The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Also known as Judica (“Judge”) Sunday

March 17, 2024

The Snake and the Savior

            Have you ever driven by a medical facility and, noticing the symbol of a snake on a pole, wondered what they were thinking by using it, or what that symbol means?   At first glance it does seem odd – perhaps even inappropriate – that an emblem including a snake would be the symbol for a hospital, or would be found on a pharmaceutical package.     After all, snakes are not particularly popular with most people.   In fact, most folks despise and are afraid of snakes.

            However, according a statement from the American Medical Association “the snake on a pole” (officially known as the Asclepius and Caduceus) has long been used as the symbol of choice for the medical profession.   Why is that?   Well, there are a number of explanations.   In Greek mythology, the Rod of Asclepius was a serpent-entwined rod used by the Greek god Asclepius, a (false) deity associated with healing and medicine.   But beyond mythology, the Bible gives another – and better – explanation.   In Numbers 21, God sent a disciplinary plague of poisonous snakes into the camp of Israel.  To grant healing to those who were repentant, God later instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent, wind it around a pole, and erect it in the middle of the camp.  Anyone who looked in faith at the staff, trusting in God’s promise of healing through it, would be cured of their fatal snake bite.

            The AMA symbol of the staff of Asclepius has morphed into something known as the Caduceus, which was the ancient symbol of another Greek (false) god, Hermes.   The Caduceus features two snakes winding around an often winged staff.  The two-snake Caduceus design in ancient times was actually associated – not with healing, but – with trade, eloquence, negotiation, wisdom… and the passage into the underworld (namely, death).  For whatever reason, the modern use of the two-snake Caduceus as a symbol for medicine developed here in the United States between the late 19th and early 20th century – most likely as a result of documented mistakes, misunderstandings and confusion.   Consequently, the Caduceus is often used as the symbol of modern medicine and medical practice (particularly in North America), mostly due to  confusion between it and the centuries-old traditional medical symbol, the rod of Asclepius.

            In spite of the above, there is a general consensus among scholars that the snake, whether there is one or two of them, wound around a staff, remains an appropriate symbol for the art of healing that is characteristic of  the medical community.   In addition to representing wisdom, learning, (and even fertility) – again, according to the AMA –  this symbol represents longevity and the restoration of good health.   

            Also, let’s keep in mind that the ancient Greeks regarded snakes as sacred creatures, and frequently used them in healing rituals to honor Asclepius.  Why?   Snake venom was thought to be remedial.  Plus, when snakes shed their sin, it was supposed to symbolize rebirth and renewal.

            Of course, most people can read whatever they want into the snake on the pole as representation of modern medicine and its goals, as does the AMA.   But the authority to which we are going to listen today regarding the snake on the pole is far more credible.   Our authority is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.   Jesus did not at all discount the historic reality of the event described in our Old Testament Lesson today, where those snakes attacked the people of Israel, and God provided a healing remedy – involving a faith-filled look at a bronze serpent raised up on a pole.   However, Jesus chose to employ the bronze serpent as an Old Testament in a far more significant way.   He pointed to it as “type” of Himself and His redemptive work.  

            He once told an inquiring Jew by the name of Nicodemus (in today’s Gospel Lesson) that “In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to Him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.”    In other words, there is a direct Spiritual connection between the Snake and our Savior.    Both were used by the Almighty God o provide healing for sinners, who – in faith – trusted in God’s gracious promise of salvation.   In the case of the sinful, snake-bitten people in our Old Testament lesson, they could display their trust in God’s merciful promise of physical healing by looking at the snake on the pole.   If they did, they were healed.   In the case of sinful humanity – from Adam and Eve down to us, and beyond – we are saved from our sins and eternal condemnation in hell, through trusting for our Spiritual healing solely in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ….which is most commonly symbolized by His suffering and death on the cross for us.

