Special services

Some alternate worship options for Sunday

Take advantage of this opportunity to worship with some of our brothers and sisters from around the Nebraska Synod! This is just a small sampling of the options out there — if you tune into another service, drop it in the comments below!

Special services

Good Friday Worship

Welcome to Holy Week worship this evening at St. John’s Lutheran in Schuyler and thank you for joining us. As you prepare for this time of worship, we encourage you to set aside distractions and prepare your heart and your space to be a sanctuary. This may include lighting a candle or having your bible or a hymnal handy. 

Tonight, on Good Friday, we join the women weeping at the foot of the cross as we hear the story of Jesus’ Passion once again. There will be a time to reverence the cross during this service; you are encouraged to find a cross of some kind from around your house, or find or draw an image of the cross on which to focus your attention.


Friday, April 2, 2021 • Good Friday
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Betty Herde
Lector: Jon Knutson

Click here to see the announcements and the prayer list.

All gather in silence.

We gather for our Good Friday service in silence.  This is a day of fasting and grief.  In many ways, this service is a direct continuation of our Maundy Thursday service.  We gather once again to remember the crucifixion of our Lord and to lament our sinfulness and the brokenness of the world in which we live.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray.

Almighty God, look with loving mercy on your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, to be given over to the hands of sinners, and to suffer death on the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 52:13–53:12

See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate. Who has believed what we have heard?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away.

Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.

The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The word of the Lord. 
Thanks be to God.

PSALM: Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you for saken me? Why so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer;by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors put their trust in you,they trusted, and you rescued them. 

They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
But as for me, I am a worm and not human,scorned by all and despised by the people.

All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips; they shake their heads.
“Trust in the Lord; let the Lord deliver;let God rescue him if God so delights in him.” 

Yet you are the one who drew me forth from the womb, and kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;you were my God when I was still in my mother’s womb.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
Many young bulls encircle me;strong bulls of Bashan surround me. 

They open wide their jaws at me, like a slashing and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint;my heart within my breast is melting wax.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of death.
Packs of dogs close me in, a band of evildoers circles round me;
they pierce my hands and my feet. 

I can count all my bones while they stare at me and gloat.
They divide my garments among them;for my clothing, they cast lots.

But you, O Lord, be not far away; O my help, hasten to my aid.
Deliver me from the sword,my life from the power of the dog.

Save me from the lion’s mouth! From the horns of wild bulls you have rescued me.
I will declare your name to my people;in the midst of the assembly I will praise you. 

You who fear the Lord, give praise! All you of Jacob’s line, give glory. Stand in awe of the Lord, all you off-spring of Israel.
For the Lord does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither is the Lord‘s face hidden from them;but when they cry out, the Lord hears them.

From you comes my praise in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the sight of those who fear the Lord.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied,Let those who seek the Lord give praise! May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; all the families of nations shall bow before God.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,who rules over the nations. 

Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel before the Lord.
Their descendants shall serve the Lord,whom they shall proclaim to generations to come.

They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying to them, “The Lord has acted!”

SECOND READING: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

The word of the Lord. 
Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Return to the Lord, your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and abounding in steadfast love.

The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

GOSPEL: John 18:1–19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves 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?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed. Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”  After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. 

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says,  “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 349) Ah, Holy Jesus

Ah, holy Jesus, how has thou offended
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty?  Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
for our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.

For me, kind Jesus, was thine incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee;
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

BIDDING PRAYER
From Worship Guidebook for Lent and the Three Days: Since the third century, Christians have gathered on Good Friday at the foot of the cross and there prayed the great intercessions.  It is as if the cross is in the center of all things, and as we stand with Mary and John at the cross, the bidding prayer opens us up to ever-widening circles of concern.  In these intercessions we ask God to look with mercy on every person and thing in the cosmos.

Let us pray, brothers and sisters, for the holy church throughout the world.

