Special services

Service of Lament and Hope

Thank you for joining us for worship! Wherever you are, we invite you to create space for worship, both in your physical space and in your heart — perhaps light a candle or fill a bowl with water to remember your baptism, or grab a bible or hymnal, or do whatever helps you most to feel worshipful.

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Sunday, August 1, 2021 • Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Lori Benesch
Ushers: Crystal Callahan, Randy Plummer

Click here to see announcements and the prayer list.

GATHERING
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, who upholds us through adversity, who consoles us in our sorrows, whose mercy endures forever.
Amen

WORD
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

READING: Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

A PRAYER OF LAMENT
We lament before you, O God, Comforter in our distress, the losses that our congregation and this community have suffered. 

We have missed our weekly assembled worship, our sharing of bread and cup, our communal song, our greetings of peace; the full observances of Holy Week and the Three Days, Easter, Christmas, Pentecost, and Trinity; baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals; gatherings for education; fellowship shared over coffee each Sunday.

We mourn members, friends, and family who have died of COVID-19, and we lament with those still living with the effects of long COVID.

O God, we lament our losses, for they are many. Restore us, gracious God.
Restore us, gracious God

At this time, all are invited to use the paper provided to write out their laments from the last 16 months – the grief, anger, sadness, frustration, hurt, and whatever else may be on your heart. We will then move outside to pray and burn these things, releasing them into God’s care as an offering. Anyone joining us from home is also invited to participate by writing and then either tearing up their paper or carefully burning it while we sing.

A PRAYER OF LAMENT FOR THE WORLD
We lament before you, O God, Sustainer of the universe, the tragedies that our world has experienced.

We lament the millions sickened; the countless dead; thousands unemployed; medical systems depleted; frontline workers exhausted; economic security threatened; government assistance inadequate; political discord escalated; despondency rampant; racial injustice intensified; communal engagements canceled, and all the many other burdens you know our hearts carry.

O God, we lament the world’s tragedies, for they are incalculable. Heal us, compassionate God.
Heal us, compassionate God. 

All are invited to add their piece of paper to the fire as we sing our song of lament.  (The song will be hummed through once, then all may sing the verses a capella)

SONG OF LAMENT (All Creation Sings 1050) Sometimes Our Only Song Is Weeping

The assembly returns to the sanctuary.

READING: Psalm 91 (Please read responsively)
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty—
you will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust.”

For God will rescue you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly plague.
God’s wings will cover you, and you will find refuge beneath them; God’s faithfulness will be your shield and defense.

You shall not fear any terror in the night, nor the arrow that flies by day;
nor the plague that stalks in the darkness, nor the sickness that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only have to look with your eyes, and you will see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your habitation,
no evil will befall you, nor shall affliction come near your dwelling.

For God will give the angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways.
Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion cub and viper; you will trample down the lion and the serpent.
I will deliver those who cling to me; I will uphold them, because they know my name.

They will call me, and I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue and honor them.
With long life will I satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

GOSPEL: John 14:18-21, 25-27
I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

A PRAYER OF PRAISE
Today, O God of the everlasting arms, we rejoice at the re-gathering of our congregation.

We praise you for Sunday worship in word and sacrament; for the presence of our neighbor; for infants, children, youth, adults, and the aged together; for communal song and live music; for fellowship; for Bible study; for service with one another for the wider community; for our life together on the path of discipleship.

O God, we rejoice at this re-gathering for baptismal life together.  Empower our church, faithful God.
Empower our church, faithful God

Just as wildfires on the prairie make space for new growth, we have faith that God will bring forth new life and transformation out of this time of grief and challenge.  Everyone gathered will receive a piece of paper that has wildflower seeds embedded in it; on this paper, you are invited to write your hopes for our future together moving forward from here.  Where do you sense God calling us to go and grow?  This paper can be planted or kept as a reminder of God’s faithful love. If anyone participating from home would like a piece of seed paper, please contact Pr. Day.

A PRAYER OF HOPE FOR THE WORLD
We pray, O God of safe harbor, for the emergence of a wholesome world: a world with health restored; mourners consoled; vaccines available; hospitals restocked; employment reinstated; poverty averted; sustenance shared; science respected; travel resumed; fear replaced with confidence; sorrow turned to joy.

O God, we pray for the emergence of a wholesome world. Renew the whole world, merciful God.
Renew the whole world, merciful God. 

