Fourth Sunday in Lent
Christ Lutheran Church
Deepening people’s connections to Christ
Bringing meaning to daily life
Making a difference in our community
Welcome to Worship!
All are welcome, and we are glad you are with us as we pray and worship together, growing in faith as followers of Christ.
Today’s Worship Theme: We are all called, in our humanness, to know God and share the good news!
Lent 2023: He Had a Face
Every Christmas, we celebrate the God of the universe, who made all that is, come to earth as Jesus. Jesus was God. And Jesus was fully human. He had a human body, with flesh and blood, arms and legs, fingers and toes, skin and hair.
He had a face.
Nowhere in scriptures does it ever tell us what Jesus looked like. As a result, for the last 2,000 years, Christians all over the world have envisioned Jesus in many different ways, represented him in art often with features and tones that reflect our own cultures. We, along with millions of followers of Christ, have seen ourselves reflected in images of Jesus. And, we can see Jesus reflected in others.
This Lent, we walk with Jesus, God in human form, who walks with us through all joys and sorrows. We walk with Jesus all the way to death on the cross. Jesus was human. Jesus was one of us. He had a face.
Where do you see the face of Jesus?
Masks are optional in the sanctuary since Covid levels have decreased in the community. Thank you for silencing your cell phones.
We extend a special welcome to guests worshipping with us today! Please sign the visitor log in the narthex or sign-in on Zoom in the live chat. 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.
We welcome young children to worship. Children’s bulletins and bags with children’s materials are available in the narthex.
We will celebrate communion together. Those on Zoom are invited to gather the bread and wine and join us for worship. All are welcome at God’s table!
This bulletin will be your guide in Worship. In our spoken readings and prayers, the congregation speaks the items in bold.
Assistive Listening Devices are available at the rear of the sanctuary. Please see an usher for use instructions.
We are here to help you! To be added to our e-mail list, to have a hymnal delivered to your home, or to get a printed bulletin mailed to you, or of there is any other way we can assist you, please let us know.
Sunday, March 19, 10:00 am
Click to join Zoom Worship or
Call in from any phone 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 278 217 453 Password: 971744
PRELUDE – Fantasia in A Minor – Johann Sebastian Bach
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
SILENT MEDITATION Let us prepare for worship by quieting our hearts and minds.
Please stand in body or spirit.
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, the one who fashions us, the one who heals us, the one who reforms us again and again. Amen.
Let us confess our sin, calling for God’s transforming power.
Silence for reflection and self-examination.
Source of all life, we confess that we have not allowed your grace to set us free. We fear that we are not good enough. We hear your word of love freely given to us, yet we expect others to earn it. We turn the church inward, rather than moving it outward. Forgive us. Stir us. Reform us to be a church powered by love, willing to speak for what is right, act for what is just, and seek the healing of your whole creation. Amen.
God hears our cry and sends the Spirit to change us and to empower our lives in the world. Our sins are forgiven, God’s love is unconditional, and we are raised up as God’s people who will always be made new, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
GATHERING HYMN – 886 O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
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 Peace Be With You!
KYRIE Setting 3
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray. Holy God, you are all around us. Why is it so hard for us to know you? Awaken our hearts over and over to your presence. Touch us so that we are changed, a “before” and “after,” a “now” and “then,” that we may also may claim the healing and transformation that comes only from knowing you. Amen.
Please be seated.
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: Kersten Horn
FIRST LESSON 1 Samuel 16:1-13
The First Lesson is from 1 Samuel, chapter sixteen.
1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” 4Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” 7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
We will read Psalm 23 responsively.
Leader: 1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
People: 2The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
Leader: 3You restore my soul, O Lord, and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.
People: 4Though 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.
Leader: 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
People: 6Surely 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 Ephesians 5:8-14
The second lesson is from Ephesians, chapter five.
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.”
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Please stand in body or spirit.
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION Return to the Lord your God, Setting 3
Reader: Pastor Meagan
GOSPEL John 9:1-41
The Holy Gospel according to St. John, chapter nine, Glory to you, O Lord.
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.”
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Please be seated.
Please stand in body or spirit.
HYMN OF THE DAY – 779 Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound
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.
Please be seated.
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: Rachel Helton
Please stand in body or spirit.
Sustained by God’s abundant mercy, let us pray for the church, the world, and all of creation.
A brief silence.
Eternal God, you come to your church, here are Christ Lutheran and around the world, and seal us by the Holy Spirit and mark us with the cross of Christ forever in baptism. Inspire us by your love as together we strive for justice and peace in all the earth. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
Creating God, by your word you have made all things, and you hate nothing you have made. Teach us to perceive the beauty of the breadth of your creation, from the grandest mountain range to the smallest springtime bud. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
Powerful God, you anoint kings and establish rulers. Guide the work of heads of state and elected officials. Encourage them to lead with justice and serve the well-being of all, especially those who are most vulnerable. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
God our host, you fill us at your table with more than we could ever ask. Feed us with hunger for justice. Equip the feeding ministries of this congregation and community. Nourish us so we can nourish our neighbors. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
Shepherding God, you lead us beside still waters and restore our souls. Keep watch over those who weep; tend all who are sick and comfort those who grieve. We pray especially for those named in Remembering One Another in Prayer, and those named by we who gather this morning . . . Merciful God, receive our prayer.
God of history, with thanksgiving we remember our ancestors in faith who cared for your people. We praise you for the ways they formed the faith of others and continue to inspire us. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
We lift our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your steadfast love and your promise to renew your whole creation; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Please be seated.
