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Worship Service: A Dear Daughter - Luke 8

A service plan for Eastertide focused on the work of Jesus in raising Jairus' daughter in an Eastertide series focusing on Bible stories that occurred before Christ's resurrection but which shed light on how we should live after his resurrection.

Worship Service
Also in this Series

Resurrection Previews

This is a series of five services examines previews of Christ's resurrection

Theme of the Service

Our Eastertide series examines how the implications of Christ's resurrection are portrayed prior to his resurrection. As part of these four Sunday services, we encourage you to use different settings of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" each week. These anthems could be placed in the call to worship. You will find resources for these settings in the music notes following each service. The two Old Testament events we've already considered are Enoch and Elijah's exit of this world. In the next two services, we will study the resurrection of Jairus' daughter (Luke 8) and Lazarus (John 11), two of the three resurrections during Jesus' life.

In this service we focus on the work of Jesus in raising Jairus' daughter. While the events of Enoch and Elijah are more shrouded in mystery, this story clearly shows the power of Jesus Christ to raise a young girl who had clearly died. In his actions and his words, we learn of his power over death.

* * * * *

We Gather Before God 

 Prelude: "Come, You Faithful Raise the Strain" [see music notes]

Introit: "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" [see music notes]

The Call to Worship

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
In our anguish we cried to the LORD,
and he answered by setting us free.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
The LORD is our strength and our song;
he has become our salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
We will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
The LORD has done this;
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. (TWS, N.1.2.2, from Psalm 118:1, 5, 14, 17, 22-24, NIV)

*Song of Praise: "Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain" PH 115, RL 315, PsH 389, TH 266, UMH 315

*Our Declaration of Trust and God's Greeting:

Congregation of Christ, in whom are you trusting?
Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Grace, mercy and peace to you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

* Song of Response: "This Is the Day" SFL 175 [see music notes]

The Children's Moment

We Are Renewed in God's Grace

The Call to Confession

Our Prayer of Confession

The Assurance of Pardon

Our Song of Dedication: "Christ, You Are the Fullness," PH 346, PsH 229, SFL 232

God's Guide for Grateful Living: Colossians 3:1-17 [see liturgy notes]

The Offertory Prayer
The Offering of Music: "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" [see music notes]
We offer our gifts for..

God Speaks from His Word

*Song: "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" PH 466, PsH 501, RL 362/363, RN 32, SFL 19, TH 164, TWC 130, UMH 57 [see music notes]

The Prayer for Illumination

The Reading of Scripture: Luke 8:40-56

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon: Resurrection Previews: A Dear Daughter

The Prayer of Application

e Respond to God's Word

*Song of Faith: "I Worship You, O Lord" PsH 30

*Our Affirmation of Faith:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there 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.

The Prayers of the People

We Leave with God's Presence 

*The Benediction with Congregational Amen!

* Song: "We Know That Christ Is Raised" PH 495, PsH 271 (sung to tune 512), RL 528, UMH 610 [see music notes]

Postlude: "We Know That Christ Is Raised" [see music notes]

* You are invited to stand.


Liturgy Notes

1. We have carefully continued the use of strong Easter hymns for the opening of this series. Our intent is to emphasize that Easter continues.

2. In the Children's Moment, we suggest considering the possibility of telling the story of the raising of Jairus' daughter in language the children can understand. Don't feel the need to explain it, but allow them to wonder and be surprised that something so supernatural could happen!

3. Liturgy Note #4 of the first service in this series gives ideas about the method of utilizing Colossians 3 throughout this season as "God's Guide for Grateful Living." Various readings of Colossians 3 can be combined with "Christ, You Are the Fullness" very effectively.

Sermon Notes

During his ministry, Jesus showed his power by raising three people from the dead. In Luke 7, as he approaches the town of Nain, he encounters a funeral procession in which a widow's son is being carried out. Jesus raises the young boy up in the presence of a large crowd. In this instance a minimum of information and teaching is given. In the passage for today, we are given a more complete glimpse into the concern and grief in the home of the synagogue ruler, Jairus, who pleads with Jesus that his only daughter, a twelve year old, might be rescued from "dying" (see v.42).

