Oct 2 2022

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.

 

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

 

907 God Himself Is Present                                    LSB 907

1      God Himself is present:
    Let us now adore Him
    And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple;
    All within keep silence;
    Humbly kneel in deepest rev’rence.
He alone
On His throne
    Is our God and Savior;
    Praise His name forever!

 

2      God Himself is present:
    Hear the harps resounding;
    See the hosts the throne surrounding.
“Holy, holy, holy!”
    Hear the hymn ascending,
    Songs of saints and angels blending.
Bow Your ear
To us here:
    Hear, O Christ, the praises
    That Your Church now raises.

 

3      Fount of ev’ry blessing,
    Purify my spirit,
    Trusting only in Your merit.
Like the holy angels,
    Worshiping before You,
    May I ceaselessly adore You.
Let Your will
Ever still
    Rule Your Church terrestrial
    As the hosts celestial.

 

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 TSon 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

 

Gloria in Excelsis

A     Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth.

C      Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father:

We worship You, we give You thanks, we praise You for Your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God:

You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

You are seated at the right hand of the Father; receive our prayer.

For You alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord,

You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

Salutation and Collect of the Day

P      The Lord be with you.

C      And also with you.

 

P      Let us pray.

O God, our refuge and strength, the author of all godliness, by Your grace hear the prayers of Your Church. Grant that those things which we ask in faith we may receive through Your bountiful mercy; 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 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress;
    I shall not be greatly shaken.

How long will all of you attack a man
    to batter him,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
    They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress;
    I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us.

Those of low estate are but a breath;
    those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.

Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
    and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
    according to his work.

 

First Reading Habakkuk 1:1–4; 2:1–4

    The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
    and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
    so justice goes forth perverted.

I will take my stand at my watchpost
    and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
    and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
    it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay.

“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith.”

 

A     This is the Word of the Lord.

C      Thanks be to God.

 

Epistle               2 Timothy 1:1–14

    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

    To Timothy, my beloved child:

    Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

    I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

    Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

 

A     This is the Word of the Lord.

C      Thanks be to God.

 

Stand

 

Common Alleluia and Verse

C      Alleluia.

Lord, to whom shall we go?

You have the words of eternal life.

Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Holy Gospel            Luke 17:1–10

P      The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the seventeenth chapter.

C      Glory to You, O Lord.

 

    [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

    The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

    “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

 

P      This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C      Praise to You, O Christ.

 

Sit

 

576 My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less                LSB 576

1      My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
No merit of my own I claim
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. Refrain

 

ref   On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

 

2      When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In ev’ry high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil. Refrain

 

3      His oath, His covenant and blood
Support me in the raging flood;
When ev’ry earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay. Refrain

 

4      When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Redeemed to stand before His throne! Refrain

 

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

 

Offertory Invitation

Scripture tells us "God loves a cheerful giver."  Let us with gladness, then, now give our tithes and offerings to the Lord.

 

Organ Interlude

 

OFFERING/OFFERTORY

 

Stand

 

955 Let the Vineyards Be Fruitful                        LSB 955

1      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;
Unite them with the prayers we offer now.
Grace our table with Your presence, and give us
A foretaste of the feast to come.

 

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. 

 

SERVICE OF THE SACRAMENT

 

Preface

P      The Lord be with you.

C      And also with you.

 

P      Lift up your hearts.

C      We lift them to the Lord.

 

P      Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C      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, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who on this day overcame death and the grave and by His glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:

 

Sanctus

C      Holy, holy, holy Lord God of pow’r 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.”

 

 

Lord's Prayer Invitation

Let us pray together the prayer that our Lord Jesus taught us. . .

 

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

 

C:  Amen. 

 

Agnus Dei

C      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.

 

The altar assistant dismisses each table of communicants saying, "Depart in Peace".

 

Stand

 

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.

 

Thank the Lord

C      Thank the Lord and sing His praise; tell ev’ryone what He has done.

Let all who seek the Lord rejoice and proudly bear His name.

He recalls His promises and leads His people forth in joy

with shouts of thanksgiving. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

P      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

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 Tgive you peace.

C      Amen.

 

923 Almighty Father, Bless the Word                     LSB 923

1      Almighty Father, bless the Word
Which through Your grace we now have heard.
Oh, may the precious seed take root,
Spring up, and bear abundant fruit!

 

2      We praise You for the means of grace
As homeward now our steps we trace.
Grant, Lord, that we who worshiped here
May all at last in heav’n appear.

 

D 3      Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

 

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.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pentecost 17 C   Oct. 2, 2022  Hab. 1:1-4, 2:1-4, Trinity, WLVS

The Tower

 

Have you ever looked down from a skyscraper or mountain top?  It’s usually a uniquely marvelous experience seeing things from a “bird’s eye view” whether it’s a landscape or a city. Being at a such a height often gives us a different perspective, not only visually and physically, but emotionally and spiritually.  Earthly things from such a distance may seem so much smaller and less important.  We may feel closer to Heaven and closer to God.  Maybe you have felt that way somewhere sometime.

Our Old Testament reading refers to God as being like a tower.  The Psalm metaphorically calls Him a fortress.  Martin Luther, the reformer for whom our church is named, had something he called his Tower Experience, and there are layers of meaning to that phenomenon and the name he gave it.  Growing out of that experience, Luther later wrote his famous hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, which we will sing at the end of the month on Reformation Day.

