Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Third Sunday after Pentecost, 9:30 a.m.

The livestream may be found here.

June 13, 2021, 9:30 a.m.

The Third Sunday after Pentecost


‘The kingdom of God…is like a mustard seed’ (Mark 4:30, 31)




The color green, used for the vestments and paraments for the Sundays after Pentecost, represents growth and life in the Holy Spirit.


FIRST READING: Obviously, Ezekiel is not implying that God is going to come down from heaven, break a twig from the top of a cedar tree, and plant it that it may become a large cedar tree. Rather, just as a forest is renewed and grows, so God will renew his people and they will grow in righteousness and holiness. Israel, which seemed at the time to have exhausted her religious, communal, and historical possibilities, will be rejuvenated.


SECOND READING: We look at the world by faith, not by sight. We look not at each other’s sins, but instead at the holiness which God has given to us and intends for us fully in heaven. We view death not as an end, but as a beginning of a transformed life. If anyone is in Christ, there is new creation, for the individual, the community, and the world.


GOSPEL: The parable of the sower and the seed and the parable of the mustard seed show us that the kingdom of God does not come complete in itself. Rather it comes in embryonic form and grows; as a seed takes root, grows, and sprouts, so does the kingdom of God grow among people and in people. The kingdom seems a trifling thing, small and weak and unnoticed, invisible but coming to visibility and maturity in its time. When the fullness of the kingdom has arrived, the harvest takes place: presumably, the revelation of Jesus as Lord of the world. For each of us, we harvest at our death what God has sown in us and brought forth in life (1 Cor. 15:35-44, Gal. 6:7-9)


In Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes: ‘It is striking what a significant role the image of the seed plays in the whole of Jesus’ message. The time of Jesus, the time of the disciples is the time of the sowing of the seed. The ‘Kingdom of God’ is present in seed form. Observed from the outside, the seed is something miniscule. It is easy to overlook. The mustard seed – the image of the kingdom of God – is the smallest of seeds, yet it bears a whole tree within it. The seed is the presence of what is to come in the future. In the seed, that which is to come is already here in a hidden way. It is the presence of a promise. On Palm Sunday, the Lord summarized the manifold seed parables and unveiled their full meaning: ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’ (John 12:24).









OPENING MUSIC                                             All Who Believe and Are Baptized

D. Buxtehude




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



Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Silence for reflection and self-examination.


Most merciful God,

  we confess that we are in bondage to sin

  and cannot free ourselves.

  We have sinned against you

  in thought, word, and deed,

  by what we have done

  and by what we have left undone.

  We have not loved you with our whole heart;

  we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

  For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us,

  so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,

  to the glory of your holy name. Amen


Almighty God, in his mercy, has given his Son to die for us and, for his

sake, forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father,

and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.







I will go to the altar of God,

  to the God of my joy and gladness.                                        Psalm 43:4a


X HYMN                                                                All Who Believe and Are Baptized        LBW  194


Text: Thomas H. Kingo, 1634-1703; tr. George T. Rgh, 1860-1943, alt.

Tune: ES IST DAS HEIL, Etlich christlich Lieder, Wittenberg, 1524




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.







Our Father in heaven,

at whose bidding the seed will sprout

and the shoot will grow to full stature,

hear the prayer of your assembled people.

  Make us trust in your hidden ways,

  that we may pray with confidence

  and wait for your kingdom now growing in our midst.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

one God, now and forever.




With many parables he spoke the word to them,

but he explained everything in private to his disciples.          Mark 4:33a, 34b

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                                 Ezekiel 17:22-24


22Thus says the Lord God:
 I myself will take a sprig
  from the lofty top of a cedar;
  I will set it out.
 I will break off a tender one
  from the topmost of its young twigs;
 I myself will plant it
  on a high and lofty mountain.
23On the mountain height of Israel
  I will plant it,
 in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
  and become a noble cedar.
 Under it every kind of bird will live;
  in the shade of its branches will nest
  winged creatures of every kind.
24All the trees of the field shall know
  that I am the Lord.
 I bring low the high tree,
  I make high the low tree;

     I dry up the green tree
  and make the dry tree flourish.

 I the Lord have spoken;
  I will accomplish it.


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                  

  Thanks be to God.


PSALM 92:1-4, 11-14

Sung responsively between pastor and congregation.



1 It is a good thing to give thanks | to the Lord,*

                and to sing praises to your name, | O Most High;

2 to tell of your lovingkindness early | in the morning*

                and of your faithfulness in | the night season;

3 on the psaltery, and | on the lyre,*

                and to the melody | of the harp.

4 For you have made me glad by your | acts, O Lord;*

                and I shout for joy because of the works | of your hands.

