Advent 1 – November 29, 2020

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The chancel of Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church with the new, blue, Advent paraments. 

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Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for the First Sunday in Advent, November 29, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

We continue to offer in-person and Facebook Live services following the normal Sunday schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.  The Saturday 6:00 p.m. service at MLLC is in-person only.

Below are the readings, prayers, and Sunday sermon.

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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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.

The First Sunday in Advent

November 28 – 29, 2020

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First Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9

The First Reading is from the 64th chapter of Isaiah.

This lament comes from a people who have had their hopes shattered. The visions of a rebuilt Jerusalem and a renewed people of God, spoken of in Isaiah 40–55, have not been realized. Instead, the people experience ruin, conflict, and famine. This lament calls God to account—to be the God who has brought deliverance in the past.

And now the reading.

1O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
2as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4From ages past no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him.
5You meet those who gladly do right,
those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
because you hid yourself we transgressed.
6We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7There is no one who calls on your name,
or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,
and do not remember iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.

Here ends the reading.

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Psalm: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Psalm 80, read responsively.

1Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock;
shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
2In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,
stir up your strength and come to help us.
3Restore us, O God;
let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved.
4O Lord God of hosts,
how long will your anger fume when your people pray?
5You have fed them with the bread of tears;
you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
6You have made us the derision of our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
7Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved.
17Let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
the one you have made so strong for yourself.
18And so will we never turn away from you;
give us life, that we may call upon your name.
19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved.

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Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

The Second Reading is from the first chapter of First Corinthians.

As the Christians in Corinth await the advent of Jesus, Paul reminds them how the Lord has already enriched them through spiritual gifts and will continue to strengthen them until the coming day of the Lord.

And now the reading.

3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Here ends the reading.

 

*Gospel: Mark 13:24-37                                     

The Gospel Reading is from the 13th chapter of Mark.

In today’s reading, Jesus encourages his followers to look forward to the day when he returns in power and glory to end all suffering. And now the reading.

[Jesus said:] 24“In those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

Here ends our readings.

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“The Grand Gift of God”

 By Pastor David Tinker

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are gathered here today during the season of Advent. Part of what Advent is about is getting ready for a great celebration of the birth of Jesus the Messiah. During this time of year many people will be kinder, gentler, friendlier, and more generous.  Some even become more faithfully involved in their faith life. They will attend worship more often. They will gather with others for prayer and devotions. Then, on Christmas Day comes, or when the Christmas season ends on January 6, a good number people will drop out of living the Christian Christmas spirit. Thankfully, some will keep it going all year long.

Author Ronald M Patterson tells of a time he visited in the home of a friend during the month of March. He writes, “We were talking, and suddenly I looked up on a corner shelf and noticed a Christmas ornament hanging – almost as though it had been forgotten in the mad rush to put away the holiday season. I quickly looked away, hoping that my glance had not been noticed.  But the woman caught me. Before I could say anything, she smiled and said: “No, I didn’t forget. Every year when I clean up the mess, I choose one ornament to leave up to remind me that Christmas is not just one day or one season, but a lifetime.  That little bulb is my reminder that Jesus Christ walks with me every day.”

Our reading today from First Corinthians shows us that God is always, in a sense, in the Christmas spirit. He is always loving, faithful, and good. He’s always full of grace and forgiveness.  Paul writes in this passage, “God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We can know God and be with God forever only through the saving work of Jesus Christ. He is the one who died on the cross for our sin. We celebrate that he was raised to life just a couple days later. All of this was motivated by the strong, steadfast, and eternal love of God. His love permeates every action and gift. God just loves and loves and loves.

There is a story by Author Willa Cather. It is called “The Burglars Christmas”. It portrays a young man, the proverbial Prodigal Son, who has moved away from his family back east and was now living in Chicago. Without food for many days, without friends, and with suicidal thoughts, he decides on Christmas Eve to steal some food from a house. He has never stolen before, but thinks that he is owed some food, at least on Christmas Eve. When he breaks into the house, however, he finds that he has burglarized the house of his parents, who had moved to Chicago. His mother catches him while stealing, and he confesses all to her and to his father.

He prepares to leave, but they say, “Stay. We’ll make things right.”

He looks up at his mother questioningly, “I wonder if you know how much you pardon?”

“Oh, my poor boy,” his mother answered, “much or little, what does it matter? Have you wandered so far and not yet learned that love has nothing to do with pardon or forgiveness, that only loves and loves and loves?”

In other words, pardon and forgiveness don’t lead to love.  Rather, love is powerful, and it also leads to things such as pardon and forgiveness.

We know and serve a faithful God who loves and loves and love.  Our life with God is founded on his great love for us.  We are gathered here this Advent Season to look into the great and powerful love of God shown us in the life of Jesus.  We prepare to celebrate his birth, and we revisit what life is about at this time.  We always start with the love and faithfulness of God.  This leads us to revisit what our lives are about.  We look to what is right, and what is wrong in our lives.  With God’s amazing love we work with God to fix what is messed us, so that we can live according to the way of Jesus.

One thing that we struggle with so often is forgiveness.  This could be our own need for it, but it is also our need to forgive others.  Forgiveness is not easy, but it is in the spirit of Christmas, and most importantly, it is the way of Jesus.

C. S. Lewis said in the book, The Weight of Glory, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

As we work through our faith during this Advent, let us revisit this powerful truth about our lives.  God has forgiven the inexcusable in us.

What can we do to give thanks to God for this?

In what areas of our lives do we need to be turning from sin, and seeking to do things God’s way?

Who are some people that need our forgiveness?

Who have we struggled to forgive?