A striking element in this narrative is the delay of Jesus. As soon as Jesus receives this urgent plea, despite indication that time is at a premium (she was "dying"), he turns to other needs. The crowd is pressing around him, and his attention is drawn by a woman who had been "subject to bleeding for twelve years" (see v. 43). This event becomes what seems to be an interruption in the narrative, and Jesus seems to assume he has plenty of time to deal with this woman and her needs, even though Jairus has presented an urgent need. When he is finished with this woman, the news comes that the daughter has died (see v.49-50). We may well wonder why he lingered. Perhaps we can identify times when Jesus seems to wait, to feel no urgency to answer us, to find our faith tested. (Think of John 11:4-6 and how Jesus delayed when he heard that Lazarus was seriously sick. Think of the Psalms (especially 10 and 13) in which God's apparently delay tests the faith of the psalmist.)

When Jesus received the information that the child has died, he begins the instructional process that will reveal his power. He challenges Jairus to continue believing with hope (see v.50). He journeys to Jairus' home (see v. 51). He instructs the crowd to "stop wailing" (see v.52)-not because wailing is inappropriate in the face of death, but because hope is present here. Then he subtly points to the resurrection about to happen by declaring "she is.asleep" (see v.52). The crowd finds this impossible to believe and laugh, (v.53) "knowing that she is dead." But Jesus defies their laughter, enters into privacy with only the parents and three disciples present, and proceeds to raise the girl. Notice the elements of this action: he speaks to her (v.54), her "spirit returned" (v.55), she "stood up" (v.55), and he told them to feed her (v.56). We find the words of Jesus corroborated by the actions taking place and completed by the activities of the girl who once was dead.

We are given no information about the response of the crowd, which had been wailing and laughing previously. But the response of the parents is "astonishment." The sermon should explore that term and note its content. Use a word study, concordance, and a carefully selected illustration. (At the very least astonishment includes the impulse to speak and spread the news.)

If we imagine that we were there, we could identify a number of reactions we might have: concern at the serious sickness of the girl, puzzlement at Jesus' willingness to delay going to see her, sadness and grief at the untimely death of a 12 year old girl, confusion at Jesus' statement that she is only sleeping, a mixture of hope and doubt at what was happening behind the closed doors of her bedroom, sheer delight and surprise at seeing her come out, and a recognition in Jesus of a power that could only come from One who is indeed the Son of God!

It would be helpful for this sermon to focus on how much better we are able to understand this miracle than anyone in the crowd could. We live after the resurrection of Christ and have received the additional instruction from the epistles; we can now look back and understand the possibility of this event. In the same way, we are to look forward and firmly anticipate our resurrection.

Music Notes 

Suggestions for prelude are based on the opening hymn "Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain". Different hymnals pair this text with primarily two tunes so we are providing resources on both the tunes.

ST. KEVIN ["Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain"]

  • Jordan, Alice. A Season and A Time. Broadman 4570-37 [1977] (E-M)
  • Whitford, Homer. Five Choral Paraphrases, set 1. H. W. Grey [1941] (E-M)
  • Young, Gordon. Eight Voluntaries. Presser 413-41034-30 [1961] (E-M)

GAUDEAMUS PARITER/AVE VIRGO ["Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain"]

  • Organ:
    • Farlee, Robert Buckley. Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
    • Bender, Jan. Five Festive Preludes on Easter Hymns. Concordia 97-5495 [1979] (M)
    • Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 5. AMSI SP-102 [1985] (M)
    • Held, Wilbur. Six Preludes on Easter Hymns. Concordia 97-4649 [1975] (E-M)

The following are anthem suggestions on the text "I Know That My Redeemer Lives," one of which could be included as part of the call to worship each week of this Eastertide series. You may consider also reading the text from Job 19:23-27 in place of a choral setting or having solo rendition of the text from Handel's "Messiah." You could also repeat the same setting of the text from week to week.

