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Pastor Devotionals

Ash Wednesday is February 17!

On Ash Wednesday we begin our forty-day journey toward Easter with a day of earnest repentance and honest reflection. Marking our foreheads with ash, we acknowledge that we are mortal and someday we too will return to the earth. At the same time, the ash traces the lifegiving cross indelibly marked on our foreheads at baptism. While we move through Lent to return to God and live our lives more closely devoted to God’s mission, we proclaim that we already have been reconciled to God through Christ. We humbly pray for God to make our hearts clean while we rejoice with the words, “now is the day of salvation.” Embracing our baptismal call, we more intentionally bear the fruits of mercy and justice in the world. Ash Wednesday is a significant opportunity for reflection, devotion, and recommitting ourselves to the disciplines of the Christian faith.

Ash Wednesday and Lent will look a little different than usual this year. There will be two opportunities to receive ashes and a blessing this year. You are welcome to come to OSLC anytime between 12:00-1:00 p.m. or Messiah between 5:00-6:00 p.m.
I will come to your car with ashes and a blessing.  I ordered special long, disposable q-tips that I will use to administer ashes.  Although we will not have an indoor Ash Wednesday Service, there will be a special Ash Wednesday Devotion available online (facebook and oslcmn.com).  Reluctantly, after thoughtful consideration, we will not have Wednesday evening soup meals at church. However, I will post weekly devotions online and devote the Weekly Witness Email to Lent. You are welcome to pick up a special edition of Augsburg Lent Devotionals anytime in the narthex, or call us and we can send one to your home.

Also, OSLC has postponed our Annual Meeting until Spring. We postponed the meeting because many people communicated they wanted to have an in-person meeting with more conversation. I know some area churches have had their annual meetings, but they mainly gathered simply to pass a budget, whereas we have several matters of business to discuss. A point of discussion will involve how to share God’s financial resources from the sale of church property last fall with our neighbors.  We also want to discuss the possibility of changing our church council structure, which would be a constitutional change.

May God continue to bless you and keep you.
Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

Jan. 28th:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34  


God certainly is good. It has been a long time, but we are ready to host in-person worship again beginning next week, Feb 7th, 9AM at OSLC or 10:30AM at Messiah. We do have limited seating so it is a good idea to call earlier in the week and let us know you intend to be at church on Sunday.  Calling helps us plan and helps the ushers get people seated quicker.  Please note that worship will look a bit different; all worshippers must wear masks and/or face shield and respect social distancing. Also, worship will be shorter and we will have recorded music. It will still be a faithful time with prayer, scripture, sermon and communion. I am so excited about seeing people back in the church and celebrating Holy Communion together. 

We will still continue to offer a full 1 hour worship services on the radio, online, and TV. Please understand that staying home and worshipping remotely is still the safest thing to do if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, and if you feel ill or have been exposed to someone with covid we ask that you stay home as well. 

Blessings,
Pastor Erik

January 3

A WORD FROM PASTOR ERIK

Merry Christmas (as I write, it is still the season of Christmas) and Happy New Year! I hope you felt God’s spirit move within you as you celebrated the birth of Jesus this year. What a gift we have been given in our Savior. To think that the God who created the universe would enter our fragile life to save us is beyond comprehension. All that’s left is to worship and adore the One who loves us so much.

It’s been a busy time around here. I want to express my gratitude to the staff and lay leaders at OSLC for all their faithful work during the busy Advent and Christmas season. They are an incredible group of people for which I daily give thanks. It’s a joy to do ministry with people who love their work and the people they serve.

The new year brings with it a new opportunity that I am excited to share with you. We are going to read the Bible! I know what you are thinking, “don’t we already read the Bible?” And yes, we read passages from the Bible all the time, but this year we are going to read the Bible together- the whole thing! Each day of the year there is an assigned reading for us to read (the chart for the next two months is printed in the newsletter). This chart is also located on page 2082 of the Lutheran Study Bible. If you don’t have a Lutheran Study Bible, contact me and I will get you one. In my opinion, the best part of this ministry is that church members are also reading and posting the assigned passages before noon on the church’s Facebook page every day, so you can also simply listen to the word of God if you like. You are also invited to be a reader and it is my prayer that many people will sign up to be a reader over the course of the year. Don’t let technology be a deterrent, even if you don’t use Facebook or have a computer, I have everything set up for you to be able to participate. This ministry is not only enjoyable, but it is important because the Word of God is the foundation of our lives. Dwelling in God’s Word from cover to cover will introduce us to stories that are part of the 3-year lectionary cycle, prompting us to think deeply about God’s activity in the world and ultimately grow in faith.

Another important note is that OSCL’s smart team has met and discussed how to prepare for the return of in-person worship in February. We will continue to offer the worship service on the radio, facebook/youtube, and tv broadcast. Please take a moment to review the guidelines for in-person worship located on the next page of this newsletter. I will also be contacting every church member before February to answer questions.

May God continue to bless and guide you in 2021.

Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

December 18,

This Christmas is difficult for so many people. I am disappointed that we can’t gather in person this year, but I also recognized how blessed I am that I can gather virtually with my community. I know no matter what, we are always connected in spirit by our shared faith. 

In typical years we celebrate Christmas in the fullest joy and excitement, but truth be told, the first Christmas wasn’t joyful or exciting for the majority of God’s people. The first Christmas’ setting was in the midst of anxiety, fear and disappointment due to the harshness of the world. Upon reflecting on society’s difficulties and disappointments, I was moved by this poem by Ann Weems from her book Kneeling in Bethlehem.

The Christmas Spirit
Is that hope
Which tenaciously clings
To the hearts of the faithful
And announces
In the face
Of any Herod the world can produce
And all the inn doors slammed in our faces
And all the dark nights of our souls
That with God
All things are possible,
That even now
Unto us
A child is born!

Blessings, Pastor Erik

December 4, 2020

What will the seasons of Advent and Christmas look like and feel like this year? What will happen to our holidays without our traditions? That is the question we’ll all be asking and pondering over this month. Sadly, we are unable to safely gather together because of the pandemic. As individuals, families and as a congregation we struggle with the feeling that it “doesn’t feel like Advent,” if we can’t watch the children’s program or enjoy a crowded sanctuary for Lessons and Carols. People ask either out loud or in their hearts if it’s still Christmas when we can’t sit with family and friends at a Christmas Eve Service or get together for a big family dinner or party.

Rest assured, that even as hard as it will be this year to go without these blessed traditions, Advent and Christmas will come. These celebrations are not dependent on crowds. These sacred times do not derive their meaning from our traditions. The meaning came first, the celebration and tradition later. I’ve been pondering about years past, and I think, perhaps, too often the way we celebrate overshadows why we celebrate. With a critical self-inspection, I acknowledge that too often the celebration itself has meant more than the reason behind it. That being said, I can’t help but wonder if God is using this time to restore our faith. I can’t help but wonder if God feels, “If you can’t sing your favorite hymns in a beautifully decorated church with your loved ones and have the big family meal, will you still celebrate the birth of my son?” Perhaps, this year is an opportunity to remember the foundation of our faith. Can we focus more on the promise of Jesus’ return, this year? Can we humble ourselves before the mystery of the incarnation even more this year? Since the holiday parties and preparations have been cancelled, can we spend the extra time and focus on prayer and worship this year? I hope so.  

We have a God who does not shy away from the difficult times we find ourselves in. After all, Christmas is the time we celebrate God who entered fully into our life and community, transformed it, and offered us life with Him. I pray that our celebration of the incarnation will have a new heart to it that deepens our faith in fresh and unpredictable ways. This year we are holding off from some traditions, but, perhaps this time will bring new traditions we can hold for years to come. Traditions of humbleness, mindfulness, patience and hope.

God Bless~ Pr. Erik

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

On this year’s Thanksgiving Day, remember to thank God for all God has done and provided. Although this year’s thanksgiving comes with unique challenges and difficulties, it is important to remember and teach our young people that God is most certainly good. Despite the coronavirus and the heartache resulting from the virus we do proclaim that God cares for us, looks after us and accompanies us in our joy as well as sorrow. Indeed, God has blessed us in many ways. We can reflect on how God has lead us and blessed us in the past, and we confidently dwell in God’s promises to continue to do so in the future.

This year we are missing our faith community and our extended family and friends, but our grief of missing our loved ones and traditions ultimately reminds us of how much God has blessed our lives. We also give thanks to know that all suffering is temporary and our promise of eternal life filled with only good things remains constant. More than anything else, we thank God for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation that is ours because of the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.     

I am thankful for you and am blessed because you are part of my life.
 
Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

NOVEMBER 6, 2020

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.  

We are entering into a season of hope. As Christians, we know our hope is linked explicitly to the death and resurrection of Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:13), with whom we too will be raised (4:15-17). It is also linked to faith and love (1:3; 5:8): that is, to our trust in God and to our service to one another (4:9-10). It is not really possible, Paul tells us to speak of one without the other. Therefore, practice hope in your home and your social circle. Remind others about God’s actions in your life and theirs that produce faith, inspire hope, and are centered on love.
Take care everyone. You are an essential worker for God and our hope is alive and building~ Pr. Erik

REFORMATION SUNDAY

The last Sunday in October was the day we commemorate the Reformation of the church led by Martin Luther and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Luther never intended to split Christ’s church, but he was compelled to return the church to the truth of Holy Scripture. The resulting disagreements about faith, grace, and church has divided Christians for over 500 years and remains a scar that we hope will one day be healed. But the reasons for the Reformation are worth returning to and remembering. Why are we Lutheran? What does it mean to be a Lutheran? There are many ways to answer this. The place I return to are the five solas (Latin for ‘alone’ or ‘only’) of the Reformation. These five solas set the foundation for the understandings Luther stood for and confidently taught.

• Christ Alone – Salvation is through Jesus’ work on the cross. Salvation is 100 percent God’s work. We don’t add anything to what Jesus did for us on the cross to forgive our sin and assure us eternal life.

• Grace Alone – Salvation is a gift freely given. It is not earned. It cannot be bought. God gives it freely because God loves us.

• Faith Alone – Salvation is received by our believing, not by any works. Faith is simply trusting that what God says is true, that Jesus death and resurrection save us.

• Word Alone – The Bible is true. The Bible is where we go with our questions about our faith and life and what God uses to shape our belief.

• To the Glory of God Alone -Our entire lives, the life of our church and everything we are about is aimed at giving God glory.

Our job is to tell others the truth about God and worship Him with our whole being. I encourage you to take some time this week and think about why you are Lutheran. Reflect on the catechism and the five solas. For me, I dwell in the blessed assurance that God has already done everything for my salvation- and yours too.  Jesus died on the cross to save us, and everything that is necessary for eternal salvation has been done. Therefore, we live our lives in response to this wonderful news. I love the scriptures and trust them to challenge me and guide me.   I’m grateful for the Reformation and the gifts it has brought. But I also look forward to the day when all the divisions in Christ’s church are healed and Christians unite as one. I am reminded that the Reformation is an ongoing movement, not just a day, and that it encompasses all our voices, not just Martin Luther’s.

God Bless you all.

Your Co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

October 16, 2020

Psalm 96:10 Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.” 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12 let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

            Here in our home of Northern MN, the peak time for the Autumn leaves has come to an end. There are more trees that are completely bare then trees with leaves on. Yesterday, the street cleaner came down my street to clean up all the leaves that gathered in large piles on the curb, and t is clear that the time for winter is fast approaching. Inspired by verse 12, the beautiful hymn that nature sings to us whenever we open our door and step out into the world, the trees have sung their melodies of joy and peace. We thank the forest for the concert it has put on and praise God we created it all and who rules over all with righteousness.

Everyday is a blessed opportunity to enjoy this amazing world.  

Blessings~ Pastor Erik 

October 9, 2020

Philippians 4:1-9

1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. 2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

The Apostle Paul is an optimist. Metaphorically, Paul’s glass is half full rather than half empty. Today I really heard Paul’s voice focusing me towards verse 8. By saying “whatever” several times, Paul is saying that even the slightest bit of truth, honor, justice, purity, is enough to continue being each other’s brother and sister in Christ. People don’t have to agree 100% of the time or get along wonderfully 100% of the time in order to be community.  If there is ever even a shred of excellence, or just one single thing worthy of praise, in essence that is enough not to give up on someone. Remember, that nobody can ever promise that a project, relationship or organization will be perfect, but anybody can promise that they will strive to improve and that they will not give up.

Be gracious and loving to each other- just as Christ is gracious and loving to you.

Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

October monthly devotional:

Reformation Day is Sunday Oct 25th.  I am looking forward to this day for several reasons.  As a Lutheran, I love being engaged with the history of the church when Martin Luther courageously confronted the injustices of his time and boldly shared his theological insights with the world. Indeed, our entire lives are shaped by Luther’s teaching of salvation by grace through faith. This is a message that we hear and proclaim on a daily basis, and it is fitting to hold up Reformation Day as a special day to give thanks and praise to God for giving us theologians like Luther who help us articulate our faith. The music is pretty awesome too. 😊

I am also looking forward to Oct 25th because after much discernment we are going to add another opportunity as part of our worship schedule. In addition to radio, tv broadcast, and internet recordings, after much discernment we will resume in-person worship in the sanctuary. Worship will be different in several ways, and I ask that all of us keep in mind that the changes being made are because we prioritize the health and well-being of everyone. Everything has been designed to mitigate the risk of covid 19. (Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for returning to in-person worship that is printed on page 2 of this newsletter, and know that I am always available for questions). I thank God for the several different ways of worshiping, and I thank you for your discernment on which method is best for you and your family. I am grateful for all the ways we strive to continue to be church together during these difficult and unprecedented times.

Over the past several months, the comment I have heard the most often has been how wonderful it is to worship together with Messiah Lutheran Church. Giving thanks for this relationship, OSLC and MLC has agreed to continue to worship together. So, beginning on Oct 25th, every Sunday we will offer two worship services-  9AM at OSLC and 10:30 at MLC. Both services are co-sponsored by the two congregations and will be co-lead by Deacon Kari and I. All people from OSLC and MLC are invited to attend whichever service best suits them, so OSLC folks can worship at 10:30 and don’t be surprised if some MLC folks who prefer an early service worship at OSLC.

                Worship is vital to our spiritual health. Thank you for your generosity, grace, and continued commitment to God’s Kingdom.  

Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

September 10, 2020

Psalm 103:[1-7] 8-13
[1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.   8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.



 
Blessing. Most of us define “blessing” as something good from God that happens to us or given to us. Our family and friends, vocation, health or even nice weather are often referred to as blessing. Interestingly, psalm 103 begins not with the author receiving blessing from God, but by giving blessing to God. The question is posed, “what could any of us do or give to God that God doesn’t already have or can acquire by God’s self? In other words, how can we bless God? I think the answer is found is the later half of verse 2, “do not forget all his benefits.” Remembering who God is and what God has done and continues to do is how we bestow blessing upon God. Simply put, being in genuine relationship with God is how we bless God. With any relationship, blessing goes both ways, and it is the same with God.

Know that you are blessed, as well as the source of blessing to God and all those around you.
Your co-worker in Christ- Pr. Erik

September Devotional

Greetings,

The theologian, Jurgen Moltmann wrote, “the church doesn’t have a mission rather the mission of God has a church. The idea is that the church is God’s instrument for accomplishing God’s goals for the world. Moltmann’s work challenges some of our assumptions and understandings about what the church is and what it is for. One of the challenges is that lots of people view church to be a safe place where we can retreat and be protected from the fast-paced and harsh world. Architecturally, Christians have even built church buildings with this mindset.  If you’ve ever been to Europe, you’ve probably visited huge stone cathedrals with their super thick walls. These churches are so strong and safe, they have been standing for hundreds of years. Also, we call the main room of our church a sanctuary. Sanctuaries are peaceful and protected places where we can retreat to. Of course, churches should be peaceful places where we feel safe, but a drawback of this mindset is that it temps us to think the church is removed and separate from the world.

The thought that the church is an exclusively protected retreat is one of the reasons some of us get upset when anything going on in the world is spoken about in a sermon or lifted up in prayer. When church talks about economic inequalities, racial issues, and justice issues, people get offended. I’ve heard people say that they come to church because they want to feel good and they don’t want to hear about the controversies of the world. They are upset when the sermon or the Bishop or the ELCA or coffee an’ conversation disrupts that. I get this, and I also enjoy feeling good and I too need relief from the harshness of the world. However, we are called to be an authentic church, and an authentic church is one that is rooted and engaged in the world because the church is the instrument in which God uses to do God’s mission. I do think we can have it all. I do think we can engage in the messiness of this world while also feeling good and enjoying sanctuary. Warm feelings, peaceful expressions, and feeling protected come with being part of a community that is compassionate, confident and strong. After all, Jesus is both 100% God and 100% human. As man, Jesus shares with us all the experiences of being flesh and blood living in the messiness and controversies of the world. He saw, felt, and preached about economic inequality, gender inequality, racial conflict, civil unrest, etc. Jesus’ followers didn’t simply want to feel good for an hour, they were there for salvation, salvation that is only available through Jesus Christ. Same for us as for the disciples back then, we are called to live, work, engage and serve in this broken world, not to avoid or escape from it. As well, as God, Jesus gives to us peace, fulfillment, grace, acceptance, love and salvation. These gifts of Christ certainly make everyone feel good.   

