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Pastor Bodden’s Welcome
Adult Choir – Children of the Heavenly Father
Children of the Heav’nly Father
Safely in his bosom gather.
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.
God his own doth tend and nourish;
In his holy courts they flourish;
from all evil things he spares them,
In his mighty arms he bears them.
Neither life nor death shall ever,
From the Lord his children sever,
Unto them his grace he showeth,
And their sorrows all he knoweth.
Though he giveth, or he taketh,
God his children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.
Children of the Heav’nly Father.
P: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
P: Heavenly Father, we praise you as the giver of every good and perfect gift. Be gracious to us and bless us.
C: May your ways be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
P: Lord Jesus, you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
C: Show us your ways, O Lord, teach us your paths. Then we will walk in the light of life.
P: Holy Spirit, you alone know the thoughts of God. Be our Counselor and guide us into all truth.
C: Sanctify us through the gospel, that we might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Confession and Absolution
P: Our Lord, speaking through the Apostle John in 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Let us now come before him in sincere repentance, confessing our sins to God, our Father, and asking him to forgive us for the sake of his Son, Jesus, our Savior.
C: Almighty God, merciful Father, I am a troubled and repentant sinner and confess to you all my sins. Because of my sinful rebellion, I know that I deserve your punishment both now and forever. But I am truly sorry for my sins, and sincerely turn away from them. I ask for your boundless mercy and forgiveness bought for me through the suffering and death of your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant me the power of your Holy Spirit to change my sinful life and to serve you in righteousness now and forever.
P: As a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ I am called to proclaim God’s peace. Through his life, suffering, and death Jesus has paid for your sins. His resurrection on that first Easter proclaims what he had promised: you are forgiven. You are God’s dear child. May he fill you will all joy with the Good News of his Gospel.
Hymn of Praise – This Is My Will – CW 497
“This is my will, my one command,
That love should dwell among you all.
This is my will, that you should love
As I have shown that I love you.
“No greater love can any have
Than that one die to save his friends.
You are my friends if you obey
What I command that you should do.
“I call you now no longer slaves;
No slave knows all the master does.
I call you friends, for all I hear
My Father say, you hear from me.
“You chose not me, but I chose you,
That you should go and bear much fruit.
I chose you out that you in me
Should bear much fruit that will abide.
“All that you ask my Father dear
For my name’s sake you shall receive.
This is my will, my one command,
That love should dwell in each, in all.”
Prayer of the Day
P: O God, you form the minds of your faithful people into a single will. Make us love what you command and desire what you promise, that among the many changes of this world, our hearts may ever yearn for the lasting joys of heaven; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The First Lesson – Acts 16:11-15
Believers will respond to God’s message.
From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.
When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
Hymn – Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways – CW 462
Oh, that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep his statutes still!
Oh, that my God would grant me grace
To know and do his will!
Order my footsteps by your Word,
And make my heart sincere;
Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
But keep my conscience clear.
Assist my soul, too apt to stray,
A stricter watch to keep;
And should I e’er forget your way,
Restore your wand’ring sheep.
Make me to walk in your commands –
‘Tis a delightful road –
Nor let my head or heart or hands
Offend against my God.
The Second Lesson – 1 John 3:18-24
God desires for us to put our faith into action.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
The Gospel – John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Profession of Faith – Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Hymn of the Day – Brothers, Sisters, Let Us Gladly – CW 484
Brothers, sisters, let us gladly
Give to God our all, our best –
Service hearty, thorough, honest,
With a living love impressed.
All our duty, all our striving,
All our time to him belong;
Praise him, then, with true devotion;
Come before him with a song.
By his mercy, by his bounty,
By the gift of Christ, his Son,
What great goodness he has shown us,
What high marvels he has done!
Let us to him promptly, freely,
Yield our bodies and our souls,
Thankful that his love protects us,
That his wisdom all controls.
Gracious Lord, accept our service
For the sake of Christ, your Son;
Lo, our hope abides now only
In the righteousness he won.
Bless and save us; help and guide us;
Watch to comfort and restore
Till in heav’n we rest rejoicing,
Praising you forevermore.
