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September 10, 2017


AS WE GATHER… Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).  It is of great comfort that almighty God treats us as His dear children.  Yet while we rejoice in God’s tender mercy for us, today’s worship reminds us that God intends that same mercy for those around us, our family, our own children, and our brothers and sisters of the household of God.  As John said, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I John 4:11).  In other words, we who have received mercy are the very channels and messengers of that same mercy to others.  We bring God’s merciful forgiveness of sins to everyone!


After the ringing of the bell, the congregation is invited to prepare their hearts for worship in silence.



Choir Anthem                                         “Song of Gladness”



P:  In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

C:  Amen

P:  Thus says he Lord God:  I will seek the lost.

C:  We thank You, O Lord!

P:  Will bring back the strayed.

C:  We adore You, O Lord! 

P:  I will bind up the injured.

C:  We praise You, O Lord! 

P:  I will strengthen the weak.

C:  We worship You, O Lord! 



P:  Brothers and sisters, we gather together as the baptized children of God. Let us come to Him admitting our need of Him and asking His forgiveness.

A time of silence is observed.

P:  We confess,

C:  Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we, Your children, admit to You our waywardness.  We have sinned against You in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds.  We do not deserve Your love.  Yet by Your own promise we dare to come before You asking Your grace.  Forgive us our sins, gather us as Your own children, and give us Your love and life.  Amen. 

P:  “Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Having admitted your need for God’s forgiveness, I, as a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority, forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C:  Amen. 


HYMN OF PRAISE                                                        “Shine Jesus Shine”

  1. Lord, the Light of Your love is shining

        In the midst of the darkness shining;

        Jesus, Light of the World, shine upon us.

        Set us free by the truth You now bring us.

        Shine on me, shine on me. – Refrain


Refrain:  Shine, Jesus, shine,

               Fill this land with the Father’s glory;

               Blaze, Spirit, blaze,

               Set our hearts on fire.

               Flow, river flow,

               Flood the nations with grace and mercy.

               Send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light.


  1. Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,

        From the shadows into Your radiance;

        By the blood I may enter Your brightness,

        Search me, try me, consume all my darkness,

        Shine on me, shine on me.  – Refrain 


  1. As we gaze on Your kingly brightness,

        So our faces display Your likeness;

        Ever changing from glory to glory,

        Mirror’d here may our lives tell Your story,

        Shine on me, shine on me. – Refrain



P:  Let us Pray…You O Lord, tirelessly seek the lost and the strayed.

C:  We praise You for finding us, welcoming us, and redeeming us. 

P:  Help us never to take Your mercy for granted,

C:  And guide us to join You in welcoming those who are lost or straying;

P:  through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  Amen.



FIRST LESSON:                                                                        Ezekiel 33:7-9

Ezekiel is Israel’s watchman.

“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.


SECOND LESSON:                                                                Romans 13:1-10

Submission to authorities

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.




GOSPEL:                                                                              Matthew 18:1-20

Who is the greatest? 

Who is the greatest?

  At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”


SERMON HYMN –                                                            “In Christ Alone”

In Christ alone my hope is found,

His is my light, my strength, my song;

This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,

When fears are still, when strivings cease!

My Comforter, my All in All,

Here in the love of Christ I stand.


In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,

Fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness,

Scorned by the ones He came to save:

Till on the cross as Jesus died,

The wrath of God was satisfied –

For every sin on Him was laid;

Here in the death of Christ I live.


There in the ground His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain:

Then bursting forth in glorious Day

Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,

For I am His and He is mine –

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.


No guilt in life, no fear in death,

This is the power of Christ in me’

From life’s first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till he returns or calls me home,

Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!




C:  I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

      Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

      Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

      Born of the virgin Mary,

      Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

      Was crucified, died and was buried.

      He descended into hell.

      The third day He rose again from the dead.

      He ascended into heaven

      And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

      From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

      The holy Christian Church,

              The communion of saints,

      The forgiveness of sins,

      The resurrection of the body,

      And the life + everlasting.  Amen. 






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

P:  Gracious Father, we believe that without Your Son, we are dead in our trespasses and overcome by our own sinful desires.  Be merciful to us and help us to keep Jesus as the center of our lives.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  Grant us true humility as little children.  Deliver us from temptation and keep us in the faith.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  We pray for all the little ones who believe in You, the youngest members of our congregation as well as those of every generation who are called Your children.  Bless parents, pastors, and teachers to teach Your truth and Your ways, that we may grow in Christ’s forgiveness and live as Your children.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  Give to us such love that cares for one another that we call those who sin to repentance in order to joyfully speak Your forgiveness.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  As the governing authorities receive their authority from You, so teach us to obey all God-pleasing directives.  Provide us with wise rulers to make, administer, and judge our laws for the benefit and peace of all.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  Gracious Father, fill us with care for the members of our earthly families and especially those of the family of faith.  We thank you for our special spiritual family at Peace and pray that You would lead us in our Sunday School efforts this year.  We also pray for those with illness and trouble.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer. 

P:  Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy.  We pray these things through Your Son, Jesus, our Lord.

C:  Amen. 



CLOSING HYMN – “On Our Way Rejoicing”                                    LBW 260

On our way rejoicing Gladly let us go.

Christ our Lord has conquered; Vanquished is the foe.

Christ without, our safety; Christ within, our joy;

Who, if we be faithful Can our hope destroy?

REFRAIN: On our way rejoicing; as we forward move,

Hearken to our praises, O blest God of love!

Unto God the Father Joyful songs we sing;

Unto God the Savior Thankful hearts we bring;

Unto God the Spirit Bow we and adore,

On our way rejoicing Now and evermore.