The Last Two Weeks of Lent

traditionally known as “Passiontide”

Although as our preparation for Easter began with “Ash

Wednesday” back on February 14th, with today’s service our preparation intensifies as we enter into the final two weeks of Lent…..a time traditionally known by the term “Passiontide.”   This period of fourteen days’ duration, starting on the fifth Sunday in Lent, was the Church’s first formal effort to commemorate our Lord’s Passion.   Eventually, the fourteen days of Passiontide were incorporated into the season of Lent when the latter was “officially” defined as a 40 day period of preparation (this occurred in the 9th  century A.D.).   “Passiontide’s” purpose is to recall, in a more vivid way than is done on the other Sundays in Lent, the persecutions and sufferings our Lord endured for our eternal deliverance. 

The Fifth Sunday in Lent:   Judica Sunday

            This morning is sometimes referred to as “Passion Sunday.”   But it is also known by an older, more traditional name…..“Judica Sunday.” That name is taken from the first word of the Psalm appointed to be read during worship on this day, Psalm 43.  The world “Judica” means “judge”.   In our Psalm reading we’re going to declare, “Judge me, O God” because we know that it is God who judges us.  How does He judge us…by our works and merits?  Well, if we were judged by our merit, then we would be guilty of sin and deserving of eternal death.   Thank God we aren’t judged by our merit, but according to Jesus’ merits.  He was sinless in our place and laid down His life for our sins on the cross.  Because of His redeeming work for us,  we will never be punished eternally because of our sins.  May the Holy Spirit bless us as we meditate on the Gospel truth that Jesus was judged for our sins, and so we are now judged perfect according to the righteousness of Christ.

Today’s Scripture Lessons :     

            Our worship service for this Judica/”Vindicate” Sunday is developed around three Scripture lessons which all concentrate on the saving power of Christ our Savior.   In other words, the principal Spiritual truth which they share is that mankind’s reconciliation to God comes about only through the gracious, saving activity and power of Jesus Christ our Savior, and not through any effort or merit on our part.   That saving power is most graphically and dramatically expressed through our Savior’s death for us on the cross.

            We’ll begin our consideration of the significance of Christ’s cross for us at today’s Old Testament Lesson (which also serves as today’s Sermon Text).  In the middle of our Gospel Lesson  (John chapter 3:14-15)  Jesus informs Nicodemus and us  that the bronze snake in this lesson, which the Lord had Moses erect as a temporary means of deliverance for the Israelites, is an Old Testament symbol, or “Type” of Himself.   Like the snake, Jesus was “lifted up” on a cross for the salvation of God’s children.  Today, as then at Moses’ time, all who look in faith to the crucified Christ as their Savior from sin will receive from God the assurance of eternal deliverance from sin and everlasting life in heaven.    

            Today’s Epistle Lesson offers the good news of God’s act of making us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our transgressions and sins.  We were totally undeserving as well as unwilling to be His children, but the Lord chose to provide salvation for us through Jesus Christ.   Such a free gift of God’s grace will lead the Christian to humbly express his /her thankfulness by striving to do those good works which God has prepared – in advance – for us to do… effected by the power of the Holy Spirit enabling us to serve God, and works motivated by the love of God for us in Christ.   

     Lastly, today’s Children’s Lesson will look at the cross itself, not as the means of our salvation or as THE focus of our faith, but as the reminder WHO saved us and how much it cost Him to accomplish it.  

Some Information on Today’s Sermon Hymn:   

           When the Portuguese colonists five centuries ago first settled in Macao, along the coast of South China, they erected a massive cathedral high on the crest of a hill overlooking both the city and the sea coast.  However, in time a violent China Sea typhoon proved too severe a test for even such a massive building, and three centuries ago that cathedral fell — all of it, that is, except the front wall.  The cathedral has never been rebuilt, and that remaining wall has stood ever since as a memorial of sorts.  At the very top of the wall standing out against the sky stands the cathedral’s original, large bronze cross –  defying time, rain, lightning and typhoon.

