October 16/17 2021

Welcome to First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.   We are a Bible-believing, Christ-centered, God-praising congregation in the Lutheran tradition.  Our Divine Services each Sunday are celebrations of Word and sacrament.  We “preach Christ crucified” and share in the “breaking of bread” for the building up of our faith and the forgiveness of our sins. 

Communion Statement: In continuity with the historic teachings of the church, we believe that Jesus Christ is really and truly present in the bread and wine of the Holy Communion.  Adult baptized Christians, who come to receive the sacrament for forgiveness of their sins and share in our confession of faith, are welcomed to the Communion table.  If you have any questions about our Communion practice, we invite you to speak with the Pastor or an Elder.  Please come for a blessing at the time of the Communion distribution if you are not receiving Communion today.  We look forward to you visiting First Trinity again.

Ringing of the Bell
The bell rings as the call to worship, reminding us to discontinue conversation and reverently prepare for worship.


Welcome and Announcements

Prayer for Medical Professionals

Lutheran Service Book Divine Service Setting One


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849 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness                            LSB 849
Tune: Public domain
Text: © 1987 Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110004199

P     In the name of the Father and of the TSon and of the Holy Spirit.
C     Amen.

P     If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
C     But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Silence for reflection on God's Word and for self-examination.

Confession of Sins
P     Let us then confess our sins to God our Father.
C     Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

P     Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the TSon and of the Holy Spirit.
C     Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis                                                                     LSB 154


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Salutation and Collect of the Day
P     The Lord be with you.
C     And also with you.

P     Let us pray.
Almighty God, our Father, Your blessed Son called Luke the physician to be an evangelist and physician of the soul. Grant that the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments may put to flight the diseases of our souls that with willing hearts we may ever love and serve You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C     Amen.


Psalm                                                                                     Psalm 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

First Reading                                                                    2 Kings 5:9–14
So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

A     This is the Word of the Lord.
C     Thanks be to God.

Epistle                                                                              James 5:14–16
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

A     This is the Word of the Lord.
C     Thanks be to God.


Common Alleluia and Verse

Holy Gospel                                                                          Luke 9:1–6
P     The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the ninth chapter.
C     Glory to You, O Lord.

And [Jesus] called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

P     This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C     Praise to You, O Christ.

Apostles’ Creed
C     I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
     maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
     who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
     born of the virgin Mary,
     suffered under Pontius Pilate,
     was crucified, died and was buried.
     He descended into hell.
     The third day He rose again from the dead.
     He ascended into heaven
     and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
     From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
     the holy Christian Church,
          the communion of saints,
     the forgiveness of sins,
     the resurrection of the body,
     and the life T everlasting. Amen.


852 O God of Mercy, God of Might                                LSB 852 sts. 1, 3, 5–6
Text and tune: Public domain

Sermon                                                                            Pastor Eric Ash


(each petition ends with the following response) P Lord in your mercy.   C Hear our prayer.

Choir Anthem                                                                    Teach Me to Love

Offertory (as the offering is presented and the Lord’s table is prepared, this is sung)

955 Let the Vineyards Be Fruitful                                             LSB 955
Text and tune: © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110004199


Offertory Prayer
P:  Merciful Father,
C:  we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us --ourselves, our time, and our possessions, signs of your gracious love.  Receive them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 


Proper Preface
P     It is truly good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God; for You have mightily governed and protected Your holy Church, in which the blessed apostles and evangelists proclaimed Your divine and saving Gospel. Therefore with patriarchs and prophets, apostles and evangelists, with Your servant Luke, and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:


The Words of Our Lord
P     Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My T body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My T blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Lord’s Prayer
P     Taught by our Lord and trusting His promises, we are bold to pray:
C     Our Father who art in heaven,
     hallowed be Thy name,
     Thy kingdom come,
     Thy will be done on earth
          as it is in heaven;
     give us this day our daily bread;
     and forgive us our trespasses
          as we forgive those
          who trespass against us;
     and lead us not into temptation,
     but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom
     and the power and the glory
     forever and ever. Amen

P:  Come for all things are now ready, the gifts of God for the people of God. 
C:  Amen. 

Agnus Dei                                                                                LSB 163


Distribution                                                                                 164
Take, eat; the body of Christ, given for you.

Take, drink; the blood of Christ shed for you.

