First Sunday in Lent 3/6/22
THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
MARCH 6, 2022
ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, FALLS CHURCH, VA
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PRELUDE Jesus, Lead Thou On Setting: Paul Manz
ENTRANCE HYMN (Stand) #718 Jesus, Lead Thou On
1 Jesus, lead Thou on
Till our rest is won;
And although the way be cheerless,
We will follow calm and fearless.
Guide us by Thy hand
To our fatherland.
2 If the way be drear,
If the foe be near,
Let not faithless fears o’ertake us;
Let not faith and hope forsake us;
For through many_a woe
To our home we go.
3 When we seek relief
From a long-felt grief,
When temptations come alluring,
Make us patient and enduring.
Show us that bright shore
Where we weep no more.
4 Jesus, lead Thou on
Till our rest is won.
Heav’nly leader, still direct us,
Still support, console, protect us,
Till we safely stand
In our fatherland.
CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
In the name of the Father and of the ✠ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Beloved in the Lord! Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God our Father, beseeching Him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord,
and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
(We kneel and observe a time reflection)
O almighty God, merciful Father,
I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto You all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended You and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray You of Your boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being.
Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the ✠ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
KYRIE p. 186
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
HYMN OF PRAISE (omitted during Lent)
THE PRAYER OF THE DAY
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray. O Lord God,
You led Your ancient people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide the people of Your Church that following our Savior we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
FIRST LESSON (Be seated) Deuteronomy 26:1-11
“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’ Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God.
“And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.”
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
PSALM 91:1-13 (Read responsively)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
SECOND LESSON Romans 10:8b-13
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL VERSE (Stand)
O come, let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the founder and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
GOSPEL Luke 4:1-13
The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke the 4th chapter
Glory to You, O Lord.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.
Grace, mercy and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus. Amen. Dear friends in Christ:
Every year on the First Sunday in Lent we read the story of Jesus being tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. The parallels between the story and the church’s observance of Lent show why this text is so appropriate. Jesus, as we heard, was tempted for forty days – the same duration as Lent. Lent’s duration in fact comes from this story. Furthermore, Jesus’ testing was in preparation for his public ministry. This parallels the fact that Lent is the traditional time of preparation for adults becoming Christian through the sacrament of Holy Baptism.
That being said, as much as this text highlights parallels between our experience and that of Jesus, it presents, even more, a marked contrast. The contrast is that Jesus did NOT give in when tempted, but we do.
Our giving in to temptation is a problem. Our sinful choices lead us down paths of pain and destruction which burden us and others. We all know this. And we all have way too much experience with it.
Thankfully, God addresses this problem of ours. He does so by both teaching us and forgiving us.
Let’s think about his teaching of us first.
God teaches us through the stories of the Holy Scriptures. Today’s scripture teaches us that temptation often comes to us as a half-truth.
In the story, Jesus has completed his time of fasting and is hungry. Temptation comes to him through the voice of the Devil, who knows of Jesus’ power. The Devil also knows that Jesus has come to reveal himself and his power to humanity. So, he says to Jesus: “if you are the Son of Man, command this stone to become bread.”
The half-truth here is that Jesus should use his power. Doing so would further his purpose of revealing himself. And relieving his hunger would be a good use of the power too. Jesus, of course, would relieve the hunger of many others during his ministry – providing them bread and much more.
Revealing himself and using his powers were not wrong actions in themselves. Except, that Jesus’s time had not yet come. And he had resolved not to make his life easy through his powers but to live as a mortal like you and me.
Jesus had determined to live with a certain hunger. And he didn’t need to prove himself to the Devil. The temptation for Jesus here was to listen to either his stomach or the Devil and not follow his own plans for honoring God and preparing for his work. The Devil’s words had rings of truth to them. But they were only half-truths.
So, Jesus shot down the Devil’s temptation with the wisdom of scripture, saying: “Man shall not live by bread alone.” He knew which voice to listen to. And here he models for us the tack we are to take when confronted with temptation. We are to listen to God, not the voice of temptation.
Likewise, when the Devil claimed that he could give to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world because they had been delivered to him, the Devil was only giving a half-truth.
The Devil does indeed have much authority in the world. Glory too. For his ways of lying, stealing, murdering and blaspheming are embraced by people every day. Jesus, because of this, would later refer to the Devil as the “ruler (or prince) of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30).
But the Devil’s authority and glory only extend so far. God is the true ruler of this world. In the daily battle between good and evil, evil will have its share of victories. But God, who is good, always prevails in the end.
