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March 19, 2023
Theme for Today
We know that unbelief will have consequences in the future – eternal separation from God. But unbelief also has consequences now. It makes you blind, in a sense. In his ministry, Jesus healed those who were physically blind. But even if our eyes work just fine, we still need Jesus to give us spiritual vision. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Christ comes to shine his light into our darkened eyes that we might see him and live. Jesus meets our greatest needs. He provides sight for the spiritually blind.
Pastor Westendorf’s Welcome
Baptized into Your Name Most Holy – CW 680
1 Baptized into your name most holy,
O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
I claim a place, though weak and lowly,
among your saints, your chosen host.
Buried with Christ and dead to sin,
your Spirit now shall live within.
2 My loving Father, there you took me
to be henceforth your child and heir.
My faithful Savior, there you let me
the fruit of all your sorrows share.
O Holy Spirit, comfort me
when threat’ning clouds around I see.
3 My faithful God, you fail me never;
your promise surely will endure.
O cast me not away forever
if words and deeds become impure.
Have mercy when I come defiled;
forgive, lift up, restore your child.
4 All that I am and love most dearly –
receive it all, O Lord, from me.
Let me confess my faith sincerely;
help me your faithful child to be!
Let nothing that I am or own
serve any will but yours alone.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Our Savior Jesus Christ commanded Baptism when he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
All of us are born into this world with a deep need for Baptism. From our parents we inherit a sinful nature; we are without true fear of God and true faith in God and are condemned to eternal death. But while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He took away our sin by giving his life on the cross. In Baptism, he clothes us with the robe of his righteousness and gives us a new life. We recall what Baptism means for our daily lives:
Baptism means that the sinful nature in us
should be drowned by daily sorrow and repentance,
and that all its evil deeds and desires be put to death.
It also means that a new person should daily arise
to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
As baptized children of God, we confess our sins:
Holy God, gracious Father,
I am sinful by nature
and have sinned against you in my thoughts, words, and actions.
I have not loved you with my whole heart;
I have not loved others as I should.
I deserve your punishment both now and forever.
But Jesus, my Savior, paid for my sins
with his innocent suffering and death.
Trusting in him, I pray: God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Silence for meditation and reflection
God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit and united us to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Every day God forgives your sins, removes your guilt, and strengthens you to defeat Satan’s power. His promise is for you and your children, and he will never forsake you. Your sins are forgiven. You are clothed with Christ. You are at peace with God now and forever.
Sacrament of Baptism
The Gospel according to St. Mark:
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Bethany Marie Burrie, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Receive the sign of the cross on the head and heart to mark you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified.
The almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given you the new birth of water and the Spirit and has forgiven all your sins. May he strengthen you with his grace all the days of your life. Peace be with you.
Let us pray.
We give thanks, most merciful Father, that you have received Bethany Marie as your own child and made her a member of Christ’s body, the church. Now, we pray, grant to her and to all your church on earth that, being dead to sin, we may live to righteousness and, being buried with Christ into his death, we may also share in his resurrection, so that, with all your saints, we may inherit eternal life; through Christ our Lord.
Reflections – Sing to Jesus
Prayer of the Day
Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, by your almighty power you opened the eyes of the blind and showed yourself to them. Turn our eyes away from worthless things, and lead us to love you sincerely; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
First Reading – Isaiah 42:14-21
“For a long time I have kept silent,
I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
I cry out, I gasp and pant.
I will lay waste the mountains and hills
and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
and dry up the pools.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
But those who trust in idols,
who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’
will be turned back in utter shame.
“Hear, you deaf;
look, you blind, and see!
Who is blind but my servant,
and deaf like the messenger I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant with me,
blind like the servant of the Lord?
You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
your ears are open, but you do not listen.”
It pleased the Lord
for the sake of his righteousness
to make his law great and glorious.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Psalm 27 – The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation
Hear my voice when I / call, Lord;
be merciful to me and / answer me.
Do not hide your / face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my / helper.
Do not reject me or for- / sake me,
God my / Savior. Refrain
Though my father and mother for- / sake me,
the Lord will re- / ceive me.
I remain confi- / dent of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the / living.
Wait / for the Lord;
be strong and take heart and wait / for the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and / to the Son
and to the Holy / Spirit,
as it was in the be- / ginning,
is now, and will be forever. / Amen. Refrain
Second Reading – Ephesians 5:8-14
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Gospel – John 9, selected verses
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Jesus said,“For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to you, O Christ!
Amazing Grace – CW 576
1 Amazing grace – how sweet the sound –
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
was blind but now I see.
2 The Lord has promised good to me,
his Word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
3 Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come;
’tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
4 When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
than when we’d first begun.
Pastor Frick’s Sermon – Isaiah 42:12-21
I Was Blind, But Now I See
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
I believe 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 is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From there 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 everlasting. Amen.
O Lord, our light and our salvation, make your Word great and glorious among us.
Open our eyes to the truths of your Word, that we may know you, accept your teaching as true, and put our full trust and confidence in you.
Shine the light of your gospel on people who live in the darkness of sin and unbelief. Use us to bring your Word to them, and by your Spirit, turn their trust from idols to you.
We give thanks for the many people who work for the good of others, highway workers, engineers and planners, sanitation and waste disposal workers. Give them hearts willing to serve and keep them safe as they carry out their duties.
Have mercy on those who struggle with feelings of guilt, despair, and the heaviness of life’s troubles. Give them hope in your goodness, and patience to wait for your good purpose.
Your Son, Jesus, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, strength to the infirm, and healing to the sick. In your mercy, give healing to those who wait for you. Lord, awaken us with your light, and Christ will shine on us.
Gracious Father, you gave your only Son to be the light for the blind, the way for those who stray, and the resurrection of the dead. Enlighten the darkness of human hearts and minds, bring sinners to repentance, that we may live in you and for you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Son of God, by God Forsaken – CW 421
5 Light of Light, no brightness cheering
rends the gloom of that dread day
till your mercy’s beams, appearing,
drive the clouds of sin away.
6 Come, O Christ, and grant us freedom
by your bondage on the tree.
Lead our steps to that fair kingdom
where you reign eternally.
Almighty God, we thank you for teaching us the things you want us to believe and do. Help us by your Holy Spirit to keep your Word in pure hearts that we may be strengthened in faith, guided in holiness and comforted in life and in death, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.
Jesus, Lover of My Soul – CW 533
1 Jesus, lover of my soul,
let me to thy bosom fly
while the nearer waters roll,
while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
till the storm of life is past;
safe into the haven guide.
O receive my soul at last!
2 Other refuge have I none;
hangs my helpless soul on thee.
Leave, ah, leave me not alone;
still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee is stayed;
all my help from thee I bring.
Cover my defenseless head
with the shadow of thy wing.
3 Thou, O Christ, art all I want;
more than all in thee I find.
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is thy name;
I am all unrighteousness.
False and full of sin I am;
thou art full of truth and grace.
4 Plenteous grace with thee is found,
grace to cover all my sin.
Let the healing streams abound;
make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art;
freely let me take of thee.
Spring thou up within my heart,
rise to all eternity.