As we celebrate the Advent and Christmas Spirit this year, let us always remember that God just loves and loves and loves.  He loves us so much that he forgives the inexcusable.  He loves us so much that he calls and empowers us to forgive the inexcusable in others as well.

Let us pray – Heavenly Father, your mercy and forgiveness are powerful expressions of your love for us.  By your Holy Spirit help us to receive and understand these gifts.  We pray this in the holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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Prayers of Intercession

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

A brief silence.

Most High God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: you guide and form all of creation.  For this, and all things, we worship you.  Help us to live with faithfulness to you and prudence in our actions. Hear us, O God.     Your mercy is great.

We lift in prayer your Church.  We especially pray for our brothers and sisters in the land of Jesus’ birth.  Help them to remain steadfast in the midst of persecution.  Hear us, O God.          Your mercy is great.

We give thanks that you model servant leadership for us.  We pray that all in authority in your church will be guided and inspired by your sacrificial leadership.

Hear us, O God.          Your mercy is great.

You are the source of healing and strength for all who suffer in any way.  We especially lift in prayer… and also those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…    Hear us, O God.       Your mercy is great.

 

We pray for all who have not yet responded to your offer of forgiveness.  Send your Holy Spirit into their lives so they may come to believe in Jesus.  Help all people in this congregation to grow in their witness to your mercy and grace.  Help us to forgive as we have been forgiven.  Hear us, O God.       Your mercy is great.

 

You call us to live as your people now and forever.  We lift in prayer those who mourn during this time  (especially the family and friends of…).  Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Other petitions may be added here.

You inspire your church to give you praise.  We give thanks for the music ministry of this congregation.  Be with all musicians, singers and leaders as they guide us in our worship of the one true God.  Hear us, O God.        Your mercy is great.

 

Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen 

Reformation Sunday Devotion, Readings and Prayers

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Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

We continue to offer in-person and Facebook Live services following the normal Sunday schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.  The Saturday 6:00 p.m. service at MLLC is in-person only.

Below are the readings, prayers, and Sunday sermon.

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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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.

Reformation Sunday

October 24 & 25, 2020

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

R:  A reading from Jeremiah, the 31st chapter.

The renewed covenant will not be breakable, but like the old covenant it will expect the people to live upright lives. To know the LORD means that one will defend the cause of the poor and needy (Jer. 22:16). The renewed covenant is possible only because the LORD will forgive iniquity and not remember sin. Our hope lies in a God who forgets.  And now the reading.

31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Here ends the reading.

PSALM: Psalm 46

R: Psalm 46, read responsively by verse.

1God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,

  and though the mountains shake in the depths of the sea;

3though its waters rage and foam,

and though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

  the holy habitation of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be shaken;

God shall help it at the break of day.

 6The nations rage, and the kingdoms shake;

  God speaks, and the earth melts away.

7The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

 8Come now, regard the works of the Lord,

  what desolations God has brought upon the earth;

9behold the one who makes war to cease in all the world;

who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear,

and burns the shields with fire.

 10“Be still, then, and know that I am God;

  I will be exalted among the nations;

I will be exalted in the earth.”

11The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

 

SECOND READING: Romans 3:19-28

R: A reading from Romans, the 3rd chapter.

Paul’s words stand at the heart of the preaching of Martin Luther and other Reformation leaders. No human beings make themselves right with God through works of the law. We are brought into a right relationship with God through the divine activity centered in Christ’s death. This act is a gift of grace that liberates us from sin and empowers our faith in Jesus Christ. And now the reading.                                                                                          

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.

27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

Here ends the reading.

 

*GOSPEL: John 8:31-36

P:  The holy gospel reading is from the 8th chapter of John.

Jesus speaks of truth and freedom as spiritual realities known through his word. He reveals the truth that sets people free from sin. And now the reading.

31Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

Here ends the reading.

Devotion: “Free”

By Pastor David Tinker

Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Author Ruth Walton tells a story about a beggar who lived near a king’s palace.  One day the king announced a great banquet, and the beggar thought about how much he would like to go.  Unfortunately, he wore only rags and could not dress in royal garments like the other guests.  So, the beggar went to the palace and asked to borrow some clothes for the royal banquet.  Amazingly the king summoned him to his royal throne and heard the request.  The king smiled and called his son, the prince, and told him to give the beggar some clothes.  The prince did as he was told, and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments he never dreamed he might some day wear.  The prince told him, “You may now attend the banquet.  Furthermore, you will never need another set of clothes.  These garments will last forever.”

The beggar dropped to his knees in profound gratitude.  But as he started to leave the room, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor.  He hesitated.  What if the prince were wrong?  What if some day he might need his old clothes again?  Quickly he gathered them up and tucked them under his arm.

The banquet was a fabulous event.  But the beggar had trouble enjoying it as he should.  His small bundle of rags kept falling off his lap as he sat at the table.  Some of the finest delicacies passed by him, and he missed out on them, because he was continually struggling with his bundle of rags.

As the years passed, time proved that the prince was right.  The clothes lasted forever, staying just as fresh and beautiful as they were in the beginning.  But people seemed not to notice the royal robes the beggar wore, but only the little bund of filthy rags he clung to wherever he went.  Whenever they spoke of him, they always referred to him as the old man with the bundle of rags.

At the last when the beggar lay dying, the king came to visit him.  The beggar noticed the sad look on the king’s face when he saw the small bundle of rags by the bed.  Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince’s words, and he realized that clinging to his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty.  He wept bitterly at his foolishness.  And the king wept with him.

