Bulletin 3/31: Fourth Sunday in Lent
PRELUDE (a time for silent reflection)
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
HYMN #539 BLUE O Zion, Haste, v. 1-3
O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling, to tell to all the world that God is Light; that he who made all nations is not willing one soul should fail to know his love and might.
Refrain: Publish glad tidings: tidings of peace, tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.
Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation that God, in whom they live and move, is Love; tell how he stooped to save his lost creation, and died on earth that all might live above. (Refrain)
Send heralds forth to bear the message glorious; give of thy wealth to speed them on their way; pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious till God shall bring his kingdom’s joyful day. (Refrain)
THE WORD OF GOD
SIGN OF THE CROSS
Celebrant Blessed be the Lord who forgives all our sins.
People His mercy endures forever.
God of all mercy and consolation, come to the help of your people, turning us from our sin to live for you alone. Give us the power of your Holy Spirit that we may confess our sin, receive your forgiveness, and grow into the fullness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.
Celebrant and People
Most merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
God, who is rich in mercy, loved us even when we were dead in sin, and made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. In the name of Jesus Christ, all your sins are forgiven. Almighty God strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit, that Christ may live in your hearts through faith. Amen.
SONG OF PRAISE #143 BLUE The Glory of These Forty Days v. 1
The glory of these forty days we celebrate with songs of praise; for Christ, through whom all things were made, himself has fasted and has prayed.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Let us pray.
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A Reading from Joshua 5:9-12
The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.
While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.
Reader The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Let us say together Psalm 32
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
HYMN #635 BLUE If Thou But Trust
If thou but trust in God to guide thee, and hope in him through all thy ways, he’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee, and bear thee through the evil days. Who trusts in God’s unchanging love builds on a rock that nought can move.
Sing, pray, and keep his ways unswerving; so do thine own part faithfully, and trust his word, though undeserving; thou yet shall find it true for thee. God never yet forsook in need the soul that trusted him indeed.
THE GOSPEL Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Celebrant The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
All the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus told them this parable:
“There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”
Celebrant The Gospel of the Lord.
People Praise to you, Lord Christ.
SERMON Pastor Neil
THE NICENE CREED (please stand)
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Have mercy on us, O God, according to your loving kindness; in your great compassion, hear our prayers.
We pray for the whole church, all leaders and ministers, and all the holy people of God. Wash us through and through, And cleanse us from our sin.
We pray for our nation, for all the nations of the earth, and for all who govern and judge. Purge us from our sin, And we shall be pure.
We pray for those who hunger, those who thirst, those who cry out for justice, those who live under the threat of terror, and those without a place to lay their head. Make them hear of joy and gladness, that those who are broken may rejoice.
We pray for those who are ill, those in pain, those under stress, and those who are lonely. Give them the joy of your saving help, and sustain them with your bountiful Spirit.
In this season of Lent we pray for those who prepare for baptism, and we pray that we all might be given the grace and strength to repent and grow closer to you, O God. Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew a right spirit within us.
We pray for those who have died, and who have entered into the land of eternal Light and your abiding peace. Cast them not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from them.
We especially pray for those we name now… (please add your petitions)
Lord Jesus, you proclaimed the Good News in Galilee, saying that the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near; grant us the strength and wisdom to repent and believe in the Good News, this day and always. Amen.
Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.
(Please greet one another in the name of the Lord.)
Let us with gladness present the offerings and gifts of our life and labor to the Lord. (Please be seated)
HYMN #343 BLUE Shepherd of Souls, Refresh and Bless
Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless thy chosen pilgrim flock with manna in the wilderness, with water from the rock.
We would not live by bread alone, but by thy word of grace, in strength of which we travel on to our abiding place.
Be known to us in breaking bread, and do not then depart; Savior, abide with us, and spread thy table in our heart.
Lord, sup with us in love divine, thy Body and thy Blood, that living bread, that heavenly wine, be our immortal food.
Please stand as you are able.
PRESENTATION HYMN #616 BLUE Hail, to the Lord’s…
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son! Hail, in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun! He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; to take away transgression, and rule in equity.
THE HOLY COMMUNION
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them to the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right and salutary that we should in all times and in all places give thanks to you, holy Lord, Almighty Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord. You bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts, and prepare with joy for the Paschal feast; that, fervent in prayer and in works of mercy, and renewed by your Word and Sacraments, they may come to the fullness of grace which you have prepared for those who love you.
Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might; Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might; heaven and earth are full, full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna in the highest.
Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.
He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.
On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you and broke it, and gave it to his disciple, and said, “Take, eat; this is my Body, which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him.
Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ.
By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and forever. Amen.
And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray:
THE LORD’S PRAYER (traditional)
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 for ever and ever. Amen.
PRE-COMMUNION ANTHEM S-164 BLUE
Jesus, Lamb of God: have mercy on us. Jesus, bearer of our sins: have mercy on us. Jesus, redeemer, redeemer of the world: give us your peace, give us your peace.
The gifts of God for the people of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.
WELCOME TO THE TABLE
All are welcome to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, without exception. The usher will direct you when to come forward (those in the back of the room come first). Cup your hands together to receive the bread and when the wine is offered, either dip your wafer in the wine or assist the chalice bearer to guide the cup to your lips. Alternately, you may cross your hands over your chest to indicate you wish a blessing from the priest. The elements will be brought to those who are unable to come forward.
Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.
Sisters and brothers, we go out into the world in peace, as part of God’s beloved community. May God help us all to be of good courage, hold on to what is good, return to no one an evil for an evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, aid the suffering, honor all people, and let our gentleness be known by everyone. May God, who raised our Lord Jesus from death, lift us up and restore us to wholeness. And may God bless us all, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Amen.
HYMN #522 BLUE Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; he whose word cannot be broken formed thee for his own abode; on the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose? With salvation’s walls surrounded, thou may’st smile at all thy foes.
See! The streams of living waters, springing from eternal love, well supply thy sons and daughters and all fear of want remove. Who can faint, when such a river ever will their thirst assuage? Grace which, like the Lord, the giver, never fails from age to age.
Round each habitation hovering, see the cloud and fire appear for a glory and a covering, showing that the Lord is near. Thus deriving from their banner, light by night, and shade by day, safe they feed upon the manna which he gives them when they pray.
Blest in habitants of Zion, washed in the Redeemer’s blood! Jesus, whom their souls rely on, makes them kings and priests to God. ‘Tis his love his people raises over self to reign as kings: and as priests, his solemn praises each for a thank offering brings.
Celebrant Go in peace to love and serve the Lord by loving and serving each other and the world.
People Thanks be to God.