Psalm 46:10 for Now

Online Liturgies May - August 2021

 

by Pastor Marshall

 

In lieu of our time together due to the stay-at-home orders issued by our government, because of the coronavirus troubles – which have put our worshiping, studying and serving in our building in abeyance – I offer these abbreviated online liturgies. They in no way are equivalents to our normal fare, when we gather in our beautiful church to sing praise to Almighty God around Word and Sacrament. But they still have value. In them I’m taking advantage of our time apart to accentuate Psalm 46:10 about being silent before God. These liturgies have no audio tracks (except for a hymn link here and there) or video streams – which in Mendocino County, California, have been banned (Doug Mainwaring, “California County Bans Singing in Online Worship Services,” LifeSites, online, April 17, 2020). So what we have here are just words. If I were to provide instead a full mock worship service online, that would be inconsistent with our mission statement and the honor it pays to historical liturgies (which require a congregation present). So the liturgies I provide are short, meditative in tone, and solitary. Use them to stand silently before God and his Word – and its elaborations in prayers, hymn texts, art works, and sermons. Luther thought God has his way with us in this silence (Luther’s Works 6:35). Kierkegaard agreed, seeing in this silence God’s Word gaining power over us (For Self-Examination, ed. Hongs, p. 47). He even thought, somewhat humorously, that by blunting our “loquacity” through this silence, God’s ways were protected from any “undietetic uncircumspection” coming from us (The Book on Adler, ed. Hongs, p. 166). Be that as it may, we must never forget, as Kierkegaard elsewhere warned, that Christianity is not primarily for quiet times, but for fighting the good fight of faith “right in the middle of actual life and weekdays” (Journals, ed. Hongs, §2:2132).


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

July 25, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

God’s will is done only

if yours is not done.

 

(Luther’s Works 42:50)

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 25, 2021

  Nineth Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

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 thing that will not be taken from us, Jesus Christ our Lord. In his name we pray. Amen.  


First Lesson: Jeremiah 23:1–6

Psalm 23

Second Lesson: Ephesians 2:13–21

Gospel: Mark 6:30–34

 

Opening Hymn:  “The Church’s One Foundation” (LBW 369)




 
 




 

Sermon: July 25, 2021

 

Learn From Jesus

(Mark 6:34)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Jesus is more than the one we are to believe in and love. He’s also our teacher (Mark 6:34). That’s because he brings in the kingdom of God with a different way of life that has to be taught. For none of us are born knowing about it. We can’t forget how we were born into sin (Psalm 51:5) – getting off on the wrong foot, so to speak. That puts us going in the wrong direction. So if we are to turn from our vain ways (Acts 14:15), then the Lord has to redirect us. That’s why he needs to teach us. That’s why we need to learn from Jesus. Martin Luther believed in this deeply. And so he preached that “to direct us to man as an unerring guide is to guide the conscience out on thin ice. People despise, defame, and slander others who do not join in their tune and play along with them. That is a fine display of human stupidity, to demand that we pattern ourselves after people!” (Luther’s Works 23:297). These are bracing words about our stupidity – but we need the “blunt and unironic,” even the “ferocious,” rather than an “archness,” or cleverly sly element in what we say (Peter S. Canellos, The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero, 2021, pp. 402–403). May we then take up the words of Jesus and learn from him. That won’t be stupid like trusting in ourselves (Jeremiah 17:9, John 2:24–25). For Jesus is free of human stupidity. He is the light of the world, after all (John 8:12). He’s the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). So look solely to him (Hebrews 12:2), for “God’s will is done only if your will is not done” (LW 43:50).

     Look then to the Bible. There you will see the New Testament – full of the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. That is the great revelation for us – and so our “faith must be founded on nothing but the Word of God” (LW 23:297). Included among the many things he taught us is that the church is not a safe place, but one where demons roam (Mark 1:25, 1 Peter 4:8). But Jesus doesn’t put up with that. He enters the synagogue in Capernaum and healed demon-possessed people – right in church, so to speak. How alarming! Who would expect that today? Most of us don’t even believe in demons – thinking they are a vestige of mythological times. But how do we account for mixed-up people who won’t listen to reason nor follow what’s good for them? Doesn’t that all suggest some internal impediment that twists us up to our disadvantage – blinding us from the truth? Doesn’t that help us understand people who want to do better but just can’t do it? In the face of such intractable waywardness, are we then without any help? No, not at all – not even if we are demon-possessed! “Prayer and fasting” have been given us with the power we need to set straight the demon possessed (Matthew 17:21). So take heart. And Jesus goes on. He also teaches that apart from any demons we also suffer from hardened hearts (Mark 3:5). This has the same effect as that of the demons. But in this case we pull ourselves back, all by ourselves, away from God’s truth by our own willful rebellion. So we cannot assume that we are good people (Romans 7:18). Our hardened hearts prove that we aren’t. So we need to pray for new hearts (Ezekiel 11:19) – ones that are “honest and good” (Luke 18:15). Again, only God can turn us into a “new creation” with new hearts that love him and help others (2 Corinthians 5:17, Matthew 22:37–39).

     And there’s more. Jesus teaches us that the devil works to keep God’s word from us (Mark 4:15) – so that its light is taken from us (Psalm 119:105). No, the Bible has to be fought for if it is going to illuminate us. It doesn’t just sit there benignly on your coffee tables waiting for you to take the time to study it. No, it’s rather being kept from us by Satan. He keeps us disinterested in Holy Scriptures. Because of that, we’ll have to implore the Lord God to graciously “bind the strong man” (Mark 3:27), so we can open the good book and drink deeply from its refreshing waters that well up to eternal life (John 4:14). Then Jesus adds that we don’t handle trouble very well either. Mishaps and difficulties can scare us away from God and his blessings (Mark 4:17). That’s because we come to God looking only for good days. So when bad ones turn up, we run away, in search of greener pastures. But God never promised us lives freed from storms – only a house built on a rock that will not fall when the storms pound down upon us relentlessly (Matthew 7:25). This is one of the very worst problems facing Christians. And it’s all predicated on false assumptions and Biblical illiteracy. “Share in the suffering of Christ” – we’re admonished, and don’t be surprised by it (1 Peter 4:12–13). Only when we participate in those sufferings will we prove that we are disciples of Jesus (Romans 8:17). Without these challenging verses our faith is lop-sided. But with them imbedded in us, we finally have the “whole counsel of God” filling our minds (Acts 20:27, Philippians 2:5).

     Jesus also warns us about money (Mark 4:19). Love for it chokes the Biblical words in us so that we lose their light and truth. And darkness quickly sets in (Luke 11:34). How so? – by preoccupying us with money’s splendor so that we forget about Jesus. Then, all that we see in him is the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55). Then the light of the Transfiguration vanishes from us (Mark 9:3). To combat this obsession with money we will have to recall how the love for money pushes us away from the faith and “pierces our hearts with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10). That warning is designed to teach us a lesson about turning money into an idol. And let’s not forget that Jesus also showed us how he had power over the wind and the seas (Mark 4:41). From this we learn that what seems more powerful than him actually isn’t. So his power is greater than it appears. Therefore we are warned not to underestimate the greatness of Jesus. He can kill what’s bad in us and raise us up to newness of life (Romans 6:4). He’s the Almighty One (Revelation 1:8)!

     Thanks be to God. But what will help us take these teachings to heart? It would be so easy to let them go in one ear and out the other. Well, it’s only through the death of Jesus on the cross that we have “access in one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:13, 18). So apart from believing in Christ crucified, we’ll remain ignorant and foolish (1 Peter 2:15). Only the cross draws us into Christ (John 12:32). Luther explains how this happens. Because Jesus was sent by God, he preaches, “to help us out of sin and death, He had to take our place, become a sacrifice for us, and Himself bear the wrath and curse into which we have fallen and… make satisfaction for it.” He then goes on to add that “these mere words… cannot be comprehended or judged by reason. So they are only understood when the Holy Spirit comes, preaches, and reveals them to people who believe with simple hearts and persist in them. Then it begins to taste good and to provide… strength” (LW 77:55).

     With this good taste in our mouths by faith in the grace of God through Christ Jesus, what should we do next? “Execute justice and righteousness” say the mighty prophets of old (Jeremiah 23:5). But how shall we do that? Here’s how Jesus explains it – harkening back to Proverbs 24:29 – “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them” (Matthew 7:12). This is rightly called the Golden Rule of Christ – and for good reason. It shows how the love of Christ drives us to care for others (John 13:35). No drifting around here. No wandering about aimlessly. No, the word is clear – treat others the way you would like to be treated. No double standard. Take this admonition to heart, so that empowered by the Spirit of Christ, you may now, and forever, learn from Jesus. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day:  “O Holy Spirit, Enter In” (LBW 459)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LKMVXCYq68


 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

The Nancy Lawson Family

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

Dana Gioia

Gary Grape

Peter Kauffman

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America.  Pray for the western USA in a long, terrible draught. Pray for peace in South Africa and Afghanistan. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl




 




Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.




 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn:  “Praise the Lord, Rise Up Rejoicing” (LBW 196)




 



We teach that no reliance is to be placed in any man, neither in princes nor lords nor doctors nor pupils. My faith must be founded on nothing but the Word of God…. For faith is not a matter of human competence. It is dependent on God’s own power…. Then I believe, but for the sake of the Word of God…. Let men take a firm hold of God’s Word; then they know what they are doing and what they believe, or where they belong. For only a Christian knows what he believes and does. The others grope about in darkness, uncertain of their true estate…. Then you will not hurl me into the dark hole which they lay open before me, where I stray in uncertainty, not knowing what to believe. Then my faith is pure. 

Luther’s Works 23:297–98.



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

July 18, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

Aaron took the rings of gold and fashioned them into a molten calf and said that “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt.”

 

(Exodus 32:4)

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 18, 2021

  Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, use our lives to spread your love. Stir us, by your spirit, to be neighbor to those in need, serving them with willing hearts. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.  


First Lesson: Amos 7:10–15

Psalm 85:8-13

Second Lesson: Ephesians 1:3–14

Gospel: Mark 6:7–13

 

Opening Hymn:  “Holy God, We Praise Your Name” (LBW 535)

 



 
 




 

Sermon: July 18, 2021

 

Worship Properly

(Amos 7:13)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Worship is big in the Bible. In fact, we’re even told that we were made to worship God (Isaiah 43:21). Therefore the philosopher was wrong who famously said cogito ergo sum – that is to say, my thinking is what makes me who I am (Richard Watson, Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes, 2002). No, that’s reserved for when we worship the one true God of Israel (Acts 14:15). That’s what’s supposed to indelibly mark the human being. Worship is the key. And so the call goes out – “Let us worship and bow down… before the Lord, our Maker!” (Psalm 95:6). Along with this, the expectation is long-standing that we are also to gather on the first day of the week, break bread, offer prayers, read Scriptures and sing hymns (Acts 20:7, 1:14, 17:11, Ephesians 5:19). This weekly worship is basic to the Christian church. Our worshipping of God forms who we are – making us belong to the one we worship (Acts 27:23). That connection between worship and identity is very tight. Therefore it is a surprise and a conundrum, to say the very least, when it all goes haywire. How can the orders of creation and our tight identifications disintegrate like that? But they have and they continue to do so. Take Amos of old. He was forced to stop proclaiming God’s word in Bethel because he criticized King Jeroboam who owned the temple (Amos 7:13). That squeeze-play kicked God out of his own sacred house. And long before that catastrophe, there was the golden calf in the Sinai desert (Exodus 32:4). God’s people wanted a new god because they thought the God of Israel had either abandoned them or ceased to be. So they asked Aaron to fashion a golden calf from the gold jewelry that they took from their Egyptian rulers when they escaped Egypt (Exodus 12:36). And Aaron gladly – shockingly – did so. This is one of the lowest points in Biblical history – which haunts us still to this very day. No wonder Martin Luther said that Christians always remain the same – “cold today, much colder tomorrow, and are thus incorrigible, sluggish people” (Luther’s Works 56:325). That golden calf, then, keeps coming back into the church when we exchange “the truth about God for a lie” and worship “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). This more abstract formulation covers the basic spread throughout the church of this falsehood whereby we again and again “worship the beast” rather than almighty God (Revelation 13:4). Sin is no occasional blip on the screen of life.

     What a mess! And it continues down into our own time. Turning worship today into entertainment is more of the same (A. W. Tozer, On Worship and Entertainment, 1997) – worshipping the beast all over again. Such worship is corrupt because it doesn’t glorify God. But as Martin Luther pointed out, glorifying God is the only way to “regard Him as just, good, faithful, truthful… and believe that He can do everything, that all His words are holy, true, living, and powerful” (LW 26:229). No wonder we would rather worship the beast or the golden calf than almighty God! No wonder we would rather entertain people on Sundays than have them bow down before the Almighty One. And that’s because we don’t want to confer such greatness to God – especially a greatness that insists that all of his words are holy and true. But that’s precisely what worshipping God does – attributing such glorious greatness to him alone. 

     With all of these obstructions and hazards, how shall we get there? How shall we honor God in worship rather than the golden calf? How shall we focus on God in worship instead of the king and our political commitments as happened in the days of Amos? How shall we praise God and give-up on entertaining people in our own time? Well, we’ll need to learn again how to pray to God in the name of Jesus (John 14:13). We’ll need to learn again how to worship God in the name of Jesus. That’ll mean bringing Christ and him crucified into the center of worship. It’ll mean saying in effect throughout worship – “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). It’ll mean hearing God say to you that Jesus came to “deliver you from My wrath” (LW 58:194, Romans 5:9). No worship can be proper without that focus – and so Christ also tells the church to “think on Me” (LW 57:243). This is because nothing else besides Christ crucified “deserves to be praised to the utmost and to have every honor given to it,” as Luther argues (LW 13:319). And that’s because it is only the death of Jesus that “puts away sin” (Hebrews 9:26). And he does that by being punished in our place – bearing our sins in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). That must be front and center in our worship because it is at the heart of the Christian message. “For only Christ’s merit and suffering is so powerful, so precious, so infinitely valuable in God’s eyes that it covers all your sin, appeases God’s wrath, and overcomes death, the devil, and hell” (LW 69:270).

