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Sunday Morning Worship 03 17 2024
Pam Smith
Pam Smith
Sunday, March 17, 2024


Order of Worship
Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 17, 2024




Liebster Jesu
arr. Paul Fey 


Blessed be the holy Trinity, ✥ one God,
who writes the law on our hearts,
who draws all people together through Jesus.
Whose steadfast love endures forever.

Held in God’s mercy, let us confess our sin
in the presence of God and of one another.

     Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
we confess that we are caught in the snares of sin
and cannot break free.
We hoard resources while our neighbors
are hungry and cold.
We speak in ways that silence others.
We are silent when we should speak up.
We keep score in our hearts.
We let hurts grow into hatred.
For all these things and for sins known only to you,
forgive us, Lord.

There is a flood of grace:
Out of love for the whole world, God draws near to us,
breaks every trap of sin, washes away our wrongs, and
restores the promise of life through  Jesus Christ.


Christ, the Life of All the Living
ELW 339

Christ, the life of all the living, 
Christ, the death of death, our foe,
Christ, yourself for me once giving 
to the darkest depths of woe:
through your suff'ring, death, and merit 
life eternal I inherit.
Thousand, thousand thanks are due, 
dearest Jesus, unto you.

You have suffered great affliction 
and have borne it patiently,
even death by crucifixion, 
fully to atone for me;
for you chose to be tormented 
that my doom should be prevented.
Thousand, thousand thanks are due,
dearest Jesus, unto you.

Then, for all that bought my pardon,
for the sorrows deep and sore,
for the anguish in the garden,
I will thank you evermore;
thank you for the groaning, sighing, 
for the bleeding and the dying,
for that last triumphant cry,
praise you evermore on high.


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. 

KYRIE    (ELW 157)

In peace, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord, have mercy.

For the reign of God,
and for peace throughout the world,
for the unity of all,
let us pray to thye Lord.
Lord, have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord, have mercy.

For your people here
who have come to give you praise,
for the strength to live your word,
let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord, have mercy..

Help, save, and defend us, O God.

Let us pray. O God, with steadfast love you draw us to yourself, and in mercy you receive our prayers. Strengthen us to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, that through life and death we may live in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

+ WORD +  

FIRST READING:    Jeremiah 31:31-34
The Judeans in Babylon blamed their exile on their ancestors, who had broken the covenant established at Sinai. Here the prophet looks to a day when God will make a new covenant with the people. There will be no need to teach the law, because God will write it on their hearts.

31The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt — a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the LORD," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM 51:1-12      (read responsively by full verse)

  1Have mercy on me, O God,
 according to your steadfast love;
 according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.
 2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
 and cleanse me from my sin.
 3For I know my transgressions,
 and my sin is ever before me.
 4Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
 so that you are justified in your sentence
 and blameless when you pass judgment.
 5Indeed, I was born guilty,
 a sinner when my mother conceived me.
 6You desire truth in the inward being;
 therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
 7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
 wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
 8Let me hear joy and gladness;
 let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
 9Hide your face from my sins,
 and blot out all my iniquities.
 10Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 and put a new and right spirit within me.
 11Do not cast me away from your presence,
 and do not take your holy spirit from me.
 12Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
 and sustain in me a willing spirit.

SECOND READING:    Hebrews 5:5-10
Using priestly imagery and references to the Old Testament, the author explains how Christ lived in trusting obedience to God, and so God has made Christ the source of our eternal salvation.

5So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
 "You are my Son,
 today I have begotten you";
6as he says also in another place,
 "You are a priest forever,
 according to the order of Melchizedek."
7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Word of God, Come Down on Earth
ELW 510 (v. 1)

Word of God, come down on earth,
living rain from heav'n descending;
touch our hearts and bring to birth
faith and hope and love unending.
Word almighty, we revere you;
Word made flesh, we long to hear you.

GOSPEL:   John 12:20-33
Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time to celebrate the Passover festival. Here Jesus’ words about seeds planted in the ground turn the disaster of his death into the promise of a harvest in which everyone will be gathered. 

The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
27Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say — 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 30Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

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

SERMON             Pastor Pamela Smith


Seed That in Earth Is Dying
ELW 330

Seed that in earth is dying
grows into ears of grain.
Grapes that are crushed in the vessel
turn into golden wine.
God, through this mystery grant us
faith in our deepest darkness,
life in our night and death.

