Ash Wednesday | Online Church at Home Service Bulletin | February 14th, 2024

February 14th, 2024 | Ash Wednesday
The Hills of Lent – A Series of Services for Lent – Week 2: Mount Sinai – Order of Service
The Psalms for these services are taken from that portion of the Psalter titled “Songs of Ascent” (Psalms 120 through 134) which were offered by the faithful pilgrims as they made their way up, through the hills of Judea, to Jerusalem for the great festivals. Today’s litany includes Psalms 121, 124, 133, and 134 from that collection.
PINNACLE LUTHERAN CHURCH | The Hills of Lent

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Open Hymn #440 Jesus I will Ponder Now
HYMN of the Day #433 Glory Be to Jesus
Closing Hymn #708 Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart

PINNACLE LUTHERAN CHURCH

PRELUDE MUSIC

Open Hymn #440 Jesus I will Ponder Now

LITANY

P   I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?

C  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

P   He will not let your foot be moved, and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.

C  Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

P   The Lord himself watches over you.

C  The Lord is your shade at your right hand, so that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

P   The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; it is he who shall keep you safe.

C  The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and forevermore.

P   If the Lord had not been on our side, let Israel now say:

C  If the Lord had not been on our side, when enemies rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive in their fierce anger toward us; then would the waters have overwhelmed us, and the torrent gone over us; then would the raging waters have gone right over us.

P   Let us bless the Lord!

C  He has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.

P   We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowler;

C  the snare is broken, and we have escaped.

P   Our help is in the name of the Lord,

C  the maker of heaven and earth.

P   Oh, how good and pleasant it is when brethren live together in unity!

C  It is like fine oil upon the head that runs down the beard, upon the beard of Aaron, and runs down upon the collar of his robe.

P   It is like the dew of Hermon that falls upon the hills of Zion.

C  For there the Lord has ordained the blessing: life forevermore.

P   Behold, now! Bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, you that stand by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the Lord.

C  The Lord who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.

PRAYER OF THE DAY (written by pastor or other worship leader)

HYMN of the Day #433 Glory Be to Jesus 

HOLY SCRIPTURE

2 Corinthians 3:4-7, 11-18

P   A reading from 2 Corinthians, chapter 3:

We have confidence in God through Christ. There is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work. The capacity we have comes from God; it is he who made us capable of serving the new covenant, which consists not of a written law but of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

The Law was carved in letters on stone tablets, and God’s glory appeared when it was given. Even though the brightness on Moses’ face was fading, it was so strong that the people of Israel could not keep their eyes fixed on him … If there was glory in that which lasted for a while, how much more glory is there in that which lasts forever!

Because we have this hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who had to put a veil over his face so that the people of lsrael would not see the brightness fade and disappear. Their minds, indeed, were closed; and to this very day their minds are covered with the same veil as they read the books of the old covenant. The veil is removed only when a person is joined to Christ. Even today, whenever they read the Law of Moses, the veil still covers their minds.

But it can be removed, as the scripture says about Moses: “His veil was removed when he turned to the Lord.” Now, “the Lord” in this passage is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory.

The Word of the Lord.

John 3:14-21

P   The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the 3rd chapter:

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Sermon Hymn … Sandon 10 4 10 4 10 10

Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes: ?Oh, whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise? ?From God the Lord doth come my certain aid, ?From God the Lord, who heav’n and earth hath made.

He will not suffer that thy foot be moved; safe shalt thou be. ?No careless slumber shall his eyelids close, who keepeth thee. ?Behold, he sleepeth not, he slumb’reth ne’er, ?who keepeth lsrael in his holy care.

Jehovah is himself thy keeper true, thy changeless shade; ?Jehovah thy defense on thy right hand himself hath made. ?And thee no sun by day shall ever smite; ?No moon shall harm thee in the silent night.

From ev’ry evil shall he keep thy soul, from ev’ry sin; ?Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in. ?Above thee watching, he whom we adore ?Shall keep thee henceforth, yea, forevermore.

SERMON: MOUNT SINAI

Participants for this presentation:

NARRATOR: (probably the pastor), speaking from the pulpit.

All others read from the balcony or the rear of the church:

VOICE, representing the Lord

MOSES

OTHER, who speaks for Pharaoh early in the presentation and for the Israelites later

NARRATOR: Today we approach Mount Sinai, the mountain of the Lord, where God gave his Ten Commandments to Moses—and to the world—giving meaning and direction to the gracious covenant he had made with his people. The approach to Mount Sinai, strangely enough, begins right there … but at a somewhat earlier time under far different circumstances.

