Saturday, March 21, 2020

Worship service online: March 22, 2020

Please join the St. Stephen Faith Family today at 10:30 a.m. for online worship! 

The service will be broadcast on our Facebook page. Even if you do not have Facebook, you can watch the broadcast. 

The order of service is below. You may wish to print it out, or, alternately, to have it handy on another device or in another window on your computer as you watch the broadcast. Or you may simply follow along without the order of service.

May God bless you!

SERVICE OF THE WORD – St. Stephen Lutheran Church
Fourth Sunday in Lent - March 22, 2020

HYMN            O God, Our Help in Ages Past          Lutheran Book of Worship 320
1              O God, our help in ages past,
                our hope for years to come,
                our shelter from the stormy blast,
                and our eternal home:

2              Under the shadow of your throne
                your saints have dwelt secure;
                sufficient is your arm alone,
                and our defense is sure.

3              Before the hills in order stood
                or earth received its frame,
                from everlasting you are God,
                to endless years the same.

4              A thousand ages in your sight
                are like an evening gone,
                short as the watch that ends the night
                before the rising sun.

5              Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
                soon bears us all away;
                we fly forgotten, as a dream
                dies at the op’ning day.

6              O God, our help in ages past,
                our hope for years to come,
                still be our guard while troubles last
                and our eternal home!

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748, alt.


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.

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

C             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

L             The Lord be with you.
C             And also with you.

L             Let us pray. . .

God of all mercy, by your power to heal and to forgive, graciously cleanse us from all sin and make us strong; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C             Amen


Ephesians 5:8-14

8Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
 “Sleeper, awake!
  Rise from the dead,
 and Christ will shine on you.”


1 The Lord | is my shepherd;*
                I shall not | be in want.
2 He makes me lie down | in green pastures*
                and leads me be- | side still waters.
3 He re- | vives my soul*
                and guides me along right pathways | for his name's sake.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall | fear no evil;*
                for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they | comfort me.
5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those who | trouble me;*
                you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.
6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days | of my life,*
                and I will dwell in the house of the | Lord forever.

SECOND LESSON                            John 9:1-41

1As [Jesus] walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
13They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.
35Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”


HYMN                                   God, Whose Almighty Word              Lutheran Book of Worship 400

1              God, whose almighty word
                chaos and darkness heard
                and took their flight:
                hear us, we humbly pray,
                and where the gospel day
                sheds not its glorious ray,
                let there be light!

2              Lord, who once came to bring,
                on your redeeming wing,
                healing and sight,
                health to the sick in mind,
                sight to the inly blind:
                oh, now to humankind
                let there be light!

3              Spirit of truth and love,
                life-giving, holy dove,
                speed forth your flight;
                move on the water’s face
                bearing the lamp of grace,
                and in earth’s darkest place
                let there be light!

4              Holy and blessed three,
                glorious Trinity,
                wisdom, love, might!
                Boundless as ocean’s tide,
                rolling in fullest pride,
                through the earth, far and wide,
                let there be light!

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

Silence is kept.

A             For the renewal of the Spirit of baptism in the whole Church throughout the world; Lord, in your mercy,
C             hear our prayer.

A             For all those who search for you, that with the eyes of their hearts enlightened, they may know the immeasurable greatness of his power for those who believe. Lord, in your mercy:
C             hear our prayer.

A             For our congregation; guide us as individuals, as families, and as a faith family in your right pathways: Lord, in your mercy,
C             hear our prayer.

A             For the government, the armed forces, medical professionals, first responders,  and those who protect and serve our communities: Lord, in your mercy,
C             hear our prayer.

A             For the nations of the world, refugees and stateless persons, and for all in need of body, mind, and spirit: Lord, in your mercy,
C             hear our prayer.

A             For our mission partner, Lutheran Military Veterans and Family Ministry, and the Rev. Leslie Haines; Lord, in your mercy,
C             hear our prayer.

A             For all we hold dear, all for whom we have been asked to pray, especially those we name now aloud and in the silence of our hearts…

A             Lord, in your mercy,
C             hear our prayer.

A             In thanksgiving for all who have died in faith, whose fruit was good, right, and true; that with them we may rejoice when we behold your light in the world to come. Lord, in your mercy,
C             hear our prayer.

P          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,
C                 hear our prayer.

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

C             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


L             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.
C             Amen

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!