Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for the Second Sunday of Easter, April 19, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church
As we are not able to meet due as usual to health and safety concerns, yet we are still finding ways to share and celebrate our faith together.
Below are the readings, prayers, and various announcements for this Sunday and this week. The Sunday devotion is at the end of the page.
Remember Your Regular Offerings
For both of our congregations, Waldeck and MLLC, please remember that our expenses continue even when we are unable to meet as usual. Please make a point to give your offerings as you would on a typical week. Here are some ideas of what to do:
For Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter:
– send your offering by mail to the church office – Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church; 6915 Waldeck Church Lane; Ledbetter, TX 78946
– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.
For MLLC in Carmine:
– send your offering by mail to the church office – MLLC, P O BOX 362, Carmine, TX 78932-0362
– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.
– give offerings through the church web site: mllccarmine.com/online-giving This page has a link to our secure giving page. Offerings can be made by bank draft, debit card, or credit card through this special web site.
APRIL 19, 2020
Second Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 2:14a, 22-32
A reading from Acts.
After the Holy Spirit comes to the apostles on Pentecost, Peter preaches the gospel to the gathered crowd. He tells them that Jesus, who obediently went to his death according to God’s plan, was raised from the dead by God. Finally, he appeals to scripture, quoting Psalm 16:8-11, to show that Jesus is the Messiah: though crucified, the risen Jesus is now enthroned.
14aPeter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed [the crowd], 22“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—23this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25For David says concerning him,
‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
moreover my flesh will live in hope.
27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One experience corruption.
28You have made known to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
29“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. 31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
nor did his flesh experience corruption.’
32This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.”
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Psalm: Psalm 16
1Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;
I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my good above all other.”
2All my delight is in the godly that are in the land,
upon those who are noble among the people.
3But those who run after other gods
shall have their troubles multiplied.
4I will not pour out drink offerings to such gods,
never take their names upon my lips.
5O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;
it is you who uphold my lot.
6My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;
indeed, I have a rich inheritance.
7I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
my heart teaches me night after night.
8I have set the Lord always before me;
because God is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices;
my body also shall rest in hope.
10For you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor let your holy one see the pit.
11You will show me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9
A reading from 1 Peter.
This epistle was written to encourage Christians experiencing hardships and suffering because of their faith in Christ. The letter opens by blessing God for the living hope we have through Christ’s resurrection even amid difficult circumstances and surroundings.
3Blessed 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, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Gospel: John 20:19-31
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, offering them a benediction, a commission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. But one of their number is missing, and his unbelief prompts another visit from the Lord.
19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Devotion by Pastor David Tinker
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Running competition events are often filled with drama and stories. The Boston Marathon a few years ago was no exception. The story I most appreciated was about a woman from New Jersey who was exhausted near the very end of the race. (Click this link to see the news story from that day) She collapsed and could not finish on her own. Soon she was unconscious. Quickly two runners, a man from Chile and a man from the United Kingdom, came along and picked her up and carried. They were all strangers to each other at that moment. The two men sacrificed a faster time to help this woman complete the last half mile of the 26.2-mile race. With the exhausted woman in their arms these two men carried her to the finish line, and they completed the marathon together. Together they carried on until the end of the race.
Today in St. Peter’s first letter we read about God’s gifts of faith, hope, and love. This is how God leads us toward eternity with God. The context of this passage is that Peter is giving encouragement to Christians who are facing fierce persecution. Although we don’t face significant persecution in our culture, millions of our fellow Christians do every day. For all of us, God provides the faith we need to carry on when the difficult days of our faith arrive. God provides what we need in times such as now.
St. Peter seems to address three questions facing Christians. Although not stated outright we can see him working out these problems which believers face.
Question 1: Is there hope in this life, or only in the life to come?
Question 2: What are we to make of these persecutions?
Question 3: Why should I keep going on?
Let’s look at these three. The first question: “Is there hope in this life, or only in the life to come?” Peters answer is, “Yes, there is hope in both.” This is because of the mercy of God at work in Jesus Christ, those who have faith in him experience something of a new birth now. We are restored to fellowship with our Eternal Father. We also gain a new family – the Church. We have a new a living hope, founded in God’s promises and in the work of Jesus who has defeated death and the tomb in his resurrection.
The second is: “What are we to make of these persecutions?” Peter’s answer is twofold. First, the various trials being suffered were opportunities for Christian to hone their faith, and thereby give glory to God. Persecutions are transformative occasions which lead to deeper confidence in God. Secondly, Peter notes that the persecutions were signs that Jesus will be returning soon. This could be for all believers in the end of all things. It could also be for the individual who dies and then wakes in the presence of the Lord.
Third question: “Why should I keep going on?” Peter’s answer is similar to those marathon runners finishing the race. Basically, keep faithful to the end, for the benefit of others who see our witness, and for our own faithful benefit.
While we are not under persecution in our culture, we do face struggles. It has been weeks since we have met together for worship. For many of us this is the longest we have been away from “in person” worship gatherings in our lifetimes. Some of us this has come at just the wrong time for our spiritual lives. We need the connection with one another and with the Word, but we are not together.
