St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches

Special Services

Thanksgiving — 2017


Opening Hymn                       “We Praise You, O God”

Christian Worship #609


We praise you, O God, our Redeemer, Creator!

In grateful devotion our tribute we bring:

We lay it before you; we kneel and adore you;

We bless your holy name; glad praises we sing.


We worship you, God of our fathers; we bless you.

Through trial and tempest our guide you have been;

When perils o’ertake us, you will not forsake us,

And with your help, O Lord, our battles we win.


With voices united our praises we offer;

To you, great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise.

Your strong arm will guide us; our God is beside us.

To you, our great Redeemer, fore’er be praise!



Minister:  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Congregation:  Amen.


Psalm 103

This ancient song of thanksgiving reminds us of the greatest of God’s blessings: his tender, forgiving mercy. (Please read the verses in bold type.)

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—

with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,

and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.

Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.

Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the LORD, O my soul.


Prayer to Our Triune God

M:      Let us pray.

         Father in heaven, Creator of all things, you give us all that we need for body and life.

C:      Every good and perfect gift comes from you, the Father of the heavenly lights.        James 1:17

M:     Lord Jesus Christ, by your suffering and death you have opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

C:      We approach your throne, O God, with confidence, for mercy and grace in our time of need.                                                                                                             Hebrews 4:16

M:     Holy Spirit, Counselor and Guide, you have raised us from death by your powerful Word.

C:      You, O Spirit of God, have made us. Your breath, Almighty One, gave us life.                Job 33:4

M:     Lord, fill our hearts with thanksgiving for your mercy and love.

C:      Move us with our hearts to believe and with our mouths to confess your saving name. Amen.                                                                                                            Romans 10:10


Choir:  “Blessings”


Scripture Lesson: Deuteronomy 8:10-18

“Don’t forget!” Moses says as the Israelites enter the Promised Land. With prosperity comes the danger of forgetting where our blessings come from.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.  Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.  Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions.  He brought you water out of hard rock.  He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.  You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.


M:     This is the Word of the Lord.

C:      Thanks be to God!


Hymn                              “Now Thank We All Our God”

                                                                           Christian Worship #610, stanza 1

Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done, In whom his world rejoices,

Who from our mother’s arms Has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love And still is ours today.


Scripture Lesson: Philippians 4:10-20

Paul the apostle expresses his contentment, which comes from fellow believers sharing with him and most of all from the strength and grace Christ gives.

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.  Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.  I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.  And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


M:     This is the Word of the Lord.

C:      Thanks be to God!


Hymn                              “Now Thank We All Our God”

                                                                           Christian Worship #610, stanza 2

Oh, may this bounteous God Through all our life be near us,

With ever-joyful hearts And blessed peace to cheer us

And keep us in his grace And guide us when perplexed

And free us from all ills In this world and the next.


Scripture Lesson: Luke 17:11-19

Jesus’ grace and power create thanksgiving in a man’s heart.

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him.  They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him — and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”


M:     This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C:      Thanks be to God!


Hymn                              “Now Thank We All Our God”

                                                                           Christian Worship #610, stanza 3

All praise and thanks to God The Father now be given,

The Son, and him who reigns With them in highest heaven,

The one eternal God, Whom earth and heav’n adore!

For thus it was, is now, And shall be evermore.


Message from God’s Word based on 1 Samuel 12:24

     Be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.



A Time To Reflect

A Time To React


Confession of Faith from Luther’s Small Catechism

                                             Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer


M:     “Give us today our daily bread”— what does this mean?

C:      God surely gives daily bread without our asking, even to all the wicked, but we pray in this petition that he would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

M:     What, then, is meant by “daily bread”?

C:      Daily bread includes everything that we need for our bodily welfare, such as food and drink, clothing and shoes, house and home, land and cattle, money and goods, a godly spouse, godly children, godly workers, godly and faithful leaders, good government, good weather, peace and order, health, a good name, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.


