Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 10, 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 10, 2020
Fifth Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 7:55-60
A reading from Acts.
Stephen was one of the seven men chosen by the apostles to serve tables so that the apostles could be free to serve the word (Acts 6:1-6). Stephen does more than distribute food, however. For his preaching of God’s word, he becomes the first martyr of the faith.
55Filled with the Holy Spirit, [Stephen] gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Psalm: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
1In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2Incline your ear to me;
make haste to deliver me.
3Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold;
for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.
4Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me,
for you are my tower of strength.
5Into your hands I commend my spirit,
for you have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.
15My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.”
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10
A reading from 1 Peter.
Christ is the cornerstone of God’s saving work and the foundation of our lives. We are God’s chosen, holy people who continuously celebrate and declare the mercy of God we experience through Jesus Christ.
2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture:
“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,”
“A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Gospel: John 14:1-14
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
On the night that he is to be arrested, Jesus shares final words with his disciples. As the one through whom God is known, he promises to go before them and act on their behalf.
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Pastor David J. Tinker
“Together in Christ for Each Other”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
A young man from the United States walked along a dirt road in Mail. That is a country in West Africa. Life was harsh in the desert nation. Poverty was everywhere. He was there to help distribute food as part of a summer mission training program during college. He felt lost in this land; all the locals he met were not Christians, and only a few spoke English. His thoughts drifted to the Christian friends who had helped raise funds for this trip. They were back home, and he was here in Mali, felling alone.
As he walked along the road he came upon a small village. While walking past a hut he saw a family cooking their meal. As they cooked, they sang. He couldn’t understand the words, but he knew the tune. It was a song he would often sing with friends back home in the United States.
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Although he didn’t know their language, he sang along in English. He was not alone, for had found brothers and sisters in Christ in this foreign land.
In our reading from First Peter, chapter 2, we see Peter’s encouragement to a group of early Christians. They were from various backgrounds and situations, but they were all followers of Jesus Christ. Although we don’t totally know the situation, we get some ideas from the text. There seemed to be a need for there to be a deeper interconnection among the people of the Church. They knew each other, but they didn’t understand themselves as a group in the same way that God did.
Peter encouraged the church to deepen their fellowship, to be built into a “spiritual house” made of “living stones.” Other terms for this deep sense of connection were “Holy priesthood”, “chosen race”, “Royal priesthood”, “a holy nation”, and “God’s own people.” What mattered is that they knew each other and looked to each other for God’s provisions of strength, support, and community. It wasn’t easy to remain faithful to Christ when the world around them was, at best, apathetic about Jesus, and at worst, hostile to the point of violence and murder against Christians. These early Christians remembered the first Christian Martyr, Stephen, and the many other who had been killed because they believed in Jesus Christ. What these people needed was solid support from a community which shared a common Savior and common values. They were in it together. It would take work, but it would be worth it in the long term.
Today we have similar needs. We need Christian Fellowship and Community. We have a true need for mutual care and support which is founded in the love of Christ. Our efforts at building Christian community are worth it because each person is valuable to God. Our value comes from the love of God in Jesus Christ. We are people for whom Jesus Christ died, and we have received him in faith. In doing so, he also forgives our sin and calls us to participate in his new way of life in community. This is called many things, including, “A Royal Priesthood”. This Royal Priesthood is made up of those who respond to Christ’s call to bring Christ to one another and to those we encounter in this world.
I had an excellent experience with this. In 1989 I returned to Houston after college. I quickly stared attending worship at my home church, and I made a connection with a weekly Bible study group. There were about 20 of us in the group, ranging from age 22 to about 85. We took time each week to be together and to study God’s word.
There were two purposes for our gathering. One was to study God’s Word, and the other was to build community. We came from various situations, yet we were all centered in these purposes of God. Each week we grew closer through our shared Christian experience. About 30 years later I am still close with several in that group.
