The Service in PDF format is at: 03-27-2019 - Mid-week

Midweek Lenten Vespers

March 27, 2019 – A Lent to Remember Jesus’ Words

Pastor Ted Schaefer


AS WE GATHER…The dictionary lists a number of words that are related to penitence, which is central to our Lenten experience.  Contrition, compunction, remorse, regret—all of those words convey a sense of sorrow over having sinned or done wrong.  But for penitence to be complete, there is evidence of change that God’s forgiveness has brought about.  Hymnwriter Justus Gesenius, writing almost four hundred years ago, penned this verse reflecting penitence in action: “And let me do to others/As Thou hast done to me,/ Love all men as my brothers, / And serve them willingly.”  Remember Jesus’ words is just a beginning!



P:  Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.  To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

C: O my God, in You I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.   

P:  Indeed, none who wait for You shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

C: Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.   

P:  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long.

P:  Remember Your mercy, O Lord, and Your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.  Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to Your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of Your goodness, O Lord!

C: Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 

P:  He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.

C: All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. 

All: 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.

P:  Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.


P:  There are certain hymns that specifically convey the central meaning of one special passage of Scripture.  In some English translations the word used by Paul to young Timothy in which he calls himself the “chief of sinners” has been retranslated as “the worst of” and “the foremost.”  Whatever word is chosen, the meaning is inescapable: each of us is the most sinful when viewed through the lens of God’s Law.  Gut God does not remember repented sin and in Christ sees us as chief of the forgiven.

P:  The text of this hymn was written by an Irish bookseller, William McComb, and was included in a book of his poetry published in 1864.  We sing it to the melody GETHSEMANE composed by Richard Redhead, a noted choirmaster who directed vocal groups in churches in Oxford and London, England.

HYMN: “Chief of Sinners though I Be”          LBW 306

Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed his blood for me,

Died that I might live on high, Lives that I might never die.

As the branch is to the vine, I am his and he is mine.


Oh, the height of Jesus’ love! Higher than the heav’ns above,

Deeper than the depths of sea, Lasting as eternity.

Love that found me wondrous thought –  Found me when I sought him not.


Only Jesus can impart, Balm to heal the wounded heart,

Peace that flows from sin forgiv’n, Joy that lifts the soul to heav’n

Faith and hope to walk with God In the way that Enoch trod.


Chief of sinners though I be, Christ is All-in-All to me,

All my wants to him are known, All my sorrows are his own.

He sustains the hidden life  Safe with him from earthly strife.


O my Savior, help afford By your Spirit and your Word!

When my wayward heart would stray, Keep me in the narrow way;

Grace in time of need supply  While I live and when I die.


SCRIPTURE LESSON              Luke 22:55-62

55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

P: O Lord, have mercy on us.        C: Thanks be to God.

HYMN: “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now”         LBW 115

1 Jesus, I will ponder now

On your holy Passion;

Let your Spirit now endow

Me for meditation.

Grant that I in love and faith

May the image cherish

Of your suff’ring, pain, and death,

That I may not perish.


2 Make me see Your great distress,

Anguish, and affliction,

Bonds and stripes and wretchedness

And your crucifixion;

Make me see how scourge and rod,

Spear and nails, did wound you,

How you died for those, O God,

Who with thorns had crowned you.


3 Yet, O Lord, not thus alone

Make me see your Passion,

But its cause to me make known

And its termination.

For I also and my sin

Wrought your deep affliction;

This the shameful cause has been

Of your crucifixion.


4 Let me view your pain and loss

With repentant grieving,

Nor prepare again your cross

By unholy living.

May I give you love for love!

Hear me, O my Savior,

That I may in heav’n above

Sing your praise forever.

HOMILY   “Remember: Jesus’ Words”  Luke 22:61-62



P:  Let us pray. Heavenly Father, You have commanded Your people to lay up Your words in our hearts and souls and to keep them ever before us.

C: By Your Holy Spirit, direct our ways into paths of righteousness, guided in all things by Your Holy Word. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 


ALL:    I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night.  For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.  Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me.  Amen. 


P:  Show us Your steadfast love, O Lord,

C: and grant us Your salvation. 

P:  Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness;

C: and let Your saints shout for joy. 

P:  Lord, keep this nation under Your care,

C: and guide us in the way of justice and truth. 

P:  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.

C: for You judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon the earth. 

P:  Let the peoples praise You, O God;

C: let all the peoples praise You! 

P:  For the needy shall not always be forgotten,

C: and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. 

P:  Create in me a clean heart, O God,

C: And renew a right spirit within me. 

P:  Hear my prayer, O Lord;

C: Let my cry come to You. 


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.


P:  Let us bless the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.


P:  The grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

C: Amen.

CLOSING HYMN: “Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing”      LBW 259

Lord, dismiss us with your blessing,

Fill our hearts with joy and peace;

Let us each, your love possessing,

Triumph in redeeming grace.

Oh, refresh us; oh, refresh us,

Trav’ling through this wilderness.


Thanks we give and adoration

For your Gospel’s joyful sound.

May the fruits of your salvation

In our hearts and lives abound.

Ever faithful, ever faithful

To your truth may we be found.


Savior, when your love shall call us

From our struggling pilgrim way,

Let no fear of death appall us,

Glad your summons to obey.

May we ever, may we ever

Reign with you in endless day.