     Therefore if we are going to worship God in “spirit and truth” (John 4:23), then we will have to keep the crucifixion central. Removing the Crucifix from our churches isn’t the way to go. Empty crosses mean nothing. They’re no substitute for “Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). Next, we’ll also have to keep Holy Scriptures front and center – for “where the Word is, there is the Church,” because “there is no greater holy thing on earth than the Word of God” (LW 73:316, 56:11). That’s because only the Holy Scriptures can guide us (Psalm 119:105). Only they can cut us down to size (Hebrews 4:12) – so that Christ increases and we decrease (John 3:30). Luther believed that this asymmetry – Christ increasing by us decreasing – was the goal of all genuine worship (LW 17:324). And so we are “to shut eyes, ears, and all sense and simply wrap ourselves up in His Word” (LW 56:221). Preachers, therefore, must give up on “eloquence and rhetoric” in church and preach “the word seriously” (LW 29:59). Third, Luther’s highlighting or decorating of Holy Scriptures (LW 14:4, 59:46) will also have to be in the mix when proclaiming the word in Lutheran churches. That’s because Martin Luther has been rightly declared to be the “most eminent teacher” in the Lutheran church (The Book of Concord, ed. T. Tappert, p. 576) – whether ignorant and recalcitrant Lutherans know about it or not. Also, Holy Communion has to be included in our weekly worship because without it the cross loses its emphasis (1Corinthians 11:26). Fifth, sin has to be condemned. That’s because loving ourselves has no place in Christianity (John 12:25, Luke 14:26, 2 Timothy 3:2) – for “our nature is totally corrupt” (LW 73:204 – 1:162, 2:123, 12:348, 33:175, 77:54). Everyone is “ungodly, graceless, godless” (LW 75:207). Next, the fear of God – as the one who sends unrepentant sinners to hell (Matthew 10:28, John 3:36) – has to undergird all that we do in worship. Seventh, God loves beauty (Psalm 96:6, LW 59:246) and so his house of worship must also to be beautiful. At a minimum that will exclude clashing colors and patterns, and building with cheap materials incorrectly assembled. Eighth, the holy cannot be mixed with the common (Ezekiel 22:26, 2 Corinthians 6:17). That’s why liturgical speech, vestments and sacred music and symbols are what’s used in church – and not what’s found in shopping malls, on wheat ranches or in auto factories. Ninth, we need to bring our full tithe into God’s house (Malachi 3:7–10). That’s because even though our faith is free, the Christian life is “costly” (Ephesians 2:8, Luke 14:28). And finally, worship must be moral. It must drive to greater righteousness. So when we praise God rightly, justice will “roll down like mighty waters” (Amos 5:23–24) – in the famous words of the prophet Amos of old. If that doesn’t happen, then we’re back to the golden calf in the Sinai desert and the temple at Bethel being co-opted by King Jeroboam. But if we hold onto these ten norms, God will surely show us his mercy and bless us and guide us that we may be among those found to worship Almighty God properly. Amen.
 

Hymn of the Day:  “God Has Spoken by His Prophets” (LBW 238)



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

The Nancy Lawson Family

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

Dana Gioia

Gary Grape

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America.  Pray for the western USA in a long, terrible draught. Pray for peace in South Africa and Afghanistan, and for recovery from horrible floods in Germany and Belgium. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

Deaths

Doris Prescott

Sam Lawson (Dean Hard's brother-in-law)

Dona Brost (Rich Marshalls's mother-in-law)

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl




 




Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.




 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn:  “On What Has Now Been Sown” (LBW 261)




 



Offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

 

(Hebrews 12:28-29)

 



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

July 11, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

It is surely true that it is a great grace not to be offended at Christ, and there is… no other aid or help than to look at His works and compare them with the Scriptures. Otherwise, it is impossible to prevent the offense. His form and appearance are just too low and despised.

 

Martin Luther, Sermon on Matthew 11:2–10 (1522)

Luther’s Works 75:149  



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 11, 2021

  Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

God of glory, Father of love, peace comes from you alone. Send us as peacemakers and witnesses to your kingdom, and fill our hearts with joy in your promises of salvation. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.  


First Lesson: Ezekiel 2:1–5

Psalm 143:1-8

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 12:7–10

Gospel: Mark 6:1–6

 

Opening Hymn:  “O God of Light” (LBW 237)

 



 
 




 

Sermon: July 11, 2021

 

Don't Be Offended

(Mark 6:3)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     World leaders plan for success – not failure. All except for Jesus, that is. Right out of the chute he lets us know that people won’t like him – because he’ll be spoken against as an offense (Luke 2:34, Mark 6:3, Matthew 11:6, John 6:61). How startling. How self-defeating! Had Jesus been out in the sun too long, which the daring say causes stupidity (M. Gladwell, The Bomber Mafia, 2021, p. 15)? Didn’t he know that “control of the incomparable energy reserves of the Middle East” is needed for getting anything done (Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World? 2017, p. 45)? Or didn’t he know about the over five million copies sold of Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (1952, 2015)? And don’t tell me that book wasn’t published in his day since Jesus cared little about timelines famously informing us that “before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). So what was Jesus thinking? How did he figure he could get anywhere with his kingdom of God on earth apart from Peale’s book on positive thinking and controlling the world’s oil reserves? And it even gets worse. Toward the end of his earthly sojourn he mused that “when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth”? (Luke 18:8). Does he really think that none of his followers will hang in there? When Martin Luther grappled with this Christian pessimism, if you will (“On Christian Pessimism,” 1954, Sources & Trajectories: Articles by Jacques Ellul, 1997), he sided with Jesus, fearing that Christians wouldn’t “keep busy with the Word,” but would instead grow “sick of the Word” (Luther’s Works 17:178). That’s something like 60% of Americans who don’t trust the news media seeing reporters as “preying on people’s vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse” (“Are Journalists Immoral Con Artists?” The Seattle Times, July 7, 2021). Cut off from our roots and norms and power in the very revelation and Word of God, all that’s left for Christians, then, is emptiness, meaninglessness and despair. Then faithlessness conquers all.

     However, even though the light of Christ is neither known nor received with joy, we’re told in no uncertain terms that in this case, regardless of what goes on elsewhere, “the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:10–11, 5). Therein lies the end of our pessimism. For you see that rejection cannot erase the truth of Christ – even in a post-truth era. It abides even though discarded. It continues to shine even when ignored. And for that we must give thanks to God. Just as Jesus continues to stand knocking at our door even when we don’t open it to him (Revelation 3:20), so his light continues to shine in the darkness. And that is true even when it is the case that it is difficult to get a man to believe something when his salary depends upon him not believing it” (Lee McIntyre, Post-Truth, 2018, p. 45).

     But what about us? The light shines alright, but not in us. Remember that we go the other way, preferring our own insights (Proverbs 3:5). What then? What’ll happen to us? Is there any hope for us? “When your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light;” Jesus consoles us. But, he goes on to warn us, that “when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness” (Luke 11:34–35)! And when you’re offended by Christ that’s precisely what happens to you. We therefore need to get a handle on that offense. We need to understand it so we can combat it. Luther again helps us. “We scold… the world,” he explains, because it “goes its way like an untamed beast and follows not the Word but its own desires” (LW 1:272). Here Luther points out that our waywardness is grounded in wildness and not in well-considered objections. We’re “untamed beasts” after all – thrashing about rather than carefully sifting through the evidence and weighing the coherence in the claims. Next he argues because we “preach another life,... the world cannot stand” our message (LW 21:9). “One in the hand is better than two in the bush” as far as we can tell. Claiming that the world to come is the best (2 Corinthians 4:18) is too bizarre to believe in. Then, Luther goes on to argue, Jesus will remain an offense to you as long you’re proud and strong – since only the “blind, lame, deaf, dead, leprous, and poor” can believe (LW 75:154). That’s because God’s grace and power are only “made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). So if we are absorbed in materialism and prosperity, “little heed is paid to… the Gospel” (LW 23:11). Opposing that way of life makes Christianity look like “walking on a narrow path, in fact, on nothing but razors” (LW 21:245)!  

     This is what we’re up against. This in large part is why we are offended at Jesus and won’t believe in him, love him or follow him. Left to ourselves these obstacles are insurmountable. But we haven’t been left to ourselves! Christ has been at work on our behalf all along. He has offered up his life as a ransom for sin (Mark 10:45). He does this because he knows that he is “strongest” when he is “dead and weakest” (LW 5:227). How can that be? You’d think he would be weakest when he’s weakest. Plain and simple. But not so. When Jesus dies on the cross something mysterious and glorious happens that the naked eye cant see. “Christ paid God,” Luther explains, “so that [his] wrath might be taken from us” (LW 57:123). And that changes everything. When God’s wrath is lifted off our backs, then we can breathe again and walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). This is the “great grace” that we need “not to be offended at Christ” (LW 75:149). Thank God that this mighty word has been spoken in our hearing over the years. Spoken by the likes of Lincoln’s favorite preacher, Owen Lovejoy, who was society’s “sharp prow, bursting through the ice of moderation and the choppy sea of prevarication and evasions” (David S. Reynolds, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, 2020, p. 417). Thank God that the church hasn’t resorted to preaching on “paltry things, such as temporal riches, honor, might, and pleasures” (LW 23:402). Thank God that there have been those few who have made this Christ “who was shamefully spat upon, scourged, and crucified, more than the riches of all the wealthy, more than the power of all the mighty, more than the wisdom of all the learned, more than the crowns of all the kings, more than the religion of all the saintly” (LW 26:420). Thanks be to God that not all preachers have been “stupid, tired, dimmed” (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, ed. H. Carpenter, 1981, p. 338)!

     May the church then continue in this divine word and “speak to please God, not man” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). That is our mandate from on high. May the church never forget it – that we are to please God and not each other. It’s not enough to say that “I stayed standing, tall and fallen” (J. Allyn Rosser, Foiled Again: Poems, 2007, p. 7). May the church instead take to heart, and live according to, James 4:4 – that “friendship with the world is hatred of God.” That’s a flatfooted verse that won’t put up with our qualifications and adjustments to make it easier on us. So don’t look for any wiggle-room there. Heed Luther’s warning that “a servant of God, who in foolish humility tries to get along with everybody… and be popular,… necessarily loses authority” (LW 25:139). But won’t the church lose its effectiveness as well if it goes down that bold path? Luther didn’t think so. “You will not change the world,” he argued. “I have taken up this office of preaching,” he goes on to say, “for God’s sake, not for the sake of the ungrateful world” (LW 7:97). That surely sounds like the mighty prophet Ezekiel of old, when he proclaims – “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name” (Ezekiel 36:22). Surely that’s a breathtaking Bible verse if there ever was one! It’s shocking because even when God’s helping us, we’re still not the center of attention (1 Corinthians 10:31). May the strength, power and might of this revelation fill you with the Spirit of God, so that when you behold Christ, both today and forevermore, you won’t be offended. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Dearest Jesus, at Your Word” (LBW 248)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vpRNvhhRqk



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

Dana Gioia

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America.  Pray for the western USA in a long, terrible draught. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl




 




Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.




 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn:  “Lord of All Hopefulness” (LBW 469)




 



 

The Laughing Christ by Fred Berger, January 1970.

 

VS

 

He was… a man of sorrows.

 

(Isaiah 52:3)

 

Christ [didn’t have] a laughing heart.

 

(Luther’s Works 22:237)



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

July 4, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

When he slew them, they sought for him; they repented and sought God earnestly…. In their distress they seek [the Lord], saying, “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up.”

 

(Psalm 78:34, Hosea 5:15–6:1)

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

July 4, 2021

  Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

O God, you have prepared for those who love you joys beyond all understanding. Pour into our hearts such love for you that, loving you above all things, we may obtain your most glorious promise of eternal life. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Lamentations 3:22–33

Psalm 30

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 8:1–14

Gospel: Mark 5:24–34

 

Opening Hymn:  “Now Thank We All Our God” (LBW 534)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s99dNPKYtHk

 



 
 




 

Sermon: July 4, 2021

 

Bear God’s Afflictions

(Lamentations 3:33)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Most American Christians think that God saves them from troubles. A recent example of this is Maria Monteagudo who has reported how God awoke her so she could escape from that collapsing condo in Florida (“Escaping the Florida Condo Collapse,” The Seattle Times, June 30, 2021). This has similarities to that collapsing tower in Siloam that killed eighteen which Jesus used long ago to challenge all succeeding generations to repent (Luke 13:4). But this is only half of it. The truth is that God also sends troubles our way then saves us from them after we’ve learned our lesson by way of them because he didn’t want to send them in the first place (Lamentations 3:33). That’s a much more complicated view – and we would just as soon skip over it. But the Bible won’t let us do that. It forces the more difficult view on you. Everywhere you turn it’s on the Bible’s pages. Martin Luther is one of the few to note this. “God alternates in what he does,” Luther argues. “One action following upon another, just as he brings an end to night and lets day dawn…. so he brings an end to suffering, grants a break, and then lets it soon begin again. In the midst of trouble he grants a rest, but he arranges things so that continuously it’s up the hill, then down, and then up again…. [The Bible] is replete,” Luther concludes, “with such highs and lows” (Luther’s House Postils 3:244–45). For God is both kind and severe – not just kind (Romans 11:22). He surely abounds in steadfast love – but we can’t forget that he’s slow to anger too (Exodus 34:6). This favors his love over his anger – not just because his anger is slower than his love is to cover us – but also because his anger, unlike his love, must be “provoked” by our wickedness before it’s unleashed on us (Deuteronomy 9:7, Ezekiel 5:13). And when it is, then God is a “consuming fire” which we must never forget nor try to explain away (Hebrews 12:29). He’s a fire (Luke 12:49), it has recently been shown, in order to reinforce the “speed, power, and zeal” of his wrath (The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, July 2021, p. 504).