We are called to be stewards of all of God’s abundance, so that the community in which we are planted may thrive: time, presence, and skills, and God’s creation. We are also called to financially embody care for our community inside and outside our sanctuary. Please support our ministries as you are able. To support ministry financially, you can give electronically on our website, or send a check in to the office. If you give electronically, place the “I give electronically” slip from your pew in the basket if you wish.
OFFERTORY – Wondrous Love
Please stand in body or spirit.
OFFERTORY HYMN – 188 Create in Me a Clean Heart
Let us pray. In gratitude, God, we come to your table, your presence, your house. For all that you have done for us, we offer you our thanks and praise. We live as your children, through Christ who awakens those who sleep, and raises those who are dead to new life. All that we have we offer in Jesus’s name. Amen.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
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.
It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God, for you do not judge us by outer appearances, but reveal the secret places of our hearts and commission us as your children. With your touch the world was begun, and when you spoke to Moses and the prophets, you gave guidance to keep us on sure paths. In your servant, David, the least of his family, you saw a King who could shepherd your people. In your child, Jesus Christ, you gave us one whose could guide us safely through death’s dark valley. When he was killed, you awoke him, raising him from the dead. Now he spreads a rich table before us, filling our cup with goodness and love that we may live forever in your house.
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
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 PRAYER OF JESUS
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 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. Come to the table and be nourished with Christ’s love in his body and blood.
Please be seated.
For those in the sanctuary, we invite you to come forward, waiting at the front pew until it is your household’s turn to receive communion. We will serve communion by intinction, with the servers dipping the bread into the wine for you.
For those on Zoom, we invite you to take time right now to break bread, and know that this whole community of faith joins in the meal with you. Peace be upon you this day!
AGNUS DEI Setting 3
612 Healer of our Every Ill
778 The Lord’s My Shepherd
Please stand in body or spirit.
Each week, we are nourished and fed as we gather in the sanctuary and on Zoom to celebrate communion together. And each week, members of this community bring the sacred meal to those who are unable to be with us for Worship. Share not only the sacrament we have celebrated, but also the love of God and the Christ Lutheran Church family.
Let us pray. O God, we give you thanks for gathering and feeding us as a mother hen embraces her young. Open our hearts to experience Christ in our neighbors in these forty days, and prepare us to see our work as prayer, fast from complacency, and share with those in need; through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
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.
May God bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May God look upon you with favor, and give you peace.
CLOSING HYMN – 793 Be Thou My Vision
Go in peace. Share the good news! Thanks be to God!
POSTLUDE – Fantasy in A Minor – Johann Sebastian Bach
WORSHIP LEADERS AND ASSISTANTS
We would like to thank those who helped with worship today:
Usher: Sherry Mitchler, Alan Richter
Key Person: Sherry Mitchler (open), Keith Lissant (close)
Acolyte: Anna McIntyre
Assisting Minister: Rachel Helton
Altar Guild: Kate Hoerchler
Lector: Kersten Horn
Counter: Susan DeBusk
Zoom Host: Mike Wagner
Musicians: Jon Heerboth, Christ Choir, Diane Drollinger (Director of Choirs)
Organist: Mark Ruff
Preacher & Presider: Rev. Meagan McLaughlin, Pastor
Acknowledgments: Portions of today’s service are from: All Creation Sings published by Augsburg Fortress, copyright 2020; Lutheran Book of Worship published by Augsburg Publishing, copyright 1978; Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Liturgies for Year C, Volume 1, copyright 2012, printed by Westminster John Knox Press, Creative Worship Resources, Creative Communications for the Parish, reprinted by permission, all rights reserved; Now the Feast and Celebration, copyright 1990, printed by G.I.A. Publications; Sundays and Seasons, Year C 2022, copyright 2021; and Evangelical Lutheran Worship, copyright 2006, printed by Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis, Minnesota, reprinted under OneLicense.net #A-71-939, all rights reserved.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-962-6012) or or Mahlik Good, Office Administrator (email@example.com). 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 & diseases, Shelly Madden, Linda Armstrong, Gege Brightman, Christine Austin, Kate and Brian Bates (John Hoffmann’s sister and brother-in-law), Evan Deck, Helga Hayes, Joan (friend of the Roocks), John Hoffmann, Bev & Al Marcus (friend of John Hoffmann), Anna McIntyre, Donna Munger, Doris & Harry Rahlfs (Karen Wood’s parents), Shirley Wolf, Wayne Wellman (Susanne Reimer-Fey’s brother), Kerry Munger (son of Donna Munger), and Steve Hoerchler (Phil Hoerchler’s father).
IN BLESSED MEMORY: For all of those who have died and all of those who grieve, that they may know the presence of God who grieves with us.
IN MILITARY SERVICE: Josh Duncan, Chris Hudson, Jesse Proctor, Scott Warr.
A congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
WELCOME, GROW, SERVE IN CHRIST
1 Selma Avenue at Lockwood
Webster Groves, Missouri 63119-3199
Rev. Meagan McLaughlin, Pastor
Pastor’s Contact Information: 314-962-6012 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Organist – Mark Ruff
Director of Choirs – Diane Drollinger
Church Administrator – Mahlik Good
Church Council President – Jessica Gunther
Stephen Leaders – Linda Griffith and Carolyn Crowe
Director of Senior Adult Ministries and Faith Community Nurse – Carolyn Crowe
A designated Webster University Campus Ministry congregation
A Stephen Ministry Congregation
A Reconciling in Christ Congregation