Saturday, March 28, 2020

Service of the Word - March 29, 2020

A Service of the Word will be livestreamed Sunday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. on our Facebook page:

You need not have a Facebook account to access the livestream.

The order of service is printed below.

SERVICE OF THE WORD – St. Stephen Lutheran Church
March 29, 2020 – The Fifth Sunday in Lent

HYMN            My Faith Looks Up to Thee                    Lutheran Book of Worship 479
1      My faith looks up to thee,
        thou Lamb of Calvary,
        Savior divine!
        Now hear me while I pray,
        take all my guilt away,
        oh, let me from this day
        be wholly thine!

2      May thy rich grace impart
        strength to my fainting heart,
        my zeal inspire;
        as thou hast died for me,
        oh, may my love to thee
        pure, warm, and changeless be,
        a living fire!

3      While life's dark maze I tread
        and griefs around me spread,
        be thou my guide;
        bid darkness turn to day,
        wipe sorrow's tears away,
        nor let me ever stray
        from thee aside.

4      When ends life's transient dream,
        when death's cold, sullen stream
        shall o'er me roll;
        blest Savior, then, in love
        fear and distrust remove;
        oh, bear me safe above,
        a ransomed soul!


Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
                Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
                the Father of all mercies, and the God of all consolation.
Seek the Lord while he may be found.
                Call upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways,
                and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord for mercy,
                to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
All you who are thirsty, come to the water.
You who have no money, come, receive bread, and eat.
Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk.
                Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
                the Father of all mercies, and the God of all consolation.

God has made us his people through our Baptism into Christ. Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.

       I believe in God, the Father almighty,
                creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
                                He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
                                                and born of the virgin Mary.
                                He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
                                                was crucified, died, and was buried.
                                He descended into hell.
                                On the third day he rose again.
                                He ascended into heaven,
                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
                                He will come again 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

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, our redeemer, in our weakness we have failed to be your messengers of forgiveness and hope in the world. Renew us by your Holy Spirit, that we may follow your commands and proclaim your reign of love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Ezekiel 37:1-14

1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”


1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O LordLord, | hear my voice;*
                let your ears consider well the voice of my | supplication.
2 If you, Lord, were to note what is | done amiss,*
                O Lord, | who could stand?
3 For there is forgive- | ness with you;*
                therefore you | shall be feared.
4 I wait for the Lord; my soul | waits for him;*
                in his word | is my hope.
5 My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen | for the morning,*
                more than watchmen | for the morning.
6 O Israel, wait | for the Lord,*
                for with the Lord | there is mercy;
7 with him there is plen- | teous redemption,*
                and he shall redeem Israel from | all their sins.

SECOND LESSON                           Romans 8:6-11

6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

GOSPEL                              John 11:1-45

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.


HYMN    What Wondrous Love is This                         Lutheran Book of Worship 385

1      What wondrous love is this,
        O my soul, O my soul!
        What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
        What wondrous love is this
        that caused the Lord of bliss
        to bear the dreadful curse
        for my soul, for my soul,
        to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

2      When I was sinking down,
        sinking down, sinking down,
        when I was sinking down, sinking down,
        when I was sinking down
        beneath God's righteous frown,
        Christ laid aside his crown
        for my soul, for my soul,
        Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

3      To God and to the Lamb
        I will sing, I will sing;
        to God and to the Lamb I will sing;
        to God and to the Lamb,
        who is the great I AM,
        while millions join the theme,
        I will sing, I will sing,
        while millions join the theme, I will sing.

4      And when from death I'm free,
        I'll sing on, I'll sing on;
        and when from death I'm free, I'll sing on;
        and when from death I'm free,
         I'll sing God's love for me,
                and through eternity
         I'll sing on, I'll sing on;
         and through eternity I'll sing on.

Called as disciples of Jesus to prayer and praise,
let us pray in the Spirit to the Father:

Silence is kept.

We pray for the holy Church. Stir up your Holy Spirit, that we may celebrate our Lord’s resurrection with thanksgiving; Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for our bishop, Dan, all pastors, and all who serve the Church in any office or ministry. Especially in these challenging times, grant them strength, wisdom, zeal, and creativity to preach and teach your Word. Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

We pray for our congregation. Teach us to set our minds on the Spirit, which is life and peace. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for our nation. Guide our President and his administration; the Congress; the courts, and all who serve in state and local government. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the world. Be with all migrants, stateless persons and refugees in this time of trial. Grant that all leaders may have compassion toward the neediest among their people. Lord, in your mercy.
hear our prayer.

We pray for all who put their lives at risk to serve the people of our municipalities, our state, and our nation: the members of our armed forces, the police, fire departments, and EMS; all who work in hospitals, nursing homes and in direct care to others; and all who work in essential industries. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for our mission partner, Lutheran Military Veterans and Family Ministry, and the Rev. Leslie Haines. Join our ministry with theirs to your praise and glory. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are in special need, especially those whom we name now.

The People may offer spoken or silent petition.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We give thanks for those who have died. Bring us to rejoice together with them and with Mary, Martha and Lazarus in the resurrection on the last day. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray to you, almighty God, in this time of pandemic. You are our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Do not let us fail in the face of these events. Uphold us with your love, and give us the strength we need. Help us in our confusion, and guide our actions. Heal the sick, console the bereaved and afflicted, protect the innocent and helpless, and deliver all who are in peril; Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Father, receive these prayers and petitions through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 As our Savior has taught us, we are bold to say:

                Our Father, who art in heaven,
                                hallowed be thy name,
                                thy kingdom come,
                                thy will be done,
                                                on earth as it is in heaven.
                Give us this day our daily bread;
                and forgive us our trespasses,
                                as we forgive those who trespass against us;
                and lead us not into temptation,
                                but deliver us from evil.
                For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
                                forever and ever. Amen


The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and give us peace.

HYMN A Mighty Fortress is Our God                          Lutheran Book of Worship 229

1              A mighty fortress is our God,
                a sword and shield victorious;
                he breaks the cruel oppressor's rod
                and wins salvation glorious.                  
                The old satanic foe
                has sworn to work us woe!
                With craft and dreadful might
                he arms himself to fight.
                On earth he has no equal.

2              No strength of ours can match his might!
                We would be lost, rejected.
                But now a champion comes to fight,
                whom God himself elected.
                You ask who this may be?
                The Lord of hosts is he!
                Christ Jesus, mighty Lord,
                God's only Son, adored.
                He holds the field victorious.

3              Though hordes of devils fill the land
                all threat'ning to devour us,
                we tremble not, unmoved we stand;
                they cannot overpow'r us.
                Let this world's tyrant rage;
                in battle we'll engage!
                His might is doomed to fail;
                God's judgment must prevail!
                One little word subdues him.

4              God's Word forever shall abide,
                no thanks to foes, who fear it;
                for God himself fights by our side
                with weapons of the Spirit.
                Were they to take our house,
                goods, honor, child, or spouse,
                though life be wrenched away,
                they cannot win the day.
                The kingdom's ours forever!

A             Be at peace. Serve the Lord.
C             Thanks be to God!