Luther’s Tower Experience took place when he was living as a monk at the Augustinian Monastery in the city of Erfurt.  As a young man, Luther‘s conscience was tortured when he thought about God and God’s justice.  Luther knew he that he was sinner and he felt quite acutely the guilt of his sin.  He was certain that God was going to punish him with everlasting torment in Hell for his transgressions.  Although he was an exemplary monk and confessed all his sins to his Father Confessor at extreme length, Luther was sure there was no forgiveness for him.  He was certain he was doomed.

 

We might compare Luther’s state of mind to the state of God’s people as described by the prophet Habakkuk. Habakkuk saw violence and destruction all around him, and cried out for salvation, wondering aloud why God was so slow to save his people.  It seemed in every way as if evil was winning.  In a similar way, Luther was haunted by his demons of depression and despair and cried out for God’s help. He felt he was losing the battle to evil.   For Luther, after months of study and prayer in his tower room, it was God’s Word spoken through Habukkuk’s prophecy that brought him relief and peace.  Those words were: The righteous shall live by his faith.

Do you feel like evil is winning sometimes?  Most of the time?  Just about all the time?  Just look at us.  It would not be surprising if every adult here doesn’t take some kind of medication: insulin, blood pressure medicine, blood thinners, cholesterol medication, anti-depressants, or something else.  Probably most people here have had some kind of surgery or chemotherapy or physical therapy at some point. Has any family been spared trouble in relationships between spouses, or parents and children, or some other issue?  At your work, whether you are the CEO or the lowest person in the hierarchy, aren’t you bothered by co-workers who do less work and poorer quality work than you and get more credit? Supervisors who really don’t understand your job but tell you what to do anyway? And don’t even get us started on politics!

All the ways that life goes wrong, all of the irritations, from the minor to the absolutely life shattering, are the effects of the sin that permeates our world and runs rampant in our lives.  Luther worried about the eternal disposition of his soul. We tend to worry about more temporal things.  Maybe we should have more care about life everlasting than we do.  But either way, we are tortured in our minds, bodies, and spirits, and we look to God for help, for relief, for salvation (although few people call it salvation today.)

No doubt, we can always think of people worse off than ourselves.  A visit to a hospital or prison or other institutions would prove that point.  But there is no relief for our misery in merely knowing we have company.  And while we want to be compassionate toward others, it does no good for us to compare our pain to the pain of others, to those suffering worse, or simply deny our pain altogether.  We need to accept that the world is often a painful and unfair place.  However, there is value in us thinking about and learning from those who have undergone great suffering and adversity, and came out on the other side of it still faithful, maybe even more faithful, and spiritually better for the experience, as Luther did with his Tower Experience.

St. Paul alludes to some of his trials in our Epistle Reading.  Paul was a man who at various times was ran out of town, imprisoned, beaten, flogged, shipwrecked, snake bit, and more.  Yet, he kept the faith and wrote the majority of the New Testament.  One of my personal heroes is a Lutheran pastor named Richard Wurmbrand who spent 14 years in Communist prisons.  He authored many books and testified to the United States Congress and to the world about the persecution of Christians behind what was then called the Iron Curtain, and such persecutions go on in our world still today.  You know how Jesus was slandered, falsely tried, and crucified for our salvation. 

Into such a world, the scriptures bring Good News.  God is faithful to His Word.  He will do what he said He will do.  His timing may seem slow to us -- we are impatient -- but His timing is perfect, as He withholds His judgment so that more people can be saved, and fewer people can be lost.  God is giving us more time to tell the world about his love and grace.

We can be faithful, we can live by faith, because God is faithful.  Even with all that is wrong with the world, the sicknesses that debilitate us,

the people that let us down, the demons that oppress us, we can trust in God and His goodness.  We know that in the long run, He is working all things out in the best way possible for us. 

That doesn’t mean that God is working all things out for us exactly as we would want them to be.  We are too limited to know what is actually best for us, but God knows. He will do what is right.  At the time of our trials and troubles, we might not understand what God is doing.  Often looking back, we can see how He was working things out for our good.  We can see His plan for us.  But then again, maybe sometimes, we don’t see the plan.  Faith is trusting God even when we don’t understand Him, even when we don’t know what He’s doing. 

We know one thing for sure: Life is going to end for us one of two ways.  Either Christ will come again, the world as we know it will end for all people, and we will be with Him forever.  Or we will die as individuals, our life in this world will end, and we will go to be with Him forever.  Either way, it’s a happy ending, and it’s all only because of Christ.

Christ’s death on the cross paid the debt for all our sins.  We are forgiven.  But isn’t it not funny how everyone wants to be forgiven, but nobody wants to forgive?  Christ calls us to forgive others, just as He forgives us, unconditionally and without limit.  That is why He taught us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  What kind of person would defy Christ by refusing to forgive another?  Who are we to judge our brothers and sisters?  

The upshot of Luther’s Tower Experience is that he knew he was loved and forgiven by God.  He lived out that faith by leading an authentic, courageous, Spirit-filled life.  May the upshot of this Divine Service today, your hearing of the Word and receiving the Lord’s Supper, also be that you are given a new perspective, knowing you are loved and forgiven, and being filled with faith and love, you forgive others.  Amen.