Blessed Lent to you!
Please remember we have our Annual Meeting next Sunday, February 28, at 10:30 a.m.. Because of the condition of our parking lot, the meeting will be held only on Zoom. While it is not ideal, it is an acceptable and manageable means of meeting in line with our constitution and guidance from the ELCA. More information will be sent in an email this week and in the newsletter as well. You do need a device with internet to participate but don’t necessarily need an email. If you have not been receiving our emails, now would be a great time to contact the office so we can update our directory!
Lenten Midweek Services will be available through our usual online means. With our last mailing of the Annual Report you should have received a copy of the Great Litany that we will be using as part of our midweek services as well. We hope this is an opportunity for many of you to join in this additional opportunity for worship.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Chris Lee
Order of Service for February 21, 2021: First Sunday in Lent
On Ash Wednesday the church began its journey toward baptismal immersion in the death and resurrection of Christ. This year, the Sundays in Lent lead us to focus on five covenants God makes in the Hebrew Scriptures and to use them as lenses through which to view baptism. First Peter connects the way God saved Noah’s family in the flood with the way God saves us through the water of baptism. The baptismal covenant is made with us individually, but the new life we are given in baptism is for the sake of the whole world.
Confession and Forgiveness
All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, the keeper of the covenant, the source of steadfast love, our rock and our redeemer.
God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ. Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.
Fountain of living water,
pour out your mercy over us. Our sin is heavy, and we long to be free. Rebuild what we have ruined and mend what we have torn. Wash us in your cleansing flood. Make us alive in the Spirit to follow in the way of Jesus, as healers and restorers of the world you so love.
Beloved, God’s word never fails. The promise rests on grace: by the saving love of Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God, your sins are ☩ forgiven, and God remembers them no more. Journey in the way of Jesus.
Opening Hymn: ELW 504- “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” verses 1, 3, & 4.
Prayer of the Day
Holy God, heavenly Father, in the waters of the flood you saved the chosen, and in the wilderness of temptation you protected your Son from sin. Renew us in the gift of baptism. May your holy angels be with us, that the wicked foe may have no power over us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
First Reading: Genesis 9:8-17
Today’s reading is the conclusion to the flood story. Because of human sin, God destroys the earth by flood, saving only Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark. Yet divine destruction gives way to divine commitment. As in the first creation, God blesses humanity and establishes a covenant with all creatures.
8God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9“As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22
As God acted through Christ’s suffering and death to bring us to God, so God acts through baptism to save us from a sinful existence. This spiritual cleansing marks our new life in Christ.
18Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
Gospel: Mark 1:9-15
The Spirit that comes upon Jesus at his baptism sustains him when he is tested by Satan so that he might proclaim the good news of God’s reign.
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
12And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 766- “Lord of Our Life,” verses 1, 3, & 4.
Prayers of Intercession
Relying on the promises of God, we pray boldly for the church, the world, and all in need.
In Jesus your realm has come near to us in every place and time. Give your church throughout the world a spirit of humility and repentance; teach us to trust always in the good news of your salvation. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
You have made a covenant of mercy with every living creature. Protect all the earth’s creatures from destruction. Empower the work of biologists, conservationists, and science educators. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
All your paths are steadfast love and faithfulness. Direct the words and actions of leaders in our community and throughout the world, that they may maintain justice for the lowly. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
Even in the wilderness you are with us. Walk alongside migrants and refugees crossing dangerous lands. Tend to those whose lives feel desolate. Give healing and strength to all who suffer especially Mary Florence; Scott Holtan; Kayli Bird; Wanda Esping; Wayne Esping; Patrick Esping; Ricky Lindquist; Helen Schubert; Mariah Pearson; and Dan Wolever and those we name before you now. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
In the covenant of baptism you claim us as beloved children. Nurture us in our baptismal identity and teach us to live within it for the sake of others. Strengthen this congregation’s ministries of care and concern. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
In baptism you join us to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We praise you for all those who have died trusting in your faithfulness. Bring us with them to the fullness of your reign, especially Jane McChesney. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.
We entrust ourselves and all our prayers to you, O faithful God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Great Thanksgiving
The Lord’s Prayer
Communion: Organ Solo Anthem: “Adagio,” by Albinoni/ arr. S. Drummond Wolff.
Prayer after Communion
God of steadfast love, at this table you gather your people into one body for the sake of the world. Send us in the power of your Spirit, that our lives bear witness to the love that has made us new in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
You are what God made you to be: created in Christ Jesus for good works, chosen as holy and beloved, freed to serve your neighbor. God bless you ☩ that you may be a blessing, in the name of the holy and life-giving Trinity.
Sending Hymn: ELW 325- “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” all verses.
Go in peace. Share the good news.
Thanks be to God.
Facebook link to First Sunday in Lent Worship Service, February 21, 2021:
Image credits: Dove Descending, DirectFromLourdes.com and Parish House Welcome in Winter, Therese Guise (2021).
Vocalists: Brittany & Miriam Anderson
Organist/ Pianist: Pam Edwards
“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Text: Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship. Music: Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546. Text copyright 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“Lord of Our Life.” Text: Matthaus A. von Lowenstern, 1594 – 1648; tr. Philip Pusey, 1799 – 1855, alt. Music: Poitiers Antiphoner, 1746. Public domain.
“Adagio–Organ Solo Arrangement,” by Albinoni/ arr. S. Drummond Wolff. (One License #110038) All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“I Want Jesus to Walk with Me.” Text: African American spiritual. Music: African American spiritual; arr. hymnal version. Arr. copyright 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.