The Fifth Sunday in Lent (Judica Sunday) March 29, 2020


In my younger days, playing baseball, you could say that I ran into a product called pinepitch. Now, you might be inclined to say, “Well, that’s nice. But what in the world is pinepitch?” It’s a homemade remedy that serves as a salve on cuts and scrapes to prevent infection and promote healing. You just put a little dab of pinepitch on a wound and put a bandaid over it and it will be as good as new. The day i first became familiar with pinepitch, I’d been playing in a baseball game where I slid into second base and ended up skinning up my hip pretty good. They call that a “strawberry.” Now it didn’t hurt all that much because I was safe. But it wasn’t pretty. When I got back to the dugout, Coach Dietrich saw it and told me to put some pinepitch on it. It’s a remedy that he literally cooked up to ease the pain and pull out any potential infection. What you do – simply – is take pitch from a pine tree, heat it up, and mix vaseline with it. That’s it. And it works…..Try it and see.

Many people have homemade remedies for a variety of things. Some of you might remember that years ago people used goose grease for chest colds. Aloe Vera is used in many remedies. Someone has said eating a lot of garlic helps prevent a number of illnesses. A person probably doesn’t have many friends that way, though. There are books that give you all kinds of homemade remedies for backaches, arthritis, stomach ailments, colds, sore throats and coughs, rashes and poison, and much more. Some claim these treatments are just as good for what ails you as anything that can be purchased at the pharmacy and, of course, they’re cheaper too. Of course homemade remedies don’t always work, as we sadly learned in the news earlier this week when a couple in Arizona, trying to protect themselves from the Coronavirus (and they weren’t even sick), self-medicated themselves with a fish tank cleaner that contained a product called chloroquine phosphate. Choloroquine is an anti-malarial drug that some health experts think might have some beneficial effect against the Coronavirus, but all taking cholorquine phosphate and the chemicals mixed with it did was kill the man and put his wife into an ICU. Not all homemade remedies work……

But what about the biggest ailment of all – mankind’s spiritual problems – specifically, the problem of our sinfulness? There aren’t any homemade remedies for that, and there never will be…..and yet sinful, foolish humanity keeps trying to come up with one futile concoction after another to either try to cover up sin or fix it. But, ultimately, everything we humans try ends up centering on a salvation that’s built on our good works. The idea behind this concept is that all you have to do are good things, or at least be sincere in trying to do them, and God will be pleased enough with you to let you into heaven. Unfortunately, every homemade remedy for sin is – in the final analysis – not a helpful, but a deadly, damnable, worthless remedy.

We are reminded of that truth today in our sermon text…..that the only remedy for sin that works is God’s remedy….and that is faith in Christ alone. As we consider that essential truth this morning, we want to first of all recognize the problem of sin; and secondly, to trust the cure that our Lord provides.

Our text today is taken from the Book of Numbers. It is given the name NUMBERS because of the two censi that were taken of the Children of Israel during their years in the wilderness. The first census was taken to form a military roster of all males above the age of twenty years. This was done at Mt. Sinai about thirteen months after their deliverance from Egyptian slavery. The second census was taken almost forty years later. This was for the purpose of dividing the land of Canaan according to the tribes and families. The census both times revealed about 600,000 men. When you included the number of women and also children under the age of 20, there were around two million of God’s people.

But much had taken place between these two censuses. After the first census God got His people ready to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. Twelve men were sent into Canaan to explore the land and report back. After forty days ten of the twelve said it was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey but the cities were too large and powerful to overcome and told Moses and the people not to go into Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb, the remaining two men out of the twelve, told the people that God is with us and He will deliver the enemies into our hands. Because the people sided with the ten men in their report and said that they would rather die in the wilderness than to enter Canaan and die by the sword, God then gave them their wish. Except for Joshua and Caleb, all those twenty and older died in the wilderness and did not enter the Promised Land. And now forty years later this new generation of Israelites came forward to the time of entering the land of Canaan. All that God’s people had to do was pass through Edom and they would be at the southern tip of Canaan, but the King of Edom would not allow passage through his land. This meant that the Israelites would now travel a great distance around Edom and this was just too much for them to take. Our text says: “But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “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!”

