FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
February 26th, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
Welcome to all who gathered here to worship this morning, especially to those who have joined us as guests and visitors. May this time of worship make us eager to share the Good News of God’s love and redemption in Christ as we go forth into another week of service to him and one another. Guests and visitors, we are happy to have you join us in worship. Please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave this morning’s worship. Following worship, join us for a cup of coffee and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. If you have no church home of your own, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Come to worship with us again and often!
AS WE GATHER That Sneaky Old Snake
This Sunday is the First Sunday in Lent—very near the start of our annual Lenten journey to the Cross which began with the observance of Ash Wednesday. Each Sunday during Lent, we focus on themes appropriate to the season. Today we take up the theme of temptation and the wiles of that deceitful evil one who seeks our downfall. We see how weak mankind was standing alone in temptation, and we also see how strong our Lord was to resist Satan’s assault. Because God has made us his own dear children, we stand firm in Christ. By the mercy of God, through the gifts he gives us, we have strength to resist wrong and stand up for the right. Christ gives us the strength and power to stand up to that sneaky old snake and prevail.
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
O God, you have made us a new company of priests to bear witness to the Gospel. Enable us to be faithful to our calling, to make known your promises to all mankind; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
[Remembering our baptism, we gather in the Name of the Triune God to confess our sins and receive the assurance of our forgiveness as his people.]
ORDER OF CONFESSION
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
“When the time came, I listened to you,” says the Lord, “and when you needed help, I came to save you.”
But we are dust, and to dust we shall return.
“Yet even now,” says the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and with weeping and with mourning.”
The sacrifice the Lord desires is a broken, contrite heart; it will not be despised.
A Brief Silence for Reflection & Self-examination
O God, we have sinned! In our thinking, in our speaking, in our doing— we have sinned. We have disobeyed your will and neglected it. We stand condemned. But Jesus Christ stands with us. His Spirit makes it possible for us to plead for mercy. We come with broken, contrite hearts, for we have sinned.
Christ Jesus, our Lord, never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God. As a called and ordained minister of The Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share
the share the peace of the Lord.
THE PASSING OF PEACE
[The congregation is encouraged to share the peace of Christ and greet one another with the words: “The Lord’s peace be with you.” The response: “And also with you.”]
The gift of peace through our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father poured into our hearts, and the renewing grace of the Spirit be with you all.
And also, with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Lord God, our strength, the struggle between good and evil rages within and around us, and the devil and all the forces that defy you tempt us with empty promises. Keep us steadfast in your word, and when we fall, raise us again and restore us through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
[Human beings were formed with great care, to be in relationship with the Creator, creation, and one another. This passage recounts the first in a series of stories that depicts the nature of human sin—wanting to be like God.]
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden?’” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
[Through Adam’s disobedience, humanity came under bondage to sin and death, from which we cannot free ourselves. Through Christ, God has reversed the consequences of sin and death and offers us the free gift of eternal life in his Son.]
Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned for sin was indeed in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to- Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gifts is not like the result of sin of that one man’s sin. For judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteous-ness leads to justification and life for all. For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
HOLY GOSPEL Matthew 4:1-11
The gospel according to Matthew, the fourth chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus experiences anew the temptations that Israel faced in the wilderness. As the Son of God, he endures the testing of the evil one.]
Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God; throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ’On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down -and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Temptation Pr. Josh Text: The Gospel Lesson
I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life ☩ of the world to come. Amen
PRAYERS of THE CHURCH
[As the first-fruit offerings of all that we are and have are gathered, The Lord’s Table is prepared to celebrate “The Feast that knows no end” instituted by Christ our Lord for the strengthening of our faith and the assurance of our forgiveness.]
OFFERINGS are brought forward
Gracious God, you provide us with every gift of creation, and you quench our thirst with living water. Receive these tokens of your goodness to us. May our lives be bread for the hungry and streams in the wilderness, signs of the abundance of your love and grace in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you.
And also, with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Holy God, our living water and merciful Guide,
together with rivers and seas, wells and springs,
we bless and magnify you.
You led your people Israel through the desert,
And provided them water from the rock.
We praise you for Christ, our Rock and Water,
who joined us in our desert, pouring out life
for the world.
In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:
Take and eat; this is my ☩ body which is given
for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
And gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my ☩ blood
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness
of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.
Remembering, therefore, his life, death, and resurrection,
We await your salvation for all this thirsty world.
Come, Lord Jesus, live in us that we may live in you.
Pour out your Spirit on this holy food and on all the baptized -
gathered at this feast: wash away our sin, that we may be
revived for our journey by the love of Christ.
Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.
Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father,
with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and
THE LORD’S PRAYER
The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also, with you.
[Strengthened in faith and empowered for service, we leave with thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing.]
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
We give thanks to you, O God, for the free gift of righteousness and peace in Jesus Christ, whose body and blood have nourished us here. Lead us out from this house of prayer to the places you will show us, so that we will be a blessing to others in the Name of Christ, our Redeemer and Lord. Amen
Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
With Great Joy … Tell Everyone What He Has Done!
THE PRESENCE of CHRIST is celebrated in The Lord’s Supper. He comes to us in a real and present way with his life-giving body and blood in the bread and wine of The Sacrament to assure us of our forgiveness and to strengthen us in faith and service. All who trust and believe the words “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” are welcome. Come, receive Christ’s presence in the meal prepared for you. Enjoy his presence. Children are encouraged to come forward with their parents and/or grandparents and receive a blessing.
SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY — The seven signs in John’s Gospel — Join us for a discussion on Christ’s seven signs beginning with a wedding feast in Cana and ending with the resurrection of Lazarus. Throughout this trip, we will see the incredible events of water turned into wine, a sick boy restored, a lame man brought to his feet, thousands fed, a storm silenced, a blind man gaining sight, and a dead man coming forth from his tomb.
THE SEVEN SIGNS
Changing water into wine (John 2:1–11)
Healing the royal official’s son (John 4:46–54)
Healing the paralyzed man (John 5:1–15)
Feeding the five thousand (John 6:5–14)
Walking on water (John 6:16–21)
Healing the man born blind (John 9)
Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1–45)
Hope to see you Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00.
CELEBRATE LENT — Be sure to set the time aside now to join in the worship and celebration of The Sacrament. Each Wednesday at noon throughout March, you are invited to attend Midweek Lenten Devotions. Lent Devotionals are out now and can be found on the back table.
WEDNESDAY, the 1st
Women’s Bible Study
THURSDAY, the 2nd
SUNDAY, the 5th