This day we give thanks that our God has granted us freedom.  He has granted us abundant forgiveness of our sinfulness. He has invited us to live in freedom the final powers of sin, death and evil.  God has opened the way for each of us to know God and to love God.  By this we receive the call to live in joyful service to God and to neighbor.  This goodness of God which leads to true freedom is the centerpiece of our Lutheran Christian understanding of the faith.  On this Reformation weekend we look back at what God has done, and we delight in our new life in Jesus Christ.

On this weekend we give thanks to God for the gift of the Reformation.  We observe this day in remembrance of the ministry of Martin Luther and the Reformers, and to remember the events of October 31, 1517.  That is when Martin Luther, a monk, priest, and university professor, took the risk of challenging the misguided teachings of his day.  On that great day Dr. Luther posted his 95 Theses, or points of argument, on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany.  In that document, and in the years to come, he challenged the premise that we must pay, through cash and/or good deeds, for God’s forgiveness.  In turn Luther reminded the Church of the great teachings of the Bible which proclaim that God generously offers forgiveness through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  He renewed the teaching that through that gift we can receive freedom from sin, death and evil, and that we can receive the wonderful new life of knowing God now and forever.  He helped the world know the truth that humanity struggles with sin.  Our race is under the destructive power of being away from God’s will.  This power enslaves us to living away from God and his ways.  The great news is that God has overcome all this power through Jesus.  Jesus willingly succumbed to this power in his death on the cross.  He also overpowered sin by his rising from the tomb on that first Easter Sunday morning.  Death and sin no longer had power over him.  Through the gift of faith and baptism, humanity gets to be freed from this power as well.  We get to live the new life promised by Jesus.  Luther and the Reformers were ecstatic with joy when they rediscovered the freedom God grants through faith in Jesus.

We read in today’s Gospel lesson the following words of Jesus: “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”  This freedom is a wonderful gift.  It brings life to our dead spirits.  When we come to faith in Jesus, we get to live as God’s children now. As God’s children, we get to find true freedom.

Even with all this wonderful grace of God, we sometimes struggle.  Our struggle is that we often try to hold on to our old human frailty.  Like the beggar in the story I shared with you, we often make choices which prevent us from living the freedom we have been granted.  We all too often try to hold on to our sin, our memories of sin, or our way of living under the bondage to sin. Thankfully, God reminds us that he has granted us freedom from the bondage to sin and the junky rags which hold us back.

Through God’s mercy we are given the ability to put these rags of our bondage to sin on the cross with Jesus.  We get to throw these away, and God gives us what we need so that we can receive, utilize and share his love, mercy, and more excellent way.  When we discover new struggles, new rags of sorts, we get to toss these away.

We don’t need those rags of our old life of sin anymore.  God has clothed us with the new garments of forgiveness and mercy.  This is all founded in the truth of his love which leads us to freedom in Christ.

When we have faith in Jesus and are joined with him in baptism, we get to be God’s royal children, his royal priesthood.  We get to be free indeed.  A symbol of this freedom and of God’s grace is a baptismal robe or garment.

Prince Louis Baptism 2018Baptismal Garment are common in families – In the British Royal Family they use the same baptismal robe for the baptism of royal children for many years.  There was one which was used 62 times between 1841 and 2008. A new one, a replica of the previous one, was made in 2008.  It was used for the baptisms of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince Archie. Other families today often still wear such garments for baptism.  It reminds us of the new spiritual garments which replace the rags of our sin.

One of the many places we read about this is in Ephesians 4:22-24, where Paul writes:  “You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Another place is in Galatians 3:27, where Paul connects this new clothing with Baptism: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”  With new clothes we get rid of the old.  The old is sin, the new is the forgiveness and love of Jesus for each of us.

As we gather at the Lord’s Table this day or any time we have the sacrament, you are invited to release those rags of sin. Lay these rags of our old sin on the cross.   Let Jesus take those old rags, and don’t hold on to them any longer.  Then let him continue to give you the assurance of his love in the bread and wine, the body and blood.  Be assured of what God has done for you in Jesus which brings true freedom now and for eternity.

Let us pray – Gracious God, you have granted us far more than we ask or deserve.  Help us to receive your forgiveness and to rejoice in all that provide.  Enable each of us to live in the freedom we get to have as your followers.  We pray this in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

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, your mercy endures forever.  We pray that you would stir us to faith, worship and action.  Receive our offerings for the praise of your glory and for the spread of the Gospel. Lord, in your mercy,  Hear our prayer.

We give thanks for your Holy Scriptures which guide us in this life.  Grant that we may hear, read, respect, learn, and make them our own in such a way that the enduring benefit and comfort of the Word will help us grasp and hold the blessed hope of everlasting life, given us through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray for leaders in the Church who are stirred to lead your people back to God’s Word.  We give thanks for your servant Martin Luther and for all who have been faithful leaders of the Reformation of your Church throughout the centuries.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Other petitions may be added here.

We pray for all who suffer in mind, body or spirit.  We lift up in prayer…  and also those whom we now name aloud or in quiet prayer… Bring renewed hope, strength and healing in the lives of all for whom we pray.  Lord, in your mercy,         Hear our prayer.

Your compassion for humanity leads us to care for one another, especially those who mourn.  We pray for all who are bereaved (especially the family and friends of …).  By your Holy Spirit stir us to faithfulness in care for all who mourn the death of a relative or friend.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Help us to be ambassadors for Christ in this community.  Guide us back to your Word, so that we will understand the hope we share.  We pray that your Holy Spirit will renew our faith and send us out for the sake of the world which you love.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

P: Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for who we pray,trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

*Lord’s Prayer

Raffle Tickets Still Available

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Raffle Information

We are having a raffle as part of our 2020 Harvest Festival.  This raffle is in support of the congregation.  Tickets are $10/each, and there is no minimum nor maximum number you can purchase.  There is no requirement to be present to win either.  Tickets are available at the church office – 979-278-3388, or at the church at the weekend worship services.