           It was such an impressive sight that when Sir John Bowring, then governor of Hong Kong, visited Macao in 1825, he was deeply impressed by that cross which towers over the ruins of its cathedral.  Returning to his home, Bowring penned the words of the famous hymn, which serves as our Sermon Hymn for this morning”   “In the Cross of Christ I Glory, Towering O’er the Wrecks of Time.” 

           Sir John went to his eternal rest over a century and a half ago, but his hymn lives on and remains one of Christianity’s most beloved and well-used hymns.   Likewise, the builders of that distant cathedral are long since forgotten, but the cross they erected there in memory of and out of love for the Crucified One continues to stand tall for all to see to this very day.    Even more significant, the forgiveness and salvation for sinners, which Jesus secured through His cross, will endure for all eternity.   Because we believe in Jesus as our God and Savior, and because we trust in all that He accomplished for us on that cross,  we can be sure that forgiveness and salvation belongs to every one of us.  And that’s why we “glory… the cross of Christ!”

The portions of God’s Word used in this worship flyer have been taken from The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version    Copyright 2019,    The Wartburg Project, Inc.   All rights reserved.   Used with permission Music and lyrics, as needed, are used with permission via #A712831

Pre-Service Prayer

Lord, open now my heart to hear

And through Your Word to me, draw near;

Let me Your Word e’er pure retain,   Let me Your child and heir remain.

Your Word does deeply move the heart,

Your Word does perfect health impart,

Your Word my soul with joy does bless,

Your Word brings peace and happiness.  Amen.



Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service Music                                                                                                                                              

We Praise Our God

The Introduction and Invitation To Worship  


                                                                                                                        following which, the Congregation will rise for the invocation

The Invocation

Pastor       We begin this service in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


The Psalm for Today                                                                                                                           Psalm 43


P:  Judge me justly, O God and plead my cause against an ungodly nation;  rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.

C: You are God my stronghold.     Why have You rejected me?     Why must I go about mourning,     oppressed by the enemy?


P:  Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me;  

C: let them bring me to Your holy mountain,     to the place where You dwell.


P:  Then I will go to the altar of God,  to God, my joy and my delight.

C: I will praise You, with the harp,   O God, my God.


P:  Why are you downcast, O my soul?   Why so disturbed within me?

C: Put your hope in God,    for I will yet praise Him,    my Savior and my God.

P:  Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord,    for I hide myself in You.

C: Teach me to do Your will,     for You are my God;    Who saves me from my enemies.  You exalted me above my foes;    from violent men You rescued me.

P:  For Your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life;

C: in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble,   for I am Your servant.     

The Prayer for the Morning 


O Gracious Lord God,   +   drive out every trace of spiritual darkness from our hearts  +  that we may see Your Son as our one and only Redeemer   +   and that we may confidently call on Him   +   to deliver us from all our troubles of body and soul.    + Bless our worship of You this morning   +   that through our meditation on Your Word  +   our faith might grow stronger    +   and our love for Your truth might increase.   +  All this we seek for the sake of Jesus Christ,  our Savior   +   Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit,  + as the One true God   + Now and forever.  +    Amen.



The Opening Hymn                                                        Hymn 125   “When I Survey The Wond’rous Cross”


1 When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss   And pour contempt on all my pride.


2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast   Save in the death of Christ, my God.

All the vain things that charm me most,   I sacrifice them to his blood.


3 See, from his head, his hands, his feet,   Sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet   Or thorns compose so rich a crown?


4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,   That were a tribute far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,  Demands my soul, my life, my all.


After which, the Congregation will rise for

The Confessional Order of Service

Pastor            O LORD, Open my lips.

Congregation   (Sung)        And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

Pastor            Hasten, O God, to deliver me.

Congregation    (sung)    Hasten to help me, O LORD

Pastor            The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.

Congregation    (sung)   


A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.


Glory be to the Father and to the Son

And to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning

Is now and ever shall be. World without end.  Amen.

We Make Confession Of Our Sins To God

Pastor    I now w ask you before God, who searches your heart, do you confess that you have sinned against God  and deserve His wrath and punishment?  Then declare so by saying, “I do confess.”