     We, of course, would rather have none of this. We’re looking instead for uninterrupted smooth sailing – basking only in the kindness of God. Most of us think the more complicated view which includes divine severity is for the birds. Indeed, God’s people for ages have been pleading – “speak to us smooth things” and nothing else (Isaiah 30:10). But that can’t be if we’re “to grow up to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Only troubles lead us to repentance and this new “mature” life in Christ (Colossians 1:28) – this better life (Psalm 78:34, Hosea 5:15–6:1). Luther knew that without the “sharp bur reed” of suffering, loss and sacrifice, the “admiration of God’s infinite goodness” would never well up in us (Luther’s Works 7:235). Because of this bumpy process of renewal, he developed his theology of the cross to guide the church and inspire Christian living based on both the kindness and severity of God. The theology of the cross holds that God isn’t “exceedingly lovable” because of “the removing and remitting of punishments, things which are most evil and worthy of hate” in the world. No, to the contrary, “the theologian of the cross defines the treasury of Christ as impositions and obligations of punishments, things which are best and most worthy of love.” This remarkable moral reversal and redefinition of spiritual renewal isn’t what the worldly are looking for. And so “people do not consider the theologian of the cross worthy of consideration, but finally even persecute him” (LW 31:227). That’s what it’s like to “share Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 4:13). That’s what it’s like not to be “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). That’s what it’s like to be “hated” by the world (John 15:19). And that’s what it’s like to turn the world “upside down” (Acts 17:6). All of those “blows, whips, and stripes” are needed, however, for without them no one would be “improved” (LW 7:232). We would go our merry ol’ way in the “darkness and obscurity” of our hearts (LW 33:27, 255). Long ago President Lincoln knew that feelings like these were dangerous, because “whether well or ill-founded, [they] cannot be safely disregarded” (David S. Reynolds, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, 2020, p. 357).

     How then can we turn around and end up instead with “honest and good” hearts, as Jesus expected from us (Luke 8:15)? Can we hold on for this bumpy ride or will “the omnipotence of the Word” buck us right off (LW 1:24)? Well, if we were the only ones suffering, then it would – it would buck us right off – and darkness would remain our only companion (Psalms 88:18). But there is another one who was “stricken by God and afflicted,” and by his wounds “we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4–5). And he makes all of the difference – the mysterious one of old who has now been revealed to us as Christ Jesus himself (Acts 8:35). He is our mediator, intercessor and advocate before our punishing God (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 2:1). He suffers the wrath of God for us. There’s no peace with God without him (Romans 5:1, Colossians 1:20). Through his sacrificial death on the cross he makes a “fragrant offering” to the Father and saves us from his wrath (Ephesians 5:2, Romans 5:9). So in our distress he stands before us knocking at the door, beckoning to come in and abide with us (Revelation 3:20). Even though we’re sinners he comes to us (Roman 5:8). And if we believe in him – we have life in spite of our sinful selves (John 3:36)! All we need is faith. Being sinless isn’t required. Just faith – because our reconciled God (LW 26:177, 57:283) reaches out to us rebellious people while we’re yet sinners (Isaiah 65:2). We don’t have to be pure in order to pull him into us. He, instead, draws us to himself on the cross (John 12:32). So call on God for faith and he will grant it to you (Luke 11:13, 17:5). Even if the faith you receive is tiny – the size of a little bitty “mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20) – do not “let it be false,” Luther says, “or say no to it” (LW 77:33). Have confidence in it, knowing with Luther that “God himself cannot give heaven to him who does not believe” (LW 32:76) – tiny though your faith may be. So believe all the same – it matters that much (Romans 3:25).

     With this saving grace, let us then venture out into God’s vineyard where the “laborers are few” and the work is overwhelming (Luke 10:2). And let us get busy sharing the consolation with others which we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4). And that consolation is that “God accepts only the forsaken, cures only the sick, gives sight only to the blind, restores life only to the dead, sanctifies only sinners, gives wisdom only to the unwise” (LW 14:163). Now if you don’t think you’re that bad off, then remember the Germans at the end of WWII under siege from the east by the Russians. Nearly defenseless in the face of that vengeful enemy, “there were tens of thousands of suicides throughout eastern Germany.... A sixteen-year-old recorded in her diary [that] the pastor shot himself and his wife and daughter, Mrs. H. shot her two sons and herself and slit her daughter’s throat. Our teacher Miss K. [she writes] hanged herself... [and] Mrs. N. took poison” (Max Hastings, All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945, 2011, p. 629). How ghastly – but it’s exactly what the Bible says that “men loved the darkness rather than the light” (John 3:19). Or take this example from our contemporary political disarray where liberals terrorize their own liberal representatives taunting them “with bullhorn insults” and menacing them “with flashing car headlight” at their homes at night after the manner of cross-burning by “the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s” (“America is Getting Meaner,” The Seattle Times, June 27, 2021). Now if that’s true, it’s certainly shocking and worth pondering when wondering just how bad off we really are.
     So even though there are wolves out there who won’t want the consolation we bring (Luke 10:3), we must be ever ready to offer it anyway (1 Peter 3:15). Offer it anyway, knowing that the best and brightest among us still haven’t been able to show how preferred “recognizable reason” is better than “thin reasoning” (“Why Conservatives Fear Higher Education,” The Seattle Times, June 28, 2021). Remember then that when you have a chance to share this divine consolation, you may well end up becoming an enemy to the person you’re talking to (Galatians 4:16) who’ll think you’re being unreasonable. That’s how deep unbelief runs in us. But know also that telling the truth isn’t something we can hold back on (2 Corinthians 13:8) even when it’s resisted. That’s because it’s part of the way of the Lord that’s non-negotiable (John 14:6, 18:37). But that truth also has more for you. It will not only bring trouble. Remember too that it’ll set you free (John 8:32). Knowing the truth that Christ comes only for the sick (Mark 2:17) is liberating. That’s because you don’t have to measure up to receive its blessings. So hold onto this abiding truth with everything that God’s given you (Matthew 22:37) – that you may have power from on high to bear God’s afflictions. Amen.
 

Hymn of the Day:  “If You But Trust in God to Guide You” (LBW 453)

 



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 


LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Kim Lim

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

 

On our national holiday give thanks to God for American freedom and pray that all its residents may enjoy it. Pray also for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America.  Pray for those killed in the collapsed condo in Surfside, FL and for all of the rescue workers. Pray for the western USA in a long, terrible draught. And pray for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

Death

Richard Storhoff (Howard's youngest brother)

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl




 




Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.




 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn:  “God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending” (LBW 408)




 



 

 

Remissions of sins…. is followed by distress, perplexity, tribulation, and mortification. All of these have a bearing on the abolition of sin, in such a way that it has not only been remitted and forgiven by God’s grace and mercy but is also purged away by the gift of the Holy Spirit, in order that you may learn to understand how great the wickedness and depravity of human nature is…. To remove this there is need of rather violent troubles to cast off this sluggishness and sloth. For this a sharp bur reed is needed to arouse in us… admiration of God’s infinite goodness… with which he has embraced us.

 

(Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis 42 (1544)

Luther’s Works 7:235) 



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

June 27, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

God gives commands that the elect might fulfill them and the reprobate be enmeshed in them, so that he might show both His anger and His mercy…. For the prudence of the flesh is such that it seeks only its own, and it fears its own misery more than failure to glorify God, and thus it seeks its own will more than God’s will. And thus we must have a different mind toward God than toward man.

 

Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans (1518)

Luther’s Works 25:376.

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

June 27, 2021

  Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, the strength of those who hope in you: Give us the help of your grace, so that in keeping your commandments we may please you in will and deed. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Job 38:1-11

Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41

 

 

Opening Hymn:  “God Himself Is Present” (LBW 249)

 

 



 
 




 

Sermon: June 27, 2021

 

Don't Question God

(Job 38.3)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     We question God, even though we’re told not to (Job 38:3), because we don’t like the way things go and think it’s God’s fault so we want to stick it to him to change our lives for the better. “Life is an unfenced flower, benumbed and nipped at unawares” (Thomas Hardy, The Complete Poems, ed. J. Gibson, 2001, p. 329). Surely we want a better life than that. And we think that surely God should give it to us. But when he doesn’t, we complain. “We grumble and are displeased” (Luther’s Works 4:326). But Holy Scriptures won’t put up with that. “Who are you, a man, to answer back to God?” (Romans 9:20). “Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:8). Our problem is that we fear our “own misery more than [our] failure to glorify God” (LW 25:376). So we end up asking for the absurd reversal “that God obeys man” (LW 33:285). What are we thinking? Have we forgotten that “our Lord God is a tempter who tempts His own and lets things go badly for them in order that they may perceive with certainty and learn that He is a gracious God” (LW 79:136)? Or is it that we don’t believe any of that? If that’s so, then, as Martin Luther thought, we have been taken over by “a bestial mind,” and are unwilling to be “ruled by the Spirit of God” (LW 21:333). Then we’ll never truly know ourselves – that all we’re capable of doing is “sinning and doing evil” (LW 42:74). Because of that, the American penchant to say that “my own mind is my own church” is wrong-headed (David S. Reynolds, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, 2020, p. 106). But when knowledge of ourselves as “bound, wretched, captive, sick, and dead” (LW 33:130) transforms us, then we can see that “the fear of God is in greater danger in prosperity than in adversity. For in prosperity one lives secure in joy; it is hard to fear, much less to tremble, when all goes well…. [Therefore] one must be more afraid where there seems to be no cause for fear; and the more smoothly everything proceeds, the more anxiously one should fear, and even tremble, when great joy and happiness befalls him” (LW 14:345–46). And this is arresting for “how things can be good in God’s sight which are evil to us only God knows” (LW 33:175).

     No wonder then that we can’t make any of this happen on our own – since we couldn’t even give birth to ourselves in the first place (LW 33:191). And so we’ll need to be drawn into that saving truth by God himself (John 6:44). We’ll need to be “changed by the Word of God” (LW 33:53). Since you cannot take all of this up “amicably and willingly, you will [have to] be compelled to do it by force and destruction” (LW 46:20). That’s precisely what happened to Paul when he was knocked to the ground by the light of the Lord (Acts 9:3–4). Since our will is “the greatest and most deeply rooted evil in us,” God has to break it (LW 42:48). Therefore various sorts of tribulations await all who would venture into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). In this way we are “continually... actuated and augmented by the Spirit” (LW 33:124). This links our conversion with Christ’s crucifixion (2 Corinthians 5:14). And that new life of conversion is generated by Christ’s death itself (1 Peter 2:24). In that death there are miracles that bring about our conversion. For in Christ’s death God makes us “alive” by “forgiving” us our trespasses. But that can only happen when God “cancels the bond which stood against us with its legal demands… by nailing it to the cross of Christ” (Colossians 2:13–14). Jesus suffers in our place to free us from the power of sin which slows us down and robs us of the new life that comes through conversion. For in his crucifixion “we substitute his fullness for that which is deficient in us” (LW 31:64). That substitution makes Jesus our Savior. So those deficiencies are no longer to rule over us. “We must, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, get hold of ourselves and be certain that we will not perish” because of them. The wrath that we feel because of those deficiencies is “overcome… through Christ” (LW 13:109, 115). And “it is enough” for our salvation “to reverence, love, and adore his will” to bring this about through Christ (LW 33:155). Because that substitution is so grand, when we forget it or ignore it or otherwise disregard it, the “black hole left [seems] bigger than the presence that had inhabited it. Like the gap left behind after losing a tooth – the ragged, sore spot in your mouth always [feels] larger than the tiny bit of enamel that fell out” (Monica West, Revival Season: A Novel, 2021, p. 166).

     Even so, this remaining fullness of Christ which helps waylay our deficiencies, also helps us take up the steadfastness of Job and learn from him (James 5:11). He endured great pain but saw in his suffering a refinement that enabled him to say – “I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Words like these should be “inculcated in the minds of the godly. For carnal men despise them and do not perceive the inner qualities of the virtues recorded and set before the church for its consolation in order that we may learn that our afflictions are the surest argument and pledge that we are [children] of God…. [For] the work of God… forms you, planes you, and cuts off the rough branches. With ax, saw, and mattock He cuts down everything that hinders the eternal building” of your new life in Christ (LW 7:133). “Therefore a Christian is an especially wretched person, suffering more of whatever may be termed misery than others. His heart is daily roasted on the fire. He must always be terrified, fearful, and trembling when the thought of death and God’s severe judgment occurs in him. He must always worry that he has angered God and merited hell, although he may be pious and well-practiced in faith. For such thoughts will not cease; rather, they are felt more and more and always become stronger than the good thoughts…. However, you must fend this off and cling with a firm faith to the fact that your Christ has risen from the dead. He, too, suffered such anguish and fear of hell, but through His resurrection He has overthrown all. Therefore even though I am a sinner and deserving of death and hell, this shall nonetheless be my consolation and my victory that my Lord Jesus lives and has risen so that He, in the end, might rescue me from sin, death, and hell” (LW 28:104, 105). “Certainly this very great light of certain truth stops everyones mouth, puts an end to all questions, ensures the victory over all evasive subtleties” (LW 33:185–86). And when these glorious certainties are deeply embedded in our hearts, then not much room is left to seriously question God. Amen.
 