We were baptized in Jesus,
into his death and grave,
to resurrection's promise:
praise and eternal life.
Heaven's own praises begin here
where you yourself are near us,
deep in our night and death.

Seed that in earth is dying
rises to bear much fruit.
Christ, as we meet at your table,
give us the bread of life.
Lord, we do thank and adore you!
Unceasing praise of the ages
rises from night and death.


We believe in one God,
       the Father, the Almighty,
       maker of heaven and earth,
       of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
       the only Son of God,
       eternally begotten of the Father,
       God from God, Light from Light,
       true God from true God,
       begotten, not made,
       of one Being with the Father;
       through him all things were made.
       For us and for our salvation                       
              he came down from heaven,
              was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary
              and became truly human.
       For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
       he suffered death and was buried.
       On the third day he rose again
                        in accordance with the scriptures;
                he ascended into heaven
                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
                He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
                and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
       who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
       who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
       who has spoken through the prophets.
       We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
       We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
       We look for the resurrection of the dead,
                and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Trusting in God’s promise to reconcile all things, let us pray for the church, the well-being of creation, and a world in need.

O Lord, Hear My Prayer
ELW 751

Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my prayer:
when I call, answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my prayer:
come and listen to me.

God of the covenant, through the church you draw us into community. We give thanks for the means of grace around which we gather. Inspire writers, musicians, and artists whose creative gifts adorn our worship. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

God of all that exists, you lavish the earth with extravagant beauty. Preserve the rich and complex diversity of living things. Support local, national, and international efforts to protect the environment for future generations. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

God of the nations, you desire peace and plenty for all people. Defend those who challenge oppression and expose corruption. Support advocates for human rights, social justice, and the welfare of children. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

God of good will, you restore what is broken. We pray for any experiencing estrangement, conflict, or abuse in families and intimate relationships. Protect and comfort all who are vulnerable, especially those living in institutions. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

God of every time and place, you are with us. Support ministries of prayer and presence in this congregation. Move us to reach out to any who are homebound, lonely, grieving, in treatment, or ill, particularly Mary B., Anne C., Mabel, Mike, Anna Mae, Doris C., Chuck, Donna, Ann, Julie, Carol, Anne G., Tom, Lydia, Brian, Paul, Wil, Amy, Bob & Jane, Mary, Scott, Ron & Flo, Carla, Monica, Doris M., Dottie, Marian, John, Tim, Betty, Pastor Pam, Linda, Jeff, Henry, Gary, Mary V., Greg, Helen & Ron, Max, and family of Joan Rietze. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

     Other petitions may be offered.

God of promise, we give thanks for the saints whose faith inspires us. Grant us faith to trust in your everlasting love. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Accompany us on our journey, God of grace, and receive the prayers of our hearts, through Jesus Christ, our Savior.


Peace of Christ be with you all.
And also with you.

  + MEAL +  

You may place your offerings in the offering plate as it is passed during the service.  Alternatively, some are using for online giving or are using their bank’s online banking option.  Whichever way you choose to give, we are grateful for your stewardship and generosity.


A Lenten Meditation
by Douglas E. Wagner
Grace Choir


Let us pray.   Jesus, you are the bread of life and the host of this meal.  Bless these gifts that we have gathered that all people may know your goodness. Feed us not only with this holy food but with hunger for justice and peace. We pray this in your name.


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, 
God of pow'r and might, 
Heav'n and earth are full of your glory.  
Hosanna, hosanna,
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna in the highest.


O God most mighty, O God most merciful, O God our rock and our salvation, hear us as we praise, call us to your table, grant us your life.

When the world was a formless void, you formed order and beauty.  When Abraham and Sarah were barren, you sent them a child.  When the Israelites were enslaved, you led them to freedom.  Ruth faced starvation, David fought Goliath, and the psalmists cried out for healing, and full of compassion, you granted the people your life.

You entered our sorrows in Jesus our brother.  He was born among the poor, he lived under oppression, he wept over the city.  With infinite love, he granted the people your life.

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.

Remembering his death, we cry our Amen. 

Celebrating his resurrection, we shout Amen. 

Trusting his presence in every time and place, we plead Amen. 

O God, you are Breath:  send your Spirit on this meal. 
O God, you are Bread: feed us with yourself. 
O God, you are Wine:  warm our hearts and make us one. 
O God, you are Fire:  transform us with hope.