We are working together to increase our connectedness in this time. With the encouragement of God’s Word, including today’s reading, and the stirring of the Holy Spirit, we are doing various things. We are getting the Word of God out to others. We are seeking connection with one another. We are contacting the isolated and lonely. We are praying. We are loving one another and loving our neighbors.
In all this we look to the foundation of our faith in Christ. We look to his mercy for us in this world. This Mercy is expressed through the forgiving work of Jesus Christ who takes on himself the just results of our sin. God’s merciful act is both absolutely necessary and wholly sufficient for our salvation. The greatness of God’s mercy is the greatness of Christ hanging upon a cross, exchanging his “imperishable, undefiled, unfading” life for ours.
The mercy of God in Christ provides us with a “living hope”. In response to God’s love we can only point to the cross of Christ and to God’s mercy to be our sources of Faith, Hope and Love, both now and forever. With these gifts of God we can strive forward to complete the race of our lifetime with the Lord. Thankfully, we have God and we have one another to carry us through to the end.
Let us pray – Loving God, we look to you for mercy and strength. Help us to have faith in the work of Jesus. Stir us to have hope for our future with you and one another. Help us to love as you have first loved us. We pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
*Prayers of Intercession
A: Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.
A brief silence.
Gracious God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to you alone be the Majesty, Glory and Honor. We ask that your Holy Spirit stir in each of us a renewed joy in coming to you in prayer each day. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
We pray for all who all who face difficulties or illness of any kind, especially… and also those whom now lift to you aloud or in quiet prayer… Bring your gracious help to all for whom we pray. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
We pray for those Christians and others who were killed or injured in the terror attacks in Sri Lanka. Help the church in that land to be faithful in service and in witness during these trying times. Hear us, O God, Your mercy is great.
Other petitions may be added here.
We pray that the Holy Spirit would draw all people to you. Stir our faith so that we will give a joyful account of the hope which you have planted within us. Open the hearts and minds of those in our community who have not heard and responded to your Word. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
We lift in prayer all who struggle with mourning at this time (including the family and friends of…) . Help us to show mercy and to be supportive of those who grieve. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
P: Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayer Request list for Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ledbetter
Health and Well-being Prayer List: Phillip Procell, Brian Shaffer, Sandra Gest, James Smith, Barbara Spence, April Weyand, Fritz Schoenst, Alicia McQuaig, Diana Garik Poentisch, Sally Beettner, Carrie Oltmann, Robin Hardin, Beverly Drescher
Martin Luther Lutheran Church: REMEMBER IN PRAYER: Carol Mertz Leitzel, Janet Schnell Beckworth (both friends of Praise Team leader Jolene Wickel, health concerns and in hospitals); Ricky Eckert (brother of Ronnie Eckert, health concerns); Kalisa Pomykal (Paula Barrick’s sister, medical concerns); Kenny Lorenz (former member Robert Hinze’s relative, serious burns); Nancy Pietsch (former RT-C teacher, health concerns); Johnny Dunham (health concerns); LaVerne Krumrey (friend from Brenham, cancer); Joyce Kelley (friend, health concerns); Jack Walsh (friend of Wade Eilers, recurring melanoma); Bill Clarke (friend of Daryl & Susan Ray, stage 4 cancer); Robert Vaughn (at Texas Neurology, thankful for extended stay for rehab); Carrie Bozarth (friend of Sedalia Ullrich, cancer); Edna Mae Krivacka (friend of Ed and Carol, back home, health concerns)
Sympathy to the family of Ruby Marburger Ivey (Nikki Pohl’s mother) Jeannie Johnson (mother of Kris Colpetzer, grandmother of Matthew and Nick Colpetzer, also family connections with Angelica Colpetzer, Joshua Aranzolo, and Emily Ortiz)
The Ongoing Prayer Concerns may be found in the monthly newsletter.
THIS WEEK at MLLC
Today 5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)
April 12 5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)
CONFIRMATION is still being planned for Sunday, May 17, unless otherwise noted, depending on the CDC recommendation.
2020 FLOWER CHART: Three dates are open on the flower chart. They are September 20 and November 1 & 22. A correction to the April newsletter is that May 3 has been filled.
SPECIAL LENTEN ENVELOPES this year are designated for Lutheran Disaster Response of the ELCA. You may send contributions in the mail, or bring it by the office, with the check made out to MLLC and in the memo line, put Lutheran Disaster Response. You may also go to the website to donate.
After going to secure giving site link, look for disaster relief – lutheran disaster response
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL will be at MLLC June 14-18, 2020 with the theme Rocky Railway. See the codes on p. 2 of the March newsletter to register your child and volunteer.
Registration is also available at the church web site: https://mllccarmine.com/vacation-bible-school-2020/
Subject to being postponed to another date later in the summer.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL at Bethlehem Lutheran in Round Top will be June 1-4 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. with the theme “Anchored.” There are registration forms in the narthex and church office. For more information contact Stacy Eilers at 979-639-1897. Possibly to be postponed to a later date.
CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBER A person is needed to serve as chairperson of the Outreach/Care Committee. Please consider serving in this role.