Grace Lutheran Church
Grace Lutheran Church
3rd Wednesday in Lent
February 28, 2018

Mountain to Mountain: Mount Moriah to Mount Zion


Today, we journey from mountain to mountain. Mountains are amazing and awe-inspiring, but to journey through or to climb them is no easy task. When Abraham saw Mount Moriah, he was neither inspired nor amazed. His heart was filled with fear and dread, for on this mountain he had been told to provide a sacrifice: his son Isaac. It was a difficult mountain to climb. But on this mountain, the Lord God will provide. God rescued Isaac from the knife of Abraham in order that He might provide another sacrifice, a perfect Lamb without blemish or spot. Later, Mount Moriah would become Mount Zion, where the Jerusalem temple would be built. Although Jesus was sacrificed on Mount Calvary, His blood was brought to the Holy of Holies in the temple and sprinkled for our forgiveness, life, and salvation. It was a difficult mountain to climb, but the journey to that mountain leads us to the mountain of the new Zion—heaven.


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






Psalm 118:22–29


22The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

23This is the Lord’s doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25Save us, we pray, O Lord!

O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26Blessèd is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

We bless you from the house of the Lord.

27The Lord is God,

and he has made his light to shine upon us.

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,

up to the horns of the altar!

28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God; I will extol you.

29Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!




LSB 571

God Loved the World So That He Gave


5 If you are sick, if death is near,
This truth your troubled heart can cheer:
Christ Jesus saves your soul from death;
That is the firmest ground of faith.


6 Glory to God the Father, Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To You, O blessèd Trinity,
Be praise now and eternally!



Readings From Holy Scripture


Genesis 22:1–8

Old Testament Reading

1After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

L O Lord, have mercy on us.

C Thanks be to God.


Hebrews 9:22; 11:17–19


22Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

L O Lord, have mercy on us.

C Thanks be to God.


Because standing for the reading of the Gospel has historically been connected with the presence of Christ in the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the traditional rubric for the Vespers is to remain seated during all of the readings, even those from the Gospels.


John 3:16

Gospel Reading

16[Jesus said:] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 

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.


Introduction to the Collects





P Gracious and all-knowing Father, even as You gave your friend Abraham the faith to trust that You would provide, give to us, Your children, the faith to trust that You also have provided Your own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the true ram for the sacrifice; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C Amen.


P We confess, almighty God, that Your ways are mysterious, frightening, and merciful beyond measure; that You would cause Abraham to carry wood for the sacrifice of his only son; that You would cause Your only Son to carry the wood of the cross so that He might be sacrificed for us and for our salvation; that You would cause Your only Son to be bound to the cross, so that the sin and death that binds us might snap as a thread of flax when it touches fire; and that through His death, we might have life. For these mysterious blessings we thank You, 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 550

Lamb of God



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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