THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
February 5th, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
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 bless 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 on the table in the church's entrance hall as you leave. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee/Fellowship Hour following worship. Join us and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. If you have no church home, 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
The Epiphany season continues to illuminate the miracle of Christmas, shining its light forward to the goal and purpose of Christ’s coming to us in the flesh. That purpose is the salvation of the world through the forgiveness of our sins. That forgiveness can and will happen only through the sacrifice on Christ’s cross. As often as we Christians have heard this Gospel and believe it, however, the more often we tend to forget that this knowledge, this faith, remains a hidden mystery to the world, which ignores, rejects, or explains away “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Many don’t get it! Yet, here through the Divine Word and Sacraments, God the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and giver of life, enlightens minds and hearts to a spiritual epiphany.
(Stand. The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.)
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness; therefore, You are feared.
Since we are gathered to hear God’s Word, call upon Him in prayer and praise, and receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the fellowship of this altar, let us first consider our unworthiness and confess before God and one another that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, and that we cannot free ourselves from our sinful condition. Together as His people let us take refuge in the infinite mercy of God, our heavenly Father, seeking His grace for the sake of Christ, and saying: God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
Almighty God, have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins, and lead us to everlasting life. Amen
Almighty God, merciful Father, in Holy Baptism You declared us to be Your children and gathered us into Your one, holy Church, in which You daily and richly forgive us our sins and grant us new life through Your Spirit. Be in our midst, enliven our faith, and graciously receive our prayer and praise; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
THE PASSING OF PEACE
Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share the peace of the Lord.
[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.”]
GLORIA IN EXCELSIS
SALUTATION AND COLLECT OF THE DAY
The Lord be with you.
And also, with you.
Let us pray.
O Lord, keep Your family the Church continually in the true faith that, relying on the hope of Your heavenly grace, we may ever be defended by Your mighty power; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
OLD TESTAMENT READING Isaiah 58:3–9a
Shortly after the return of Israel from exile in Babylon, the people were troubled by the ineffectiveness of their fasts. God reminds them that outward observance is no substitute for genuine fasting that results in acts of justice, such as feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked.
“‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to lose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’”
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 2:1–16
Though people such as the Corinthians are enamored with human philosophy and wisdom, Paul continuously presents God’s hidden wisdom which is Jesus Christ crucified. True spiritual maturity involves judging ourselves and others in light of God’s revelation in the cross.
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 5:13–20
The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the fifth chapter.
Glory to You, O Lord.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encourages his followers to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, doing good works and keeping God’s commandments.
[Jesus said:] “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.
SERMON SALTINESS. Pr. Josh Text: The Gospel Lesson
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, 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.
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.
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH
Service of the Sacrament
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.
It is truly good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, for the countless blessings You so freely bestow on us and all creation. Above all, we give thanks for Your boundless love shown to us when You sent Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into our flesh and laid on Him our sin, giving Him into death that we might not die eternally. Because He is now risen from the dead and lives and reigns to all eternity, all who believe in Him will overcome sin and death and will rise again to new life.
Therefore, with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, king of all creation, for You have had mercy on us and given Your only-begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
As the glory of Your presence once filled Your ancient temple, so in the incarnation of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You manifested the fullness of Your glory in human flesh.
We give You thanks that in His most Holy Supper You reveal Your glory to us. Grant us faithfully to eat His body and drink His blood so that we may one day behold Your glory face to face.
Hear us as we pray in His name and as He has taught us:
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 WORDS OF OUR LORD
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My ☩ body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way also, He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My ☩ blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
(The pastor and those who assist him receive the body and blood of Christ first and then distribute them to those who come to receive, saying…)
Take, eat; this is the true body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, given into death for your sins. Amen
Take, drink; this is the true blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, shed for the forgiveness of your sins. Amen
Let us pray.
We give thanks to You, almighty God, that You have refreshed us through this salutary gift, and we implore You that of Your mercy You would strengthen us through the same in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and ☩ give you peace and may you be a blessing to others!
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.
SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY—OUTREACH/DISCIPLESHIP — Come join us for a discussion on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and how that impacts our outreach to the Ashland community. Is our goal to make more members or disciples (followers of Jesus)? What does the Bible say about discipleship? We would love to hear your thoughts and insights on how we can reach more people in our community with the Good News of the Gospel. Hope to see you Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00.
SOUPER SUNDAY — The ladies of LWML will continue collecting non-perishable food items through the end of February. All collected items will benefit the Ashland Food Bank. Each Sunday in February, a much-needed food item will be requested. To find out what next Sunday’s food donation item will be, look at - This Week at Grace.
GIFT OF SUPPORT — Igor and Liliia Kopylov along with their 6-year-old daughter fled war torn Ukraine, arriving in America just before Thanksgiving. If you are able to provide a gift of support to assist them, please leave your monetary donation in the offering plate located on the back table of the sanctuary. Identify your gift with “Ukraine Family” written in the memo section of your check or paperclipped to your cash. This will ensure all funds collected will go to the family.
this Week at Grace
February 5th- 12th, 2023
TUESDAY, the 7th
Women’s Bible Study
WEDNESDAY, the 8th
THURSDAY, the 9th
SATURDAY, the 11th
Men’s Breakfast Study
SUNDAY, the 12th
Bible Study (New Start Time)
This Sunday’s food donation item: Peanut Butter