Hymn of the Day:  “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” (LBW 483)

 



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]





 



 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

The Family of Abdih Alaghmandan

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

 

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America.  Pray for those killed in the collapsed condo in Surfside, FL last Thursday and for all of the rescue workers. Pray for those killed in the hot air balloon crash last Saturday in Albuquerque, NM. Pray also for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl




 




Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.




 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn:  “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” (LBW 467)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjcSpCSUjdk




 



 

 

Flesh and blood certainly say, when we are stuck in temptation, that all is lost. When our Lord God attacks, He does it in such a way that we do not know how to get out…. If it does not come to that point, then it is no real temptation…. All of this is presented… that we may learn to remain steadfast in faith and imagine God in no other way than as a merciful Lord…. We should be on guard… and not be frightened at the wrath with which He troubles His people…. Our Lord God is a tempter who tempts His own and lets things go badly for them in order that they may perceive with certainty and learn that He is a gracious God…. Whoever wants to be a Christian should be strong in faith, praise God and His Word, and say, “The God whom I have, praise, thank and serve, and do and suffer whatever He wants is the one who can help so willingly and easily.”

 

Martin Luther, Sermon on Luke 7:11–17 (1544)

Luther’s Works 79:135–36.

 



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

June 20, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

 

“The mountain of the house of the Lord.”

(Isaiah 2:2)

 

This is the one supreme consolation of Christians in all adversities, to know that God… does all things immutably,

and that his will can neither be resisted nor changed nor hindered.

 

Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (1525)

Luther’s Works 33:41.

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

June 20, 2021

 

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

God, our creator and redeemer, you have made us a new company of priests to bear witness to the Gospel. Enable us to be faithful to our calling to make known your promises to all the world. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Ezekiel 17:22–24

Psalm 92:1-14

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:1–10

Gospel: Mark 4:26–34

 

 

Opening Hymn:  “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” (LBW 250)



 
 




Sermon: June 20, 2021

 

Be a Thankful Church

(Mark 4:27)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     What is the biggest secret in the Bible? Could it be that God’s kingdom – that is his church – grows secretly (Mark 4:27)? If it is, then what does that tell us about the church? It tells us that we aren’t in charge of what happens to it. That means that “God determines everything,” as Martin Luther repeatedly argued, including what comes of the church (Luther’s Works 15:121). But this flies in the face of common sense. And unfortunately most in the church go along with that. They don’t believe in the church growing secretly by God’s power and plan alone. They instead think that it grows according to their ideas and efforts. They think it’s like any other human organization. So in running a church if I manage to “commit most of the original sins of commerce” – over-borrowing, understaffing, undermanaging, overstaffing, and overstocking – then it’ll fail (Paul Hawken, Growing a Business, 1987, p. 10). And it’ll be my fault. But what if God “turns all things into nothing, and out of nothing he makes all things” (LW 73:151)? If that’s the case, then the well-being of the church does not depend on any of us. And why should it? What have we made of the world in which we live where “the average human being currently resides in an urban slum” (Bill McKibben, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? 2019, p. 8)? If that is our track record, why would God want us to be in charge of his church? And furthermore, why would anyone think they should be in charge of how the church goes with a record like that?

     The Apostle Paul agrees with Jesus on the church growing secretly on its own. He taught that while we plant and water, only God gives the growth. But what’s more, he famously adds that “neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7). So while what we might think is still necessary even though insufficient, that isn’t true at all. Only God is necessary. Luther is nearly alone in helping us understand this. We “must work,” he argues, because God demands it (Genesis 3:19, 2 Thessalonians 3:10). But “worry is forbidden…. for when we fret, we are fools. If grain is to thrive in the ground, God alone must grant it; our worrying will not accomplish it…. Everything is in God’s hands; he is the one who must bring it to pass…. Birds have not a care in the world; for they know they have an excellent kitchen chef and generous butler whose name is the heavenly Father. That is the reason they say, Not to worry!.... For shame! Why haven’t I, old fool that I am, learned to do the same?” (Luther’s House Postils, ed. E. Klug, 1996, 3:18–19). We must labor, alright, but then we must quickly “commit the outcome to God” (LW 15:153). And when we do, the world changes. Take Lincoln’s tempestuous marriage, for example. For years it was thought it wore him down. But now it has been learned that he “may not have had a successful presidency, during which he showed a preternatural ability to deal with difficult people, if he had not had so much practice at home” (Michael Burlingame, An American Marriage: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd, 2021, p. 262). None of this should make us feel left out because we don’t get what we want. We should instead rejoice that God is in charge and makes something good out of our messes. And specifically we should give thanks that he runs the church according to his will. For it is “the one supreme consolation of Christians in all adversities, to know that God... does all things immutably, and that his will can neither be resisted nor changed nor hindered” (LW 33:41).

     But if that’s going to happen, then I’ll have to be jump-started. I’ll have to be “drawn” into righteousness (John 6:44). And God does that for me through Christ’s death on the cross (John 12:32). We need help. For you cannot console yourself. You cannot make yourself satisfied. You cannot save yourself. Only God can do that because he “is such a majesty in heaven, and you are a worm on earth” (LW 15:67). That incapacity is what stymies us. Indeed, “all men are bad, and in their badness reign” (Shakespeare, Sonnets, 1609, No. 121). Therefore “whoever hearkens and clings to the gospel of Christ will be saved; by faith in Christ he has forgiveness of sins, is absolutely free of God’s wrath and judgment, has a gracious God, a faithful Redeemer, who rescues him from eternal death and from the devil, is a child of everlasting life, an individual whose sin will not overcome him!” (LHP 3:109). What a message! No wonder that it’s only God who can make “the dry tree flourish” (Ezekiel 17:24). Remember that there’s no goodness in us to do that for ourselves (Romans 7:18). And so for those who believe in Jesus, judgment day will be different. It’ll not be based on our moral qualities but on our faith in Christ. Standing before Christ we will pass “from death to life [and] not come into judgment” (John 5:24). Talk about the dry tree flourishing! “Just as Christ does not fear judgment and cannot be judged, so we believers will not be judged…. Judgment has been abolished for us on account of our faith in Christ” (LW 22:380). No sweeter words than these have ever been heard!

     So then live according to them. Do this by “always and for everything” giving thanks to God (Ephesians 5:20). What could be more fitting for the mercies he has shown to us? One of the most startling examples of thanksgiving comes from a classic American slave memoir where we read that it was “with pleasure” that the author discovered that “white people did not sell one another as we did,... and in this I thought they were much happier than we Africans” (The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or, Gustavus Vassa, the Africa, Written by Himself, Ninth Edition, 1794, Chapter 3). May we be moved by this radical gratitude and then, through the power of our merciful God, come “to discern his blessings and thank him for them; for he loves it when we notice… his blessings, taking particular delight in our thanking him for them” (LHP 2:415). This shift from despair to thanksgiving is monumental. For when gratitude has its place in us we’re changed for the better albeit imperfectly (2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17, Philippians 3:12). Then “I dont fear... the thoughts in my head flying crookedly like bats” (Charles Simic, The Lunatic: Poems, 2015, p. 28). So mark this transformation well for only it will get you going in the direction of being a thankful church. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day:  Almighty God, Your Word is Cast” (LBW 234)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NRao9VFW-Y

 



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Doug Guthier

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

The Ortez family

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

The Family of Abdih Alaghmandan

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

Jeff Stromberg

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America.  Pray also for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn:  “Your Kingdom Come” (LBW 376)




 


 

God is such a majesty in heaven, and you are a worm on earth.

 

Martin Luther, Notes on Ecclesiastes (1526)

Luther’s Works 15:67



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

June 13, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

The counsel of God alone will stand. All human counsels… will fade away and be confounded. Everyone must, therefore, see to it that he establishes his situation in the Word. Whatever you do, whether it is sleeping, eating, obeying, etc., know this for sure: These things must be regulated by the Word. 

 

Martin Luther, Lectures on Isaiah 46 (1530)

Luther’s Works 17:144

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

June 13, 2021

 

Third Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, the strength of those who hope in you: Give us the help of your grace, so that in keeping your commandments we may please you in will and deed. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Genesis 3:9–15

Psalm 61:1-8

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 4:13–18

Gospel: Mark 3:20–35

 

 

Opening Hymn:  “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” (LBW 526)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spE-BE23qxA



 
 




Sermon: June 13, 2021

 

Join God’s Family

(Mark 3:35)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Jesus, unlike anyone else, puts down our families. He says they’re not the most important thing. What matters most is if we do God’s will. And whoever does God’s will with us is part of our new family (Mark 3:35). God’s will should matter the most to us. And so “if God's will is to prevail, our will must be submerged, for those two are at war with each other” (Luther’s Works 42:45). No wonder Jesus thought he would offend people (Matthew 11:6). No wonder it was predicted when he was born that people would speak out against him (Luke 2:34). No wonder in the end the crowds wanted him dead (Matthew 27:23). There surely were other offenses at play here, but belittling our blood-ties was a major part of what rankled people about him. How strange for a Jew to do that! Family meant so much to them – witness David weeping over Absalom, his dead albeit wayward son (2 Samuel 18:33). And we all feel the same – “a brief parting from those dear is the worse man has to fear” (The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats, 1956, p. 341). But for Jesus this risky diminishment of our families had to be. That’s because as Martin Luther knew, “nothing is to be cared for above or equally with God” (LW 67:185).

     Because of this Christians believe in a second birth which goes well beyond our first birth family (John 3:5). Indeed “it is necessary to peel off the old skin and the old birth, and to put on the new.” This is what the Holy Spirit brings about in us, enabling us to “regain the image of God which we lost in Paradise.” “Here we are reborn from death to life, from sin to righteousness; here we are transferred from the kingdom of the devil into the kingdom of God.” No wonder that without this new birth “there can be no membership in the church” (LW 22:281, 285, 287, 277). Believing in Christ brings this about. And we need that because “everyone carries his hell with him wherever he may be so long as he feels the final anguish of death and God’s anger” (LW 19:75). So surely it’s wrong to say that life is “a treat, not a treatment” (Obituary for Charles McCombs, The Seattle Times, June 4, 2021).

     It’s a treatment alright and much more – it’s also a long series of trials, tests, and temptations (James 1:2–3, 1 Corinthians 10:13). We therefore need Christ because he is our “Advocate before the Father,... who gave himself” for us (LW 23:179). He’s the one to help us through those difficulties. By bearing our sins on the cross he saves all who trust in him from that wrath of God (John 3:36). No longer does God want to punish us because he has already punished Christ in our place with “the severest penalty” for our sins (LW 42:9). And those punishments from which we are saved would even surpass the miseries caused by dying of cholera – “great debility, extinction of circulation, and sudden cooling of the body accompanied by exhausting evacuations of a peculiar character, intense thirst, cold blue clammy skin, suffused filmy half-closed eyes, cramps of the limbs, extending to the muscles of respiration” (The American Scholar, Summer 2021, pp. 32–33).

     What brings us into this new family of God is dwelling on Christ and his words (Colossians 3:16). It’s what makes us into a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). To keep up with this we’ll need to keep on hearing that word and accepting it (Mark 4:20). We must dwell on it rather than imagine how things are with God on our own. That’s a dead end. For “God does many things that he does not disclose to us in his word; he also wills many things which he does not disclose himself as willing in his word…. It is our business, however, to pay attention to the word and leave that inscrutable will alone, for we must be guided by the word and not by that inscrutable will” (LW 33:140). We must not be consumed by the mysterious and baffling – like that incendiary bomb that killed five children and a pregnant woman on a picnic in Oregon at then end of WWII after coming via the jet stream from Japan “carried across the ocean on a paper balloon” (Revkin & Mechaley, Weather: An Illustrated History, 2018, p. 137). This is a huge shift away from speculating to studying and attending to the word. This is a massive shrinking of our intellectual capacities from theorizing to discerning and following divine commands. But this is what a child of God and servant of Christ is.

     Let us then be “regulated by the Word” (LW 17:144). The original Latin for that word “regulated” is debent. In it you can hear being indebted to the word. That’s a strong dependence on the word and it’s at the heart of Christianity (Luke 11:28). That’s because “it is not your reason that draws you; it is the divine Word.... that God sent his Son into the world” that you might have a gracious God that draws you (LW 23:87). And so that word matters more than anything else – more than “brain chemistry, hormones, sensory cues, prenatal environment, early experience, genes, both biological and cultural evolution, and ecological pressures” (Robert M. Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, 2017, p. 5). Because of that “a Christian is greater than the entire world. For in his heart he has this seemingly small gift; yet the smallness of this gift... is greater than heaven and earth because Christ, who is this gift, is greater” (LW 26:134). And that should fill us with overwhelming gratitude (Psalm 9:1). But if that dependence on the word doesn’t hold, then unbelief is sure to set in. When it does, then one “overlooks the Creator, takes pleasure in the creature, and clings to it as though it were good.... Then.... one’s own righteousness and wisdom deceives most of all and hinders faith in Christ, since we love the flesh and the sensations of the flesh, likewise property and riches, in a similar way” (LW 29.154). But when we resist this temptation by the grace of God (James 4:7), and are indebted to Holy Scriptures and God’s divine word, then we will be on our way to doing what matters most – thinking less of our blood-ties as we join up with the new, spiritual family of God. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Through the Night of Dark and Sorrow” (LBW 355)

 



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

David Grindeland

Corinne Smith

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

The Jill West Family

The Family of Abdih Alaghmandan

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eric Peterson

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for those injured in the mass shootings this weekend in Chicago, IL, Savannah, GA and Austin, TX. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India, Africa and South America.  Pray also for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

Deaths

Fritz Noack

Dorothy Ryder

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn:  “Praise and Thanks and Adoration” (LBW 470)




 



 

 

Whoever would have eternal life must…. be willing, if necessary, to abandon everything temporal for the sake of the Lord, in whom he is baptized and born anew. He will use all earthly things according to his necessity and pass through this temporal life into an eternal life which he neither sees nor understands nor comprehends but only believes. Whoever does not transcend physical birth will descend into the abyss of hell.

