Fourth Sunday in Lent Worship Service

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church 

Fourth Sunday in Lent –         Coronavirus

03-27-2022    10:00AM Worship   

+   Repentance Through God’s Mercy   +

INTRODUCTION TO OUR WORSHIP:         

     Lent is homecoming, a time when those who wandered away come home to the Father who loved us enough to allow us  to go… and who loves us enough to embrace us when we return. Will you return? Lent is also a time when those who have tried to remain “righteous” will put aside any resentment to offer a genuine welcome to that returning sinner. Will the father’s inclusive and unconditional love in today’s Gospel change your proud heart?

OPENING SONG:           “Amazing Grace”                                                                                  Tan #271

CONFESSION OF OUR SINS AND FORGIVENESS:       

L   Friends, now is the right time to stop your self-indulgent wandering that takes you far from God into sin and shame. And now is the right time to stop your self-righteous woundedness that judges God for forgiving the sin of others. Trusting the amazing grace promised to us in Jesus Christ, let us confess our sins before God and one another.

C    God of mercy and love…
I confess that my feet have strayed from the places where I met Thee.
I confess that my heart, drunk with the wine of the world, I have forgotten Thee.
Today I pray that you will guide my feet and detoxify my heart.
Today I pray that your amazing grace will welcome me back as your sinful child.
Today I pray that you will forgive my refusal to receive sinning sister or brother back with the same grace. And today I pray that that you will keep me from seeking an easier gospel, a lighter cross, a less demanding Savior, and a cheaper ticket to heaven.  Amen.

L   Fire up the grill and barbeque some food! Get some ice and pour out drinks! Set a new place at the table and turn on some tunes! The party begins when each of us, all of us, realize that NONE OF US merits – has earned or deserved –  God’s favor either because we are so sorry for our sins or because we are so good at not sinning. The party begins when we celebrate with others who – just like EACH OF US – enjoy the grace of our (+) Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Let ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN shout “Amen!”

THE PRAYER OF THE DAY:           

Let us pray. O God, welcome these sinners home with a loving embrace, restore us to our inheritance as your daughters and your sons, and help us to become your new creation, able and willing to represent and share your reconciling love with all the world.  Amen.

+   Renewal Through God’s Word   +

FIRST READING:   JOSHUA 5:9-12  [40 years of wandering have ended – home at last to the land that was promised!]

5:9 The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

5:10 While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho.

5:11 On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.

5:12 The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH MOMENT 

SECOND READING:   2 CORINTHIANS 5:16-21  [See how far God has gone to find and restore all of us – through Jesus Christ!]       

5:16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.

5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;

5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

5:20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

GOSPEL VERSE:    

“Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word.
Lord, let my heart be good soil, where love can grow and peace is understood.
When my heart is hard, break the stone away.
When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.
When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.
Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil.”

THE GOSPEL:   LUKE 15:1-3, 11b-32   [[Welcome back to God’s welcome table – you are embraced by grace!]

15:1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.

15:2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

15:3 So he told them this parable:

15:11b “There was a man who had two sons.

15:12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them.

15:13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.

15:14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.

15:15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.

15:16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.

15:17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!

15:18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;

15:19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘

15:20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

15:21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

15:22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

15:23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;

15:24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

15:25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.

15:26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on.

15:27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’

15:28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.

15:29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends.

15:30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’

15:31 Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.

15:32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”

 

THE SERMON   Pastor Neil or Pastor Gwen

SONG SELECTION

AN AFFIRMATION OF OUR FAITH:

 We believe that God is love, and God’s love was perfectly revealed to us when God sent his Son, Jesus Christ.

      We believe that Jesus obediently and willingly died for us because he loved us and wanted to save us.

      We believe that the Holy Spirit gathers and empowers us to be a community of faithful living and fervent loving.

      We believe that the Church should seek to welcome sinners home, just as God in Christ welcomes us.  Amen.

OFFERING   [Saint Paul says today that we are ambassadors for Christ! That means that we are doing our best to show and share his saving and uniting love in how we live, what we give, and whether we really are trying to reach out to others.] 

THE OFFERTORY SONG:     “I Know It Was the Blood”                                         

  • I know it was the blood… I know it was the blood…    I know it was the blood for me.

One day when I was lost, he died upon the cross…     I know it was the blood for me.

  1. It was my Savior’s blood…
  2. They pierced him in the side…
  3. He’s coming back again…

OFFERING PRAYER (from PSALM 51):       

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

         Do not cast me away from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me.

        Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain me with your bountiful spirit.

         Then I will teach other sinners your ways; and I will eagerly sing of your goodness.  Amen.

MUSIC SELECTION:        “At Calvary”              Dennis Fortune                                Tan #246

THE PRAYERSWe pray that THE WAY OF THE CROSS will continue to impact our lives and transform the world! 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

+   Righteousness Through God’s Spirit   +

THE BENEDICTION by the Pastor… God calls us to “return home” to faith and discipleship! 

CLOSING SONG:    “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me”                                    

  • I want Jesus to walk with me…            I want Jesus to walk with me.

All along my pilgrim journey,            Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

  1. In my trials, Lord, walk with me…            In my trials, Lord, walk with me.

When my heart is almost breaking,            Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

  • When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me…        When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me.

When my head is bowed in sorrow,        Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

 

GIVE to realign yourself with others.   

PRAY to realign yourself with God.

FAST to realign yourself with self.

Upcoming Events

Jun
19
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jun 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jun
23
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jun
30
Sun
2024
10:00 am Sunday Worship Service
Sunday Worship Service
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be gathering together for worship service on Zoom using the following information: MEETING ID: 5977365682 MEETING PASSWORD: 204934 You can also join us for...
Jul
3
Wed
2024
10:30 am Whole Foods Distribution
Whole Foods Distribution
Jul 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Whole Foods Distribution Use entrance on Briar Rd. to access the lower classroom area. Need more information? Check out this event’s ministry page.
Jul
5
Fri
2024
8:30 am Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Senior Food Box Distribution @ St. Peter's Rhoda Hall
Jul 5 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Check out the Senior Food Program’s page for more information.