Friday, February 8, 2008

Lenten Worship at Messiah

Lamb of God, pure and holy, Who on the cross didst suffer,
Ever patient and lowly, Thyself to scorn didst offer.
All sins Thou borest for us, Else had despair reigned o’er us:
Have mercy on us, O Jesus! O Jesus! (LSB 434)

Those words, written by Nicolaus Decius close to 500 years ago, are probably sung at some point each Lent in Lutheran churches across the globe. They are sung to a slow and even-paced tune that forces us to meditate upon the meaning of the text.

Lent is a season which forces us to take time to meditate upon the meaning of our Savior’s Passion. It’s a 40-day period (not counting the Sundays) which reminds us of our Savior’s 40-day stay in the wilderness, during which he was tempted by the devil and withstood the devil’s temptations. It’s a time in which the Scripture readings send us back to the promises of our Baptism, as we hear Jesus telling Nicodemus about the importance of being born “of water and of the Spirit” (John 3) ... as we hear Jesus telling the woman at the well about her need for “living water” (John 4) ... as we hear about a blind man washed in the pool of Siloam and “who came back seeing” (John 9). It’s a time which looks forward to the resurrection of Christ as we hear Jesus tell Mary at her brother’s tomb, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11) And then Holy Week sweeps us along toward its climax of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

During the Lenten season, we also have additional midweek services in which you can come and meditate on God’s Word in preparation for a proper Easter celebration. This year’s theme is based on the hymn mentioned above, “Lamb of God, Pure and Holy.” Lent begins Ash Wednesday with a Divine Service and Imposition of Ashes at 7 pm preceded by a soup supper at 6 pm. Following that, each Wednesday during Lent there will be a service of Vespers at 7 pm also with a soup supper at 6 pm. Also, our midweek services this year will be led by a rotation of pastors from our Lutheran School Association congregations.

Join us for our Lenten, Holy Week, and Easter celebrations this year as we recall our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection...not just as a memorial, but as real power for our lives as we hear the Gospel of God’s grace proclaimed to us.

For our Lenten worship schedule, see our website by clicking here.

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