Online Sunday Liturgy

April 5, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover

 

“The blood of this little

Lamb of God [John 1:29] must

surge in your heart.”

 

 [Martin Luther, Sermon on

Revelation 12:7–12 (1544),

Luther’s Works 58:185.]

 

 

“Christ is the crucified who crucifies.”

 

 [Geoffrey Hill, Broken Hierarchies:

Poems 1952–2012, 2013, p. 123.]



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

April 5, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Merciful Father, we praise you for your Son, our Savior, Christ Jesus. More than anything else, we thank you for his painful sacrifice – his obedience unto death on the Cross – that your holy wrath may be shielded from us. May we find our true joy in his death, proclaim its power to the world, and live in its narrow and difficult way. In Christ’s holy name we pray. Amen.



First Lesson: Isaiah 50:4–9

Psalm 31:1–5, 9–16

Second Lesson: Philippians 2:5–11

Gospel: Matthew 27:11–55

Opening Hymn: “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” (LBW 108)




 



Sermon:  April 5, 2020

“Honor God's Curse”

(Matthew 27:46)

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

It is fitting on Passion Sunday – the beginning of the Great and Holy Week – to remember that Christians are all tangled up with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That’s why Martin Luther thought a Christian could also be called crucianus – or a “Crosstian,” that is, a person of the Cross (Luther’s Works 5:274). This tight connection with the crucifixion comes from 2 Corinthians 5:14–15 which says that because One has died for all, all must die. Now how can that be; and why does it matter?

It all hinges on sin. If we were not all fallen; if we like sheep had not gone astray from God’s will and ways (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 53:6), then there would be no problem. But, alas, we instead are all seriously flawed. How so? Is saying this nothing more than empty religious jargon? Martin Luther worried about that and so he elaborated on our sins. We “live in all security,” he preaches, we “do not hear God’s Word; we do not let [ourselves] be admonished; [we] remain ungodly, proud, greedy, hateful, malicious;… [we] lie in drunkenness and lust, commit shameful vice, and do everything as if [we] intended to live here on earth forever” (LW 58:145). We live “a free, shameless, wild, filthy, and disorderly life in gluttony,… words, gestures and deeds, [working solely to] fill our weak, stinking belly and remain here in this dismal, doleful world forever” (LW 57:21–22).

Wow! that’s a mouthful. But on a good day we might well agree with the most of it, except for being malicious and wild and the implied violence. For that Bob Dylan’s new song – the dirge, Murder Most Foul – helps us see our problem here – how we all are in some sense murderers. The song sets American, and the 1963 killing of President Kennedy, in the context of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet (1601) – I.v.27. Kennedy is King Hamlet, murdered by his brother Claudius, a stand-in for our government and other power-brokers. We are Prince Hamlet – knowing what happened but unable to set it straight as we should. Kennedy’s assassination is also linked to the 1921 massacre of 300 or more Blacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma – which is only now, 100 years later, being exposed for what it was. So while we may not have pulled the trigger, we share in collective guilt for these murders – and that’s the message of Murder Most Foul.

As for being greedy, that’s easier to see. But if you need help there also, read the remarkable, little book, Living High & Letting Die (1996) by Peter Unger – and my review of it in The Messenger, November 2016.

Today we also get a glimpse of our degradation in the lessons for Passion Sunday. There we hear that the first disciples promised to help Jesus even if it meant dying with him – but then left him high and dry when Jesus needed them the most – right at the foot of the cross (Matthew 26:35, 56). What does that add to the words of Luther, Dylan and Unger? Wretchedness, for one (Romans 7:24). Another would be – defilement (Mark 7:20). And then we also have pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17). And so we have to move aside. We have to die to the world and the world to us (Galatians 6:14).

But we will never do that on our own. Luther was right – none of us can pull it off because of our survival instinct (LW 33:58, 106). We want to hold on, at all costs, to the life that we have and like. “Take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19). That’s who we are – for ever and ever – unless someone intervenes and disrupts us. Unless we have our own encounter on the road to Damascus (Act 26:13–18).