 

Martin Luther, Sermons on John 3 (1538)

Luther’s Works 22:291

 



 


 




Online Sunday Liturgy

June 6, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

 

Let us... break loose from our own religion, worship, and works…. All these [are] contrary to the glory of Christ…. He is… threatening us if we should seek another glory…. He has to drive us to it because we do not want the proffered grace.

Martin Luther, Lectures on Isaiah 42 (1530)

Luther’s Works 17:71

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

June 6, 2021

 

Second Sunday After Pentecost

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Lord God, you have revealed your will to all nations and have promised to help us all. Lead us to do what you command that your light may overcome our darkness. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Deuteronomy 5:12–15

Psalm 81:1-10

Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 4:5–12

Gospel: Mark 2:23–28

 

 

Opening Hymn: “O Day of Rest and Gladness” (LBW 251)

  



 
 




 

Sermon: June 6, 2021

 

Honor the Sabbath

(Mark 2:27)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Jesus thought we had worship backwards – “the Sabbath was made for man,” he argued, “not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). But that doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we want with it because it was made for us (Thomas G. Long, Beyond Worship Wars, 2001). No, we are only “lords of the Sabbath with Christ and through Christ” (Luther’s Works 51:335). He dominates worship more than the command to keep the Sabbath day holy does (Exodus 20:8). So he is to increase and we are to decrease when we gather for worship (John 3:30). Our testimonials are to give way to his own brilliant word. He is to be at the center of our worship and not we who worship (contra D. Luecke, Evangelical Style and Lutheran Substance, 1988). Why? Because the only “acceptable worship” is based on “reverence and awe” for God who is “a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28–29). When we worship, then, God is to be “most feared” (LW 9:59). So there is no goofing around in God’s house. “Guard your step when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools,…. for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:1–2). Why? Because “in all the affairs of man and God our way is never safe unless we turn ourselves over completely to the Word and work of God and take our stand on it without any debate about it in our mind” (LW 15:75). Only God’s word is holy, and only it can make the Sabbath day holy, since God identifies with nothing other than his word (LW 36:244, 42:147, 75:249). Therefore worshipping God through Christ is “nothing else than minimizing our own selves and confessing the grace of God alone” (LW 17:324, The Messenger, October 1997). Christ and his word are supposed to be supreme. Others think that the setting of worship matters more than its contents. Without our “venerable” church buildings with their “majestic halls and stately” rooms, “respect” for God at worship wouldn’t be “engendered” in the worshippers (John C. Coughenour, “What Gets Lost When Zoom Takes Over the Courtroom,” The Seattle Times, June 2, 2021). But remember – contrary to this view – how Jesus long ago said his body was to displace the Jerusalem Temple, even to the point of destroying it (John 2:21).

     To reinforce Christ and his word in worship, let us resolve to carry “in the body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:10–11). How weird is that? Do you know what that’s about? Well, it’s about how through faith “the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And Christ died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:14–15). In our dying we give all the “glory to God” in our worship (1 Corinthians 10:31). That’s because in Christ God put away sin by the sacrifice of his dear son (Hebrews 9:26). His death is at the center of our worship. His death, his sacrifice, his propitiation, save us from the wrath of God and bring the forgiveness of sins. Therefore “place your foot and heart in Christ the Propitiator and do not explore loftier matters” (LW 16:318). Luther startles us about this. He boldly concludes that “true godliness always appears lifeless in worship” (LW 17:378). That’s because the enjoyment that comes through our interpersonal relationships at worship are beside the point. Christ is the master, after all, and we are to focus on him, even in the midst of the communion of saints.

     But concentrating on Jesus in worship will not be easy to do, since what’s temporal has a stronger hold on us than what’s eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18, Colossians 3:2). We get in the way of worshipping God all of the time. You just can’t see that you’re “a helpless passenger that drifts on some frail boat; and with oblivious ease, as from a distance, watch yourself disintegrate in foaming seas” (The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees, 2003, p. 40). We refuse to admit that we are but a vanishing “mist” (James 4:14). And it’s because of that blind assertiveness, as Luther notes, that so many “frivolous” things go on during worship in church (LW 76:386). Because of that the greater part of the church is “always wicked” (LW 3:225). And so “there is almost nothing more unlike the church than the church itself” (LW 27:397). That’s sobering to say the least. And that demise sets in fast. “For he who despises a single word of God certainly prizes none at all” (LW 37:308). Where we go awry is in trying to “rule Scripture according to our own thoughts” (LW 68:67). And when we do, we push the Bible “under the table, out of the hearts and eyes of all people – to give them instead.... so many books of human doctrine that it may well be called a flood of books, and yet they are only errors, lies, obscurity, poison, death, destruction, hell, and [the] devil” (LW 75:74). What you need to do then – but refuse to do – is “completely despair of your own diligence and intelligence and rely solely on the infusion of the Spirit” when it comes to hearing Holy Scriptures and apprehending and acting upon them (LW 48:54, 1:30). Only then will it happen that “the more one draws and drinks” from the Bible, will one then “thirst for more” of its holy words (LW 4:319).

     But God doesnt leave us to languish in our lost state (Luke 15:4). “All we like sheep have gone astray, but that hasnt kept God from spreading out his hands all the day to a rebellious people (Isaiah 53:6, 65:2). While we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). How amazing! And that was no small feat either. For every nail that pierces Christ, more than one hundred thousand should in justice pierce you, yes, they should prick you forever and ever more painfully! When Christ is tortured by nails penetrating his hands and feet, you should eternally suffer the pain they inflict and the pain of even more cruel nails.... If we allow sin to remain in our conscience and try to deal with it there, or if we look at sin in our heart, it will be much too strong for us and will live forever. But if we behold it resting on Christ and see it overcome by his resurrection, and then boldly believe this, even it is dead and nullified” (LW 42:9, 12). Alleluia! For this good news we press on with grateful hearts to “love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying” (Philippians 3:14, Ephesians 6:24). How could we do anything else?

     Even so there’s still more to do – our worship must also be moral. First it indeed has to be centered in Christ and based on Holy Scriptures. But next it also has to be righteous in relation to our neighbors. We must not hole up in our beautiful church buildings when we worship and let the world go by. On this matter God blisters us. So listen carefully to these famous words: “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies…. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harp I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:21–24). This is shocking to say the least. Luther helps us understand what’s going on here. God “condemns their songs and chants. This is surely great boldness [condemning] works that appeared to be very holy…. The Lord, however, wants people to worship Him in faith. The wicked do not please the Lord, regardless of how great and splendid their work may be” (LW 18:165). So besides glorifying the Lord, our worship must also inspire us to help the poor and needy. Don’t ever forget that “he who oppresses a poor man insults his Maker” (Proverbs 14:31, James 5:4–6). So keep worship and morals together for sure. Keep the two together in church and in their right order, so that when you come to church to worship you will indeed be honoring the Sabbath. Amen.
 

Hymn of the Day:  “God Himself is Present” (LBW 249)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkQOHlsv2jo



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker and Felicia Wells

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Donna & Grover Mullin

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Wendy Pegelow

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

David Grindeland

Corinne Smith

Arik Greenberg

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

The Jill West Family

The Family of Abdi Alaghmandan

Bjorg Hestivold

Ruben Skumilen

Phil and Trudy Kelly

Eugene Schmidtz

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in Africa, India and South America.  Pray for those killed and wounded last weekend in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Pray also for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl





 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn: “God, Whose Almighty Word” (LBW 400) 




 



 

It is our glory… to be worthless in our own eyes and in the view of the world. We must indeed be nothing to the tyrants who are raging against us, so that,... all our wisdom, strength, and glory before us and the world may perish and we may seem stupid, so that with groaning and overwhelmed by the cross, we may long for liberation.

Martin Luther, Lectures on Isaiah 43 (1530)

Luther’s Works 17:88



 


 




Online Sunday Liturgy

May 30, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

 

The component parts… which every real prayer has to possess… are as follows: first, the urging of God’s commandment, who has strictly required us to pray; second, His promise, in which He declares that He will hear us; third, an examination of our own need and misery, which burden lies so heavily on our shoulders that we have to carry it to God immediately and pour it out before Him, in accordance with His order and commandment; fourth, true faith, based on this word and promise of God, praying with certainty and confidence that He will hear and help us – and all these things in the name of Christ, through whom our prayer is acceptable to the Father.

 

Martin Luther, Sermons on Matthew 5–7 (1532)

Luther’s Works 21:140

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 30, 2021

 

Holy Trinity Sunday

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God our Father, renewing and fulfilling creation by your eternal Spirit, and revealing your glory through our Lord, Jesus, we bless your holy name. Keep us steadfast in faith, and bring us at last to see you in your eternal glory. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Deuteronomy 6:4–9

Psalm 149

Second Lesson: Romans 8:14–17

Gospel: John 3:1–7

 

 

Opening Hymn: “Holy, Holy, Holy” (LBW 165)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39ZfrO0UW_s

  



 
 




Sermon: May 30, 2021

 

Pray in the Kingdom

(John 3:3)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     The Holy Trinity is about more than showing abstractly how Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God. It’s also about how we pray – to the Father (Matthew 6:9), in the name of the Son (John 14:14), by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26) (Robert W. Jenson, The Triune Identity: God According to the Gospel, 1982, p. xii). This is the practical Holy Trinity, if you will. For Martin Luther this trinitarian praying rests on the name of Jesus. In our prayers that name matters more than praying to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, “prayer and supplication… must rest completely on the person of Jesus Christ alone…. Every prayer, therefore, not made in the name of Jesus is neither prayer nor worship” (Luther’s House Postils, ed. E. Klug, 1996, 2:108). That’s because unresolved sin blocks our way to God – and cuts off our prayers to him. “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you so that he does not hear” you (Isaiah 59:2). And our sins are severe – like burning down Black neighborhoods in America because of the achievements of Black US soldiers in WWI (Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa 1921: Reporting a Massacre, 2019, pp. 90, 152).

     Only Jesus resolves our resistant wickedness. Only Jesus goes to death on a cross to settle this for us. Only the sacrifice of Jesus overcomes this debilitating separation from God. Therefore we pray in his name for it is “the most important. It is the foundation on which prayer must rest” (Luther’s Works 24:392). “Thus our prayer must, in real and sincere humility, take no account of ourselves; it must rely solely and confidently on the promise of grace…. No real prayer is possible without faith and that without Christ no one is able to utter a single word of prayer that is valid before God and acceptable to Him” (LW 24:88). What are we saying here? Luther is clear – prayer is “characteristic only of Christians” (LW 24:88). All others who pray to God apart from Jesus fail, whether they’re Jews, Muslims, Hindus or any other kind of theist. And the same goes for our supposedly enlightened, heartfelt and creative prayers of yearning toward the longed for cosmic harmony of the universe (Matthew Fox., On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear: Spirituality American Style, 1976). If you think this is unnecessarily judgmental, watch out. Don’t forget that “God has earnestly enjoined prayer under pain of incurring His greatest punishment, just as He has commanded you not to have any other gods [and] not to blaspheme... the name of God” (LW 24:389).

     So rejoice that Jesus has come to be with us. His greatness is what we need. And he is great because God “dwells bodily” in him. “In fact, there is no other God” than Jesus (LW 19:80). This is because the Father sent his Son “in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” (Romans 8.3). No one else ever has done that, nor could have done it for us. There is no other savior from sin (Acts 4:12). So “whoever wants to call upon God must conclude in his heart that God has been reconciled to him, is favorably disposed toward him, and is willing to hear him…. You will never call upon God the Father, the Creator who made you, feeds you with bread, and frees you from all evil, unless you believe and are certain that you have Him well-disposed toward you” (LW 8:274–75 ). And when you have that, you’ll then want to put your heart into your prayers. Because then you’ll know that “you will never pray anything good out of a book; you can certainly read out of it and be instructed how to pray and what to ask for, and be motivated, but prayer must come freely from the heart without any affected and prescribed words; its words must come from a heart on fire” (LW 76:225). For prayers “devoid of the sincere uplifting of the heart are as unlike prayer as scarecrows in the garden are unlike human beings” (LW 42:25).

     Christians are so moved by Jesus because of what he has done for them. He dies on the cross, is punished by God in our place, and by so doing saves us from the wrath of God (1 Peter 2:24, Romans 5:9). Jesus makes peace between us and God by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:20). Otherwise all we would have from God is hatred (Psalm 5:5, Jeremiah 12:8, Isaiah 13:9) – with “no kindly Providence [directing] one’s life” (Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark, 1915, IV.iv). So it is on Christ’s cross that reconciliation with God happens (Ephesians 1:7). This is the basis for our redemption. This is why Jesus is “the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15). Therefore “the Gospel says: ‘If you believe in Me and note that I, Christ, died for you and took away your sins, then you are helped. If you adhere to this, the Gospel does not teach you what you are to do for God but that you take and receive Him” (LW 23:324). “So long as sin, death, and the curse remain in us, sin damns us, death kills us, and the curse curses us; but when these things are transferred to Christ, what is ours becomes His and what is His becomes ours” (LW 26:292). We must never become blasé about preaching this. No, urgency must grip the preacher of such good tidings (2 Timothy 4:2). Indeed, it’s “the thunder of the Gospel by which alone sinners are killed and made alive” and given newness of spirit (LW 27:303). President Lincoln knew about this. “I don’t like to hear cut-and-dried sermons,” he told a friend. “No – when I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees” (David S. Reynolds, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, 2020, p. 39).

