Reformation Sunday Worship Service: 25 October 2020

It was a chilly but beautiful day!
I pray you all are well. A very special thanks to Pr. David McAdams for singing “Amazing Grace ” for our Reformation Sunday prelude! He and the congregation of First Paradise Baptist Church have been friends of First Lutheran for years.
Peace, Pastor Chris Lee

Order of Worship for October 25 REFORMATION SUNDAY, 2020

Prelude: ELW 779, “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.” Pastor David McAdams, vocalist.

Meditation: Rooted in the past and growing into the future, the church must always be reformed in order to live out the love of Christ in an ever-changing world. We celebrate the good news of God’s grace, that Jesus Christ sets us free every day to do this life-transforming work. Trusting in the freedom given to us in baptism, we pray for the church, that Christians will unite more fully in worship and mission.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, who creates, redeems, and sustains us and all of creation. Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Faithful God, have mercy on us. We confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We turn from your loving embrace and go our own ways. We pass judgment on one another before examining ourselves. We place our own needs before those of our neighbors. We keep your gift of salvation to ourselves. Make us humble, cast away our transgressions, and turn us again to life in you through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

God hears the cries of all who call out in need, and through his death and resurrection, Christ has made us his own. Hear the truth that God proclaims:

Your sins are forgiven in the name of ☩ Jesus Christ. Led by the Holy Spirit, live in freedom and newness to do God’s work in the world. Amen.

Opening Hymn: ELW 504- “A Mighty fortress is our God,” all verses.

Prayer of the Day:

Almighty God, gracious Lord, we thank you that your Holy Spirit renews the church in every age. Pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in your word, protect and comfort them in times of trial, defend them against all enemies of the gospel, and bestow on the church your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

The renewed covenant will not be breakable, but like the old covenant it will expect the people to live upright lives. To know the LORD means that one will defend the cause of the poor and needy (Jer. 22:16). The renewed covenant is possible only because the LORD will forgive iniquity and not remember sin. Our hope lies in a God who forgets.

31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Psalm: Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength,
  a very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,
  and though the mountains shake in the depths of the sea;
3though its waters rage and foam,
  and though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
  the holy habitation of the Most High.
5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be shaken;
  God shall help it at the break of day.
6The nations rage, and the kingdoms shake;
  God speaks, and the earth melts away. 
7The Lord of hosts is with us;
  the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
8Come now, regard the works of the Lord,
  what desolations God has brought upon the earth;
9behold the one who makes war to cease in all the world;
  who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire.
10“Be still, then, and know that I am God;
  I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”
11The Lord of hosts is with us;
  the God of Jacob is our stronghold. 

Second Reading: Romans 3:19-28

Paul’s words stand at the heart of the preaching of Martin Luther and other Reformation leaders. No human beings make themselves right with God through works of the law. We are brought into a right relationship with God through the divine activity centered in Christ’s death. This act is a gift of grace that liberates us from sin and empowers our faith in Jesus Christ.

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

Gospel: John 8:31-36

Jesus speaks of truth and freedom as spiritual realities known through his word. He reveals the truth that sets people free from sin.

31Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”
34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 517- “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” verses 1 and 3.

Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son,* who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

With confidence in God’s grace and mercy, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.

Renew and inspire the church in the freedom of the gospel, O God. Where the church is in error, reform it. Where the church speaks your truth, strengthen it. Where the church is divided, unify it. Ignite in us the working of the Holy Spirit. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

As the earth changes, as mountains shake and the waters roar, may we care for this planet as a holy habitation for all living things. Sustain all peoples and lands recovering from natural disasters of any kind (especially). Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Guide areas of the world divided or traumatized by conflict, especially in our own land. Free all from slavery and human trafficking, and protect all in harm’s way. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Release those living in bondage to debts, chronic pain, or addiction. Grant healing touch to those who are ill especially Sky Stoutt, Jeanna LaRue, Louise Larson, Lauren Bloomquist, Dan Wolever, and Karen Bemowski.  . Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

In this family of faith we give thanks for courageous voices that have remained firm in their commitment to the one who frees us from sin and death. Centered in your grace, unify us in the hope of the gospel. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Even in death, you free us and give us a place in your house. We give thanks for our ancestors who have shown us truth and freedom, especially Martin Luther and those who work for the renewal of the church. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Listen as we call on you, O God, and enfold in your loving arms all for whom we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Lord’s Prayer

Sending Hymn: ELW 652- “Built on a Rock,” all verses.


Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you and lead you into the way of truth and life. Amen.

Postlude: “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.” by Walcha. Pam Edwards , pianist.

Image credits: Luther Pixabay free image, Andi Breit and Fall Trees photo, Therese Guise

Music credits:

“Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.” Text: John Newton, 1725 – 1807, alt. sts. 1 – 4; anonymous, st. 5. Music: W. Walker, Southern Harmony, 1835; arr. Edwin O. Excell, 1851 – 1921, alt.. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“A Mighty fortress is our God.” Text: Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship. Music: Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546. Text copyright 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word.” Public domain.

“How Firm a Foundation,” all verses. Text: J. Rippon, A Selection of Hymns, 1787, alt. Music: Early American. Public domain.

“Built on a Rock.” Text: Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1783 – 1872; tr. Carl Doving, 1869 – 1937, adapt. Music: Ludvig M. Lindeman, 1812 – 1887. Text copyright 1958 Service Book and Hymnal, admin. Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.” by Walcha. Copyright permission granted by C.F. Peters NY.

Sundays and 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.