Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost –September 5, 2021

Today’s Theme for Worship: If we are faithful to God, it is only because he has redeemed us and renewed our hearts with the gospel.


Order of Service: Service of Word and Sacrament


Opening Hymn 205 O Lord, Look Down from Heaven

1  O Lord, look down from heav’n, behold, And let your pity waken.

How few are we within your fold, Your saints by all forsaken;

True faith seems quenched on ev’ry hand; Your Word is not allowed to stand.

Dark times have us o’ertaken.


2  O God, root out all heresy, And of false teachers rid us

Who proudly say, “Now where is he Who shall our speech forbid us?

By right or might we shall prevail; What we determine cannot fail;

We want no lord and master!”


3  Therefore said God, “I must arise-The poor my help are needing.

To me ascend my people’s cries, And I have heard their pleading.

For them my saving Word shall fight And fearlessly and sharply smite,

The poor with might defending.”


4  Defend your truth, O God, and stay This evil generation,

And from the error of its way Keep your own congregation.

The wicked ev’rywhere abound And would your little flock confound,

But you are our salvation!


Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546, abr.; tr. The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis, 1941, alt.


Order of Service: Service of Word and Sacrament


P: The grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

C: And also with you.


Confession of Sins

P: God invites us to come into his presence and worship him with humble and penitent hearts. Therefore, let us acknowledge our sinfulness and ask him to forgive us.

C: Holy and merciful Father, I confess that I am by nature sinful, and that I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words, and actions.  I have done what is evil and failed to do what is good.  For this I deserve your punishment both now and in eternity.  But I am truly sorry for my sins, and trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ, I pray:  Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

P: God, our heavenly Father, has been merciful to us and has given his only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

C:  Amen.


Lord, Have Mercy

P: For all that we need in life and for the wisdom to use all your gifts with gratitude and joy, hear our prayer, O Lord.

C: Lord, have mer-cy.


P: For the steadfast assurance that nothing can separate us from your love and for the courage to stand firm against the assaults of Satan and every evil, hear our prayer, O Christ.

C: Christ, have mer-cy.


P: For the well-being of your holy Church in all the world and for those who offer here their worship and praise, hear our prayer, O Lord.

C: Lord, have mer-cy.


P: Merciful God, maker and preserver of life, uphold us by your power and keep us in your tender care:

C: A-men.


P: The works of the Lord are great and glorious; his name is worthy of praise.


O Lord, Our Lord

O Lord, our Lord, how glo-rious is your name in all the earth.

Al-might-y God, mer-ci-ful Father,

you crown our life with your love.


You take a-way our sin; you com-fort our spir-it;

you make us pure and ho-ly in your sight.

You did not spare your on-ly Son, but gave him up for us all.

O Lord, our Lord, how glo-rious is your name in all the earth.


O Son of God, e-ter-nal Word of the Fa-ther,

you came to live with us;

you made your Fa-ther known;

you washed us from our sins in your own blood.


You are the King of glo-ry; you are the Lord!

O Lord, our Lord, how glo-rious is your name in all the earth.


Prayer of the Day

P: Let us Pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, preserve the congregation of believers with your never-failing mercy. Help us to avoid whatever is wicked and harmful, and guide us in the way that leads to our salvation; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


First Lesson: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
God’s command and promise was Israel’s only guide for faith and conduct.

So now, Israel, listen to the statutes and the ordinances that I am teaching you, and carry them out so that you may live and so that you may enter the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving to you and take possession of it. 2Do not add to the word that I am commanding you, and do not subtract from it, so that you keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you.

6Keep them and put them into practice, because in this way your wisdom and your understanding will be recognized by all the people who hear about all these statutes; and they will say, “This great nation is certainly a wise and understanding people,” 7because what other great nation is there that has a god as close to it as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call on him? 8What other great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances as righteous as this entire law that I am presenting to you today?


Psalm of the Day 119c


Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.


Oh, how I love your law!*

I meditate on it all day long.


I have more insight than all my teachers,*

for I meditate on your statutes.


I have more understanding than the elders,*

for I obey your precepts.



Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.


I have kept my feet from every evil path*

so that I might obey your Word.


I have not departed from your laws,*

for you yourself have taught me.


How sweet are your words to my taste,*

sweeter than honey to my mouth!


Glory be to the Father and to the Son*

and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning,*

is now, and will be forever. Amen.



Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.


Refrain Tune: Joyce Schubkegal. © 1993 Joyce Schubkegal (admin. Northwestern Publishing House). All rights reserved. Used by permission.



Second Lesson: Ephesians 6:10-20

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power . . . put on the full armor of God.”

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can stand against the schemes of the Devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13For this reason, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to take a stand on the evil day and, after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness fastened in place, 15and with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace tied to your feet like sandals. 16At all times hold up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 17Also take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18At every opportunity, pray in the Spirit with every kind of prayer and petition. Stay alert for the same reason, always persevering in your intercession for all the saints. 19Pray for me also, that when I open my mouth a message will be given to me that boldly reveals the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may speak about it boldly, as it is necessary for me to speak.


Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

These words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!


Gospel Lesson: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
God’s Word does not need human assistance.
The Pharisees and some of the experts in the law came from Jerusalem and gathered around Jesus. 2They saw some of his disciples eating bread with unclean (that is, unwashed) hands. 3In fact, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they scrub their hands with a fist, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions they adhere to, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, kettles, and dining couches. 5The Pharisees and the experts in the law asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders? Instead they eat bread with unclean hands.”

6He answered them, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written:

These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7They worship me in vain, teaching human rules as if they were doctrines.

8“You abandon God’s commandment but hold to human tradition like the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things.”

14He called the crowd to him again and said, “Everyone, listen to me and understand. 15There is nothing outside of a man that can make him unclean by going into him. But the things that come out of a man are what make a man unclean.

21“In fact, from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual sins, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, unrestrained immorality, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness. 23All these evil things proceed from within and make a person unclean.”


Hymn of the Day: 459 O God, My Faithful God

1  O God, my faithful God, O Fountain ever flowing,

Who good and perfect gifts In mercy are bestowing,

Give me a healthy frame, And may I have within

A conscience free from blame, A soul unhurt by sin.


2  Grant me the strength to do With ready heart and willing

Whatever you command, My calling here fulfilling,

That I do what I should While trusting you to bless

The outcome for my good, For you must give success.


3  Keep me from saying things That later need recalling;

Grant that no idle words May from my lips be falling,

But then, when in my place I must and ought to speak,

My words grant pow’r and grace Lest I offend the weak.


4  Lord, let me win my foes With kindly words and actions,

And let me find good friends For counsel and correction.

Help me, as you have taught, To love both great and small

And by your Spirit’s might To live in peace with all.


Text: Johann Heermann, 1585-1647, abr., adapt.; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-78, alt.




Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.  For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and became fully human.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered death and was buried.  On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who in unity with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.  We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.  We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.  Amen.


Offering Prayer



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Prayer of the Church


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.


The Sacrament


P: The Lord be with you.

C: And also with you.


P: Lift up your hearts.

C: We lift them up to the Lord.


P: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C: It is right to give him thanks and praise.


P: Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In love he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. He sends the Holy Spirit to testify that we are his children and to strengthen us when we are weak. Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ. To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and thanks and honor and glory for ever and ever.


Holy, Holy, Holy

Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly is the Lord of hosts.

The whole earth is full of your glo-ry.


You are my God, and I will ex-alt you.

I will give you thanks, for you have be-come my sal-va-tion.

Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly is the Lord of hosts.

The whole earth is full of your glo-ry.



Words of Institution

P: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying “Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”


P: The peace of the Lord be with you always.

C: A-men.


O Christ, Lamb Of God

O Christ, Lamb of God,

you take a-way the sin of the world;

have mer-cy on us.


O Christ, Lamb of God,

you take a-way the sin of the world;

have mer-cy on us.


O Christ, Lamb of God,

you take a-way the sin of the world;

grant us your peace.



Distribution Hymn: 286 The Law Commands and Makes Us Know


1  The law commands and makes us know What duties to our God we owe,

But ’tis the gospel must reveal Where lies our strength to do his will.


2  The law uncovers guilt and sin And shows how vile our hearts have been;

The gospel only can express Forgiving love and cleansing grace.


3  What curses does the law pronounce Against the one who fails but once!

But in the gospel Christ appears, Pard’ning the guilt of num’rous years.


4  My soul, no more attempt to draw Your life and comfort from the law.

Flee to the hope the gospel gives; The one who trusts the promise lives.


Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748, alt.


Thank the Lord

Thank the Lord and sing his praise.

Tell ev-'ry-one what he has done.


Let all who seek the Lord re-joice

And proud-ly bear his name.

He re-news his prom-is-es and leads his peo-ple forth

in joy with shouts of thanks-giv-ing.


Al-le-lu-ia! Al-le-lu-ia!



P: Hear the prayer of your people, O Lord, that the lips which have praised you here may glorify you in the world, that the eyes which have seen the coming of your Son may long for his coming again, and that all who have received in his true body and blood the pledge of your forgiveness may be restored to live a new and holy life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C: A-men.



M: Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. Serve the Lord with gladness.

The Lord bless you and keep you.

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

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

C: (sing) Amen. Amen. Amen.


Closing Hymn: 498 Though I May Speak with Bravest Fire

1  Though I may speak with bravest fire

And have the gift to all inspire

And have not love, my words are vain-

As sounding brass-and hopeless gain.


2  Though I may give all I possess

And, striving so, my love profess

But not be giv’n by love within,

The profit soon turns strangely thin.


3  Come, Spirit, come; our hearts control.

Our spirits long to be made whole.

Let inward love guide ev’ry deed;

By this we worship and are freed.


Text: Hal H. Hopson, b. 1933. © 1972 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.

All rights reserved. Used by permission.