Welcome to First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.  We are very glad you joined us for worship today, and we hope you will come again.  Our congregation is part of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, a worldwide Christian denomination in the tradition of the German Protestant Reformation.  Central to our faith is the biblical doctrine that we are justified by grace through faith.  That is to say, God forgives our sins and puts us right with Him by His great love for us, made manifest through Jesus Christ’s death and Resurrection, which we receive through faith in Him. 

Communion Statement: At our Sunday worship services we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion.  We believe and teach that the Holy Communion is the true body and blood of Christ, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins.  If you are a baptized adult Christian who shares this belief, you are welcome to receive Holy Communion this morning.  Children and adults not receiving Communion may come forward for a pastoral blessing.  If you have any questions about Holy Communion, we encourage you to talk with the Pastor or an Elder.   We are eager to share our Confession (statement) of faith and Communion instruction with you.

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

657 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God                                      LSB 657 sts. 1–4
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Text: © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110004199
Tune: Public domain


 

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.

Gloria in Excelsis                                                                     LSB 154
P:   Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth.
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SERVICE OF THE WORD

Salutation and Collect of the Day
P     The Lord be with you.
C     And also with you.

P     Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, Your Son Jesus triumphed over the prince of demons and freed us from bondage to sin. Help us to stand firm against every assault of Satan, and enable us always to do Your will; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C     Amen.

Sit

Psalm                                                                                    Psalm 130
Out of the depths
    I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
    Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

First Reading                                                                    Genesis 3:8–15
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
A     This is the Word of the Lord.
C     Thanks be to God.

Epistle                                                                     2 Corinthians 4:13—5:1
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

A     This is the Word of the Lord.
C     Thanks be to God.

Stand

Common Alleluia and Verse
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Holy Gospel                                                                       Mark 3:20–35
P     The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark, the third chapter.
C     Glory to You, O Lord.

Then [Jesus] went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

P     This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C     Praise to You, O Christ.

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.

Sit

850 God of Grace and God of Glory                                           LSB 850
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Text and tune: Public domain

Sermon                                                                            Pastor Eric Ash

Stand

Prayers

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

Choir Anthem                 Spirit of God, Descend                    George Croly                         Robert Sterling

955 Let the Vineyards Be Fruitful                                             LSB 955
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Text and tune: © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110004199

 

Offertory Prayer
P:  Blessed are you,
C:  O Lord our God, maker of all things.  Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts.  With them we offer ourselves to your service and dedicate our lives to the care and redemption of all that you have made, for the sake of him who gave himself for us.  Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

SERVICE OF THE SACRAMENT

Preface
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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, having created all things, took on human flesh and was born of the virgin Mary. For our sake He died on the cross and rose from the dead to put an end to death, thus fulfilling Your will and gaining for You a holy people. 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
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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. 

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
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Post Communion Prayer
P:  We give you thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us through the healing power of this gift of life; and we pray that in your mercy you would strengthen us, through this gift in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

C:  Amen. 

Benediction
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527 O Savior, Precious Savior                                                   LSB 527
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Text and tune: Public domain