     Struggling to make Christ our own after he has first made us his own (Philippians 3:12) – that struggle will include daily prayer as well. For struggle and prayer go together. That’s because prayer is tough – so don’t be misled by saccharine spiritualists (LW 4:340, 12:314, 35:199). Prayer, after all, is “a serious meditation, in which the heart makes a comparison between the person praying and the Person hearing, and reaches the firm conviction that even though we are wretched sinners, God will nevertheless be gracious, will alleviate our punishments, and will hear our prayer” (LW 3:160). So do not lose heart over prayer, but pray constantly (Luke 18:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Pray constantly because you’re constantly being threatened (LW 21:138). And we need tutoring in prayer or else we’ll give up saying we’re too busy to do it (LW 24:385). But we need to pray to get “a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift” (Bob Dylan, 100 Songs, 2017, p. 113). To that end, Luther’s advice is surely worth taking to heart about increasing our prayers. First he says that work can go along with prayer. Indeed, “everything a believer does is prayer…. Because a believer fears and honors God in his work and remembers the commandment not to wrong anyone, or to try to steal, defraud, or cheat. Such thoughts and such faith undoubtedly transform his work into prayer and a sacrifice of praise.” It’s even the case that under these conditions “he who works faithfully prays twice,” if you can believe it (LW 43:193–94). With this in hand more frequent prayer is a greater possibility. Make them “brief, frequent, and intense” (LW 21:143). There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, “few words and richness of meaning is Christian” (LW 42:19).

     Furthermore Luther goes on to say that “God… is rich as He hears us, but we are poor as we pray; He is powerful in His fulfilling, while we are weak and fearful in our asking…. When God gives, He gives strongly and boldly that we would not have been able even to imagine such things…. For He does not work in us according to the power of the flesh, nor does He hear us on this basis, but rather according to His spiritual power” (LW 25:412). May this surprising grace inspire us. And may we be confident God will share his powerful grace with those reborn into his kingdom (John 3:3). Don’t let modern secularization discourage you with its shrinking “institutional religion and [diminished] sense of Christian identity” (Philip Jenkins, “Suddenly Secular,” The Christian Century, May 5, 2021). For Christian identity is actually bolstered under such duress (LW 12:174, 17:241, 45:347, 76:288). May God then grant us this gift of new life in his kingdom as we struggle to pray – to the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Father Most Holy” (LBW 169)



 


Litany on the San Jose Shooting,

May 26, 2021

 

First Lutheran Church of West Seattle

May 30, 2021

 

Let us pray for all those grieving for loved ones who were among the murdered and injured in the mass shootings last Wednesday morning at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Facility in San Jose, California. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for those who came to the aid of those under attack. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for those killed in this shooting. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for all those who survived, that they may be comforted and healed of their terrible memories. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the family and friends of the killer – in their sadness and shame. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the city of San Jose, and all the towns in California and the entire USA – that they may be civilized and peaceful places to live and work. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us pray for the angry and unstable who all too quickly resort to violence as a means of solving their problems, that they may find peaceful ways to overcome what’s troubling them. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, let us thank God for his goodness and mercy, for those kept safe during the shooting, and for the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, when he comes again in judgment (John 5:26–29, 16:33), to rescue the righteous, condemn the wicked, and bring violence and evil to an end, once and for all.

 

GLORY BE TO JESUS, OUR MERCIFUL LORD AND SAVIOR! AMEN.


 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Dorothy Ryder

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Karen Berg

Donna & Grover Mullen

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Wendy Pegelow

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

David Grindeland

Corinne Smith

Arik Greenberg

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

Kevan & Jackie Johnson

The Jill West Family

Abdi Alaghmandan

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India and South America.  Pray also for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

Birth

Penelope Happy Johnson

(Melanie Johnson's second grandchild)

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn: “All Glory Be to God on High” (LBW 166) 




 



 

 

[That] for which to pray…. is always prompted by prevailing circumstances, so that we never need to be in a quandary or anxious about what we should petition for. We are right now living in perilous times when there is no dearth of crying, needs that daily increase in number and severity, and remind us that we ought to pray more.... There is always enough trouble of this sort to urge us to prayer, even if our private concerns do not drive us to it. Yes, there are cases aplenty to convince us of the importance of prayer.

Martin Luther, Sermon on John 16:23–30 (1534)

Luther’s House Postils 2:107



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

May 23, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

If man is to see God’s kingdom, then there must be a new birth and a completely different nature, not like the old one from the flesh, but from the Spirit and completely spiritual. For that they need a different word and sermon than they heard previously and learned from the Law and a different power than human ability.

 

Martin Luther, Sermon on John 3:16–21 (1544)

Luther’s Works 77:366

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 23, 2021

 

Pentecost Sunday

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the Holy Spirit which enlightens and instructs us. Grant us this day also a right understanding in all things, and your abiding comfort all our days. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Ezekiel 37:1-14

Psalm 104:25–34

Second Lesson: Acts 2:1–21

Gospel: John 7:37–39

 

 

Opening Hymn: “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (LBW 163)  

 



 
 




Sermon: May 23, 2021

 

Breathe in Life

(Ezekiel 37:9)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Why is the one true God triune – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Well, we know we needed Jesus to die “for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3). But how about the Holy Spirit? Why is the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity? Jesus says that we need the Holy Spirit to remind us about what he told us (John 14:26). But why do we need that reminder? It’s because we forget God’s words – just like the chosen people of old did (Hosea 13:6). Is that all? No, it’s even worse than that. It’s also because we refuse to listen to God (Psalm 81:11). So we need the Holy Spirit to invade us and compel us to do what we don’t want to do (Isaiah 65:1–5). Just as Saint Paul was knocked to the ground by a blinding light, so must we be forced to believe if we’re also going to believe at all (Acts 9:3–4). This is the drawing or yanking that has to take place (John 6:44). This is the holding or seizing that must occur (Psalm 139:10). There’s no other way to get us into “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). We can’t just walk in politely and casually – since no one enters the kingdom of God except through “many tribulations” (Acts 14:22, Luther’s Works 31:33). No one waltzes into heaven “on velvet cushions and on roads paved with silk” (LW 23:362). So we must cry out – “Come, Holy Tenacity, refuse to let us go. If we shut the door in your face, go to the back door. If we slam the back door, come in through the cracks” (Edna Hong, Box 66, Sumac Lane: A Lively Correspondence on Sin and Sanctity, 1989, p. 75).

     All of this is desperately needed because we live in a valley of dry bones like Israel of old – “our hope is lost; we are cut off completely” (Ezekiel 37:11). What’s happened to us? We’ve trusted in our beauty rather than relying on the Lord. We’ve oppressed the poor rather than lifting them up. And we’ve defiled the sanctuary of God and profaned his Sabbath with our self-aggrandizements (Ezekiel 16:15, 18:10, 23:38). Oh “wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24). And it’s pervasive – we’ve all gone astray! (Isaiah 53:6). We are not breathing in life from God (Ezekiel 37:9) – but only our own reeking “poisoned air” (Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978, Hymn 396). We have abandoned obedience to a fixed, divine order for life, in favor of a new-found freedom – not necessarily of a “bohemian or romantic” sort – but a simple freedom which we think brings “direction [or purpose] in a life” (Robert B. Pippin, Henry James and Modern Moral Life, 2000, pp. 35–39, 52n19, 172, 174–75). The danger in this innovation however is that “God is much too noble and fastidious [to] dwell with such arrogant, boastful saints who, like their idol, the devil, want to be equal to God and brag to Him about their holiness,... the pomp, the fame, and finery of their beautiful, self-made holiness” (LW 77:343–44). People just “will not endure sound teaching [but] will find teachers to suit their own likings” (2 Timothy 4:3). Against this proclivity we need the power of the Holy Spirit to barge into our lives to “make our faith sure, remove all doubt, and enable us to judge all other spirits” (LW 24:294). Only the Holy Spirit can give us “a new birth and a completely different nature” like this (LW 77:366). Only the Holy Spirit “works in us so that we... begin to obey Him with love and joy” (LW 77:338). That’s what makes the church’s annual feast of Pentecost so glorious!

     But there’s a catch. None of this happens by the Holy Spirit swooping in from out of the blue into our hearts. No, the Holy Spirit doesn’t work that way. The only way we receive the Holy Spirit is through God’s word (John 14:26). If we think we don’t need the Bible to be enlivened by the Holy Spirit, then we go awry like Luther’s opponents who thought they could “devour the Holy Spirit feathers and all” (LW 40:83). But still we won’t budge. That’s because we hate God’s word and would rather have the Holy Spirit without it. These are deep waters. “For hating the Word of God is really hating God. This is how it works. You denounce a man for his unbelief and greed,… and he refuses to hear that denunciation or to stand for it. He starts ranting and raving against it, until in his heart there is bitterness and venomous hatred against the Word and its preachers…. And yet… they lay claim to titles like ‘the greatest of saints’ and ‘enemies of idolatry and heresy’ and they absolutely disclaim the title ‘haters of God’” when in fact they’re nothing but “genuine demonic saints” (LW 21:190). The only antidote to this corruption and distortion is to dwell richly in God’s word (Colossians 3:16). That’s because only God’s word can “reform, rule and teach” us what we need the most (LW 23:51). By it alone are we “conquered” (LW 77:340).

     So in that word there is hope indeed for the sinner. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). Just think of it. It’s that easy. But beware. “This is a thunderbolt against all self-righteousness. Here you have a new and pure and very short rule: ‘Call on the name of the Lord.’ This means that with this brief sentence all human pride and merit is struck down; if you trust in God and call upon Him… you are saved” (LW 56:297). Your calling on God, then, is reversed by God actually choosing you when you call upon him (John 15:16). There is no other way to get around the programmatic John 12:25 – that “he who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Nobody can do that (LW 33:106–107) and so we need the Holy Spirit working through the word to draw us to Christ (John 12:32). In Christ we hear – “what you cannot do, I will give to you” (LW 56:276). God is in charge! Do you believe that? Take the Civil War, for an example. Who defeated whom? “Soldiers drowned in floods, died of heat exhaustion, collapsed in mud, froze to death, burned alive when dry forest caught fire, fell prey to environmental diseases, were struck by fateful lightning, and lost their minds. They did not survive Weather’s assaults” (Kenneth W. Noe, The Howling Storm: Weather, Climate, and the American Civil War, 2020, p. 495). So no wonder Christ is our mediator to bring us to God (1 Timothy 2:5). Remember that he’s in charge. Jesus dies on the cross to overcome God’s wrath against us and make peace between us (Romans 5:9, Colossians 1:20). No one else could do that. This unlikely scenario is the great exchange between God and sinners. It brings redemption by way of brutality and crucifixion. For it is only the cross of Christ that is able to “transfer righteousness, life, and blessing” from Jesus to us (LW 26:292). And now you can see a similar, horrifying transference acted out on a human plane, in the striking Danish movie about a brutal orphanage, Der kommer den dag (“The Day Will Come”) (Netflix, 2016).

     With this bold faith in our suffering Savior Jesus, let us share the good news with anyone God puts in our path asking about the hope that’s within us (1 Peter 3:15). But watch your step (Ecclesiastes 5:1). Pay attention and heed the warning. “Woe to you,… hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15). How is that possible? Because when we witness we mistakenly speak to please each other, and not to “please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). So be careful when you talk about Christ. Be sure that you “teach that all men are wicked;… condemn the free will of man, his natural powers, wisdom, righteousness… and whatever is best in the world” (LW 26:58). Do this because the “Holy Spirit’s office [is] telling people that by nature they are all guilty and sinners before God, and that they must either obey this message about Christ or be eternally damned and lost” (LW 24:336). Have confidence that this word will not scare away “the elect” (LW 42:103) that chosen remnant (Matthew 22:14, Romans 9:27, Luke 12:32). Have confidence that by way of it, belief in God will grow in our valley of dry bones, and that because of that some few will indeed breathe in life. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day:  “Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire” (LBW 472)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjdMWFrd4Vo





 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Karen Berg

Donna & Grover Mullen

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Wendy Pegelow

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

David Grindeland

Corinne Smith

Karl Fecht

Michous & Jacqui Johnson

Nick de los Santos

Arik Greenberg

Dana Gallaher

Jeanne Pantone

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India and South America.  Pray also for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn: “O Day Full of Grace” (LBW 161) 




 



God is much too noble and fastidious; He will not and cannot dwell with such arrogant, boastful saints who, like their idol, the devil, want to be equal to God and brag to Him about their holiness. He does not regard them as worthy of the honor of looking at them, with the pomp, the fame, and finery of their beautiful, self-made holiness. Meanwhile, He is found in the poor, common huts of the poor, despised people who hear and believe Christ’s Word and want to be Christians, even though they regard themselves to be completely unholy, unworthy sinners. 

Luther’s Works 77:343–44.


 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

May 16, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

We must… esteem God’s Word highly and hearken to it diligently and gladly…. We have to do this [because] God has commanded it…. This should be reason enough to draw us to the Word. For to serve such a great Lord, as God is, is a wonderful thing…. [In God’s Word] you will hear… how you may overcome death and obtain eternal life…. But, unfortunately, most people are… paying virtually no attention to the Word…. [So when calamity comes, God will say] since you do not listen to me when I speak, I shall no longer listen to your screaming and howling, as it is written in Proverbs 1:24–30.

 

Martin Luther, Sermon on Matthew 22:1–14 (1532)

Luther’s House Postils, ed. E. Klug, 1996, 3:96–98.

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 16, 2021

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, your Son our Savior is with you in eternal glory. Give us faith to see that, true to his promise, he is among us still, and will be with us to the end of time. In his name we pray. Amen.  