And in fact that has happened. We are not left to ourselves. Christ’s crucifixion disrupts us – as it did to the centurion at the cross (Matthew 27:54). There Christ draws us to himself that we may die to ourselves and live for him – that is, “live to righteousness” (John 12:32, 1 Peter 2:24). And so when we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:9). We also learn that from the 1918 flu. The vulnerable infants and old survived, while the young and strapping died because their powerful immune systems over-reacted and filled their lungs with fluid and dead cells. That made it “impossible for the exchange of oxygen…. That very strength [became] a weakness…. The immune response killed [them by the millions]” (John M. Barry, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, 2004, 2018, pp. 247, 249, 250 – also called a “cytokine storm” – Apoorva Mandavilli, “After Fighting Coronavirus, Their Bodies Betrayed Them,” The Seattle Times, April 2, 2020.)

The power that we need to live and believe doesn’t therefore come from us (2 Corinthians 3:5). Christ doesn’t come for the healthy, but for the sick (Mark 2:17). So Luther could argue that nothing is better for “understanding the words of God [than] the weakness of the human mind” (LW 33:99). Indeed, “Christ has been given to us in order that we should take from Him, rely on Him, and believe that all He has is ours, that all He can do has been done for our benefit” (LW 30:59). Amazing, isn’t it?! Self-reliance dissolves before God – and right in front of us. In fact, “everything that you have not done He will forgive you, and all that you cannot do He will give to you” (LW 57:76). Magnificent! And why? Because Jesus bore our sins on the cross so that we will not have to be punished for them. That sets us free.

It sets us free because on the cross Jesus was cursed for us (Galatians 3:13) – crying out that God had forsaken him (Matthew 27:46). But his anguish was for our glory, and His pain was for our salvation. Whoever believes this, Luther proclaims – “that his own sins… are laid on our dear Lord and that it was on account of this that He was… nailed to the cross, and there poured out His precious blood for us so that He, as the sole bearer of sins… might cleanse us from our sins and justify and save us – whoever believes that – possesses it” (LW 58:45–46). What a joy! Just think of what Jesus has done on the cross. He “became the… payment for the world’s sins through His own blood and so takes way [God’s] wrath” – something “no one” else can do (LW 77:321).

How shall we celebrate this gift of salvation? Some purveyors of our culture say that during these dreary days of the coronavirus pandemic we should watch again the twenty-five year old hit movie, Clueless – since “within its effervescent silliness is a story about taking care of those you love and helping to make the world a little better” (Moira MacDonald, “Clueless is… a Needed Ray of Sunshine,” The Seattle Times, March 29, 2020). Well, maybe, but improving the world seems a stretch. Luther seems closer to the truth about watching out for the wrath of God regardless of the good deeds that we offer up (LW 13:130). And so fasting still has it prominence until Easter arrives. Continue to deprive yourself of the foods that you like – knowing that when you do so in humility it is actually “God’s work” within you, and so you should “praise and honor” him for it (LW 59:271). Pray to God for help with fasting – knowing with Luther that “Christ’s kingdom increases in affliction and decreases in peace” (LW 76:288). And thank him also for Christ’s passion and death – because of which you are saved for all of eternity – even though that will include honoring the curse that was laid on Jesus – because of our sins and for our salvation. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (LBW 482)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (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 person 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.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young

Ana Korsmo  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

Marv Morris

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn



 

 

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.]

 

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 (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 the God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn:      “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty!” (LBW 121)

 





 





Online Sunday Liturgy

March 29, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover


 

 

Sins are increasing one after another… without a bad conscience. There was reportedly a peasant who gathered so many bushels of grain that he had more than enough for himself. [But he was] so mired in greed… that, sooner than let go of a single bushel, [he] let the mice devour them…. I do not grieve as much over the [selfishness] as over the wrath of God, for God will punish greed. For that reason, an affliction will suddenly befall us…. Everything hangs by a thread [and yet we] pay no heed to God…. God grant that I do not live to see it. God delays. But you provoke Him to strike…. May God grant you the grace to acknowledge your sins…. [for] when God lets go of the reins, there is no stopping.