Almighty and eternal God, you have shown your glory to all nations in Jesus Christ. By your Holy Spirit guide the church and gather it throughout the world. Help it to persevere in faith, proclaim your name, and bring the good news of salvation in Christ to all people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for Elizabeth and Brian our bishops, for Day our pastor, for all servants of the church, and for all the people of God.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, your Spirit guides the church and makes it holy. Strengthen and uphold our bishops, pastors, other ministers, and lay leaders. Keep them in health and safety for the good of the church, and help each of us in our various vocations to do faithfully the work to which you have called us. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those preparing for baptism.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you continue to bless the church. Increase the faith and understanding of those preparing for baptism. Give them new birth as your children, and keep them in the faith and communion of your holy church. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for our sisters and brothers who share our faith in Jesus Christ.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you give your church unity. Look with favor on all who follow Jesus your Son. Make all the baptized one in the fullness of faith, and keep us united in the fellowship of love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and your teaching to Moses. Hear our prayers that the people you called and elected as your own may receive the fulfillment of the covenant’s promises. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, gather into your embrace all those who call out to you under different names. Bring an end to inter-religious strife, and make us more faithful witnesses of the love made known to us in your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who do not believe in God.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you created humanity so that all may long to know you and find peace in you. Grant that all may recognize the signs of your love and grace in the world and in the lives of Christians, and gladly acknowledge you as the one true God. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for God’s creation.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you are the creator of a magnificent universe. Hold all the worlds in the arms of your care and bring all things to fulfillment in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who serve in public office.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you are the champion of the poor and oppressed. In your goodness, give wisdom to those in authority, so that all people may enjoy justice, peace, freedom, and a share in the goodness of your creation. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those in need.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you give strength to the weary and new courage to those who have lost heart. Heal the sick, comfort the dying, give safety to travelers, free those unjustly deprived of liberty, and deliver your world from falsehood, hunger, and disease. Hear the prayers of all who call on you in any trouble, that they may have the joy of receiving your help in their need. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Finally, let us pray for all those things for which our Lord would have us ask.

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.

PROCESSION OF THE CROSS

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Once the cross has been carried in and placed at the front of the sanctuary, all are invited to reverence the cross from where they are seated.  Reverencing the cross may include actions like crossing oneself or making the sign of the cross on one’s forehead, lips, and heart; silent prayer and contemplation of the cross are also encouraged.  Those who are participating in worship digitally are encouraged to grab a cross from around their house or draw one to focus on.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and we praise your holy resurrection,
for by your cross joy has come into the world.

May God be merciful and bless us;
may the light of God’s face shine upon us.
Let your way be known upon earth,
your saving health among all nations.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and we praise your holy resurrection,
for by your cross joy has come into the world.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God give us blessing,
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and we praise your holy resurrection,
for by your cross joy has come into the world.

Silence for contemplation

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 351) O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

O sacred head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown;
O sacred head, what glory,
what bliss till now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call thee mine.

How pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn;
how does thy face now languish,
which once was bright as morn!
Thy grief and bitter passion
were all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
Oh, make me thine forever,
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never 
outlive my love to thee.

Lord, be my consolation;
shield me when I must die;
remind me of thy passion
when my last hour draws nigh.
These eyes, new faith receiving,
from thee shall never move;
for all who die believing
die safely in thy love.

All depart in silence.

Special services

Maundy Thursday Worship

Welcome to Holy Week worship this evening at St. John’s Lutheran in Schuyler and thank you for joining us. As you prepare for this time of worship, we encourage you to set aside distractions and prepare your heart and your space to be a sanctuary. This may include lighting a candle or having your bible or a hymnal handy. 

Tonight, on Maundy Thursday, we bear witness as Jesus and his disciples share a last meal, he lovingly washes their feet, and he is then betrayed and handed over to be crucified. Tonight we will engage in the practice of hand-washing, rather than the traditional foot-washing, so you are also encouraged to have soap and water or hand sanitizer on hand to wash your hands and those of your household.


Thursday, April 1, 2021 • Maundy Thursday
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Karen Henry

Click here to see the announcements and the prayer list.