Give us your peace, eternal God. 
Give us your peace, eternal God

SONG OF PRAISE (ELW 841) Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

Lift ev'ry voice and sing
till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise
high as the list'ning skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us;
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun
of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chast'ning rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet
come to the place for which our parents sighed?
We have come over a way
that with tears has been watered;
we have come, treading our path
through the blood of the slaughtered;
out from the gloomy past,
till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who has by thy might
led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places,
our God, where we met thee;
lest our hearts, drunk with the wine
of the world, we forget thee;
shadowed beneath thy hand,
may we forever stand
true to our God, true to our native land.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Rooted in Christ and sustained by the Spirit, we offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all of creation.
A brief silence.

You call your church to be the body of Christ. Awaken all the baptized to the gifts you provide for carrying out the work of ministry. Where the church is divided, knit us together and restore the unity of the faith. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You command the clouds above and cause the wind to blow in the heavens. Watch over deserts and wilderness places. Regenerate rainforests, defend species at risk of extinction, and strengthen the work of conservation organizations. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You summon leaders to respond to the needs of your people. Instill those who govern with patience when confronted with grievances and perseverance in seeking what promotes the well-being of the community. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You draw near to those who cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry, reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who are imprisoned (especially…). Rain down the true bread from heaven that gives life to the world. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You receive all who come seeking a sign of grace. Make this congregation a place of hospitality for those accustomed to rejection. To those who have felt excluded here or elsewhere, prepare us to welcome them in the name of Christ. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.You provide food that endures for eternal life. Sustain us each day with the bread of life until we are gathered with all the saints and feast together at your heavenly banquet. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

We lift these and all our prayers to you, O God, confident in the promise of your saving love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
There are many ways to make your offering:

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
  • Ask your bank about setting up automatic giving
  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

OFFERING PRAYER 
Let us pray. God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing. Fill us with good things at your table, that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

PREFACE

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

THANKSGIVING AT THE TABLE

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

COMMUNION
All are welcome at the Lord’s table, whether Lutheran or not.  Ushers will invite you up by household to take communion at the table. Wine and juice are available.

COMMUNION SONG (ELW 471) Let Us Break Bread Together

Let us break bread together on our knees;
let us break bread together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us drink wine together on our knees;
let us drink wine together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us praise God together on our knees;
let us praise God together on our knees!
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Let us pray.

Life-giving God, in the mystery of Christ’s resurrection you send light to conquer darkness, water to give new life, and the bread of life to nourish your people. Send us forth as witnesses to your redeeming power, that we may show your glory to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our living Lord.
Amen.

SENDING
God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

SENDING SONG (ELW 839) Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God
with hearts and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who, from our mothers' arms,
has blest us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

Oh, may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
and keep us in all grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all harm
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son, and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven,
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heav'n adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

BLESSING
Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.

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.

Special services

Palm Sunday Worship

Welcome to worship 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, having a bowl of water in front of you to remember your baptism, or having your bible or a hymnal handy. 

Today you are also encouraged to have something in the way of palm branches, as we join with the crowds welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem at the beginning of this Holy Week. Our steps have led us once more on this Lenten journey toward the cross, and today we enter Jerusalem and prepare to hear once again the central story of our faith: the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Hosanna in the highest.

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Sunday, March 28, 2021
Palm Sunday / Sunday of the Passion
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Betty Herde

Click here to see announcements and the prayer list.

ACCLAMATION
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

PROCESSIONAL GOSPEL: Mark 11:1-11
The holy gospel according to Mark.
Glory to you, O Lord.

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, [Jesus] sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’ ” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

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

BLESSING OF PALMS
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept.

We praise you, O God, for redeeming the world through our Savior Jesus Christ. Today he entered the holy city in triumph and was proclaimed messiah and king by those who spread garments and branches along his way. Bless these branches and those who carry them. Grant us grace to follow our Lord in the way of the cross, so that, joined to his death and resurrection, we enter into life with you; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

GATHERING SONG (ELW 344, v1-3All Glory, Laud, and Honor

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

You are the King of Israel and David's royal Son,
now in the Lord's name coming, our King and Blessed One.

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

The company of angels are praising you on high;
creation and all mortals in chorus make reply.

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

The multitude of pilgrims with palms before you went;
Our praise and prayer and anthems before you we present.