 

 

[Martin Luther, Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:1–7 (1539)

Luther’s Works 58:24–25.



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

March 29, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Be with us during these days of Lent, O Lord our God, that we might be put in our place – confessing our sins and giving you all the glory. By your Word, fill us with wisdom from on high; and by your mercy grant us a strong confidence in the forgiveness of sins – for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Lesson: Ezekiel 37:1–14.

Psalm 116:1–8

Second Lesson: Romans 8:11–19.

Gospel: John 11:1–53.

 

Opening Hymn: “Glory Be to Jesus” (LBW 95)



 

Sermon:  March 29, 2020

“Suffer With Jesus”

(Romans 8:17)

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

     When the faithful cry out the words of Psalm 4:6 – O that we might see better times – do they know what they’re saying? Martin Luther would say No! They don’t know what they’re talking about because first they cannot define, identify and justify what better times or good days would be; and furthermore, they want better days only to ensure that no one rebukes or hinders them from enjoying the life they want (Luther’s Works 51:27, 13:43). So be warned. Those words from Psalm 4:6 are actually spoken by a fool and not by the Holy One of Israel. They should be condemned and not emulated – just as the foolish words in Psalm 73:11 and in Luke 12:19. Psalm 4:6 are foolish words because they long for a life that wouldn’t be any good.

     But how can it be that a life of our own choosing wouldn’t be any good? Doesn’t that sound crazy? Wouldn’t it be better, in our day, to have the coronavirus eradicated? Well, take a look at our own land and what do you see? Health and meaningful existence for all? Not quite. Since the 1920s something else has happened. Those roaring, experimental days after WWI, marked the end of our country’s “old rules” – and this change has lasted into the 2020s, giving us “a strange new world both gaudy and sad” (Christopher Knowlton, Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression, 2020, p. 82). Luther knew how the easy life hurt Christians: “When there is peace and quiet, we do not pray. Nor do we meditate on the Word, but we treat the Scripture and all things that belong to God coldly or finally slip into fatal smugness” (LW 8:7).

     So no wonder that Romans 8:17 calls for a life of suffering – instead of one marked by social, cultural and doctrinal freedom and ease. That old Cole Porter musical, “Anything Goes” (1934), has no value for Christianity. No, Romans 8:17 says that we are joint heirs with Christ if, in fact – “we suffer with him.” Martin Luther thought this suffering wasn’t sporadic, haphazard, or optional – but “the chief point of the Christian life” (LW 56:321)! He also taught that it wasn’t self-chosen, but instead came upon the followers of Christ for espousing his way and Word – and as a consequence of offending people by them, endangered their “property, honor, body, and life” (LW 51:198).

     Because this suffering confirms our life with God in Christ, and also makes for endurance, character and hope – we are called to “rejoice” in it (Romans 5:3–5). Do not be afraid, Luther chimes in, but “stretch out your arms confidently and let the nails go deep. Be glad and thankful,” he continues, for “it must and will be with those who desire God’s Word” (LW 48:387)! But isn’t that perverted – even a sign of mental illness? No, because as Luther points out, the “Word of life” given us by God through this suffering “must exercise all its power in death” (LW 30:126). So the dying and suffering aren’t the goal in and of themselves – but instead that precious Word of life that flourishes in our very suffering. And this is axiomatic or certain. For “no sheep is sought except the one who is lost.” So too for strengthening, Luther goes on – it only comes to the weak, and “nothing is built except that which has been torn down.” Therefore Luther concludes that “he who is sated with his own truth and wisdom is incapable of receiving the truth and wisdom of God, which can be received only in an empty and destitute heart” (LW 25:204).

     Is that crazy talk? Is this what Herman Melville (1819–91) feared (Complete Poems, ed. Hershel Parker, 2019, p. 854)?

