Return to site

Third Sunday of Easter " The Easter Touch Pt. 2" by Pr. Jim


18 April 2021

Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim


Welcome to all who have come to worship in the Name of our Risen and Victorious Lord.  On this Third Sunday of Easter, we joyfully affirm Christ’s resurrected presence among us in Word and Sacrament. We celebrate his presence in the bread and wine of The Eucharist for the forgiveness of our sins, the nurturing of our faith, and the strengthening of our lives for service.  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.  Come to worship with us again and often! 

AS WE GATHER    Complete Joy

Perhaps it is difficult to understand how the disciples could believe for joy.  The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is almost too good to be true, yet it is true beyond a shadow of a doubt.  His resurrection seals the forgiveness of our sins.  It is that message which the disciples were to proclaim in word and deed.  That is The Church’s task today … and ours as well. 


Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened for us the gate of eternal life.  Give us your continual hope; put good desires into our minds and bring them to full effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


PRE-SERVICE MUSIC There is a Redeemer W&P 140

Alleluia!  Jesus is risen WOV 674



The Gospel for the third Sunday of Easter is always one in which the Risen Christ shares food with the disciples, meals that are the Easter template for the meal we share each Sunday.  In today’s gospel, Jesus both shares the disciples’ food and shows them the meaning of his suffering, death, and resurrection through the Scriptures, the two main elements of our Sunday worship.

PRELUDE        Jubilate Deo—Anthony Giamanco  Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano


Alleluia!  The Lord is risen!     He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!  Jesus Christ was the first to conquer death, the Ruler of all the kings of the earth.   He loves us, and by his blood he has set us free from our sins. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of trouble.


Most merciful God, we confess that we are dead in trespasses and sins.  We have doubted your promises, despaired of your presence, and denied your saving power.  In your great mercy deliver us from the death we deserve, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

“Thus it is written that the Messiah had to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins must be proclaimed in his Name.”  That word is now proclaimed to you.  Your sins are forgiven in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

We are risen to new life!      In Christ, we are risen indeed!



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 Refrain:        Glory to God, glory to God, 

       Glory to God in the Highest   And peace to his people on earth.

1. Lord God, heavenly King, Almighty God, and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Refrain

2. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.  You are seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer. Refrain

3. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father.    

Refrain: Glory to God, glory to God, Glory to God in the Highest And peace to his people on earth. Amen, Amen, Amen. 


Almighty God our Father, you are the author of life, and you adopt us to be your children.  Fill us with your words of life, that we may live as witnesses to the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

FIRST LESSON Acts 3:12-19

[After healing a man unable to walk, Peter preaches to the people describing how God’s promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Jesus.  Through the proclamation of Christ’s death and resurrection, God is offering them forgiveness and restoration in Jesus’ Name.]  [Peter] addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made [this man] walk?  The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him.  But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.  To this we are witnesses.  And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, who you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. “And now friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.  In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.  Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.” The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God! 

PSALM 30 (Please join Worship Team in singing the Refrain) 

Refrain: At the works of your hands, O Lord, I lift up my voice in song;  I sing for joy. 

Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.   For his anger last only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;   weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.         Refrain

To you, O LORD, I called; to the LORD I cried for mercy. Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  Refrain

SECOND LESSON 1st John 3:1-7 

[The First Letter of John encourages Christians to abide in Christ so that God’s love will be found in them.  The baptized are children of God in Christ.  To be a child of God is to have a mission: to offer God’s love to a world of conflict.]  See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.  What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.  And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.  You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.  No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.  Little children, let no one deceive you.  Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God! 

SPECIAL MUSIC My Faith Looks Up to Thee—Brian Büda

GOSPEL Luke 24:36b-48 

The Holy Gospel according to Luke, the 24th chapter.  Glory to you, O Lord.