Sermon Text – John 15:1-8
Made to Bear Fruit
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The Rite of Confirmation
P: Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord Jesus said to his disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In obedience to the Lord’s command, you have been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You have been taught the precious truths of the Christian faith as found in Scripture and proclaimed faithfully by Mount Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church. You know what God has given you by his grace and what he expects of you as his dear child. You now have the privilege of receiving the Lord’s body and blood in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
You are here to make a public profession of your Christian faith. The apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, said: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Therefore, lift up your hearts to the God of all grace and joyfully answer these questions.
P: Do you this day, in the presence of God and of this congregation, acknowledge that in Baptism, God gave you forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation?
R: I do.
P: Do you reject the devil along with all his lies and empty promises?
R: I do.
P: Do you believe in the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?
R: I do.
P: Do you believe all the books of the Bible to be the inspired Word of God?
R: I do.
P: Do you believe that the teaching of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, as you have learned to know it from Luther’s Small Catechism, is faithful and true to the Word of God?
R: I do.
P: Do you intend to continue steadfast in this teaching and to endure all things, even death, rather than fall away from it? If so answer: I do, and I ask God to help me.
R: I do, and I ask God to help me.
P: Do you intend faithfully to conform all your life to the teachings of God’s Word, to be faithful in the use of the Word and Sacrament, and in faith and action remain true to God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – as long as you live? If so answer: I do, and I ask God to help me.
R: I do, and I ask God to help me.
P: Since it is God alone who enables us both to will and to do his good pleasure, it is right for us, dear friends in Christ, to call on him for these confirmands, that he would graciously complete the good work which he has begun in them. Let us bow our heads and pray.
Almighty God, in Baptism you made these brothers and sisters members of the body of your dear Son, Jesus Christ. You washed them by his blood, buried them with him in his death, and gave them a new life in his resurrection. Renew them by the Holy Spirit, which you have poured out on them generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. Let them live out their lives as heirs of eternal life. Lead them to serve your church in holiness and righteousness all their days. Keep them in fellowship with all who wait for the return of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
P: Brothers and sisters in Christ, what we as a Christian congregation have here asked our heavenly Father to confer on all of you, we now ask him to give each of you individually.
(As they are named, each confirmand comes forward to receive blessing and then proceeds to declare their Confirmation passage.)
P: Confirmands, this congregation is happy to call you brothers and sisters in Christ and fellow servants in the work that God has called us to do. We look forward to receiving communion with you.
Let us pray: Shepherd of the sheep, we thank you for the careful watch you keep over all of us. Be with these young men and women to keep all of their confirmation promises. By themselves it would be impossible, but give them strength for the road ahead, patience for the difficulties that they will face, and love for your Word that they never grow tired of hearing the life-giving Gospel.
Hymn – Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken – CW 465
Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow you.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
You on earth once suffered, too.
Perish ev’ry fond ambition,
All I’ve ever hoped or known;
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heav’n are still my own.
Let the world despise and leave me;
They have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
You are not, like them, untrue.
And since you have smiled upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate and friends may shun me –
Show your face, and all is bright.
Go, then, earthly fame and treasure!
Come, disaster, scorn, and pain!
In your service pain is pleasure;
With your favor loss is gain.
I have called you Abba, Father!
You my all in all shall be.
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.
Haste, my soul, from grace to glory,
Armed by faith and winged by prayer.
All but heav’n is transitory;
God’s own hand shall guide you there.
Soon shall end this earthly story;
Swift shall pass the pilgrim days,
Hope soon change to heav’nly glory,
Faith to sight and prayer to praise.
P: Blessed Lord, you have given us your Holy Scriptures for our learning. May we so hear them, read, learn, and take them to heart, that being strengthened and comforted by your Holy Word, we may cling to the blessed hope of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
P: The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.
The Closing Hymn – Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult – CW 463
Jesus calls us o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea;
Day by day his voice invites us,
Saying, “Christian, follow me!”
As the first disciples heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for his dear sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love me more.”
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these.”
Jesus calls us! In your mercy,
Savior, help us hear your call;
Give our hearts to your obedience,
Serve and love you best of all!