The Devil has to resort to half-truths. In his final attack on Jesus he pulls out one of his favorites—the twisting of Scripture. He quotes from the Psalm we read earlier, saying: “He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you.”
The message from the Psalm is true of course. But people are not called by God to test its promise, for God keeps the promise in ways he knows to be best and not in ones that force his hand.
Jesus sees through the Devil’s twisting. And he knows how to interpret Scripture – doing so by interpreting Scripture with Scripture. He therefore quotes back: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
When the Devil saw that Jesus knew his Bible, he turned away. The truth that Jesus possessed was too much for him.
Among other things, this story teaches us that the Devil loves to present half-truths. So, let me ask you: which half-truths is he presenting to you?
Perhaps he is trying to convince you that you are best labelled according to your faults. You do have many faults. In fact, you fail in many ways.
But that’s not the entire you. You also have many gifts. And you accomplish many good things.
What’s more, you are forgiven by God’s grace. You are a sinner, yes. But through faith you are also a saint.
The half-truth is that you’re not so good. The full truth is that God sees you as good enough, because of Christ.
Here’s another half-truth. Perhaps the Devil is trying to convince you, instead, that you are better than most of those other sinners out there. That you are more enlightened, or godlier, or more worthy of praise and blessing.
It’s true that you’re likely better than some. There are no doubt others out there who commit more sin than you. But what does that prove?
The devil loves to use half-truths like this to convince us that others are ignorant or no good. He throws the facts at us that he knows appeal to our prejudices and fears—and keeps the rest of the truth out of our sight.
The real truth is that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are all in need of salvation, for we are all children of a fallen humanity. That’s the truth we really need to know.
Yes, falling for half-truths is one of our biggest problems. What we need is the full truth. And of all the full truths about ourselves, our world and our situation, the one that we need the most is the truth about God’s salvation.
When the Devil extended his second temptation to Jesus in today’s text, Jesus responded with this scripture: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.” That scripture comes from Deuteronomy chapter six – a chapter which served God’s people as a confession of faith, a Creed-like statement known as the Shema. “Shema” means “hear” and reflects the fourth and fifth verses of that chapter: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
As a nod to that confessional connection in today’s text, the other readings chosen for today – from Deuteronomy 26 and from Romans 10 – both speak to the importance of confessing the faith.
The Deuteronomy reading contains instructions on what Israel was to do when bringing an offering before the Lord. One of the instructions was to “make response before the Lord.” That response, as we see, was a confession of faith in which the people recalled how their forefathers – here symbolized by Jacob, the “wandering Aramean” – were saved from the hand of their oppressors. “The LORD brought us out of Egypt,” they recalled, “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”
The Romans reading, likewise, is also a call to confess the faith – this time the faith that knows of God saving his people through his Son Jesus. The confessing of this faith, as we see, is of utmost importance. For it assures one of salvation. St. Paul says: “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Confessing the faith in such a manner rehearses for us the central message of our salvation. And we desperately need this. It reminds us that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.” It recalls for us that on “the third day He rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven.” And it blesses us by telling how all this happened for “the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.”
When we come together for Christian worship, we confess both our faith and our sins. We begin by confessing our sins, for the days just lived have left us with the need to unburden ourselves. We’ve struggled and often lost in our battles with temptation. And we can’t avoid or deny our sin because it clings to us too tightly.
And then, after we hear of God’s mercy – both through the Absolution and the proclamation of his Holy Word – we confess our faith. We do it to be assured of God’s love and forgiveness. And we do it to remember his acts of salvation and be fortified in our next battles against temptation.
Through Jesus Christ, God has addressed our problem with sin. He has done it by teaching us and equipping us to stand against the voices of temptation. And even more, he has done it by forgiving our sins.
With the assurance of God’s pardon we can go forward joyfully in life – doing the work God has called us to do and facing its challenges with faith.
May God bless us all upon our journeys of faith. May he continue to strengthen and equip us to stand against temptation. And may he lead us always to confess our faith boldly and joyfully. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
HYMN OF THE DAY (Stand) #656 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
1 A mighty fortress is our God,
A trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from ev’ry need
That hath us now o’ertaken.
The old evil foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On earth is not his equal.
2 With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the valiant One,
Whom God Himself elected.
Ask ye, Who is this?
Jesus Christ it is,
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there’s none other God;
He holds the field forever.
3 Though devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us,
We tremble not, we fear no ill;
They shall not overpow’r us.
This world’s prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none.
He’s judged; the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.