 

Hurly-burly late and early,

Gossips prating, quacks orating,

Daft debating:

Furious wild reiteration

And incensed expostulations!

 

     Well, I think not. First, that’s because it’s been shown that the weakness of a manic-depressive disorder can become an asset for leaders in chaotic times of social disruption (Nassir Ghaemi, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, 2011, p. 19 on 2 Corinthians 12:9). But second, it’s because we get in our own way. If we didn’t, we could fashion our own lives and everything would be fine. But as it is, we are desperate and cannot save ourselves (Romans 7:24). We call the good evil, and evil we call good (Isaiah 5:20). We are all mixed up. Only Christ is our light (John 8:12). He alone can rescue us from ourselves. He alone can see the way out. He alone can save us from the wrath of God (John 3:36). That wrath bears down on us for our failures and refusal to obey him (2 Thessalonians 1:8–9). But God, who is rich in mercy, sent his Son, Christ Jesus, to become poor for us on the cross, that by his poverty and suffering and dying, as a result of our sins (1 Peter 2:24), we who believe in him, might become rich, and have everlasting life (2 Corinthians 8:9). Because Christ’s sacrifice is so important, he hangs there on the cross “before God’s eyes, and is still there” (LW 76:405) – and by so doing, overcomes God’s wrath for us for all eternity (Romans 5:9).

     So believe in this and rejoice in your salvation. “You must experience unshakably that [this] is God’s Word, even though the whole world should dispute it. As long as you do not have this feeling, just so long you have certainly not yet tasted of God’s Word” (LW 36:248). Learn from this and “yield [yourselves] to God’s guidance so that he can work” in you and not you yourselves (LW 44:271). Thank God for this promise, and rejoice in your Savior Jesus.

     Accept this message – and believing as a result of it that Christians are “nothing but strange, peculiar people” (LW 20:216) – let us keep up our venerable but unpopular Lenten fast, depriving ourselves of the foods we especially like. And don’t look dismal when you fast – thinking it’s a stupid idea (Matthew 6:16). Then you’ll in fact do it with a right heart. Then your good work of fasting, “be it as big or as little as it will, is a good fruit” (LW 24:233). Pray for strength to fast with this right attitude. Thank God for your Savior Jesus and his saving death. And thank God for Romans 8:17 and the new life it brings through the call to suffer with Jesus our Lord and God. Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus” (LBW 487)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (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 person 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.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young

Ana Korsmo  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

Olin & Noreen Martin

Gretchen Hoyum

                                                                       

 

Professional Health Care Providers

Gina Allen

Janine Douglass

David Juhl

Dana Kahn



 

 

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.]

 

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 (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 the God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn “O Christ, Our King, Creator, Lord” (LBW 101)






 





Online Sunday Liturgy

March 22, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

March 22, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Be with us during these days of Lent, O Lord our God, that we might be put in our place – confessing our sins and giving you all the glory. By your Word, fill us with wisdom from on high; and by your mercy grant us a strong confidence in the forgiveness of sins – for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

First Lesson: Hosea 5:15–6:2

Psalm 43

Second Lesson: Romans 8:1–10

Gospel: Matthew 20:17–28

Opening Hymn: “Christ, the Life of All the Living” (LBW 97)


 


Sermon:  March 22, 2020

“Live in the Spirit”

(Romans 8:5)

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

Listen to this: “On frequent journeys,… danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from [strangers], danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren.” Whoever would say such a thing? Saint Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:26! And he adds this to – “we were afflicted at every turn – fighting without and fear within” (2 Corinthians 7:5).

     Now does anyone today buy into this? Does anyone think it describes our lives for all times? Well, there is a popular song that seems to say so – composed even in a fitting blues idiom: “Trouble in the city, trouble in the farm. You got your rabbit’s foot, you got your good-luck charm. But they can’t help you none when there’s trouble…. Trouble in the water, trouble in the air…. Since the beginning of the universe man’s been cursed by trouble…. Look into infinity, all you see is trouble” [Bob Dylan, “Trouble,” Shot of Love (1981), The Lyrics. Since 1962 (2014) p. 634.].