Congregation    “I do confess.


Pastor         Truly you should confess, for the Holy Scriptures say, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive  ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

                             Second, do you, with all your heart, repent of all your sins, committed in thought, word, and 

                        deed?  Then declare so by saying, “I do repent.”

Congregation   “I do repent.”

Pastor          Truly, you should repent, as other penitent sinners have done:  King David, who prayed for a contrite

                  heart;  Peter, who wept bitterly;  the sinful woman, the prodigal son, and others.

      Third, do you sincerely believe that God, by grace, for Jesus’ sake, will forgive you all your sins?  Then declare so by saying, “I do believe.”

Congregation    “I do believe.”

Pastor          Truly you should so believe, for the Holy Scriptures say, “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.

Fourth, do you promise that with the help of the Holy Ghost, you will, from this time forward,

 reform your sinful life?  Then declare it by saying, “I do promise.”

Congregation   “I do promise.”


Pastor         Truly, you should so promise, for Christ, the Lord says:  “Let your light shine before men, that they

                  may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”        

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

Congregation   “I do believe.”

Pastor         Upon this, your confession, I, because of my office as a called and ordained servant of God’s Word, announce the  grace of God to all of you.  And, in the place, 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 Ghost.  Peace  be with you.  Amen.

after which, the Congregation will be seated as

We Give Our Attention To God’s Word

The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                     Numbers 21:4-9


4 They set out from Mount Hor along the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom, but the people

 became very impatient along the way. 5 The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? Look, there is no food! There is no water! And we are disgusted by this worthless food!”

     6 The Lord sent venomous snakes among the people, and the snakes bit the people. As a result many people from Israel died. 7 The people went to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord to take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed on behalf of the people.

     8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a venomous snake and put it on a pole. If anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live.” 9 Moses made a bronze snake and put it on the pole. If a snake had bitten anyone, if that person looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                                 Ephesians 2:1-10


You were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked when you followed the ways of this

 present world. You were following the ruler of the domain of the air, the spirit now at work in the people who disobey.

     3 Formerly, we all lived among them in the passions of our sinful flesh, as we carried out the desires of the sinful flesh and its thoughts. Like all the others, we were by nature objects of God’s wrath.

     4 But God, because He is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! 6 He also raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 7 He did this so that, in the coming ages, He might demonstrate the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 Indeed, 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 workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance so that we would walk in them.

after which the Congregation will rise for


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                                         John 3:1-21


There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus

 at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher Who has come from God, for no one can do these miraculous signs You are doing unless God is with Him.”

     3 Jesus replied, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Unless someone is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

     4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

     5 Jesus answered, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God! 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh. Whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be surprised when I tell you that you must be born from above.  8 The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

     9 “How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.

     10 “You are the teacher of Israel,” Jesus answered, “and you do not know these things? 11 Amen, Amen, I tell you: We speak what We know, and We testify about what We have seen. But you people do not accept Our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, except the One Who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, Who is in heaven.

     14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

     16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten 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 The one who believes in Him is not condemned, but the one who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. 19 This is the basis for the judgment: The Light has come into the world, yet people loved the darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. 20 In fact, everyone who practices wicked things hates the Light and does not come toward the Light, or else his deeds would be exposed. 21 But the one who does what is true comes toward the Light, in order that his deeds may be seen as having been done in connection with God.”

The Apostles’ Creed                                                                                           Sung to the melody of Melita

                                                                                                                     (Almighty Father, Strong to Save)

All glory to our God and Lord,   Who by the power of His Word

Created and sustains each thing,

and all that live.   His praises sing….

Our Father, Who in mercy still,

Guides everything by His sure will.


We worship Jesus Christ, God’s Son,

   by Whom salvation has been won.

For us He lived, and for us died, that we might all be justified,

Raised from the dead, on high to reign.

   We know that He will come again.


We praise the Holy Spirit sent,   active in Word and Sacrament,

He binds the Church, below, above,

 in faith in Christ’s redeeming love.