[In this account of an appearance after his resurrection, Jesus opens the minds of the disciples to understand him as Messiah.  Jesus convinces them that he has been raised and send them on a mission to proclaim the message of repentance and forgiveness.] Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.  He said to them, “Why are you frightened and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Look at my hands and my feet and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.  While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it  and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.  You are witnesses to these things.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

GRACE CHOIR Be Still and Know That I Am God—Ralph Johnson

HOMILY       The Easter Touch Pt. 2—Pr. Jim   Text: The Gospel Lesson

The Easter Touch Pt. 2

+    In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.    +

Today’s resurrection appearance of our Lord follows earlier ones in which Jesus’ voice revealed His resurrection victory.  Remember Mary Magdalene who thought Jesus was a gardener, but then knew Him when He called her by name?  Voice … sound … hearing become the avenue that carried the resurrection presence of Christ.  Remember Thomas … mentioned in last week’s Gospel … who had to see the scars in Jesus’ hands and side before he could say “yes” to the Resurrection? And now comes touch. To the terrified disciples … who thought Jesus was a ghost … the Lord said, “Touch me and see for a ghost does not have flesh and blood (Luke 24:39).” 

The invitation to touch Him was a generous one.  Our Lord understood the disciples’ frame of mind and met them at their point of need.  Rather than leaving them stuck in fear and confusion, He affirmed them with the most basic sense among the five senses:  touch. There’s a lot more than meeting the disciples’ need that is involved here.  For, Jesus takes them beyond their need, calling them to see that His resurrection is not fantasy.  The resurrection touch … God’s touch … is real.

From the very beginning of time, God has never lost touch with those He created … even though they turned away from Him through sin.  Human life is still the crown of God’s creation.  Michelangelo caught it in his fresco in the Sistine Chapel … in which the finger of God touches the outstretched finger of Adam.  All things came into being through the loving touch of God … which is life-giving.   But more about that later. The problem with the human condition is that sin entered in … doing what it always does—spoil what God created.  Gentle, life-giving touch is lost and misdirected.  “Look at what you did!” is the cry of all who have been battered and bullied.  “Don’t you dare touch me!” tells of sin’s damage.  The loss of touch is the loss of humanness.  

But God met our condition head-on in the way that only He would undertake.  He came and dwelt among us.  In Jesus, the Word made flesh, He reaches out to touch us with His forgiveness and love.  He welcomes little one who climb up on His lap … filling them with the confidence of being loved.  He touches lepers who reach out to Him for healing.  The sick and the outcast come to Him that He might touch them. 

Because Christ died and rose for us, we too can say that we have been touched … touched through water and the Word in our Baptism as God claims us as His children.  Touched by His life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament.  They may only be down payments on the fulfillment of God’s promises.  But they are at least that. They are God’s presence and blessing on our heads … pressed in our hands … and consumed in our mouths.  Human hands administer these means of grace.  The Holy Spirit does this mighty work through the touch of frail flesh, such as our own.  For when we speak and live the gospel, Christ is present and walks among us.  

Being touched by God, you and I are called to share the Easter touch of Christ with others.  

We live in some interesting pandemic times in which being close to one another … or touching one another … is discouraged by social distancing protocols.  I don’t know about you, but I miss the days of passing the peace with a handshake … a high or low five … or a fist bump as Christ’s own peace is made real through touch.  Perhaps for some passing the peace is a bit of liturgical fluff.   Yet never underestimate … never dismiss that powerful gesture.  It is a channel of witness … the extension of the love and peace that Jesus offers to us all. You see, touch … faithfully shared … bridges the gap of lost communication and missed signals.  The touch and embrace of forgiveness becomes an Easter moment … renewing and refreshing the soul.  Touch is a sign of reconciliation won for us on the Tree of the Cross and evidenced in the empty tomb. Touch endures when speech and brain functions are brought to a minimum.  Ask any physician or nurse.  Two of the last senses to be lost are touch and hearing.  Touching becomes a sign of love and comfort that gets through when words no longer reach the heart and mind. 