In dismissing the communicants, the following is said:

The Dismissal
P     The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you in body and soul to life everlasting. Depart Tin peace.
C     Amen.


After all have communed,
P:  May this sacrament strengthen and preserve you in true faith now and forevermore.
C:  Amen


Thank the Lord


Post-Communion Prayer
P:  Pour out upon us the spirit of your love, O Lord, and unite the wills of those whom you have fed with one heavenly food; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C:  Amen

P     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 T give you peace.


841 O Son of God, in Galilee                                                     LSB 841
Text: © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110004199
Tune: Public domain

P     Go in Peace! Serve the Lord!
C     Praise be to God!


Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2021 Concordia Publishing House.









St Luke   October 17, 2021   Luke 10:9   Trinity, Wellsville, NY
Heal the Sick
As we said earlier, today we celebrate St. Luke the Evangelist, the author of the third Gospel, which bears his name, and who was also a physician.  And today we recognize and express our gratitude for all the medical professionals in our community and congregation.  Our experiences during the coronavirus pandemic have given us a renewed appreciation for the important work they do and how much we depend on them.  You have been out there on the front lines, taking risks on our behalf.  May God bless you and your healing ministries.
Luke was neither one of the twelve disciples nor a Jew.  He was a gentile and a companion of St. Paul who accompanied him on his missionary journeys, preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and starting churches.  Perhaps because he was a man of science, Luke wanted to write an accurate, well researched, detailed history of Jesus’ life.  Accuracy, diligence, and objectivity are the hallmarks of good science and good history.  Perhaps because he was a physician, Luke expressed a lot of compassion for those suffering physically and emotionally, and Luke had a keen interest in Jesus’ healing miracles. 
What was the practice of medicine like in Jesus’ time?  It appears there were three types of practitioners.  Remember the TV commercials of a few years back that featured a mother dispensing cough and cold medicine?  They called her “Dr. Mom.” Back then it was more like “Dr. Dad” as the father of household usually had some folk medicine and home remedies at his disposal, some which were actually effective.  You can bet mothers provided a lot of nursing care too, as mothers have throughout history.
There were also professionally trained physicians, such as Luke, who were mostly gentiles. They knew well how to treat broken bones and lacerations.  They even did some simple surgeries.   Although their theory of disease was based on the four humors of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile) being out of balance, which we know now is not the case, they occasionally hit on some potions and plasters made of herbs that helped.  Especially cabbage was used, which dovetails nicely with our upcoming Sauerkraut Supper. Another favorite treatment then was bloodletting.  That was practiced into the 19th century.  With no licensing board or an Office of Professional Medical Conduct to regulate them, doctors who got results kept on practicing, while those who could not produce cures lost their patients and found other work. 
The final type was the local, untrained “healers,” the proverbial snake-oil salesmen, quacks, and charlatans.  Amazingly, many people carry on the tradition of fake medicine and phony “faith healing” even today.  To be fair, I have met good, trustworthy Christian people who say they have been miraculously healed and I don’t doubt God has the power to do that.  Far be it from me to limit God’s power, but I think that is the rare exception to God’s established order and usually He heals through less dramatic means.  But that so many frauds existed in Jesus’ day actually gives credence to the reports that Jesus really did miraculous healings rather than bring them into question.  How?
People who preached and wrote about Christ, like Luke, knew that Jesus’ credibility would be totally destroyed if he was found to be faking healings.  If he was caught manufacturing miracles, no one would believe him about anything.  It was only because they knew for certain Jesus was a genuine healer, someone who could be proven to be authentic, who was curing people beyond a shadow of a doubt… only then could they proclaim Jesus as a healer with no fear of impeachment. Jesus healing the blind, the deaf, and the lame were like sermons acted out in real life telling us about God’s love and care for us.
Of course, medicine is very different today than in Jesus’ day.  Just think of all the medical advances in the last hundred years: antibiotics, transfusions, transplants, bypasses, ultrasound, and so much more.  As Christians we believe that all healing ultimately comes from God.  In His time and in His way, He is unveiling the mysteries of His universe to us.  God blesses us with advances in medical science.  Moreover, God gives us modern day healers, medical personnel, people of compassion and knowledge.  It is through them that God works in our lives to bring us health and healing.  In Luke 10:9 Jesus sent out the first missionaries with orders to heal the sick so that they would know God’s kingdom had come near them. 
