Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Fourth Sunday of Easter - 10:30 a.m.

The livestream may be found here.

April 25, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

The Fourth Sunday of Easter



The color white, used for the vestments and paraments in Easter, represents the light of Christ’s resurrection, as well as the light in which those in Christ are to walk.


The season of Easter is 50 days long, as our joy in the resurrection will last far longer than our season of sorrow. The paschal candle, sign among us of the resurrection of Christ, is lighted each Sunday in Eastertide. As we have fasted from the Alleluia in Lent, we feast upon it in Easter.


FIRST READING: Peter boldly preaches even to those in authority who gave the orders to have Jesus crucified. What a change in a man who denied even knowing the Lord in the courtyard of the high priest! The reason: Peter is ‘filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Peter’s faith is strengthened so that he can testify to the Resurrection. Our faith comes through hearing the Gospel which he and the other apostles preached, which is recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures.


SECOND READING: In our Gospel reading, Jesus is emphatic that he himself lays down his life of his own accord and that it is not ‘taken’ from him. His cross and death, even though imposed upon him, are willingly embraced by him, and in that sense he himself ‘chooses’ them as the way through which the world will be saved. He ‘takes up his life’ again so that he may continue to shepherd and protect his flock. The first letter of John sees Jesus’ laying down of his life as an example for us - we should lay down our lives for one another, as Christ did for us. This does not usually involve death, but does involve living one’s life as a life of service.


GOSPEL: Jesus describes the good shepherd as one who both gathers the sheep into one flock and protects them from danger. Jesus lays down his life not only for those people who walked with him during his earthly life, but also for those who come after, who believe in him through the testimony of the apostles. Another interpretation is that the ‘other sheep who do not belong to this fold’ are Gentiles, who will be brought into fellowship with Jews who believe in Jesus.



Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played:


Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing!

I.                    Paul Manz

II.                  Flor Peeters


1      Good Christian friends, rejoice and sing!

        Now is the triumph of our king!

        To all the world glad news we bring:

        Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


2      The Lord of life is ris'n this day;

        Bring flow’rs of song to strew his way;

        let all the world rejoice and say:

        Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


3      Praise we in songs of victory

        that love, that life, which cannot die,

        and sing with hearts uplifted high:

        Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


4     Your name we bless, O risen Lord,

        and sing today with one accord,

        the life laid down, the life restored:

        Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


Text: Cyril A. Alington, 1872-1955, alt.


                                THE HOLY COMMUNION



In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.




Alleluia! Christ is risen!

  He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

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.



In peace, let us pray to the Lord.                                 Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,

and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.       Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,

for the well-being of the Church of God,

and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.    Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house,

and for all who offer here their worship and praise,

let us pray to the Lord.                                                   Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort and defend us, gracious Lord.                       Amen



This is the feast of victory for our God.



Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,

  whose blood set us free to be people of God.

Power and riches and wisdom and strength,

  and honor and blessing and glory are his.

Sing with all the people of God

  and join in the hymn of all creation:

Blessing and honor and glory and might

  be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen.


This is the feast of victory for our God,

  for the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Alleluia.




The Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


God of lasting love, fulfill your plan of salvation

to gather into one fold the peoples of the whole world.

  Let everyone on earth recognize your Christ as the Good Shepherd,

  who freely lays down his life for all to take it up again in power.

Grant this through Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




The sheep will listen to his voice;

so shall there be one flock, one shepherd.                                    John 10:16                                        

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                                               Acts 4:5-12



5The next day [the] rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”


The Word of the Lord.                  

  Thanks be to God.



Read responsively between pastor and congregation.


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.                                  (vs. 1)

  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.   


1 The Lord | is my shepherd;* I shall not | be in want.

2 He makes me lie down | in green pastures*

                and leads me be- | side still waters.

3 He re- | vives my soul*

                and guides me along right pathways | for his name's sake.

4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I shall | fear no evil;*

                for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they | comfort me.

