Watchword from the gospel of St. John: “The Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (3:14b-15)
Introit Psalm 69
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards. But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein. For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
God’s holy Word from the prophet Isaiah the fiftieth chapter: The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up. (Verses 4-9. This is the sermon text for Palm Sunday this year)
The epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians the second chapter: Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (5-11)
The holy Gospel accourding to the evangelist St. John the twelfth chapter: The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” (12-19)
The liturgical colour is violet.
A collect for this Sunday: O God, holy and eternal, you permit us to enter into the fellowship of that holy suffering by which your dear Son, our Saviour, conquered sin and death. Grant that we may celebrate the remembrance of his passion with true devotion, accept the cross as his disciples, and thus fulfill your holy will; through IX our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit – one God now and forever. (Dobberstein Pg. 83)
Hymn of the week “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” by Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676
- 1 A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth,
The guilt of all men bearing;
‘Tis laden with the sin of earth,
None else the burden sharing;
It goes its way, grows weak and faint,
To slaughter led without complaint,
Its spotless life to offer;
Bears shame, and stripes, and wounds, and death,
Anguish and mockery, and saith,
“Willing all this I suffer.”
2 This Lamb is Christ, the soul’s great Friend
And everlasting Savior;
Him, Him God chose, sin’s reign to end
And bring us to His favor.
“Go forth, my Son!” He said, “and bail
The children, who are doomed to hell
But for Thine intercession.
The punishment is great, and dread
The wrath, but Thou Thy blood shalt shed,
And save them from perdition.”
3 “Yea, Father, year, most willingly
I’ll bear what Thou commandest;
My will conforms to Thy decree,
I do what Thou demandest.”
O wondrous Love! what hast Thou done!
The Father offers up His Son,
The Son content descendeth!
O Love! O Love! how strong art Thou!
In shroud and grave Thou lay’st Him low
Whose word the mountains rendeth!
4 Thou lay’st him, Love, upon the cross,
With nails and spikes Him bruising;
Thou slay’st Him as a lamb, His loss,
From soul and body oozing;
From body ’tis the crimson flood
Of precious sacrificial blood,
From soul, the strength of anguish:
My gain it is; sweet Lamb to Thee
What can I give, whose love to me
For me doth make Thee languish?
5 Lord, all my life I’ll cleave to Thee,
Thy love fore’er beholding,
Thee ever, as Thou ever me,
With loving arms enfolding.
Yea, Thou shalt be my Beacon-light,
To guide me safe through death’s dark night,
And cheer my heart in sorrow;
Henceforth myself and all that’s mine
to Thee, my Savior, I consign,
From whom all things I borrow.
6 By morn and eve my theme shall be
Thy mercy’s wondrous measure;
To sacrifice myself to Thee,
My foremost aim and pleasure.
My stream of life shall flow for Thee,
Its steadfast current ceaselessly
In praise to Thee outpouring;
And all that Thou hast done for me,
I’ll treasure in my memory,
Thy gracious love adoring.
7 Enlarge, shrine of my heart, and swell,
To Thee shall now be given
A treasure that doth far excel
The worth of earth and heaven.
Away with the Arabian gold,
With treasures of an earthly mold!
I’ve found a better jewel.
My priceless treasure, Lord my God,
Is Thy most holy, precious blood,
Which flowed from wounds so cruel.
8 This treasure ever I’ll employ,
This ever aid shall yield me;
In sorrow it shall be my joy,
In conflict it shall shield me;
In joy, the music of my feast,
And when all else has lost its zest,
This manna still shall feed me;
In thirst my drink; in want my food;
My company in solitude,
To comfort and to lead me.
9 Death’s poison cannot harm me now,
Thy blood new life bestoweth;
My Shadow from the heat art Thou,
When noonday’s sunlight gloweth,
When I’m by inward grief opprest,
On Thee my weary soul shall rest,
As sick man on his pillows.
Thou art my Anchor, when be woe
My bark is driven to and fro
On trouble’s restless billows.
10 And when Thy glory I shall see
And taste Thy kingdom’s pleasure,
Thy blood my royal robe shall be,
And joy beyond at measure;
It then shall be my glorious crown
Thus I’ll appear before the throne
Of God, and need not hide me;
And shall, by Him to Thee betrothed,
By Thee in bridal garments clothed,
Stand as a bride beside Thee.
If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, enthusiasm and wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully accourding to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However, if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16f)