May 22 2022

 

Ringing of the Bell

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

 

 

Prelude

 

Welcome and Announcements

 

Lutheran Service Book Divine Service Setting One

 

Stand

 

822 Alleluia! Let Praises Ring                             LSB 822


1 Alleluia! Let praises ring!
To God the Father let us bring
Our songs of adoraton.
To Him through everlasting days
Be worship, honor, pow'r, and praise,
Whose hand sustains creation.
Singing, ringing:
Holy, holy,
God is holy;
Spread the story
Of our God, the Lord of glory.

2 Alleluia! Let praises ring!
Unto the Lamb of God we sing,
In whom we are elected.
He bought His Church with His own blood,
He cleansed her in that blessed flood,
And as His Bride selected.
Holy, holy
Is our union
And communion.
His befriending
Gives us joy and peace unending.

3 Alleluia! Let praises ring!
Unto the Holy Ghost we sing
For our regeneration.
The saving faith in us He wrought
And us unto the Bridegroom brought.
Made us His chosen nation.
Glory! Glory!
Joy eternal,
Bliss supernal;
There is manna
And an endless, glad hosanna.

4 Alleluia! Let praises ring!
Unto our triune God we sing;
Blest be His name forever!
With angel hosts let us adore
And sing His praises evermore
For all His grace and favor!
Singing, ringing:
Holy, holy, God is holy;
Spread the story
Of our God, the Lord of glory!





 

 

CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION

 

The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.

 

Invocation

P      In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C      Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Exhortation

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.

 

 

Absolution

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.

 

 

 

SERVICE OF THE WORD

This Is the Feast


Refrain.
This is the feast
of victory for our God.
For the Lamb Who was slain
has begun His reign:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


This is the feast
of victory for our God.
For the Lamb Who was slain
has begun His reign:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!



Worthy is Christ,
the Lamb who was slain,
whose blood set us free
to be people of God.

This is the feast
of victory for our God.
For the Lamb Who was slain
has begun His reign:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!



Power, riches, wisdom,
and strength,
and honor, blessing,
and glory are his.

This is the feast
of victory for our God.
For the Lamb Who was slain
has begun His reign:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!



Sing with all
the people of God,
and join in the hymn
of all creation.

This is the feast
of victory for our God.
For the Lamb Who was slain
has begun His reign:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!



Blessing, honor,
glory, and might
be to God and
the Lamb forever. Amen.

This is the feast
of victory for our God.
For the Lamb Who was slain
has begun His reign:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!



For the Lamb
who was slain
has begun his reign.
Alleluia!

This is the feast
of victory for our God.
For the Lamb Who was slain
has begun His reign:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


 

Salutation and Collect of the Day

P      The Lord be with you.

C      And also with you.

 

P      Let us pray.

O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C      Amen.

 

 

Sit

 

Psalm                         Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

 

First Reading          Acts 16:9–15

    A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

    So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

 

A      This is the Word of the Lord.

C      Thanks be to God.

 

 

Epistle     Revelation 21:9–14, 21–27

    Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. . . .

 

 

    And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

    And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

A      This is the Word of the Lord.

C      Thanks be to God.

 

 

Stand

 

Common Alleluia and Verse


Alleluia.  Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

 

Holy Gospel              John 5:1–9

P      The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the fifth chapter.

C      Glory to You, O Lord.

 

    After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

    Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

   

 

P      This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C      Praise to You, O Christ.

 

 

 

Sit

 

671 Sing with All the Saints in Glory                        LSB 671

1.Sing with all the saints in glory,
Sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, earth's dark story,
To the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking,
Soon the storms of time shall cease;
In God's likeness we, awaking,
Know the everlasting peace.
2.O what glory, far exceeding
All that eye has yet perceived!
Holiest hearts, for ages pleading,
Never that full joy conceived.
God has promised, Christ prepares it,
There on high our welcome waits.
Every humble spirit shares it;
Christ has passed th'eternal gates.




 

Sermon                 Pastor Eric Ash

 

Stand

 

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.

 

Prayers

 

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

 

Sit

 

OFFERING/OFFERTORY

 

955 Let the Vineyards Be Fruitful                        LSB 955


Let the vineyards be fruitful, Lord,
and fill to the brim our cup of blessing.
Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown,
that we may be fed with the bread of life.
Gather the hopes and the dreams of all;
united them with the prayers we offer.
Grace our table with your presence,
and give us a foretaste of the feast to come.


Text: John W. Arthur, 1922–80

 

 

 

Offertory Prayer

Lord God, send your Spirit upon us as we offer you these gifts.  Enrich us by your grace, strengthen us with your blessing, and keep us always in your love.  Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

SERVICE OF THE SACRAMENT

 

Stand

 

Preface

P The Lord be with you.