We at MLLC/Waldeck have the opportunity to celebrate the fellowship we do have going already, and to enhance this to build even stronger connections. Here are some practical ways we can increase and strengthen our fellowship in this congregation starting right now. Yes, I know that some of these things will happen more fully once we resume our normal gatherings in the weeks to come:
*Find ways to be of service to your brother or sister in Christ.
*Seek to build a connection with someone you don’t know as well or at all. Studies have shown that people need 7 or more connections in a congregation to feel connected. These 7 connections need to be in addition to the pastor and his or her family. You can be the good connection the other person needs, and you can benefit from having another connection in life.
*When we are able to be back together, participate in fellowship after worship. Plan your Sunday to include time with others after worship.
*In whatever form of service you do in the church and community, invite others to serve with you. Serving alongside others builds community.
*During this time of the COVID19 Pandemic, find ways to contact others each week. Think of those who might be more isolated due to age or living circumstances. A phone call, note, text, email, or other contact will build connection. Consider praying with the person or asking how you might be able to pray for that person. You may even find a new opportunity for service to others through your contacts.
These are just a few ideas. I invite you to think and pray about ways in which we can build up community in this congregation. Let’s talk so we can find and implement more ways. Community building in congregations is essential in this continuously changing world. Through building community, we get to be a blessing as we have been blessed.
Let us pray — Most high and holy God, pour out upon us your one and unifying Spirit, and awaken in every of your church a holy hunger and thirst for unity in you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and 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.
Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we come before you in humble prayer. Enliven our faith and help us to follow closely in the way of Jesus Christ. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
We pray that, by your Spirit, you would raise up among us individuals who have gifts of pastoral ministry. Help us to discern your calling in our own lives and in the lives of those in this congregation. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
We pray for those in the church around the world who face the threat of martyrdom. Help all Christians to stand firm in faith in Jesus Christ when the day of trial comes. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Other petitions may be added here.
Grant us peace and comfort as we remember friends and relatives who have recently died. (We especially remember…) Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
We pray that you will heal and strengthen all who wait upon you in sickness and physical trial, especially those whom we now name aloud or in quiet prayer… Be their help and their shield. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
On this Mother’s Day we pray for those who struggle with grief related to motherhood. Comfort those who face estrangement from loved ones. Give strength to women who have lost a child or whose circumstances have prevented motherhood. Help us to honor the memory of mothers who are deceased. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
We give thanks for all mothers, grandmothers as well as all faithful girls and women in this congregation. Help them to love, serve and lead in ways which are honoring to you. 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.
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.
Waldeck Prayer List: Linda Brown, London Gaskins, Phillip Procell, Brian Shaffer, Sandra Gest, Barbara Spence, April Weyand, Fritz Schoenst, Alicia McQuaig, Diana Garik Poentisch, Sally Beettner, Carrie Oltmann, Robin Hardin, Beverly Drescher
MLLC REMEMBER IN PRAYER: Ruby Renck (recent surgery); Angie Colpetzer (recent surgery); 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); Edna Mae Krivacka (friend of Ed Eargle and Carol Carmean, back home, health concerns)
Sympathy to the families of Sylvia Braun Hughey (Floyd Braun’s sister); Carrie Bozarth (friend of Sedalia Ullrich); Ruth Hueske (friend from Brenham); Nelson Neutzler (friend from Burton); Verlene Citzler (aunt of Leonita Sanders)
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)
happy MOTHER’S DAY to all the mothers and daughters of mothers. Thank you for all you do for your families.
RECYCLING TRAILER will be back at the Carmine Hall beginning Thursday, May 14 from noon until 4 p.m. They will be in Ledbetter from 8:30 – 11 a.m. behind the Ledbetter Hall.
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. Thanks to all who have continued to make contributions.
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 either be postponed or cancelled. There are registration forms in the narthex and church office. For more information contact Stacy Eilers at 979-639-1897.
CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBER A person is needed to serve as chairperson of the Outreach/Care Committee. Please consider serving in this role.