In our text what we have is a new generation that – unfortunately – is no different from the previous generation. No sooner had God delivered their parents from Egyptian slavery with the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and they began to complain to God about the lack of food and water and their traveling conditions. And now forty years later it was no different. The “fruit” didn’t fall far from the tree. Now these children were not pleased with the food God had been providing for them. Imagine you eating the same thing for forty years in a row, every day, every meal. You’d probably be tired of all that manna and quail too. But, we, like them, often take God’s blessings for granted. We grumble and complain because we want more, or something different ….even if what we want isn’t good for us. These grumbling Israelites forgot that when they had needs, all they had to do is go to God, and if it really was a need that was in His plan for them, He’d provide us (that’s true for us too). God always provides for His children as He knows best. Regrettably, those Israelites in the wilderness forgot that it was for such complaining and ungratefulness and unfaithfulness that God had made their parents and them wander around in the wilderness for forty years until the previous, complaining, doubting, disobedient generation had all died off.
Sitting here in the twenty-first century – some 3400 years removed from those Israelites – you and I might be inclined to wonder how these people could grumble and complain when God had done so much for them. For forty years God had relentlessly provided His people with manna, a miraculous bread from heaven. Each morning all they had to do was go out and gather it up. He also provided them every evening with quail for meat. God would and did make water come gushing out of a rock to quench their thirst. And did you know that they were still wearing the same clothes and shoes they were wearing when they left Egypt? It’s as if God had given His people clothing with a lifetime warranty tag on it! And look at the victories that God had given them in battle against their enemies! He had also given them Moses to be His prophet among them….and a faithful leader Moses was! But, most important of all, God had promised them the Savior for all their spiritual needs. Yes, it is easy for us to read their story in Scripture and realize how greatly they were blessed and yet how ungrateful they were. But are we really that much different from them? One person was once complaining to another about the neighborhood children being so noisy, how no one from her church came to visit her, how her arthritis was acting up, and how terrible the weather has been, and much more. Finally she said: “You know, I have had the worst headache all week, but suddenly it is gone.” And the other person said: “Oh no. Your headache didn’t disappear. Now I have it.”

Sometimes we complain about the ingratitude of our children when they take things for granted or never seem satisfied. But don’t you and I also complain about bills, our jobs, things at church, our aches and pains, about the weather, about the news media’s way of informing us of this and that, about the government’s handling of the economy, and now – the Coronavirus? I don’t know about you, but sometimes the more I have, the more I am inclined to feel I deserve. But hasn’t God always taken care of us and richly blessed us – better than we deserved in the past, or deserve today? Of course He has!

And three of the greatest blessings He’s give us are: 1) a conscience that troubles us about our sinful condition; 2) His Word which points out our sins to us….as well as God’s gracious remedy for all sin through the redeeming work of Christ; and 3) He’s placed int our hearts and kept there His Holy Spirit so that we can see our sin, repent of it and believe in His Gospel promises to us.

And so, when it comes to your sinning and my sinning, God speaks to us through our consciences and through His Word so that we can recognize our sin and confess it. God graciously led the Israelites to do this by sending poisonous snakes among the complaining Israelites. Many of the people were bitten and a lot of them died. It didn’t take long at all for the people to see God’s disciplining hand in bites of the snakes.

So the people came 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.” Having recognized the chastisement that God had brought upon them, and having confessed their sin of discontent, God now brought them the cure.

In answer to Moses’ prayer God told Moses to make a bronze snake and set it up on a pole. And the Lord promised that anyone who looked at the bronze snake when they were bitten would be saved. And so God’s remedy for sin called for faith. He graciously saved them through faith. There was absolutely no contribution required on their part. There was nothing they could do….but look at that bronze snake with the eyes of faith and believe God’s promise. They simply had to trust God for the cure, and they did. To be sure, there were some who refused to look at the snake and died, but God’s promise was fulfilled to those who did look in faith.

This whole account of what happened out there in the wilderness, on the edge of the Promised Land, is so precious to us – not because it’s a good story about God’s grace (although it its), but because Jesus pointed to it as we heard in today’s Gospel lesson, as an example, or “type” of Himself and His saving work for us.

This bronze snake pointed ahead to Christ’s crucifixion and work of redemption for our sin-corrupted souls. Just as the Israelites were saved from the poison of the snakes when they looked in faith toward the bronze snake, even so believers of all ages can look to Christ in faith and be saved from the poison of sin, with its not merely deadly – but damnable – effects. Jesus said: “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. “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.”