     And what would Jesus say about all of this? “In this life you’ll have tribulations,” he says (John 16:33)! Shocking, indeed. 

     Where does this leave us? Have Saint Paul, Bob Dylan, and Jesus painted us into a corner? No, not if we keep listening to Saint Paul. He has plenty more to say on the topic. Don’t dwell on the miseries of this life, he thunders. Instead of fixating on the danger and troubles, “live according to the spirit” and set your minds “on the things of the spirit” (Romans 8:5). Do not set your minds “on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). “Walk by the spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Sounds pretty good – but who could ever pull it off? Martin Luther says Christians can do this – if they become “skilled artisans,” making “joy out of sadness, comfort out of terror, righteousness out of sin, and life out of death.” And this they can do when they restrain the flesh “for this purpose,” bringing it into “submission [and subjecting] it to the spirit” (Luther’s Works 27:74).

     But still we groan under the burden of this noble artistic endeavor. How can we develop this needed skill? Look to Christ, “the pioneer and perfecter” of your faith (Hebrews 12:3)! Only he can do for you what you need to get done for yourself! Do you believe that? Luther does! Christ does the works, he preaches, “that deserve to be extolled as works of God: blotting out sin, driving off death, extinguishing hell. These are different works from those trifling things [that we do]” (LW 57:176).

     So live for Christ, and not for yourself (2 Corinthians 5:15). That’s the life in the spirit. Luther can help you. He reminds you that your nature is “corrupted” so that you cannot rely on yourself to survive (LW 7:280–81). “You still stink,” he drones on (LW 7:229)! So sing out with Luther that Jesus “is my eternal life.” Do that after hearing Jesus say himself to you: “I am your life” (LW 23:130–31).

     But what about the dangers and troubles? What about the present threats from the coronavirus? They are not worth comparing with the glories awaiting us after we die (Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17). We have to bite the bullet on this. Luther does: “I preach and you believe that you are redeemed by Baptism, not from pestilence and leprosy but from death, sin, and the power of the devil, and that Baptism works salvation and eternal life in me” (LW 22:479)! He could preach this even after his nine month old daughter, Elizabeth, died of the plague in 1528 and confessed – “so much has grief for her overcome me” (LW 49:203). Yet by her death she “escaped the power of the flesh, the world,… and the devil” (LW 50:238). Take this consolation for yourself, and then be sure to share it with others as you have opportunity (2 Corinthians 1:4).

     And add to this good work your Lenten fast. Keep up your fast in secret before God (Matthew 6:19). Keep it up because it is “necessary that the body become subdued and chastised and subservient to the soul” (LW 52:138). Pray to God to help you fast in this way. Pray also to God in thanksgiving for Jesus who is your eternal life and power. And thank God as well, not only for the call to, but also for the power to, live in the Spirit.  Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “Salvation Unto Us Has Come” (LBW 297)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (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 person 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.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

Garrison Radcliffe

                                                                       

 

Deaths

Claudio Johnson S

Nell Sponheim

 



 

 

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.]

 

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 (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 the God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn: “Lord Christ, When You First Came to Earth” (LBW 421)





 





Online Sunday Liturgy

March 15, 2020


 

Bulletin Cover



Online Abbreviated Sunday Liturgy

Pastor Marshall

March 15, 2020

 

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

 

Let us pray:

Be with us during these days of Lent, O Lord our God, that we might be put in our place – confessing our sins and giving you all the glory. By your Word, fill us with wisdom from on high; and by your mercy grant us a strong confidence in the forgiveness of sins – for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Lesson: Isaiah 42:14–21.

Psalm 142

Second Lesson: Ephesians 5:8–14.

Gospel: John 9:13–17, 34–39.