Touch … the Easter touch … reflects who we are as God’s people.  It is a sign of hope in the work of faithful hands and head and feet and body fully dedicated to those who are in need—the hungry and the homeless … the sick … the widowed and the orphaned … the aged and abandoned … the lost and the guilty. 

The Easter touch points us forward as stewards of resurrection hope.  Be mindful of this Easter gift, good people.  Even in these COVID days, be faithful and generous in sharing the resurrection hope.  Be grateful for the love that comes from God through the touch of those who love us and care for us.  Be grateful that we can love and touch others for the good that God intends for them.

And look ahead, dear friends … look ahead in faith to the day when we shall stand, hand in hand, before the Lord and feel His touch and hear His voice:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

Then it will be Easter forever! 

+    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.


Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all those in need.

Living God, in the midst of Easter joy we are still filled with questions and wondering.  Open our hearts and minds as we encounter the Scriptures, so that The Church embodies repentance and forgiveness in the Name of Jesus to all nations.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Creating God, like a master artist you have fashioned the universe out of your love and delight.  Heal your creation, restore waters, cleanse the air, and provide needed rain to parched land.  Give your whole creation the promise of new life and cultivate our care for what you made so that all the inhabitants of the earth may be sustained.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all, the nations hunger and thirst for your righteousness.  Many call on you for guidance and strength.  Answer their hopes with the peace of Christ and give your spirit of wisdom and compassion to national, state, and local leaders that they may wisely shepherd their people in the ways of your love.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Healing God, you hear the cries of those in need and answer them in their distress.  Grant to those who are ill and grow weary in their struggle with health concerns your compassion, especially Charlie and Marguerite (MaryAnn’s father and mother), Rusty (under hospice care), Shari (continued cancer therapy), those suffering from COVID-19, together with those we name in our hearts that they may receive hope, healing, and the mercies rendered by us as God’s people as we pray for them.  Be close to the hearts of all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, and those we name in our hearts that they may be assured of your loving presence in our compassion, prayers, and care for them.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving Father, you have given us such love that we are called the children of God.  Reveal yourself to us so that we in the community of faith will become more and more like you in our mutual love and bold witness.  Guide the members of our Call Committee as they prepare to interview the current list of potential candidates for the pastoral office of our parish.  Continue to give us patience and keep us mindful that it is your Spirit who leads and guides us, and will in due time provide us with a pastor yet unknown to us but known and loved by you.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all times and ages, those who have gone before us with the sign of faith see you as you are.  We thank you for their lives and the examples of faithfulness they have left us.  Assure us of the peace you have promised that we may join them in everlasting life.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Heavenly Father, we welcome this day of Resurrection with it is opportunity to bring gifts to a living God.  Receive these offerings, we pray, as our joyful celebration of your new life in Jesus your Son.  And through the bread and wine we have presented, share your new life with us.  Through the same 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.

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 called 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 that day when all the universe will rejoice in your holy and life-giving light. Come, Lord Jesus, live in us that we may live in you. By your Spirit bless us and this meal, that refreshed with this heavenly food, we may be light for the world, revealing The brilliance 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, 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.

Distribution Music I Am the Bread of Life   WOV 702



Lord Jesus Christ, in this meal you have put gladness in our hearts.  Satisfy the hunger still around us, and send us as joyful witnesses of all that you have done for us, so that your love may bring joy to the hearts of all people.  We ask this is your Name.  Amen.


SONG Give Thanks  LSB 806 (Join in singing)

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One,

  Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One,

  Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.

And now let the weak say, “I am strong.”  Let the poor say, “I am rich,”

  Because of what the Lord has done for us.

And now let the weak say, “I am strong.”  Let the poor say, “I am rich,”

  Because of what the Lord has done for us.

Give thanks, give thanks.


Alleluia!  Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.  Alleluia! Go in peace.  Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!

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

All Posts

Almost done…

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