4 The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He’s by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child, and wife,
Though these all be gone,
Our vict’ry has been won;
The Kingdom ours remaineth.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His 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 into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH (Stand)
Lord Most High, be the dwelling place of Your people. And for the sake of Jesus, who suffered temptation and death for our redemption, be our refuge. Preserve us from every evil and plague. And strengthen us in faith so that we might be satisfied with Your salvation. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
O Lord, in the midst of this life we are beset by many temptations. Fix our eyes on our Lord Jesus, who bore temptation for us and resisted to the point of death. Bring us through the evils of this fallen world, so that we may dwell with You forever. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father in heaven, Your Son trampled the serpent underfoot and freed us from sin and death by His own death on the cross. Protect and preserve all whom You call to preach Christ and Him crucified. Command Your angels concerning them, guard them in all their ways and bear them up for the sake of Jesus. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord of all, You bestow Your riches on all who call upon You. Bless husbands and wives with a love that is strong and committed. And bless parents with all wisdom as they teach their children, that all in the household may confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, govern the kingdoms of this world according to Your holy and gracious will. Protect authorities from every temptation of the devil and equip them to curb what is evil and promote what is good. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of mercy, You answer all those who call upon You. Hear our prayers for all who are in need of healing and restoration, especially those on our prayer list and those we name in our hearts. Be with them in their trouble and rescue them according to Your gracious will. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
O Lord, everyone who believes in Jesus as Lord will not be put to shame. Unite Your people in a right confession of Your Word and bring us with penitent hearts to receive the great riches of Your Son’s body and blood. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, Your Son was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to suffer temptation for our sake and as part of our redemption. Strengthen us when we are tempted so that we do not take His obedience for granted. And teach us to rely upon Your Word as our defense against the evil one; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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THE LITURGY OF HOLY COMMUNION
PREFACE TO HOLY COMMUNION p. 194
The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.
Let us give thanks unto the Lord, our God.
It is meet and right so to do.
It is truly good right and salutary…evermore praising You and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth;
heav’n and earth are full of Thy glory.
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He, blessed is He, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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 WORDS OF OUR LORD
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, grant us Thy peace. Amen.
DISTRIBUTION (Be seated)
The Communion Assistant will come forward to receive first, then those from the pulpit side – by order of pew, front to back. Communicants will come up the center aisle and return via the side aisle. When all from the pulpit side have communed, the baptismal font side will commune in the same manner. Distancing must be maintained between all communicants. We ask that the wine be consumed away from the tray table. Empty cups should be dropped into the baskets.
COMMUNION MUSIC A Mighty Fortress Is Our God Setting: Ralph C Schultz
Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word,
for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people,
a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
POST-COMMUNION COLLECT (Stand)
SENDING HYMN #854 Forth in Thy Name, O Lord I Go Alternate Tune: Winchester New
1 Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labor to pursue,
Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
In all I think or speak or do.
2 The task Thy wisdom has assigned,
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
In all my works Thy presence find,
And prove Thy good and perfect will.
3 Thee may I set at my right hand,
Whose eyes my inmost substance see,
And labor on at Thy command,
And offer all my works to Thee.
4 Give me to bear Thine easy yoke,
And ev’ry moment watch and pray,
And still to things eternal look,
And hasten to Thy glorious day.
5 For Thee delightfully employ
Whate’er Thy bounteous grace has giv’n,
And run my course with even joy,
And closely walk with Thee to heav’n.
ANNOUNCEMENTS (Be seated)
POSTLUDE Winchester New Setting: Robert J Powell
Sunday, March 6, 8:30 a.m.:
Greeter: Michael Chamberlain
Comm. assist: Judy Koucky
Reader: Judy Koucky
Greeter: Jim Easterly
Comm. assist: Dan Buuck
Reader: Dan Buuck
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2022 Concordia Publishing House.
Jesus, Lead Thou On Text: Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, 1700–60; tr. Jane L. Borthwick, 1813–97, alt. Tune: Adam Drese, 1620–1701 Text and tune: Public domain
O Come, Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus Text: Hebrews 12:2, alt. Tune: Mark L. Bender, b. 1951 Text: © 2001 Crossway Bibles. Used by permission: OAR Hymn License no. 110005326 Tune: © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission: OAR Hymn License no. 110005326
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God Text: tr. Composite Text and tune: Martin Luther, 1483–1546 Tune: Public domain
Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go Text: Charles Wesley, 1707–88, alt. Tune: Barry L. Bobb, 1951 Text: Public domain Tune: © 1981, 1982 Barry L. Bobb. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110005326