And also with you

 

P Lift up your hearts.

we lift them to the lord

 

P Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

 

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. And most especially are we bound to praise You on this day for the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, the very Paschal Lamb, who was sacrificed for us and bore the sins of the world. By His dying He has destroyed death, and by His rising again He has restored to us everlasting life. Therefore with Mary Magdalene, Peter and John, and with all the witnesses of the resurrection, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:

 

Sanctus

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might:  Heaven and earth are full of Your glory.  Hosanna.  Hosanna.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

 

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.”

 

 

 

 

P      Lord, remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray:

 

 

 

Lord's Prayer

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.

 

 

 

Fraction

P  When we eat this bread, we share the body of Christ.  When we drink from this cup, we share the blood of Christ.

 

C  Reveal yourself to us, O Lord, in the breaking of bread as once you revealed yourself to your Apostles.  Amen. 

 

 

Agnus Dei


Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.  Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.  Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.

 

Sit

 

Distribution                      164

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

Amen.

 

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

Amen.

 

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.

 

Stand

 

Thank the Lord




Thank the Lord and sing his praise. Tell everyone what he has done. Let all who seek the Lord rejoice and proudly bear his Name. He renews his promises and leads his people forth in joy with shouts of thanksgiving. Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

 Post-Communion Collect

P      We give thanks to You, almighty God, that You have refreshed us through this salutary gift, and we implore You that of Your mercy You would strengthen us through the same in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C      Amen.

 

 

Benediction

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.

Amen

 

 

469 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today                          LSB 469


  1. 1. Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!

    Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

    Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

    Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!

  2. 2. Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

    Fought the fight, the vict’ry won, Alleluia!

    Jesus’ agony is o’er, Alleluia!

    Darkness veils the earth no more, Alleluia!

  3. 3. Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!

    Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

    Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!

    Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

 

5      Soar we now where Christ has led;
Foll’wing our exalted Head.
Made like Him, like Him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

 

6      Hail the Lord of earth and heav’n!
Praise to Thee by both be giv’n!
Thee we greet triumphant now:
Hail, the resurrection, Thou!

 

 

 

CLOSING RESPONSE

P      Go in Peace! Serve the Lord!

C             Praise be to God!

 

Acknowledgments
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 © 2022 Concordia Publishing House.

 


 

 

 

Easter 6 C   May 22, 2022   Rev. 21: 9-14, 21-27   Trinity, Wellsville

 

Heaven On My Mind

 

I have one of those “a guy dies and goes to heaven” stories.  Actually, three guys die and go to Heaven.  Have you heard it before?  At the Pearly Gates, St. Peter tells them that none of them are supposed to get into Heaven, but he’s in a sporting mood.  He’ll ask each of them a question, and if they get it right, they get to enter.

 

St. Peter asks the first guy, “What was the worst nautical disaster of all time?”  The only thing the guy can think of is the Titanic, and that’s what he says. “Right,” says St. Peter, “You get to enter Heaven.”  St. Peter asks the second guy, “How many victims were there on the Titanic?”  The guy vaguely remembers seeing a documentary about the Titanic years ago, and for some reason the number 1,517 sticks out in his mind.  That’s what he says and, again, St. Peter says, “Right, you get to enter Heaven.”  Then St. Peter turns to the third guy and says, “Name them!” 

 

Heaven is especially on my mind today because our second reading, from the Revelation, gives a graphic description of Heaven, including those famous Pearly Gates.  I am also thinking about Heaven today because there have been several best-selling books written by people who claim to have gone to Heaven and come back to tell us about it.  These are popular because people sincerely want to know about what happens beyond the grave.  I find that a lot of people are hungry for information about Heaven and the afterlife. 

 

That was made apparent to me several years ago, right before a funeral I was to officiate at.  The daughter-in-law of the deceased was well known to me.  She was an active church member and frequent worship attendee.  Before the service began, she struck up a conversation with me in the funeral home lounge in which she admitted that she really knew nothing at all about what happens after we die, and she wanted to know what we Lutherans believe.  If a person as well integrated into the life church as she was had such questions, I surmise a lot of people do.

 

What do we believe?  It sounds extremely elementary to have to say it, but we Lutheran Christians do believe in an afterlife.  I feel obliged to say that because I have known Christians who ought to know better say things like, “Well, nobody really knows what happens after we die.  Nobody really knows if there’s a heaven.  No one’s ever come back from Heaven and told us about it.”  To the contrary, Jesus came from Heaven to earth, and then, after dying on the cross, ascended back into Heaven.  Jesus himself is proof positive that there is life after death for the Christian.  We have that, and we have the extraordinary revelation given to St. John, our second reading today.

