Third Sunday in Lent Worship Service

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church 

Third Sunday in Lent –         Coronavirus

03-20-2022    10:00AM Worship   

+   Repentance Through God’s Mercy   +

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR WORSHIP:        

     Ever get lost along the way? Lent is a time to reflect on how we have wandered from a gracious God who longs for our return. Repentance can be framed as turning around, turning back, and getting reoriented to our path of faithful living and fervent loving as God’s created child. But the clock is ticking.

OPENING SONG:           “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior”                                                   Brown #150

CONFESSION OF OUR SINS AND FORGIVENESS:      

L   In the name of the Father, the Son (+), and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
 Seek the Lord where he may be found; call upon him while he is near.

C       Let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, who will abundantly pardon.

L   The Scriptures call us to turn from our sinful ways.
The Scriptures assure us that God is patient and merciful.
Let us confess together, with one voice representing each and all our hearts.

C    O God, we are tired of being blind to your grace and dead to your love;
and we are tired of breaking relationship with God and our neighbor;
and we are tired of being so driven by our desires for the things of this world;
and we are tired ~ OH, SO TIRED ~ of all our sinning;
and we are tired of looking and longing for an easier gospel, a lighter cross,
a less demanding Savior, and a cheaper ticket to heaven.
Be merciful, Lord, for I have sinned. Be merciful, Lord, for we have all sinned.  

L   Saint Paul warns us, “So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall.” But Paul also encourages us, “God is faithful, and God will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing God will also provide the way out.” My sisters, my brothers, the Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. And the “way out” that St. Paul speaks of… that God provides… is found in the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus

Christ (+). Hear and believe that you are loved, you are forgiven, you are empowered, and you are assured this very moment. While you have a breath, while you have a mind, choose to live the new life of humble faith in Jesus!  Amen.

THE PRAYER OF THE DAY:      

       Let us pray. O God, we seek you in printed and preached and prayed word, and we seek you in your Living Word, Jesus Christ. Fill our thirsty souls as in a dry and weary land. We want to praise you with joyful lips and bless you with lives of justice, service, and love.  Amen.

+   Renewal Through God’s Word   +

FIRST READING:   ISAIAH 55:1-9    [God freely invites – but will we refuse?]

55:1 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

55:2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

55:3 Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

55:4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.

55:5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;

55:7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

SECOND READING:   1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-13   [God is ever faithful – but will we fall away?]  

10:1 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,

10:2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food,

10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

10:5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

10:6 Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did.

10:7 Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.”

10:8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

10:9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents.

10:10 And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

10:11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.

10:12 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall.

10:13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

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 13:1-9   [God is patient and merciful – but will we wait too long?]

13:1 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

13:2 He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans?

13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.

13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them–do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem?

13:5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

13:6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.

13:7 So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’

13:8 He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it.

13:9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

THE SERMON   Pastor Gwen or Pastor Neil

SONG SELECTION

AN AFFIRMATION OF OUR FAITH:                

We believe that God has created this world,
has created humanity,
has created each of us.

We believe that God so loved the world,
so loved all people,
so loved us,
that God gave Jesus, the Son, to save us from sin and death,
to save us from the ways of this world and the Devil in it,
to save us from ourselves.

We believe that Jesus suffered for us in his living,
sacrificed for us in his dying, and
was raised for us in resurrection victory.
We believe that the resurrection victory of Jesus is our resurrection victory,
our only hope and salvation, and
our invitation to new, abundant, and everlasting life.

We believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

OFFERING   [Today’s Gospel tells of a fruitless fig tree that the owner is ready to cut down. But the gardener asks for a little more time. Now is a little more time for us to bear fruit by how we live, what we give, and the love that we show.]

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:        “Down at the Cross”        Dennis Fortune                            Brown #72

THE PRAYERSWe pray that THE WAY OF THE CROSS continues 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.

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