Sunday Worship Service

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May 19, 2024

Theme of the Day

Jesus told his disciples that, though he was going to ascend into heaven, he wasn’t going to leave them alone. He was going to send “the Advocate,” a title for the Holy Spirit. We see this happen on Pentecost. The festival of Pentecost was held fifty days after the Passover. (Pentecost is Greek for “fifty.”) It was a time to thank God for the harvest. But on that day, through the Church at work, the Holy Spirit gathered another harvest, a harvest of souls.


Pastor Westendorf’s Welcome

O Holy Spirit, Enter In – CW 590

1 O Holy Spirit, enter in
and in our hearts your work begin,
    your dwelling place now make us.
Sun of the soul, O Light divine,
around and in us brightly shine,
    to joy and gladness wake us
        that we may be
    truly living,
    to you giving
        prayer unceasing
and in love be still increasing.

2 Give to your Word impressive pow’r
that in our hearts from this good hour
    as fire it may be glowing,
that in true Christian unity
we faithful witnesses may be,
    your glory ever showing.
        Hear us, cheer us
    by your teaching;
    let our preaching
        and our labor
praise you, Lord, and serve our neighbor.

3 O mighty Rock, O Source of life,
let your dear Word, in doubt and strife,
    in us be strongly burning
that we be faithful unto death
and live in love and holy faith,
    from you true wisdom learning.
        Your grace and peace
    on us shower;
    by your power
        Christ confessing,
let us see our Savior’s blessing.

Invocation

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Confession and Absolution

Jesus says, “It is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

So let’s confess to God our sinful hearts with the words of King David long ago:
“Have mercy on me, O God, 
    according to your unfailing love; 
According to your great compassion 
    blot out my transgressions. 
Wash away all my iniquity. 
    And cleanse me from my sin. 
For I know my transgressions, 
    and my sin is always before me. 
Against you, you only, have I sinned 
    and done what is evil in your sight. 
Surely I was sinful at birth, 
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 
Hide your face from my sins 
    and blot out all my iniquity. 
Create in me a pure heart, O God, 
    And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

The good news of the Bible is that God takes dead, sinful hearts and makes them alive again. Here’s how: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

God, our heavenly Father, has been merciful to us and has given his only Son Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Reflections – Victor’s Crown

The Word

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray.

Holy Spirit, God and Lord, come to us this joyful day with your sevenfold gift of grace. Rekindle in our hearts the holy fire of your love that in a true and living faith we may tell abroad the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

First Reading – Ezekiel 37:1-14

  The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
  I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
  Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”
  So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
  Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.
  Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’ ”

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 104 – Reflections

Congregations joins on 2nd Refrain and Glory

Refrain
Lord, send out your Spirit
    and renew the face of the earth.

How many are your / works, Lord!
  In wisdom you / made them all.
All creatures / look to you
  to give them their food at the / proper time.
When you give it to them, they gather / it up;
  when you open your hand, they are satisfied / with good things.    Refrain

May the glory of the Lord endure for- / ever;
  may the Lord rejoice / in his works –
he makes winds his / messengers,
  flames of fire his / servants.
I will sing to the Lord / all my life;
  I will sing praise to my God as long / as I live.
Glory be to the Father and / to the Son
  and to the Holy / Spirit,
as it was in the be- / ginning,
  is now, and will be forever. / Amen.    Refrain

Second Reading – Acts 2:1-21

  When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
  Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
  Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
  Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:
  “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“ ‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ ”

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. 
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people, 
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Alleluia.

Gospel – John 15:26-27, 16:4-11

  “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
  “I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to you, O Christ!

God’s Holy Spirit Came – CW 479

Reflections sings verses 1 & 2. Congregation joins on verses 3 & 4.

1 God’s Holy Spirit came
    with rushing wind and fire,
Christ’s presence here to comfort, bless,
    and to inspire.
The Spirit thus began
    God’s holy work on earth
at Pentecost, a gift that gave
    the Church its birth.

2 God sent the Spirit forth,
    fulfilling prophets’ word,
to those who followed Jesus and
    who called him Lord.
And as disciples met
    near temple courts for prayer
the Spirit blew and rested on
    those gathered there.

3 God’s Spirit filled each one,
    as Jesus had foretold.
In many tongues they spoke God’s Word,
    renewed and bold.
“Repent and be baptized,”
    preached Peter in that hour,
and thousands came believing by
    the Spirit’s pow’r.

4 God’s Church alive today
    continues to proclaim
salvation by the Spirit’s pow’r
    in Jesus’ name.
Let all believers now
    their tongues and lives employ.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    our highest joy.

Sermon – John 15:26-27, 16:4-11

It Is for Your Good That Jesus Has Gone Away

The Third Article (Sanctification)

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.

I believe that I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him.

But the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

In this Christian Church he daily and fully forgives all sins to me and all believers.

On the Last Day he will raise me and all the dead and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.

This is most certainly true. Luther’s explanation to the 3rd Article of the Apostles Creed

Prayer

Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, enlighten us with your gifts, strengthen and keep us with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

Spirit of life, breathe life into those dead in sin, the nations who do not know you and the people who have not heard your voice. Let your Word go forth to call them to life, hope and strength.

Spirit of wisdom, on Pentecost you descended on the apostles as tongues of fire. Fill us with all knowledge and spiritual understanding.

Spirit of grace, bless us, comfort, and uphold our hearts. Give us strength to persevere in your Word, call on you in prayer, and serve you with joy.

Spirit of compassion, be the blessed Advocate and Comforter for those who are in need. Let each day bring them the Word of your unfailing love. Strengthen their trust in you. Preserve their lives and bring them out of trouble.

O Holy Spirit, by the brightness of your light you instruct the hearts of the faithful. Grant that by your holy work we may be truly wise and ever enjoy your holy comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Offering

Holy Spirit, Light Divine – CW 593

1 Holy Spirit, light divine,
shine upon this heart of mine;
chase the gloom of night away,
turn the darkness into day.

2 Holy Spirit, love divine,
cleanse this guilty heart of mine;
in your mercy pity me,
from sin’s bondage set me free.

3 Holy Spirit, joy divine,
cheer this saddened heart of mine;
fill me with your heav’nly peace,
let it grow and still increase.

4 Holy Spirit, pow’r divine,
dwell within this heart of mine;
cast down ev’ry idol throne,
reign supreme and reign alone.

5 Holy Spirit, fill my heart,
cleanse my life in ev’ry part;
your own temple I would be
now and for eternity.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth and source of all spiritual gifts, stand by us in the weakness of our sinful nature. Grant us a right understanding of the truths that Jesus taught. Give us strength to endure with patience whatever afflictions God may send into our lives. Help us, intercede for us, and train us in the truth of your word.
Amen.

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.

Blessing

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.
Amen.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest – CW 586

1 Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
and make our hearts your place of rest;
come with your grace and heav’nly aid,
and fill the hearts which you have made.

6 Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and you, from both, as Three in One
that we your name may ever bless
and in our lives the truth confess.

7 Praise we the Father and the Son
and Holy Spirit, with them One,
and may the Son on us bestow
the gifts that from the Spirit flow!

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