Grace Lutheran Church
Grace Lutheran Church
2nd Wednesday in Lent
February 21, 2018

Garden to Garden: Eden to Heaven


Gardens are places of beauty. Gardens are places of rest. Gardens are places that bring joy to our hearts as we walk through their midst. The Garden of Eden was such a place—of beauty and perfection, of joy and peace. But man could not resist temptation, and the result was a view of the beautiful garden from the outside. No more joy, no more peace, only pain and sorrow, sweat and tears. Today, our journey is from the Garden of Eden (from which we have been exiled) to an even more beautiful garden, the Garden of Everlasting Life. This will not be an easy journey. There will be much stumbling and falling, many bumps and bruises—after all, the world has been infested by sin and all the hazards that go with this reality. A difficult journey, but one that was taken first by our Lord and Savior Jesus. Because He first made the journey and suffered in our place, the gates of the new, heavenly garden stand open before us. No more tears, no more sorrow, this garden is our place of perfect rest, joy, and peace.


Vespers normally does not have an opening hymn. After the bells ring, we begin with the Opening Versicles.







Psalm 137:1–6


1By the waters of Babylon,

there we sat down and wept,

when we remembered Zion.

2On the willows there

we hung up our lyres.

3For there our captors

required of us songs,

and our tormentors, mirth, saying,

“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4How shall we sing the Lord’s song

in a foreign land?

5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

let my right hand forget its skill!

6Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,

if I do not remember you,

if I do not set Jerusalem

above my highest joy!




We Are Exiles from the Garden



Readings From Holy Scripture


Genesis 3:22–24

Old Testament Reading

22Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

L O Lord, have mercy on us.

C Thanks be to God.


Revelation 22:1–5


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.

L O Lord, have mercy on us.

C Thanks be to God.


Luke 13:10–17

Gospel Reading

10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

L O Lord, have mercy on us.

C Thanks be to God.




LSB 231




(Click on link above to hear the sermon.)




LSB 231

Antiphon (Common)


LSB 231



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


LSB 233



LSB 233

Lord's Prayer

C 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.



LSB 233

Introduction to Collects



P O God, the Creator of all things good, defend us from the deceiver who would gladly cast doubt on Your integrity, and who would keep us from the life and salvation You intend for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C Amen.


P Lord God, our Father, you created a perfect home for us in the beginning, but we left through the disobedience of our ancestors, Adam and Eve. We languish now in the land of suffering and death, and in the land of darkness. Bring us out of exile into our true home which You have prepared for us, that we may live before Your face in light and grace forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C Amen.


L O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C Amen.




LSB 234



LSB 234



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.



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.

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