For Time Such As These – Esther

Our Summer series of Old Testament themes continues to progress as we encounter Mordechai and Esther. Mordechai is a Jew who is also a gatekeeper in Babylon. Esther became queen after Xerces got rid of Queen Vashti. Even though God is not mentioned in the whole book, story speaks to the preservation of the Jewish people in a time of exile. Christians, too, understand that the earth as we know it is not our final resting place and so we can understand our time here as one of being in ‘exile’ as well. Through faith in Jesus Christ we belong to an eternal kingdom. When He returns, we will live with Him in a new heavens and earth for eternity. He will preserve us for such a times as that!

Family Room & Children Activity Bags- We value children in our worship services. If needed, there is a family room available for families with children. The family room has a diaper changing table, a closed-circuit T. V. to watch the worship service, toys and books for children. The family room is located across from the kitchen in the long hallway, the first door on the right, just past the bathrooms. There are “King’s Kids” bags with activities for children to help them worship. They are near the usher’s station. Please return the bag to the rack after the service.


Holy Communion- The Scripture teaches the Lord’s Supper is a precious gift of God in which Christ gives us His true body and blood (in a miraculous way), together with the bread and wine, for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith. Because the Bible teaches that this Sacrament may also be spiritually harmful if misused the LCMS ordinarily communes only those who have been instructed in the teachings of our church and who have confessed their faith in these teachings. Please speak to Pastor Ralph before the service if you have a question about this. For those who prefer a non-alcoholic alternative, there is grape juice at the center of each tray. Those not receiving the Sacrament, including children, are invited to come to the altar, cross their arms over their chest, and receive a special blessing.


History is of Great Value “Histories are nothing else than indications, memorials and tokens of divine works and judgments, informing us how God sustains, rules, checks, furthers, punishes, and honors the world, especially people, as each one deserves evil or good. And though there are many who neither recognize or regard God, yet they cannot but be painfully aware of these examples and histories and fears that they, too, will fare like this and that man described by history… Therefore, historians are most useful people, and the best of teachers; we can never sufficiently honor, praise or thank them. Moreover, causing the history of their times to be written with care ought to be the work of great men, such as emperors, kings, etc. And they ought to deposit and preserve these histories in libraries and never grudge the cost required to train and support people able to do this sort of work.”    What Luther Says # 1999 

Eleventh Sunday in Pentecost

August 16, 2020



Opening Hymn                               O Blessed, Holy Trinity                            LSB 876  vs 1-3


Invocation, Confession and Forgiveness               (Psalm 71: 1-6)


P:   We gather in the name and at the invitation of our great and gracious triune God,

C:   In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


P:   In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. 

C:   Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. 


P:   Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; 

C:   give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 


P:   Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, 

C:   from the grasp of evil and cruel men. 


P:   For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. 

C:   From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. 

ALL:   I will ever praise you. 


C: Lord, we can only call upon You because of what Jesus, Your Son has accomplished for us. Through His death on the cross we have been forgiven of our sin, and by His resurrection we have new life. Yet, we often fail in this new life when we look to the gods of this world and trust them more than Your Holy Word. Forgive us. Cleanse our hearts of fear and dread so that we can love as You have loved us, and live in peace with one another as You now do through Christ our Lord. 

(Silence for Meditation)

P:   Upon this, your confession, I, by virtue of my office as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God to all of you:  you are forgiven all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C:   Amen. My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long! 

Hymn                                                      Christ is Surely Coming                                     LSB 509


Prayer of the Day


All:   Gracious God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, help us to stand firm in these times when Your kingdom is under attack and Your Word is scoffed at by many in our day. Help us to cling to Your promises as we seek to continually be about Your business of seeking and saving the lost. Strengthen our faith as we live holy lives in the forgiveness of our sins; through Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


O T Lesson       (Mordechai Encourages Esther to Approach the King)         Esther 4: 4-17 


4 When Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why. 6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to urge her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people. 9 Hathach went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” 12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.

 I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” 17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions. 


N T Lesson   (No time for church to be lukewarm)          Revelation 2: 14-22


14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”


Gospel Lesson (John paid the ultimate price for his witness of Jesus)        Matt 14: 1-12


At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet. 6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. 

 Message Song                           When Its All Been Said and Done


When it’s all been said and done,   There is just one thing that matters;

Did I do my best to live for truth,  Did I live my life for You?


When it’s all been said and done,    All my treasures will mean nothing;

Only what I’ve done for love’s reward    Will stand the test of time.


Lord, Your mercy is so great     That You look beyond our weakness;

And find purest gold in miry clay,     Making sinners into saints.


I will always sing Your praise,      Here on earth and ever after;

For You’ve shown me heaven’s my true home,     When it’s all been said and done,

You’re my life when life is gone.


Words and music by Jim Cowan. © Copyright 1999 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music

Used with permission CCLI #11390779

Message                                When the Times Demand Action


  1. When we do not want to act ___     _________     act in the faith God has given.
  2. God will make a way for us to proceed in His _____________________.
  3. Not everyone is ________      but everyone in the kingdom will be _________      .

The Apostle’s Creed                                      


C:   I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  

And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Offering                  (Please place offering in plate in Narthex.  Thank you!)   


Prayers of the Church  


 After each petition:

 P:  Lord, in your mercy,

 C:  hear our prayer.


The 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 Lord’s Supper

Preface                                                                       page 160 in the hymnal


P:  The Lord be with you.

C:  And also with you.

P:   Lift up your hearts.

C:  We lift them to the Lord.

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

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

P:   It is truly good, right, and salutary …. And ever more praising You and singing:


Sanctus — Holy, Holy, Holy                                         page 161 in the hymnal


C:  Holy, holy, holy Lord God of pow’r and might: Heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.


The Words of Institution (Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper)


Pax DominiThe Peace of the Lord                                                   page 163 in the hymnal


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

C:   Amen. 

Agnus Dei – Lamb of God                                                                    page 163 in the hymnal

C:  Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

         Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

         Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.

Distribution of Communion


Dismissal of Communicants


Post Communion Canticle                                                        page 164 in the hymnal


C:  Thank the Lord and sing His praise; tell ev’ryone what He has done.  Let all who seek the Lord rejoice and proudly bear His name.  He recalls His promises and leads His people forth in joy with shouts of thanksgiving. Alleluia, alleluia


Post Communion Thanksgiving

All: O God the Father, the fountain and source of all goodness and grace, strengthen our lives by the promise of forgiveness and peace. Rule our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that we may be enabled to serve You in joy; through Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.




P:   The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

C:   Amen.


Sending               O Word of God Incarnate                         LSB  523