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Strengthening Peace:

“The Fruit of the Spirit is Love & Joy”

April 19, 2020

AS WE GATHER… “How we label people affects our love for them.” So often when we label people, we set up a “we/they” scenario. This only divides rather than uniting us all together as God desires. Jesus never labelled. This explains why he loved people so much. He entered homes that he probably should not have entered. He touched people that he shouldn’t have even come close to. We are reminded today that Jesus loves us—we are baptized into his name! Renewed and strengthened, we now love others without labelling.  


OPENING HYMN LBW 448                   Amazing Grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares

I have already come;

‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me;

His Word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be

As long as life endures.

FIRST LESSON:                      1 Corinthians 13:1-13

“The Greatest of these is Love.”

Reader: The First Lesson is from the First Chapter of First Corinthians.

Reader: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!  

GOSPEL:                                      John 10:14-18

“Jesus is the Good Shepherd”

Reader: The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the Tenth Chapter.

Reader: I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ.

Message: “Love”


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

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

And born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.  On the third day he rose again. 

He ascended into heaven, and  is seated at the right hand of the Father. 

He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints,

The forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.


Pastor:     Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

We pray for the whole Christian Church, that the peace of God dwell upon it and that the Spirit of God work through it. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:   hear our prayer.

Pastor:     We pray for the nations of the world and for the men and women entrusted with their leadership, that wisdom may be given them in this trying time. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:   hear our prayer.

Pastor:     We pray for this congregation, that all of its members dwell together in unity even while we are apart. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:   hear our prayer.

Pastor:     We pray for all healthcare workers as they work against the pandemic, that you would bless their work and keep them safe as they work to keep us safe. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:   hear our prayer.

Pastor:     We pray for those whose lives are in need of a special measure of peace and comfort: the sick and the hospitalized, [including . . .], and those who are experiencing changes and challenges, including the unemployed, those who are relocating to new situations, and the elderly, as they face each new day. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:   hear our prayer.

Pastor:     For all the saints called now to Your eternal presence, Lord, we give You thanks. Grant that we be blessed by the heritage of faith they have left to us in our time. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:   hear our prayer. Amen.


People:    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.

        Save us from the time of trial

        And deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.

People: Amen.


Pastor: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.

People: Amen.