It sounds so simple and indeed it is – just trust in the Lord; look to Him with the eyes of faith. Look to the cross. Christ was lifted up there for the sins of the whole world. He endured the punishment of God’s wrath against sin and hell’s horrors for every one of us. Through His death for our sins and His resurrection for our salvation Jesus provided the complete cure for all sin. Now – for us – it’s a matter of trusting that cure, of believing God’s promise of eternal salvation through faith in Christ.

It’s amazing to what lengths people will go today to find a cure for some bodily ailments and illnesses that they encounter or are afraid of encountering. They will follow the directions given on a prescription, and accept the advice of their doctor, and purchase other medicines on the market….and even improperly use products that can kill them.

But when it comes to looking for a cure for spiritual ailments, those same people will often bypass the only cure that works – faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior “It’s just too simple,” they say. “There has to be something else we must do to find forgiveness and earn heaven,”

However, there is nothing one can do to remove the spots and stains of sin – not even using pinepitch. Just keep on looking to the cross for your deliverance from sin and your eternal salvation. That’s where you and I will find our Savior hanging, and dying for us, so that you and I – through faith in Him – will live forever in heaven. Believe it! That’s God’s remedy for sin. Amen.


When We Survey Christ’s Wond’rous Cross….
One of Rembrandt’s more famous paintings is called “The Three Crosses.” Initially when one views it his/her attention is drawn to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you gaze at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you see various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Eventually, however, your eyes might drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say that within this great masterpiece of art, Rembrandt was determined to include a representation of himself – and not for the sake of his ego, but in reverent humility – for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross.

Do you see your sin when you survey Christ’s cross? As Rembrandt did, so we will want to recognize that through our disobedient words, our evil actions, and our sinful thoughts we, too, are responsible for Christ being nailed to the cross. The death Christ died on that cross is the death that each of us deserved, as sinners, to endure. But, in addition to seeing our sins, we will also want to see our Savior in that wonderful cross and rejoice in His gracious gift to us of everlasting salvation from sin’s curse and God’s guarantee to us of eternal life in heaven through faith in Christ crucified and risen for us.

The Last Two Weeks of Lent are traditionally known as “Passiontide”
As Christians, we officially began our preparation for observing Good Friday and Easter Sunday with the commemoration of “Ash Wednesday” back on February 26th. A lot has certainly happened since then, hasn’t it? Who would have imagined scarcely one month ago that we would be in the second week of a forced hiatus from publicly gathering together for worship….a hiatus tied to an increasingly deadly virus sweeping the world and affecting nearly every aspect of ordinary daily life in our own country.
As important as it is to follow our government’s and nation’s health authorities’ advice at this time and – generally – remain at our homes in a sort of self-quarantine, it is also important for us to worship our LORD…..and, thankfully, we remain free to do that today – even if we have to do it from the safety of our living rooms and home offices.

As we worship today, we’re entering the final two weeks of the season of Lent. Traditionally the Christian church has “upped” the intensity of our preparations for Holy Week and the Lord’s Resurrection. Over the years this final two week period in Lent has come to be known by the term “Passiontide.” This period of fourteen days’ duration, starting with what is today “the fifth Sunday in Lent,” was actually the Church’s first formal effort to commemorate our Lord’s Passion centuries ago. Eventually, the fourteen days of Passiontide were absorbed into what we now know as 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.). In our time the purpose in retaining the custom of “Passiontide” is that we focus even more intensely on the variety and viciousness of the persecutions and the incredible sufferings our Lord endured for our eternal deliverance.

The Fifth Sunday in Lent: Judica Sunday
This morning, the first day of this final two week period, is sometimes referred to as “Passion Sunday” and also is known by its traditional name of “Judica Sunday” (taken from the Latin language [it means “vindicate”] for the first word of the Psalm which is customarily read as a part of public worship on this day, Psalm 43). This Psalm is a prayer for deliverance from the enemy of our souls and for our restoration to the presence of God. Spiritually-speaking that is precisely what Christ has accomplished for us through His sinless life, His passion, and His conquest of death: He has delivered us from the power of our greatest enemy, Satan, restoring us to the status of being righteousness and reconciling us to God. Through His Passion, Jesus has vindicated us – forever!

