Order of Worship: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
Scroll video to 0:31.
Scroll video to 1:43.
In the name of God, who makes a way in the wilderness, walks with us, and guides us in our pilgrimage. Amen.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.
Holy One, we confess that we have wandered far from you: we have not trusted your promises, we have ignored your prophets in our own day, we have squandered our inheritance of grace, we have failed to recognize you in our midst. Have mercy on us! Forgive us and turn us again to you. Teach us to follow in your ways, assure us again of your love, and help us to love our neighbor. Amen.
Rejoice in this good news: Beloved in Christ, the Word draws near to you, and all who call out to God shall be saved. In Jesus, God comes to you again and again and gathers you under wings of love. In ☩ Jesus’ name, your sins are forgiven. God journeys with you and teaches you how to live in love. Amen.
Scroll video to 3:10.
The God of Abr’ham praise, who reigns enthroned above; Ancient of everlasting days, and God of love— “I Am the One I Am”— by earth and heav’n confessed; I bow and bless the sacred name forever blest.
The God of Abr’ham praise! Your all-sufficient grace shall guide me all my pilgrim days in all my ways. You deign to call me friend; you call yourself my God! And you will save me to the end through Jesus’ blood.
Your promise you have sworn; I on your oath depend. I shall, on eagle wings upborne, to heav’n ascend. I shall behold your face; I shall your pow’r adore, and sing the wonders of your grace forevermore.
Scroll video to 5:22.
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.
Scroll video to 5:33.
Let us pray. God of the covenant, in the mystery of the cross you promise everlasting life to the world. Gather all peoples into your arms, and shelter us with your mercy, that we may rejoice in the life we share in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scroll video to 6:05.
God promises a childless and doubting Abram that he will have a child, that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars, and that the land of Canaan will be their inheritance. Abram’s trust in God is sealed with a covenant-making ceremony, a sign of God’s promise.
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” 5He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” 8But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.
17When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.”
Scroll video to 8:21.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers close in against me to devour my flesh,
they, my foes and my enemies, will stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear.
Though war rise up against me, my trust will not be shaken.
One thing I ask of the Lord; one thing I seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek God in the temple.
For in the day of trouble God will give me shelter,
hide me in the hidden places of the sanctuary, and raise me high upon a rock.
Even now my head is lifted up above my enemies who surround me.
Therefore I will offer sacrifice in the sanctuary, sacrifices of rejoicing; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice, O Lord, when I call;
have mercy on me and answer me.
My heart speaks your message—“Seek my face.”
Your face, O Lord, I will seek.
Hide not your face from me, turn not away from your servant in anger.
Cast me not away—you have been my helper; forsake me not, O God of my salvation.
Though my father and my mother forsake me,
the Lord will take me in.
Teach me your way, O Lord;
lead me on a level path, because of my oppressors.
Subject me not to the will of my foes,
for they rise up against me, false witnesses breathing violence.
This I believe—that I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord and be strong.
Take heart and wait for the Lord!
Scroll video to 10:29.
Although Paul’s devotion to Christ has caused him to be persecuted, he does not regret the course he has taken. Writing from prison, he expresses confidence in a glorious future and encourages other Christians to follow in his footsteps.
17Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. 19Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
4:1Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
Scroll video to 11:38.
Scroll video to 12:04.
Neither Herod’s plotting nor Jerusalem’s resistance to maternal love will deter Jesus from his sacrificial mission.
31At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to [Jesus,] “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ 34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
Scroll video to 13:19.
Scroll video to 24:04.
Thy holy wings, O Savior, spread gently over me, and let me rest securely through good and ill in thee. Oh, be my strength and portion, my rock and hiding place, and let my ev’ry moment be lived within thy grace.
Oh, let me nestle near thee, within thy downy breast where I will find sweet comfort and peace within thy nest. Oh, close thy wings around me and keep me safely there, for I am but a newborn and need thy tender care.
Oh, wash me in the waters of Noah’s cleansing flood. Give me a willing spirit, a heart both clean and good. Oh, take into thy keeping thy children great and small, and while we sweetly slumber, enfold us one and all.
Scroll video to 26:33.
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.
Scroll video to 27:25.
Scroll video to 30:33.
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your 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.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ. You call your people to cleanse their hearts and prepare with joy for the paschal feast, that, renewed in the gift of baptism, we may come to the fullness of your grace. And so, with all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, Lord God of pow’r and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, 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 sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray. 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.
Here is food and drink for the journey. Take and be filled.
Pastor or anyone offering Holy Communion to another: The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.
Scroll video to 33:49.
The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.
Let us pray. Blessed Jesus, in this rich meal of grace, you have fed us with your body, the bread of life. Now send us forth to bear your life-giving hope to a world in need.
Scroll video to 34:17.
You are children of God, anointed with the oil of gladness and strengthened for the journey. Almighty God, motherly, majestic, and mighty, ☩ bless you this day and always. Amen.
Scroll video to 34:35.
Go in peace. Jesus meets you on the way. Thanks be to God.
Scroll video to 34:47.
Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the unity of heart and mind is like to that above.
Before or Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.
From sorrow, toil, and pain, and sin we shall be free; and perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity.
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Janice Yost
Music: Deb Jenks (organ and piano), Senior Choir
View and print the pre-reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Pre-reader’s Version View and print the reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Reader’s Version
The radio program Sing for Joy follows the weekly Sunday lectionary through music and reflection. To listen, click here: Sing for Joy. Program host Pastor Bruce Benson ties the biblical readings of the day with musical selections from a number of sources brought together by Dr. John Ferguson, retired professor of organ and church music. The program is produced by St. Olaf College.