FOURTH SUNDAY in LENT
March 19th, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
A warm welcome to all who worship with us this morning. Today we gather around Word and Sacrament through which God equips, directs, and supports his people in the mission and ministry of his Kingdom. All that God has promised in his Son, Jesus Christ, comes together by the power of the Spirit as we worship. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave this morning’s worship. 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. After this morning’s worship, join us for a Coffee Connections and let us become better acquainted with you as you get to know us better. Come to worship with us again and often!
AS WE GATHER Peter
Simon Peter witnessed much of Christ’s ministry on earth. He is featured in many highlights of the four Gospels, but today we see Peter at his lowest point, as he denies Jesus three times. The result of Peter’s denial is a massive amount of guilt. Each of us can relate to that unwanted flood of self-disgust that comes when we remember past sin. But guilt is not the final word for Peter, and it is not the final word for us. After His resurrection, Jesus restores and forgives Peter. Jesus offered Peter grace. Jesus also gives us grace, forgiveness, and restoration at the cross.
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
O God our Father, you have entrusted us with a precious inheritance. Give us each day the courage to rise from defeat, and if we fail, by your grace receive us when we return to you, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
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.
Let us then confess our sins to God our Father and in the presence of one another.
+ 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 we have neglected it. We stand condemned. But Jesus stands with us. His Spirit makes it possible for us to plead for mercy. We come with broken, contrite hearts, for we have sinned.
See what love the Father has for his children. Though we have run from him, he receives us back into his loving arms; though we have sinned, for Jesus’ sake we are forgiven 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 peace of the Lord as we greet each other.
THE PASSING OF PEACE
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also, with you.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Incline your ear to our prayer, Lord Christ, and come among us. By your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with your Spirit, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
[Whenever we worship, God speaks, and we listen. We hear the Word of God read aloud in our midst, bringing us both God’s judgment and grace.]
FIRST LESSON 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Samuel anointed David even though he was the eighth-oldest son of Jesse and did not match his brothers in height or other physical characteristics. With the anointing came endowment with the Spirit of the LORD, designating David as the LORD’s chosen successor to Saul.
The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is now before the LORD.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”
Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
SECOND LESSON Ephesians 5:8-14
[The letter to the Ephesians teaches that through baptism Christians live in God’s light. Therefore, we ought to live by doing those things that reflect the light of Christ.]
Once you were in darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light —for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
HOLY GOSPEL John 18:12–27
So, the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. First, they led Him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So, the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When He had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how You answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike Me?” Annas then sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Peter Pr. Josh Series by Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing
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 men 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
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
THE OFFERINGS are brought forward
[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.]
God of our salvation, all that we have comes from your hand. We bring what you have already given us — bread and wine for your table, and the gifts of all that we are and have for the work of your Kingdom. Most of all we give you thanks for your greatest gift to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you.
And also, with you
Lift up your hearts
We will lift them up to Him
Let us give thanks always to the Lord our God.
It is right, it is just, it is well
Father, it is our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ
Holy, holy, holy, Lord
For our sake He opened His arms on the cross, He put an end to death and revealed the resurrection
Holy, holy, holy, Lord
In this He fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.
And so, we join the angels and the saints in proclaiming your glory as we sing:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full of your glory
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest
Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest
WORDS of INSTITUTION
The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also, with you.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be 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
DISTRIBUTION of THE LORD’S SUPPER
[We come to The Sacrament sincerely believing in the real presence of Christ and that in the eating and drinking of the bread and wine of The Sacrament we receive the true body and blood of our Lord for our forgiveness, salvation, and strength for Christian life and witness.]
May the true body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you steadfast to life everlasting. Amen
[Strengthened in faith and empowered for service, we leave with thanksgiving and the Lord’s blessing.]
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
We thank you, O God, that you have strengthened our hearts through this feast of life and salvation. Be the light for our path, that we may do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you, now and forever. 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 — Each Wednesday at noon throughout March, you are invited to attend midweek Lenten Devotions.
EASTER BRUNCH CONNECTION — Our “Easter Brunch Connection” will be held on Sunday, April 9th immediately following our Easter Service. If you can bring a food item, please sign up on the posted sign near the Administration Wing.
THIS WEEK AT GRACE
March 20th – March 26th, 2023
MONDAY, the 20th Newsletter Deadline
First Day of Spring
TUESDAY, the 21st LWML 1:00 PM
WEDNESDAY, the 22nd Women’s Bible Study 10:00 AM
Midweek Lenten Devotion NOON
Choir Rehearsal 7:00 PM
THURSDAY, the 23rd Cub Scouts 3:00 PM
SUNDAY, the 26th Bible Study 9:00 AM
Sunday School 9:00 AM
Worship 10:00 AM
Coffee Fellowship 11:00 AM