When you buy one of the tickets you are buying a chance at one of six valuable prizes.  These include:

$500 Visa Gift Card – Grand Prize

$150 Visa Gift Card

$100 Visa Gift Card and a cutting board with turquoise inlay

$100 JW’s Steakhouse Gift Card

$100 Eckermann’s Meat Market Gift Card

The drawing will take place on Sunday, October 18, at 12:30 p.m.  The results of the drawing will be shown on Facebook Live through the MLLC Facebook page.

Tickets may be purchased any time up until the drawing time on October 18.  There will be a table alongside the food drive up lane where you can purchase raffle tickets. We will need your name and phone number on each ticket.

Thank you for your support of the 2020 MLLC Harvest Festival.

You can also purchase meal tickets at the church office or after the worship services on Saturday and Sunday each week.

Harvest Festival 2020 Flier

The 19th Sunday after Pentecost

MLLC Church Sketch drawing copy

Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, October 11, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

We continue to offer in-person and Facebook Live services following the normal Sunday schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.  The Saturday 6:00 p.m. service at MLLC is in-person only.

Below are the readings, prayers, and Sunday sermon.

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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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.

October 10th & 11th, 2020

nineteenth SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

First Reading: Isaiah 25:1-9

R:  A reading from Isaiah, the 25th Chapter.

After a hymn of praise acknowledging God as a shelter for the poor, the prophet portrays a wonderful victory banquet at which death—which in ancient Canaan was depicted as a monster swallowing up everyone—will be swallowed up forever. The prophet urges celebration of this victory of salvation.

And now the reading.

1O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
2For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
it will never be rebuilt.
3Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
4For you have been a refuge to the poor,
a refuge to the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
5the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
the song of the ruthless was stilled.
6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
7And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
8he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.    (4)

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: Philippians 4:1-9

R: A reading from Philippians, the 4th chapter.

Though writing from prison and facing an uncertain future, Paul calls on the Philippians to rejoice and give thanks to God no matter what the circumstance. God’s peace is with us and binds together our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ, especially when things around us do not seem peaceful.

And now the reading.

1My brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not

(5)

worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

*Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14

P: The holy gospel according to St. Matthew, the 22nd chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus tells a parable indicating that the blessings of God’s kingdom are available to all, but the invitation is not to be taken lightly.

 

And now the reading.

1Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

(6)

11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Devotion, by Pastor David Tinker

“Connecting with Jesus and Each Other”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This COVID19 situation has made everything difficult.  One of the most significant difficulties has been interpersonal connections.  Some of us barely ever see anybody.  Others have limited or mediated connections with each other.  For the sake of everybody, we continue to practice social distancing in any context outside of our household.

One place where I often am around many people during this time is the grocery store.  This has been an odd experience for the past 7 months.  It is getting a tiny bit better in recent months.  There are a few things I notice.

  1. People rarely look each other in the eye, compared to before.
  2. People are in their own little world.
  3. Sometimes, if a stranger speaks to another, the second person is likely to be wildly surprised, and my not even reply.
  4. People are doing their best to social distance.
  5. The masks covering mouth and nose make it hard to recognize friends and neighbors. People sometimes don’t even greet those they know, so as to avoid embarrassment if it is not one’s friend.

God made us to be in connection with one another.  We need each other, yet right now it is very hard to be together.  With God’s help, we can work to give each other the connection we need.

Today’s reading from the book of Philippians is about interpersonal relationships.  Philippians is a very personal and encouraging letter from Paul to the Christians in the Greek city of Philippi.  He celebrates their ministry. He refers to them as “my joy and my crown.”  Paul is close to these people “in spirit”, even though he must write to them from a Roman prison cell.  He had a deep and powerful relationship with these children of God, and it clearly shows in his writings.  He was comforted by the mere thought of these brothers and sisters.  He was strengthened and nurtured by them, even from afar.

Relationships are important to us as well. There are three primary relationship areas which we foster for relational health.  These three types of relationships point us in three directions:

Outward:  these are our purely social encounters with friends, family and others.

Inward:  this is how we relate to our inner self – the person we are, even when no one is watching.

Upward:  Our response to God who first reaches to us in love – it is how we meet and experience the Divine in everyday life.

We see in our reading from Philippians that he had a positive connection with the people of the church at Philippi.  He worked to foster an environment in which people worked for the common goal of spreading the Gospel.  They worked together well, and Paul worked to encourage the people to work out their differences and problems.  He was encouraging healthy relationships.

Relationships among Christians are especially important.  The Christian life itself is founded in being in relationship with others.  It is first about God’s blessing of a restored relationship with him through the work of Jesus.

Ultimately, the only way we can be at peace with ourselves, with others, and with God is through the work of Jesus Christ. God saw how we had stopped drawing near to him and to others.  Life’s essential elements were broken, so he sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to be broken instead. His death on the cross opened the door to forgiveness and healing between one’s self and God, and thus, with one another.  His rising from the tomb paved the way for us to follow him into eternity. His love stirs us to reach out to one another for reconciliation and care.  In response to God’s love, and stirred by the Holy Spirit, we move closer to God, and thus closer to one another.

