Worship Outline and Sermon 

Worship Outline: May 12, 2024, Seventh Sunday of Easter (Service of the Word)

The gospel for Easter’s seventh Sunday is always taken from the long prayer Jesus prays for his followers in John’s gospel on the night before his death, and always includes Jesus’ desire that his followers will be one as he and the Father are one. This oneness is not mere doctrinal agreement or institutional unity, but mutual abiding, interpenetrating life, mutual love, and joy. This oneness is the work of the Spirit whom we have received but also await. Come, Holy Spirit!


(*=stand, as able)


Time for Quiet Reflection and Prayer




Welcome and Announcements


*Opening Song For the Beauty of the Earth ( # 879)


For the beauty of the earth,

For the beauty of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies:



Christ, our God to thee we raise

This our sacrifice of praise.


For the wonder of each hour

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale and tree and flow’r,

Sun and moon and stars of light:



For the joy of ear and eye,

For the heart and mind’s delight,

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight:



For the joy of human love,

Brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth and friends above;

For all gentle thoughts and mild:



For each perfect gift of thine,

Peace on earth and joy in heav’n;

For thyself, best gift divine,

To our world so freely giv’n:



(Text: Folliott S. Pierpoint, alt. Music: Conrad Kocher. Text and music: public domain.)



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.


*Canticle of Praise Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying (# 752)


Lord, listen to your children praying,

Lord, send your Spirit in this place;

Lord, listen to your children praying,

Send us love, send us pow’r, send us grace.


(Text and music: Ken Medema. © 1973, Hope Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)

*Prayer of the Day

Gracious and glorious God, you have chosen us as your own, and by the powerful name of Christ you protect us from evil. By your Spirit transform us and your beloved world, that we may find our joy in 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: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

In the days between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, Peter oversees the process whereby one of the members of the community of believers is chosen to be the twelfth apostle, in order to fill the vacancy created by Judas’s treachery and death.

  15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, 16“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—17for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 21So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

      The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hymn Yours, Lord, Is the Glory (# 849)


Yours, Lord, is the glory,

And honour as well;

Yours, Lord, now and always.

Amen, amen.


Yours, Lord, the dominions,

And power as well;

Yours, Lord, now and always.

Amen, amen.


To you I surrender

My being, my life;

All, Lord, I surrender.

Amen. Amen.         

Glory in the highest,

And on earth as well.

Glory, alleluia.

Amen, amen.


(Text: Traditional; tr. Gerhard M. Cartford. © 1998, Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved. Music: Traditional, public domain.)


Second Reading: 1 John 5:9-13

God has borne witness to the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in the Son of God believes in the witness of God and has the promise of eternal life.

  9If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 10Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

      The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


*Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. I will not leave you orphaned, says the Lord. I am coming to you. Alleluia. (John 14:18)


*Gospel: John 17:6-19

The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.

In this reading the church hears Jesus’ words on the night before his death—his prayer for his disciples and for all who would believe in him through their words.

  [Jesus prayed:] 6“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

      The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.


Sermon – Pastor Matthew


*Hymn of the Day Lord, Be Glorified  (# 744)


In my life, Lord, be glorified, be glorified;

In my life, Lord, be glorified today.


In our song, Lord, be glorified, be glorified;

In our song, Lord, be glorified today.


In your church, Lord, be glorified, be glorified;

In your church, Lord, be glorified today.


In your world, Lord, be glorified, be glorified;

In your world, Lord, be glorified today.

(Text and music: Bob Kilpatrick. © 1978 Bob Kilpatrick, assigned 1998 to Lorenz Corporation. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)

*Prayers of Intercession

Rejoicing that Jesus is risen and love has triumphed over fear, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need of good news.

A brief silence.

You gather us together. Be with the people, clergy, and leaders of the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Ev. Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Help them to witness in a difficult time and bring peace and reconciliation to the area in which they live and serve. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your creation groans under the strain of pollution. Preserve melting glaciers and dwindling forests. Bolster those who work for climate justice and help us all to be good and faithful stewards of your creation. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your people seek wisdom, understanding, and peace. Guide all those who govern and inspire them to work on behalf of the most vulnerable in our midst. Keep safe first responders, those serving in the military, and those whose duty it is to protect others. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your children need your loving care. Protect them from all harm. Support those who grieve and bring solace to those near death. Comfort those in any affliction and all who ask for prayer, including ... God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your Spirit lives within us here. Bless all the mothers in our midst, console those for whom this day is difficult, and gather us all under the care of your loving wings. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You walk among us even when we are unaware.  Listen now to our silent prayers … God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your saints dwell with you in light. Keep us ever thankful for those who have gone before us in faith. Inspire us by their witness. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Into your hands, most merciful God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your abiding love; through Jesus Christ, our resurrected and living Lord.



Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray:

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.




Offering Prayer

Risen One, you call us to believe and bear fruit. May the gifts that we offer here be signs of your abiding love. Form us to be your witnesses in the world, through Jesus Christ, our true vine. Amen.


Installation of Treasurer 



The God of resurrection power, the Christ of unending joy, and the Spirit of Easter hope bless you now and always. 



