a new list of pastoral candidates for us to consider. Give us patience and keep us mindful that in due time you will provide us with a tenured pastor to join us in serving our community with the true Bread from heaven that gives life to all. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of the ages, you provide food that endures for eternal life. Sustain us each day with the Bread of Life until we are gathered with all the saints who have gone before us to celebrate the feast that knows no end. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We raise our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Offerings Are Brought Forward
O Lord our God, Maker of all things. Through your goodness you have
blessed us with these gifts. Receive what we have to offer, that others
might know that life through the gifts you give to us to use and to share
in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ 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.
Holy God, our Bread of life, our Table, and our Food, you created
a world in which all might be satisfied with 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
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, the sacrifice of his life and death and the
victory of his Resurrection, we await with all the saints his loving
redemption of our suffering world.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Send your Spirit on these gifts of bread and wine and on all who
share in the body and blood of your Son; teach us your mercy and
justice and make all things new in Christ.
Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.
Through Him all honor and glory are Yours, Almighty Father, with
the Holy Spirit, in Your Holy Church both now and forever. Amen.
The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.
Lord, remember us in your Kingdom and teach us to pray:
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.
Distribution Music The Lamb LSB 547
PRAYER of THANKSGIVING
O God of love, we thank you for the living bread that rains down from
heaven. From this feast of love may we carry your eternal life as daily
food for the well-being of the world; through Jesus Christ the Lord of life.
SONG LSB 632 O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee
Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +
COFFEE CONNECTION … Join us for coffee and goodies following worship.
Set aside Sunday, August 22nd, for an AUGUST FELLOWSHIP EVENT following Sunday’s worship. Watch for further information as to how you can help make this month’s as successful and enjoyable as the BBQ held last month.