Thursday after the Third Sunday in Lent
March 12, 2015
This coming Sunday is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. As this is the third Sunday in the month, we will be using one of our non-communion liturgies, in this case, the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260). Because it is Lent we will omit the New Testament Canticle. As with all our worship services that are designed as services of the Word, we use the appointed Psalm of the Day instead of the Introit. Originally Introits were shortened forms of the appointed Psalm and were used because reception of the Lord’s Supper takes up a significant amount of time. Our Psalm for Sunday will be Psalm 107:1-9 and the antiphon will be verse 19. Our other appointed lessons are Number 21:4-9, Ephesians 2:1-10 and John 3:14-21.
Our opening will be “O Christ, You Walked the Road” (LSB 424). The sermon hymn will be “The Man Is Ever Blessed” (LSB 705). Our closing will be “My Song Is Love Unknown” (LSB 430). The sermon is titled “Two Roads.” The text is John 3:19.
Below is a video from the Lutheran Warbler singing our closing hymn, “My Song Is Love Unknown.”
What follows is a synopsis of the OT, Epistle and Gospel lessons, provided by the synod. After that, are the readings themselves. Finally, there are some additional notes of interest.
Jesus Is Lifted Up on the Cross so that We May Look to Him and Live
The people sinned by speaking “against God and against Moses,” and the Lord called them to repentance by sending fiery serpents, which “bit the people, so that many people of Israel died” (Num. 21:4–6). When the people confessed their sin, the Lord provided a means of rescue from death. He instructed Moses to “make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole,” so that “if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live” (Num. 21:8). Thus God sent His Son into the world, in the likeness of our sin and death, and lifted Him up on the pole of the cross, that whoever looks to Him in faith “may have eternal life” (John 3:14–16). By His cross, “the light has come into the world,” not for condemnation, but “that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17–19). While we “were dead in the trespasses and sins” in which we once lived (Eph. 2:1), God loved us, calling us to repentance and raising us up with Christ to live “with him in the heavenly places” (Eph. 2:4–6).
Psalm 107:1-9 (19)
107:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Some Additional Notes
- Church Council meets Sunday following our worship service.
- Our adult Sunday morning Bible study continues its look at the “spirituality of vocation.”
- Our Stations of the Cross have been posted in our yard. They may be used as a personal devotional practice. We will have a Stations of the Cross Service at noon, Holy Saturday.
- The new Portals of Prayer (which begin April 1) are here. Copies are in your mailboxes in the narthex. Extra copies are available for you to give out.
- Our Lenten worship services are each Wednesday, 7:00 pm, preceded by a community supper, which begins at 6:15 pm. The theme for the homilies this Lent is “The Hymns of Lent.” This coming Wednesday’s homily will look at the theology behind the hymn “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (LSB 436).
- Our seasonal Choir has its practices following our Wednesday worship services. New singers are always welcome.
- Remember, we have pledged to pray for our neighbors. You can get a list of your 100 your closest neighbors from pray4everyhome.com. If you have no internet access, speak with Rachel Swain or Kitty Rickert and they will sign you up and get you a list.
Blessings in Christ,