The beginning of March begins the season of Lent this year. March 1st is Ash Wednesday. The Service will begin at 7:00 PM with confession and absolution and the imposition of ashes. The service will conclude with the celebration of Holy Communion. The message will be a dialog with King David about Confession.
The rest of the Midweek Lent Services, beginning March 8th, will start with Lenten Suppers at 6:00 PM, which will be provided by the various organizations and groups of the congregation. The Midweek Lent Services, which will begin at 7:00 PM, will each include a dialog with a key person from the Passion Account. On March 8th, there will be a dialog with Judas about Betrayal. On March 15th, it will be a dialog with Pontius Pilate concerning Judgment. On March 22nd, there will be a dialog with Malchus (servant of the high priest) about Compassion. On March 29th, Peter will talk about Declaration. On April 5th, John tells us about Obedience. These dialogs will give us a special way to reflect upon our Lord’s Passion. I look forward to seeing you there.
Sundays in Lent are Sundays IN Lent. While some elements of reflection and penitence are still present on Sundays in Lent, there is also a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil for us.
This victory is seen on the first Sunday in Lent, March 5th, in the Gospel reading, Matthew 4:1-11, where Jesus is led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Jesus wins the victory in this battle with the most effective weapon against the devil, the Word of God.
On the second Sunday in Lent, March 12th, the Gospel reading is John 3:1-17. This passage celebrates the victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil, by giving a summary of the purpose of the Passion of our Lord in verse 16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
On the last two Sundays in March, we will break from the Lenten themes, to which we will return in full force at the beginning of April.
On March 19th, the former president of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Rev. Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Kieschnick, will be joining us to preach and lead Bible class. His topic will include, “Seeking First the Kingdom of God.” The Gospel chosen for the day will be Matthew 6:25-33. We seek first the Kingdom of God as He gives it to us in His Word and Sacrament. Then God also promises to give us everything we need. From those gifts our Lord would have us again seek first the Kingdom of God in our giving the first portion of His gifts to us for the work of His church. We will look forward to thoughts about that and much more as President Kieschnick shares the Word of God with us.
On March 26th, we will have a little change of pace from our normal Sunday Service. The Service of the Word portion of the service will be led by LCMS musicians, Dave Anderson and Roger Walck. Our musicians will proclaim to us the Word of the Lord, primarily through song and through stories of the mighty acts of God today, revolving around the theme, “The Celebration of God’s Deliverance,” as reflected in Daniel 3:24-26 & 28, “The Three Men in the Fiery Furnace.” The music for the day will include, primarily, songs like we usually sing during the distribution of Holy Communion. We look forward to this wonderful celebration of the joy of the Lord.
The month of March has for us a variety of opportunities to reflect upon and celebrate the work of our Lord for us, to deliver us from sin and death, and keep us being His own to life everlasting. See ya in church!