Grace and Peace to you, siblings in Christ.
I know you, like me, are ready to get back to “normal”, whatever that will look like now. We await direction from the governor’s office and in turn the bishop before we make any decisions on when we will resume in-person worship. We will keep you posted.
I pray you are well. Blessings on your Sunday and on your week!
Pastor Chris Lee
Order of Worship for May 17:
Prelude: ELW 595, “Jesus Loves Me,” sung by the Gustafson family:
Rachel, Bill, Grace, Luke and Claire Gustafson.
Opening Hymn: ELW 389, “Christ is Alive,” vs. 1, 3, 5.
Brittany Anderson and Miriam Anderson, vocalists; Pam Edwards, organist.
Readings: Cari Wehrheim
First Reading: Acts 17:22-31
In Athens, Paul faces the challenge of proclaiming the gospel to Greeks who know nothing of either Jewish or Christian tradition. He proclaims that the “unknown god” whom they worship is the true Lord of heaven and earth who will judge the world with justice through Jesus, whom God has raised from the dead.
22Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22
The author of 1 Peter encourages Christians to remain faithful even in the face of defamation and persecution. In baptism we are made clean to act in accordance with what is right.
13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
Gospel: John 14:15-21
In final words to his disciples on the night of his arrest, Jesus encourages obedience to his commandments and speaks of the Spirit, who will be with them forever.
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 708, “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love,” all 4 verses.
Brittany Anderson and Miriam Anderson, vocalists; Pam Edwards, pianist.
Prayers of Intercession: Tim Anderson
The Lord’s Prayer Malotte; G. Schirmer
Miriam Anderson, vocalist; Pam Edwards, pianist.
Sending Hymn: ELW 721, “Goodness is Stronger than Evil.”
Miriam Anderson and Pam Edwards, vocalists; Pam Edwards, pianist.
Image credits: Therese Guise (2 photos: First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rock Island) and LeavingLaodicea.com
“Jesus Loves Me!” Text: Anna B. Warner, 1820 – 1915, alt. Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816 – 1868. Public domain.
“Christ is Alive! Let Christians Sing.” Text: Brian A. Wren, b. 1936. Music: T. Williams, Psalmodia Evangelica, 1789. Text copyright 1975, rev. 1995 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI with license #3373661.
“Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love.” Text: Tom Colvin, 1925 – 2000, alt. Music: Ghanaian folk tune, adap, Tom Colvin. Text and music copyright 1969 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI with license #3373661.
“The Lord’s Prayer.” Albert Hay Malotte; Catalogs: G. Schirmer, Inc. Song number: 1534. Copyright 1935. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI with license #3373661.
“Goodness is Stronger Than Evil.” Text: from An African Prayer Book, Desmond Tutu, b. 1931. Music: John L. Bell, b. 1949. Text copyright 1995 Desmond Tutu, admin. Random House, Inc. and Lynn C. Franklin Asscoiates, Ltd.. Music ©1996 Iona Community, admin GIA Publications, Inc. WGRG (North America). All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.