*Sending Song This Little Light of Mine (# 677)


This little light of mine,

I’m goin’a let it shine;

This little light of mine,

I’m goin’a let it shine;

This little light of mine,

I’m goin’a let it shine,

Let it shine, let shine, let it shine.


Ev’rywhere I go,

I’m goin’a let it shine;

Ev’rywhere I go,

I’m goin'a let it shine;

Ev’rywhere I go,

I’m goin'a let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Jesus gave it to me,

I’m goin’a let it shine;

Jesus gave it to me,

I’m goin’a let it shine;

Jesus gave to me,

I’m goin’a let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


(Text: African American spiritual, public domain. Music: African American spiritual; arr. Horace Clarence Boyer. © Horace Clarence Boyer, admin Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)



Go in peace. Rejoice and be glad!

Thanks be to God.




From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2024 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Sermon: May 12, 2024, Seventh Sunday of Easter

Seventh Sunday of Easter                           B                              2024/05/12

Text: Acts 1:26

       For those of you hoping to be a millionaire after the hospital’s next 50/50 draw, I have some good news.  Our reading from Acts has evidence that none other than the eleven disciples gambled, and with the Holy Spirit’s guidance:  ‘they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthais’.  Now, however, comes the bad news: unless you’re waiting for Mr. Craig to tell you that your prize is to become the 12th apostle, taking the place of Judas, it’s not the same thing.  Still, I believe that this story, coupled with Jesus’ prayer in our reading from John, tells each of us that, through Christ, we already are winners.  Not dependent on buying a ticket, or drawing lots, but through God’s grace, our Saviour offers us a prize, as it were. Alive within us, it can continue to bring hope to the world.

       The beginning verses of the 17th chapter of John, heard last year on this Sunday, set the stage for what we hear today. Anticipating his death, in the chapters before this Jesus has shared words of encouragement, assurance, and love, Now, ‘knowing that his time has come’, we hear that he ‘looks toward heaven’, and offers this final prayer.

He begins by confidently sharing with the Father ‘that he has extended eternal life to all whom God has given him and that he has glorified, made known, God’s presence, ‘by finishing the work God gave him to do’  ‘Eternal life’, as Jesus explains it in John, is ‘not about immortality or the afterlife. Rather’ [as writer Veronica Miles] puts it, it is ‘about the kingdom of God, a God-infused reality taking shape in the present’, revealed in Jesus’ life and ministry. (WP)

       In the section of his prayer that we hear this year, Jesus focuses his petitions on those who believe, those who have seen and heard God through him.  He asks that they be able to ‘take up his vision’, and to share the truth that he has shared.  This, he understands ‘will place them at odds with the powers and principalities’ of the day. 

So, then, again says Miles, Jesus makes four requests on their behalf. ‘First, he asks God to protect them from fragmentation so that they will remain one in heart, purpose, and intent, and that they will come to know themselves as one body, one communion, one fellowship, despite their many differences’. ‘Second, he prays that the joy he has known will be made complete or full in those who know him.  He desires that they will experience such delight and joy in doing the work of the ministry that it fills every hollow space, so that the worldly enticements will no longer hold sway over them.  Then … Jesus asks God to ‘protect them from the evil one’…the evil one is the embodiment of all that is opposed to God. ‘Finally, Jesus prays, ‘Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth’….Jesus asks God to set them apart for the work of the ministry, to embolden and empower them to bear witness to the word of truth they have received even as the world seeks to negate and inhibit their proclamation and practices of faith’.

       This continues to Jesus’ prayer for you and me. Through Christ, each of us has received the same call, gift, from God. In the final verses of this prayer, which we will hear on this Sunday next year, Jesus adds, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me’.(20f).  We hear Jesus calling us to go out into the world to share God’s presence, God’s word of forgiveness and new life.   We continue the ministry taken up by Matthais that day, called out to proclaim the good news.

       In this journey of faith, we, unfortunately, do not have the example of Matthais himself. There is no further mention of him in the New Testament.  Some accounts of him preaching exist, but they differ on where it happened.  The one thing they agree on is that, as Jesus feared, he was hated by the world, dying some type of martyr’s death. For this, our church calendar remembers him on May 14. About Joseph Barsabbas, Justus, we know even less, although it seems he suffered the same fate.

Likewise, we do not always know what forms our witness might take.  It will not always be welcomed by those who receive it. Sometimes, the opposition to God’s word will also arise from within us.  Being called Jesus’ friends, as we heard last week, will not always seem like a prize. Instead, it can come to feel like a burden to be cast aside, or a treasure to be hidden. 

In the midst of these struggles, life’s ups and downs, Jesus continues to pray for us and continues to share with us the vision of God’s presence in the world. The church season of Easter might soon be over. Yet its good news represents not an ending but an ongoing beginning. Even as the promise of Creator’s love revealed in Christ continues, so can our witness. The work of Matthais, of Justus, is not yet over.  There is more for us to do, taking up the tasks from those who first heard Jesus’ word, so that others might also hear and believe, and receive new life.

Christ is risen, he is risen indeed.  Chosen not by lot, but through love, we rise up to follow.