First Lesson: Acts 1:15–26

Psalm 47

Second Lesson: 1 John 4:13–21

Gospel: John 17:11–19

 

 

Opening Hymn: “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus” (LBW 158)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRLO2b8kjgI

 



 
 




Sermon: May 16, 2021

 

Hold Onto the Word

(John 17:17)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Jesus says that God’s word is true (John 17:17). Sounds benign enough – almost like a harmless platitude, doesn’t it? But not in the hands of Martin Luther. “What then,” he asks, “do you think the word of man is in contrast, if not a lie?” Wow! Now that’s hardly a friendly conclusion to draw. “This is ridiculous,” he goes on to say, “except to those who hear and understand the true gospel of freedom. What is more, the error of their absurd teaching only stirs up the wrath of God in its severest and worst form for so many thousands of souls which are utterly lost and desperately caught up in these snares” (Luther’s Works 44:312). That’s why we need to be sanctified by this word as well (John 17:17). We need to “ascend to the heavenly saintliness by which we are acceptable before God because of His Word” (LW 5:213). We need the protection that his word affords. Remember that we loved the darkness after all (John 3:19). And we know that this corrupt love brings judgment, condemnation and divine wrath upon us (John 3:36, 5:29, 9:39).

     All of this follows from God’s word being true. Even though we may want to “blurt out” against this teaching, saying “how ridiculous can you be?... This is stupid!... This sounds silly!” we must nevertheless not say that. We instead have to disengage ourselves from “worldly thoughts” and instead hang our faith “totally on Christ’s word.” I must instead say that “I’ll kiss my own opinion good-by and stick to your word” (Luther’s House Postils, ed. E. Klug, 1996, 2:286). To get me to this point, Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) argued that God will have to “help me by knocking me around – and yet it is out of love, yes, out of love – would only that I were worthy of it” (Journals, ed. Hongs, §6913). Only after such rough treatment will I be able to “esteem God’s Word highly and hearken to it diligently and gladly.” Only in this way can we “serve such a great Lord.” For only through him may we “overcome death and obtain eternal life.” If not, when calamity comes, God will say “since you do not listen to me when I speak, I shall no longer listen to your screaming and howling” for help from me (LHP 3:96–98). But if we listen then we see God’s words scattered among us like “jewels [that] are wonderfully sweet” (LW 6:73). This is utterly crucial because “no life or work, no spiritual, sublime thoughts, nor personal devotion, nor anything else that can be named or done on earth can make us holy. In short, there is no source of holiness in us” (LW 69:94). Indeed, we can do nothing apart from Christ (John 15:5). That’s because Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). But even though he bears witness to the truth on our behalf, we still don’t believe in him (John 18:37, 8:45). Instead we live with innovations of our own making that are “contrary to the old and eternal Word of God” (LW 34:382). Theyre contrary to the glories of Eastertide. But they persist. Indeed the “sacredness” of our efforts is on display in “the need to deserve luck... by showing the pluck that starts at the bottom” and never gives up (Garry Wills, Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man, 1970, p. 156). Examples like this are legion.

     What brings this about? Its because “our flesh and our reason want to have nothing to do with the Word; they are willing to believe only what they want to believe.” And so there is “nothing within us but sin, injustice, and stupidity” (LHP 3:81–82, 135). We therefore are prone to say that a “God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross” (H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America, 1937, 1988, p. 193). Then salvation is circumscribed and is only a rescue from death and not also from hell and its “perpetual torture” (David B. Hart, That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell and Universal Salvation, 2019, p. 106). As contrarians we are lost because “the only peril, abyss, and shipwreck is not to be or not to remain in.... the divine and ineffable Word of God” (LW 34:131). That’s because “all enemies of the Word, although outwardly holy, are worthless and damned” (LW 6:73).

     Because of our waywardness the word had to become flesh in Christ Jesus, for without that incarnation we could not behold its glory which is manifested in Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for us (John 1:14, 12:28, 32). In that sacrifice Jesus “paid His own life that we might have the pure Word.” And by doing so “satisfaction is made for divine justice and wrath on our behalf” (LW 28:376, 264). “Shouldnt that cause me to stand on my head with joy? Wouldnt that make everything sweet as sugar, pure as gold, sheer everlasting life?” (LHP 3:82).Yes, indeed! But this joy isnt a wildly exciting, worldly joy with dancing and leaping, with eating and drinking, or the likes of what is prompted by wealth and riches, or a worldly kingdom. It has to do with something greater and better, namely, how we remain alive after we are dead and have decomposed in the earth, how we become righteous when we are in [Christ], how we escape out of hell into heaven, out of damnation into salvation” (LHP 3:322).

     Nonetheless none of this matters if we don’t believe in it (John 3:16, Romans 3:25). Those who reject this salvation earned by way of Christ’s agonizing death on the cross will be judged by the very word they’ve rejected (John 12:48). But this is as it should be because “we preach nothing but Christ, that no one is saved by anything of his own. If we could have been saved by anything of our own, it would have been unnecessary for God to send His Son…. This is what we preach and the truth to which we bear witness” (LW 69:213). For indeed, “there is nothing more holy on earth than God’s Word” (LW 36:244). This is the message we need to spread with humility throughout the world. For “if faith is genuine, then true humility must follow.... After humility there follows true patience and love toward the neighbor, so that he despises no one, gladly serves and does good to everyone, endures whatever befalls him, and does not become angry and take revenge, even though he is exposed to ingratitude, unfaithfulness, injury, scorn, and insult” (LW 69:92). Would that we all could be like Lincoln who “was like a tremendous funnel, open fully to anarchic currents that he channeled, condensed, and redirected in positive ways” (David S. Reynolds, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, 2020, p. 645). Can I be so transformed (2 Corinthians 3:18)? Can I dwell richly in Christ’s word (Colossians 3:16)? Can I say that “before I starve for want of the Word of God, I would rather do without bread and die of hunger [for] it is better for the body to perish than for it to be kept alive by food and the soul to die and be lost forever”? (LHP 1:315). May God give us grace to live by this message; encourage others to do the same; and by so doing hold onto Christ and his word. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “O Word of God Incarnate” (LBW 231)



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Melanie Johnson

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Karen Berg

Donna & Grover Mullen

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Wendy Pegelow

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

David Grindeland

Corinne Smith

Karl Fecht

Michous & Jacqui Johnson

Nick de los Santos

Arik Greenberg

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many suffering and dying from COVID-19 in India and South America.  Pray also for refugees throughout the world; for the care and keeping of our planet; and for our poor, fallen race that God would have mercy on us all.

 

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn: “Son of God, Eternal Savior” (LBW 364)



 



 

 

No life or work, no spiritual, sublime thoughts nor personal devotion, nor anything else that can be named or done on earth can make us holy. In short, there is no source of holiness in us…. To cling solely to Christ by faith, as the one in whom we possess God’s grace and eternal life without any work or merit on our part – this is not man’s doing but God’s. Behold, everything depends on this article.

 

Martin Luther, Sermon on John 17:17 (1530)

Luther’s Works 69:94

 

7 (


 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

May 9, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

 

The true church may not and cannot have an earthly head. It may be ruled by no one on earth, neither bishop nor pope. Here only Christ in heaven is the head and he rules alone…. [For] how can a man rule something he neither knows nor recognizes?... No one is able to instill… into another man or into his own soul the faith, mind, and will, and activity of Christ except Christ alone.

 

Martin Luther, On the Papacy in Rome (1520),

Luther’s Works 39:7172.

 



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 9, 2021

 

Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, guide us by the power of your Spirit to think those things that are right, and by your goodness, help us to do them. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Acts 11:19–30

Psalm 98

Second Lesson: 1 John 4:1–11

Gospel: John 15:9–17

 

Opening Hymn: “Life High the Cross” (LBW 377)

 



 
 




Sermon: May 9, 2021

 

Take Christ's Name

(Acts 11:26)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     Followers of Jesus – they’re called Christians (Acts 11:26). Do you like that? Originally you were called people belonging to the Way (Acts 9:2). Do you like that name better? Or how about Nazarenes (Acts 24:5) – since Jesus was from Nazareth (John 1:46). Would you prefer being called Nazarenes? Members of the Church of the Nazarene (est. 1907) to this day are called Nazarenes (Floyd Cunningham, Our Watchword and Song: The Centennial History of the Church of the Nazarene, 2009). Does that sound better to you? If so, then why is it that the name “Christian is the one that has stuck,… becoming in every language the preeminent mark of identification for the disciples and the church in every age” (Jaroslav Pelikan, Acts, 2005, p. 141)? No explanation is given except the indirect verse that God made Jesus the head of his Church (Ephesians 1:22). It looks like that’s why Christian is the name that won out over all the others. Christians belong to the Church that Christ runs – that’s why Christians are named after the one who leads them.

     But don’t we build churches, pay the bills, hire people who work in the churches, and decide what is to be done in them? It doesn’t look like Jesus is the head of the Church. He’s the inspiration, but he doesn’t run it. We do. Nothing else makes any sense. But that’s right where the Bible upsets everything. It’s God’s word and it runs the Church. So even though we don’t see Jesus at church council meetings or out pruning the gardens, his word still calls the shots. In fact, as Martin Luther argued, “the Word, the Word, the Word,… everything depends on the Word” (Luther’s Works 40:212, 214). It’s what “encourages the timid [and] terrifies the presumptuous” (LW 14:338). Because everything that we do in the Church is to align with Christ’s word, he then is the one who runs it and not us. The Church “will not be known by sight, but by faith” in God’s word (LW 35:410). So his word holds our feet to the fire of his wisdom and his way of living. And if we don’t give Christ and his word our “allegiance and obedience,” then we’ll be “smashed like pottery” (LW 78:355). That’s what the leader of the Church can do to us. So don’t be fooled by the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t make him all sweetness and light. For those “hardened heads” who resist him, he is a “frightening Christ” (LW 77:85). The stakes are therefore very high. If we try to run the Church instead of regulating it by God’s word, then “its head is dead” (LW 39:72). “The true church,” Luther argues, “may not and cannot have an earthly head. It may be ruled by no one on earth…. Here only Christ in heaven is the head and he rules alone…. [For] how can a man rule something he neither knows nor recognizes?... No one is able to instill… into another man or into his own soul the faith, mind, and will, and activity of Christ except Christ alone” (LW 39:71–72). The true Church “does not depend on [any] person” in the congregation, but only on Christ and his word (LW 41:348).

     Even though “the whole world has nothing better, more precious, or nobler than the church, in which the voice of God is heard,” yet because “the church is so hidden from view by the cross, by afflictions, by dishonor, and by contempt,… the world concludes that nothing is more detestable and baneful” than the church (LW 4:6). The ungodly “claim to be so smart as to find the truth in themselves and to discover the way to salvation, satisfaction for sin, and atonement with God through themselves. They will not hear or tolerate any other doctrine.... Because of the great beams [in their eyes], it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to find room in them or to enter their hearts or their sight, even though He stands there openly and raps everywhere for admission. They are so engrossed in and blinded by their own notions that they cannot hear, see, or understand anything of what is proclaimed about Christ” (LW 24:122–23). That’s why a disruption has to occur – with salvation coming under no other name than that of Christ (Acts 4:12). He is the Lamb of God who was slaughtered for our salvation (Acts 8:32–35).

     What a formidable declaration! God punished him and spared us – “by his poverty [we have] become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). “Before we had Christ, we were [therefore] at peace with the devil but at war with God” (LW 24:181). Christ now has ended that war. By making that happen, he becomes our “capital wealth, base, ground, and the whole sum, around and under which everything is gathered and found, and in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and understanding.” In fact, “all error, heresy, idolatry, offense, misuse, and evil in the church originally came from despising or losing sight of this article of faith in Jesus Christ” (LW 34:307). So hold on to Christ. You cant think your way to faith in God. Reason fails us, and we cry out “With a specious and cunning appearance of thought, I seem to be catching but never have caught” (Poems of Henry Timrod with Memoir and Portrait, 1899, p. 31). Reason cannot be our “titanic material” (Pablo Neruda, Canto General, trans. J. Schmitt, 1950, 1991, p. 76). Reason is faulty. It cannot save us. It can’t get us into the kingdom of heaven but that doesnt stop it from aiding and abetting dastardly deeds – with “the careful, detailed, and meticulous planning [killers carry] out with almost military discipline, soberly acquiring everything [needed] to carry out the massacre and to gird [oneself] for an anticipated siege by police” (Seamus McGraw, From a Taller Tower: The Rise of the American Mass Shooter, 2021, p. 19). So we need Christ rather than well tuned deliberation. For his “cross was the altar on which He, consumed by the fire of the boundless love which burned in His heart, presented the living and holy sacrifice of His body and blood to the Father with fervent intercession, loud cries, and hot, anxious tears” (LW 13:319). That sacrifice is precisely what’s needed to get salvation rolling!

     This fantastic news cannot be kept inside. Like Jeremiah of old, it burns in our hearts and we grow weary with holding” it within (Jeremiah 20:9). The word has to get out. And so all believers in Christ are called to be his “ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20). As such we are to give account to anyone who asks us about the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). But that doesn’t mean selling Christ to the lowest bidder. We mustn’t peddle cheap grace for Christ – thereby burning up “the grace of God in vain” (2 Corinthian 2:17, 6:2). We mustn’t “throw pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). Accordingly “you may deal harshly with the.. hardened…. and act boldly in opposition to their teachings,… for they will not listen. But the simple people… whose lives are endangered, you must… with caution and gentleness undo the teachings of men, providing them a defense,… and in this way gradually set them free…. You must treat dogs and swine differently from men; wolves and lions differently from the weak sheep. With wolves you cannot be too severe; with weak sheep you cannot be too gentle” (LW 45:73). So be ready for opposition. Christ and his church have been hated from the beginning (John 15:18). For centuries the attack has been direct and virulent, saying that “the preachers who tell us to live in fear and trembling are lying. God has no interest in our actions, and though nature is beautiful and intricate, there is no evidence of an underlying intelligent design. What should matter to us is the pursuit of pleasure, for pleasure is the highest goal of existence” (Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, 2011, p. 220). So dig in. You’ve been warned. Take your ambassadorship seriously, you who would be followers of Christ! “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). For by so doing you will rightly be called Christians, having taken to heart his name. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “Spread, Oh, Spread, Almighty Word” (LBW 379)



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.