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 © 2021 Concordia Publishing House.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Pente 2 B   June 6, 2021   Mark 3:31-35  Trinity, Wellsville, NY
Jesus’ Family
How are your relationships with your family?  Is your family perfect?  Does everyone get along?  Whether you grew up watching the Cleavers, the Brady’s, or the Huxtables on TV, you learned that all family problems, no matter how bad, could be solved in a half hour, or an hour if it was “a very special episode,” and it would end with everyone laughing.  Is your family like that?   Mine never was.
Every family is dysfunctional in its own way.  We may think other families are without issues, but they are not.  Once, I was counseling a family and the mother blurted out, “I wish we could be perfect like the so-and-so family,” who had the reputation of being the picture-perfect family.  What she did not/could not know was that I was counseling that family too and their situation was far worse.
In the Bible we have many examples of ideal families that we can aim to be like, right?  Actually no, we do not; the families in the Bible have even bigger problems than we do. Starting from the beginning, we have Adam and Eve who together committed the first sin.  Their relationship was never again the same after that.  Their dysfunction got passed down to their sons Cain and Abel.  Cain murdered Abel.  Talk about sibling rivalry. 
Abraham is considered the father of our faith.  He and his wife Sarah had fertility problems and conflict arose when he took her advice and went outside their marriage to sire an heir.  Bad idea!  Jacob favored his son Joseph and Joseph’s brothers faked his death, sold him into slavery, and lied to their father saying a wild animal had killed him.  Not exactly the brotherly love you would expect from the guys who would go on to lead the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  Now don’t even get me started on the adultery, incest, rebellion, and murder that went on in King David’s family, even with David being described as a man after God’s own heart. 
And you thought your family was bad!  Luckily, having a perfect family is not a requirement of church membership.  We cannot promise you that knowing God, even loving and trying to obey Him, guarantees a great family life.  But we can give you comfort and hope.
Given the history of families in the Bible, maybe it is no surprise that Jesus himself had family troubles, even from the beginning.  Mary was betrothed to Joseph when she conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Understandably, Joseph wanted to end the engagement and it took divine intervention to convince him otherwise.  The most obvious challenging incident between Jesus and his family is recorded in today’s gospel reading.
Jesus’ reputation as a preacher and miracle worker was growing.  He was also irritating the religious leaders big time.  Jesus’ family rightly saw that things could end badly for Jesus, and they were concerned for him – and maybe for themselves too.  No one wants to be known as the family of a stark raving mad heretic, and that is what Jesus’ family thought of him – they thought Jesus had lost his mind.  How else could you explain saying the counter cultural things Jesus said and hinting he was the Messiah, the Son of God?  Their mission was to save Jesus from himself and save themselves from a boatload of embarrassment. 
Jesus was not the first and certainly not the last person to be misunderstood by his family.  I am sure all of us feel misunderstood by those we love at one time or another – maybe all the time.  Author Joyce Landorf in her book, “Irregular people,” shared a story about a woman who worked up her courage to tell her mother about her cancer diagnosis and poured her heart out to her mother about all her fears and worries.  When she was done her mother said nothing at all about the cancer to her and talked instead about recipes.  Something like that ever happen to you?
In any family there are going to be people who just don’t “get” you.  People who are so wrapped up in themselves that they cannot respond or relate to you in any meaningful way.  People who are emotionally incapable of empathy or compassion, and who can never give you the recognition, the support, and the love you need and deserve.  It is not your fault; they are just psychologically handicapped and spiritually crippled that way.  Landorf called them “irregular people.”
Here’s the mind-blowing part.  We can all think of people who treat us badly and who are irregular people to us.  Is it possible that you and I might be irregular people to someone else and not know it?  It certainly is!  Maybe we’re not “irregular” to everyone, but could there be a child, a parent, a sibling, maybe even your own spouse that you don’t really listen to, that you don’t sympathize with, someone who craves your love and affection and doesn’t receive it.  Think about it.  Each of us may be an irregular person to somebody else. 
So, we have established that no family is perfect and that each of us both suffer from maltreatment and may also cause others to suffer by the way we treat them.  Where is there hope and help for us and our families? Again, we go to our authoritative source, the Bible.  Just as it diagnosed our ailment, it also gives us a prescription, not perfect families, but for healthier families as we await our ultimate salvation.
