Fourth Sunday of Easter

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Created, saved and gifted by God, we seek, serve and share Jesus Christ.

Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 25, 2021 – 10:30 AM

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
901 East Stroop Road
Kettering, OH 45429-4688
(937) 298-0136


The image of the Good Shepherd shows us how the risen Christ brings us to life. It is the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep, one of mutual knowledge and love, that gives the shepherd authority. The shepherd’s willingness to lay down his life for the sheep shows his love. First John illustrates what it means to lay down our lives for one another by the example of sharing our wealth with any sister or brother in need.
Abundant Care
One of the things that drew people to Jesus was that he was a master communicator. Drawing from examples of daily life, like shepherding, fishing, and growing grapes, he helped people see the connections between their story and God’s story. He drew from very ordinary and familiar elements like bread, water, and light to describe how God is at work in our lives and the world.
If Jesus were using imagery from our world today, it’s interesting to ponder what illustrations he might use to remind us of God’s presence and grace. However, even though much has changed from the ancient world, the “I am” sayings of Jesus, like those found in today’s gospel, are still amazingly relevant and tell us a great deal about how God moves among us.
When Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), and describes how this shepherd cares for his sheep, he is naming God’s abundant care for each and every one of us. Perhaps you don’t always feel the immediacy of God’s care. There are moments in each of our lives when our outlook is bleak, when God’s provision doesn’t seem obvious, and when we wonder where God is in the midst of a trying situation.
But as the good shepherd, Jesus does not wait for us to be able to name our needs and pain before he comes to heal it. Jesus knows each one of his sheep in all their particular uniqueness: “I know my own” (John 10:14). God the good shepherd anticipates our needs and gives generously so we may have life in Jesus’ name. This is a promise we can depend on yesterday, today, and tomorrow.






Blessed be the holy Trinity, + one God, the fountain of living water, the rock who gave us birth, our light and our salvation.

Joined to Christ in the waters of baptism, we are clothed with God’s mercy and forgiveness. Let us give thanks for the gift of baptism.

We give you thanks, O God, for in the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters, and by your Word you created the world, calling forth life in which you took delight.

Through the waters of the flood you delivered Noah and his family. Through the sea you led your people Israel from slavery into freedom. At the river your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Holy Spirit. By water and your Word you claim us as daughters and sons, making us heirs of your promise and servants of all.

We praise you for the gift of water that sustains life, and above all we praise you for the gift of new life in Jesus Christ. Shower us with your Spirit, and renew our lives with your forgiveness, grace, and love.

To you be given honor and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever.

GATHERING HYMN – Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing!

Good Christian friends, rejoice and sing!
Now is the triumph of our king!
To all the world glad news we bring:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The Lord of life is ris’n this day;
death’s mighty stone is rolled away;
let all the world rejoice and say:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Praise we in songs of victory
that love, that life, which cannot die,
and sing with hearts uplifted high:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Your name we bless, O risen Lord,
and sing today with one accord,
the life laid down, the life restored:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.


In peace, in peace, let us pray to the…
Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For the reign of God, and for peace throughout the world;
for the unity of all let us pray to the…
Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For your people here, who have come to give you praise;
for the strength to live your Word, let us pray to the…
Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Help save, and defend us, O God.


Now the feast and celebration,
all of creation sings for joy
to the God of life and love and freedom;
praise and glory forevermore!

Now is the feast of the Lamb once slain,
whose blood has freed and united us
to be one great people of God. Refrain

Now the feast and celebration,
all of creation sings for joy
to the God of life and love and freedom;
praise and glory forevermore!

Power and riches, wisdom and might,
all honor and glory to Christ forever. Refrain

Now the feast and celebration,
all of creation sings for joy
to the God of life and love and freedom;
praise and glory forevermore!

For God has come to dwell with us,
to make us people of God;
to make all things new.

Now the feast and celebration,
all of creation sings for joy
to the God of life and love and freedom;
praise and glory forevermore!


O Lord Christ,
good shepherd of the sheep, you seek the lost and guide us into your fold. Feed us, and we shall be satisfied; heal us, and we shall be whole. Make us one with you, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.


Peter and John had been arrested the previous day because they were proclaiming the news of the resurrection to the people. In today’s reading, Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit so that he is able to proclaim salvation in Jesus’ name to the religious authorities.

A reading from the book of Acts.
The next day [the] rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the corner- stone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

SECOND READING 1 John 3:16-24

Jesus’ death on our behalf is the clearest demonstration of divine love. This is the very love we share with others, not just through our words but especially through our deeds. In sharing such love we fulfill God’s commandments.

A reading from the book of 1 John.
We know love by this, that [Jesus Christ] laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Alleluia, Alleluia. Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia!

