4 June 2023

The Holy Trinity


Welcome and Announcements

Lutheran Service Book Divine Service Setting One


507 Holy, Holy, Holy LSB 507 sts. 1–4

1 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

2 Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in powr, in love, and purity.

4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

Text: Reginald Heber, 1783–1826
Text: Public domain


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


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.


This Is the Feast

C This is the feast of victory for our God.

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.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

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

This is the feast of victory for our God.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

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

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

This is the feast of victory for our God.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

For the Lamb who was slain has begun His reign. Alleluia.

This is the feast of victory for our God.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Salutation and Collect of the Day

P The Lord be with you.

C And also with you.

P Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever.

C Amen.


Psalm Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

First Reading Genesis 1:12:4a

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light,and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.And God said, Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

A This is the Word of the Lord.

C Thanks be to God.

Epistle Acts 2:14a, 22–36

Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, . . .

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him,

“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.

Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.

A This is the Word of the Lord.

C Thanks be to God.


Common Alleluia and Verse

C Alleluia.

Lord, to whom shall we go?

You have the words of eternal life.

Alleluia, alleluia.

Holy Gospel Matthew 28:16–20

P The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the twenty-eighth chapter.

C Glory to You, O Lord.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

P This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C Praise to You, O Christ.


940 Holy God, We Praise Thy Name LSB 940 sts. 1–5

1 Holy God, we praise Thy name;
Lord of all, we bow before Thee.
All on earth Thy scepter claim,
All in heavn above adore Thee.
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy reign.

2 Hark! The glad celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising;
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising,
Fill the heavns with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy Lord!

3 Lo, the_apostlesholy train
Join Thy sacred name to hallow;
Prophets swell the glad refrain,
And the white-robed martyrs follow,
And from morn to set of sun
Through the Church the song goes on.

4 Thou art King of Glory, Christ;
Son of God, yet born of Mary.
For us sinners sacrificed,
As to death a Tributary,
First to break the bars of death,
Thou hast opened heavn to faith.

D 5 Holy Father, holy Son,
Holy Spirit, three we name Thee;
Though in essence only one,
Undivided God we claim Thee
And, adoring, bend the knee
While we own the mystery.

Text: Latin, c. 4th cent.; German version Katholisches Gesangbuch, 1774, Vienna; tr. Clarence A. Walworth, 1820–1900, alt.
Text: Public domain

Sermon — Trinity Sunday A Matthew 26:16-2: Pastor Eric Ash

The Man Upstairs

The congregation I grew up in had its sanctuary on the second floor of the church building. The Sunday School classrooms were on the first floor. One summer they experimented with a new way of combining worship and Sunday School for children. The children would be present in worship from the beginning of the service until the time of the sermon. Then, when it was time for the sermon to begin, all the children, and one lucky teacher, would be excused to go downstairs for Summer Sunday School.

The reasoning behind this experiment was that the children got fidgety during long sermons, and they couldn’t understand the sermons anyway, so why not make both the children and adults happy and send the kids downstairs? Now, as an adult pastor, if someone would suggest such a system for us today, I would counter that children probably get more out of sermons than we realize, and that the best way to teach them how to sit through a sermon attentively is to actually have them in worship as often as possible. But that is not my point this morning.

The system of having worship led by the pastor on the upper level and Sunday School led by a teacher on the lower level had a comic and somewhat cosmic, consequence one Sunday. That Sunday, my Sunday School teacher referred to God repeatedly in his lesson by the quaint old colloquialism The Man Upstairs. The Man Upstairs is watching over us”, he said, “The Man Upstairs loves us”. I guess I had never heard God identified that way before and my confusion must have shown on my face. Finally, the teacher asked me, “You know who the man upstairs is, don’t you?” To which I cautiously hazarded a guess, “Pastor Murdock?

Now I know that The Man Upstairs the teacher was referring to was God, not Pastor Murdock. However, I think that my confusion over the nature and identity of God was certainly not peculiar to me alone, and perplexity over who God is and what God does is not limited to childhood either. Many adults I meet could use to have their concept of God fine-tuned a bit, if not completely overhauled. But let me preface my remarks with the disclaimer that I do not pretend to comprehend all the intricacies of God’s divine being. No human being on this side of heaven can totally understand the mystery of God. Yet, there are things that God has revealed to us about himself that the church can believe with certainty and teach with authority.

We Christians believe that there is only one God, and that one God eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Belief in the Trinity is absolutely basic and fundamental to Christianity. As we said, no one can claim perfect comprehension of God’s triune nature. Yet it is also true that no one can rightfully call himself a Christian without believing in the Trinity, however advanced or lacking one’s understanding of the Trinity might be. God knows well our human limitations; He knows that we cannot grasp all that he is. Still, he does expect that we be serious about knowing him as fully as we can, and He gives us multiple opportunities to get to know him, such as in worship and Sunday School.

I perceive that perhaps a few eyebrows get raised at Christmas when I proclaim that God is born a human baby, and again on Good Friday when I say that God died on the cross. Sometimes the questions are put to me, “Don’t you mean God’s Son was born a human baby?” and “God’s Son died on the cross?” And my answer is that it is “both/and” not “either/or”. Jesus, God’s Son, was made incarnate and died for our salvation and God’s Son, Jesus, is God. Jesus is God! It was God who soiled his swaddling clothes. It was God who hung there dead on the cross. To say otherwise would deny the divinity of Jesus Christ.