For starters, we have the 4th and 6th commandments and Luther’s explanation of them in his Small Catechism (which we just happened to study in today’s Adult Sunday School that will be meeting through the end of July).  The Fourth Commandment tells us to honor our fathers and our mothers.  Certainly, that means that children should be obedient to their parents.  It also means that adult children have a responsibility to ensure the care of their elderly parents.  Recently I read a quote that said in America the government takes care of the elderly while in other countries families take care of their aged members.  Who would you rather your loved ones be cared for by?  Who would you want to take care of you? 
The Sixth Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery” and the meaning of that is obvious.  Luther comments that it also means that husbands and wives should love and respect one another, and that goes for children too.  How many of the problems we face in our society today are attributable to the breakdown of the family unit!  Studies have shown time and again that families that have regular meals together, with conversation, fare so much better than families where everyone is going their own separate ways and not communicating.  Not just food but faith and values are shared around the family supper table.
This may be a good point for me to say that one thing I always tell the young people I work with is that they do not need to make the same mistakes their parents did.  Often young people feel like they have inherited a bad legacy from the families and are predestined for trouble.  That’s not true!  Whatever addictions your parents suffered, whatever their moral failings were, whatever personality flaws they had, they do not have to be yours, I say.  By God’s grace, with his help, we can do better than our forbearers. 
In his epistles, Saint Paul also gives practical godly advice on family life.  It all pretty much comes down to family members loving one another the way Christ loves us.  As I frequently say in wedding sermons, just as Christ loves us, forgives us, and sacrifices himself for us, so should we love, forgive, and sacrifice for one another.  The Bible never exactly says, “Charity begins at home” but in 1 Timothy 5:8 and other passages the idea is that one’s first responsibility is to take care of one’s own family.  God created the family as the basic building block of society.  What begins well usually ends well, and a loving, supportive family is important in raising up good citizens and faithful church members.
Although Jesus loves everyone, we can see how his family was important to him.  From the cross he said to the Disciple John, “Behold thy mother,” and to Mary, “Behold thy son.” In that way, Jesus, even in his death throes, expressed his love for his mother and his concern that she be provided for.  Normally, that responsibility would be bestowed on the eldest surviving brother.  We know that John was not a biological brother of Jesus. 
I don’t want to get into whether the people mentioned in the Bible as Jesus’ brothers were Jesus’ biological brothers, or half-brothers fathered by Joseph from a possible earlier marriage, or if they were just cousins.  The language and customs of Bible times aren’t 100% clear on that point, although there is a strong tradition in the church that Mary was perpetually a virgin, a thought which I find theologically attractive.  The main point in the narrative of Jesus’ entrusting Mary’s care to John is that the church, those who are drawn to Jesus, those who follow Christ, become a new type of family.  We church members are a family!
The other week I was writing something, and I described Trinity Lutheran Church as a family.  It struck me that there was a time when I would have hesitated calling a congregation a family.  There was a time when I thought of families as being rather exclusive, limiting themselves to just those lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to be born into or married into them.  Being kind of like a “for members only” club holding benefits and privileges for the chosen few. No more. 
Now I see the church as a place for all people united by Holy Baptism (water and the Word) and kept united by sharing Holy Communion (wine and the Word), sort of putting a whole new spin on that old saying, “Blood is thicker than water.”  We aren’t saved by which earthly biological family we are born into.  God makes us part of his eternal family.  He loves us all equally and treats us all the same.  In the church, blood and water make us and keep us God’s forever family.  All that loving, forgiving and sacrificing we do for family members, we should and can do that too for our brothers and sisters in the church.  
Remember how Jesus’ mother Mary and his brothers misunderstood him and wanted to shut down his ministry?  The words Jesus spoke at the time about his followers being his spiritual family must have stung his biological family, but that is true and needed to be said.  But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, his relationship with Mary and the others was restored, and they became witnesses to his resurrection and leaders in the early church.  When we do God’s will, we know we are part of God’s family.
Maybe you have been misunderstanding Jesus your brother?  Maybe you have been estranged from Jesus’ family?  That’s over now.  That’s done with.  That’s water over the dam, or should I say, water in the baptismal font washing away everyone’s transgressions and hurts.  And the Holy Communion [today]?  That’s the family meal celebrating the unity of our Christian family.  So, come, take, eat, drink.  Amen.