 

Sermon:  March 15, 2020

“Give Up Seeing”

(John 9:39)

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

John 9:39 startles us – but not because it says Christ will give sight to the blind. No, not at all! Rather, it is because it adds that Christ will also take away the sight of those who see. Well, now that’s a fine how-do-you-do! We understand why sight is granted to the blind – it shows mercy and grace to those in need of seeing. But poking out our eyes?! That only seems cruel.

     But it isn’t. God knows we look at what we shouldn’t pay any attention to, and so he helps us by diverting our eyes – by blinding us – so that we won’t waste our time any more by looking at what we shouldn’t be dwelling on. “Turn my eyes from looking at vanities” (Psalm 119:37) – fits in with John 9:39. That’s because both verses are about spiritual visual training.

     And what is that training? Learning how to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). That’s because only when we believe out of obedience, rather than because of what we’ve seen, will we be blessed by God (John 20:29). Here reason is trying to live by sight. But Luther insists faith is the better way to go – for the future life with God, after we die, is “invisible, therefore, it cannot be seen with fleshly eyes or measured with reason” (LW 57:28).

     That’s because Jesus.... brings it about by dying (Hebrews 2:14). That’s unheard of! It even seems impossible. If it is somehow based on God’s love for us, then surely we must sing and say it is a “love unknown” (LBW, hymn 94). That’s because this Lamb of God who dies for us to save us (John 1:29) – and in whom we are also to believe to make his glories transferable to us (John 14:1) – only looks like the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55). So sight and reason miss Jesus. But faith grasps him and finds joy in him (Philippians 4:4). What faith sees, Luther says, is the Lamb of God, bleeding on the cross, and thereby making “satisfaction” for our sins by his precious blood. This he does “ceaselessly,” so that our sins no longer can “harm us” (LW 56:226–27). Glory be to God! This salvation surely takes our breath away.

     Upon hearing it, believe in it. Upon believing in it, rejoice in it. And when you rejoice, let your roots sink down deeply (Matthew 13:21) by following up your faith with works. During Lent our work of choice is fasting. This we should do with joy – not looking dismal because we miss our favorite foods (Matthew 6:16) – but seeing how fasting helps us draw near to God (James 4:8). Indeed, we thank God for fasting, for by so doing we “subdue the flesh and its lust,” and thereby are “protected from the dominion of Adam” (LW 44:75–76).  That’s what it is like to be close to God in Christ Jesus.

     Pray to God that he strengthens your Lenten fast – and he will, for he wants you to fast as he commands. Pray also words of thanksgiving for Jesus, the Savior, who draws us to freedom from the punishment for sin, and that surely pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Finally, pray to God that his Word may dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16) – especially about losing your sight in things of little worth (John 9:39). Amen.

 

Hymn of the Day: “My Song is Love Unknown” (LBW 94)

 

Prayers

 


 


Litany on the

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (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 person 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.

Eileen & Dave Nestoss

Connor Bisticas

Pete Morrison

Kyra Stromberg

Bob & Barb Schorn

Sam & Nancy Lawson

Joan Olson

The Tuomi Family

Eve Young  

 

We also pray for friends of the parish

who stand in need of God’s care.

Tabitha Anderson

Diana Walker

The Rev. Howard Fosser

The Rev. Dan Peterson

The Rev. Paul Smith

The Rev. Kari Reiten

The Rev. Dave Monson

The Rev. Albin Fogelquist

Sheila Feichtner

Richard Uhler

Yuriko Nishimura

Leslie Hicks

Eric Baxter

Nell & Paul Sponheim

Mary Lou & Paul Jensen

Hillary & Jim Thoren

Trevor Schmitt

Cheryl Atwood

Maggie & Glenn Willis

Garret Ross

Shirley Graham

Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm

Karen Berg

Bjørg Hestevold

Wayne Korsmo

Kyle & Joe Drakulich

Garrett Metzler

Britt Marie Hansson

Joe & Sam Frary

Noel Curtis

Antonio Ortez

                                                                       

 

Deaths

Duane Nasner



 

 

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 the God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

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