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March 8, 2020

AS WE GATHER: Abraham is a great example of faith. As we often pray for faith and good courage to the Lord who has called us “to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown,” Abraham lived with this courage. From Haran to Canaan, Abraham was led by the hand of God toward the unfolding future God had prepared in the incarnation of His only-begotten Son to be our Savior and Redeemer. During Lent we join with Abraham of old and all the saints in trusting the Lord through the unknown tomorrows to the outcome and end we do know in Christ-everlasting life.


CHOIR ANTHEM: “I Surrender All to You”             By: Mary McDonald

O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;

be Thou forever near e, my Master and my friend.

I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,

nor wander from the pathway if Thou will be my guide.

I surrender, Lord, to You; all I am, I owe to You.

O Jesus, I promise to surrender all to You!

O Jesus, I promise to surrender all to You!

O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee,

that where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be.

And, Jeus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end, the end;

O give me grace to follow, my Master and my friend!

I surrender, Lord, to You; all I am, I owe to You.

O Jesus, I promise to surrender all, surrender all,

O Jesus, I promise to surrender all to You,

surrender all to You, surrender all to You.  I surrender all to You.


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

C:  Amen. 


L:  Forgive us for all that we have thought and said and done that is contrary to Your will and Your ways, and forgive us for times we have trusted in our own righteousness instead of relying on Your grace in Christ Jesus, our Redeemer.

C:  Have mercy on us and forgive us, O God. 

L:  Forgive us for times we have not been good stewards of Your great creation and for times we have been unwilling to help our neighbors as we ought.

C:  Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your steadfast love.  Create in us clean hearts, O God, and put a new and right spirit within us. 

L:  Our God is a great God and knows our needs for all areas of our life. God knows our weakness and our unbelieving hearts, yet loves us enough to die on a cross and provide forgiveness of our sin. Now the focus is not on the faith that we can muster, but on the great gifts that our Lord gives daily as we live in trust. God has given us the gift of faith, faith for the moment, faith for every trial, faith for every temptation, faith for every difficult situation. Praise God for this inexpressible gift of faith.

C:  Amen. 

OPENING SONG: “Morning Has Broken” (from the Song Selection Box)

Morning has broken like the first morning,

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.

Praise for the singing! Praising for the morning!

Praise for them, springing fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven,

Like the first dewfall on the first grass.

Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,

Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning,

Born of the one light Eden saw play!

Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning,

God’s recreation of the new day!


L: O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:  Amen. 


RLC Text:                                                                             Daniel 6:7-10

     King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand. Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed.  The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change.  There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father–your father the king–made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers,  because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”

Reader: This is the Word of the Lord.

C: Thanks be to God.


SERMON HYMN: “Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer”            LBW 343

Guide me ever, great Redeemer,

Pilgrim through this barren land.

I am weak, but you are mighty;

Hold me with your pow’rful hand.

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven

Feed me now and ever more,

Feed me now and ever more.

Open now the crystal fountain

Where the healing waters flow;

Let the fire and cloudy pillar

Lead me all my journey through.

Strong deliv’rer, strong deliv’rer,

Shield me with your mighty arm,

Shield me with your mighty arm,

When I tread the verge of Jordan,

Bid my anxious fears subside;

Death of death and hell’s destruction,

Land me safe on Canaan’s side.

Songs and praises, songs and praises,

I will raise forever more,

I will raise forever more,


Gospel:                                                                                     John 3:1-17

        Jesus teaches Nicodemus by night on being born again.

     Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

     Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

     “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

L: This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C: Praise to You O Christ.




We offer our thanksgiving for what God has first given us—ourselves, our time, our possessions.




L: Let us pray for the whole people of God in Jesus Christ and for all people according to their needs.

We pray for all Christians around the world that, as people united in faith, we may witness to the good news that is ours in Jesus.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer. 

L: We pray for all nations of the earth that in all places there may be peace.  We pray for people in lands where there has been upset and strife.  We pray for our own nation that it may know safety and the people may be joyful in their daily lives.   Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer. 

L: We pray for all those whose labor serves us, especially those in the military, our police personnel, medical workers, and all those whose efforts support the common good.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer. 

L: We pray for the special concerns on our hearts today, including health and family needs, bringing to You our joys, our sorrows, our hopes, (including…).  Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer. 

L: Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C: Amen. 

CLOSING HYMN: “The God of Abraham Praise” LBW 544 (vs. 1-4, 11)

1 The God of Abr’ham praise,
Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days,
And God of love.
Jehovah, great I Am!
By earth and heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred name
Forever blest.

2 The God of Abr’ham praise,
At whose supreme command
From earth I rise and seek the joys
At his right hand.
I all on earth forsake –
Its wisdom, fame, and pow’r –
And him my only portion make,
My shield and tow’r.

3 The God of Abr’ham praise,
Whose all-sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my pilgrim days
In all my ways.
He deigns to call me friend;
He calls himself my God!
And he shall save me to the end
Through Jesus’ blood.

4 He by himself has sworn;
I on his oath depend.
I shall, on eagle wings upborne,
To heav’n ascend.
I shall behold his face;
I shall his pow’r adore,
And sing the wonders of his grace

11 The whole triumphant host
Give thanks to God on high.
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”
They ever cry.
Hail, Abr’ham’s God and mine!
I join the heav’nly lays:
All might and majesty are thine
And endless praise!


L: The Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.  The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.

C: Amen. 


L:  Go in Peace.  Serve the Lord.

C:  Thanks be to God.