As we are drawn closer to God and closer to each other we are reminded of this truth:  The Body of Christ, the Church, is all about life together.  In the reading from Philippians, in verse 2, we see Paul’s encouragement of two fellow believers.  These two women in the church, Euodia and Syntyche, had some sort of quarrel.  We don’t know the details, but we do know that it was worthy of Paul’s mention in this letter.  He knew them well, for they had worked together in ministry.  In this passage he is encouraging these two to reconcile and resume working together.  Paul says, “I urge Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind.”

Dorotheos of Gaza was a sixth century AD teacher and monk.  He once preached a sermon for the monks in his monastery who were grumbling that they were unable to love God properly.  Why?  Because they had to put up with one another’s ordinary, irritating presence.  No, Dorotheos told them, they were wrong.  He asked them to visualize the world as a great circle whose center is God. Also, upon the circumference of that circle lie human lives.  “Imagine now,” he asked his fellow monks, “that there are straight lines connecting from the outside of the circle all human lives to God at the center.  Can’t you see that there is no way to move closer to God without drawing closer to other people, and no way to approach other people without coming near to God?”

As we respond to the love of God with worship and love for God, we are called and empowered to love one another.  This self-giving care for one another is essential for the building up of our fellowship and for the spread of the Gospel.  In the early church, there was a response of others to seeing the Christians in action.  They said, “See how they love one another.”  They lived out their work of love and reconciliation by following the teaching of Paul in First Corinthians 13, where he wrote, “4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Our relationships with others are always part of living out the Christian life.  Paul knew it as he encouraged the community at Philippi.  Jesus knew it for he was constantly building relationships with others.  He willed it when he created the church.  We know that relationships are essential to the Christian life, for we have lived it.

For a healthy and positive future as a congregation we must all strive to live out love for one another. As God draws us to himself, we are also drawn to each other.  Through this we are a blessing to one-another and we give glory to God.

Let us pray – Loving God, we pray that your Holy Spirit will draw us together around you both in this world and in our heavenly home.  Bring healing and reconciliation between people.  Help us to seek and care for those who are struggling, lonely, and forgotten.  We pray this in the Holy 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.

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  we worship you, for you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Grant us renewed connections with one another. Heal the divisions between one person and another.  Help us to love one another as Christ has loved us.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We remember in prayer those who have recently passed away.  Grant peace and comfort to those who mourn, (especially the family and friends of …) Help us to care for one another in our time of loss.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray that you would bring healing, strength and hope to those who struggle in body, mind or spirit, especially . . .  and those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…  May your comforting Spirit strengthen all for whom we pray.   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Other petitions may be added here.

We give thanks for our partnership with Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Help us to continue to grow in our ministry together.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for all who have been affected by recent violence and natural disasters.  Bring courage, determination and strength to all emergency responders who serve those in need. 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

Lord’s Prayer

HARVEST FESTIVAL will be held on October 18 at the Carmine Hall.  No confirmation reunion will be held this year.  Worship service (no communion) will be at 10:15 a.m. with the Praise Team leading Country Gospel songs.  The kettle fried chicken dinner will be drive-through only from 11-12:30. Desserts will be available.  Tickets must be purchased in advance for $10.  Members may contact Shelby Vaughn at 979-203-4313 if they wish to take tickets to sell.  Tickets are available in the church office.  Members are also asked to take posters to place at businesses in different towns.

Raffle tickets are $10 with 6 big prizes.  Karen Roemer has those available and are also being sold in the church office.

DESSERTS ARE NEEDED Please bring them to the hall around 8:30 or 9 a.m. so they may be cut and placed in containers.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF UPDATE The church received word on September 11 that the Lutheran World Relief items in the Beirut explosion were damaged, but not completely destroyed as initially believed.  Some of the items did come from our congregation.  To make a monetary contribution go to the MLLC website with the following link:

https://mllccarmine.com/2020/08/10/beirut-explosion-and-lutheran-world-relief/

 

Carmine Night OUT – Thursday, October 15. The Carmine Chamber of Commerce invites you to a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Thursday, October 15, the annual Carmine Night Out, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Collection bins are located at the Carmine State Bank, JW’s Steakhouse, and Village Market.  You can deposit American, Texas, or any branch of the military flag for retirement.  There will be free hot dogs on cart, drinks, and desserts that evening as well as door prizes for youngsters and adults, and kids’ activities as well.  Come hear dignitaries and candidates speak.  For questions, call/text 979-451-1507.

Hurricane Relief for Louisiana.  Our synod and the ELCA have ongoing relief work going on in Louisiana.  With another storm heading to this easter part of synod, the needs will only increase.  You can give through your offerings.  Designate it as “Hurricane Relief – ELCA,” or “Hurricane Relief – Synod.”  See the web site for more information:  https://mllccarmine.com/2020/08/31/hurricane-laura-relief/

Harvest Festival Desserts

Harvest Festival Food

Desserts Needed for 2020 Harvest Festival

Our 2020 Harvest Festival is taking place on Sunday, October 18.  That means our annual Harvest Festival is just over a week away.  As part of this special event we are serving desserts when the meals are being picked up.  Remember, we are doing the meal as a drive-thru pick-up only this year due to health concerns.We need dessert items for the dessert table.  It is a long-standing tradition that volunteers from the congregation prepare or purchase items to be divided up and served at the dessert table.  This year we will be putting the dessert items in individual serving containers, and then those desiring an item will drive thru at the dessert booth at the Carmine Hall.  When choosing what to prepare or purchase, please keep in mind that these items will need to be easily placed in an individual container.  The desserts need to be at Carmine Hall early (probably by 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.) so that they can be cut and put in to-go containers.

Thank you all very much for your willingness to provide dessert items for our Harvest Festival.