The truth is that every relationship. Every business. Every political platform, both liberal and conservative.  Every organization. Ourselves and everything we are involved in can be sharply criticized by Christian theology and ethics. I don’t want people to feel personally attacked by sermons and prayers, but I do want everyone, including myself, to know that God is calling us to live lives that are more graceful, forgiving, generous, and open-minded, and to advocate for the other, and pursue justice. We are living in a unique time with a contentious political elections, relentless pandemic, destructive hurricanes and fires, and systemic racism. Avoiding these issues only makes them more destructive. We are Christians led by God to participate with God’s mission of salvation, peace, and justice.

Your co-worker in Christ~ Pastor Erik

AUGUST :

The theologian, Jurgen Moltmann wrote, “the church doesn’t have a mission rather the mission of God has a church. The idea is that the church is God’s instrument for accomplishing God’s goals for the world. Moltmann’s work challenges some of our assumptions and understandings about what the church is and what it is for. One of the challenges is that lots of people view church to be a safe place where we can retreat and be protected from the fast-paced and harsh world. Architecturally, Christians have even built church buildings with this mindset.  If you’ve ever been to Europe, you’ve probably visited huge stone cathedrals with their super thick walls. These churches are so strong and safe, they have been standing for hundreds of years. Also, we call the main room of our church a sanctuary. Sanctuaries are peaceful and protected places where we can retreat to. Of course, churches should be peaceful places where we feel safe, but a drawback of this mindset is that it temps us to think the church is removed and separate from the world.

The thought that the church is an exclusively protected retreat is one of the reasons some of us get upset when anything going on in the world is spoken about in a sermon or lifted up in prayer. When church talks about economic inequalities, racial issues, and justice issues, people get offended. I’ve heard people say that they come to church because they want to feel good and they don’t want to hear about the controversies of the world. They are upset when the sermon or the Bishop or the ELCA or coffee an conversation disrupts that. I get this, and I also enjoy feeling good and I too need relief from the harshness of the world. However, we are called to be authentic church, and an authentic church is one that is rooted and engaged in the world because the church is the instrument in which God uses to do God’s mission. I do think we can have it all. I do think we can engage in the messiness of this world while also feeling good and enjoying sanctuary. Warm feelings, peaceful expressions, and feeling protected come with being part of a community that is compassionate, confident and strong. Afterall, Jesus is both 100% God and 100% human. As man, Jesus shares with us all the experiences of being flesh and blood living in the messiness and controversies of the world. He saw, felt, and preached about economic inequality, gender inequality, racial conflict, civil unrest, etc. Jesus’ followers didn’t simply want to feel good for an hour, they were there for salvation, salvation that is only available through Jesus Christ. Same for us as for the disciples back then, we are called to live, work, engage and serve in this broken world, not to avoid or escape from it. As well, as God, Jesus gives to us peace, fulfilment, grace, acceptance, love and salvation. These gifts of Christ certainly make everyone feel good.    

The truth is that every relationship. Every business. Every political platform, both liberal and conservative.  Every organization. Ourselves and everything we are involved in can be sharply criticized by Christian theology and ethics. I don’t want people to feel personally attacked by sermons and prayers, but I do want everyone, including myself, to know that God is calling us live lives that are more graceful, forgiving, generous, and openminded, and to advocate for the other, and pursue justice. We are living in a unique time with a contentious political elections, relentless pandemic, destructive hurricanes and fires, and systemic racism. Avoiding these issues only makes them more destructive. We are Christians led by God to participate with God’s mission of salvation, peace, and justice.

Your co-worker in Christ~ Pastor Erik

Psalm 138:1-8 DEVOTIONAL

1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; 2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything. 3 On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul. 4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth. 5 They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. 6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

                I want to highlight verse 8- “The Lord will fulfill his purpose in me.” Have you thought about your purpose lately? Another way of asking this question is, “have you thought about what God’s purpose for you is?” Afterall, we are all creations of God. God didn’t create us just because. Indeed, God has something in mind, some special purpose for you.  I believe that God has specifically brought you to this time and place for a purpose. What is it? It takes a great deal of contemplation, prayer and discernment to confidently answer this question. Perhaps it is to be a voice of wisdom for others. A source of safety and reassurance. A means of grace. An example of love. A vehicle for faith. God has a purpose for all of us. Even for those who can’t leave their homes, or those whom experience physical limits due to age or health. Regardless of any label that society has placed upon you, know this- you are important, and God has a purpose for you. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “ 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life…” Basically, scripture tells us that our purpose is to do good works.

                So, as the summer winds down and the beginning of Autumn is in the air, think to yourself what good works you can do today. Especially good works towards folks who are not expecting it. When people ask you why you are so kind, generous, and/or gracious, simply tell them that you are fulfilling your purpose that God intended to do, and then invite them to live out their purpose too.

God Bless~ Pastor Erik

7 August 2020

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” Do any of you feel stress this week? When I am feeling anxious, I turn to the faithful and wise words of the psalmist. I have a memorized exercise where I speak the words to myself, let them sink in, and then repeat the words with some omission.

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know

Be still

Be

I often practice this exercise before or after I do something that’s special. Before a car trip, before beginning a project, after an emotional conversation, etc. This exercise grounds me, gives me peace and helps me gain perspective of whatever situation, and know God is active. I smile to myself with a deep breath when I just say the word “Be.” It feels good to simply “Be.”

Pick a time to do this exercise today. Maybe during lunch break, between phone calls or meetings, while you prepare a meal. It seems that people are on edge. The social restrictions weigh heavy on our shoulders, there is anxiety about schools, jobs, the health of loved ones. These are difficult times and we need to rely on our faith to help us get through it. It is helpful to be reminded that we have God to lean on. To be reminded that God is in charge, and that God watches over and cares for us. Because God is God, we can be still.

I pray for each of you, and I encourage you to pray for others. My prayer centers on you experiencing the peace, security, and reassurance that you can be still and know that God is present.

Your co-worker in Christ~ Pr. Erik

31 July 2020

Isaiah 40:31  

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

The image of a soaring eagle is so powerful and vivid. Earlier this week I went to Camp Vermillion to hear about how the pandemic has impacted the camp and as I was driving back home a bald eagle flew across the road with a fish in its claws. What an amazing sight, the eagle displayed so much power, grace, and confidence. I was instantly reminded of the beautiful hymn, On Eagle’s Wings, and gently sang the hymn (I was the only person in the car thankfully) for the remainder of the drive. I could only remember the words from the refrain so when I arrived home I turned to hymn #787 and read through all 4 verses and I sang it all the way through with Nozomi and Ronin.  

I love this verse from Isaiah just as much as I love the hymn it inspired. It speaks so wonderfully about God’s love and God’s promises. It speaks of patience and persistence. I will confess that I’m not very good at waiting, and when I run I become weary very quickly. I confess that there have been long days in this time of pandemic, and times when I am weary, even exhausted from trying to figure out how to be pastor during a pandemic and how to be church in a time when so much of what we love to do together is just not possible right now. I am weary, but I still have unshakable hope in the Lord.

Though these are often challenging times, I do believe in God’s promise to renew my strength, to renew your strength, and to renew the strength of the church. I have witnessed amazing acts of generosity, the intense power of kind and affirming words, heartwarming love and care for neighbors, and the bold imagination of so many of you. Although we have not been able to gather in person on Sundays, we have never stopped being the church.

Last month, our gospel readings and reflections were from Matthew 10, the chapter where Jesus gives his disciples instructions just before he sends them out. He told them that the “harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; pray to the Lord of the harvest, therefore, that he may send forth laborers into his harvest.” I think the Holy Spirit was at work by assigning those readings to us at that time. It has prompted many people to think about our mission during this time of pandemic, of where and how God is at work and how we might be part of God’s mission. I hope you will join me in praying for our congregation: in thanksgiving for all the blessings and all the ways we are doing that mission together, and also that God continues to lead us and guide us to be faithful laborers for that abundant harvest. It is for that work that our strength, patience and perseverance is relied upon and we mount up with wings like eagles.               

Your co-worker in Christ~ Pr. Erik

Devotion July 24, 2020

Psalm 119:129-136

129 Your decrees are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. 130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. 131 With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments. 132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your custom toward those who love your name. 133 Keep my steps steady according to your promise, and never let iniquity have dominion over me. 134 Redeem me from human oppression, that I may keep your precepts. 135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. 136 My eyes shed streams of tears because your law is not kept.

                As I read today’s psalm, I was captivated by the imagery of God’s words unfolding before my eyes. How do you picture it? One particular aspect of Biblical study is that scripture always seems to have multiple meanings and interpretations.  Translating from one language to another and learning about cultural nuances gives a richness and depth to scripture that leads to a lifetime of learning and imaginative insight. One verse or even a simple word can have so many different layers, indeed God’s words unfold before our eyes and bring light to our world.

Earlier this week, after the kids fell asleep I started in on the seemingly never-ending task of folding laundry. I began by folding the towels. One particular towel that we have is a brightly colored beach towel. The edges are bright pink, then a strip of green, blue, and finally in the center is a big cartoonish sun with a smile on it. I love this towel; it is big, fun and still relatively new so it is soft and fuzzy. I can already picture this towel being neatly packed in our beach bag for our next outing to a lake on a hot and sunny day. The bright pink will shine brightly from inside the beach canopy while my family and I build sand-castles and swim. Then, we will take it out, unfold it, revealing the other brilliant colors and then the happy sun. Several beautiful layers just waiting to be unfolded and seen.

How has scripture unfolded for over the years? I think every time we read scripture, even the most famous stories, we hear something new layered in the words that gives new insights and directions. Scripture constantly and consistently inspires us and surprises us. Thanks be to God for that.

God’s Peace to you and yours- Pastor Erik

Devotion for July 10, 2020

1 Samuel 24: 1-5When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to look for David and his men in the direction of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 He came to the sheepfolds beside the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself.[a] Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. 4 The men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’” Then David went and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak.

                I remember first hearing this story when I was a little boy. I felt connected by the imagery of young King David camping out in the wilderness with his friends, hiding in caves, and playing pranks on unsuspecting adversaries. I remember laughing while thinking about Saul’s cloak and how silly he looked when he emerged from the cave with a big piece cut out. But, reading the passage again as an adult conjures other feelings and images. I no longer find it funny, but deeply faithful and dramatic.
                I’ve labeled the time we currently live as the “messy middle.” It is time where covid-19 is no longer new, but the end of covid-19 is not yet in sight. The messy middle is a frustrating and anxiety filled time. People are anxious about their health and finances and even more anxious about the well-being of their loved ones. We are frustrated because things are not normal, plans have been changed or cancelled, and we can’t worship in person yet together.
                I chose this story from 1 Samuel because King David is also living during a “messy middle.”  David has been anointed King, but he hasn’t yet taken the throne. He is hailed as a national hero after defeating Goliath, admired for his musical talents, and beloved by many, but all these deeds and adventures have made Saul jealous. Saul’s jealousy resulted in having everything taken away from David. David is now homeless and an outlaw. He was forced to flee and abandon everything. As our story picks up today, David is hiding in a cave because he is being hunted by Saul, the most powerful man in the country.          
        We learn a lot about David’s character from this story. We know he is desperate and has suffered a great deal. He is a faithful person. He is well liked. He has tried to help others and do what is right, but now he is struggling by no fault of his own. In fact, the one person who is to blame – The one person who has victimized David – The one person who stands in the way of all that is good for David is Saul. And here he is. Completely vulnerable and open. David could have easily killed him and eliminated the one obstacle in his life. David didn’t. He didn’t give in to the temptation to cheat, cut corners, or lose his integrity. David followed God’s way even though it didn’t serve his own interests and even though God’s way was far more difficult.

         I know we are all living in the messy middle. For some, it is extremely messy. My message and prayer is that you don’t give up. Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t act out of character and lose integrity. David teaches us that we can also live our lives with patience, humility, and trust God to do God’s work. God’s work is judgement and justice. Our work is to share God’s love. We look to this story of David as inspiration, but above all, we look to Jesus as inspiration, who humbled himself even to the point of death on a cross.
                Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

Devotion for June 26, 2020

1 John 5:14  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

            Thanks be to God and thanks to OSLC for the faithful prayers that you have offered on behalf on my mom for this past year. As many of you know, last summer my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of stage 4 lung cancer. For the past 12 months she has been enduring intensive cancer treatments several times a week. It has been extremely difficult for my parents, who live in Colorado, and I have been sad that I can’t do more to help them. But two weeks ago we received some great news from her team on oncologists! Her treatments have worked well and her doctors updated her diagnosis. Previously, the doctors said she had a couple months to live, but now she may have couple years. To celebrate this joy, I drove to Colorado last and was able to visit for a couple days. It was beyond wonderful to spend time with my mom as well as to see her be able to laugh and spend time together with the kids. For the past year, my earnest prayer has been for the treatments to work and to cherish every occasion I get to see her and chat on the phone. I am so grateful for your prayers too. Scripture is true- God certainly hears us.

God’s Peace and Blessings to you and yours- Pastor Erik

Devotion for June 7, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As a congregation, and as individuals, how do we respond to the killing of George Floyd? How do we respond to the protests that followed? How do we respond to the threat of violence is coming from national leadership? I know we all have our opinions and different life experiences that form them, but we are a church, we are the body of Christ, we must frame this answer by asking how our Lord and Savior has taught us to respond. We are called to follow our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is what we will do.

A focus point is that Chris calls us to live a life of compassion. Therefore, take a moment of self reflection- Are you being compassionate? How have you shown compassion to the family of Mr. Floyd and the far too numerous other families who are grieving the loss of their father, son, sister, or friend? How have you shown compassion to the protesters? How have you shown compassion to law enforcement? How have you shown compassion to law breakers? How have you shown compassion to the African American community? The pastor from my home congregation pointed out that word compassion means literally “to suffer with.” As people of God we read and proclaim scripture passages that tell how God showed compassion to humanity by coming to us in Jesus and suffering with us. Holy Week depicts God’s compassion fully when Jesus suffered betrayal, oppression, injustice, violence and murder. Although scholars have debated aspects and details of scriptures since it was written, there is one aspect that is not up for debate and everyone agrees. And that is that Jesus lived a life of compassion. He always responded with courage, care, mercy, and grace to those who were being oppressed.  

He used his power to offer healing and hope. He never backed away and he never prioritized his own safety. Jesus invites us to follow him and his way in the world. We must therefore condemn racism in all its forms. We must listen to the African American community with compassion and the desire to understand their experience. We must embrace solidarity with others as a way of life. We must teach our young people the violent, unjust, and evil history of race relations in this country even if it is painful and shameful. We have voice and power and we must use our voice and power to serve our neighbors who are ignored or silenced. And we must confess our own sins, including the sins of complacency and silence. We ask God to forgive us and we repent. That is what Jesus taught us and calls us to do.

God’s Peace ~ Pr. Erik

Monthly Devotional, June 2020

Dear OSLC,

Now it is June. We’ve been dealing with the pandemic for over two months now. It is no longer new, but still the end is not in sight. We are somewhere in the middle. So far, the middle is not a very nice place to be. Some of our businesses, organizations, and houses of worship are reopening and some are remaining closed. There is disagreement and hostility between levels of government on what is acceptably safe or unsafe. Sadly, people around the country feel compelled to choose one side over the other, and be for something and against something else, even though there truly is only one side that we are all on – humanity. This middle time is proving to be a time of frustration, impatience, anger and division, and I worry that the middle is going to last for a while. The middle is messy.

In times of messiness, we turn to scripture for comfort, perspective, and wisdom. The Bible tells us about times when people experienced hardship and uncertainty. The book of Exodus teaches us about people living through a middle time.  We learn that Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. If we look at a modern day map, we can see that they didn’t really have that far to go, but it took them 40 years.  For long stretches of time it seemed like they weren’t really going anywhere, or making any progress. Previously, when they were living in slavery, the agenda was clear- escape Egypt and go to the promised land. The beginning was clear and the end was clear, but the middle was uncertain. Once they were freed, things became murky. They only had food for one day at a time, and their only guidance was a cloud by day and fire by night, and neither the cloud nor the fire explained where they were going. They became frustrated and angry. They yelled, grumbled, and were rebellious. Indeed the middle was not a nice place to be. The middle was messy and stressed them out.

But God was with them in the wilderness during the middle time. God guided them. God inspired their leaders. God provided food and water. God healed their sicknesses. God disciplined them and taught them and loved them. God taught them how to be a people, how to be a community, how to treat each other, and God taught them about faith. Just so, God is with us in our middle time. Even when we disagree on what to do next and how to do it. Even when we get frustrated, impatient, or even angry, God will remind us that God is in our midst, continuing to lead and care for us. And God will eventually bring us to where we need to be. Remember – God makes promises and God keeps those promises.

My prayer to God and my request to you is to be abundant in grace. Be generous to each other. Be patient with each other. Listen to each other. We should constantly be asking ourselves, “What does all this mean, and how can we use this time to further our relationship with God and our neighbors?” God does work to bring something good out of the bad times.