Today’s Scripture Lessons:
Our worship service for this Judica/”Vindicate” Sunday focuses on 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 has come about only through the gracious, self-sacrificing saving activity 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 substitutionary, sacrificial death for us on the cross.
Our Scriptural consideration of the significance of Christ’s cross for us begins with our Old Testament Lesson (which also serves as our Sermon Text). In the middle of our Gospel Lesson (John chapter 3:14-15) Jesus informs Nicodemus and us that the bronze snake in our Old Testament Lesson/Sermon Text, 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 (though both are true), but as the reminder of WHO saved us and how much it cost Him to accomplish it.

A Few Observations 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

Pre-Service Prayer
The day has dawned and duty calls Lord, lead me to do my best for You,
So many tasks await. To shun each sinful way.
Strengthen me when my spirit falls — Jesus, forgive the wrongs I do
Or when I hesitate. And keep me safe today. Amen.

Prayer before worship

We Praise Our God

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

We Confess Our Sins
Leader: As we approach the Lord in worship today, let us all confess our sins and seek God’s forgiving mercy:

O holy and merciful God, we confess with shame that we are unworthy to stand in Your presence. Our hearts are corrupted by sin and we have broken Your law repeatedly through our sinful actions, thoughts, and words – doing the evil you forbid and failing to do the good which You command. We are guilty and deserve to be condemned eternally. But we rely on Your mercy, and we ask You to forgive us all our sins, for the sake of Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord and Savior.
Everyone Miserable person that I am, + I confess and lament to You, O most holy God, + that I am a weak and sinful creature, + guilty of every sin, of unbelief, and of blasphemy. + I
also confess that Your Word has not brought forth good fruit in me. + I hear it, but do not receive it earnestly. + I do not show works of love toward my neighbor. + I am full of anger, hate, and envy. + I am impatient, greedy, and bent on every evil. + Therefore my heart and conscience are heavy. + Lord, I ask You, free me from my sins, + strengthen my faith, + and comfort my weak conscience by Your divine Word, + that I may obtain Your promised grace
Leader – Having faithfully confessed your sins, now hear Your heavenly Father’s promise of forgiveness to you. Jesus explained God’s will and promise as clearly as possible in John 6:40 when He said,
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise Him up at the last day.” And now, carrying out my office as a called servant of the Living Word, I proclaim the grace and mercy of God to all of you, and according to the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I assure you that your sins are all forgiven, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Peace be with you. Amen.


We Hear God’s Word
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[d] 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 Children’s Lesson Galatians 6:14
May I never 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?”

The Hymn of the Day Hymn 354 “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.

The Pre-Sermon Blessing
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 Story of Salvation Through A Snake on a Stick

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 Offer Our Gifts and Prayers to the Lord

Our Offerings of Love to our Lord
Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today, as we would during a regular worship service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:
1) You can send a check (no cash) in the mail to the church address (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)
2) You can go online to our website ( and use the giving option there.
3) You can bring your offering by the church during the week….preferably sliding it between the front doors (and into the lobby), where it will be promptly gathered each day….or, if you have a key to the church, then by leaving it in the offering plate on the altar.

The Prayers for this Day
Blessed Lord, You give sight to the blind, You open the ears of the deaf, and You make the lame to walk. Hear the prayers of Your people on behalf of all people everywhere in their time of need.

In the darkness of sin and its death that surrounds us, we plead with You, O Lord, to open our hears to Your Word, our minds by Your Spirit, and our hearts through Your grace, that we may know and be thankful for all the blessings that You have given to us in Christ Jesus, our Savior – especially the gifts of full forgiveness of our sins, eternal life in heaven and salvation. Strengthen us in our faith so that we might persevere through all of life’s challenges, and so that we might serve You with all our body, mind, soul and strength.
Compelled by your word and its precious promises, we pray to You, O Lord, on behalf of Your Church and all your people who are scattered and isolated. Give us good pastors, missionaries, teachers and servants of Your Word who will serve us faithfully and boldly – especially in these chaotic times. Keep them safe, comforting and supporting them and their families through Your mercy and almighty power.

Defended by Your grace, we ask You, O Lord, to provide us with good and faithful leaders who will preserve the precious gift of liberty and protect the lives of our citizens. Give them special wisdom, and help them work in harmony in the midst of this pandemic in order to benefit the citizens of our country, as well as the nations of the world. Bless the members of our armed services, and protect them as they defend us. We especially pray that You would grant Your blessing to all emergency and medical workers, as well as those serving in our law-enforcement and civil protection agencies, and those people who are performing other necessary functions for the progress of our society. Keep them safe, and allow them to find joy and satisfaction in their services to us.

