The Hills of Lent | Online Church at Home Service Bulletin | March 6th, 2024

March 6, 2024 | The Hills of Lent
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 Psalmody includes Psalms 121, 120, 126, and 134 from that collection.
PINNACLE LUTHERAN CHURCH | “Mount Zion”

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Opening Hymn: #435 Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain
HYMN #437 Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed

PINNACLE LUTHERAN CHURCH

The Hills of Lent

Mount Zion

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 – 7:00 p.m.

+ AS WE GATHER +

The Hills of Lent

A Series of Services for Lent

Mount Zion

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 Psalmody includes Psalms 121, 120, 126, and 134 from that collection.

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Opening Hymn: #435 Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain

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   Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but stands fast forever.

C  The hills stand about Jerusalem; so does the Lord stand round about his people, from this time forth and forevermore.

P   The scepter of the wicked shall not hold sway over the land allotted to the just, so that the just shall not put their hands to evil.

C  Show your goodness, O Lord, to those who are good and to those who are true of heart.

P   As for those who turn aside to crooked ways, the Lord will lead them away with the evildoers.

C  But peace be upon Israel.

P   I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go up to the house of the Lord.”

C  Now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

P   Jerusalem is built as a city that is at unity with itself,

C  to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.

P   For there are the thrones of judgment,

C  the thrones of the house of David.

P   Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

C  “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls and quietness within your towers.

P   For my brethren and my companion’s sake, I pray for your prosperity.

C  Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek to do you good.”

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

HOLY SCRIPTURE

1 Kings 8:1-11

P   A reading from the First Book of Kings, chapter 8:

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up.

And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.

Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside; and they are there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

HYMN #437 Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed  

Revelation 21:1-4, 9-11, 22-27

P   A reading from Revelation, chapter 21:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day—and there shall be no night there; they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The Word of the Lord.

SERMON

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 ZION

Participants for this presentation:

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

All others read from front of the church

VOICE

OTHER

WOMAN

BOY, at one point representing the twelve-year-old Jesus

The many parts marked GROUP are offered in unison by the four readers.

VOICE: How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

GROUP: My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

WOMAN: Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,

GROUP: at thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in thy house, ever singing thy praise!

OTHER: Blessed are those whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are the highways to .. Zion.

NARRATOR: Today our Lenten pilgrimage takes us on a familiar journey, familiar at least to count-less faithful pilgrims of ancient times who made the trip frequently, to Mount Zion, and the temple of the Lord that was located there.

OTHER: For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation.

VOICE: “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.”

GROUP: They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen … in Zion.

NARRATOR: Even as much as we love our own churches today and as frequently as we attend them (especially during Lent), it’s probably hard for us to imagine the devotion God’s ancient people had for Mount Zion, a devotion that went back in history to even before the temple was built there, a royal memory involving Israel’s most beloved king.

VOICE: Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said,

OTHER: “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you that led out and brought in Israel, and the Lord said to you,

GROUP: ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’”

VOICE: So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron and they anointed David king over Israel. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land.

GROUP: And David took the stronghold … of Zion.

VOICE: And David dwelt in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.

NARRATOR: It was great David’s royal son Solomon, then, who completed his father’s plans by erecting the great temple, the house of the Lord, on Mount Zion.

OTHER: Remember, O Lord, in David’s favor, all the hardships he endured; how he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,

VOICE: “I will not enter my house or get into my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

NARRATOR: That “dwelling place” was Mount Zion, to which the people of God continued to come, season by season, year by year; for in it they saw a reflection of the glory of their God.

OTHER: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

GROUP: The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.

OTHER: Extol the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain.

GROUP: For the Lord our God is holy; he sits enthroned upon the cherubim!

NARRATOR: As the faithful pilgrims wend their way to this mountain of the Lord, perhaps we can see among them young Jesus, twelve years old this trip, going up from Nazareth with Mary and Joseph to celebrate Passover in the house of the Lord. Try to picture him as we journey—Jesus, twelve years old—joining in the prayers and praises of God’s pilgrim people as they ascend Mt. Zion.

VOICE: Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!

GROUP: His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, the city of the great King.

BOY: We have thought on thy steadfast love, O God, in the midst of thy temple. As thy name, O God, so thy praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Thy right hand is full of victory.

GROUP: Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice!

WOMAN: Walk about Zion, go round about her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels; that you may tell the next generation:

GROUP: This is God, our God forever and ever!

BOY: He will be our guide forever.

