Bulletin: 4th Mid-Week Lenten Service – Online Church at Home

Bulletin: 4th Mid-Week Lenten Service – Online Church at Home

Midweek of Lent 4

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Return from Denial

In one of the classic hymns associated with the season of Lent, Scottish-born writer James Montgomery, author of over four hundred hymns, penned this thoughtful prayer: “In the hour of trial, Jesus, plead for me Lest by base denial I depart from Thee” (LW 511:1). Although the language of the hymn reflects the era in which it was written almost two hundred years ago, the central concern is as valid today as it was when the stanza was written. The phrase “base denial” calls to mind the disciple Peter, who disowns his Lord while in the courtyard of the house of the high priest. At times in our lives, we may be tempted to deny our Lord and to act as though our faith is not central to who we are. It is then that we can draw strength from remembering the forgiveness won for us by our suffering Lord, who calls us even from “base denial” to return to Him.

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+ Preparation +

OPENING HYMN: Not All the Blood of Beasts

1     Not all the blood of beasts
    On Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace
    Or wash away the stain.

2     But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
    Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name
    And richer blood than they.

3     My faith would lay its hand
    On that dear head of Thine,
While as a penitent I stand,
    And there confess my sin.

4     My soul looks back to see
    The burden Thou didst bear
When hanging on the cursèd tree;
    I know my guilt was there.

5     Believing, we rejoice
    To see the curse remove;
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice
    And sing His bleeding love.

Text: Public domain


P     In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C     Amen.

OPENING SENTENCES (Joel 2:13; Isaiah 55:6–7)

P     Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful,

C     slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil.

P     Seek the Lord while He may be found;

C     call upon Him while He is near.

P     Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

C     let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.


P     Let us make our confession to our God, seeking His grace and forgiveness. Together we sing the hymn “Lord, to You I Make Confession.”

1     Lord, to You I make confession:
    I have sinned and gone astray,
I have multiplied transgression,
    Chosen for myself my way.
Led by You to see my errors,
Lord, I tremble at Your terrors.

2     Yet, though conscience’ voice appall me,
    Father, I will seek Your face;
Though Your child I dare not call me,
    Yet receive me in Your grace.
Do not for my sins forsake me;
Let Your wrath not overtake me.

3     For Your Son has suffered for me,
    Giv’n Himself to rescue me,
Died to save me and restore me,
    Reconciled and set me free.
Jesus’ cross alone can vanquish
These dark fears and soothe this anguish.

4     Lord, on You I cast my burden—
    Sink it in the deepest sea!
Let me know Your gracious pardon,
    Cleanse me from iniquity.
Let Your Spirit leave me never;
Make me only Yours forever.

Text: Public domain

P     The almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness, and remission of all your sins.


P     The Lord be with you.

C     And also with you.

P     Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant us love for You and firmness of faith that we may resist the temptation to deny You and compromise our confession of faith. Strengthen us on the journey of life that we may ever walk with You and joyfully acknowledge You as our Savior, in whom is all our hope. This we ask in Your precious and mighty name.

C     Amen.

+ Word +

FIRST READING – Isaiah 59:1–3, 12–13

P     A reading from Isaiah, the fifty-ninth chapter.

1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,

or His ear dull, that it cannot hear;

2 but your iniquities have made a separation

between you and your God,

and your sins have hidden His face from you

so that He does not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood

and your fingers with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies;

your tongue mutters wickedness.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,

and our sins testify against us;

for our transgressions are with us,

and we know our iniquities:

13 transgressing, and denying the Lord,

and turning back from following our God,

speaking oppression and revolt,

conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

P     This is the Word of the Lord.

C     Thanks be to God.

PSALM – Psalm 118:19–29

P     Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

C     This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

P     I thank You that You have answered me and have become my salvation.

C     The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

P     This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

C     This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

P     Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!

C     Blessèd is He who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless You from the house of the Lord.

P     The Lord is God, and He has made His light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!

C     You are my God, and I will give thanks to You; You are my God; I will extol You.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

SECOND READING – 1 Peter 5:6–10

P     A reading from First Peter, the fifth chapter.

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

P     This is the Word of the Lord.

C     Thanks be to God.

HOLY GOSPEL – Luke 22:54–62

P     The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the twenty-second chapter.

C     Glory to You, O Lord.

54 Then they seized Him and led Him away, bringing Him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with Him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

P     This is the Gospel of the Lord.

C     Praise to You, O Christ.

SERMON HYMN: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed

SERMON: Return from Denial


P     O Lord,

C     have mercy.

P     O Christ,

C     have mercy.

P     O Lord,

C     have mercy.

P     O Christ,

C     hear us.

P     God the Father in heaven,

C     have mercy.

P     God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

C     have mercy.

P     God the Holy Spirit,

C     have mercy.

P     Be gracious to us.

C     Spare us, good Lord.

P     Be gracious to us.

C     Help us, good Lord.

P     From all sin, from all error, from all evil;
From the crafts and assaults of the devil; from sudden and evil death;
From pestilence and famine; from war and bloodshed; from sedition and from rebellion;
From lightning and tempest; from all calamity by fire and water; and from everlasting death:

C     Good Lord, deliver us.

P     By the mystery of Your holy incarnation; by Your holy nativity;
By Your Baptism, fasting, and temptation; by Your agony and bloody sweat; by Your cross and passion; by Your precious death and burial;
By Your glorious resurrection and ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter:

C     Help us, good Lord.

P     In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our prosperity; in the hour of death; and in the Day of Judgment:

C     Help us, good Lord.

P     We poor sinners implore You

C     to hear us, O Lord.

P     To rule and govern Your holy Christian Church; to preserve all pastors and ministers of Your Church in the true knowledge and understanding of Your wholesome Word and to sustain them in holy living;
To put an end to all schisms and causes of offense; to bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived;
To beat down Satan under our feet; to send faithful laborers into Your harvest; and to accompany Your Word with Your grace and Spirit:

C     We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

P     To raise those who fall and to strengthen those who stand; and to comfort and help the weakhearted and the distressed:

C     We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

P     To give to all peoples concord and peace; to preserve our land from discord and strife; to give our country Your protection in every time of need;
To direct and defend our president and all in authority; to bless and protect our magistrates and all our people;
To watch over and help all who are in danger, necessity, and tribulation; to protect and guide all who travel;
To grant all women with child, and all mothers with infant children, increasing happiness in their blessings; to defend all orphans and widows and provide for them;
To strengthen and keep all sick persons and young children; to free those in bondage; and to have mercy on us all:

C     We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

P     To forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers and to turn their hearts; to give and preserve for our use the kindly fruits of the earth; and graciously to hear our prayers:

C     We implore You to hear us, good Lord.

P     Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,

C     we implore You to hear us.

P     Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,

C     have mercy.

P     Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,

C     have mercy.

P     Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,

C     grant us Your peace.

P     O Christ,

C     hear us.

P     O Lord,

C     have mercy.

P     O Christ,

C     have mercy.

P     O Lord,

C     have mercy. Amen.


C     Our Father who art in heaven,
     hallowed be Thy name,
     Thy kingdom come,
     Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
     give us this day our daily bread;
     and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
     and lead us not into temptation,
     but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

CLOSING COLLECT (Luther’s Evening Prayer)

P     Let us pray.

C     I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.


P     The blessing of almighty God, the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit be and remain with you always.

C     Amen.

CLOSING HYMN: A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth

Pinnacle Lutheran Church
Pinnacle Lutheran Church


Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.