GOSPEL READING John 10:11-18

In language that recalls the twenty-third psalm, Jesus describes himself as the shepherd who cares for his sheep. He is willing to die for them, and he is able to overcome death for them.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said:] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


HYMN OF THE DAY – The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
and he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth
and, where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me,
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me,
thy rod and staff my comfort still;
thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thine unction grace bestoweth;
and, oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!

And so, through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never.
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.


I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.

A brief silence.
Each intercession concludes:

Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.


Lift up your heads;
we lift them up to God.
Lift up your voices;
we lift them up to God.
Lift up your hearts;
we lift them up to God.


And so we gather at the table. We come from many different places in life. And as we come together around the table we discover that our differences are not something we just tolerate, but that our differences are indeed a blessing. So come, children of God, just as you are. Wherever you are on this journey of life and faith, you are welcome here – here in this place, here in this community, here at this table. Come, children of God, come and remember.
Remember the stories that Jesus’ friends tell: Stories of bread broken and shared to feed a multitude; stories of gathering both enemy and friend together around a common table; stories of unlikely guests revealing the face of the sacred.
On a night of both celebration and betrayal Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it; gave it to his disciples and said, “Take and eat, this is my body given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” Then Jesus took the cup, blessed it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
And so we pray: Lord, bless this bread and bless this fruit of the vine. Bless all of us in our eating and drinking that our eyes might be open, and that we might recognize the risen Christ in our midst, indeed in one another.


Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.
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 risen Christ invites us to this table. Come, eat and be satisfied.

HOLY COMMUNION – Receiving the Lord’s tangible presence.

The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.
Each person may respond: Amen.

Communion Statement ~ If you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer and would like to receive Holy Communion, then come forward to receive the elements. If you would just like to come forward and receive a blessing, then you may do that also.
NOTE: We invite everyone to come forward for Holy Communion. If you have a gluten allergy, gluten-free wafers are available upon request when receiving Communion. Also, if you prefer not to receive wine at Communion, apple juice is available upon request.


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us, mercy on us. mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you break the chains of hatred and fear: have mercy on us, mercy on us. mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you are the way of justice and peace: have mercy on us, mercy on us. mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you are the way of mercy and love: have mercy on us, mercy on us. mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: grant us peace, grant us peace, grant us peace.


As we prepare to receive the sacrament today, may we quietly take this time to center our- selves on Christ, and the amazing gifts of grace and forgiveness that we have been given. As we receive the body and the blood of our Lord, let us reflect upon His sacrifice. Finally, may we take this time to ask the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts, and then to work in us and through us in the coming days.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and always keep you in God’s grace.


Wellspring of joy,
through this meal you have put gladness in our hearts. Satisfy the hun- ger still around us, and send us as joyful witnesses, that your love may bring joy to the hearts of all people, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



May our glorious God grant you a spirit of wisdom to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus. The God of life, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.

SENDING HYMN – Because He Lives (Amen)

I believe in the Son;
I believe in the Risen One.
I believe I overcome
By the power of his blood.

Amen, amen,
I’m alive, I’m alive because he lives.
Amen, amen,
Let my song join the one that never ends,
Because he lives.

I was dead in the grave;
I was covered in sin and shame.
I heard mercy call my name.
He rolled the stone away.

Amen, amen,
I’m alive, I’m alive because he lives.
Amen, amen,
Let my song join the one that never ends.

Because he lives, I can face tomorrow;
Because he lives, every fear is gone.
I know he holds my life,
My future in his hand.

Amen, amen,
I’m alive, I’m alive because he lives.
Amen, amen,
Let my song join the one that never ends.
Amen, amen,
I’m alive, I’m alive because he lives.
Amen, amen,
Let my song join the one that never ends,
Because he lives, because he lives.


Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen indeed.
Alleluia! Go in peace. Share the good news.
Alleluia! Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

Created, saved and gifted by God, we seek, serve and share Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, thanks be to God!


“W + 2” = Worship Plus Two
Make a commitment to not only worship each week but also try to find a way to serve
in the congregation and seek out a way to serve our community.


Upcoming Commemorations

Mark, Evangelist
Sunday, April 25, 2021

He was not numbered among the twelve apostles, yet Mark was probably a member of the early church community. The gospel that bears his name is the shortest and most direct, and many scholars think it was the first to be written.

Catherine of Siena, theologian, died 1380
Thursday, April 29, 2021

This theologian was the first woman among Roman Catholics to receive the title “Doctor [teacher] of the Church.” Catherine was a Dominican sister known for her mystical visions as well as her work on behalf of people who were poor and imprisoned.

Philip and James, Apostles
Saturday, May 1, 2021

Philip was one of the first disciples of Jesus, and called Nathanael to “come and see.” He later responded to an Ethiopian official’s request for teaching and baptism. Little is known of James, the son of Alphaeus, called “the Less” to distinguish him from another apostle named James.

From Sundays and Copyright 2014 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #22920.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Curches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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