VOICE: Moses! Moses!

MOSES: Here am I.

VOICE: Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.

NARRATOR: A burning bush had brought the aging shepherd to this place of revelation.

VOICE: I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

NARRATOR: And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

VOICE: I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

MOSES: Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?

VOICE: But I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.

NARRATOR: “ … upon this mountain.” The stage is therefore set for the journey to begin, a journey that would lead Moses FROM Sinai TO Sinai. The unfolding drama of Israel’s salva-tion would involve frequent confrontation and rejection.

VOICE: When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

MOSES: Thus says the Lord, “Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me; and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay YOUR firstborn son!”’

NARRATOR: That word of God came true, of course, in an event which the people of God would forever recall and celebrate as a mighty demonstration of the saving grace of God.

VOICE: Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they shall take every man a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for each household. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats; and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congre-gation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening. Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two posts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it.

MOSES: In this manner you shall eat it, your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s passover.

VOICE: For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the firstborn of the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments; I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

NARRATOR: And it was so. At midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of the cattle.

OTHER: Rise up, go forth from among my people, both you and the people of Israel, and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone!

NARRATOR: And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and into the wilderness of Sinai.

MOSES: I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed glori-ously; the horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

OTHER: Who is like thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, majestic in holiness, terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

MOSES: Thou didst stretch out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou hast led in thy steadfast love the people whom thou has redeemed; thou hast guided them by thy strength to thy holy abode.

NARRATOR: Mount Sinai!

VOICE: Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments and be ready by the third day; for on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

MOSES: Take heed that you do not go up into the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death—he shall not live. When the trumpet sounds a long blast, you shall come up to the mountain. Be ready by the third day!

(pause)

NARRATOR: On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.

OTHER: And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.

NARRATOR: And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke,

OTHER: and God answered him in thunder.

NARRATOR: And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

VOICE: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.

NARRATOR: The first word that we hear from God on Mount Sinai, please observe, is a word of grace, spoken by the One who proved himself to Israel—and to us—as God our Savior, the God who made us, who redeemed us, who called us out of our bondage into the freedom of the children of God, who joins us in our need and saves us from it. Whatever else the Lord may say upon these sacred heights flows from that saving love, his directives for our life and worship, his concern for the sanctity of human life, of marriage and property and reputation—all of these are the good words of a good God, who seeks only good for those he calls and saves to be his own, to live under him in righteousness, innocence and blessedness.

(pause)

NARRATOR: Where do we go from Mount Sinai? For ancient Israel, the answer to that question was: The Promised Land! For us, the answer is the same. And for us, the background is the same as well, except that it is now enriched, fulfilled, made clear by One whom this same God has sent to be in person what the ancient sacrifice of Passover foretold, the Lamb of God.

OTHER: For the law was given through Moses; grace and the truth came through Jesus Christ.

NARRATOR: Another mountain calls us on our Lenten journey, another hill where God himself descends to speak his saving word.

OTHER: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace.

NARRATOR: For there we may behold the Lamb of God himself endure for us the punishment which we, instead, deserve—the death of the firstborn Son.

OTHER: As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

NARRATOR: And so we journey from Mount Sinai, assured as Moses was so long ago:

VOICE: My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

Apostles CREED

OFFERING

RESPONSIVE PRAYER

P   Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem.

C  As once you led your chosen people, Lord, from slavery to freedom by your grace, now lead us on our sacred pilgrimage.

P   Everything that is written of the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.

C  As once you spoke to Moses in the wilderness, revealing there your saving will, now speak to us; and give us grace to hear and to believe in him who is your living Word.

P   For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.

C  As once you drowned your people’s foes beneath the rushing waves, subdue for us the ancient Foe who seeks to keep us from obeying you with true and willing hearts.

P   They will scourge him and kill him.

C  As once you heard the cries of those oppressed by bondage, hear now, we pray, the cries of all who call to you in every need, and let them know the saving power of your promised victory, for by the death of Jesus Christ you have destroyed our death forever.

P   And on the third day he will rise.

C  Lord, by the victory of Jesus Christ, now lead us onward to the Promised Land. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

BENEDICTION

Closing Hymn #708 Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart

DISMISSAL

Pastor:       Go in peace as you serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish, Series C, Quarter 3. Copyright © 2022 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission.