Service Notes - 9:30 a.m.

March 14, 2021

03/14/2021                                                       Worship at Grace of God Lutheran                                                                        Service of the Word, Page 38

            Welcome! We are pleased that you have joined us for worship today. 

 

WORSHIP INTRODUCTION

Historically this Sunday was called ‘Laetare’ in the Latin language. Latin was the language of the church. ‘Laetare’ means ‘Rejoice’. So, this is Rejoice Sunday. We rejoice in the middle of Lent that God has so fully and so perfectly taken to heart our only real need as sinners and satisfied it in Christ. 

 

Opening Hymn: #401

 

PRAYER OF THE DAY: Almighty God, we confess that we deserve to be punished for our evil deeds. But we ask you graciously to cleanse us from all sin and to comfort us with your salvation; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


PSALM: 38; Page 81 (Sing the Psalm…!)


VERSE OF THE DAY: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Sermon Hymn: #391

 

SERMON: John 3:14-21  So, where are you going to land, Nicodemus? Are you going to love the darkness and avoid the Light? Will you love the darkness or will you let the Light shine on you? Will you listen to the Rabbi, Jesus, you came to see? His Words will be Light. Stand in the Light where there is no judgment, no condemnation for sin.

 

Prayer of the Church and the Lord’s Prayer:

 

Post Sermon/Communion Hymn: #460, 1-3


Closing Hymn: #460, 4-5


Thank you:      Thank you, Judy, for accompanying worship today.  


Pray for:                      Last Saturday you called Pastor Noah Bater to be your pastor. He is married to Melissa and they are blessed with three young children. He currently serves Prince of Peace Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, California, a church of nearly 100 members. Of the excellent men we considered everyone agreed unanimously on the first ballot that we should call Pastor Bater. He’s the kind of pastor that just loves to establish rapport with people for the sake of the Gospel. He knows and loves God’s Word and preaches and teaches in a compelling way. He has a unique gift in evangelism to make personal connections with people so he can bring them the Gospel. He’s the kind of strong leader people find easy to listen to and follow. He has a heart for reaching people with our Savior’s Gospel. Lord guide and encourage Pastor Bater in his own faith in you. Amen.


           The Council and Voters also called Pastor Tim Bourman to serve as our vacancy pastor beginning March 15 when Pastor Jim Bourman, Hope and Elizabeth will begin their days serving the Lord in Minnesota. We met with Pastor Tim this past week to think through more details of the vacancy he will serve. Pastor Tim will lead us in worship IN-PERSON on Saturday mornings at 9:30 am. Our worship life will also continue on Zoom and possibly on Facebook Live. Beginning this week watch your email inbox and our website for invitation and details for worship.



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9:30 am Sundays - Worship

at church and on Zoom

  • Lessons - The Word

    INTRODUCTION: NUMBERS 21:4-9 Even the satisfaction of our only real need by Christ in Lent does not keep people from imitating the children of Israel in the wilderness. They didn’t take God’s gifts seriously. They complained until he sent them something to complain about. He gave them what they deserved. Then prompted by grace alone, God provided a cure for the pain that he himself had inflicted on them in consequence of their sins. Those who looked at His ‘cure’ did so because God’s Word created trust in their hearts, not because looking made any sense. So too in Lent, we suffer the painful consequences of our sins even after we have seen the love and mercy of God and we still murmur at times and complain. The first dose of medicine from the Lord is suffering. We know what that is all about but the curing dose is the suffering of Christ and the ‘look’ of faith in the promise of God in the Gospel. Therefore, both in suffering and in relief, Laetare! Rejoice! For both the suffering and the cure in Christ are evidences of God’s grace in Christ.

     

    Numbers 21:4–9 (NIV) 4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” 6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lordwill take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

  • Second Lesson

    INTRODUCTION:  EPHESIANS 2:4-10 This text is overfull with God’s grace and truth in Christ: Because of Christ’s death and resurrection God sees us as already in heaven! Could anything be more opposite than being dead in transgressions, our natural state? The grace is incomparable. By definition it cannot be earned or deserved. Look to the cross and then live in the works which God has prescribed and prepared in the law, works of obedience to him and love to our neighbor. For our problem has been solved. There is nothing else for us to be concerned about than looking to the cross and living as those who are already as good as in heaven. To murmur and complain, to live as though we had yet to find peace or purpose, help or happiness, that is all as silly as it is perverse. In Christ we already have it all. Therefore, even in the middle of Lent, Laetare!

     

    Ephesians 2:4–10 (NIV) 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

  • The Gospel of our Lord

    INTRODUCTION: JOHN 3:14-21 How hideous that snake on the pole! It was a reminder of the pain inflicted by the snake’s bite and even more a reminder of the cause of the snake’s bite—sin. Now we, too, look in Lent at something initially hideous. Christ on the cross is horrible to look at since his suffering is what we deserve to suffer and a reminder of the greatness of our sin and guilt. But only at the cross do we even begin to grasp the depth also of God’s love. He himself turns our eyes to the pole that is His cross and gives us the balm of healing that lasts into eternity. In the Bible, light is often a metaphor for truth and joy. Therefore Laetare! For this is the truth that brings pure joy. There is no other balm for sinners. Jesus is not just one religious leader among many. He is the only Savior and the only possible Savior. Those who seek another will feel the full fury of God for rejecting so great a salvation, so loving a Savior.

     

    John 3:14–21 (NIV) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.