As we prepare to emerge from this messy middle time, I am assembling a new committee of people who will work towards making plans for how to assemble safely for worship and ministries for the coming months or longer. This team will also work closely with other churches and leaders to discern when it safe to gather again for worship. Notably, we will not gather until is safe to do so.

Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

Devotional: Memorial Day Weekend

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

This Monday is Memorial Day here in the United States. It is a day often honored by getting together with groups of loved ones. This year, many people will honor it a bit differently because of restrictions on travel and gathering. Perhaps though, with a bit less noise and busyness, we can ponder more of the somberness of the day and where God fits in with it.

First, some context, Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday in 1971, but dating in practice back to shortly after the Civil War. It is a time to rest from work and the routines of our week in order to create an intentional time to remember and honor those who have died in service to their country. Also, it is a time to hear and tell stories about the sacrifices of actual people which enables the younger generation to attach a face to a name. Importantly, making this day more than just a series of memories will help us all to keep from making war an abstraction. Hopefully, when we hear and tell these important stories we will be inspired to actions of peace, patience, and solidarity so that in the future others will not have to make the same sacrifice.

In this sense, Memorial Day should not be merely a vacation, a time to go to the lake, or a long weekend, but a time to renew our sense of gratitude for those who have served their country, and for the freedoms we enjoy because of that service and sacrifice. And it can also renew our own sense of commitment to working for a world that is committed to justice and peace.

Sincerely~ Pastor Erik

Devotional, May 15, 2020

Today’s Devotional is from Pastor Erik ~

Philippians 4:6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer let your requests be made known to God.
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.
1 Thessalonians 5:17. Pray without ceasing.
James 1:5 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given to you.
James 5:13 Are any among you suffering? they should pray.
James 5:16 The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

When we don’t know, pray. Strange times in which we are living. The uncertainty of this time bothers me. It bothers me as a pastor. It bothers me as a father. It bothers me as a son. It bothers me simply as a person who lives and participates in society. This past week, I’ve been speaking with people about church and the question that keeps coming up is, ‘When will we gather again for worship?’ This question is being asked along with several other follow up questions like: “When we will we be able have communion again? What about confirmation this next year and other youth events like the youth gathering next summer. What about the stuff sale and 25 cent clothes sale? When…

Perhaps the hardest thing for me and I think most people is to say the words and admit the fact, “I don’t know.” But that is the truth. I don’t know right now. What I do know is that you are experiencing this too. You are experiencing this uncertainty as a parent, grandparent, friend, businessperson, caregiver, student, and faithful follower of God. We are used to checking our calendars and making plans for the future. We are used to looking forward to events where we see our friends. We are comforted by having a routine in life of work, social and religious activities. But, we’re no longer able to reasonably assume the future and make plans. We don’t have control of the future. We’re living in the present in a way we’re not used to doing. As my kids say, “the virus is ruining everything.”

So what do we do? Give up? Throw our hands up in despair? Wallow in self-pity? No! We are Christians. When we don’t know, we pray. When we’re worried, we pray. When we’re confused, we pray. When we are scared, we pray. When things seems lost, we pray. In all things we turn to the One who does know, the One who is not confused, uncertain, worried, or scared. We turn to God. One way I’ve been turning to God this past week has been to pray Psalm 86 everyday. I read/pray it out loud even though no one else is around. I do this so that not only do I read it, but I can hear it too. Psalm 86 specifically communicates to me God’s power and certainty and it is helpful during times when I am feeling powerless and uncertain. Pray Psalm 86 or any other scripture that speaks to you.

So, fellow co-workers in Christ, keep praying. Pray for your loved ones. Pray for care givers. Pray for me and other pastors and religious leaders as we seek wisdom from God. Pray for all those guiding the lives of this nation. Pray for a vaccine. Pray that we all can become more humble, gentle, patient. I do know that prayer works and prayer is needed, but keep in mind that prayer is the companion of action. For example, Pray for those who are lonely or scared, and then give them a call. Pray for the church and then generously act on behalf of God’s mission. Pray for patience and then watch a beautiful sunset or take a nice walk.

May the peace of the Lord be with you always. ~Pastor Erik

PASTOR’S DEVOTION FOR THE MONTH OF MAY:

I never thought 2020 would be like this. In fact, since 2019 brought challenges to OSLC due to staff changes, I was planning for 2020 would be a year to take a breath and, relax, worship and simply enjoy each other’s presence. Not to make light of the situation, but I I’m reminded of the saying, “when people make plans- God laughs.”

This past week I was following the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA mostly out of curiosity because Rocky Mountain is where I was previously rostered in before moving to Minnesota. They were having their annual assembly and they used internet meetings to conduct their meeting. I mainly wanted to see some familiar faces and I wanted to hear what their guest speakers had to say in this time of the coronavirus. I was especially taken by one speaker who asked, “Is this an interruption or a disruption”? He posed this question to help everyone consider that the impacts of the coronavirus represent a fundamental shift in the way our society and therefore our churches will now operate. The reasoning was, if the coronavirus was just an interruption, then we would be looking forward to getting back to normal. But if this is a disruption, “then we must recognize that our normal is a thing of the past and make room for a new way of operating in this world.”

We’ve all experienced disruptions in our lives, and some are big, some are small. For example, we now stream our videos from Netflix and Amazon instead of renting videos from Blockbuster. This week I had all my dog’s food and chew toys delivered to my house by the UPS man rather than driving to the store, putting the food in the cart, buying it and bringing it home (amazingly, delivery is even cheaper than the old-fashioned way). Another example, after 9/11 people stopped greeting their loved ones at the gate at the airport and instead we all wait patiently in the cell phone lot. Everyone knows we must remove our shoes when we go through airport security and we can’t bring liquids in our bags. Our travel routines were disrupted, and we have now been living in this “new normal” for almost 20 years.

So, church has not simply been interrupted, it has been disrupted. Church is going to change. (Read that last sentence again and think about it for a moment before you continue reading) “Church is going to change,” is not a sentence I like typing. It’s not something I want to say or hear. I want to make plans for going back to normal, but the fact is we’ve been disrupted. Our worship will be different in the locations we can sit, the way we partake in communion, pass the peace, collect offering, and interact with others. As you all know, I love to give hugs, and that can’t happen anymore. But it is not all lament, I think some changes will enhance our ability to participate in God’s mission. I don’t know exactly what all those changes will be, but I’m ready to make the changes rather than get left behind and become ineffective in doing what Jesus has called us to do. One change that is permanently with us, for the good, is online worship. We will continue to have an online worship experience for people. Not just for health reasons, but when people are out enjoying the beauty of Minnesota on the weekends or out of town they can still worship and be connected to the community. I’ve also been humbled to hear from a couple folks who physically haven’t been able to worship in person for a couple years how grateful they are for this ministry. Having virtual meetings is also an opportunity. For example, our Synod’s Global Mission team, which I am part of, will have more frequent meetings over Zoom instead of occasionally having everyone drive to Duluth. This will cut down on travel, time and expense and hopefully bring more people into involvement. The folks from I-Falls have no excuse now. Our own congregation can use this technology to be more efficient and invite more people to participation.

Let us pray: Gracious God, we know that disruptions can be difficult to adjust to, but we also know they can bring new opportunities. Continue to guide us and reveal to us the majesty of your world.

Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik

May 1, 2020

Psalm 116:1–4, 12–19
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.

I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

This psalm really spoke to me this week. During a time of uncertainty and difficulty, I gain confidence and comfort knowing that God is a God who listens and responds to my prayers. God also listens and responds to your prayers too. Lately, several people have asked me to help them or teach them how to pray. It seems like the difficulty in beginning to pray is just figuring out what words to use. It seems strange to talk, especially out loud, if there’s no one else in the room. Laughably, I speak to an empty room all the time- just check out the worship service videos. Remember, there isn’t a wrong way to pray, and if you want to do it silently, it is ok. But even if you don’t mind talking out loud, it can be hard to know what to say, or how to “start the conversation” with God.

Well, the first thing to do is be comforted: you don’t have to perform for God in your prayers with perfect words or long speeches! God much prefers honesty to style. And if you only have enough to say to fill up one minute, that’s ok too. Another source of comfort: you already have a lot of experience praying. You have said and heard many prayers in church. Even if you don’t have them memorized, your brain is used to the language of prayer. Once you start to do it, it will feel perfectly natural. If it helps, you can begin with the Lord’s Prayer. You probably know it by heart, and it will help you relax a bit. You can also find a Psalm, or read another part of Scripture to loosen you up a bit! Another possibility is to start like you would a letter and say, “Dear God…” Whichever way you begin take heart knowing that we all end our prayers in the same way- “AMEN!”

Stay safe and God bless~ Pr. Erik

April 24th, 2020

I invite everyone to open their bibles and read Judges chapters 6-8. It is the story of Gideon. I’ve always liked the story of Gideon, and I’m highlighting this story now because some of the themes and issues that Gideon dealt with seem very pertinent for today’s struggles.

Chapter 6 tells us about a time when the Israelites were experiencing terrible suffering by the Midianites. Everything they valued and everything they worked for was either stolen or destroyed. Our main character in the story is Gideon, and when we are introduced to him he is hiding in a wine press, trying to thresh wheat in order to keep it from the enemy. Basically, he was working from home, and trying his best to preserve a future for himself and his loved ones. (A familiar place where many of us find ourselves these days) Then, an angel of the Lord comes to him and declares, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Notably, Gideon doesn’t boldly stand up and reply “Here, I am.” Instead, his response is something more realistic. Gideon said to the angel, “But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has cast us off and given us into the hand of Midian.” Gideon is honest. He’s fearful and feeling unsafe, and he’s wondering where God is. Where is God while people are suffering? Where is God while he’s trying to thresh wheat in a wine press? Where is God when we’re working from home because it is unsafe to be out? Where is God when the schools are closed? Where is God when jobs are lost and money is tight? Where is God when the church is unable gather to worship? Gideon’s question is, “Why has God allowed this happened?”

Whether it is Covid 19 or any tragic event during the course of our lives, we find ourselves asking the same question as Gideon. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that God invites us to ask and converse with God about our lives, joys and struggles. Another thing that I do know is that no matter what, God is with us. In fact, that was the angel’s greeting to Gideon. The Lord is with you mighty warrior! I doubt Gideon felt mighty and he doesn’t seem like much of a warrior. But God called him to be a leader and do great things. God believed in him and saw in him something he didn’t see in himself. I think the church is a mighty warrior too, and because the church is not a simply a building, but because the church is people, you are also a mighty warrior.

Through the oppression of the Midianites, people experienced fear, despair, anxiety, selfishness, and isolation. But God hears the cries of the people and God gets involved which leads to victory. Similarly, the virus has also caused fear, despair, anxiety, selfishness and isolation. God hears our cries and I am confident God is involved and is present. Gideon trusted God in the midst of hard times, and we can too. No matter what comes, know this: God is with us and is stronger than anything that threatens us.

Your co-worker in Christ. Pastor Erik

April 17, 2020

Thank You!

There are so many people to thank for all the ways people are stepping up during this difficult time and making a difference in the lives of God’s people. We are in ministry to walk with others through their joys as well as struggles and to equip others to fully participate in God’s mission. That mission remains t17 he same even when we can’t physically gather in our Sanctuary. My heart overflows because I see the congregation fully embracing God’s mission. Thank you for continuing to support the mission of our church with your generosity. Thank you for sending in your offerings through the mail or through our online giving. Thank you for sharing our worship service with your friends and family. There are some powerful stories coming to light about how people who hadn’t been in worship for years are engaging their faith through online worship. Thank you for your notes of thanks and encouragement to me during this time. Thank you for making phone calls and checking in with one another and expanding our congregational care. Thank you for being you and not letting the challenges of the world diminish your hope, commitment, and grace.

Above all, my main focus of thankfulness and awe is directed to God. God is the one who sustains us through this time. God is the one who is always present and is with those who are alone. God is the one who will guide us through these confusing and frustrating days and weeks. God is the one who raised Jesus from the dead so that we are fully redeemed and can live our lives with complete confidence in God’s grace. Therefore, we can devote ourselves in responding to this grace with good work to our neighbors. God is the one who gives us life and purpose and a peace that passes all human understanding. I take heart that the last thing we said and proclaimed as a physical gathered congregation was “go in peace, serve the Lord,” “Thanks be to God.” I take heart because we have done exactly that.

Your co-worker with Christ~ Pastor Erik

GREAT ARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD

Leviticus 25:1-5 

LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.’ ” 

The concept of a year of rest for the land is an ancient one for farmers. God commanded the people to give their land a rest every seven years. No plowing or planting, no harvesting. Just let the land be. We know now that this is important to help the land be productive, to allow it time to recover from being farmed. We are in a time of rest now. The difference is we didn’t choose this and we didn’t have much time to prepare; we have to stay home, distance ourselves for the sake of our neighbor. Like the land during the fallow year, many of us simply have to let ourselves be. 

After calling many of you to check in and see how things are going, I know most of us are at home now running out of things to do and occupy our time. The weather is still a bit cold and outside is wet and muddy so gardening and yard work are not options yet.  We’ve already organized our basements and cleaned out our closets. Now what? I can’t help but wonder what God is planning to do to redeem this slower time for us. Could this turn into a time of rest and renewal? I hope so.  I know I am spending more time with my kids now and feeling the bonds of our relationships strengthened. We’ve been reading a lot more kid’s books together and I can tell that my daughter is strengthening her reading skills everyday.  I’m also really glad I enjoy the company of my wife, and I feel our relationship flourishing as we work together to meet these challenging times. I think maybe, God is redeeming this time.

As many of you know, I am passionate about the environment and being a good steward of God’s creation. I’ve been interested to see that pollution is way down across the globe. There are some amazing videos on youtube that show dolphins swimming in the canals of Venice and other wildlife coming out of hiding. Maybe God can use this time to teach us about what our planet can be like, again. Please don’t misunderstand me. This virus is real and it is bad. But I think God has a way of revealing God’s self in the midst of bad situations to illuminate God’s love and grace.  

I am inspired by hearing stories of brave and talented people who work in essential services like healthcare and knowing that those people are using their God-given talents to do amazing work. These stories prove to me that God is here with us. God is with the nurses and doctors on the front lines. God is with those who are doing their part by staying home. God isn’t just with us; God is working through us and among us. For those of us who find these days to be quiet and still, God may just be doing the work of renewal deep in your soul. What is God reminding you of? How is God giving you new life? Pay attention and embrace God’s work, even when it’s invisible.

Bless you now and evermore~ Pastor Erik
 

SUSTAIN THE WEARY WITH A WORD.

Isaiah 50:4
The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.


 I know I am weary. I am weary of watching the constantly changing news, weary of not being able to do things and go places, weary of missing my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, weary of worrying about loved ones. “Sustain the weary with a word.” Sounds like just the thing for this week.

 And not just any word, but the Word. The word of God. In times of weariness and uncertainty, these verses from Philippians are right on. They teach us and remind us of God’s character, who God is, and God’s strength. It shows us Jesus  becoming fully human and entering fully into the human experience. Not only is Jesus one of us, but he is the best of us. 


Philippians 2:5-11
5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Let the words from Philippians enter your heart and mind. In a time when we often feel powerless in the word, take comfort in knowing that God is powerful and in charge. When we can’t “do stuff” out in the community, know that the word is can and will “do stuff.” I love this quote by Martin Luther. He fully trusted the Word to go out and do God’s mission.  “I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word…did everything.”[i]


[i] Martin Luther, “Sermon on Monday after Invocavit” (March 10, 1522), in Luther’s Works 51:77.EDITSUSTAIN THE WEARY WITH A WORD.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

Happy February everyone,

On January 26, we read psalm 27 in worship. It is one of my favorite psalms. Simple, beautiful, uplifting. I have often gained comfort and courage by reading verse 1 and letting the psalmist’s word dwell in my mind.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Whenever we have scripture that invokes words and images of light and dark I remind myself that in psalmist’s time, and most of human history, people have had two types of light in their daily lives- the sun and the lamp (oil, not electricity lamps) . The sun is so powerful that it can’t be stared at. It gives light, warmth, and enables plants to grow. The sun is certainly a gift from God. In Genesis 1:3 God said, “Let there be light” and it was so. 1 John 1:5 wonderfully tells us, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

 In the psalmist’s time, people had small oil filled lamps that they would occasionally light at night. Several examples of these lamps have been discovered by archeologists and can be seen in museums today. I have a replica of the most common lamp on a shelf in my office. It is small and can fit in the palm of your hand. It is filled with oil and has a 2-3 inch wick coming out. I’ve lit my replica lamp a few times in order to see how it works. It works well, but with just a single small wick it casts just enough light for someone to see a few feet in the darkness. I am reminded as well of the words from Psalm 119, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.” 

Reflecting upon light, lamps and psalms I feel the wisdom of these words teaches us that we do indeed receive God’s light in our lives and God’s light illuminates our path by our feet, but it doesn’t show us every detail of the path ahead or which direction it is going to go in the next mile or the next year. These thoughts can be applied to our individual lives, or our congregation, or even to the wide universal church. In essence, we learn that we live as people who honor the past, try to discern the future, but ultimately are called to live fully in the present as God’s hands and feet in this beautiful yet broken world.

