Grace Lutheran Church
 
Grace Lutheran Church
Ash Wednesday
March 1, 2017

Life Giving Fruit

 

Adam was given free access to the tree of life, to eat of its fruit and live forever (Genesis 2:8–9). The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, however, was off-limits. “For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die,” God warned (v. 17). Rather than obey God’s voice, Adam and Eve threw caution to the wind and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus bringing the whole world into sin and ruin (Genesis 3:1–19). Now barred from the tree of life, Adam and his offspring are cursed to eat the food of mortals. But God sent to the world a new Adam, one who would obey the voice of His Father, one who would rescue Adam’s fallen sons and daughters from death. On the tree of the cross, the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, removed the curse by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). The door to paradise has been opened up once again in His crucified and risen flesh and blood (Revelation 22:1–5, 14). His body and blood are for the Christian a life-giving fruit, for “whoever has the Son has life” (1 John 5:2).

 

Ash Wednesday Address

P Dear brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ, on this day the Church begins a holy season of prayerful and penitential reflection. Our attention is especially directed to the holy sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

From ancient times the season of Lent has been kept as a time of special devotion, self-denial, and humble repentance born of a faithful heart that dwells confidently on His Word and draws from it life and hope.

 

Let us pray that our dear Father in heaven, for the sake of His beloved Son and in the power of His Holy Spirit, might richly bless this Lententide for us so that we may come to Easter with glad hearts and keep the feast in sincerity and truth.

 

Stand

 

Silence for reflection.

 

Litany for Ash Wednesday

P O Lord,

C have mercy.

P O Christ,

C have mercy.

P O Lord,

C have mercy.

P O Christ,

C hear us.

P God the Father in heaven,

C have mercy.

P God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

C have mercy.

P God the Holy Spirit,

C have mercy.

P Be gracious to us.

C Spare us, good Lord.

P Be gracious to us.

C Help us, good Lord.

P By the mystery of Your holy incarnation;
by Your holy nativity;
by Your baptism, fasting, and temptation;
by Your agony and bloody sweat;
by Your cross and passion;
by Your precious death and burial;
by Your glorious resurrection and ascension;
and by the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter:

C Help us, good Lord.

P In all time of our tribulation;
in all time of our prosperity;
in the hour of death;
and in the day of judgment:

C Help us, good Lord.

P We poor sinners implore You

C to hear us, O Lord.

P To prosper the preaching of Your Word;
to bless our prayer and meditation;
to strengthen and preserve us in the true faith;
and to give heart to our sorrow and strength to our repentance:

C We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

P To draw all to Yourself;
to bless those who are instructed in the faith;
to watch over and console the poor, the sick, the distressed, the lonely, the forsaken, the abandoned, and all who stand in need of our prayers;
to give abundant blessing to all works of mercy;
and to have mercy on us all:

C We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

P To turn our hearts to You;
to turn the hearts of our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers;
and graciously to hear our prayers:

C We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

P Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,

C we implore You to hear us.

P Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,

C have mercy.

P Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,

C have mercy.

P Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,

C grant us Your peace.

P O Christ,

C hear us.

P O Lord,

C have mercy.

P O Christ,

C have mercy.

P O Lord,

C have mercy. Amen.

P O God, you desire not the death of sinners, but rather that they turn from their wickedness and live. We implore You to have compassion on the frailty of our mortal nature, for we acknowledge that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Mercifully pardon our sins that we may obtain the promises You have laid up for those who are repentant; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C Amen.

 

The Imposition of Ashes

 

Sit

 

In the morning service, the Pastors will come through the pews in similar fashion to communion distribution. Those who desire to receive the imposition of ashes are asked to stand as Pastor approaches your row.

 

In the evening service, the ushers will dismiss the congregation by pew in similar fashion to communion distribution. Those who desire to receive the imposition of ashes may come forward.

 

P Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

C Amen.

 

After receiving the ashes, each person returns to his/her place in silence.

 

Dismissal

P The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.

C A broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.

 

LSB 419

Savior, When in Dust to Thee

 

Corporate Confession and Absolution

 

P Beloved in the Lord, it is our intention to receive the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which he strengthens our faith by giving us His body to eat and His blood to drink. Therefore, it is proper that we diligently examine ourselves, as St. Paul urges us to do, for this holy Sacrament has been instituted for the special comfort of those who are troubled because of their sin and who humbly confess their sins, fear God's wrath, and hunger and thirst for righteousness.

 

But when we examine our hearts and consciences, we find nothing in us but sin and death, from which we are incapable of delivering ourselves. Therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ has had mercy on us. For our benefit He became man so that He might fulfill for us the whole will and law of God and, to deliver us, took upon Himself our sin and the punishment we deserve.

 

So that we may more confidently believe this and be strengthened in the faith and in holy living, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, broke it, and gave it to His disciples and said: "Take, eat; this is My body, which is givern for you." It is as if He said, "I became man, and all that I do and suffer is for your good. As a pledge of this, I give you My body to eat."

 

In the same way also He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying: "Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins." Again, it is as if He said, "I have had mercy on you by taking into Myself all your iniquities. I give Myself into death, shedding My blood to obtain grace and forgiveness of sins, and to comfort and establish the new testament, which gives forgiveness and everlasting salvation. As a pledge of this, I give you My blood to drink."

 

Therefore, whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup, confidently believing this Word and promise of Christ, dwells in Christ and Christ in him and has eternal life.

 

We should also do this in remembrance of Him, showing His deaththat He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification. Giving Him our most heartfelt thanks, we take up our cross and follow Him and, according to His commandment, love one another as He has loved us. For we are all one bread and one body, even as we are all partakers of this one bread and drink from the one cup. For just as the one cup is filled with the wine of many grapes and one bread made from countless grains, so also we, being many, are one body in Christ. Because of Him, we love one another, not only in word, but in deed and in truth.

 

May the almighty and merciful God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, accomplish this in us.

C Amen.

P Having heard the Word of God, let us confess our sins to Him, imploring Him for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

 

Stand

 

P I now ask you before God, who searches the heart:

Do you confess that you have sinned against God and deserved His wrath and punishment? - Then declare so by saying: I do confess.

C I do confess.

P Indeed, you should confess, for Holy Scripture declares, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

Do you repent of all your sins committed in thought, word and deed? Then declare so by saying: I do repent.

C I do repent.

P Indeed, you should repent, as did the penitent sinners: King David, who prayed for a contrite heart; Peter, who wept bitterly; the sinful woman; the prodigal son; and others.

Do you believe that God, by grace for Jesus' sake, will forgive you all your sins? Then declare so by saying: I do believe.

C I do believe.

P Indeed, you should believe, for Holy Scripture declares, "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

Do you promise that with the aid of the Holy Spirit you will henceforth amend your sinful life? Then declare so by saying: I do promise.

C I do promise.

P Indeed, you should so promise, for Christ, the Lord, says, "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Finally, do you believe that through me, a called servant of God, you will receive the forgiveness of all of your sins? Then declare so by saying: I do believe.

C I do believe.

 

P Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C Amen.

 

P Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Go + in peace.

C Amen.

 

 

Salutation and Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, You despise nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and contrite hearts that lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness we may receive from You full pardon and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

Sit

 

Genesis 3:1–15

Old Testament Reading

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

8And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,

cursed are you above all livestock

and above all beasts of the field;

on your belly you shall go,

and dust you shall eat

all the days of your life.

15I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.”

 

Revelation 22:1–5, 14

Epistle

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.

 

Stand

 

LSB 157

Verse for Lent

 

Mark 1:9–13

Holy Gospel

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

12The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13And 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.

 

 

Nicene Creed

C I believe in one God,

the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth

and of all things visible and invisible.

 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the only-begotten Son of God,

begotten of His Father before all worlds,

God of God, Light of Light,

very God of very God,

begotten, not made,

being of one substance with the Father,

by whom all things were made;

who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven

and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary

and was made man;

and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.

He suffered and was buried.

And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures

and ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of the Father.

And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,

whose kingdom will have no end.

 

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord and giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,

who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,

I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,

and I look for the resurrection of the dead

and the life + of the world to come. Amen.

 

Sit

 

LSB 561

The Tree of Life

 

 

Rev. Michael Mohr - Grace Lutheran Church, Strasburg, IL

(Click on link above to hear the sermon.)

 

Stand

 

LSB 192

Offertory

 

The Offering, gathered at the entrance to the service, is now presented to the Lord.

 

Prayer of the Church

Lord God, heavenly Father, we offer before You our common supplications for the well-being of Your Church throughout the world. So guide and govern it by Your Holy Spirit that all who profess themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Send down upon all ministers of the Gospel and upon the congregations committed to their care the healthful spirit of Your grace that they may please You in all things.

Behold in mercy all who are in authority over us. Supply them with Your blessing that they may be inclined to Your will and walk according to Your commandments. We humbly ask Your abiding presence in every situation that You would make known Your ways among us. Preserve those who travel, satisfy the wants of Your creatures, and help those who call upon You in any need that they may have patience in the midst of suffering and, according to Your will, be released from their afflictions.

Adam turned his back on Your word and ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which brought sin and misery to us all. Yet, You did not leave us to die forever but rather sent Jesus who perfectly obeyed Your word and bore our sin on the cross to overcome by a dead tree what Adam did by a living one. Through the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the First Adam brought forth sin and death, but through the tree of the cross, the Final Adam has brought forth forgiveness, life, and salvation, which He now delivers to us in the Lord’s Supper. Feed us with the life-giving fruit of Jesus’ body and blood that we would be enabled to hear and do Your Word as You lead us back from exile to paradise!

As we meditate on the Lord’s Supper during Lent, deepen our understanding and appreciation for all the blessings, benefits, and treasures You bestow on us through this salutary gift, that we would hunger and thirst for Jesus’ body and blood all life long; through Christ Jesus, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

 

LSB 194

Preface

 

 

 

 

 

It is truly meet, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who overcame the assaults of the devil and gave His life as a ransom for many that with cleansed hearts we might be prepared joyfully to celebrate the paschal feast in sincerity and truth. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:

 

LSB 195

Sanctus

 

LSB 196

Lord's Prayer

 

 

LSB 197

The Words of Our Lord

 

LSB 197

Pax Domini

 

 

LSB 198

Agnus Dei

 

Sit

 

During the morning service, the distribution will take place in the pews while the accompanist plays an instrumental meditation.

 

The following hymns are sung during the distribution at the evening service.

 

LSB 638

Eat This Bread

 

LSB 435

Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain

 

LSB 431

Not All the Blood of Beasts

 

Stand

 

LSB 199

Nunc Dimittis

 

Thanksgiving

P As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup:

C Ye do show the Lord's death til He come.

 

We give thanks to You, almighty God, that You have refreshed us through this salutary gift, and we implore You that of Your mercy You would strengthen us through the same in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

Salutation and Benedicamus

 

 

 

 

 

LSB 202

Benediction

 

 

LSB 562

All Mankind Fell in Adam's Fall

 

5 As by one man all mankind fell
And, born in sin, was doomed to hell,
So by one Man, who took our place,
We all were justified by grace.

 

6 We thank You, Christ; new life is ours,
New light, new hope, new strength, new pow’rs.
This grace our ev’ry way attend
Until we reach our journey’s end.

 

Acknowledgments

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.