THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
February 12th, 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!
TEACH US THE GOSPEL AGAIN
AS WE GATHER
What is the Fifth Commandment? Answer: You shall not murder. You are right. But what does this mean? The disciples needed a little review in today’s Gospel. So do we, for its meaning is deeper and more pervasive than we may think. When it comes to matters of the Christian faith and life, we never know it all or remember God’s Word consistently. Remember Martin Luther’s comment about those who would read the catechism once and then throw it in a corner as if they had already mastered it. Yet he who put it together, though he had advanced academic degrees, knew he needed to study God’s Word over and over again. God’s Word doesn’t change, but we do. New challenges, new situations in life call for new insight and continuous instruction in God’s living Word.
In the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
These are the words of your Baptism. What is Baptism?
Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word.
What does such baptizing with water indicate?
It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
CONFESSION and ABSOLUTION Confession
As God’s baptized people, therefore, let’s do that! Let us repent anew that we may arise to live. But first let me ask, what is Confession?
Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.
O almighty God, merciful Father,
I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto You all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended You and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray You of Your boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being.
Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
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.”]
The Lord be with you.
And also, with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray.
O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people that we who justly suffer the consequence of our sin may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness to the glory of Your name; 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 Deuteronomy 30:15–20
The Lord sets before the people of God a clear choice. Life and prosperity will come to the faithful; loss of the land will be the consequence of disobedience. Choosing life entails loving and holding fast to the Lord. Life in God’s presence presupposes the promise made to the ancestors.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you, life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 3:1–9
Human leaders in the church are not the ones who control ministry. Rather they are coworkers who belong to God, the one who truly controls and continuously empowers the ministry of the church.
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So, neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
VERSE Ephesians 5:2
Alleluia. Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Alleluia.
HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 5:21–37
The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the fifth chapter.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus exhorts his followers to embrace standards of righteousness that exceed legal requirements and traditional expectations.
[Jesus said:] “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
SERMON “You have heard…” Pastor Josh Text: The Gospel Lesson
God has made us His people through our Baptism into Christ. Living together in trust
and hope, we confess our faith.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
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.
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life ☩ everlasting. Amen
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
OFFERING is brought forward
Gracious God, with great joy we bring before you a portion of what you first gave us and with these gifts our very lives. Teach us patience and hope as we care for all those in need until the coming of your Son, 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.
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.
Let us pray.
O God the Father, the fountain and source of all goodness, who in loving-kindness sent Your only-begotten Son into the flesh, we thank You that for His sake You have given us pardon and peace in this Sacrament, and we ask You not to forsake Your children but always to rule our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that we may be enabled constantly to serve You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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!
Go in peace as you serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
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.
SAFE TRAVELS PASTOR JOSH — Pastor Josh will be attending the Best Practices for Ministry Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be unavailable, Wednesday, February 15th through Saturday, February 18th, 2023. Please contact your Lay Minister for any assistance or needs during his absence.
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.
TUESDAY, the 14th
Women’s Bible Study
WEDNESDAY, the 15th
THURSDAY, the 16th
SUNDAY, the 19th
MITE BOX SUNDAY
Bible Study (New Start Time) 9:00 AM
Sunday School 9:00 AM
Worship 10:00 AM
Coffee Fellowship 11:00 AM
Sunday’s food donation item: Beans and Chili
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