11 The righteous shall flourish | like a palm tree,*

                and shall spread abroad like a ce- | dar of Lebanon.

12 Those who are planted in the house | of the Lord*

                shall flourish in the courts | of our God;

13 they shall still bear fruit | in old age;*

                they shall be | green and succulent;

14 that they may show how up- | right the Lord is,*

                my rock, in whom there | is no fault.                         R


SECOND READING                                            2 Corinthians 5:6-17


6So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord—7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

   11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.  14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!


The Word of the Lord.                                                            

  Thanks be to God.




Psalm 132:9                                                         Setting by Paul Bouman

Sung by the Cantor                            

Alleluia. Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your faithful people sing for joy. Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                                             Mark 4:26-34


The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


26[Jesus] said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
 30He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.






X HYMN OF THE DAY                                   Your Word, O Lord, is Gentle Dew                LBW 234

Stanza One, ALL; Stanza Two, Pastor; Stanza Three, ALL



Text: Carl B. Garve, 1763-1841; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878, alt.

Tune: AF HIMLENS, Koralpsalmboken, Stockholm, 1697



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



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 catholic Church,

                the communion of saints,

                the forgiveness of sins,

                the resurrection of the body,

                and the life everlasting. Amen



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


A brief silence


Father, we give you thanks, for in Christ you have created us anew and  planted your kingdom within our hearts. Tend and nourish what you have begun in us that we may grow and bear fruit for your glory.  Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Be with your whole Church, that your people may walk by faith and not by sight, knowing the fear of the Lord, and help us to bear witness to your Son by spirit-filled words and holy deeds. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.




Inspire all who make, administer, and judge our laws to love freedom, justice and peace.  Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Bring peace to our world; comfort all who mourn; lift up those who live in poverty and fear; protect all who are threatened by violence and terror, sustain those who are persecuted for your name; and heal those who suffer illness of body, mind or spirit, especially these whom we name before you:


The pastor reads the names submitted for prayer.

The people are invited to offer spoken or silent petitions.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Keep us in communion with those who have gone before us, and bring us with them to that day in which the kingdom is revealed in its majesty, the harvest of the fullness of growth and flower. 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.




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  1 Peter 2:9-10                                Setting by Harvey E. Hahn

Sung by the Cantor

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may proclaim the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.



As the grain once scattered in the fields

and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside

are now reunited on this table in bread and wine,

so, Lord, may your whole Church be gathered together

from the corners of the earth into your kingdom.





  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, through Christ our Lord.

  He is both the sower and the seed, and he dwells in us by the Holy Spirit; that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him, who died and was raised for us.        

 And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


You are indeed holy, almighty and merciful God;

                you are most holy, and great is the majesty of your glory.

You so loved the world that you gave your only Son,

                that whoever believes in him may not perish

 but have eternal life.

Having come into the world, he fulfilled for us your holy will

                and accomplished our salvation.


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.








Remembering, therefore, his salutary command,

                his life-giving Passion and death,

                his glorious resurrection and ascension,

and his promise to come again,

                we give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

                not as we ought, but as we are able;

and we implore you mercifully to accept our praise and thanksgiving, and, with your Word and Holy Spirit,

to bless us, your servants,

                and these your own gifts of bread and wine;

that we and all who share in the body and blood of your Son may be filled with heavenly peace and joy,

                and, receiving the forgiveness of sin,

may be sanctified in soul and body,

                and have our portion with all your saints.


All honor and glory are yours, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

                in your holy Church, now and forever.



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


You have made me glad by your acts, O Lord;

  and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.

Psalm 92:4




AGNUS DEI (Lamb of God)          




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.


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

O Blessed Spring


1      O blessed spring, where word and sign

        embrace us into Christ the Vine:

        here Christ enjoins each one to be

        a branch of this life-giving Tree.


2      Through summer heat of youthful years,

        uncertain faith, rebellious tears,

        sustained by Christ's infusing rain,

        the boughs will shout for joy again.


3      When autumn cools and youth is cold,

        when limbs their heavy harvest hold,

        then through us, warm, the Christ will move

        with gifts of beauty, wisdom, love.


4     As winter comes, as winters must,

        we breathe our last, return to dust;

        still held in Christ, our souls take wing

        and trust the promise of the spring.


5      Christ, holy Vine, Christ, living Tree,

        be praised for this blest mystery:

        that word and water thus revive

        and join us to your Tree of Life.


Text: Susan Palo Cherwien, b. 1953

Text © 1993 Susan Palo Cherwien, admin. Augsburg Fortress

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.




Pour out upon us the Spirit of your love, O Lord, and unite the wills of those whom you have fed with one heavenly food, through Jesus Christ our Lord.





The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                        

  Thanks be to God!