NARRATOR: It is that young voice, then, which we will soon hear speaking in the temple, where finally after three days, Mary and Joseph found the young Jesus sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions, amazing them with his under-standing and his answers.

BOY: How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?

NARRATOR: “My Father’s house.” Could Jesus have known, at this young age, that all he was beholding here—the prayers, the praises, and especially the sacrifices—were being done in preparation for him? That he, this youngster in the temple court, was God’s fulfillment of everything the temple stood for?

GROUP: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.

VOICE: For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusa-lem.

(pause)

NARRATOR: And so, as years go by, another Passover draws near, and once more we hear the praises of those who come with longing to the house of God, perhaps not realizing how, in coming now, we are witnessing the long-awaited fulfillment of all the ancient prophecies concerning Mount Zion, and what the Lord is about to accomplish for us here, and for all the world.

OTHER: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will return … to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain.

NARRATOR: But listen! The ancient praises take on new meaning on this visit to the holy mountain.

GROUP: HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!

NARRATOR: The procession is different. It is being led by one riding on a donkey.

GROUP: HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!

NARRATOR: The words of ancient Zephaniah have come to pass.

OTHER: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem. Lo, your king comes to you!

WOMAN: Triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

GROUP: HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!

NARRATOR: Isaiah’s words, too, hover over the scene like a shimmering rainbow.

OTHER: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion,

GROUP: Your God reigns!

OTHER: Hark, your watchmen lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord … to Zion.

GROUP: HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!

NARRATOR: Malachi’s words come true as well, and Joel’s:

OTHER: And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

BOY: Who is this?

WOMAN: This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.

NARRATOR: And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

OTHER: The Lord roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shake.

VOICE: My house shall be called a house of prayer! But you have made it a den of robbers!

OTHER: So shall you know that I am the Lord your God, who dwells in Zion, my holy

mountain!

(pause)

VOICE: Woe to those who are at ease … in Zion.

NARRATOR: Jesus never was. Already at the age of twelve he was about his Father’s business in his Father’s house. And on this trip as well, he had his holy work to accomplish, still moving on to yet another mountain, Calvary, to finish all that he had come to do according to God’s faithful word.

WOMAN: For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord.

OTHER: Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

WOMAN: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads.

OTHER: They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

NARRATOR: That is now our heritage, the reason we have gathered here again in this, our house of God, to join God’s ancient people here—and our contemporaries as well, as they gather with us in their own Zions too—to celebrate the greatness of our God, and the greatness of his steadfast love and mercy which sent his Son, the Son of David and of God, to join us here, and in his dying and rising for us all to bring to pass the promise that the house of God exists to share with everyone:

OTHER: But thou, O Lord, art enthroned forever.

GROUP: Thy name endures to all generations.

WOMAN: Thou wilt arise and have pity … on Zion.

GROUP: It is time to favor her; the appointed time has come.

NARRATOR: And the Savior long promised and long awaited here has come. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

GROUP: The nations will hear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

VOICE: For the Lord will build up … Zion!

GROUP: He will appear in his glory; he will regard the prayer of the destitute and will not despise their supplication.

NARRATOR: In Jesus Christ—now come again to Zion at the threshold of Holy Week—that promise is fulfilled . . . for ancient Israel . . . and for us as well.

WOMAN: Let this be recorded for a generation to come,

GROUP: so that people yet unborn may praise the Lord:

VOICE: that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die,

GROUP: that people may declare … in Zion … the name of the Lord, and in Jerusalem his praise, when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

Apostles’ Creed

         I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

     maker of heaven and earth.

And 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 sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

     From thence 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 T everlasting. Amen.

OFFERING

RESPONSIVE PRAYER

P   Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem.

C  You are truly worthy of our praise, O God, for you have made us in your image, provided us with all we need, and called us into the fellowship of those who hear and trust your holy Word.

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

C  Help us to hear all that you would speak to us, O God, and let your Word be heard, your praise be sung, not only here but everywhere in all the world that Jesus came to save.

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

C  Let the Gospel of his all-embracing love be told wherever evil rules, and let it overcome all darkness there, that all may be united in your love and service everywhere.

P   They will scourge him and kill him.

C  Grant that all who hear the Word of your great love in Jesus Christ may trust its message for their salvation.

P   And on the third day he will rise.

C  Bring us at last, with all your saints, to that great celebration of your goodness which shall never know an end. Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER   Matthew 6:9–13

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.

BENEDICTION

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