Harvest Festival 2020 Flier

Meal tickets need to be purchased by this Sunday, October 11.   These are available at worship this weekend, at the Carmine State Bank, and from a number of church members.  Tickets are $10/meal for the famous Carmine Fried Chicken.  Call the church office if you are not able to make it at those times.

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The Raffle tickets are also $10/each.  These are available up until the drawing at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 18.  Tickets are at the church office during the week (Mon-Thu, 8:30 a .m. – 12:30 p.m.) and at worship on the weekends.  Call the church office if you are not able to make it at those times.

Thank you for your partnership.

The 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, October 4, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

We continue to offer in-person and Facebook Live services following the normal Sunday schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.  The Saturday 6:00 p.m. service at MLLC is in-person only.

Below are the readings, prayers, and Sunday sermon.

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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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.

October 03 & 04, 2020

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

First Reading: Isaiah 5:1-7

R:  A reading from Isaiah, The Fifth Chapter

The prophet sings a sad, parable-like love song about the relationship between God and Israel. In this song Israel is compared to a promising vineyard. Despite God’s loving care, the vineyard that is Israel has brought forth “wild grapes” of injustice and distress, when fine grapes of justice and righteousness were expected.

1Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.
2He dug it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
but it yielded wild grapes.
3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and people of Judah,
judge between me
and my vineyard.
4What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
why did it yield wild grapes?
5And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
6I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
righteousness,
but heard a cry!

Psalm: Psalm 80:7-15

7Restore us, O | God of hosts;
let your face shine upon us, and we | shall be saved.
8You have brought a vine | out of Egypt;
you cast out the nations and | planted it.
9You cleared the | ground for it;
it took root and | filled the land.
10The mountains were covered | by its shadow
and the towering cedar trees | by its boughs. R
11You stretched out its tendrils | to the sea
and its branches | to the river.
12Why have you broken | down its wall,
so that all who pass by pluck | off its grapes?
13The wild boar of the forest has | ravaged it,
and the beasts of the field have | grazed upon it.
14Turn now, O | God of hosts,
look | down from heaven;
15behold and | tend this vine;
preserve what your right | hand has planted. R

Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14

A reading from Philippians.

Paul reviews some of his supposed credentials, which no longer have any bearing in comparison to the right relationship he has been given through the death of Christ. The power of Christ’s resurrection motivates him to press on toward the ultimate goal, eternal life with Christ.

[Paul writes:] 4bIf anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him,

not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-46

The holy gospel according to Matthew.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus tells a parable to the religious leaders who are plotting his death, revealing that their plans will, ironically, bring about the fulfillment of scripture.

[Jesus said to the people:] 33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?
43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON   Pastor Tinker

“Whose Resumé”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many of us have seen the famous movie, “The Wizard of Oz”.  This movie is full of beautiful colors and interesting characters. One of the more interesting characters in the movie is the Wicked Witch of the West, and she has quite a résumé to her credit.  Let’s look at the Wicked resumé of the Wicked Witch of the West.

  • Kidnapping and harassment of children
  • Threatening people smaller than herself
  • Cruelty to animals – especially to cowardly lions
  • Damaging farm property – especially scare crows
  • Trespassing in the land of Oz
  • Casting evil spells
  • Enslaving men and flying monkeys

She was a very evil witch. In the end of the story the Wicked Witch of the West captures Dorothy and her friends, and she makes plans to kill them.

She starts with the Scarecrow.  Since he is made of straw, she chooses fire to kill him.  She catches his arm on fire.  In desperation, little Dorothy grabs a nearby bucket of water and splashes the Scarecrow.  The fire is put out, but much of the water lands on the witch.  Little did anybody know, but water melts witches.  As the Witch slowly melts away she proclaims a short form of her résumé: “Who would have thought that a good little girl like you could destroy my Beautiful Wickedness?”  Yes, her beautiful wickedness.  Even in her dying woes she tries to justify herself by her résumé.  In the end, her résumé didn’t help her, for she still died.

We attempt this as well.  We generally don’t celebrate our wickedness, but we do try to point out how good we are.  Before God and others, we sometimes point out our religious and moral résumé.  We think, and sometimes even say, things such as:

I’m basically a good person.

I’ve followed the 10 Commandments… most of the time.

I’ve never killed anybody.

I’ve never cheated on my spouse.

Often, we give these items as reasons why we are going to heaven, and why God is pleased with us.  We stack up our credentials as if we must present a résumé to God for his acceptance and eternal judgment.

In our reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippian Church we see Paul’s spiritual resumé as well.  What is different about his resumé is that he follows it up in a much different way.  He counters the popular religious ideas of his day and of our day.  Popular religion often says, “I’m basically a good person, therefore I’m going to heaven.”

We see in verses three through six of our reading from Philippians that Paul is sharing his religious resumé.  He states that he has great “reason to be confident in the flesh.”  By this he means that if he wanted to, he could have every reason to trust in human efforts to please God in order to gain heavenly acceptance.

Paul’s ancestry is in the chosen people of God.  His parents fulfilled all the laws regarding his childhood.  As an adult, he did his best to follow God’s law to the letter.  Paul was passionate to any challenges to his way of religious understanding.  He saw himself as above reproach:  nobody could challenge his goodness.

What does the Apostle Paul say to all this?  It may come as a surprise to some folks.  Paul says in verses 7-9 that all his résumé is nothing.  It is all to be put aside.  Why? All his goodness is worthless garbage in comparison to the gracious and God founded gift of a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Also, our résumé is really that we are just sinners in need of God’s love.  The death of Jesus on the cross is the thing of absolute greatest value.  This death of Jesus brings about the forgiveness of our sin.  Paul’s attempts, and also our attempts, to earn that forgiveness are all worthless.