Click here to watch the video of this service.

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

Friends in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were called at baptism. Within the community of the church, God never wearies of forgiving sin and giving the peace of reconciliation. On this night let us confess our sin against God and our neighbor, and enter the celebration of the great Three Days reconciled with God and with one another.

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.

In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins. 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.

GREETING

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.


Let us pray.

Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, 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 READING: Exodus 12:1-14
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
I love the Lord, who has heard my voice, and listened to my supplication,
for the Lord has given ear to mewhenever I called.

How shall I repay the Lord for all the good things God has done for me?
I will lift the cup of salvationand call on the name of the Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all God’s people.
Precious in your sight, O Lord,is the death of your servants.

O Lord, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me from my bonds.
I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgivingand call upon the name of the Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all God’s people,
in the courts of the Lord‘s house,in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Return to the Lord your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

GOSPEL: John 13:1-17, 31b-35

The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 359) Where Charity and Love Prevail

Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
brought here together by Christ's love,
by love we thus are bound.

With grateful joy and holy fear,
God's charity we learn;
let us with heart and mind and soul
now love God in return.

Let us recall that in our midst
dwells Christ, God's holy Son;
as members of each body joined,
in him we are made one.

Let strife among us be unknown;
let all contentions cease.
Be God's the glory that we seek;
be his our only peace.

Let us forgive each other's faults
as we our own confess,
that we may love each other well
in Christian gentleness.

HANDWASHING
On this night we have heard our Lord’s commandment to love one another as he has first loved us.  We who receive God’s love in Jesus Christ are called to love one another, to be servants to each other, as Jesus became our servant.  Normally our commitment to this loving service is signified in the washing of feet, following the example our Lord gave us on the night before his death.  In this time of pandemic, one of the greatest acts of love we can do is to wash our own hands, in order to help keep ourselves and our neighbor safe.

HANDWASHING SONG (ELW 642) Ubi caritas et amor (Where True Charity and Love Abide)
(repeated during handwashing — sing in English and/or Latin)

Ubi caritas et amor,
ubi caritas, Deus ibi est.

Where true charity and love abide,
God is dwelling there; God is dwelling there.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

United by the servant love of God in Christ, we pray this holy night for the needs of the world.
Silence for reflection

You call your people to hand on what we receive from you. Form all the baptized into teachers of faith. From one generation to the next, give your church hunger for your promises in the sacraments and joy in receiving and sharing your word. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Your creation provides all that we need. Cleanse and protect the water you have given for washing and drinking, water on which all life depends. Sustain crops and herds that provide food; teach us how to live so that there is enough for all. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You redeemed your people from slavery. Preserve people throughout the world who flee violence and oppression (especially). Establish just leadership in place of tyranny and peace in place of war. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Jesus loved his followers to the end. Grant assurance of that love to all who need it: those living with guilt, those struggling to forgive, those who are lonely or overlooked. Heal the sick and embrace the dying. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Jesus washed the feet of the one who betrayed him. Inspire this congregation’s ministries of service (especially), that we love as Jesus loved us. Give us renewed courage to serve. Bless the ministry of deacons throughout the church. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Your glory shone in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We thank you for generations of the faithful who have proclaimed our Lord’s death. Unite us with them in hope until he comes again. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Hear these and all our prayers, O God, in the name of the one who loves us to the end, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Amen.

STRIPPING OF THE ALTAR

As we listen to the words of psalms of lament, the worship space is stripped of all its adornments, just as Christ was stripped and beaten and mocked.  Now that the supper has come to an end, we remember how Christ was handed over to be arrested and executed.  This service ends in silence and darkness, as all hastily leave this space.  

Psalm 88
O Lord, my God, my Savior, 
by day and night I cry to you.
Let my prayer enter into your presence; 
incline your ear to my lamentation.

For I am full of trouble; 
my life is at the brink of the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I have become like one who has no strength;
lost among the dead, 
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more, 
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have laid me in the depths of the pit, 
in dark places, and in the abyss.
Your anger weighs upon me heavily, 
and all your great waves overwhelm me.

