THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
June 13, 2021
The Best Is Yet to Come
The Cross of Christ Is the Tree of Life, Which Bears Abundant Fruit after Its Own Kind
The parables of our Lord convey the mysteries of the kingdom of God to those who are “able to hear it,” that is, “to his own disciples,” who are catechized to fear, love and trust in Him by faith (Mark 4:33–34). He scatters “seed on the ground,” which “sprouts and grows” unto life, even as “he sleeps and rises” (Mark 4:26–27). “On the mountain height of Israel,” He plants a young and tender twig, and it becomes “a noble cedar.” Indeed, His own cross becomes the Tree of Life, under which “every kind of bird” will dwell, and in which “birds of every sort will nest” (Ezek. 17:22–25). His cross is our resting place, even while now in mortal bodies, we “groan, being burdened” (2 Cor. 5:1–4). Yet in faith, we live for God in Christ, who for our sake “died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15). We know that, in His resurrected body, “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).
Use the scroll bar on the right side of the window below to read along with the service.
+ PREPARATION +
OPENING HYMN: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
Pastor: In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION Psalm 1:5–6
Pastor: Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
People: for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Silence for self-examination.
Pastor: Holy and gracious God,
People: I confess that I have sinned against You, in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done, and by what I have not done. Some of my sin I know—the thoughts and words and deeds of which I am ashamed—but some is known only to You. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior, I ask forgiveness and pray You to deliver and restore me by Your mercy. Amen.
Pastor: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has had mercy upon us and given to us His only Son to suffer and die for our salvation. As a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
+ WORD +
PSALM Psalm 1 (spoken responsively)
1Blessèd is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
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.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
SALUTATION and PRAYER OF THE DAY
Pastor: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Let us pray.
Blessed Lord, since You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
OLD TESTAMENT READING Ezekiel 17:22–24
(The Lord promises to plant a sprig and make it grow, that it may be a noble tree and bear good fruit.)
22Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. 24And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”
Pastor: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL Psalm 145:3, 5b, 6b (spoken in unison)
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
On your wondrous works, I will meditate,
and I will declare your greatness.
EPISTLE 2 Corinthians 5:1–10
(We walk by faith and not by sight.)
1We know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Pastor: This is the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
VERSE 2 Peter 3:18a (spoken in unison)
Alleluia. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Alleluia.
HOLY GOSPEL Mark 4:26–34
(The kingdom of God is like a seed.)
Pastor: The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark, the fourth chapter.
People: Glory to You, O Lord.
26[Jesus] said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
30And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Pastor: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to You, O Christ.
HYMN OF THE DAY: When Peace, like a River
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life + of the world to come. Amen.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
After each petition:
Pastor: … Lord, in Your mercy:
People: hear our prayer.
Pastor: … through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
LORD’S PRAYER Matthew 6:9–13
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.
CLOSING PRAYER – COLLECT for GRACE
Pastor: O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, You have safely brought us to the beginning of this day. Defend us in the same with Your 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 Your governance, may be righteous in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
BENEDICTION Numbers 6:24–26
Pastor: 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.
Pastor: Go in peace! Serve the Lord!
People: Thanks be to God.
CLOSING HYMN: Go My Children with My Blessing
Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series B, Quarter 3. Copyright © 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.