Enjoying the riches of Your grace, we ask You, O Lord, that You would give us patience in our seclusion, and that You would comfort the lonely at t his time. Grant relief to the unemployed, the underemployed, the homeless, and all their families.

Confident of Your healing will and gifts, we implore You, O Lord, to miraculously use Your awesome and gracious power spare us and all which we know and love, our community, our country and the people of this world from further calamity by disease, pestilence, scarcity and fear. Remember all those who are sick in their afflictions, calm those troubled in mind and spirit, and keep steadfast in the faith everyone – especially those who are dying. We beg that in your grace, O Lord, You would sustain and strengthen those who are suffering affliction either in body or mind until that day comes when You will bestow upon us all new, glorified bodies….perfectly fit for the eternal life You have prepared for us in Christ, Your Son, our Savior and Lord. In Your mercy, please hear this prayer and hear us also as we now continue with the prayer our Savior has given us:

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 Leave With The Lord’s Blessing
The Blessing The LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The LORD look with favor upon you, and give you His peace. Amen.

This Past Week at Grace Lutheran
Budgetary Offerings: $2680
(Some offerings that were drooped off or arrived in yesterday’s [Thursday’s] mail have
not yet been recorded. They will be included in next week’s bulletin.)

Daily Devotions for Your Smart Phone, Computer or Tablet – Through a web site identified as “What About Jesus” (, operated by our Synod, we can sign up to have short, morning devotions sent straight to our smart phones each day via an email address. Each devotion is Biblically accurate, and takes about a minute to read. They arrive around 4 a.m, so you can start your day with it. Just go to the web address, and click “Recent Devotions,” and (on the right side of the page) click “Get It Delivered.” After providing some information to identify you, you’ll be sent an email with directions to complete the sign up process. It takes a few minutes….and you will be blessed by these devotions on a daily basis.

What Will Happen Next Week (as Holy Week begins)??? – In all probability, for the first time in 35 years as a congregation, we will not be meeting for worship on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or Easter Sunday. The spread and dangers of the Coronavirus have led to the temporary closing of many “institutions” in our country…..churches like ours being but one of many. It remains our prayer that in the days ahead God will provide a dramatic decrease in the spread of the virus, as well as the restoration to good health of many who are suffering with it as I write this. God’s plans, of course, might be different from that for which we’re praying. As His believing children we know, in faith, that whatever God allows to happen with this virus will be what He knows is best for our country and world.

Assuming that we will not be meeting during holy week, we will be posting worship services online (our YouTube account is Grace Lutheran Church and Academy…..and it is fairly easy to find us). It is our intent to have a special service and devotion on Maundy Thursday, as well as our customary Tennebrae service on Good Friday (although those of you watching will need to progressively turn down your lights at home until the are off…..and do plan this ahead of time). We will, of course, also worship on Easter Sunday on line.
For those in our church family who have access to the Internet in their homes, it should not prove difficult to worship along with us. For some of you who have “smart phones,” you also can worship along with us through accessing the internet on your phone. For anyone who does not have internet, please let me (Pastor Huebner) know so that I can send you, in advance, copies of the sermon and service so that you can worship in your home with us in spirit.

This Week’s Birthdays March 30 – Marilyn Outlaw; March 30 – Danielle Schaal;
March 30 – Christina Strackbein; March 31 – Rachel Delozier; March 31 – Jody Larson;
April 01 – Dan Beck; April 05 – Andy Franzmeier

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE YOU COULD INVITE & BRING TO CHURCH?…. Perhaps there’s someone from within your circle of friends, relatives, acquaintances, or neighbors who is not currently involved with a church. Please consider encouraging them to find us on the internet and join in our online worship services. Others of you might consider sharing a copy of our worship flyer and Sunday sermon with someone whom you think would benefit from it. (We can mail these to them also, if you give us their names and addresses.)
And don’t forget that this “suspension” of public worship services across our country is only a temporary one. Soon we will be back in church together, thanking and praising God for His grace to us….not only for His physical deliverance from the Coronavirus, but for the Spiritual deliverance His has provided us from the damnably-deadly virus that produces sin in us. Be planning, praying about, and even encouraging others you know to join us at Grace Lutheran when we do resume meeting together again.
I miss each and every one of you. You remain in my prayers and in my heart. As God allows, we will see each other again soon.