 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Doris Prescott

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Karen Berg

Donna & Grover Mullen

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Wendy Pegelow

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many dying from COVID-19 in India.  Pray also for refugees throughout the world; and for the care and keeping of our planet.

 

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn: “Christ is King” (LBW 386)



 



 

 

No matter how much they see, hear, boast, and preach of Christ and the Holy Spirit, they still do not know Him. For their path to this goal is obstructed by the huge blocks and boulders of their personal notions, which they follow. They claim to be so smart as to find the truth in themselves and to discover the way to salvation, satisfaction for sin, and atonement with God through themselves. They will not hear or tolerate any other doctrine…. Because of the great beams, therefore, it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to find room in them or to enter their hearts or their sight, even though He stands there openly and raps everywhere for admission. They are so engrossed in and blinded by their own notions that they cannot hear, see, or understand anything of what is proclaimed about Christ.

 

Martin Luther, Sermons on John 14 (1538)

Luther’s Works 24:122–23.



 


 

 




Online Sunday Liturgy

May 2, 2021


 


Bulletin Cover

 

They are doomed to eternal doubt; and the more they work and torment themselves in an effort to please God, the greater their uncertainty becomes, until finally it culminates in despair. This is the inevitable lot of all who rely on themselves and their deeds. For in the final analysis we will find that so far as we are concerned all our works, even the best, are sinful and damned to hell in the sight of God. God’s Word has already pronounced wrath on man’s own ability, power, and works. Whatever does not abide in this Vine Christ must be condemned and exterminated. Therefore he who wants to be helped out of such doubt should be intent solely on coming out of himself and all his works into Christ and on learning to know how we come to grace through Him, are pleasing to God, and thus through faith are grafted into Him as branches.

 

Martin Luther, Sermons on John 15 (1538)

Luther’s Works 24:219–20.



 
 


Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

May 2, 2021

 

Fifth Sunday of Easter

 

In the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Let us pray:

O Lord, our God, make us love what you command and desire what you promise, that, amid all the changes in this world, our hearts may be fixed where true joy is found. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


First Lesson: Acts 8:26–40

Psalm 22:24–30

Second Lesson: 1 John 3:18–24

Gospel: John 15:1–8

 

Opening Hymn: “We Know That Christ Is Raised” (LBW 189)

 



 
 




Sermon: May 2, 2021

 

Depend on Christ

(John 15:5)

Grace and peace to you in the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

     How do you feel about being a branch on Christ’s vine? (John 15:5). Do you like it or would you rather be more independent? Would you rather have greater control over your life? Would you like planning your days on your own, picking the projects that interest you most, working where you think you best fit in? Would you also want to be in charge of the overall direction of your life from beginning to end – a role greater by far than being a mere branch on a vine? Most people dream of being free to pursue their own way of life and happiness. But Martin Luther advises against that. He thinks we are too precarious to carry such a heavy load. We are, after all, “a bubble that quickly bursts” (Luther’s Works 16:270). But on lesser matters there’s no problem. Driving your car, tying your shoes, planting tomatoes in the back yard – you can go ahead with any of these. For when God created the world, “He commanded and empowered man to rule physically over beasts, birds, and fish, to maintain home life, to rear children, to cultivate the fields, to rule over lands and people…. It was not necessary for Christ to give instruction about this, for it was implanted in nature and written in their hearts…. [But] Christ is speaking exclusively of His spiritual kingdom and government, in which God Himself dwells, reigns, and works through His Word and Spirit toward a spiritual, eternal life” (LW 24:228). Even though God is more involved in the spiritual kingdom than in our material, mundane lives, he still sustains us so that we can achieve in those material ways. “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4, Psalm 104:29). And so for Luther it was also true that “God determines everything, so that you may learn to be content with what He has offered and will use even that moderately; then your joy will be in the Lord” (LW 15:121).

     But is that enough? Are you satisfied with running much of the mundane and material realm? Or do you also want to set up your spiritual life as well? “More and more Americans… envision themselves as creators of their own… religions, mixing and matching spiritual and aesthetic and experimental and philosophical traditions” (Tara Burton, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, 2020, p. 10). Is that you? If it is, then God’s word is coming after you to cut you down to size and refashion you into his children (Hebrews 4:12–13, 2 Corinthians 3:18). That’s because in this spiritual kingdom everything’s reversed – “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). He isn’t looking for the cooperative – but for the sick and wayward (Mark 2:17). “I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices…. Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me’” (Isaiah 65:2–5). Then the most alarming thing happens – and the earth quakes (Matthew 27:51). God’s only son, Christ Jesus, is crucified. He’s “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

     In his terrible death, Jesus bears the sins of the world and is punished for them (1 Peter 2:24). When we believe in Jesus, his crucifixion saves us from having to be punished for our sins. Finally we are free (Galatians 5:1)! We need this sacrifice (Hebrews 9:26) because “I and the works of all men are too feeble to help me wipe out sin, reconcile God, [and] conquer death” (LW 24:41). We also need it because we are “ashamed of our humanity” for the wrong we have collectively done (Pope Francis, On Fraternity, 2020, §248). Just think of the wild tulip trade in the 1630s based on speculative future markets and short selling, with a product turned into an erotic goddess – “curved as the form of the new Moon, her color is well apportioned, clean, well proportioned; almond in shape” (Mike Dash, Tulipomania, 1999, pp. 116, 203). So when Jesus dies for us it is “surely the greatest love” that can be shown because “He came down from heaven to take your place and willingly shed His blood [when you were] damned and were His enemies” (LW 24:251). So Luther has Jesus say – “If you are sinful in yourselves, you are justified in me; if you feel death in you, you have life in Me; if you have strife in you, you have peace in Me; if you stand condemned on your own account, you are blessed and saved in Me” (LW 24:141). Alleluia! “Faith makes Christ ours, and His love makes us His. He loves, we believe; thus we are united into one cake” (LW 75:217). No longer then does fear of the future plague us, and our lifelong bondage” to the fear of death assail us (Hebrews 4:15). We have been saved from the fires of hell and we are free (Mark 9:48). Let not the devil rob you of this future joy with his malicious words – “O let us shut the future out, lest thought should poison with the shaft of doubt the happy now!” (George Santayana, Lucifer: A Theological Tragedy, 1889, p. 31). And that future joy will also help us weather the trauma of our present life which the devil also tries to cover-up – including that “many more infectious diseases have emerged over the past century than have been eradicated” (Charles Kenny, The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease, 2021, p. xi).

     So be of good cheer (John 16:33). Through this faith in Christ the Christian “soars outside himself and beyond himself into Christ” (LW 24:143). And that flight also gives us room to love others (John 13:34). Without Christ we are turned in on ourselves (LW 25:313) – incurvatus in se in Luther’s original Latin. No soaring into Christ then. No loving of the neighbor then. For indeed “the source of our holiness” is outside of ourselves (LW 24:172). So with truly thankful hearts, bless the Lord for the flight of the spirit he has bestowed on you – from outside of you. Don’t be “wild branches” (LW 68:118) – relying on yourself and going your own way (Proverbs 3:5). Give thanks for the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8). Know that “if faith is not present, then all our deeds and life are worth nothing before God, and no truly good works can happen” (LW 77:280). Know that “all our works, even the best, are sinful and damned to hell in the sight of God. God’s Word has already pronounced wrath on man’s own ability, power, and works. Whatever does not abide in this Vine Christ must be condemned and exterminated” (LW 24:219). So take your faith seriously and venture out in love for one another.

     But how shall we do that? “Outdo one another in showing honor,... be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you…. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep…. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil…. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink…. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:10–20). And don’t be half-hearted about any of this. “Work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men” (Colossians 3:23). Give it your all. Know how much it matters to God. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). So work heartily – or ex animo operamini as the old Latin Bible puts it. Ex animo operamini. Do this and you will show through your achievements just how consistently and how tenaciously you depend on Christ. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “Amid the World’s Bleak Wilderness” (LBW 378)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd_kLnwX0uU



 



Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2020 (COVID-19)

 

 

Let us pray for all those worldwide who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us give thanks for the government agencies and other medical research teams who are diligently working to curb the spread of this virus. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are sick and suffering from this disease. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

And let us also pray for all those grieving the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for the many who are caring for the infected and the sick, that full health and strength and peace may be granted. Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Let us pray for our world where we’re but sojourners (Psalm 119:19; Philippians 3:20), that we may not be punished by disease and pestilence (Ezekiel 14:21, Luke 13:5, John 5:14), and that health and peace may abound for all – for it is Christ who takes upon himself “our infirmities and diseases” (Matthew 8:17). Lord in your mercy,

 

HEAR OUR PRAYER.

 

Finally, in our fear of disease and sickness – may we ever remember God’s power to heal (Jeremiah 17:14, James 5:14), those many kept safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and our Savior Jesus who, by his mercy and in his time, rekindles our faith by restoring health in this vulnerable and perilous life (2 Kings 5:14, Acts 3:6).

 

GLORY BE TO CHRIST OUR LORD & GREAT HEALER! AMEN.



 



LUTHER on epidemics

 

“Some people are of the firm opinion that one… should not run away from a deadly plague. Rather, since death is God’s punishment, which he sends upon us for our sins, we must submit to God…. I cannot censure [this] excellent decision…. It takes more than a milk faith [1 Corinthians 3:2] to await a death before which most of the saints… are in dread…. [But since] it is generally true of Christians that few are strong and many are weak, one simply cannot place the same burden upon everyone…. Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt,… he sank and almost drowned [Matthew 14:30]…. Let him who has a strong faith wait for his death, but he should not condemn those who take flight…. [Even so, know that] all illnesses are punishments from God…. [These punishments] come upon us, not only to chastise us for our sins but also to test our faith and love…. [So] my dear friends,… use medicines… which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor… has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire?... You ought to think this way: ‘Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison…. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely…. This is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.’”

 

[Martin Luther, Whether One May Flee from a Deadly

Plague (1527), Luther’s Works 43:120, 124, 127, 131–32.]




 


Intercessions:

 

We remember in prayer church members.

Leah &Melissa Baker

Marlis Ormiston

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Kyra Stromberg

Sam & Nancy Lawson

The Tuomi Family

Holly Petersen

Rollie

 

                                                                       

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Karen Granger

Tabitha Anderson

The Rev. Randy Olson

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Alan Gardner

The Rev. Allen Bidne

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Kari Meier

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Garrett Metzler

Lesa Christensen

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Richard Patishnock

Jeff Hancock

Holly & Terence Finan

Ty Wick

Lori Aarstad

Anthony Brisbane

Dona Brost  

Susan Curry

Karin Weyer

Robert Shull family

Alan Morgan family

Geri Zerr & Mark

Lucy Shearer

Ramona King

Karen Berg

Donna & Grover Mullen

Patty Johnson

Kurt Weigel

Ethan, Erin and Kevin Vodka

Carol Estes

Paul Jensen

Wendy Pegelow

Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma

Steve Arkle

Hank Schmitt

Ron Combs

Mary Ford

Andrea and Hayden Cantu

The Pritchard family

Liam Stein

 

Pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed. Pray for the many dying from COVID-19in India. Pray for the many who died in the accident in Israel. Pray for those killed by police this past week in California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Texas. Pray also for refugees throughout the world; and for the care and keeping of our planet.

 

 

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn

Dean Riskedahl



 



Holy Communion in Spirit and Truth

Without the Consecrated Bread and Wine

 

[The ancient church doctrine of concomitantia teaches that the faithful can receive Christ’s Presence in Holy Communion by drinking the wine without eating any bread, or by eating the bread without drinking any wine (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 1958, 1966, pp. 320–21). By extension, in extreme cases, the faithful can also, then, receive Christ’s Presence without eating the bread or drinking the wine. Those would be cases of illness when nothing can be ingested through the mouth, or when lost in the wilderness – living off nothing but wild animals and berries. In those cases we keep the memory of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:24) – honoring our Savior “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). So pray the words below, all you baptized, who love the Lord Jesus, and “hunger and thirst for righteous,” that you may be satisfied (Matthew 5:6). This is not a substitute for Holy Communion, but rather a devout practice when receiving Holy Communion in times of pestilence and plague would recklessly endanger the church (Luther’s Works 43:132–33).]

 

Let us pray: O Lord, our God, we remember this day our savior Jesus, who “was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24). May his Spirit “bring to remembrance” all that he did for us, and continues to do, to bless us (John 14:26). Fill us with the assurance that our sins are truly forgiven for his sake, and that the promise of eternal life will not be taken away. Amen.

 

Let us pray: On this day, heavenly Father, we also pray in the name of Jesus, that one day soon we will be able to gather together at the Altar of our church, and so eat of the flesh of our Lord and drink of his blood, that his very life may well up in us so that we may abide in him forever (John 6:53–56). Amen.



 



 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Benediction: 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. In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.  


Closing Hymn: “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” (LBW 210)



 



 

It is the Holy Spirit who gives you Christ and His holiness and who works faith in you. To be sure, the Holy Spirit sometimes lets His Christians fall, err, stumble, and sin. This is to forestall any complacency, as though we were holy of ourselves, and to teach us to know ourselves and the source of our holiness. Otherwise we would become arrogant and overweening.

 

Martin Luther, Sermons on John 14 (1537)

Luther’s Works 24:172