So, as we prepare for Lent at the end of February, (metaphorically or literally if you like) light your lamps and let your light shine as a beacon of hope to others.

Your co-worker in Christ, Pastor Erik

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Please see “Latest Bulletin & News” for this week’s worship bulletin

Here are a few additional resources we think you will find comforting during this time of social distancing:

God Pause devotions https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/

Daily Grace https://www.womenoftheelca.org/blog/category/daily-grace

Daily Bible Reading plan https://www.elca.org/Faith/DailyBible

Augsburg Fortress devotional https://go.augsburgfortress.org/augsburg-fortress-weekly-devotional

Latest Bulletin & News

We have started in-person worship. Please call the church during the week to ensure a seat, as we have limited seating to provide proper distancing. Wearing masks, and signing in will also be a part of worship, and unfortunately, at this time, we won’t be able to have coffee an’ before or after worship.

We understand you may wish to continue to worship at home, and will continue to provide recorded worship services for you to watch on facebook & YouTube, and local cable channel 5.

You are also invited to listen to our radio broadcast at 9am Sundays on KRBT 1340AM.

If you are part of a community group that holds meetings here, please go to the “Who Meets Here” heading on our home page for information.

Bulletin for February 28th, 2021
Second Sunday of Lent

PRELUDE                                      
WELCOME
GATHERING HYMN   God Loved the World         ELW # 323

Text:  Gesangbuch, Bollhagen; tr. August Crull, alt.; Music:  Edward Miller, adapt.Public Domain
CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, the keeper of the covenant,
the source of steadfast love, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.
God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ.
Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Fountain of living water,
pour out your mercy over us.
Our sin is heavy, and we long to be free.
Rebuild what we have ruinedand mend what we have torn.
Wash us in your cleansing flood.
Make us alive in the Spiritto follow in the way of Jesus,
as healers and restorers of the world you so love.Amen.
Beloved, God’s word never fails.
The promise rests on grace:
by the saving love of Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God,
your sins are ☩ forgiven, and God remembers them no more.
Journey in the way of Jesus. Amen.

GREETING 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.

KYRIE    ELW Pg. 203

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life. Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

FIRST READING: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” 3Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 5No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
15God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE    Pastor Erik Roth

PSALM 22:23-31
23You who fear the Lord, give praise! All you of Jacob’s | line, give glory.
  Stand in awe of the Lord, all you off- | spring of Israel.
24For the Lord does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty;
neither is the Lord‘s face hid- | den from them;
but when they cry out, | the Lord hears them.
25From you comes my praise in the | great assembly;
  I will perform my vows in the sight of those who | fear the Lord.
26The poor shall eat | and be satisfied,
Let those who seek the Lord give praise! May your hearts | live forever! 
27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn | to the Lord;
  all the families of nations shall bow | before God.
28For dominion belongs | to the Lord,
who rules o- | ver the nations.
29Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow | down in worship;
  all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel be- | fore the Lord.
30Their descendants shall | serve the Lord,
whom they shall proclaim to genera- | tions to come.
31They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people | yet unborn,
  saying to them, “The | Lord has acted!” 

SECOND READING:  Romans 4:13-25
13The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
16For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS  Your will be done on earth, O Lord.     ELW # 741
Text:  South African, based on the Lord’s Prayer (Public Domain)
Music:  South African traditional, as taught by Gobinca George Mxadana (Public Domain); transc. John L. Bell. Arr. © 1990 Iona Community, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSIONAfter each petition, all reply, Your mercy is great.                                                                          

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION    ELW Pg. 205

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Mark 8:31-38.Glory to you, O Lord.
31[Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMONDeacon Kari Olson     

HYMN OF THE DAY    Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said      ELW # 667

Text:  Charles W. Everest, alt. (Public Domain). Music:  W. Hauser, Hesperian Harp (Public Domain); arr. hymnal version. Arr. © 2006 Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.*
On the third day he rose again;he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,and the life everlasting. Amen.

OFFERING HYMN  Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth       ELW # 735

Text:  Jean Janzen; based on Julian of Norwich Music:  Carolyn Jennings
Text © 1991 Jean Janzen, admin. Augsburg Fortress Music © 1995 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING 
You are what God made you to be:
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
chosen as holy and beloved, freed to serve your neighbor.
God bless you ☩ that you may be a blessing,
in the name of the holy and life-giving Trinity.  Amen.

SENDING HYMN  Our Father, We Have Wandered      ELW # 606 SENDING  Go in peace. Share the good news.  Thanks be to God.
POSTLUDE                                                
Thank you for worshipping with us today.
Deacon Kari Olson
Pastor Erik Roth
Cantors: Scott & Patty Chandler
Piano: Twilla Ann Ahola

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB140007.  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.
“Our Father, We Have Wandered” – Text:  Kevin Nichols, Music:  Hans Leo Hassler; arr. Johann Sebastian Bach (Public Domain).  Text © 1981 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

Radio Sponsorship: Thank you, Carrie Tallier, for sponsoring today’s broadcast.
Radio Broadcast Sponsor:  If you are interested in sponsoring a radio broadcast, please contact Our Savior’s Lutheran (218-741-6207) for more information.  Cost is $90 per broadcast and you can sponsor all or part of it.

Bible Reading Challenge: 
Please join Messiah and Our Savior’s as we read through the Bible this year.  We are following the reading plan, The Survey Path, from the Lutheran Study Bible (Pg. 2082).
You may read along on your own or listen to the reading each day on Our Savior’s Facebook page.  It will also be shared on Messiah’s Facebook page. If you would like to be a reader, please let Deacon Kari or Pastor Erik know. This week’s schedule is as follows:

WEEK 9: SURVEY: GOD THE CREATOR
Sunday, Genesis 12:1-3
Monday, Genesis 17:1-8
Tuesday, Genesis 21:1-7
Wednesday, Genesis 22:1-14
Thursday, Hebrews 11:8-12
Friday, Galatians 3:6-9
Saturday, John 8:52-59

LENT WEEKLY DEVOTIONALS
We will not be gathering for mid-week Lenten worship services this year. On Wednesdays, Deacon Kari Olson, Pastor Erik Roth, and Pastor Amy Janssen will be offering weekly recorded devotions on Facebook and YouTube.  Also, a Wednesday Lent Devotional from Augsburg will be emailed to you if you are on our Weekly Witness email list!
For personal prayer, questions or needs, please call Deacon Kari Olson at Messiah Lutheran (218-290

First Sunday in Lent

February 21, 2021

PRELUDE   Kristen Weikum      

I Want Jesus to Walk with Me

Text: African American spiritual. Music: African American spiritual;  Arranged by N.Raabe, 2008,

Grace and Peace: Hymn Portraits for Piano, Vol. 2. Augsburg Fortress license # SB124425

WELCOME

GATHERING HYMN  O Lord, throughout These Forty Days  ELW #319


Text: based on Claudia F. Hernaman, 1838–1898; para. Gilbert E. Doan Jr., b. 1930. Music: A. Davisson, Kentucky Harmony, 1816; arr. Theodore A. Beck, 1929–2003. Augsburg Fortress license # SB124425.

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, the keeper of the covenant,

the source of steadfast love, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ.

Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Fountain of living water,

pour out your mercy over us.

Our sin is heavy, and we long to be free.

Rebuild what we have ruined and mend what we have torn.

Wash us in your cleansing flood.

Make us alive in the Spirit to follow in the way of Jesus,

as healers and restorers of the world you so love. Amen.

Beloved, God’s word never fails.

The promise rests on grace:

by the saving love of Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God,

your sins are ☩ forgiven, and God remembers them no more.

Journey in the way of Jesus. Amen.

GREETING  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.

KYRIE

PRAYER OF THE DAY  Holy God, heavenly Father, in the waters of the flood you saved the chosen, and in the wilderness of temptation you protected your Son from sin. Renew us in the gift of baptism. May your holy angels be with us, that the wicked foe may have no power over us, 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: Genesis 9:8-17

8God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9“As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE   Deacon Kari Olson

PSALM 25:1-10

1To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be put to shame,
  nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3Let none who look to you be put to shame;
  rather let those be put to shame who are treacherous.
4Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. 
5Lead me in your truth and teach me,
  for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
6Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,
  for they are from everlasting.
7Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according    to your steadfast love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
8You are gracious and upright, O Lord;
  therefore you teach sinners in your way. 
9You lead the lowly in justice and teach the lowly your way.
10All your paths, O Lord, are steadfast love and faithfulness
  to those who keep your covenant and your testimonies.                                                           

SECOND READING 1 Peter 3:18-22

18Christ 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.

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS  Create in Me a Clean Heart  ELW # 186

Music: Richard W. Hillert, b. 1923. Music © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress license # SB124425.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION   After each petition, all reply, Your mercy is great.                                                                          

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION   ELW Pg. 205

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Mark 1:9-15.  Glory to you, O Lord.

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” 12And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
  14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

*Reflections on the Scripture Reading  Pastor Erik Roth                                

HYMN OF THE DAY  Thy Holy Wings   ELW # 613

Text: Carolina Sandell Berg, 1832-1903, sts. 1, 3; Gracia Grindal, b. 1943, st. 2; tr. composite
Music: Swedish folk tune; arr. hymnal version. Arranged by Mrk Sedio © 2006 Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425.

APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.*

On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

OFFERING HYMN  As the Deer Runs to the River   ELW # 331             

Text: Herman G. Stuempfle Jr., b. 1923. Music: David Hurd, b. 1950 Text © 2002 GIA Publications, Inc. Music © 1983 GIA Publications, Inc. Augsburg Fortress license # SB124425.

LORD’S PRAYER

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.

BLESSING  You are what God made you to be: created in Christ Jesus for good works, chosen as holy and beloved, freed to serve your neighbor. God bless you ☩ that you may be a blessing, in the name of the holy and life-giving Trinity. Amen.

SENDING HYMN  I Want Jesus to Walk with Me                               ELW # 325

Text: African American spiritual. Music: African American spiritual; arr. hymnal version
Arr. © 2006 Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425

SENDING  Go in peace. Share the good news. Thanks be to God.

POSTUDE Thy Holy Wings    ELW # 613

Radio Sponsorship: Thank you, Bruce and Terry Jo Larsen for sponsoring today’s broadcast in honor of your new granddaughter, Ava Brielle.

Thank you for worshipping with us today.

Deacon Kari Olson, Pastor Erik Roth, Cantors: Sharon & Ken Panula, Piano: Kristen Weikum

*Follow our Lent Devotional online on facebook. A link will also be on our website, oslcmn.com. 

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425.  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.

Camp Sunday, February 14, 2021

Camp Vermilion and Camp Hiawatha, VLM Ministries

WELCOME

Join us for Camp Sunday from Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion! The Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry staff lead you in worship with a taste of “Wild Grace” based on John 1 and some parables that remind us of God’s abundance.

OPENING: CAMP SONG

TEMPLE TALK: Director Joel Abenth, Camp 2021, and a Thank you for your support in 2020.

INVOCATION: Alex and Brett, and Richie

PRAYER: Richie

Gracious God, we ask for your presence today as we worship you. God be with us, we ask for your blessing, we ask that you would help provide for us what we need today…

REFLECTION: The Feast, Luke 14

Richie

SONG: Big House

Barry Blair, Bob Herdman, Mark Stuar, Will McGinnis. 1993, Capital CMG Music. CCLI#20915547

Come and go with me
To my Father’s house
Come and go with me
To my Father’s house

It’s a big big house
With lots and lots a room
A big big table
With lots and lots of food
A big big yard
Where we can play football
A big big house
Its my Father’s house

(Repeat)

REFLECTION: Workers in the Vineyard, Matthew 20.

Gretchen

SONG: Radical God

REFLECTION: Sheep and Goats, Mathew 25

Alex

CONFESSION: Alex and Gretchen

SONG: Mercy is Falling

David Ruis. 1995 Mercy/Vineyard. Capital CMG Pblishing. CCLI#20915547

Mercy is falling is falling is falling
Mercy is falls like a sweet spring rain
Mercy is falling is falling all over me, and you, and you…

(Repeat)

REFLECTION: The Lost Son, and Where is God.

Brett

SONG: Your Everlasting Love

Bill Batstone. 1993, Universal Music. CCLI#20915547

Your Everlasting Love Is Higher, Higher
Higher Than The Sky
Your Everlasting Love Is Higher, Higher
Higher Than The Sky     Higher Than The Sky
Oh The Wonder Of Your Everlasting Love
Is Higher Than The Sky

Your Everlasting Love Is Deeper, Deeper
Deeper Than The Sea
Your Everlasting Love Is Deeper, Deeper
Deeper Than The Sea   Deeper Than The Sea
Oh The Wonder Of Your Everlasting Love
Is Deeper Than The Sea

APOSTLES CREED

INTERCESSORY PRAYERS  VLM Staff

BENEDITCTION Gretchen

CLOSING SONG: Firm Foundation

Jaimie Harvill, Nancy Gordon. 1994 Integrity’s Hosanna Music. Capital CMG Publishing. CCLI#209155547.

Jesus You’re my firm foundation, I know I can stand secure
Jesus You’re my firm foundation, I put my hope in Your holy word
I put my hope in Your holy word
I have a living hope (I have a living hope)
I have a future (I have a future)
God has a plan for me (God has a plan for me)
Of this I’m sure, of this I’m sure

Jesus You’re my firm foundation, I know I can stand secure
Jesus You’re my firm foundation, I put my hope in Your holy word
Your word is faithful (Your word is faithful)
Mighty with power (Mighty with power)
God will deliver me (God will deliver me)
Of this I’m sure, of this I’m sure

Jesus You’re my firm foundation, I know I can stand secure
Jesus You’re my firm foundation, I put my hope in Your holy word

Go in Peace, to love and serve the Lord!

Thank you: Brett, Richie, Gretchen, Alex, Joel and all the volunteers, congregations and staff that make VLM possible.

 

CAMP INFORMATION:

Visit us online at our website, www.VLMcamps.org

For more information about registering your children for summer programs or to apply for a summer staff position, please visit www.VLMcamps.org or contact us at 800-331-5148. You can apply to volunteer with us, or inquire about summer staff positions.

Camp changes lives! Join us this summer, as a camper, or as a worker. Campers develop life-long friendships and are mentored by people they grow a relationship with that lasts into adulthood.        As a young adult leader, you can be a part of mentoring a child and walking along with them in their spiritual growth, and be there to provide a fun, safe and spirit-filled camp experience that will produce memories that last a lifetime.

Its Great to be Alive in God’s Great Northwoods!

*All songs are used with available permission. CCLI License #20915547​.

Bible Reading Challenge: 

Please join Messiah and Our Savior’s as we read through the Bible this year.  We are following the reading plan, The Survey Path, from the Lutheran Study Bible (Pg. 2082).

You may read along on your own or listen to the reading each day on Our Savior’s Facebook page.  It will also be shared on Messiah’s Facebook page. If you would like to be a reader, please let Deacon Kari or Pastor Erik know. This week’s schedule is as follows:

Week 7: Survey: Life to Come

Sunday – John 14:1-11  Preparing for our future

Monday – Matthew 25:31-46  Serving the Lord

Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 2:6-16  The Spirit

Wednesday – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  With the Lord

Thursday – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11  Be watchful

Friday – 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12  Live Worthily

Saturday – Revelation 21:1-14  New Heaven, Earth

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021

We will not be gathering for mid-week Lenten worship services this year. On Wednesdays, Deacon Kari Olson, Pastor Erik Roth, and Pastor Amy Janssen will be offering weekly recorded devotions on Facebook and YouTube. 

Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Drive-through Ashes and Prayer

  • 12 Noon – 1 p.m. – Our Savior’s Lutheran parking lot
  • 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Messiah Lutheran’s front parking lot

During the scheduled times, you are invited to drive into the parking lot. Stay in your car and Deacon Kari and Pastor Erik will come to you. They will be wearing masks and ask you to do the same. If you would like to receive ashes on your forehead or hand, Deacon Kari or Pastor Erik will use a long, sterile, cotton-tipped applicator to place them on you.For personal prayer, questions or needs, please call Deacon Kari Olson at Messiah Lutheran (218-290

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
 
February 7, 2021


Worship service by the Pastors and Deacons
of the Laurentian Conference

Prelude    Twilla Ann Ahola  Messiah Lutheran Church, Mt. Iron

Welcome  Pastor Andy Berry
 Littlefork Lutheran Church, Littlefork

Opening Hymn“Christ Be Our Light”   ELW #715
 Scott and Patty Chandler, Twilla Ann Ahola  Messiah Lutheran Church, Mt. Iron

Confession and Forgiveness   Pastor Erika Foss  Trinity Lutheran Church, Cook

Blessed be the holy Trinity, + one God, whose voice is upon the waters, whose mercy is poured out upon all people, whose goodness cascades over all creation.  Amen.

Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.
Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God, you search us and know us. You are acquainted with all our ways. We confess that our hearts are
burdened by sin—our own sins and the broken systems that bind us. We turn inward, failing to follow your outward way of love. We distrust those who are not like us. We exploit the earth and its resources and fail to consider generations to come. Forgive us, gracious God, for all we have done and left undone. Even before the words are on our tongues, you know them; receive them in your divine mercy. Amen.