That was one of the big controversies in the early centuries of the Christian church: Is Jesus really God, or is Jesus just a little less that God? Or to put it another way, is Jesus the Creator, or is Jesus just a creature? On one hand there were many theories- man heresies- that said Jesus was not divine but merely a human being exactly like you and me. Some said that Jesus was just a very good man chosen by God to do his will, or that Jesus was a man possessed by the Spirit of God for a time. On the other hand, there were also those who said that Jesus was completely a divine spirit and not really human at all, they said Jesus didn’t really need to eat or drink, and he certainly didn’t really feel pain or temptation like you and me.

Councils of bishops and theologians from all over the world, sort of like the recent conclave that elected the Pope, were called to settle these questions. Led by the Holy Spirit they affirmed the faith that had been handed down through the Apostles, specifically that Jesus was and is both fully human and fully divine, this teaching was preserved in the three great creeds of our faith (the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian), which teach us that Jesus the Son is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus and his Father are one in majesty. The Son of God was present and active in creation. He is Creator, not creature. Jesus is true God.

I have never been particularly fond of the colloquialism The Man Upstairs being used as a name for God. It always struck me as disrespectful, and we no longer think of the universe as a three story dwelling with heaven above, a hell below, and the earth in between. And I am leery of projecting too many human characteristics on God- we tend to want to make God in our image for our purposes, when in fact God made us in his image for his purposes.

But the nickname The Man Upstairs kind of grew on me as I prepared this sermon because I’m glad to know that Jesus Christ is human just like me. When I am in doubt or in pain, or when I face temptations, I am glad to know that there really is a Man Upstairs who understands and sympathizes with what I am going through because he has gone through it himself. Moreover, especially I am glad that The Man Upstairs is also The God Upstairs who cannot only sympathize with me but actually do something to help me. And frequently The Man Upstairs helps us out by using what I’ll call People Down Below.

I don’t know if anyone else ever mistook Pastor Murdock for God as I did. Many people did comment that Pastor Murdock bore an uncanny resemblance to TV comedian Wally Cox, of Mr. Peepers and Hollywood Squares fame, which I suppose was a dubious distinction. What I do know about Pastor Murdock is that he was a mild-mannered man with a quiet but confident faith, who sang hymns with a look of great serenity on his face, and who visited me faithfully in the hospital when I was sick. And I remember a few of his sermon illustrations. Particularly there was one about what a great honor it was for him to be on the clean-up committee at his seminary’s cafeteria because Jesus said that the greatest ones among us are the servants of others.

Pastor Murdock was not God, but certainly was a servant of God, one of those chosen by Jesus to go out preaching and teaching and baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We might go as far as to say that in a sense his ministry was incarnational: the Spirit of Christ, God’s Holy Spirit, worked through this human being. He was Christ-like.

I am sure that many of you have also known people who God worked through to touch your lives with his grace, people who were like little Christs to you. And they were all certainly not pastors either. They might have been parents or teachers or nurses or supervisors or family members or friends or even strangers. All Christians have the potential to love and serve others on behalf of our Triune God, and many of them do.

We all want to know God better and that is good. Perhaps the best way to learn about God is to cooperate with his Spirit and let him lead us to love others as he loves us, and forgive others as he forgives, and give to others as he gives of himself unto us. That’s the best way to get closer to The Man Upstairs, and you know I don’t mean Pastor Murdock. Amen.



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.

Prayer of the Church— The Holy Trinity (A): 4 June 2023

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

Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth, we bless Your name. You have called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light. Guard Your Church, purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Keep her in the true faith, without error, schism or compromise, until that day when You welcome her home as Your spotless Bride. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

In government and law, Father, You work to establish and preserve order, protecting the weak and fostering godly virtue. Bless our president; our governor; and all who make, administer and judge our laws. Bless all who defend us in the armed forces, aid us in the emergency and medical fields, or inform us. Hinder those who oppress any people with mistruth, violence or fear. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty Father, as You continue to uphold Your creation, be with us as we still suffer under the curse of sin. By Your will, grant healing to the sick, comfort to the lonely, relief to those whose hearts are heavy with grief, and aid to those who are in any need [especially _____________]. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

All these things and whatever else You know that we need, grant us, Father, for the sake of Him who died and rose again and now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.


Offertory Invitation

The Psalmist wrote, "Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; bring offerings and come into this courts." Therefore, we now make our offerings to God.

The Choir sings the Offertory as the offerings are collected.


Offertory LSB 159

C What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me?

I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call on the name of the Lord.

I will take the cup of salvation and will call on the name of the Lord.

I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people,

in the courts of the Lords house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

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.



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, who with Your only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, one Lord. In the confession of the only true God, we worship the Trinity in person and the Unity in substance, of majesty coequal. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:


C Holy, holy, holy Lord God of powr 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 On the night, in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same also, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood, shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

Lord's Prayer Invitation

Jesus taught us to call God "Father" and so we 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.


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.


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.

Thank the Lord

C Thank the Lord and sing His praise; tell evryone 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.


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.

905 Come, Thou Almighty King LSB 905

1 Come, Thou almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing;
Help us to praise;
Father all-glorious,
O’er all victorious,
Come and reign over us,
Ancient of Days.

2 Come, Thou incarnate Word,
Gird on Thy mighty sword;
Our prayer attend.
Come and Thy people bless,
And give Thy Word success,
And let Thy righteousness
On us descend.

3 Come, holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear
In this glad hour!
Thou, who almighty art,
Now rule in evry heart,
And neer from us depart,
Spirit of pow’r.

D 4 To Thee, great One in Three,
Eternal praises be
Hence evermore!
Thy sov’reign majesty
May we in glory see,
And to eternity
Love and adore.

Text: English, before 1760, alt.
Text: 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 © 2023 Concordia Publishing House.