5 You spread a table before me in the presence

of those who | trouble me;*

                you have anointed my head with oil,

and my cup is | running over.

6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days | of my life,*

                and I will dwell in the house of the | Lord forever.


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.   


SECOND READING                                                                    1 John 3:16-24


16We know love by this, that [Jesus Christ] laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
18Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.
23And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

24All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.


The Word of the Lord.                                                            Thanks be to God.



VERSE                 Romans 6:9; John 10:14                   Setting by Carl Schalk

Sung by the Cantor                            

Alleluia. Christ being raised from the dead will die no more; death has no more dominion over him. Alleluia. I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me. Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                             John 10:11-18


The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said:] 11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.





HYMN OF THE DAY                                                 Have No Fear, Little Flock!




1              Have no fear, little flock;

                have no fear, little flock,

                for the Father has chosen

                to give you the kingdom;

                have no fear, little flock!



2              Have good cheer, little flock;

                have good cheer, little flock,

                for the Father will keep you

                in his love forever;

                have good cheer, little flock!



3              Praise the Lord high above;

                praise the Lord high above,

                for he stoops down to heal you,

                uplift and restore you;

                praise the Lord high above!



4             Thankful hearts raise to God;

                thankful hearts raise to God,

                for he stays close beside you,

                in all things works with you;

                thankful hearts raise to God!


Text: Luke 12:32, st. 1; Marjorie Jilson, b. 1931, sts. 2-4

Text © 1973 Concordia Publishing House





The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Nicene Creed.


X At the words ‘For us and for our salvation,’ and continuing through ‘and was made man,’ a solemn bow is appropriate to praise the incarnation of our Lord.


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.

                X For us and for our salvation

                                he came down from heaven;

                                by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,  and was made man. X


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.

                With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

                He 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



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


Silence is kept.


Good and gentle Jesus, shepherd your Church, for whom you laid down your life to take it up again. Lead us into paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Shepherd this congregation, that we may love one another as you have commanded us; not in word or speech, but in truth and action. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Shepherd the pastors of your Church, that through their ministry many may hear the voice of the Gospel and be gathered into the one fold. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Guide our public servants and those who work for peace, justice, health, and protection in this and every place. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Give strength and wisdom to all who work the land and who care for the flocks and herds, that they may be given a just return for their labor and that through them we may know your bounty and provision. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Comfort with your rod and staff those in any need of body, mind, or spirit, and especially these for whom we have been charged to pray.


The people offer spoken or silent intercessions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,
  hear our prayer. 


Be with all those who walk in the valley of the shadow of death, and comfort them with the promise of your pleasant pastures, as we walk together into your future of peace and joy. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.

Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.





On the first day of the week,

Jesus came to the apostles

and said to them: ‘Peace be with you.’

  Then they were glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.  John 20:19, 20

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  Ezekiel 34:11-13                         Setting by Carl Schalk

Sung by the Cantor

Alleluia. The Lord God says, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel. Alleluia.



Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation;

in your loving care you give us the bread of life to eat

and the cup of salvation to drink.

Keep us always in the fold of our Savior and Shepherd:

your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.





The Lord be with you.                                   

  And also with you.                     

Lift up your hearts.                                         

  We lift them to the Lord.                        

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                                  

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.


  It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and ever-living God.

  But chiefly are we bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of our Lord; for he is the Good Shepherd who laid down his life in order to take it up again; who gathers into one fold the peoples of the earth and protects them from all evil, so they may live the life you intended for them.

  And so with Mary Magdalene and Peter and all the witnesses of the resurrection; with earth and sea and all their creatures, and with angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, holy, holy LORD, God of power and might!

                Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

                Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

                Hosanna in the highest!


Holy God, mighty Lord, gracious Father:

                Endless is your mercy and eternal your reign.

You have filled all creation with light and life;

                heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Through Abraham you promised to bless all nations.

                You rescued Israel, your chosen people.

