Worship for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

March 14, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we continue to worship physically apart and spiritually together through Zoom and livestreaming on Facebook and YouTube. Prepare for worship with a small bowl of water, bread, and wine.


Welcome to Worship

We hear the Lenten Acclamation on the chimes as we prepare for worship.

Confession and Forgiveness

Have some water handy and dip your hand in the water as you make the sign of the cross, recalling that you are joined to Christ in baptism, sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
the keeper of the covenant,
the source of steadfast love,
our rock and our redeemer.


God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ.
Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Fountain of living water,
pour out your mercy over us.
Our sin is heavy, and we long to be free.
Rebuild what we have ruined
and mend what we have torn.
Wash us in your cleansing flood.
Make us alive in the Spirit
to follow in the way of Jesus,
as healers and restorers of the world you so love.

Beloved, God’s word never fails.
The promise rests on grace:
by the saving love of Jesus Christ,
the wisdom and power of God,
your sins are ☩ forgiven, and God remembers them no more.
Journey in the way of Jesus.

Gathering Song – ACS 1075– “O God, We Call”


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
 and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray,

Silent prayer.

O God, rich in mercy, by the humiliation of your Son you lifted up this fallen world and rescued us from the hopelessness of death. Lead us into your light, that all our deeds may reflect your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



First Reading – Numbers 21:4-9

A reading from Numbers.

4From Mount Hor the Israelites set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. 5The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.” 6Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, 8And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” 9So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Refrain – Sing twice at the beginning and once at the

You deliver your people from their distress.

1Give thanks to the Lord, for the | Lord is good,
 for God’s mercy en- | dures forever.
2Let the redeemed of the | Lord proclaim
that God redeemed them from the hand | of the foe,
3gathering them in | from the lands;
 from the east and from the west, from the north and | from the south.
17Some were fools and took re- | bellious paths;
through their sins they | were afflicted.
18They loathed all man- | ner of food
 and drew near | to death’s door.
19Then in their trouble they cried | to the Lord
and you delivered them from | their distress. ℟

20You sent forth your | word and healed them
 and rescued them | from the grave.
21Let them give thanks to you, Lord, for your | steadfast love
and your wonderful works | for all people.
22Let them offer sacrifices | of thanksgiving
 and tell of your deeds with | shouts of joy. ℟

Second Reading – Ephesians 2:1-10

A reading from Ephesians

1You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. With Christ 6God raised us up and enthroned us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus 7so that in the ages to come might be shown the immeasurable riches of God’s grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not you own doing; it is the gift of God—9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

Lenten Acclamation

We welcome the Gospel with the Lenten Accalmation

Let your steadfast love come to us, O Lord.
Save us as you promised; we will trust your word.

Gospel – John 3:14-21

The holy gospel according to St. John
Glory to you, O Lord.

[Jesus said:] 14“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son-of-Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16For God loved the world in this way, that God gave the Son, the only begotten one, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


Hymn of the Day –ELW 323 – “God Loved the World”


I believe in God, the Father almighty,
          creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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.
          On the third day he rose again;
          he ascended into heaven,
          he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
          and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

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

Prayers of Intercession

All are invited to unmute your Zoom and join in the prayers. Please respond to each petition with “Your mercy is great.”


The peace of Christ be with you always.
And also with you.



Offertory –ELW 186 – “Create in Me a Clean Heart”

Offering Prayer

Faithful God,
you walk beside us in desert places,
and you meet us in our hunger with bread from heaven.
Accompany us in this meal,
that we may pass over from death to life
with Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


Great Thanksgiving

All are encouraged to turn off mute on Zoom so that we all hear the responses.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God,
through our Savior Jesus Christ.
You call your people to cleanse their hearts
and prepare with joy for the paschal feast,
that, renewed in the gift of baptism,
we may come to the fullness of your grace.
And so, with all the choirs of angels,
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy God,
         our living Water and our merciful Guide,
         together with rivers and seas, wells and springs
         we bless and magnify you.
You led your people Israel through the desert,
         and provided them water from the rock.
We praise you for Christ, our Rock and our Water,
         who joined us in our desert,
         pouring out his life for the world.

In the night in which he was betrayed,
         our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
         broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
         Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
         Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
         This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
         shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
         Do this for the remembrance of me.
Remembering, therefore,
         his life, death, and resurrection,
         we await your salvation for all this thirsty world,
         as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Pour out your Spirit on this holy food
and on all the baptized gathered for this feast:
wash away our sin,
that we may be revived for our journey by the love of Christ.
Through him all glory and honor is yours,
Almighty Father, with the Holy Spirit,
in your holy Church,
both now and forever.

Lord’s Prayer

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught 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.

Invitation to the Table

These are indeed the gifts of God for you, the very much beloved people of God. Taste and see that God is good.


All distribute to one another saying:

The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.

Blessing at the Table

May the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in eternal life.

Prayer after communion

God of steadfast love,
at this table you gather your people
into one body for the sake of the world.
Send us in the power of your Spirit,
that our lives bear witness to the love that has made us new
in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



Sending of Communion

Gracious God, as we gather as one body this day and feast at your table, our assembly is incomplete for there are many unable to join us today. We long for the day when we are reunited as one body around a common table and we pray that you extend our gathering into homes and campsites, yards and porches, and strengthen all who hear your Word and feast at your table with the abiding presence of your son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.



The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and ☩ give you peace.


Sending Song – ELW 593
“Drawn to the Light”


Go in peace. Share the good news.
Thanks be to God.

We hear “When it seems the day will end” on the chimes as we depart, recalling God’s presence in our lives.

Join us on Zoom for Coffee Hour and Storytime.

Liturgy from Evangelical Lutheran Worship and Sundays and Seasons © Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission under Augsburg Fortress Annual Liturgies License SBT002156. Music is used by permission under OneLicense.net # A-715196.

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