And ne’er forget this promise true: 

 with Christ we shall arise anew!    Amen



after which the Congregation may be seated as

Children’s Lesson                                                                                                                       Galatians 6:14


But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.


What Does the Cross Mean To You?


after which the Congregation will be seated for

The Hymn of the Day                                                                  Hymn 345  “In the Cross of Christ I Glory”

1 In the cross of Christ I glory,  Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time.

All the light of sacred story   Gathers round its head sublime.


2 When the woes of life o’ertake me,   Hopes deceive and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross forsake me;   Lo, it glows with peace and joy.


3 When the sun of bliss is beaming   Light and love upon my way,

From the cross the radiance streaming   Adds more luster to the day.


4 Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure   By the cross are sanctified;

Peace is there that knows no measure,  Joys that through all time abide.

after which the Congregation will rise for the reading of

The Pre-Sermon Salutation

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord! Amen

Sermon Text                                                                       Numbers 21:4-9   (today’s Old Testament Lesson)

The Snake and the Savior

after this, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for


The Post-Sermon Blessing

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  Amen.



We Bring our Offerings to the Lord


Offerings will be received this morning through offering plates passed among those who have gathered here for worship.      However, for those viewing this service online,  we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:     

1) You can mail a check (no cash) to the church address:    (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can also donate on our website:

as the offerings are brought forward, the Congregation will rise for

  • The Prayers for this Day

    Today’s Special Prayers

    Included in our prayers this morning:

    A Prayer of Thanksgiving and continued Intercession

    for Linda Wasson (the Mary Talbert’s daughter) who was called home to heaven this past Friday….We praise God for Linda receiving the goal of her faith, and we ask the LORD to uphold and comfort Linda’s family – particularly our sister, Mary – in view of their personal loss.


    A Prayer of Intercession for pre-born Liam Ashley (Taylor and Danielle’s baby) who has a heart condition that might well need surgical intervention sometime after Liam is born.

    Along with

    A Prayer of Intercession for Duane Mayer (Kent’s brother) who is contending with cancer;

    And, finally,

    A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of Helen and Kent Mayer

    who will be celebrating their wedding anniversary this Saturday.

    This Morning’s General Prayer                                                                                             concluding with….

    P:  Also hear us, dear Father, as we take a few moments to silently offer our personal petitions to You.

    A Moment for Silent Prayer  

    P:  And finally, with all our prayers being offered in Jesus’ name, we also join in that special prayer which has been given to us by our Savior:

    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.



    We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper

    P:              The Lord be with you.

    C:             (Sung)   And also with you.

    P:              Lift up your hearts.

    C:             (Sung) We lift them up unto the Lord.

    P:              Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

    C:             (Sung)   It is good and right so to do.

    The Words of Institution – Spoken by the Pastor

    P:  The peace of the Lord be with you always.

    C:             (sung)  Amen


    The Distribution of the Sacramental Elements

                                                                                       (Please read the following if you have not spoken with

                                                                                                our Pastor about taking communion.  Thank you.)




         We ask that only “Confirmed, Communicant” members of this congregation, or of one of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod congregations come forward to receive the Lord’s Supper at this time.   

         We believe, according to Scripture, that only those who are “one,” that is, in complete doctrinal agreement, united in a common public confession of faith, are to commune together at the same altar (see I Corinthians 10:17 and I Corinthians 1:10).

         To be “in communion” means to share and to hold in common.   By eating and drinking at our Lord’s Table, we are not only sharing in, with, and under the bread and wine, Jesus’ very body and blood…we are also publicly declaring that we hold in common a specific confession of faith.  In other words, as a result of having comprehensively studied the Scriptures together all of our communicants have agreed to accept and proclaim the same Biblical doctrines and practices.