What truly matters is that the Lord has given us the faith to trust in him.  It is free.  There is no charge and there is no act of goodness which we can perform to earn it.  Why? This is because it is beyond our ability to impart God’s love and forgiveness in our own lives. Thankfully, God has given us the opportunity to have a right and clear relationship with himself through his ultimate act of self-giving love. On that Roman Torture Cross Jesus accepted our total résumé of sin as his own.  He went to a trash heap outside the city and became the trash of our self-deluded lives.  With the trash of human sin and pride on his shoulders he died on that cross.  All our rejection of God, all our struggles and pains, all our vain efforts to earn our way to heavenly glory – all of these were put where they belonged.  In exchange Jesus offers to us his forgiveness and the invitation to be with him, now and forever.

As forgiven sinners we are invited to follow the Risen Jesus, and to become his followers.  He has invited us to follow him through life and death, and into eternal life.

In the end, our résumé is trash.  It could be our goodness, or it could be our sinfulness.  Either way, with God, it doesn’t matter.  The only résumé that matters is that of Jesus.  He is the one who showed us how to live.  He is the one who suffered and died for the forgiveness of our sin. He is the one who is risen from the dead.  He is the one who is God with us, both now and forever.

Let us pray – Loving God, help us to understand that it is only by the power of your Son, Jesus Christ, that we can receive salvation.  By your Holy Spirit strengthen our faith and help us to live thankful lives for the gracious gift of forgiveness and eternal life.  We pray this in the name of your Son, 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.

 

Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  you are the God of Wonders, full of Majesty and Glory. You have drawn us together for this time of thanksgiving and prayer.  By your Spirit turn our hearts toward you and also toward our neighbor in need.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We lift in prayer the persecuted Christians in Iraq.  Keep them steadfast in your Word.  Help  them to stand firm in their faith despite the violence they endure. Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Other petitions may be added here.

Your steadfast love never ceases, your mercies never come to an end.  We pray that all who mourn will receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  (We especially remember…)   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray that you will bring healing, strength and hope to those who face struggles and changes of any kind, especially . . .  and also those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…   We ask that your comforting Spirit strengthen all for whom we pray.   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

You are truly worthy to receive glory and honor and power.  Help all in this congregation to be faithful in worship attendance.  Give us a joy in praising you.    Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who suffer due to recent natural disasters. Help us to give of our time and resources to bring relief to those who have lost so much.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen

 

*Lord’s Prayer

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.

 

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.                      

 

HARVEST FESTIVAL for Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine will be held on October 18 at the Carmine Hall.  No confirmation reunion will be held this year.  Worship service (no communion) will be at 10:15 a.m. with the Praise Team leading Country Gospel songs.  The kettle fried chicken dinner will be drive-through only from 11-12:30. Desserts will be available.  Tickets must be purchased in advance for $10.  Members may contact Shelby Vaughn at 979-203-4313 if they wish to take tickets to sell.  Tickets are available in the church office.  Members are also asked to take posters to place at businesses in different towns.

Raffle tickets are $10 with 6 big prizes.  Karen Roemer has those available and are also being sold in the Carmine church office.

October 2020 Newsletter on Web Site

Newsletter Page Updated

MLLC publishes a newsletter every month online and in print. You can receive these by mail or email or see them on this web site. To receive them by mail, contact the church office – 979-278-3388

To receive them by email, send a message to mluther@industryinet.com requesting to be added to the list.

Check back each month to see these on the web site.

The recent months of newsletters, including the current month, are now posted on the mllccarmine.com web site.

Here is the link to that page.
Monthly Newsletters.

Thank you for your interest and partnership in ministry.

Fundraiser Raffle at Harvest Festival

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Raffle Information

We are having a raffle as part of our 2020 Harvest Festival.  This raffle is in support of the congregation.  Tickets are $10/each, and there is no minimum nor maximum number you can purchase.  There is no requirement to be present to win either.  Tickets are available at the church office – 979-278-3388, or at the church at the weekend worship services.

When you buy one of the tickets you are buying a chance at one of six valuable prizes.  These include:

$500 Visa Gift Card – Grand Prize

$150 Visa Gift Card

$100 Visa Gift Card and a cutting board with turquoise inlay

$100 JW’s Steakhouse Gift Card

$100 Eckermann’s Meat Market Gift Card

The drawing will take place on Sunday, October 18, at 12:30 p.m.  The results of the drawing will be shown on Facebook Live through the MLLC Facebook page.

Tickets may be purchased any time up until the drawing time on October 18.  We will need your name and phone number on each ticket.

Thank you for your support of the 2020 MLLC Harvest Festival.

You can also purchase meal tickets at the church office or after the worship services on Saturday and Sunday each week.

Harvest Festival 2020 Flier

The 17th Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus-washing-feet

Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, September 27, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

We continue to offer in-person and Facebook Live services following the normal Sunday schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.  The Saturday 6:00 p.m. service at MLLC is in-person only.

Below are the readings, prayers, and Sunday sermon.

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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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.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

 

First Reading: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

R:  A reading from Ezekiel, the 18th Chapter.

Ezekiel challenges those who think they cannot change because of what their parents were and did, or who think they cannot reverse their own previous behavior. God insistently invites people to turn and live.

And now the reading.

1The word of the Lord came to me: 2What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? 3As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.
25Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? 26When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. 27Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. 28Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. 29Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?
30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm: Psalm 25:1-9

R: Psalm 25, read responsively by verse.

1To you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.