O God, most majestic, O God most motherly, O God our strength and our song, you show us a vision of a tree of life with fruits for all and leaves that heal the nations.  Grant us such life, the life of the Father to the Son, the life of the Spirit of our risen Savior, life in you, now and forever.


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 baptized children of God are invited by the Lord to the Lord’s Table where we receive Jesus’ very body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine. We commune at the head of the aisle where we receive the host. Then to either side of the pastor is first, a chalice for intinction and second, a common cup for drinking. Please indicate to Pastor if you prefer grape juice as a chalice for intinction is available as well. Gluten free bread is available. If you wish to commune, but cannot come forward, let an usher know and Pastor will come to you. If you do not wish to commune, you are welcome to come forward to receive a blessing. You may wish to remain at the rail for a time of personal prayer following which you may return to your pew down the side aisle.  


O Christ, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world;

have mercy upon us.
O Christ, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world;

have mercy upon us.
O Christ, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world;

grant us your peace.  Amen.



  What Wondrous Love
ELW 666

What wondrous love is this, 
O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse 
for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

When I was sinking down, 
sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down
beneath God's righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown 
for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb 
I will sing, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb,
who is the great I AM,
while millions join the theme, 
I will sing, I will sing,
while millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I'm free, 
I'll sing on, I'll sing on;
and when from death I'm free, I'll sing on;
and when from death I'm free, 
I'll sing God's love for me,
       and through eternity 
I'll sing on, I'll sing on;
and through eternity I'll sing on.

And now may the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ preserve us on to life everlasting.  


Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared
in the sight of ev’ry people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.
Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace.


Generous God, at this table we have tasted your immeasurable grace. As grains of wheat are gathered into one bread, now make us one loaf to feed the world; in the name of Jesus, the Bread of life.



There in God’s Garden
ELW 342  (vs 1,4.5)

There in God's garden 
stands the Tree of Wisdom,
whose leaves hold forth 
the healing of the nations:
Tree of all knowledge, 
Tree of all compassion,
Tree of all beauty.

See how its branches 
reach to us in welcome;
hear what the Voice says, 
"Come to me, ye weary!
Give me your sickness, 
give me all your sorrow,
I will give blessing."

This is my ending, 
this my resurrection;
into your hands, Lord, 
I commit my spirit.
This have I searched for; 
now I can possess it.
This ground is holy.


Go in peace. You are God’s beloved.
Thanks be to God.


O Sacred Head
J. S. Bach

Liturgical Text and Music from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, © 2006, 2020, 2022 Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies License #SAS016761.  All rights reserved.

Christ the LIfe of All the Living, Text: Ernst Christoph Homburg, 1605-1681; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt. Music: Das grosse Cantional, Darmstadt, 1687.  Public domain.

Word of God, Come Down on Earth, Text: James Quinn, SJ, b. 1919 Text © James Quinn, SJ, Selah Publishing Co., Inc., North American agent. Text reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.  Music: Johann R. Ahle, 1625-1673.  Public  domain.

Seed That in Earth Is Dying, Text: Svein Ellingsen, b. 1929; tr. Hedwig T. Darnbaugh, b. 1929. Tr. © Hedwig T. Darnbaugh.  Music: Harald Herresthal, b. 1944.  Music © Norsk Musikforlag.  Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

O Lord, Hear My Prayer, Text: Taizé Community, adapt.  Music: Jacques Berthier, 1923-1994.  Text and music © 1982, 1991 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Music: A Community Mass, Richard Proulx, b. 1937.  Music © 1971, 1977 GIA Publications, Inc. Music reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.

O Christ, Lamb of God,  Music: J. Bugenhagen, Christliche Ordnung, 1528.  Public domain.

What Wondrous Love, Text: North American folk hymn, 19th cent., alt., Music: W. Walker, Southern Harmony, 1835; arr. Paul J. Christiansen, 1914-1997, alt.  Arr. © 1955 Augsburg Publishing House. Reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-722274.  All rights reserved.  

There in God’s Garden.  Text: Király Imre von Pécselyi, c. 1590-c.1641; tr. Erik Routley, 1917-1982. Music: K. Lee Scott, b. 1950. Text © 1976 Hinshaw Music, Inc.  Music © 1987 Birnamwood Publications, a div. of MorningStar Music Publishers. Inc. Text and music reprinted and/or streamed with permission under OneLicense A-722274.  All rights reserved.