All glory, laud, and honor to you, redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

PRAYER OF THE DAY
As we now enter into the contemplation of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and meditate on the salvation of the world through his sufferings, death, burial, and resurrection, let us pray.
Silence is kept.

Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 50:4-9a

The Lord God has given me 
the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain 
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
wakens my ear 
to listen as those who are taught. 
The Lord God has opened my ear, 
and I was not rebellious, 
I did not turn backward. 
I gave my back to those who struck me, 
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; 
I did not hide my face 
from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me; 
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint, 
and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 
he who vindicates me is near. 
Who will contend with me? 
Let us stand up together. 
Who are my adversaries? 
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me; 
who will declare me guilty?

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM: Psalm 31:9-16

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing;my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

I am the scorn of all my enemies, a disgrace to my neighbors, a dismay to my acquaintances; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
Like the dead I am forgotten, out of mind;I am as useless as a broken pot.

For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.I have said, “You are my God.

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
Let your face shine upon your servant;save me in your steadfast love.”

SECOND READING: Philippians 2:5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Word of God, word of life.
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: Mark 14:1–15:47

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

It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”

While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written,

‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” All of them deserted him and fled.

A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ” But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am; and

‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’ ”

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.”  But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

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

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 338, v1-3Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I long to take my stand;
the shadow of a mighty rock
within a weary land,
a home within a wilderness,
a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat
and burdens of the day.

Upon the cross of Jesus
,
my eye at times can see
the very dying form of one
who suffered there for me.
And from my contrite heart, with tears
,
two wonders I confess:
the wonder of his glorious love
and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, your shadow
for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by,
to know no gain nor loss;
my sinful self my only shame,
my glory all the cross.

APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the deadOn the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and 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 INTERCESSION

Relying on the promises of God, we pray boldly for the church, the world, and all in need.
Silence for reflection

In Jesus you came among us as a suffering servant. Give your church humility. Redeem your people from pride and the certainty that we always know your will. Heal us and empower us to confess Christ crucified. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

In creation, life springs from death. Redeem your creation awaiting resurrection: restore lost habitats and endangered species. Create new possibilities for areas affected by climate change (especially), grant relief from natural disasters (especially), and nurture new growth. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Jesus was handed over to the powers of this world. In all nations, instruct the powerful, that they would not exploit their power but maintain justice. Sustain soldiers, and guide those who command them, that they serve those in greatest need. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

On the cross Jesus joined all who feel forsaken. Abide with those who are condemned to death. Defend those who are falsely accused. Console and strengthen those who are mocked or bullied. Accompany all who suffer (especially); grant respite and renewal. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You called followers to tend Jesus’ body in death. Sustain hospice workers and funeral directors. Bless this congregation’s ministries at times of death: those who plan and lead funerals, those who prepare meals, all who offer support in grief. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You inspired the centurion to confess Jesus as your Son. We praise you for the faith you have given to people of all places and times. Give us also such faith to trust the promises of baptism and, with them, to look for the resurrection of the dead. 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.
Amen.

PEACE
The peace of Christ be with you always.  
And also with you.

Though we are separated by distance and illness, Christ’s peace is with each of us.

OFFERING
All are encouraged to be diligent in giving, especially in this unusual season. 

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
  • Ask your bank about setting up automatic giving
  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

OFFERING PRAYER 

Let us pray. Abiding God, you bring forth life. Nourish us with earth’s bounty, that we may freely share the gifts you have first given us, through the one who gives his life for the world, Jesus Christ, our risen Savior.
Amen.

THANKSGIVING FOR THE WORD

Let us pray.

Gracious God, who has named and claimed us, calling us your beloved children, you know the secrets of our hearts. When we sin and stray from your paths, you astound us with your saving grace. For this Word of life,
we give you thanks.

Loving Jesus, living Word, in you the kingdom of God has come near; through you all that was lost has been found. Help us to boldly follow wherever you may lead, trusting your promise that we need not fear, for you are with us. For this Word of life,
we give you thanks.

Holy Spirit, the mystery in which we dwell, into our scarcity, your abundance flows. Enliven all communities with your good news. Guide us to love and serve Jesus, giving ourselves away for the sake of the world. For this Word of life,
we give you thanks.

All glory to you, holy God, now and forever.
Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER
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.

BLESSING
Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL
Go in peace. Share the good news.
Thanks be to God.