You have put my friends far from me; 
you have made me to be abhorred by them;
I am in prison and cannot get free.
My sight has failed me because of trouble;
Lord, I have called upon you daily; 
I have stretched out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead? 
Will those who have died stand up and give you thanks?
Will your lovingkindness be declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
Will your wonders be known in the dark
or your righteousness in the country where all is forgotten?

But as for me, O Lord, I cry to you for help; 
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why have you rejected me? 
Why have you hidden your face from me?
Ever since my youth, 
I have been wretched and at the point of death;
I have borne your terrors and am helpless.
Your blazing anger has swept over me; 
your terrors have destroyed me;
they surround me all day long like a flood; 
they encompass me on every side.
My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me,
and darkness is my only companion.

All depart in silence.

News and Events

March 2021 Letter to congregation

St. John’s Lutheran Church
821 Denver St. • Schuyler, NE 68661
stjohnslutheranschuyler.wordpress.com
402-352-3550

Dear siblings in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ.  We are one year into this pandemic journey, and as you well know, it has been a year full of challenge and change.  Despite this, as your church council, we remain confident that God is with us and that the Spirit is at work among us, continuing to move us to live out our call to witness and serve in the name of Christ.  We remain thankful for your continued faithfulness and consistent stewardship throughout this time.  And we remain committed to working to ensure the safety and wellbeing of this congregation in as transparent a manner as possible.

We are writing to let you know that at our March council meeting, we made the decision to revise our criteria for resuming our in-person worship services.  The specific details are at the end of this letter, for any who wish to read them.  What’s important to know about this change is this: 

  • We are optimistic that this new metric will get us back to worshiping in person a lot sooner than the old one.
  • Our return to in-person worship will be announced on Facebook, on our website, and in worship no later than the Sunday before.
  • Because this is a more fluid metric, it is possible that it may lead us to revert to meeting online for a time – this will be communicated in the same way as in-person.
  • We are well aware that many parts of our community are resuming full and unrestricted levels of activity, but as leaders and stewards of this congregation, we are taking our call seriously to care for the health and safety of this congregation by making decisions grounded in faith and guided by data and science rather than by feelings.

When we do return to gathering in person, we will continue to live-stream worship via Facebook Live – both for those who will not feel comfortable gathering in person right away, and also for the many new friends who have joined us virtually!  And those who are not able to participate in our online worship are already welcome to join us for worship in person so that all may be included.  

And for the time being, our safety precautions remain in place for in-person gatherings: masks are required that cover your nose, mouth, and chin; six feet or more of distance maintained between anyone who doesn’t live together; no assembly singing; and washing/sanitizing hands.  These are the things that we know will keep us safe while we wait for everyone to get vaccinated – these are the things that will help us finish strong, together.

Continue reading “March 2021 Letter to congregation”
Silent auction

Prime New York Strip Half Loin 2

One prime New York strip half loin, weighing around 5 or 6 pounds. Starting bid $40.

*not a photo of actual loin being bid

Instructions: To place a bid on this item, write your name and the amount of your bid in a comment on this post. To make a comment, scroll down the page until you see “Leave a Reply”; don’t forget to hit “Post Comment” when you are finished.

Please note: To make a comment, your email address is required. If you do not have an email address, please call the church office (402-352-3550) between 10-1 on Mon-Fri, or if you can’t call during that time, call or text Pastor Day (402-369-0279; but not on Friday)

Bidding will be open from Sunday, February 14, through the night of Saturday, February 27, at midnight. You will be unable to leave a comment before or after this time. Please be sure to check back to see if you’ve been outbid! You can also check the box when you leave your comment to receive updates about new comments/bids.

Winners will be posted on the website; you can pick up any items you’ve won at the church after winners are announced on Sunday, February 28. Church office hours are usually 10-1 M-Th, or you can contact us to arrange another time.

Click here to return to Silent Auction page.