Order of Matins
V. O LORD, open Thou my lips. R. And my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.
V. Make haste, O God, to deliver me. R. Make haste to help me, O Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Hallelujah.
V. O come, let us worship the Lord. R. For He is our Maker.
O COME, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving: and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God: and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God: and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The Hymn: “Our Father, Thou, in Heav’n Above” by Martin Luther
1 Our Father, Thou in heav’n above,
Who biddest us to dwell in love,
As brethren of one family,
And cry in ev’ry need to Thee,
Teach us no thoughtless words to say,
And from our inmost heart to pray.
2 Thy name be hallowed. Help us, Lord,
In purity to keep Thy Word,
That to the glory of Thy name
We walk before Thee free from blame.
Let no false doctrine us pervert;
All poor, deluded souls convert.
3 Thy kingdom come. Thine let it be
In time and in eternity.
Let Thy good Spirit e’er be nigh
Our hearts with graces to supply.
Break Satan’s pow’r, defeat His rage;
Preserve Thy Church from age to age.
4 Thy gracious will on earth be done
As ’tis in heaven before Thy throne;
Obedience in our weal and woe
And patience in all grief bestow.
Curb flesh and blood and every ill
That sets itself against Thy will.
5 Give us this day our daily bread
And let us all be clothed and fed.
From war and strife be our Defense,
From famine and from pestilence,
That we may live in godly peace,
Free from all care and avarice.
6 Forgive our sins, Lord, we implore,
Remove from us their burden sore,
As we their trespasses forgive
Who by offenses us do grieve.
Thus let us dwell in charity
And serve our brother willingly.
7 Into temptations lead us not,
When evil foes against us plot
And vex our souls on every hand,
Oh, give us strength that we may stand
Firm in the faith, a well-armed host,
Through comfort of the Holy Ghost!
8 From evil, Lord, deliver us;
The times and days are perilous.
Redeem us from eternal death,
And when we yield our dying breath,
Console us, grant us calm release,
And take our souls to Thee in peace.
9 Amen, that is, So shall it be.
Confirm our faith and hope in Thee
That we may doubt not, but believe
What here we ask we shall receive.
Thus in Thy name and at Thy Word
We say: Amen. Oh, hear us, Lord! Amen.
Epistle: James 1:21-27
21 Therefore lay apart all filthiness and the superfluity of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he beholdeth himself, and then goeth his way and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27 Pure religion, undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
V. O Lord, have mercy upon us. R. Thanks be to God.
Gospel: John 16:23-30
23 And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name. Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25 “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs; but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father. 26 In that day ye shall ask in My name, and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” 29 His disciples said unto Him, “Lo, now speakest Thou plainly and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things and needest not that any man should ask Thee. By this we believe that Thou camest forth from God.”
V. O Lord, have mercy upon us. R. Thanks be to God.
Sermon: “Doers of the Word” — James 1:21-25
“21 Therefore lay apart all filthiness and the superfluity of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he beholdeth himself, and then goeth his way and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:21-25
“Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen.
It is through the hearing of God’s Word that we are saved, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
The Word of God convicts us of our sins and calls us to repent of our evil ways — of “all filthiness and the superfluity of wickedness” — and to look in faith to the shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for pardon and forgiveness. The Word is engrafted into our hearts and there creates faith that takes hold of God’s promises of mercy and forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.
However, as James warns us, such faith is not just an empty assent to the facts. It’s not a faith that produces no fruits; it’s not an empty, dead faith, for “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). And so, James says, “But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (v. 22).
When we hear the Word of God preached and proclaimed, or when we read it in our Bibles, it will do us no good unless we act on it. To hear the Word and not do as it says is self-deception — thinking that all is well with our souls when it is not — when we have no real and genuine faith in Christ Jesus.
It is to hear the Word of God calling us to repent of our evil ways and to look in faith to Christ Jesus and His cross for forgiveness but then not repenting of our sins and not looking to Christ. It is to continue on in our sinful ways rather than to lay aside “all filthiness and the superfluity of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.”
