Prelude – My Song is Love Unknown
Greeting and Welcome
Lighting of the Candles
Hymn of Invocation – Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (LSB 803)
Joyful, joyful we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love!
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Praising Thee, their sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the gloom of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day.
All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird, and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean-depth of happy rest!
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Fountainhead of love divine:
Joyful, we Thy heav’n inherit!
Joyful, we by grace are Thine!
+ Preparation +
P: In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Opening Sentences – Psalm 95:1–3a, 6–7
P: Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
C: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
P: Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving!
C: For the Lord is a great God.
P: Oh come, let us worship and bow down.
C: For He is our God,
P: and we are the people of His pasture,
C: and the sheep of His hand.
Confession and Absolution
P: Indeed, our heavenly Father has called us to be His people. He has led us to green pastures and still waters. Yet, there have been times when we have treated our fellow sheep with disdain, when we have wandered away from our Shepherd. But our Good Shepherd does not abandon us, and we confess our sins before Him and one another.
Silence for reflection
P: Heavenly Father,
C: we confess that we have wandered away from You. We confess that we have acted shamefully toward our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have sinned in our thoughts, words, and actions. We have failed by our inactivity. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, O Lord, that we might follow You to the green pastures and still waters of everlasting life.
P: Our heavenly Father has heard Your confession and sent His only Son, Jesus, to be our Good Shepherd. Jesus searches for each one of His sheep. He brings back those who have strayed. He binds up the injured. He even lays down His life for the sheep. By Christ’s death and resurrection, God forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen. We are sought by our Shepherd. We are forgiven in Christ.
+ Word +
First Reading – Psalm 55:1–8, 16–17
Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness;
I would hurry to find a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest.”
But I call to God, and the LORD will save me.
evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.
Epistle – 1 Corinthians 15:20–28
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
P: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.
Holy Gospel – Matthew 25:31-46
P: The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the twenty-fifth chapter.
C: Glory to You, O Lord.
[Jesus said:] “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to You, O Christ.
Children’s Hymn – God Loves Me Dearly (LSB 392)
God loves me dearly, grants me salvation,
God loves me dearly, loves even me. Refrain
Refrain: Therefore I’ll say again: God loves me dearly,
God loves me dearly, loves even me.
He sent forth Jesus, my dear Redeemer,
He sent forth Jesus, and set me free. Refrain
Hymn of the Day – The Lamb (LSB 547)
The Lamb, the Lamb,
O Father, where’s the sacrifice?
Faith sees, believes
God will provide the Lamb of price! Refrain
Refrain: Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me His own!
The Lamb is reigning on His throne!
He sighs, He dies,
He takes my sin and wretchedness.
He lives, forgives,
He gives me His own righteousness. Refrain
He rose, He rose,
My heart with thanks now overflows.
His song prolong
Till ev’ry heart to Him belong. Refrain