2My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3Let none who look to you be put to shame;
rather let those be put to shame who are treacherous.
4Show me your ways, O Lord,
and teach me your paths. 
5Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
6Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,
for they are from everlasting.
7Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions;
remember me according to your steadfast love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
8You are gracious and up-right, O Lord;
therefore you teach sinners in your way.
9You lead the lowly in justice
and teach the lowly your way. 

Second Reading: Philippians 2:1-13

R: A reading from Philippians, the 2nd chapter.

As part of a call for harmony rather than self-seeking, Paul uses a very early Christian hymn that extols the selflessness of Christ in his obedient death on the cross. Christ’s selfless perspective is to be the essential perspective we share as the foundation for Christian accord.

And now the reading.

1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
9Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

*Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32

P: The holy gospel according to St. Matthew, the 21st chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

After driving the moneychangers out of the temple (21:12), Jesus begins teaching there. His authority is questioned by the religious leaders, who are supposed to be in charge of the temple.

And now the reading.

23When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

 

 

Devotion

Shared Brain Cells

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen

Have you ever heard of, “Shared Brain Cells?”  This is a description of how two or more people think very much alike.  So, it is not about literally sharing cells with another person.  The figurative idea of, “Shared Brain Cells,” might be that the pair or group respond to a question the same way.  Sometimes they will come up the same idea for an event, a theme, or a party without consulting the other.  I have heard of this happening with married couples, close friends, twins, siblings, and the like. They would have, in a sense, the same mind about many things.

In today’s reading from Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi he calls on the Christians to have same mind as Jesus Christ.  Paul writes, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…”  Here in chapter 2 Paul is teaching the people to live God’s most excellent way.  He reminds us that we are called to live differently because of what Jesus has done on the cross.  Here is what Paul writes about this:

“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”

This is clearly about how we are called to conduct ourselves as believers in the community of faith.  God, through the Apostle Paul, invites us to be seeking common ground on issues, working together positively, and ultimately seeking the best for others.

This new mindset is more than just “being nice or good.”  Actually, if you think the Christian faith is about “being nice or good,” you are mistaken.

Our faith in Christ is about being restored to fellowship with God.

Our faith about the forgiveness of sin.

Our faith is about the Holy Spirit creating a new and caring community of believers.

Our Faith is about being a blessing to others.

This is all to the glory of God.  Together, these things will result in good and loving actions, but that is the fruit of our relationship with the Lord.  Paul teaches about this in Galatians 5:22-23, where he writes, “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.”

This new mindset about which Paul teaches is founded in the saving work of Jesus Christ.  That is why Paul goes into the longer statement about Jesus’ life and ministry in today’s reading.  Our lives of unity and humility are provided by what Jesus has done for us.  He willingly humbled himself for our sake.

God the Son humbled himself in that God became human.  He humbled himself and became like the least of the world so that he might look out for the best interests of others.  Those others are the people of every race and language, of all generations.  Those others are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and love.  Those others are you and me.

For the sake of all people, he met us in what comes to all of us:  death.  Jesus met us in death when he died on that cruel cross.  In his great humility he there willingly received our just wages for our sinful ways.  In exchange he gave us his perfection and then led us through death into new and eternal life in him.

In response to his humble love for us, we grow to live with his mindset.  With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we grow to live seeking the best for one another and for our neighbors by humbling ourselves for their sake.

Jesus lived a loving servant life without limit, and he invites us to live following his example. As we look back on the ministry of Jesus, we remember in John chapter 13 how Jesus served his disciples by washing their feet at the Last Supper.  He took on that humble servant’s job to show them and us how to live out love in the community of faith.  In conclusion he points out how they are to live when he says, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

As we love one another we grow to have the mindset of Jesus Christ.  We do not really need “Shared Brain Cells” to do it.  We have something much better.  We have the Holy Spirit, the saving work of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, and the example of Jesus to show us how to live.  These together help us to have the mindset of Christ.

Let us pray – Lord God, your grace is sufficient for us.  We give thanks for giving yourself for us through your Son’s death on the cross.  By your Holy Spirit help us grow to have the mindset of Jesus Christ in whose name we pray.  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.

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  you are worthy of all honor and glory and praise.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Grant peace and comfort to those who mourn, (especially the family and friends of …) Help us to care for one another in our time of loss.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray that you would bring healing, strength and hope to those who struggle in body, mind or spirit, especially . . .  and those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…  May your comforting Spirit strengthen all for whom we pray.   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Other petitions may be added here.

Guide and protect all who work in medical and emergency services.  Help them to be ready to serve all in our time of need. Be with all who have suffered due to recent disasters, conflicts, and outbreaks of disease.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We lift in prayer your people around the world. Grant renewed hope to your persecuted people in Syria.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Stir us to renewed commitment to daily reading of your Holy Word.  We pray that your Holy Spirit will guide and enrich our learning and growth as your disciples. 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

 

LORD’S PRAYER 

 

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.

 

 

Harvest Festival 2020

Harvest Festival 2020 Flier

Harvest Festival

Sunday, October 18, 2020

All Events at the Carmine Hall – Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein – 300 N. Hauptstrasse, Carmine, TX 78932 – Click Here for Map

We will not be offering the Confirmation Homecoming this year due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Worship and Starting at 10:15 a.m.

Our praise team will lead our singing.  The music will be Old Time Gospel worship songs.

Meal – Carmine Fried Chicken and sides.

Meal served 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10.00  We will be serving our traditional fried chicken, with side dishes.  Starting in September 2020, contact the church office for tickets.  979-278-3388

Raffle

Tickets are $10/each.  Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the festival.

Grand Prize:  $500 Visa Gift Card

The other prizes have value of ~$100