How vast is God’s grace! Through the power and promise of + Christ Jesus, our sins are washed away and we are claimed as God’s own beloved. Indeed, we are forgiven. In the wake of God’s forgiveness, we are called to be the beloved community living out Christ’s justice and the Spirit’s reconciling peace.  Amen.

“Glory to God”  Scott and Patty Chandler,  Twilla Ann Ahola  Messiah Lutheran Church, Mt. Iron

Prayer of the Day   Pastor Eric Thiele  Grace Lutheran Church, Ely
Let us pray, O God of all the prophets, you knew us and chose us before you formed us in the womb. Fill us with faith that speaks your word, hope that does not disappoint, and love that bears all things for your sake, until that day when we shall know you fully, even as we are known by you.  Amen.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13  Pastor Eric Thiele  Grace Lutheran Church, Ely
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly,[b] but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
P:    The word of the Lord.      All: Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation  MaryBeth Reller  Immanuel Lutheran Church, Tower

Gospel Reading: Mark 12:28-34  Pastor Liz Cheney   Immanuel Lutheran Church, Tower
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.
P:    The Gospel of our Lord.   All: Praise to you O Christ.

Sermon:  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Only Love Keeps Us from Being Rigid”  Read by Pastor Amy Janssen
Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Virginia  [originally preached on November 4, 1934, Reformation Sunday, in London]

Hymn of the Day “Light Dawns on a Weary World”  ELW #726  
MaryBeth Reller  Immanuel Lutheran Church, Tower

Apostles’ Creed  Pastor Erik Roth  Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Virginia
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.* On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
            the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Offering
Thank you for your generosity. We encourage to continue to give to your church as you can.

Prayers of Intercession  Deacon Kari Olson  Messiah Lutheran Church, Mt. Iron
After each petition please respond with the words: Have mercy, O God.    

Lord’s Prayer  Pastor Sarah Fike  First Lutheran Church, Hibbing
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.

Blessing  Pastor Erik Roth  Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Virginia
God the creator strengthen you; Jesus the beloved fill you; and the Holy Spirit the comforter + keep you in peace. Amen.

Sending Hymn “Where Charity and Love Prevail” ELW #359
Bruce Garbisch, Jane Kujala, Beth Sprouls, and Bailey Conger  Trinity Lutheran Church, Cook

Dismissal  Pastor Christina Kadelbach  Faith United Lutheran Church, Iron
P: Go in peace. Love one another as Christ loves us.            
All: Thanks be to God

Postlude“Praise God to Whom all Blessings Flow”
Bailey Conger  Trinity Lutheran Church, Cook

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425.  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.
Copyright Permission:  “Christ Be Our Light” – Text & Music:  Bernadette Farrell; Text and music © 1993 Bernadette Farrell, admin. OCP Publications, Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.  “Light Dawns on a Weary World” – Text:  Mary Louise Bringle; Music:  William P. Rowan, Text © 2002 GIA Publications, Inc.  Music © 2000 William P. Rowan, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.  “Where Charity and Love Prevail” – Text:  Latin hymn, 9th cent.; tr. Omer Westendorf; Music:  attr. Lucius Chapin, Text © 1960 World Library Publications, Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.  

FOURTH Sunday after Epiphany
January 31, 2021

PRELUDE                                                                                                           
WELCOME
GATHERING HYMN                       Rise, Shine, You People!                                       ELW 665

Text:  Ronald A. Klug; Music:  Dale Wood. Text and music © 1974 Augsburg Publishing House. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
whose voice is upon the waters,
whose mercy is poured out upon all people,
whose goodness cascades over all creation.  Amen.

Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Holy God,
you search us and know us.
You are acquainted with all our ways.
We confess that our hearts are burdened by sin—
our own sins and the broken systems that bind us.
We turn inward, failing to follow
your outward way of love.
We distrust those who are not like us.
We exploit the earth and its resources
and fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God,
for all we have done and left undone.
Even before the words are on our tongues,
you know them;
receive them in your divine mercy.Amen.
How vast is God’s grace!
Through the power and promise of ☩ Christ Jesus,
our sins are washed away
and we are claimed as God’s own beloved.
Indeed, we are forgiven.
In the wake of God’s forgiveness,
we are called to be the beloved community
living out Christ’s justice
and the Spirit’s reconciling peace.  Amen.

GREETING 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.

GLORY TO GOD      ELW Pg. 139
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Compassionate God, you gather the whole universe into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior. Bring wholeness to all that is broken and speak truth to us in our confusion, that all creation will see and know your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.
 
FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
[Moses said:] 15The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. 16This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” 17Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. 19Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. 20But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.”
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.
 
Psalm 111
1Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the Lord with | my whole heart,
  in the assembly of the upright, in the | congregation.
2Great are your | works, O Lord,
  pondered by all who de- | light in them.
3Majesty and splendor | mark your deeds,
  and your righteousness en- | dures forever.
4You cause your wonders to | be remembered;
  you are gracious and full | of compassion. 
5You give food to | those who fear you,
  remembering forev- | er your covenant.
6You have shown your people the power | of your works
  in giving them the lands | of the nations.
7The works of your hands are faithful- | ness and justice;
  all of your pre- | cepts are sure.
8They stand fast forev- | er and ever,
  because they are done in | truth and equity. 
9You sent redemption to your people and commanded your cove- | nant forever;
  holy and awesome | is your name.
10The fear of the Lord is the begin- | ning of wisdom;
  all who practice this have a good understanding. God’s praise en- | dures forever. 
 
CHILDREN’S MESSAGE   Pastor Erik Roth
 
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
1Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3but anyone who loves God is known by him.
  4Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords—6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
  7It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8“Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 11So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. 12But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.
 
HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS   ELW 642
Where True Charity and Love Abide
God is dwelling there; God is dwelling there


Text:  Latin antiphon, 9th cent.; Taizé Community; tr. With One Voice. Music:  Jacques Bertheir. Text and music © 1979 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.
Tr. © 1995 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.
 
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
After each petition, all reply, Have mercy, O God.
 
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION     ELW Pg. 142
 
GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Mark 1:21-28.  Glory to you, O Lord.
21[Jesus and his disciples] went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.
 
*Reflections on the Scripture Reading             Deacon Kari Olson
 
HYMN OF THE DAY   Open Your Ears, O Faithful People ELW 519

Text:  Hasidic traditional; Willard F. Jabusch, English version. Music:  Hasidic tune (Public Domain). Text © 1966, 1982 Willard F. Jabusch, admin. OCP Publications. Arr. © 2006 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.*
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
 
OFFERING HYMN  Take, Oh, Take Me As I Am                 ELW 814

Text & Music:  John L. Bell. Text and music © 1995 Iona Community, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING 
God the creator strengthen you; Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter ☩ keep you in peace. Amen.
 
SENDING HYMN    O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright!   
ELW 308 (Vs. 1, 3, 4)
(Vs. 1) O Morning Star, how fair and bright!
You shine with God’s own truth and light,
aglow with grace and mercy!
Of Jacob’s line, King David’s son,
our Lord and Savior, you have won
our hearts to serve you only!
Lowly, holy!
Great and glorious, all victorious, rich in blessing!
Rule and might o’er all possessing!
 
(Vs. 3) Lord, when you look on us in love,
at once there falls from God above
a ray of purest pleasure.
Your word and Spirit, flesh and blood
refresh our souls with heav’nly food.
You are our dearest treasure!
Let your mercy warm and cheer us!  Oh, draw near us!
For you teach us God’s own love through you has reached us.
 
(Vs. 4) Almighty Father, in your Son
you loved us, when not yet begun
was this old earth’s foundation!
Your Son has ransomed us in love
to live in him here and above:
this is your great salvation.
Alleluia!
Christ the living, to us giving life forever,
keeps us yours and fails us never!
Text:  Philipp Nicolai; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship, Music:  Philipp Nicolai. Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress. Arr. © 2006 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

SENDING 
Go in peace. Be the light of Christ. Thanks be to God. 
POSTLUDE
Thank you for worshipping with us today.
Pastor Erik Roth
Deacon Kari Olson
Twilla Ann Ahola, Piano
Scott & Patty Chandler, Cantors

Third Sunday after Epiphany
January 24, 2021


PRELUDE   Kristen Weikum
WELCOME
GATHERING HYMN  You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore ELW# 817

1      You have come down to the lakeshore
        seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy,
        but only asking for me to follow.

Refrain
        Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes;
        kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
        On the sand I have abandoned my small boat;
        now with you, I will seek other seas.

2      You know full well what I have, Lord:
        neither treasure nor weapons for conquest,
        just these my fish nets and will for working.  Refrain

3      You need my hands, my exhaustion,
        working love for the rest of the weary–
        a love that’s willing to go on loving.  Refrain

4      You who have fished other waters;
        you, the longing of souls that are yearning:
       O loving Friend, you have come to call me.  Refrain
Text: Cesáreo Gabaráin, 1936-1991; tr. Madeleine Forell Marshall, b. 1946 Music: Cesáreo Gabaráin. Text and music © 1979 Cesáreo Gabaráin, OCP Publications. Augsburg Fortress license # SB124425.

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, whose voice is upon the waters, whose mercy
is poured out upon all people, whose goodness cascades over all creation. Amen.
 Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.
Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
you search us and know us.
You are acquainted with all our ways.
We confess that our hearts are burdened by sin—
our own sins and the broken systems that bind us.We turn inward, failing to followyour outward way of love.
We distrust those who are not like us.
We exploit the earth and its resourcesand fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God,for all we have done and left undone.
Even before the words are on our tongues,
you know them;receive them in your divine mercy.Amen.
 How vast is God’s grace!
Through the power and promise of ☩ Christ Jesus,
our sins are washed away and we are claimed as God’s own beloved.
Indeed, we are forgiven.
In the wake of God’s forgiveness, we are called to be the beloved community
living out Christ’s justice and the Spirit’s reconciling peace. Amen.

GREETING 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.

GLORY TO GOD    ELW Pg. 139

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

PSALM 62:5-12
5For God alone I wait in silence; truly, my hope is in God.
6God alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.
7In God is my deliverance and my honor; God is my strong rock and my refuge.
8Put your trust in God always, O people,
pour out your hearts before the one who is our refuge. 
9Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath; those of low estate cannot be trusted.
  Placed on the scales together they weigh even less than a breath.
10Put no trust in extortion; in robbery take no empty pride;
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
11God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, that power belongs to God.
12Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord,
for you repay all according to their deeds. 

NEW TESTAMENT READING:1 Corinthians 7:29-31
29Brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS  Your will be done on earth, O Lord.   ELW# 741
Text: South African, based on the Lord’s Prayer. Music: South African traditional, as taught by Gobingca George Mxadana; transc. John L. Bell, b. 1949. Arr. © 1990 Iona Community, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
After each petition, all reply, Have mercy, O God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION     ELW Pg. 142

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Mark 1:14-20.Glory to you, O Lord.
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

OLD TESTAMENT READING: Jonah 1:1-3, 3:1-5, 10
1Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me. 3But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD. 

1The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you. 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

DIALOGUE SERMON: Deacon Kari Olson, Pastor Erik Roth         

HYMN OF THE DAY  Will You Come and Follow Me   ELW# 798

APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.*
On the third day he rose again;he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,and the life everlasting. Amen.

OFFERING HYMN Let us Go Now to the Banquet   ELW# 523
Refrain
        Let us go now to the banquet,
        to the feast of the universe.
        The table’s set and a place is waiting;
        come, ev’ryone, with your gifts to share.

1      I will rise in the early morning;
        the community’s waiting for me.
        With a spring in my step I’m walking
        with my friends and my family.  Refrain

2      God invites all the poor and hungry
        to the banquet of justice and good
        where the harvest will not be hoarded
        so that no one will lack for food.  Refrain

3      May we build such a place among us
        where all people are equal in love.
        God has called us to work together
        and to share ev’rything we have.  Refrain
Text: Guillermo Cuéllar, b. 1955, Misa popular salvadoreña; tr. Bret Hesla, b. 1957, and William Dexheimer Pharris,  b. 1956. Music: Guillermo Cuéllar, b. 1955. Text and music © 1988, 1996 GIA Publications, Inc. Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425.

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING  God the creator strengthen you; Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter ☩ keep you in peace. Amen.

SENDING HYMN  Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises    ELW# 535

SENDING 
Go in peace. Be the light of Christ. Thanks be to God.

POSTUDE
Thank you for worshipping with us today.
Deacon Kari Olson
Pastor Erik Roth
Cantors: Judy Peliska
Piano: Kristen Weikum

Second Sunday after epiphany
January 17, 2021

Messiah Lutheran Church ELCA
Deacon Kari Olson
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church ELCA
Pastor Erik Roth
PRELUDE  Mark Ongalo
WELCOME
GATHERING HYMN  Will You Come and Follow Me  ELW 798

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, whose voice is upon the waters,
whose mercy is poured out upon all people, whose goodness cascades over all creation. Amen.
Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Holy God,
you search us and know us.
You are acquainted with all our ways.
We confess that our hearts are burdened by sin—
our own sins and the broken systems that bind us.We turn inward, failing to followyour outward way of love.
We distrust those who are not like us.
We exploit the earth and its resourcesand fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God,for all we have done and left undone.
Even before the words are on our tongues,
you know them;receive them in your divine mercy.Amen.
How vast is God’s grace!
Through the power and promise of ☩ Christ Jesus,
our sins are washed away and we are claimed as God’s own beloved.
Indeed, we are forgiven.
In the wake of God’s forgiveness, we are called to be the beloved community
living out Christ’s justice and the Spirit’s reconciling peace. Amen.

GREETING 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.
GLORY TO GOD    ELW Pg. 139


PRAYER OF THE DAY:  Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful redeemer, for the countless blessings and benefits you give. May we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day praising you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
FIRST READING: 1 Samuel 3:1-20
1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
2At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” [11Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. 12On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 14Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”
15Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.” 17Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”
19As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.]
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.
CHILDREN’S MESSAGE  Deacon Kari Olson

PSALM 139:1-6, 13-18
1Lord, you have searched me out; O Lord, you have known me.
2You know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3You trace my journeys and my resting-places and are acquainted with all my ways.
4Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,
but you, O Lord, know it altogether. 
5You encompass me, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
13For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together
    in my mother’s womb.                                                
14I will thank you because I am marvelously made;
your works are wonderful, and I know it well. 
15My body was not hidden from you, while I was being made in secret
     and woven in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written 
     in your book; my days were fashioned before they came to be.                                    
17How deep I find your thoughts, O God! How great is the sum of them!
18If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
  to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours. 

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
12“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS  Where True Charity and Love Abide  ELW 642
Where True Charity and Love Abide
God is dwelling there; God is dwelling there

Text:  Latin antiphon, 9th cent.; Taizé Community; tr. With One Voice. Music:  Jacques Bertheir
Text and music © 1979 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Tr. © 1995 Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION  After each petition, all reply, Have mercy, O God.
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION  ELW Pg. 142
GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to John 1:35-51.Glory to you, O Lord.
35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.
Reflections on the Scripture Reading   Pastor Erik Roth

HYMN OF THE DAY  Here I Am, LordELW # 574

Text: Daniel L. Schutte, b. 1946. Music: Daniel L. Schutte
Text and music © 1981 OCP Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under CCLI license #2488679


APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.*
On the third day he rose again;he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,and the life everlasting. Amen.

OFFERING HYMN  This Little Light of MineELW#677
Text: African American spiritual. Music: African American spiritual; arr. Horace Clarence Boyer, b. 1935. Public Domain. Arr. © Horace Clarence Boyer. Reprinted with permission under CCLI license #2488679.
LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING  God the creator strengthen you; Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter ☩ keep you in peace. Amen.
SENDING HYMN  Songs of Thankfulness and Praise  ELW # 310

Text: Christopher Wordsworth, 1807–1885, alt. Music: Jakob Hintze, 1622–1702; arr. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685–1750. Reprinted with permission under CCLI license #2488679.

SENDING 
Go in peace. Be the light of Christ. Thanks be to God.
POSTUDE
Thank you for worshipping with us today.
Deacon Kari Olson
Pastor Erik Roth
Cantors: Judy Peliska
Piano: Mark Ongalo
From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425.  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.

BAPTISM OF OUR LORD
January 10, 2021

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church ELCA
Pastor Erik Roth
Messiah Lutheran Church ELCA
Deacon Kari Olson

PRELUDE   

WELCOME

GATHERING HYMN  Bright and Glorious Is the Sky    ELW 301 (Vs. 1,2,5,6)

(Vs. 1) Bright and glorious is the sky,
radiant are the heavens high
where the golden stars are shining.
All their rays to earth inclining
beckon us to heav’n above,
beckon us to heav’n above.

(Vs. 2) On that holy Christmas night
through the darkness beamed a light;
all the stars above were paling.
all their luster slowly failing
as the wondrous star drew nigh,
as the wondrous star drew nigh..

(Vs. 5) Guided by the star, they found
him whose praise the ages sound.
We too have a star to guide us,
which forever will provide us
with the light to find our Lord,
with the light to find our Lord.