It is seeing ourselves in the mirror of God’s law — seeing our utter sinfulness and the just condemnation we deserve on account of our sins — but then coming away and forgetting our wretchedness and, consequently, not seeing our need to repent and look in faith to the cross of Jesus.
As James writes, “For if any be a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror; for he beholdeth himself, and then goeth his way and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1:23-24).
Do you do this? Do you see from reading and hearing God’s Word that you are a sinner and deserving of God’s wrath and punishment but then just go your way and do nothing about it? Do you assume it’s OK to continue on as you are and not repent and look in faith to Christ and His atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world?
John the Baptist said to his hearers (Luke 3:7-9): “O generation of vipers! Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say among yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say unto you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees. Every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”
If one truly looks at himself and examines himself in the mirror of God’s law and sees his wickedness and sin and then hears of Christ and His holy life and His innocent suffering and death in our stead, of His sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world (1 John 2:1-2), this word, if it becomes engrafted in the sinner’s heart, will move him to repent of all sins, trust in Christ for pardon and forgiveness, and then, as a fruit of faith, to amend his evil ways and seek to live for the LORD God in accord with His Word.
Has God’s Word become engrafted in your heart? Is it putting down roots and growing, moving you to repent of your sinful ways and look in faith to Christ and His cross for pardon and forgiveness?
James writes: “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
The one in whom the Word of God has taken root repents of his evil deeds and looks to Christ for mercy and forgiveness. But the Word also moves him to then amend his evil ways and seek to live for Christ who died for him and rose again. He is set free of the guilt and condemnation of his sins that he might freely live for His Savior!
As the Scriptures say in 2 Corinthians 5:15, “He [Christ] died for all, that those who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again.”
Grant that I be not a forgetful hearer but a doer of Your Word, O Lord. Grant that I see my sins and repent, trusting in Christ and His cross for forgiveness and life everlasting, and then amend my ways and live for You. Amen.
[Scripture quoted from the 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) Copyright © 1994 by Deuel Enterprises, Inc.]
The Canticle — Te Deum Laudamus
We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting. To Thee all Angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all the powers therein. To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy Glory. The glorious company of the Apostles praise Thee. The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee. The noble army of Martyrs praise Thee. The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee; The Father of an infinite Majesty; Thine adorable, true and only Son; Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ. Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father. When Thou tookest upon Thee to deliver man, Thou didst humble Thyself to be born of a Virgin. When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father. We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge. We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood. Make them to be numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting. O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine heritage. Govern them and lift them up for ever. Day by day we magnify Thee; And we worship Thy Name ever, world without end. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us. O Lord, let Thy mercy be upon us as our trust is in Thee. O Lord, in Thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.
OUR Father, Who art in heaven; Hallowed by 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, for ever and ever. Amen.
V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.
O GOD, from Whom all good things do come: Grant to us Thy humble servants, that by Thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be right, and by Thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for Grace
O LORD, our Heavenly Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, Who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with Thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings, being ordered by Thy governance, may be righteous in Thy sight; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
V. Bless we the Lord. R. Thanks be to God.
THE Grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. +
Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them.
Online Services will continue each week via Facebook Live and with recorded YouTube videos posted on the church website after the service when we are back in the church building. The bulletin is posted and made available online. In addition, devotionals and sermon summaries are also available on the church website: https://goodshepherdrogers.org.
Midweek Bible Study will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday via Google Meet. We continue our study of the Gospel of John.
Ascension Day Vespers may be held at the church at 7 p.m.on Thursday, May 13, or in an online service, depending on the progress in the building.
A Voter’s Assembly meeting will be held following our morning worship service on Sunday, May 23. In addition to other items, the congregation will consider adopting an amended Constitution and Bylaws.
Church Council will next meet via Google Meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.