Through the prophets you renewed your promise;

                and, at this end of all the ages, you sent your Son,

                who in words and deeds proclaimed your kingdom

                and was obedient to your will, even to giving his life.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

                our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

                broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup

                we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


Therefore, gracious Father, with this bread and cup

                we remember the life our Lord offered for us.

And, believing the witness of his resurrection,

we await his coming in power

                to share with us the great and promised feast.

  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit,

                the spirit of our Lord and of his resurrection,

                that we who receive the Lord's body and blood

                may live to the praise of your glory

                and receive our inheritance with all your saints in light.

  Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.


Join our prayers with those of your servants

of every time and every place,

                and unite them with the ceaseless petitions

                of our great high priest until he comes as victorious Lord of all. 


Through him, with him, in him,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honor and glory is yours,

almighty Father, now and forever. Amen


Christ is in our midst.

By the power of the Spirit,

we pray to his Father, saying:


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


Alleluia. The Good Shepherd spreads a table before us.

  Gentle Jesus, in you our cup overflows. Alleluia.                       Psalm 23:5



AGNUS DEI (Lamb of God)           Sung by the cantor.


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.





Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated, and please do not remove your mask until you have reached the table with the elements on it.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated. Please put your mask on before returning to your seat.


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.


I Know That My Redeemer Lives!


1      I know that my Redeemer lives!

        What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

        He lives, he lives, who once was dead;

        he lives, my ever-living head!


2      He lives triumphant from the grave;

        he lives eternally to save;

        he lives exalted, throned above;

        he lives to rule his church in love.


3      He lives to grant me rich supply;

        he lives to guide me with his eye;

        he lives to comfort me when faint;

        he lives to hear my soul's complaint.


4     He lives to silence all my fears;

        he lives to wipe away my tears;

        he lives to calm my troubled heart;

        he lives all blessings to impart.

5      He lives to bless me with his love;

        he lives to plead for me above;

        he lives my hungry soul to feed;

        he lives to help in time of need.


6      He lives, my kind, wise, heav'nly friend;

        he lives and loves me to the end;

        he lives, and while he lives, I'll sing;

        he lives, my prophet, priest, and king!


7      He lives and grants me daily breath;

        he lives, and I shall conquer death;

        he lives my mansion to prepare;

        he lives to bring me safely there.


8      He lives, all glory to his name!

        He lives, my Savior, still the same;

        what joy this blest assurance gives:

        I know that my Redeemer lives!


Text: Samuel Medley, 1738-1799, alt.


After all have returned to their places, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.



Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and will be forever. Amen                                 Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)


We give you thanks, almighty God,

that you have refreshed us

through the healing power of this gift of life;

and we pray that in your mercy

you would strengthen us through this gift,

in faith toward you and fervent love toward one another;

for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.






Alleluia. Christ is risen.

  He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope

  through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Though we do not see him, we love him;

  We believe in him

  and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.     1 Peter 1:3, 8

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

  He is risen indeed. Alleluia.


Dismissal Gospel: John 11:25, 26

The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said:] ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’                                                                          


The Gospel of the Lord.

  Praise to you, O Christ.



The God of peace – who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant – make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. 

  Amen                                                                                                  Hebrews 13:20-21


Almighty God, Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

  Thanks be to God!


Sun/ Apr 25        WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM

Wed/ Apr 28      Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM

                                ZOOM Bible Study 7:30 PM

Sat/ May 1            NA Meeting 11 AM

                                SATURDAY EVENING WORSHIP 6:30 PM

                                Food Bank

Sun/ May 2         WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM

                        Food Bank                         






From Sundays and Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

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.

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included in this

service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2006.

Prayer of the Day from Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language,

copyright 1997 International Commission on English in the Liturgy. All rights reserved.

Kathleen Peterson, Other Sheep.
Cranach, Lucas, 1515-1586. Christ as the good shepherd, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 19, 2021]. Original source:

                               Agnus Day appears with the permission of