(Vs. 6) And this star, as bright as day,
that will never lead astray
with its message so appealing,
is the word of God, revealing
Christ, the way, the truth, the life,
Christ, the way, the truth, the life.

Text: Nikolai F.S. Grundtvig; tr. Jens Christian Aaberg
Music:  Danish, 19th cent.
Text © 1958 Service Book and Hymnal, admin. Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.


THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM      ELW Pg. 97
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
the fountain of living water,
the rock who gave us birth,
our light and our salvation.  Amen.

Joined to Christ in the waters of baptism,
we are clothed with God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Let us give thanks for the gift of baptism.

Water may be poured into the font as the presiding minister gives thanks.
We give you thanks, O God,
for in the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters
and by your Word you created the world,
calling forth life in which you took delight.

Through the waters of the flood you delivered Noah and his family.
Through the sea you led your people Israel from slavery into freedom.
At the river your Son was baptized by John
and anointed with the Holy Spirit.
By water and your Word you claim us as daughters and sons,
making us heirs of your promise and servants of all.

We praise you for the gift of water that sustains life,
and above all we praise you for the gift of new life in Jesus Christ.
Shower us with your Spirit,
and renew our lives with your forgiveness, grace, and love.

To you be given honor and praise
through Jesus Christ our Lord
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever.  Amen.

GREETING 
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  And also with you.

GLORY TO GOD     ELW Pg. 139

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  Holy God, creator of light and giver of goodness, your voice moves over the waters. Immerse us in your grace, and transform us by your Spirit, that we may follow after your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

FIRST READING: Genesis 1:1-5
1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE    Pastor Erik Roth

PSALM 29
1Ascribe to the | Lord, you gods,
  ascribe to the Lord glo- | ry and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory | due God’s name;
worship the Lord in the beau- | ty of holiness.
3The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of | glory thunders;
  the Lord is upon the | mighty waters.
4The voice of the Lord is a pow- | erful voice;
the voice of the Lord is a | voice of splendor. 
5The voice of the Lord breaks the | cedar trees;
  the Lord breaks the ce- | dars of Lebanon;
6the Lord makes Lebanon skip | like a calf,
and Mount Hermon like a | young wild ox.
7The voice | of the Lord
  bursts forth in | lightning flashes.
8The voice of the Lord| shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilder- | ness of Kadesh. 
9The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the | forests bare.
  And in the temple of the Lord all are | crying, “Glory!”

10The Lord sits enthroned a- | bove the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for- | evermore.
11O Lord, give strength | to your people;
  give them, O Lord, the bless- | ings of peace. 

SECOND READING: Acts 19:1-7
1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. 2He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” 4Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied—7altogether there were about twelve of them.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS   ELW 642

Where True Charity and Love Abide
God is dwelling there; God is dwelling there
Text:  Latin antiphon, 9th cent.; Taizé Community; tr. With One Voice
Music:  Jacques Bertheir
Text and music © 1979 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.
Tr. © 1995 Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
After each petition, all reply, Have mercy, O God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION   ELW Pg. 142

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Mark 1:4-11.Glory to you, O Lord.
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

*Reflections on the Scripture Reading  Deacon Kari Olson

HYMN OF THE DAY    Baptized and Set Free     ELW 453

(Vs. 1) We are people created,
chosen by God.
Then we’re washed, ever gently,
in mercy and love.
Sin has power no more.
Jesus opened the door
to a fountain bringing healing,
and wholeness and more.
 
(Vs. 3)  We are nourished by water,
all living things,
and by life that the Spirit
abundantly brings.
As we journey toward home,
may your presence be known:
precious river, ever-flowing,
now carry us home.
 
(Vs. 2)  We are fed and we’re nourished,
filled and refreshed.
Then our hunger returns and
again we are blessed.
For whatever the need,
God is greater indeed:
endless ocean, always deeper
than all of our need.
 
(Vs. 4)  Now with praise and thanksgiving,
we join the song.
All are welcome! We gather
to sing loud and strong.
Not enslaved, but set free!
From now on, all will be
one in Jesus, one in water,
baptized and set free!
 

APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.*
On the third day he rose again;he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,and the life everlasting. Amen.

OFFERING HYMN   The First Noel    ELW 300

Text:  English traditional
Music:  English traditional; arr. John Stainer
Public Domain

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING
God the creator strengthen you;
Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter ☩ keep you in peace.
Amen.

SENDING HYMN  Shine, Jesus, Shine     ELW 671

SENDING
Go in peace. Be the light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

POSTUDE

Thank you for worshipping with us today.
Deacon Kari Olson
Pastor Erik Roth
Cantors: Patty & Scott Chandler
Piano: Twilla Ann Ahola

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB140007.  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.

Copyright Permissions:

“Baptized and Set Free” –  Text & Music:  Cathy Skogen-Soldner; Text and music © 1999 Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

“Shine, Jesus, Shine” – Text & Music:  Graham Kendrick, Text and music © 1987 Make Way Music, admin. Music Services in the Western Hemisphere.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

____________________________________
Happy Epiphany! Receive your Star Word!
To celebrate the Epiphany of Our Lord, Messiah and Our Savior’s Lutheran Churches invite you to receive a Star Word (simply a word printed on star-shaped piece of paper).  You are asked to spend time with God as you reflect on that word for the coming year and ponder how God might be speaking to you through that word.

If you would like to receive a Star Word, you may:

  • Stop by Messiah and pick one up from a plastic container on the bench outside the church doors or from the basket in the narthex.
  • Stop by Our Savior’s and pick one up from the narthex entry table.
  • Call Messiah Lutheran Church (218-741-7057) or Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (218-741-6207) and we will pick one for you.

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425  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. 

Bulletin:

Christmas Eve Service 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas!

PRELUDE Kristen Weikum

WELCOME

GATHERING HYMN O Come All Ye Faithful  ELW #283

Text: attr. John Francis Wade, 1711-1786; tr. Frederick Oakeley, 1802-1880, sts. 1, 3-4; tr. unknown, st. 2

Music: attr. John Francis Wade. Public Domain. Printed with permission under CCLI license # 2488679

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH:

With voices rising, rising like incense
We prayed in hope, we reached to you in hope, we sang in hope, we shouted with hope
Tonight we see in the shadows and the shine the holy mystery of a hope fulfilled and a hope to come.
Tonight we move in hope.

We move as a people waking from a slumber, like a new parent hearing a cry in the night. “For unto us a child is born.”
We move with confidence and praise, because hope has arrived.
“You have increased our joy.”
We move with determination that liberation is not just our destiny but our reality. “The rod of their oppressors you have broken.”

We move because the one born this night invites us to “come and follow.”
We move because the Christ tells us “take up our cross.”
We move to bear one another’s burden like Simon of Cyrene, who held the cross for Jesus.
We move in the march toward freedom, we move towards the promised land, we move forward in hope.
We move in hope because hope moved into the world.
“This One shall be called Wonderful Counselor,

the Strength of God, Eternal Protector,  Champion of Peace.”*
We move in hope, O God
We move forward in hope

HYMN Love Has Come  ELW #292

Text: Ken Bible, b. 1950. Music: F. Seguin, Recueil de noëls composés en langue provençale, 1856

Text © 1996 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. Public Domain. Printed with permission under CCLI License #2488679

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

who was in the beginning, who makes a dwelling among us,

who covers us with justice and mercy. Amen.

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

God of goodness and lovingkindness,

we confess that we have sinned against you and our neighbors.

We have turned away from your invitation to new life.

We have turned away from the lowly and downtrodden.

In your abundant mercy, forgive us our sins,

those we know and those known only to you,

for the sake of the one who came to live among us,

Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Hear the good news of peace and salvation!

God forgives us all our sins, not through our own work,  

but through ☩ Jesus Christ, made known to all people.

With all who come to the manger,

rejoice in this amazing gift of grace. Amen.

GREETING

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
By the power of the Holy Spirit may we abound in hope

HYMN OF PRAISE 
Angels We Have Heard on High      ELW #289

Text: French carol; tr. H.F. Hemy, The Crown of Jesus Music, 1864
Music: French carol; arr. Edward S. Barnes, 1887-1958. Printed with permission under CCLI license #2488679

PRAYER OF THE DAY  Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and in the last day wake to the brightness of his glory; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 9:2-7
2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
 those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.
3You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy;
 they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest,
  as people exult when dividing plunder.
4For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders,
  the rod of their oppressor,
  you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood
  shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
     authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named
 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace
 for the throne of David and his kingdom.
  He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness
  from this time onward and forevermore.
 The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

PSALM 96

1Sing to the Lord| a new song; sing to the Lord, | all the earth.
2Sing to the Lord, bless the name | of the Lord;
  proclaim God’s salvation from | day to day.
3Declare God’s glory a- | mong the nations
  and God’s wonders a- | mong all peoples.
4For great is the Lord and greatly | to be praised,
  more to be feared | than all gods.
5As for all the gods of the nations, they | are but idols;
  but you, O Lord, have | made the heavens.
6Majesty and magnificence are | in your presence;
  power and splendor are in your | sanctuary.
7Ascribe to the Lord, you families | of the peoples,
  ascribe to the Lord hon- | or and power.
8Ascribe to the Lord the honor due the | holy name;
  bring offerings and enter the courts | of the Lord. R
9Worship the Lord in the beau- | ty of holiness;
  tremble before the Lord, | all the earth.
10Tell it out among the nations: “The | Lord is king!
  The one who made the world so firm that it cannot be moved

will judge the peo- | ples with equity.”                                               
11Let the heavens rejoice, and let the | earth be glad;
  let the sea thunder and all that is in it; let the field be joyful and all that | is therein.
12Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy at your com- | ing, O Lord,
  for you come to | judge the earth.
13You will judge the | world with righteousness
  and the peoples | with your truth.

SECOND READING: Titus 2:11-14

 11The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE                                                                                    Carolyn Flaschberger

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS  Infant Holy, Infant Lowly    ELW #276

1    Infant holy, infant lowly,

       for his bed a cattle stall;

       oxen lowing, little knowing

       Christ the child is Lord of all.

       Swiftly winging, angels singing,

       bells are ringing, tidings bringing:

       Christ the child is Lord of all!

       Christ the child is Lord of all!

2     Flocks were sleeping,  shepherds keeping

       vigil till the morning new

       saw the glory, heard the story,

       tidings of a gospel true.

       Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow,

       praises voicing, greet the morrow:

       Christ the child was born for you!

       Christ the child was born for you!

Text: Polish carol; tr. Edith M.G. Reed, 1885-1933, alt.
Music: Polish carol. Public Domain. Printed with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

After each petition, all reply, Your mercy is great.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve                                ELW 271


Text: Marie Wexelsen, 1832-1911; tr. Peter A. Sveeggen, 1881-195 Music: Peder Knudsen, 1819-1863. Text © 1932
Augsburg Publishing House. Printed with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

Glory to you, O Lord.

1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
  8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
  and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
  15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.]

This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

*Reflections on the Scripture Reading  Deacon Kari Olson and  Pastor Erik Roth *IF YOU CANNOT HEAR THE DIALOGUE ON OSLC’S RECORDING, PLEASE LISTEN TO MESSIAH RECORDING (WHICH IS THE SAME, AS WE JOINTLY DO THE SERVICES). YOU CAN SCROLL EXACTLY 30 MINUTES INTO THE SERVICE TO HEAR THE SERMON DIALOGUE. IT CAN BE FOUND ABOVE AND ON FACEBOOK.

HYMN OF THE DAY  Hark the Herald Angels Sing    ELW #270


Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, alt. Music: Felix Mendelssohn, 1809-1847;
arr. William H. Cummings, 1831-1915. Public Domain. Printed with permission under CCLI license #2488679

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.

OFFERING HYMN  What Child Is This             ELW #296


Text: William C. Dix, 1837-1898. Music: English ballad, 16th cent.

Public Domain. Printed with Permission under CCLI license #2488679

LORD’S PRAYER

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.

LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES~HYMN   Silent Night ELW #281

Text: Joseph Mohr, 1792-1849; tr. John F. Young, 1820-1885
Music: Franz Gruber, 1787-1863. Public Domain. Printed with permission under CCLI license # 2488679

BLESSING

May you find time for rest this season
May you create space to prepare
May the Lord our God fill you with hope
May Jesus Christ be ever present in your heart
May the Holy Spirit illuminate your way.  Amen.

SENDING HYMN  Joy to the World  ELW #267

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748. Music: English melody, 18th cent.; arr. Lowell Mason, 1792-1872.
Public Domain. Printed with permission under CCLI license #2488679

SENDING  Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

POSTUDE   Kristen Weikum

Thank you for worshipping with us today, Merry Christmas.

Deacon Kari Olson

Pastor Erik Roth

Cantors: Carolyn Flaschberger

Piano: Kristen Weikum

20 DECEMBER 2020
Fourth Sunday of Advent

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church ELCA
Pastor Erik Roth
Messiah Lutheran Church ELCA
Deacon Kari Olson

PRELUDE  Piano, Mark Ongalo
WELCOME
GATHERING HYMN Awake, Awakeand Greet the New Morn     ELW #242
Judy Peliska
Marty Haugen, Holden Evening Service. Text: Marty Haugen, b. 1950. Music: Marty Haugen. Text and music © 1983 GIA Publications, Inc.

HYMN My Lord, What a Morning   WOV #627

Text and Music: African American spiritual
Public Domain. Reprinted under CCLI # 2488679

GATHERING
Let us join together to worship the God who fulfills all promises, Jesus Christ, the hope born of Mary, and the Holy Spirit, who fuels our hope as we await Christ’s return.

HYMN Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus   ELW # 254

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788. Music: W. Walker, Southern Harmony, 1835
Public Domain. Reprinted under CCLI license #2488679

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
We praise you, O God, for this wheel of time  that marks our days of preparation for Christ’s advent.
As we light the candles on this wreath, open our eyes to see your presence in the lowly ones of this earth. 
Enlighten us with your grace, that we may sing of your advent among us in the Word made flesh.
Grant this through Christ our Lord, whose coming is certain and whose day draws near. Amen.

HYMN Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah   ELW# 240 (Vs. 1- 4) 1 

1 Light one candle to watch for Messiah:
    let the light banish darkness.
    He shall bring salvation to Israel,
    God fulfills the promise.
2  Light two candles to watch for Messiah:
    let the light banish darkness.
    He shall feed the flock like a shepherd,
    gently lead them homeward.
3   Light three candles to watch for Messiah:
     let the light banish darkness.
     Lift your heads and lift high the gateway
     for the King of glory.
4   Light four candles to watch for Messiah:
     let the light banish darkness.
     He is coming, tell the glad tidings.
     Let your lights be shining GREETING 

PRAYER OF THE DAY   Lover of justice, you come to us through your servants, like Isaiah and John. And you come to us as a servant: of peace, of the poor and oppressed, of righteousness. Make us servants too, that we may find hope where you are: among the lowly, the brokenhearted, and those imprisoned. Through your servant Messiah Jesus, we pray. Amen.

ISAIAH 9:6
6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
 authority rests upon his shoulders;
 and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
 Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

HYMN Prepare the Royal Highway   ELW #264

Text: Frans Mikael Franzén, 1772-1847; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship. Music: Swedish folk tune, 17th cent. Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress. Printed with permission under license #SB124425.

ISAIAH 9:7
7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace
 for the throne of David and his kingdom.
 He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness
 from this time onward and forevermore.
 The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

HYMN Once in Royal David’s City   ELW #269

Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818-1895. Music: Henry J. Gauntlett, 1805-1876. Public Domain. Reprinted under Augsburg Fortress #124425

POEM READINGSteve and Tanya Carlson

HYMN Away in a Manger  (Verse 1)
1    Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
     the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
     the stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
     the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

CHILDREN MESSAGE

HYMN Away in a Manger  Vs. 2&32.

2. The cattle are lowing; the baby awakes,
    but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.
    I love you, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky
    and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

3. Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask you to stay
    close by me forever and love me, I pray.
    Bless all the dear children in your tender care
    and fit us for heaven, to live with you there.
Text: North American, 19th cent. Music: James R. Murray, 1841-1905.
Public Domain. Printed with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #124425.

ANNUNCIATION  Luke 1:26-34 
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 

HYMN Savior of the Nation’s, Come  ELW #263

MARY’S MAGNIFICAT  Luke 1:46b-1:55
46bMy soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for you, Lord, have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
49you, the Almighty, have done great things for me
             and holy is your name.
50You have mercy on those who fear you,
from generation to generation.
51You have shown strength with your arm
        and scattered the proud in their conceit,
52casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
53You have filled the hungry with good things
        and sent the rich away empty.
54You have come to the aid of your servant Israel,
to remember the promise of mercy,
55the promise made to our forbears,
        to Abraham and his children forever. 

SONG Mary’s Song Judy Peliska   
Marty Haugen, Holden Evening Service. Text: Marty Haugen, b. 1950. Music: Marty Haugen. Text and music © 1983 GIA Publications, Inc.

LUKE 2:8-15
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
  and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 

HYMN It Came Upon a Midnight Clear   ELW #282

*Words about the Hymn

LUKE 2:15-20
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

HYMN O Little Town of Bethlehem   ELW #279 

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.

