Sunday February 28, 2021

Continuing to Be the Church


Deepening people’s connections to Christ, Bringing meaning to daily life,
and Making a difference in our community.

If you’re a guest, we’re thankful you’re here today. We hope you’ll feel welcomed and spiritually nourished. If you’d like to speak to the pastor about the congregation, please let her know directly or call the church office at 314-962-6011.

The truth is that the way of Christ is not easy, but God calls us by name and promises to be faithful on the journey.

We will celebrate communion together. Gather the bread and wine, and join us for worship on Zoom at 9:30am.

CALLED TO TRUTH

We are in the season of Lent, when we at Christ Lutheran along with Christians across the world will reflect on the meaning of our baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection and our human mortality and frailty. In Jesus, God became flesh, and entered into our human experience in very vulnerable ways.

In this time where there is so much confusion, violence, hatred, and oppression in our world, we have heard the words of Pontius Pilate echo: “Truth? What is truth?” We are as people of faith Called to Truth. As we gather on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings during Lent, we will seek God’s truth in our lives in this season. Together, we will confess our brokenness and ask forgiveness, read scripture, and pray for guidance. And most of all, we will affirm our trust in a God who brings life and transformation out of all things, even death.

Sunday, February 28, 9:30am
Click to join Zoom Worship or
Call in from any phone 312-626-6799 Meeting ID: 278 217 453 Password: 971744

PRELUDE Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (WTC Book II) – Johann Sebastian Bach, Mark Ruff, piano

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

SILENT MEDITATION Let us prepare for worship by quieting our hearts and minds.

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.

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

Every week, we start out by remembering that we are God’s children. Sometimes, we take time to ask for God’s forgiveness and help, using a Confession and Forgiveness, because we all make mistakes! Other Sundays, we remember our baptisms, and celebrate God’s love and the gift of life.

Blessed be the Holy Trinity, one God, who forgives all our sin, whose mercy endures forever. Amen.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Merciful God, whose ways are good and true, we confess that we have not lived as Christ calls us to live. We have not heard your call to truth. We have shut our eyes to the evil the world allows. We shut our ears to the cries of those who are suffering, whose pain we abide. We have clung to the hostility we harbor against one another and hardened our hearts to the creative power of your love. For the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

According to the Lord’s abundant mercy, there is forgiveness for all who seek repentance, and grace for all who turn their hearts to the way of Jesus. In the name of Jesus, I proclaim the forgiveness of all your sins. As children of God, let us grow and learn to walk more fully in the way of Christ. Amen.

GATHERING HYMN 321 Eternal Lord of Love, Behold Your Church

Introduction, Mark Ruff
v. 1-2, Matt Bender
v. 3 Mark Ruff

We sing in Worship because it is a way to come together and pray to God as a family. And then, we offer one another peace, promising to love, forgive, and care for one another.

SIGN OF PEACE Sign Peace Be With You

KYRIE Matt Bender and Mark Ruff

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PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray: O God, your son Jesus bore the cross for our salvation and was raised from the dead for the salvation of the world. Give us the courage to take up our cross and follow him, that through his grace we may accept the truth of the cost of faithful discipleship and receive the joy of life in Christ. Amen.

THE WORD

We Lutherans call the Bible the “Living Word.” It was written a long time ago by people who were inspired by God to share about their faith. It is “living” because even today, reading the Bible helps us learn about God, and how to bring God’s love and mercy to the world. So, every week, we read from the Bible together at Worship. We call this part of the service “The Word” because we read the word of God!

Reader: Roger Rose

FIRST LESSON Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” 3Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 5No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
15God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

The Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

PSALM 22:23-31

23You who fear the Lord, give praise! All you of Jacob’s line, give glory.
Stand in awe of the Lord, all you offspring of Israel.
24For 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.
25From you comes my praise in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the sight of those who fear the Lord.
26The poor shall eat and be satisfied, Let those who seek the Lord give praise! May your hearts live forever! 
27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
all the families of nations shall bow before God.
28For dominion belongs to the Lord, who rules over the nations.
29Indeed, 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.
30Their descendants shall serve the Lord, whom they shall proclaim to generations to come.
31They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying to them, “The Lord has acted!”