 

Many non-Christian religions and philosophies also teach about an afterlife.  In this case these schools of thought have come to a partly right (but not entirely right) conclusion based on faulty evidence.  There is nothing innately immortal about the human soul.  There is no logical or scientific reason why people must live on after death.  There is no cycle of reincarnations.  That eternal life after death is possible is only because of what God does for us.  The afterlife is not a given, it’s a gift. 

 

What is Heaven like?  Our only reliable source of information on Heaven is the Bible.  Someone once said that the Bible is an acronym: B-I-B-L-E stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.  We must trust God’s Word more than we trust any human beings’ account of their visions or near-death experience.  I suppose that in so far as one’s experiences agree with scripture and affirms one’s faith, that’s a good thing.  I’ve had a couple experiences that were like near death experiences myself, but I don’t put my faith in them.  We cannot say more about Heaven than what scripture says.  To be candid, what scripture says may strike many of us as a little sparse. As we’ve said many times, the Bible tells us what we need to know, not necessarily what we want to know.

 

The Bible talks about Heaven in rather general terms, and the images it uses to describe Heaven may seem quite strange to us.  We don’t get pictures like Google Earth shows us of our planet.  That is because the reality of Heaven is so far beyond anything we have known before.  To try to imagine Heaven is like trying to imagine a number greater than infinity.  It just can’t be done.  We don’t have the mental hardware for that.  I think the author of the Revelation is trying to put into words sights that are beyond human comprehension, things too beautiful for words. 

 

What we do know for sure from the Bible is that Heaven is a real place and we will have real, physical bodies there.  We don’t lose our individual identities and meld into some kind of cosmic consciousness. These bodies will be glorious resurrection bodies, not like the bodies we have now.  We will be healthy in every way there, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, and no disease, no anxiety, no evil thoughts or temptations will disturb us there.  It is something for us to look forward to, and what we are looking forward to is not floating around on clouds playing harps.

 

Heaven will be an active place for us; there will be things for us to do.  All we will be doing, we don’t know yet.  But one thing we will do there will be to celebrate our blessedness together.  We will recognize and know one another in Heaven.  Heaven will be like a family reunion, the family of God’s reunion.  As great as seeing our loved ones in Heaven will be, moreover in Heaven we will be supremely happy because there we will see God as He is, face to face.  Here on earth, God only comes to us veiled, in Word and sacrament.  That’s all we can handle now. But in the afterlife no mediation will be necessary.  All will be eternal bliss.  That’s all we really need to know at this time, God will fill in all the details later.

 

Sound good?  Want to go to Heaven?  Afraid you won’t make it?  Are you going to go home and memorize the 1,517 names of the victims on the Titanic?  Don’t bother.  You aren’t going to have to answer any questions at Heaven’s Gate.  Christ already won your salvation for you.  Are you a baptized believer?  Do you have faith in Christ?  Then your ticket’s punched.  You’ve got your boarding pass.  You’re Heaven bound.  Don’t worry, be confident, rest secure.

 

 

 

But while we’re still here on earth, it’s good for us to think about the afterlife.  That helps keep us on the path to Heaven.  People who don’t think much about Heaven also tend to not think very much about their lives on earth either.  They stray into all sorts of trouble.  Losing our focus on Heaven puts us in danger. 

 

If we are here on earth, that means God has something for us to do.  Sometimes people, especially people in pain, will ask me, “Pastor, why am I still alive?  Why doesn’t God just take me?”  My answer is always that God must have you here for a reason, for some purpose, that we might not know right now.  It could be that your purpose is to let others love you and care for you as they would serve Christ himself.  God is using you to teach others about His love.  We don’t need to rush to Heaven.  Jesus will take us home to Heaven soon enough.

 

Y’know, maybe there isn’t as sharp of a boundary between earth and Heaven as it seems.  While, as we said, Heaven is a definite place, and while this earth is definitely not Heaven, the paradox is that it is also true that heaven is wherever God’s saints are.  As a baptized saint of God, your presence makes any place heavenly.  Heaven is also wherever God is worshiped, so we are in Heaven in a sense right now at this Divine Service.  And in Heaven there is perfect faith.  Wherever the true faith is proclaimed, there is Heaven.  You aren’t going to be much closer to Heaven while you’re on earth than you are this very minute.  So, you heavenly and heaven-bound Saints of God, let us prepare to confess that true faith here together.  Amen.