When I talk with young people about their futures. I always suggest they consider a career in the medical fields, for three reasons.  For one, with Baby Boomers like me getting older, there are lots of career opportunities and job security.  Two, it is extremely emotionally and spiritually rewarding to know that you are helping others and making a major impact on their lives for the better in a concrete way.  And three, the healing arts glorify God and witness to His love and power.  They are a testimony to Christ.  Medicine is a type of ministry.
At least twice in my life, I was very close to dying – I heard the doctors say so – and both times, by God’s grace, they used all their skill and saved my earthly life.  Having come back from the brink of physical death certainly got me to thinking and praying about both my temporal life and my eternal life.  As medical professionals, you are touching and healing both bodies and souls.  Not only your technical skills, but your compassion, your sensitivity, your caring… they are all helping and healing people in ways that are intangible but none the less real.
There is a lot of conversation these days about science and faith, and about the mind and body connection.  Some research studies claim to have shown attending church is healthy: regular churchgoers have lower blood pressures, report less stress, have less surgeries and better immune systems, and generally live longer.  Some studies have even shown that people who were being prayed for, even prayed for by strangers and even when they did not know anyone was praying for them… those people fared better physically after surgery with less complications and quicker healing times.  
It’s tempting to gloat and say, “Well, we’ve been saying that for years.  We’re glad you finally caught up, Science.”  But correlation doesn’t equal causation.  Some people also dispute those studies and say that perhaps it’s just the social interaction, like what happens in churches, that creates those effects.  To those I critics I would say, “Well, going to church can’t hurt.”
More seriously, I want to say that science and faith are not in conflict, as some people imagine they are.  Did you know that many universities were started by Christians and Christian denominations, including Harvard and other Ivy League Schools? I went to the Gettysburg Seminary.  There is also a Gettysburg College.   Both were founded before the famous battle, but which came first, the Seminary or the College? The Seminary spun off the college because they were unhappy with the academic caliber of the men coming to seminary.  The Seminary wanted the College to give candidates for the ordained ministry a thorough education in the arts and sciences so they could better understand theology. 
All truth is God’s truth: scientific truth and theological truth.  Our One God is Lord of all.  As mankind matures, God is unfolding the secrets of His cosmos to us.  In a world coming of age, we have the power in our hands to both hurt and to heal.  There are nuclear weapons and nuclear medicine.  There are synthetic antibiotics and bio-engineered superbugs.  The Hippocratic oath says, “Do no harm.”  Our Christian faith tells us to love others, and to heal and care for them as we are able.  Science and faith can work for the common good together.
In their pain and desperation, some people have tried to deny the harshness of reality by saying that life is an illusion, that pain is not real, that even death is not real.  Denial doesn’t work.  Shakespeare said, “There never was a philosopher who could endure a toothache.” Suffering always brings us back to what is relevant and true.  It is true that Jesus was God in human form. He had a body like ours and suffered all the same traumas and pains we do.   The beatings he took on the way to the cross hurt; he refused the drugged wine offered him before the crucifixion because he wanted to bear the full burden of our sin.  He really died on the cross; he didn’t just swoon or play dead.  God the Son died there, for us
That says to us that our bodies are important, so important that God burdened himself by taking one in.  We humans are integrated units of body, soul and spirit.  Caring for the physical needs of others is godly work; after all, God cares about our bodies.  Jesus and followers healed them.  And after we die, God will raise us up to everlasting life, not just our souls, but us in our entirety, in glorious resurrection bodies. 
One of the best things to happen in medicine in the last 40 years or so is the hospice movement.  Every family I have worked with in a hospice situation, and there have been many, have been pleased with their hospice experience.  Some people might think of death as some sort of defeat, and we don’t deny the pain and loss death brings.  But sometimes a cure is not to be had and it’s time to go home and be with Jesus. 
A life well lived and well ended in faith is a victory. I must say that I have felt most affirmed in my ministry when I have helped a Christian soul pass over to the other side.  We never hasten death, but we can make dying people and their families comfortable and help make their passing peaceful and dignified.  We wrap them in the prayer and the presence of the church and those they love.   For us, death is the gate to eternal life, opened for us by Christ. 
In the meanwhile, we thank God for the people He has sent into our lives, the medical professionals, who share with us the wellness he intends for all His people.  And we thank God for the blessings of health He gives us through them.  Amen