THIRD SUNDAY in LENT
March 12th, 2023
The Rev. Joshua Heimbuck, Pastor
“Wherever two or three are gathered in my Name, there I am in the midst of them.” A group of people gathered around the presence of their Lord to worship the God who made them, redeemed them, and loves them is no small thing. Here God strengthens, equips, and directs us in the building of his Kingdom. Guests and visitors, please honor us by signing our Guest Book located in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. The fellowship of this morning continues with a Coffee Hour/Fellowship Hour following worship. Do join us 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
All four Gospels record the event in Gethsemane when the ear of the high priest’s servant is cut off. Only John gives us names—Peter and Malchus. Our attention now is drawn to Gethsemane that night when Judas betrays Jesus as Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus. The chief priests, scribes, Judas, and Peter all seek power and control of the situation. Jesus—the only one with true power and authority—lays it down, as He also does with His life itself. In His resurrection, Jesus will take up His life again, reclaiming His power, control, and authority, which extends throughout the earth and heavens.
PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP
Help us, your servants, O Lord, and build your kingdom. Open our hearts and ears to listen to your Word, that by the power of your Spirit, our will may be replaced with yours. This we pray in your Name. Amen
INVOCATION & CONFESSION
In the Name of the Father and of the ☩ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
“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 +
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 and invited to eat at his table. Amen
Forgiven and reconciled by God, let us be reconciled with one another and share the peace of our Lord as we greet one another.
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 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
Merciful God, the fountain of living water, you quench our thirst and wash away our sin. Give us this water always. Bring us to drink from the well that flows with the beauty of truth through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
FIRST LESSON Exodus 17:1-7
[Because the thirsty Israelites quarreled with Moses and put God to the test, Moses cried out
in desperation to God. God commanded Moses to strike the rock to provide water for the people. The doubt-filled question — “Is the Lord among us or not?”—received a very positive answer.]
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So, Moses cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The LORD said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
SECOND LESSON Romans 5:1-11
[Though we often hear that God helps those who help themselves, here Paul tells us that through Jesus’ death God helps utterly helpless sinners. Since we who had been enemies are reconciled to God in the cross, we now live in hope of our final salvation—a hope produced and confirmed by God’s Spirit.]
Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, we will be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
GOSPEL John 18:1–11
A reading from St. John, the eighteenth chapter.
When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with His disciples. So, Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to Him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” Judas, who betrayed Him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So, He asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He. So, if you seek Me, -let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that He had spoken: “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) So, Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me?”
The Gospel of our Lord
Praise to You, O Christ.
SERMON Malchus Pr. Josh Text: The Gospel
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And 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 sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life ☩ everlasting. Amen.
PRAYERS of THE CHURCH
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, together with all we have and are. May our lives be bread for the hungry and streams in the wilderness, signs of the abundance of your 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 forever. Amen
Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray:
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
The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also, with you.
[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.]
PRAYER of THANKSGIVING
We thank 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
+ With Great Boldness … 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. Lent Devotional Booklets are out now and can be found on the back table.
ELIZABETH WESTERBURG MEMORIAL SERVICE — Please plan on joining us on Saturday, March 18th, 2023 at 11:00 AM for a Celebration of Life honoring, Elizabeth Westerberg. Lunch will follow the service.
THIS WEEK AT GRACE
March 13th – March 19th, 2023
TUESDAY, the 14th Church Council Meeting 12:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, the 15th Women’s Bible Study 10:00 AM
Midweek Lenten Devotion Noon
Choir Rehearsal 7:00 PM
THURSDAY, the 16th Cub Scouts 3:00 PM
FRIDAY, the 17th St. Patrick’s Day
SATURDAY, the 18th Elizabeth Westerburg Memorial Service 11:00 AM
SUNDAY, the 19th Bible Study 9:00 AM
Sunday School 9:00 AM
Worship 10:00 AM
Coffee Fellowship 11:00 AM