  • Bach, Johann Michael. I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Schirmer 8418 [1940] (SATTB, a cappella; M) 
  • Bunjes, Paul. I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Concordia 98-1462 [1958] (SATB, congregation with organ; concertato; E-M)
  • Courtney, Craig. I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Beckenhorst BP1563 [1999] (SATB and keyboard; E-M)

Alternative harmonizations on the opening hymn can be found in the following:

ST. KEVIN ["Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain"]

  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Goode, Jack C. Thirty-four Changes on Hymn Tunes. H W Grey GB 644 [1978]

GAUDEAMUS PARITER/AVE VIRGO ["Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain"]

  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ, vol. 2. CPH97-6851 [2000]

The song of response "This Is the Day" is a congregational setting of a Natalie Sleeth children's anthem. This could also be sung as an anthem response by a child or children's choir. It picks up both the theme of resurrection and the text from the call to worship.

Suggestions for offertory music and alternative harmonizations for the hymn following the offertory can be found in:

AZMON ["Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing"]

  • Organ:
    • Bouman, Paul. Partita on Azmon. CPH 97-6506 [1995] (E-M)
    • Cherwien, David. Groundings. Augsburg 11-11119 [2001] (E-M)
    • Hobby, Robert A. Three Hymns of Praise, set 6. Morningstar MSM-10-542 [2000] (E-M)
    • Kosche, Kenneth. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 2. Concordia 97-7015 [2003] (E)
    • Jordan, Alice. Worship Service Music for the Organist. Broadman 4570-27 [1975] (E-M)
    • Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (E-M)
    • Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 9. Concordia 97-5556 [1980] (E-M)
    • Smith, Mark. Brampton Partita on Azmon. Morningstar MSM-10-718 [1996] (E-M)
  • Handbells:
    • Sherman , Arnold B. Acclamation on "Azmon." Agape 1363 [1989] (3-5 octaves, M)
    • Sherman, Arnold B. Our Great Redeemer's Praise. Red River HB0018 [1997] (3-5 octaves, level 3)
  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 2. Ludwig O-07 [1983]
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Carlson, J. Bert. Let It Rip! At the Piano, vol. 2. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]


The closing hymn "We Know That Christ Is Raised" is paired with different tunes - WALLACE, ENGELBERG and SINE NOMINE. We are providing resources for postlude and alternative harmonizations based on the last two tunes suggested.

ENGELBERG ["We Know That Christ Is Raised"]

  • Organ: 
    • Callahan, Charles. Voluntary on Engelberg. Morningstar MSM-10-702 [1990] (M)
    • Cherwien, David. Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (D)
    • Cherwien, David. Gotta Toccata. Augsburg 11-11008 [1999] (D)
    • Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 1. AMSI OR1 [1980] (E-M)
    • Hobby, Robert A. Three Hymns of Praise, set 2 Morningstar MSM-10-757 [1994] (M)
    • Powell, Robert J. Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart. Augsburg 11-10478 [1994] (E-M)
    • Wallace, Sue Mitchell. Hymn Prisms. Hope 270 [1985] (E-M)
    • Wood, Dale. Preludes and Postludes, vol. 3. Augsburg 11-9320 [1974] (E-M)
  • Choral Resource:
    • Hopson, Hal. Concertato on "We Know That Christ Is Raised". H. W. Grey GCMRO3566 [1989] (SATB, congregation, organ, opt. brass and handbells; E-M)
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Wasson, Laura E. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]


SINE NOMINE ["We Know That Christ Is Raised"]

  • Organ: 
    • Burkhardt, Michael. Six General Hymn Improvisations, set 2. Morningstar MSM-10-534 [1999] (E-M)
    • Cherwien, David. Postludes on Well Known Hymns. Augsburg 11-10795 [1997] (M)
    • Helman, Michael. Five for Autumn. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7671-8 [2004] (E-M)
    • Hildebrand, Kevin. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol 3. Concordia 97-7052 [2004] (E-M)
    • Hobby, Robert A. For All the Saints. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7537-1 [2002] (E-M)
  • Choral Resource [for accompaniment variation]:
    • Vaughan Williams, Ralph. Sine Nomine. Fischer CM 6637 [1951] (SATB with piano or organ; E-M)
  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 [1964]


Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great
Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)