         Through membership in a particular church body (for us, that church body is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), each person makes a public statement that he/she is in full agreement with the teachings and practices of that body.  Because not every church body or Lutheran Synod teaches and practices the same things, we in the WELS want to be honest in our recognition of the doctrinal differences that, here on earth, separate us from other church bodies.   Please bear in mind that we are not, in any way, judging the legitimacy of your Christian faith.  Still, we ask that  if you have not (upon study of the Word with us) declared yourself to be in full doctrinal agreement with us, you would respectfully not join us in the Lord’s Supper this morning.  

         It is our prayer that our Scripture-based practice of “Close Communion” will encourage anyone among us today who is not presently in full fellowship with us to seriously examine the teachings and practices of his/her church in order to determine if those teachings and practices are really in full agreement with God’s Word. 

         And if you are guest among us today, we want you to know that it is our earnest desire that you might become familiar with the Biblical doctrines our congregation confesses, in order that you might one day join with us at the Lord’s altar in this public expression of full unity of doctrine and practice.  Until then, please know that we are most grateful for your participation as a fellow Christian in this worship service, and that we appreciate your understanding and respect of our Communion practice.  



    Distribution Hymn                                                       Hymn 312   “Lord Jesus Christ, You Have Prepared”

    verses 1-4

    verses 5-8

    1 Lord Jesus Christ, you have prepared This feast for our salvation;

    It is your body and your blood,  And at your invitation

    As weary souls, with sin oppressed,  We come to you for needed rest,

    For comfort, and for pardon.


    2 Although you did to heav’n ascend,   Where angel hosts are dwelling,

    And in your presence they behold   Your glory, all excelling,

    And though your people shall not see  Your glory and your majesty

    Till dawns the judgment morning,


    3 Yet, Savior, you are not confined   To any habitation,

    But you are present ev’rywhere   And with your congregation.

    Firm as a rock this truth shall stand,  Unmoved by any daring hand

    Or subtle craft and cunning.


    4 We eat this bread and drink this cup,   Your precious Word believing

    That your true body and your blood   Our lips are here receiving.

    This Word remains forever true,   And there is naught you cannot do,

    For you, Lord, are almighty.


    5 Though reason cannot understand,   Yet faith this truth embraces:

    Your body, Lord, is ev’rywhere   At once in many places.

    I leave to you how this can be;   Your Word alone suffices me;

    I trust its truth unfailing.


    6 Lord, I believe what you have said;   Help me when doubts assail me.

    Remember that I am but dust,   And let my faith not fail me.

    Your supper in this vale of tears   Refreshes me and stills my fears

    And is my priceless treasure.


    7 Grant that we worthily receive   Your supper, Lord, our Savior,

    And, truly grieving for our sins,   May prove by our behavior

    That we are thankful for your grace   And day by day may run our race,

    In holiness increasing.


    8 For your consoling supper, Lord,   Be praised throughout all ages!

    Preserve it, for in ev’ry place    The world against it rages.

    Grant that this sacrament may be   A blessed comfort unto me

    When living and when dying.


    following the distribution of the Lord’s Supper  at the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation will rise

    We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing

    The Closing Prayer

    Hear the prayer of Your people, O Lord, that the lips which have praised You here may glorify You in the world, that the eyes which have seen the coming of Your Son may long for His coming again, and that all who have received in His true body and blood the pledge of Your forgiveness may be restored to live a new and holy life, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.    Amen.            

    The Closing Salutation

    Pastor             May the Lord be with you.

    Congregation             And also with you.


    The Benediction

    The LORD bless you and keep you.

    The LORD make His face to shine upon You and be gracious unto you,

    The LORD look upon you with favor,  and give you His peace.   Amen.

    The Closing Hymn                                                                                                           “Search Me, O God”

                                                                                     (sung to the tune, “Savior Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise”


    Search me, O God, and know my heart today,

    Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts I pray

    See if there be some wicked way in me

    Cleanse me from every  sin and set me free.


    Lord, take my heart and make it wholly Thine

    Fill my poor soul  with Thy great love divine

    Take all I have, my passion, self and pride

    Now and forever,   Lord with me abide.         Amen.


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