Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday, May 3, 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 readings.
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.
YouTube Video Link
Here is the link for the YouTube video of this day’s service.
May 3, 2020
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Good Shepherd Sunday
First Reading: Acts 2:42-47
A reading from Acts.
Today’s reading is a description of life in the community following Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured out on God’s people. The new community is sustained in worship and fellowship, shares what they have, and ensures that everyone has enough.
42[The baptized] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Psalm: Psalm 23, King James Version
R: Psalm 23, read in unison.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:19-25
A reading from 1 Peter.
Doing the right things does not guarantee that one will not experience difficulties, hardships, rejection, or even suffering. Here Christ is presented as the model for our path of endurance and loyalty to God, particularly amid adversity.
19It is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
22“He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Gospel: John 10:1-10
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
Jesus uses an image familiar to the people of his day to make a point about spiritual leadership. Those who listen to Jesus are led to abundant life.
[Jesus said:] 1“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27061.
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.
By Pastor David Tinker
“Back to Basics”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a youth I played soccer for several years. One coach I had was fantastic. His name was Dr. Hernando Español, and he was by far my very best coach. He wanted us to have fun, and to have some success in the game.
At team practice Dr. Español observed that all we wanted to do was kick the ball and try to make goals. He knew that running around the field and trying to be hot shots wasn’t going to win a game, nor make the game any more fun. This great coach took the time to get us working on the basics. He had us run endless drills for ball control, kicking, and various moves. In that “Back to Basics” approach to practice, Dr. Español gave us more than enough to play well. You know what happened after all that training? We understood what we were doing, did it well, and had a great time. It was the best time I’d ever had playing sports.
In today’s reading from Acts chapter 2 we read of the early church. In this passage we see the community of Christians focusing on the basics of the faith. All this follows the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. That was a glorious celebration of God’s love and grace given through Jesus Christ. Over and over in Acts chapter 2 we read of the goodness of God expressed through the death on the cross and rising from the tomb of Jesus Christ. In the dramatic sermon Peter preaches that day we hear him say, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” He reminds the people of the wonderful and generous promises of God. Sins will be forgiven, and people will receive the blessings of God’s Holy Spirit. This good and gracious gift of God is offered to all who would receive it.
The early church, in response to God’s generous mercy and love, got back to basics. Following their Spirit led model, we are invited to do the same today. Let’s break their response down to the six basic elements: Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayers, ministry to others, and generosity.
The first item on the list is that they devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching. We do this all the time. We read Scripture; we study it and preach about it. We seek to base our actions and direction on what the Apostles have passed on to us.
The second element is their devotion to fellowship. While this does include talking and just being together, that is not the end. Fellowship is expressed in how we show steadfast support and love for our fellow believers. Fellowship is expressed in how we stand with those who mourn. Fellowship is lived out as we visit the sick and lonely. Fellowship is when we encourage others to take time to invest in their spiritual life. Fellowship is reaching out to those who are lost, forgotten, lonely or isolated.
The third element of life as the early church is their devotion to the breaking of bread. All 3 references to the “Breaking of Bread” in Luke’s books – specifically the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles – are clearly about Holy Communion. The early Christian Church put great importance in frequent Holy Communion and offered it at weekly worship and, in many cases, every day.
The fourth element of the early church’s life together was prayer. Every week we pray in worship. We print prayer requests in bulletins and newsletters. We pray in our homes and throughout our days. The Apostle Paul reminds us to “Pray without ceasing”. Just as the early church did, we have the opportunity of prayer to connect with God on a daily basis.
The fifth element is that of ministry to others. The early church served others and used what they had to be of benefit to others. Throughout the book of Acts we see people helping others in need. We do that today as well. We support the local food pantry. We volunteer in various ministries. We care for one another. We make quilts for various outside organizations. We quietly care for our neighbors, and we do so much more. Our Christian Ministry takes place both within the church and within the community.
The sixth element is that the early church was generous giving. In response to God’s message of faith, hope and love the people gave and gave to God and others. Christians, stirred by the Holy Spirit and founded in God’s love, were stirred to give generously. We get to be generous today.
Since the beginning of the Christian movement the followers of Jesus have done these six things. Author Michael Foss has given the name, “Marks of Discipleship,” to these six patterns of living out our faith. These are based on our reading from the Book of Acts.
The Marks of Discipleship: I will strive to…
*Pray daily The early church prayed.
*Worship weekly The early church broke bread – communion
*Read the Bible daily The early church studied the apostles teachings
*Serve at and beyond Martin Luther Lutheran Church or Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church or my local congregation.
The early church cared for those in need
*Be in Relationship with others to encourage spiritual growth
The early church devoted itself to fellowship
*Give of my time, talents and resources in a generous manner and to the glory of God The early church was generous
It is all there for us. Acts 2:42-47 and the Six Marks of Discipleship are a guide to getting back to basics. Remember, God dearly loves you and invites you to be part of the great things he is doing today. He has invested in you through the work of Jesus. Therefore, get back to basics so you can reinvest in your faith.
Let us pray – Almighty God, you mercifully offer us forgiveness and life in your Son, Jesus Christ. Stir your Holy Spirit in our lives so that we might respond to your love by living out our faith each day. We pray this in Jesus Holy Name. 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.
Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: You have called Your Church from the ends of the earth to be the witness to death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Enliven our proclamation of the name of Jesus so that all may put their faith and hope in Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Grant that our brothers and sisters throughout the world who suffer disgrace and persecution for your name may rejoice in your mercy. We pray that you will continue to sustain Christians in Egypt during their suffering. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Other petitions may be added here.
Sustain those who are struggling with illness of any kind, especially those we now name aloud or in quiet prayer… Comfort those who have lost children through miscarriage, stillbirth, and tragedy, and restore to new life those who have suffered from abuse. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
We remember your servants of every time and place who have gone before us (especially…). We thank you that through the gift of faith you have taken delight in them. Give comfort to those who mourn. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lead us into the world to serve others in need. Help us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Help us to respond to your mercy by being merciful to those who suffer in our community and around the world. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
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 List for Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church:
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
MLLC REMEMBER IN PRAYER: Verlene Citzler (aunt of Leonita Sanders, health concerns); 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 and numerous health concerns); Nancy Pietsch (former RT-C teacher, health concerns); Johnny Dunham (health concerns); 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 Eargle and Carol Carmean, back home, health concerns)
MLLC Sympathy to the families of Dora Miller; Jeannie Johnson (grandmother of Matthew & Nick Colpetzer, Joshua Aranzolo, and Emily Ortiz); LaVerne Krumrey (friend from Brenham)
The Ongoing Prayer Concerns may be found in the monthly newsletter.
THIS WEEK at MLLC
Today 5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)
May 3 5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)
WORSHIP SERVICES are suspended until further notice.
WELCA BANQUET set for June 3 has been postponed.
OFFERING ENVELOPES may be mailed to the church at PO Box 362, Carmine, TX 78932. You may also give online. Check the mllc website for more information: mllccarmine.com/online-giving Thanks to all who have continued to make contributions during this unprecedented time with COVID-19.
CONFIRMATION will be postponed and a new date set when services resume.
LUTHERAN MISSION APPEAL envelopes 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.
disaster relief – lutheran disaster response
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL has been postponed. The new date at MLLC will be August 2-6, 2020 from 5:30 – 7:45 p.m., with the theme Rocky Railway. See the codes in the May newsletter to register your child and to volunteer.
Registration is also available at the church web site: https://mllccarmine.com/vacation-bible-school-2020/
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.