The 4th Sunday in Lent
✠P R E P A R A T I O N F O R W O R S H I P ✠
We prepare ourselves to worship the one Savior God by expressing our humble repentance, offering our fervent prayers and singing our thankfulness of praise.
WELCOME, EXPLANATION OF WHAT WILL FOLLOW & WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
INVOCATION hymnal page 15
M: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
OPENING PRAYER hymnal page 10
M: O Lord — our Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter — we are assembled in your presence to hear your holy Word. We pray that you would open our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that through the preaching of your Word we may repent of our sins, believe in Jesus, and grow day by day in grace and holiness. Hear us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION hymnal page 38
M: We have come into the presence of God, who created us to love and serve him as his dear children. But we have disobeyed him and deserve only his wrath and punishment. Therefore, let us confess our sins to him and plead for his mercy.
C: Merciful Father in heave, I am altogether sinful from birth. In countless ways I have sinned against you and do not deserve to be called your child. But trusting in Jesus, my Savior, I pray: Have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin, and take away my guilt.
M: God, our heavenly Father, has forgiven all your sins. By the perfect life and innocent death of our Lord, Jesus Christ, he has removed your guilt forever. You are his own dear child. May God give you strength to live according to his will. Amen.
PSALM 42-43 hymnal page 82
As the deer pants for streams of water,
So my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Where can I go and meet with God?
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me;
Let them bring me to the place where you dwell.
Then will I go to the altar of God, my joy and me delight.
I will praise you with the hard, O God, my God.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
And to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and will be forever. Amen.
✠T H E W O R D ✠
The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.
OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Hosea 5:15–6:3
Summary: The law tears us to pieces, but God’s grace heals us
Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
EPISTLE LESSON Romans 8:1-10
Summary: Our sinful nature brings death, but the Spirit gives life
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
GOSPEL LESSON Matthew 20:17-28 (today’s sermonette text)
Summary: Jesus came to serve by giving his life as a ransom
Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
“What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Almighty God, we confess that we deserve to be punished for our evil deeds. But we ask you graciously to cleanse us from all sin and to comfort us with your salvation; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
SERMONETTE Matthew 20: 17-28
APOSTLES’ CREED hymnal page 41
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker or heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his 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. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into 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 Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
LENTEN SEASON PRAYER & INTERCESSORY PRAYERS read by pastor, bulletin page 12
LORD’S PRAYER hymnal page 43
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by 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.
CLOSING PRAYER hymnal page 43
M: O Lord God, our heavenly Father, pour out the Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep us strong in your grace and truth, protect and comfort us in all temptation, and bestow on us your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
BLESSING hymnal page 44
M: Brothers and sisters, go in peace. Live in harmony with one another. Serve the Lord with gladness.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
Then Lord look on you with favor and + give you peace.
CLOSING ANNOUNCEMENTS, INSTRUCTIONS AND ENCOURAGEMENT
HYMN FOR PERSONAL USE:
Next week’s theme: March 29, 2020 Lent 5 “Jesus Creates New Life out of Death”
Emmanuel & St. John’s Lutheran Church leaders offer their response to COVID-19 to align with all current bans and guidelines for the next few weeks.
1 “God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Following the announcement from government officials on March 16, all worship services and gatherings are suspended at Emmanuel & St. John’s. However worship services will be offered online via our stjohnsmontello.org website “Videos” menu button & linked You Tube channel, or via recorded DVDs, or via printed bulletins and sermons.
4 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.”
Every Saturday at 11:00am, I will record an abbreviated service that will be uploaded to our website/linked You Tube channel together with a bulletin (.pdf) file and available for viewing at your convenience. Remaining Wednesday Lenten Devotions (3/25 & 4/1) via printed materials will be e-mailed out to our members and made available on our website via the “Bulletins” menu button.
7 “The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
While we might be tempted to face this situation with a great deal of disappointment and chagrin, we also recognize the opportunity God is placing before us to ponder and grasp ever more firmly his promise of spiritual health for our souls and to reflect the light of his love to others. We can:
– pray for God’s healing for those affected by the virus
– pray for those involved in essential services – medical personnel, first responders, and those who keep the peace
– share the links to our website and worship service with family, friends, and acquaintances
– renew our daily devotional life
– continue to support the message and ministry of our congregation by responding in thanks to God for his gift of eternal life through offerings mailed to the church office or by electronic giving. Call secretary Ciara Neuhauser at the church office 608-297-2866 for details.
– offer care and compassion for those who need support and a listening ear
8 Come and see what the Lord has done.
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Church elders and I have begun contacting all E/SJ members (via email, text, and phone) to make all aware of the situation, to offer alternatives for those who do not have a computer or Internet access, and to offer any special assistance during these challenging times. Lord-willing and law-permitting, we would also like to offer communion distribution (up to 8 communicants at a time) every Sunday from 9-11am at St. John beginning 3/29. Pastor Zietlow (608-408-7830 talk/text) and our E/SJ Elders are also available for home visits. Please reach out to them directly or by calling the church office.
“The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.” – Psalm 46
We as your church family want to be able to help and serve you, but we can all rejoice as we look to the One who is our real and lasting helper. He is our strength and that’s especially comforting in a time like this, when our human weakness is made so clear!
In Jesus Christ our loving & protecting Savior,
Pastor Pete Zietlow (608-408-7830 talk/text & ZietlowPL6@hotmail.com)