SECOND LESSON Romans 4:13-25

13The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. 16For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

LENTEN ACCLAMATION Return to the Lord, Your God, Matt Bender

Reader: Pastor Meagan

GOSPEL Mark 8:31-38

The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark, the eighth chapter, Glory to you, O Lord.

31Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

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

CHILDREN’S SERMON Katie Ciorba

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY 667 Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said

Introduction, Mark Ruff
v. 1-3 Matt Bender
v. 4 Mark Ruff

APOSTLE’S CREED

Each week, we say a creed, a statement of what we believe as Christians. We say it every week, because we are all still learning about our faith, and it helps to practice it together. We use different words sometimes, but we always say that we believe that God created all things, that God came in Jesus to show us how much he loves us, and that the Holy Spirit brings life, courage, and hope.

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 dead.*  On 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.   

PRAYER REQUESTS

You are invited to share joys and concerns via chat in Zoom, or speak them aloud, so the whole community of faith gathered may hold them in prayer.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

The Prayers of Intercession are when we pray together as God’s family. “Intercession” means we are praying for each other, and for the world, not only for ourselves.

Prayer Leader: Carolyn Crowe

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

Your gift of grace is for all people. Give confident faith to your people at Christ Lutheran and around the world, that they may follow you wholeheartedly. Give those who follow your way joy in your promises; give hope and courage to those who suffer for their faith. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

All the ends of the earth worship you. From galaxies to microorganisms, preserve your creation. Teach humanity to wonder at your works and to join you in tending to creation’s well-being. Bring restoration and healing to all of those in Texas and other areas of the south that are still waiting for heat, electricity, and water to be restored. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

You rule over the nations. Raise up advocates for peace and justice within and between nations. Give life where hope seems dead; call into existence new realities we cannot even imagine. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

You made Abraham and Sarah the ancestors of a multitude of nations. Bless grandparents, parents, and foster parents, and the children who look to them for care and guidance. Console those who deal with infertility, parents who have entrusted their children to adoption, and children longing to be adopted. Equip ministries and services to families. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Healing God, We pray for those with Covid-19. Strengthen and protect the medical professionals and staff who provide healing, cleaning, food, and care for those who are ill. May they know the strength and comfort of your presence in the midst of the pain, trauma, and despair they encounter, and bless the ministry they do each day. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Creative God, We thank you for the wisdom, intelligence, expertise, and commitment of the scientists, doctors, and administrative professionals who have invested so much to bring vaccines to distribution. Grant strength and wisdom to all working to ensure a just and efficient roll out, and patience to us as we wait, and continue to do what we can to protect our communities. Bring comfort to those who wait for news about loved ones from a distance, and those who grieve without being present. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

Presider

In Jesus you joined humanity in suffering and death. Reveal to all, the depth of your love shown on the cross. Accompany all who suffer in body, mind, and spirit. Restore all who are sick or grieving. Bring vindication for victims of injustice, exploitation, and oppression. We pray for those named in Remembering One Another in Prayer, and especially those named by we who gather this morning . . . . . Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

We await the day of Christ’s coming in glory. Lead us by the example of all the saints whom you have called to take up their cross and follow you, that together we may find our lives in you. We pray especially today in thanksgiving for Cletus Romay, who we remembered on Friday. 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.

OFFERING 

We invite you to support the ministries of this community of faith, as we re-imagine how we can be church, for one another and for our community. It takes all of us, our time, our vision, our gifts. To support ministry financially, you can give electronically on our website, or send a check in to the office.

OFFERTORY

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Let us pray. Almighty God, we thank you for the covenant you established with Abraham and Sarah, which you have opened to us through Christ. Accept these offerings with the dedication of our lives, that we may be for the world a sign of your abiding love, and a testament to your enduring promise. In Christ, by the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

THE MEAL

When Jesus was here on earth, he had meals with all different people, everywhere he went. Sometimes he even got into trouble because people didn’t like who he ate with! At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples they should eat with one another, so they would remember that no matter what, Jesus is right here with us, not just in our imaginations, but in the bread and wine we share together. We have Communion every week so we remember Jesus is with us, and invites us to care for each other as he did.

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us lift up our hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.

