The Service in PDF format is at: February 21, 2021 Service

Video of service is at: Facebook Video



February 20, 2021 – ONLINE

THEME:  Today we hear of God testing Abraham and of Satan tempting Jesus. James reminds us that God tempts no one. So, how can we know whether God is testing us or Satan is tempting us? James reminds us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). As we go through life, striving to live out our calling as God’s people, we will hit obstacles and face tests to our faith and to how we live that faith. God can work through these tests to draw us closer to Him. On the other hand, Stan wants to lure and entice us away from the path God would have us walk.


OPENING SONG: “Great is the Lord”

(recorded on April 7, 2019)


Leader:        In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

People:       Amen. 


Leader:       God’s Word reminds us that when we were slaves of sin, we were free in regard to righteousness.  

People:     But now that we have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit we get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.  

Leader:       For the wages of sin is death,

People:     but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Time of Silence

Leader:       Heavenly Father, we know we are blessed when we remain strong under trial, yet we fall prey to the devil’s schemes and give in to temptation. We are lure and enticed by our own evil desires—desires that contradict your good and gracious will

People:     For Jesus’ sake, forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Leader:       As Jesus began His ministry, He said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” As you have repented of your sins, believe these words as if Jesus was standing here speaking them to you: I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:     Amen. Thanks be to God!           


Leader:       Let us pray. You promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and then you asked him to sacrifice his only son. You provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice.

People:    Open our eyes to how You provide for us, especially in tough times when everything looks so wrong.

Leader:       Empower us to hold tightly to the promises that are “yes” for us through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

People:     Amen.   


Old Testament:                                                           Genesis 22:1-18

God tested Abraham.

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

Holy Gospel:                                                                      Mark 1:9-15

Jesus is baptized and sent to be tempted.

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Temptation of Jesus

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

SERMON “Remembering the Covenant”


Leader:       Heavenly Father, as we enter this Lenten season of repentance and renewed devotion, we pray that You would remember us according to Your steadfast love and goodness in Christ and instruct and lead us by Your Spirit in Your ways so that we may repent and believe the Gospel. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:     hear our prayer.

Leader:       Father of lights, from whom every good and perfect gift comes down to us from above, keep us from being enticed by our own desires to misuse Your gifts in sin, and help us to use them rightly in service to You and our neighbor. Bless all our leaders, that we may be governed wisely and justly for the good of this present generation and all those to come. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:     hear our prayer.

Leader:       Most High God, our refuge in every trouble, You have promised to hear when we call to You. We pray that You would command Your angels to guard our brothers and sisters, [especially…] and all those who suffer in our midst. Keep them from every evil that can befall the body, mind and soul. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:     hear our prayer.

Leader:       Lord God, the time is fulfilled, and Your kingdom is at hand as Your beloved Son comes to us here at the altar. By Your Spirit, grant that we may receive Him in repentance and believe the Gospel proclaimed to us in His body given and His blood shed. Lord, in Your mercy,

People:     hear our prayer.

Leader:       All these things and whatever else You know that we need, grant us, Father, for the sake of Him who died and rose again and now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever.

People:     Amen.


CLOSING SONG: “In Christ Alone”          

(recorded April 24, 2020)