ISAIAH 49:13
13Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
 break forth, O mountains, into singing!
 For the LORD has comforted his people,
 and will have compassion on his suffering ones.

HYMN Comfort, Comfort Now My People  ELW #256

Text: Johann G. Olearius, 1635-1711; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt.
Music: Trente quatre pseaumes de David, Geneva, 1551. Reprinted under CCLI # 2488679

SHARING PEACE

ACTS 4:20
20for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

HYMN Love Has Come  ELW #292

Text: Ken Bible, b. 1950. Music: F. Seguin, Recueil de noëls composés en langue provençale, 1856. Text © 1996 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. Reprinted under CCLI# 2488679

LORDS PRAYER
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.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:19
     19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

HYMN Hark the Herald Angels Sing  ELW#270

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, alt.. Music: Felix Mendelssohn, 1809-1847; arr. William H. Cummings, 1831-1915. Reprinted with permission under CCLI #2488679

BLESSING 

NEHEMIAH 8:10
10Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

HYMN Joy to The World   ELW #267

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748. Music: English melody, 18th cent.; arr. Lowell Mason, 1792-1872. Public Domain. Printed with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #124425.

DISMISSAL
From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425  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. 
Hope From Disrupt Liturgy:
All liturgy and litanies are for public use, c. Disrupt Worship Project (or DWP).  Confession:  Written by Sem. Kayla Sadowy and The Rev. Carla Christopher Wilson; Prayer of the Day:  Written by Rev. Collette Broady Grund; Blessing:  Written by Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings

Thank you for worshipping with us today.
Deacon Kari Olson
Pastor Erik Roth
Cantors: Judy Peliska
Piano: Mark Ongalo
Readers: Steve & Tanya Carlson

13 December, 2020
Third Sunday of Advent

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church ELCA
Pastor Erik Roth
Messiah Lutheran Church ELCA
Deacon Kari Olson


PRELUDE People Look East, On Jordan’s Banks        Kristen Weikum
Music arr. Curt Oliver from Advent Keyboard Seasons, code 11-10724. Copyright 1996 Augsburg Fortress. Printed with permission under Augsburg Fortress license # SB124425.     

GATHERING HYMN Christ, Be Our Light    ELW #715

Text: Bernadette Farrell, b. 1957.Text and music © 1993 Bernadette Farrell, OCP Publications. Augsburg Fortress. Printed with permission under license #SB124425

LIGHTING THE ADVENT WREATH: ADVENT 3
We praise you, O God, for this victory wreath
that marks our days of preparation for Christ’s advent.
As we light the candles on this wreath,
strengthen our hearts
as we await the Lord’s coming in glory.
Enlighten us with your grace,
that we may serve our neighbors in need.
Grant this through Christ our Lord,
whose coming is certain and whose day draws near. Amen.

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress.
Printed with permission under license #SB124425

HYMN Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah      ELW# 240 (Vs. 1-3) 
1      Light one candle to watch for Messiah:
        let the light banish darkness.
        He shall bring salvation to Israel,
        God fulfills the promise.
2      Light two candles to watch for Messiah:
        let the light banish darkness.
        He shall feed the flock like a shepherd,
        gently lead them homeward.
3      Light three candles to watch for Messiah:
        let the light banish darkness.
        Lift your heads and lift high the gateway
        for the King of glory.
Text:  Wayne L. Wold; Music:  Yiddish folk tune. Text © 1984 Fortress Press. Public Domain. Printed with permission under Augsburg Fortress License #SB124425.

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS
Jesus, who comes as new birth,
we have prepared for you
with comfortable traditions and humble requests.

We have memorialized your birth
as if it was a past act
and not the bold declaration of a living God.

We have rested in the safer hope of your work,
abandoning our call as co-creators of the Beloved Community,
harming your children with our ill-informed action and comfort-catering inaction.

All this we humbly confess.
Help us remember in this season of anticipation
that we prepare not only for you,
but because of you.

Challenge us to examine our intentions,
and to hold sacred both the act of preparing,
and the transforming justice love of the one who comes.  Amen

Christ has come so that we know there is forgiveness, and, in that, we find our true hope, our only peace, our source of joy,
our capacity for love. Thanks be to God.  Amen.

GREETING
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
By the power of the Holy Spirit may we abound in hope

PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of David and Nathan, Might One who sent Gabriel to Mary, you proclaim unbelievable things to your people generation after generation. You make your proclamations reality. As we wait for you coming anew this Christmas, give us faith like Mary, that it will be to us according to your will. Amen.

FIRST READING: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
1Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
4But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 
16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever. 
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

PSALM Reading:  Luke 1:46b-55
46bMy soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for you, Lord, have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
49you, the Almighty, have done great things for me and holy is your name.
50You have mercy on those who fear you,
from generation to generation.
51You have shown strength with your arm
  and scattered the proud in their conceit,
52casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
53You have filled the hungry with good things
  and sent the rich away empty.
54You have come to the aid of your servant Israel,
to remember the promise of mercy,
55the promise made to our forbears,
  to Abraham and his children forever.  

SECOND READING:  Romans 16:25-27
25Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE     Deacon Kari Olson

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS  Wait for the Lord      ELW# 262
Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord: be strong, take heart!

Text:  Taizé Community; Music:  Jacques Berthier
Text and music © 1984 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.
Reprinted with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
After each petition, all reply, Your mercy is great.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION     ELW Pg. 142

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Luke 1:26-38.  Glory to you, O Lord.
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

*Reflections on the Scripture Reading     Pastor Erik Roth

HYMN OF THE DAY On Jordan’s Banks the Baptist’s Cry      ELW #249

Text: Charles Coffin, 1676-1749; tr. composite; Music: European tune, adapt. Michael Praetorius, 1571-1621
Public Doman. Reprinted with permission under CCLI license #2488679.

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.

OFFERING HYMN  Come Now, O Prince of Peace  ELW#247
Text: Geonyong Lee, b. 1947; tr. Marion Pope. Music: Geonyong Lee, b. 1947
Text and music © Geonyong Lee. Used with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #124425.


LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING
May you find time for rest this season
May you create space to prepare
May the Lord our God fill you with hope
May Jesus Christ be ever present in your heart
May the Holy Spirit illuminate your way  Amen

SENDING HYMN  People Look East   ELW #248

Text: Eleanor Farjeon, 1881-1965. Music: French carol; arr. Barry Rose, b. 1934. Text © Miss E. Farjeon Will Trust, by permission of David Higham Associates. Arr. © 1999 Novello & Co. Ltd., London. Reprinted with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #SB124425.

SENDING Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

POSTUDE People Look EastKristen Weikum
Text: Eleanor Farjeon, 1881-1965. Music: French carol; arr. Barry Rose, b. 1934. Arr. By Nancy M. Raabe, Hymn Portraits for Piano, 2005. Augsburg Fortress. Printed with permission under Augsburg Fortress license #124425.

Thank you for worshipping with us today.
Deacon Kari Olson
Pastor Erik Roth
Cantors: Sharon & Ken Panula
Piano: Kristen Weikum

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425  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. 

Hope From Disrupt Liturgy:
All liturgy and litanies are for public use, c. Disrupt Worship Project (or DWP).  Confession:  Written by Sem. Kayla Sadowy and The Rev. Carla Christopher Wilson; Prayer of the Day:  Written by Rev. Collette Broady Grund; Blessing:  Written by Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings

Second Sunday of Advent

December 6, 2020

PRELUDE                                                                                                                

WELCOME

GATHERING HYMN         Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus           ELW# 254

Text:  Charles Wesley; Music:  W. Walker, Southern Harmony (Public Domain)

Arr. © 2006 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH

With voices rising, rising like incense,
We reach to you in hope, our God
We reach to you in hope, our God

It is hard, in these days, to have hope
To invest in things we do not understand
To believe in things we have not experienced
To trust that all will be well
But you, O God, are a keeper of promises
You promised to create a nation, and you did
You promised a savior, and you dwelt among us
You promised forgiveness, and you give it

We grasp for you in hope
We await your return with expectation
We look to the renewal of all things with joy
We prepare for you through acts of love

We reach for you in hope, our God
We reach for you in hope, our God
Your promise to be fulfilled

HYMN   Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah            ELW# 240 (Vs. 1 & 2)

Text:  Wayne L. Wold; Music:  Yiddish folk tune. Text © 1984 Fortress Press. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS

Jesus, who comes as new birth,
we have prepared for you
with comfortable traditions and humble requests.

We have memorialized your birth
as if it was a past act
and not the bold declaration of a living God.

We have rested in the safer hope of your work,
abandoning our call as co-creators of the Beloved Community,
harming your children with our ill-informed action and comfort-catering inaction.

All this we humbly confess.

Help us remember in this season of anticipation
that we prepare not only for you,
but because of you.

Challenge us to examine our intentions,
and to hold sacred both the act of preparing,
and the transforming justice love of the one who comes.  Amen

Christ has come so that we know there is forgiveness, and, in that, we find our true hope, our only peace, our source of joy, our capacity for love.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

GREETING May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
By the power of the Holy Spirit may we abound in hope
PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of the prophets, your voice cries out through your people, in wildernesses of all kinds. As your voice comforts and challenges us, remind us that our hope lies in your promise of wholeness and restoration. Through your Spirit, we pray. Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11

1Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
 that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid,
 that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

3A voice cries out:
 “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
  make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
  and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

6A voice says, “Cry out!”
  And I said, “What shall I cry?”
 All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.
7The grass withers, the flower fades,
  when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass.
8The grass withers, the flower fades;
  but the word of our God will stand forever.
9Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;
 lift up your voice with strength,
  O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear;
 say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”
10See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him;
 his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
11He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE                                                                                             Pastor Erik Roth

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

1You have been gracious to your | land, O Lord;
  you have restored the good for- | tune of Jacob.
2You have forgiven the iniquity | of your people
  and blotted out | all their sins.
8I will listen to what the Lord| God is saying;
  for you speak peace to your faithful people and to those who turn their | hearts to you.

9Truly, your salvation is very near to | those who fear you,
  that your glory may dwell | in our land. 
10Steadfast love and faithfulness have | met together;
  righteousness and peace have | kissed each other.
11Faithfulness shall spring up | from the earth,
  and righteousness shall look | down from heaven.
12The Lord will indeed | grant prosperity, and our land will | yield its increase.
13Righteousness shall go be- | fore the Lord
and shall prepare for | God a pathway. 

SECOND READING:  2 Peter 3:8-15a

8Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
11Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
14Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15aand regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS     Wait for the Lord        ELW# 262

Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.

Wait for the Lord: be strong, take heart!

Text:  Taizé Community; Music:  Jacques Berthier. Text and music © 1984 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION After each petition, all reply, Your mercy is great.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION            ELW Pg. 142

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Mark 1:1-8Glory to you, O Lord.

1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
 “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
  who will prepare your way;
3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
  ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
  make his paths straight,’ ”
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

*Reflections on the Scripture Reading                                                              Deacon Kari Olson

HYMN OF THE DAY    All Earth Is Hopeful                 ELW# 266

Text:  Alberto Taulé; tr. Madeleine Forell Marshall.  Music:  Albert Taulé. Spanish text and tune  © 1993 and tr. © 1995 Centro de Pastoral Litúrgica, admin. OCP Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

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.

OFFERING HYMN   Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne     Scott & Patty Chandler

Text:  Emily E.S. Elliott; Music:  Timothy R. Matthew. Public Domain

LORD’S PRAYER

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.

BLESSING May you find time for rest this season
May you create space to prepare
May the Lord our God fill you with hope
May Jesus Christ be ever present in your heart
May the Holy Spirit illuminate your way  Amen

SENDING HYMN   He Came Down                                        ELW# 253

Text:  Cameroon traditional (Public Domain). Music:  Cameroon traditional; arr. John L. Bell. Arr. © 1986 Iona Community, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

SENDING Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Thank you for worshipping with us today.

Pastor Erik Roth

Deacon Kari Olson

Twilla Ann Ahola, Piano

Scott & Patty Chandler, Cantors

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB140007.  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. 

Hope From Disrupt Liturgy:

All liturgy and litanies are for public use, c. Disrupt Worship Project (or DWP).  Confession:  Written by Sem. Kayla Sadowy and The Rev. Carla Christopher Wilson; Lighting of the Advent Wreath:  Written by Rev. Michelle Magee; Prayer of the Day:  Written by Rev. Collette Broady Grund; Blessing:  Written by Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings

Forgiveness:  Reprinted by permission of the publisher from Touch Holiness, ed. Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi.  Copyright © 1990 by The Pilgrim Press.

If you are in need of a Bible, ELW Hymnal, or Christ in Our Home devotional please call Our Savior’s Lutheran Church business office and we will gladly get them to you – 218-741-6207.

Messiah Lutheran Church’s Administrative Office hours are 9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m., Monday – Thursday.  If you are planning to stop by the office, please call

(218) 741-7057 before stopping by the church. Occasionally, we are out of the office for meetings or church errands.

For personal prayer, questions or needs, please call Deacon Kari Olson at Messiah Lutheran (218-290-5984) or Pastor Erik at Our Savior’s Lutheran

(218-404-0007).

November 29, 2020
First Sunday of Advent

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church ELCA
Pastor Erik Roth
Messiah Lutheran Church ELCA
Deacon Kari Olson

PRELUDE                                                                                              

WELCOME

GATHERING HYMN  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel     ELW# 257

Text:  Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710; tr. composite
Music:  French processional, 15th cent. (Public Domain)
Text sts. 2, 6, 7 © 1997 Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT WREATH
With voices rising, rising like incense
We pray to you in hope, our God
We pray to you in hope, our God

In you alone we hope
You who stir up your power to save
You who come down to us
Unbounded love put into flesh and bones

Being all powerful
Becoming most vulnerable
That is how you make true love known
You call us to awaken, see you all around us
In migrant mother, in homeless vet, in raised hands and held breath

We pray to you in hope, our God
We pray to you in hope, our God
You are our hope

HYMN    Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah        ELW# 240 (Vs. 1)
Light one candle to watch for Messiah:
let the light banish darkness.
He shall bring salvation to Israel,
God fulfills the promise.
Text:  Wayne L. Wold; Music:  Yiddish folk tune
Text © 1984 Fortress Press
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS
Jesus, who comes as new birth,
we have prepared for you
with comfortable traditions and humble requests.

We have memorialized your birth
as if it was a past act
and not the bold declaration of a living God.

We have rested in the safer hope of your work,
abandoning our call as co-creators of the Beloved Community,
harming your children with our ill-informed action and comfort-catering inaction.

All this we humbly confess.

Help us remember in this season of anticipation
that we prepare not only for you,
but because of you.

Challenge us to examine our intentions,
and to hold sacred both the act of preparing,
and the transforming justice love of the one who comes.  Amen


GREETING
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
By the power of the Holy Spirit may we abound in hope

PRAYER OF THE DAY
Give ear, O God in whom we hope, to our pleas for your help. Rend the heavens and come down, that we may see your great power and glory. Make us attentive to the signs of your coming, and wake us up anew to your presence, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9
1O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
  so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
2as when fire kindles brushwood
  and the fire causes water to boil—
 to make your name known to your adversaries,
  so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
  you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4From ages past no one has heard,
  no ear has perceived,
 no eye has seen any God besides you,
  who works for those who wait for him.
5You meet those who gladly do right,
  those who remember you in your ways.
 But you were angry, and we sinned;
  because you hid yourself we transgressed.
6We have all become like one who is unclean,
  and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,
  and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7There is no one who calls on your name,
  or attempts to take hold of you;
 for you have hidden your face from us,
  and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
  we are the clay, and you are our potter;
  we are all the work of your hand.
9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
  and do not remember iniquity forever.
  Now consider, we are all your people.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE Deacon Kari Olson

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph | like a flock;
  shine forth, you that are enthroned up- | on the cherubim.
2In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, | and Manasseh,
stir up your strength and | come to help us.
3Restore | us, O God;
  let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.
4O Lord| God of hosts,
how long will your anger fume when your | people pray?
5You have fed them with the | bread of tears;
  you have given them bowls of | tears to drink.
6You have made us the derision | of our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh | us to scorn.
7Restore us, O | God of hosts;
  let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.
17Let your hand be upon the one at | your right hand,
the one you have made so strong | for yourself.
18And so will we never turn a- | way from you;
  give us life, that we may call up- | on your name.
19Restore us, O Lord| God of hosts;
let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.

SECOND READING:  1 Corinthians 1:3-9
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

HYMN BEFORE THE PRAYERS  
Wait for the Lord      ELW# 262
Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord: be strong, take heart!
Text:  Taizé Community; Music:  Jacques Berthier
Text and music © 1984 Less Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
After each petition, all reply, Your mercy is great.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION    ELW Pg. 142

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Mark 13:24-37.  Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said:] 24“In those days, after that suffering,
 the sun will be darkened,
  and the moon will not give its light,
25and the stars will be falling from heaven,
  and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

*Reflections on the Scripture Reading  Pastor Erik Roth

HYMN OF THE DAY  Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying ELW# 436

Text and Music:  Philipp Nicolai; tr. composite
Text © 1999 Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

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.