You called into existence things that did not exist: the universe and all that inhabits it. From Abraham and Sarah you brought forth nations, calling them to walk before you in the righteousness that comes from faith. In your Son, Jesus, you showed your compassion for the afflicted and taught us that real life is found by those who lose their life for your sake and for your gospel. He was rejected by the religious leaders, and killed, but three days later, you raised him from the dead as Lord. Now you justify all who put their faith in you, through him, counting it to us as righteousness, and promising us the full riches of your grace when Christ comes in glory.

And so, with the earth and all of its creatures, with all of your children of all corners of the earth, and with all of the angels and saints, we join your joyful hymn of praise.

SANCTUS Setting 3, Mark Ruff

THE WORDS OF INSTITUTION

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples saying, take and eat, this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.     

Again after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins. Do this for the remembrance of me.  

THE LORD’S PRAYER

We say the Lord’s Prayer together every week, because when the disciples wanted to know how to pray, this is how Jesus taught them. We are reminded that God loves us like a parent. We ask God to provide what we need, help us to follow God, and to forgive us when we make mistakes. And we remember that everything belongs to God.

In faith and hope, let us join together in praying the words that Jesus taught us.

Our Creator, our Mother, 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 THE TABLE

Gathered together, separated by space, but not by time, let us, people of all ages and genders and histories, eat the bread and drink the wine. God’s table has no boundaries or limits. This is Christ’s body and blood, given for us all, and we do this in his memory.

AGNUS DEI Matt Bender

POST-COMMUNION PRAYER

Let us pray. Compassionate God, you have fed us with the bread of heaven. Sustain us in our Lenten pilgrimage. Guide us to your truth. May our fasting be hunger for justice; our alms, a making of peace; and our prayer, the song of grateful hearts, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

BENEDICTION

We come to Worship every week so we can go out and bring God’s love to the world, so we always end Worship with a Benediction–a blessing–to help us do that.

Disciples of Christ, do not shun the way of the cross, but seek the truth, and follow wherever Christ may lead. Amen.

May the blessing of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, uphold you on the way. Thanks be to God!

CLOSING HYMN Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

Introduction: Mark Ruff
v. 1 Matt Bender
v. 2 Mark Ruff
v. 3 Matt Bender

POSTLUDE Toccata in D Minor – Jon Jakob Froberger, Mark Ruff

REMEMBERING ONE ANOTHER IN PRAYER

Please include the following people in your prayer life during this week. To add a name to the Prayer List, inform Pastor Meagan (pastor@christwg.org or 612-388-5920) or the Church Office (office@christwg.org).  Please assure that the individual agrees to have his or her name printed in the bulletin.

ONGOING HEALTH CONCERNS: Those who are suffering from chronic pain & diseasesLinda Armstrong, Jason & Nick (Linda Armstrong’s cousins), Christine Austin, Larry Baugher (David Cramer’s cousin), Kate and Brian Bates (John Hoffmann’s sister and brother-in-law), Mertha Bishop (Gale Nunn’s mom), Edith Cooper, Michael Cooper (Edith Cooper’s grandson), Evan Deck, Helga Hayes, Gerri Mac (Sharon Hornbeck’s aunt), Bev & Al Marcus (friend of John Hoffmann), Doris & Harry Rahlfs (Karen Wood’s parents), Edward Ruebeck (Roocks’ grand-nephew), Ken Ruppar (friend of Mark Roock), Flo Saeger, Mary Lou Sakonyi (Dianne Deck’s mother), Sherri Swanson, Shirley Wolf, Mary Stough (Sharon Hornbeck’s aunt), and Richard Yeast, Janelle, and Jeff Yeast (Leslie Bennett’s father, sister, and brother).

IN BLESSED MEMORY: For all of those who have died, especially Gwen Hickman, Dolly Hoyer, Susan Hunt, Irene Kalnins, Ed Mansour, David Notley, Sr. (Roger Rose’s brother-in-law), Gloria Richardson, Vic Saeger, Alex Sakonyi (Dianne Deck’s uncle), Cletus Romay, and all of those who grieve at a distance in this time.

IN MILITARY SERVICE: Josh Duncan, Chris Hudson, Jesse Proctor, Scott Warr.

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