March 22, 2020 

The Fourth Sunday in Lent


Confession and Absolution

611 Chief of Sinners Though I Be (text Public domain) 

1     Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed His blood for me, Died that I might live on high, Lives that I might never die. As the branch is to the vine, I am His, and He is mine.

2     Oh, the height of Jesus’ love, Higher than the heav’ns above,
Deeper than the depths of sea, Lasting as eternity! Love that found me—wondrous thought! Found me when I sought Him not.

3     Only Jesus can impart Balm to heal the wounded heart, Peace that flows from sin forgiv’n, Joy that lifts the soul to heav’n, Faith and hope to walk with God In the way that Enoch trod.

4     Chief of sinners though I be, Christ is all in all to me; All my wants to Him are known, All my sorrows are His own. He sustains the hidden life Safe with Him from earthly strife.

5     O my Savior, help afford By Your Spirit and Your Word! When my wayward heart would stray, Keep me in the narrow way; Grace in time of need supply While I live and when I die.    


The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.

(P)      In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

(C)      Amen.

(P)      Beloved in the Lord! Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God our Father, beseeching Him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.

(P)      Our help is in the name of the Lord,

(C)      who made heaven and earth.

(P)      I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord,

(C)      and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.


Silence for reflection on God’s Word and for self-examination.  

(P)      O almighty God, merciful Father,

(C)      I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto You all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended You and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray You of Your boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being.

(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 T Son and of the Holy Spirit.

(C)      Amen.


Service of the Word


(P)       My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

(C)       Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.


Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.

Salutation and Collect of the Day -  Lent 4

(P)      The Lord be with you.

(C)      And with thy spirit.

(P)      Let us pray. Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; 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 Scriptures and Sermon (read by Pastor Lemmermann)

Old Testament Reading                                                    Isaiah 42:14–21

For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, “You are our gods.” Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see! Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the Lord? He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear. The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious.

(A)  This is the Word of the Lord. 

(C)  Thanks be to God.

Psalm 142

With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. 
When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal  bountifully with me. 

Epistle                                                                              Ephesians 5:8–14

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper,  and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

(A) This is the Word of the Lord.                                  

(C) Thanks be to God.


Holy Gospel                                                                            John 9:1–41

(P) The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the ninth chapter.

(C) Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 

Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. 

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” 

Others said, “No, but he is like him.” 

He kept saying, “I am the man.” 

So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 

He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 

They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”       

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” 

But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” 

And there was a division among them. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” 

He said, “He is a prophet.” 

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 

His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”     

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 

He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 

They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 

He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 

And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 

The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 

They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 

He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 

He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 

Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 

Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”

(P) This is the Gospel of the Lord.               

(C) Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. 

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will  come to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life T everlasting. Amen.


697 Awake, O Sleeper, Rise from Death - click the title for musical accompaniment

1     Awake, O sleeper, rise from death, And Christ shall give you light; So learn His love, its length and breadth, Its fullness, depth, and height.

2     To us on earth He came to bring From sin and fear release, To give the Spirit’s unity, The very bond of peace.

3     Then walk in love as Christ has loved, Who died that He might save;
With kind and gentle hearts forgive As God in Christ forgave.

4     For us Christ lived, for us He died, And conquered in the strife;
Awake, arise, go forth in faith, And Christ shall give you life. 

                                                                                                  Text: © 1980 Augsburg Publishing House. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110003380



Prayer of the Church
Lord’s Prayer

        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.

Nunc Dimittis

(P)      O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, 

(C)      and His mercy endureth forever.

(P)     Let us pray. Most merciful Father, You have committed to our love and care our fellow human beings and their necessities. Graciously be with and prosper all those who serve the sick and those in need. Let their service be abundantly blessed as they bring relief to the suffering, comfort to the sorrowing, and peace to the dying. Grant them the knowledge that inasmuch as they do it unto the least of the Master’s brethren, they do it unto Him; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

(C)      Amen.


Almighty God, merciful Father, Your thoughts are not our thoughts, Your ways are not our ways. In Your wisdom You have permitted this disastrous outbreak to befall us. We implore You, let not the hearts of Your people despair nor our faith fail us, but sustain and comfort us. Direct all efforts to attend the injured, console the bereaved, and protect the helpless. Bring hope and healing that we may find relief and restoration; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

(C)     Amen.


I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. 

(C)     Amen. 


(P)   The Lord be with you. 

(C)     And with thy spirit.


(P)    Bless we the Lord. 

(C)     Thanks be to God.


(P)      The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and T give you peace. 

(C)     Amen.

547 The Lamb - click the title to sing along

1     The Lamb, the Lamb, O Father, where’s the sacrifice?  Faith sees, believes God will provide the Lamb of price! Refrain

(Refrain)  Worthy is the Lamb whose death makes me His own! The Lamb is reigning on His throne!

2     The Lamb, the Lamb, One perfect final offering. The Lamb, the Lamb, Let earth join heav’n His praise to sing. Refrain

3     The Lamb, the Lamb, As wayward sheep their shepherd kill So still, His will On our behalf the Law to fill. Refrain

4     He sighs, He dies, He takes my sin and wretchedness. He lives, forgives, He gives me His own righteousness. Refrain

5     He rose, He rose, My heart with thanks now overflows. His song prolong Till ev’ry heart to Him belong. Refrain

                                                   Text: © 1987 and 1997 MorningStar Music Publishers 

Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110003380

Acknowledgments Divine Service, Setting Three from Lutheran Service Book Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2018 Concordia Publishing House.