OFFERING HYMN The Advent of Our God      Scott & Patty Chandler
Text:  Charles Coffin; translated by John Chandler, altered
Music:  Aaron Williams
Public Domain

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING
May you find time for rest this season
May you create space to prepare
May the Lord our God fill you with hope
May Jesus Christ be ever present in your heart
May the Holy Spirit illuminate your way  Amen

SENDING HYMN   Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers                              ELW# 244

Text:  Laurentius Laurenti; tr. Sarah B. Findlater
Music:  Swedish folk tune
Public Domain
SENDING
Go in peace. Prepare the way of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

November 22, 2020

Care for one another  ~ Share Christ’s Love
All are Welcome

Greetings

Opening Narration

            Often in our lives the celebration of a new year – a birthday, an anniversary, a new school term, a new calendar – provides a natural time of reflection.  We see ways that we are not the same as we were a year ago, and we think about how the events of the past year have shaped us.
            Today we celebrate Christ the King Sunday.  The wheel of our church year has come full circle, and we are poised on the eve of a new year.  Today we are invited to look back- to recall the stories of the seasons we have shared- and to turn with anticipation toward the year to come.  Today we are invited to reflect on how our encounter with the Word of the living God has shaped us.  For as we worship, we do more than remember: we enter into God’s story of redemption and new life.  We experience God’s saving action, and we are changed.
            And so on this day, we are invited not to sit back and relax as we begin our worship; rather, we are invited to enterin to the presence of the living Lord.  Through word and symbol, song and prayer, we join with the whole church – gathered here in this place and throughout all times and places- to worship and adore Jesus, our risen and exalted King!

+ Advent
Reading   Isaiah 11:1-10                                              
Symbol – the Advent wreath
Narration
Hymn  “Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn”  Vs. 1, 3, 4   ELW 242
Text: Marty Haugen, b. 1950 Music: Marty Haugen
Text and music © 1983 GIA Publications, Inc. Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted under #SB124425


+ Christmas
Reading Luke 2:1-20
Symbol-  Manger                  
Narration 
Hymn   “Joy to the World”  vs. 1 & 4   ELW 267
Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 Music: English melody, 18th cent.; arr. Lowell Mason, 1792-1872 . Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted under #SB124425

Epiphany
Reading  Isaiah 60:1-3                         
Symbol – lit candle
Narration
Hymn   “Christ, Be Our Light”   ELW 715
Text and music © 1993 Bernadette Farrell. Published by OCP Publications. Augsburg Fortress.
Reprinted under #SB124425

+ The Baptism of Our Lord
Symbol – water poured into font
Narration
Hymn  “Baptized and Set Free”  vs. 1& 2  ELW 453
Text and Music: Cathy Skogen-Soldner © 1999 Augsburg Fortress
Reprinted under #SB124425

+ The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Symbol – white cloth
Narration
Hymn “Shine, Jesus, Shine”   ELW 671
Tex and Musict: Graham Kendrick, b. 1950  © 1987 Make Way Music,
Reprinted under CCLI #2488679

LENT

+ Ash Wednesday

Responsive Reading  Psalm 51:1-13

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 
Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.                                     

Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. 
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.      

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.        
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.     

Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

Symbol – cross
Narration
Hymn “Change My Heart O God”  ELW 801
Tex and Musict: Eddie Espinosa, b. 1953 © 1982 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing
Reprinted under CCLI #2488679

+ Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday
Symbol – palm branch
Narration
Hymn  “Lamb of God” vs 1   ELW 336
Copyright 2020 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted under #SB124425

THE THREE DAYS

+ Maundy Thursday
Reading John 13:1-5, 12-17
Symbol – Basin and towel
Narration
Hymn “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love” vs 1 ELW 708
Text: Tom Colvin, 1925-2000, alt. Music: Ghanaian folk tune, adapt. Tom Colvin. © 1969 Hope Publishing Company. Reprinted under CCLI #2488679

+ Good Friday
Reading  Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Symbol – black cloth
Narration
Hymn “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” vs 1  ELW 335
Text: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820–1915 Music: William H. Doane, 1832–1915
Reprinted under CCLI #2488679

+ Vigil of Easter
Symbol – white cloth draped on cross
Narration

THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD

+ Easter
Reading Matthew 28:1-0
Symbol – Rock
Narration
Hymn “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” vs 1  ELW 365
Text: Latin carol, 14th cent., sts. 1–3; tr. J. Walsh, Lyra Davidica, 1708, alt.; Charles Wesley, 1707–1788, st. 4 Music: J. Walsh, Lyra Davidica, 1708 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted under #SB124425

+ The Ascension of our Lord
Symbol – Chalice and paten
Narration
Hymn “You Are Holy”   ELW 525
Text: Per Harling, b. 1948 Music: Per Harling © 1990 Ton Vis Produktion AB. Augsburg Fortress.
Repritned under #SB124425

Pentecost
Reading  Acts 2:1-4
Symbol – Red Cloth
Narration
Hymn     Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading, verse 1ELW 401
Text: Wilson Niwagila; tr. Howard S. Olson, b. 1922. Music: Wilson Niwagila; arr. Egil Hovland, b. 1924
English and Swahili text and tune © Lutheran Theological College, Makumira, Tanzania, Augsburg Fortress
Arr. © Egil Hovland. Reprinted under #SB124425

Time after Pentecost
Reading    John 15:1-5
Symbol – Plant
Narration

Prayers of the People
Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

The Gathering of the Gifts
The work of the Spirit among us leads us to offer our gifts, a sign of the giving or our whole selves in grateful response for all God’s gifts to us.

Offertory Prayer
Let us pray.  Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things. 
Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts: our selves, our time, and our possessions. Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

✚ CHRIST THE KING (Celebrating the Feast of Victory)
Reading   Luke 23:33-43
Narration
Hymn  “Crown Him with Many Crowns” vs 1, 3, 4   ELW 855
Text: Matthew Bridges, 1800-1894, sts. 1-3, 5; Godfrey Thring, 1823-1903, st. 4 Music: George J. Elvey, 1816-1893. Reprinted under #SB124425


Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who are in heaven hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heave.  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.

Blessing and Dismissal
Through every season of the year, therefore, we live under God’s blessing and to God’s praise!  May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord’s face shine on your and be gracious to you, the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Go in Peace.  Christ is with you.   Thanks be to God.

Postlude:  Beautiful Savior Kristen Weikum
Words: Public Domain Music: Arrangement by Nancy M. Raabe. Grace and Peac, Vol. 3. Augsburg Fortress 2009.  Reprinted with permission under license #SB124425               

CHRIST THE KING SUNDAY
The Festival of Christ the King was first celebrated in 1925, in the midst of the European political turmoil of the 1920’s and 1930’s. It was intended to proclaim God’s reign over a world wracked by one world war and facing another.That truth can still be proclaimed today. No human system is forever. No one can claim absolute allegiance. Only Christ is sovereign.

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425.  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.

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
November 8, 2020

Messiah Lutheran Church ELCA
Deacon Kari Olson

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church ELCA
Pastor Erik Roth
PRELUDE

WELCOME

GATHERING HYMN   O God, Our Help in Ages Past     ELW# 632
Text:  Isaac Watts, Music:  William Croft
Public Domain

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
in whose image we are made,
who claims us and calls us beloved.  Amen.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy One,
we confess that we are not awake for you.
We are not faithful in using your gifts.
We forget the least of our siblings.
We do not see your beautiful image in one another.
We are infected by sinthat divides your beloved community.

Open our hearts to your coming,
open our eyes to see you in our neighbor,
open our hands to serve your creation. Amen.

Beloved, we are God’s children,
and Jesus, our Beloved, opens the door to us.
Through ☩ Jesus you are forgiven,
by Jesus you are welcome, in Jesus you are called to rejoice!
Let us live in the promises prepared for us
from the foundation of the world.  Amen.

GREETING
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

KYRIE   ELW Pg. 203

HYMN OF PRAISE   ELW Pg. 204

PRAYER OF THE DAY 
O God of justice and love, you illumine our way through life with the words of your Son. Give us the light we need, and awaken us to the needs of others, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

FIRST READING:  Amos 5:18-24
18Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
  Why do you want the day of the Lord?
 It is darkness, not light;
19as if someone fled from a lion,
  and was met by a bear;
 or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
  and was bitten by a snake.
20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
  and gloom with no brightness in it?
21I hate, I despise your festivals,
  and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
  I will not accept them;
 and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
  I will not look upon.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
  I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
  and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE  Pastor Erik Roth

Psalm 70                                                        
1Be pleased, O God, to de- | liver me;
  O Lord, make | haste to help me.
2Let those who seek my life be put to shame | and confounded;
let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and | be disgraced. 
3Let those who say to me “Aha!” and gloat | over me
  turn back because | of their shame.
4Let all who seek you rejoice and be | glad in you;
let those who love your salvation say forever, “Great | is the Lord!”
5But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me quick- | ly, O God.
  You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, | do not tarry. 


SECOND READING:  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Word of God. Word of Life.  Thanks be to God.

HYMN BEFORE PRAYERS  Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying    ELW# 752

Text and Music:  Ken Medema
Text and music © 1973 Hope Publishing Company
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
After each petition, all reply, Your mercy is great.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION    ELW Pg. 205

GOSPEL:  The Holy Gospel, according to Matthew 25:1-13.  Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, O Christ.

*Reflections on the Scripture Reading   Deacon Kari Olson

HYMN OF THE DAY   When the Poor Ones   ELW# 725
Text:  José Antonio Olivar; tr. Martin A. Seltz
Music:  Miguel Manzano
Text and music © 1971, 1998 J.A. Olivar, Miguel Manzano, and San Pablo Internacional – SSP, admin. OCP Publications

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE A-704161.  All rights reserved.

APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead.*
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

OFFERING HYMN  We Give Thee but Thine Own   ELW# 686
Text:  William W. How, Music:  L. Mason and G. Webb, Cantica Lauda; Public Domain

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING 
May the God of all creation,
in whose image we are made,
who claims us and calls us beloved,
who strengthens us for service,
give you reason to rejoice and be glad!
The blessing of God,
Sovereign, ☩ Savior, and Spirit,
be with you today and always.  Amen.

SENDING HYMN  Lift Every Voice and Sing    ELW# 841
Text:  James W. Johnson, Music:  J. Rosamond Johnson
Public Domain

SENDING  Beloved of God, go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Thank you for worshipping with us today.

Pastor Erik Roth
Deacon Kari Olson
Twilla Ann Ahola, Piano
Scott & Patty Chandler, Cantors

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SB124425.  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. 

March 29, 2020

God day! Hope you were able to watch or listen in on our Sunday Worship this morning at 9:30am. We are broadcast live Sunday mornings on 1340AM KRBT, and can be viewed on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/oslcmn/) as well. The facebook video is available to view anytime you desire, just scroll down to find the video and click the play button. We are also on cable channel 5, Wed. & Thurs. at 4pm, Mon. & Fri. at 10am, and Saturdays at 4:30pm.

If you are not signed up to receive our Weekly Witness email just call the church office with your email address and we will add you to the list – it is sent out two times a week, and the Thursday or Friday’s edition will include the Bulletin’s order of worship with readings and hymns for you to follow along on Sundays, or to read at your own leisure.

We hope these resources make you feel connected during this time of social distancing; we are a church family, and can still worship and pray together! Also, you are invited to call the church office during the week 9:30am-4pm, with a prayer request for yourself or others, and to request to talk with Pastor Erik. If we are not in the office at the time of your call, just leave a detailed message and we will call you back as soon as we can.

May the Lord Bless you and your family~

Below are a few devotional links we think you will find to be of comfort for your personal prayer time as well:

God Pause devotions https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/

Daily Grace https://www.womenoftheelca.org/blog/category/daily-grace

Daily Bible Reading plan https://www.elca.org/Faith/DailyBible

Augsburg Fortress devotional https://go.augsburgfortress.org/augsburg-fortress-weekly-devotional

March 24, 2020

Good afternoon ~ We trust you and your loved ones are doing well, and remember, you can contact us here at the church (218-741-6207) if you want prayer and to talk with Pastor Erik.

This Sunday we were able to bring the service to you via radio broadcast on 1340 KRBT and also on facebook with Livestream. We will continue to offer our Sunday Worship Service to you with our radio broadcast, facebook and as usual, on public cable channel #5. Keep in mind, the television broadcast for the current Sunday doesn’t start until the following Wednesday evening or Thursday…

Pastor will also be offering a Devotional at 12 noon tomorrow (this was our original time for the Bible Study ~ it will be a devotional instead). Please join us on facebook at noon tomorrow and let us know how you are doing.

Two things that also may help you to worship at home ~ if you are not already signed up to receive our Weekly Witness Newsletter Email, call or email the church ([email protected]) and give us permission to add you to the list to receive it; we will send it out twice a week to keep you updated. The second tool you can use for worship at home is a Hymnal. Stop by the church during the day, Monday – Thursday, and sign out a Hymnal in the narthex at the main doors. A Hymnal will not only help you follow along during the service, you can read or sing Hymns for your own personal devotional or study time, and also read the Psalms, which start after page # 338.

We hope these resources help you in your personal worship as well as to join fellow congregants on Sunday mornings and throughout the week. We are going through this together ~ you are never alone. God Bless you~

OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPERIENCE OUR SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE:

Facebook at “Our Savior’s Lutheran Church – Virginia, MN ELCA” live Sunday mornings at 9:30AM, and as re-post anytime you hop on to facebook

KRBT 1340 AM Radio, live Sunday Mornings at 9:30am

Public Cable Channel # 5 – Sun. & Thurs. at 4pm, Mon. & Fri. at 10am, Sat. at 4:30pm. *The latest Sunday’s viewing will start the following Thursday.

Weekly Witness Email Newsletter: The format for the service in a full-bulletin-form will be sent in this newsletter at the end of each week.

March 19, 2020

Greetings and blessings to everyone~ Praying you are all staying healthy! This Sunday’s scripture readings will be: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41.

Starting next Wednesday, March 25th at 1pm, Pastor will facilitate the OSLC Bible Study on facebook, livestreaming. You are invited to watch; there will be opportunities to comment with each other during the study! Monday’s at 1pm (March 23) he will announce the scripture references and topic of study. Join us and stay connected!

We wish to provide many opportunities to worship together. You are invited to stop by the church and sign-up to grab a hymnal in our narthex for you & your family to follow along with Sunday’s Worship on 1340 AM @ 9:30am. The hymnals are on a cart just as you enter the church for your convenience, and the church doors will be open Mondays – Thursdays 9:30am – 4pm, call about Friday hours as we can schedule a time to make sure we are here for you. You can watch the last week’s service on Public Channel 5: Sun & Thurs @ 4pm, Mon & Fri @ 10am, Sat. @ 4:30pm. We will continue to televise Worship on this channel.

If you need to talk with Pastor personally, call him or the church office at 218-741-6207. You can also set up a video chat with him-he will give you the link to do so. Sometimes we just need to speak with someone personally, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Psalm 23:3 “You restore my soul, O Lord…” God Bless your day💝

March 18, 2020

Psalm 91:15 “When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.”

Church is not closed! We are only suspending corporate worship at this time. Please worship with us on the radio; it is a live broadcast at 9:30am Sundays on KRBT 1340AM, and during the TV broadcast times we have reserved (Cable channel 5 Sun. & Thurs. 4pm, Mon. & Fri. 10am, Sat. 4:30pm.)

The church is open during the week for the sake of the community. We are suspending gatherings at this time, but we are still committed to serving our neighbors. The sanctuary is open for personal prayer, and our staff is available for faith needs. If you would like to speak with Pastor Erik please feel free to call (218-741-6207) and we can set up a time for you to meet personally or online via video chat (we are utilizing an online program that will be easy for you to access).

This is a significant time for all people, especially church. There are many people in our community who are in desperate need. The church is called to hear and respond to those needs.  We need you to participate!  We are asking for specific items to be donated: non-perishable food, such as canned fruit & vegetables, boxed meals, cereal, infant formula and food, diapers, and fever medicine. We are especially asking for gift cards and cash that will only be used to address hunger needs. Food can be brought directly by you to the Little Pantry outside, or left on the bench outside the church’s main doors, or in the entryway of the church.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Isaiah 41:9b  “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 10 do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

In light of the threat of coronaviras we have suspended worship for at least next Sunday March 22nd.  As usual, we will be providing a worship service on the radio 1340 AM at 9:30 and we will continue to be church together for the sake of the world. The Church itself is still open. Thank you for your patience, your faithfulness and your prayers.

We will be taking some different approaches to pastoral care in the coming week. Pastor Erik will not be making hospital or care center visits to protect one another from the spread of viruses. We will be making phone calls, sending emails and writing notes checking in with the home bound and hospitalized. We ask that you reach out to us also, we are available to you in this time which can feel lonely, isolating and frightening. If you are in need of supplies, child care or other things, please call the church and we will work together for everyone’s health and well-being.

This is a difficult time for all, but it is also an opportunity for our congregation to connect and care for one another. Please reach out to those who you would sit by or visit with on a Sunday morning. Let’s be church together in this time social distancing.

God’s Peace~ Pastor Erik

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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