Offering Prayer

C:      Lord of heaven and earth, in love you have given us more than we need or deserve; with thankful hearts, we present our offerings to you.  Use our gifts that your work and your word may continue to prosper and grow.  Amen.


Gathering of Our Thank-offerings


Hymn                           “For The Fruit Of His Creation”

                                                                                              Christian Worship #611

For the fruit of his creation, Thanks be to God.

For his gifts to ev’ry nation, Thanks be to God.

For the plowing, sowing, reaping,

Silent growth while we are sleeping,

Future needs in earth’s safe-keeping, Thanks be to God.


In the just reward of labor, God’s will be done.

In the help we give our neighbor, God’s will be done.

In our worldwide task of caring

For the hungry and despairing,

In the harvests we are sharing, God’s will be done.


For the harvests of the Spirit, Thanks be to God.

For the good we all inherit, Thanks be to God.

For the wonders that astound us,

For the truths that still confound us,

Most of all that  Love has found us, Thanks be to God.


A Litany of Thanksgiving and the Lord’s Prayer

M:     Give thanks to the Lord, who is good.

C:      God’s love is everlasting.

M:     Come, let us praise God joyfully.

C:      Let us come to God with thanksgiving.

M:     For the good world; for things great and small, beautiful and awesome; for seen and unseen splendors:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For human life; for talking and moving and thinking together; for common hopes and hardships shared from birth until our dying:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For work to do and strength to work; for the comradeship of labor; for exchanges of good humor and encouragement:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For marriage; for the mystery and joy of flesh made one; for mutual forgiveness and burdens shared; for secrets kept in love:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For family; for living and eating together; for family amusements and family pleasures:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For children; for their energy and curiosity; for their brave play and startling frankness; for their sudden sympathies:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For the young; for their high hopes; for their candid criticism; for their search for freedom:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For growing up and growing old; for wisdom deepened by experience; for rest in leisure; for time made precious by its passing:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For your help in times of doubt and sorrow; for healing our diseases; for preserving us in temptation and danger:

C:      We thank you, O God.

M:     For the Church into which we have been called; for the good news we receive by Word and sacrament; for our life together in the Lord:

C:      We praise you, O God.

M:     For your Holy Spirit, who guides our steps and brings us gifts of faith and love, who prays in us and prompts our grateful worship:

C:      We praise you, O God.

M:     Above all, O God, for your Son, Jesus Christ, who lived and died and lives again for our salvation; for our hope in him; and for the joy of serving him:

C:      We thank and praise you, eternal God, for all your goodness to us.

M:     Give thanks to the Lord, who is good.

C:      God’s love is everlasting. Amen.

M:     With gratitude that we can talk to you as loved children talk to their loving father, we pray:

C:      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.



With grateful confidence that these words are powerful, we receive the blessing of the Triune God.

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

C:      Amen.


Closing Hymn                                        “Day by Day”

                             Christian Worship Supplement #756

Day by day, your mercies, Lord, attend me,

Bringing comfort to my anxious soul.

Day by day, the blessings, Lord, you send me

Draw me nearer to my heav’nly goal.

Love divine, beyond all mortal measure,

Brings to naught the burdens of my quest;

Savior, lead me to the home I treasure,

Where, at last, I’ll find eternal rest.


Day by day, I know you will provide me

Strength to serve and wisdom to obey;

I will seek your loving will to guide me

O’er the paths I struggle day by day.

I will fear no evil of the morrow;

I will trust in your enduring grace.

Savior, help me bear life’s pain and sorrow;

Till in glory I behold your face.


Oh, what joy to know that you are near me

When my burdens grow too great to bear;

Oh, what joy to know that you will hear me

When I come, O Lord, to you in prayer.

Day by day, no matter what betide me,

You will hold me ever in your hand.

Savior, with your presence here to guide me,

I will reach at last the promised land.