February 26, 2023 – First Sunday in Lent

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Genesis 2:15–17; 3:1–7
The man and woman disobey God, eating forbidden fruit.

Psalm 32
My sin tormented me; but when I confessed, God forgave me.

Romans 5:12–19
Sin and death came from Adam; grace and life come from Christ.

Matthew 4:1–11
Jesus spends forty days in the wilderness and is tested by the devil.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

For forty days and forty nights,
led by the Spirit,
Christ fasted in the wilderness.
For forty days and forty nights,
we prepare ourselves to meet
the crucified and risen Christ.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the mercy you so freely offer us
through the grace of our baptism—
safe passage through the sea,
justice rolling down like water,
deliverance from sin and death forever.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
teach us to love and serve you faithfully
and reconcile us to you and to one another
as members of one, living body;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:
When we stay silent,
when we do not acknowledge
what we need to change,
we waste away.
Our guilt turns into shame
that eats away at us like a poison.
God calls us to repent and be healed;
let us turn to God.

Merciful One,
we are so easily tempted.
We turn away from your word so quickly.
We seek anything that claims to save us from
discomfort, inconvenience, pain,
fear, and emptiness.
But these are false idols, dissolving in the wind.
You are our true hope and salvation,
our hiding place, our guide, our guardian.
We confess our transgressions to you:
forgive our sins.

Lifting water from the font:
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice!
God does not count our sins against us,
but offers us a free gift of righteousness.
Thanks be to God!

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Gracious God, our way in the wilderness,
guide us by your Word through these forty days,
and minister to us with your Holy Spirit,
so that we may be reformed,
restored, and renewed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15

After the readings:
We proclaim Christ crucified—
the wisdom and power of God.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 1:23–25


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
we bend our knees and lift up our hearts,
giving glory to God forever. Amen.
Philippians 2:9–11

Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
we bend our knees and lift up our hearts,
giving glory to God forever. Amen.
Philippians 2:9–11

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

The reconciling work of Jesus
was the supreme crisis in the life of humankind.
His cross and resurrection become personal crisis
and present hope for women and men
when the gospel is proclaimed and believed.
In this experience,
the Spirit brings God’s forgiveness to all,
moves people to respond in faith,
repentance, and obedience,
and initiates the new life in Christ.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.21

Prayers of Intercession

In Christ Jesus, we have a great high priest
who knows our weakness and suffering;
therefore, with boldness, let us seek God’s grace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for the church . . .
O Lord our God, let us worship you alone.
Feed us with your Word, our daily bread,
and lift us up on the wings of your Spirit.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for the earth . . .
In the garden of Eden you have made,
help use to choose the paths of life,
for the sake of your good creation. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for all nations . . .
Destroy the dominion of death:
warfare, corruption, pollution, and hate;
give life to all people through Christ.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for this community . . .
Feed those who are famished;
humble the high and mighty;
protect those who are on the edge of despair.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for loved ones . . .
Hear the prayers of all who suffer—
whether in silence or with loud cries—
surround them with your saving grace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

To you, O God, we entrust these prayers,
knowing that you alone can provide
grace to help in our time of need;
in the name of our great high priest
who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus Christ, our Sovereign and Savior. Amen.
Hebrews 4:14–16

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Jesus says: Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
Matthew 6:21

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
God of grace,
you have gifted us with life in Christ.
Today we bring the gifts of our work
and the gifts of our hearts.
May all that we bring and all that we are
be your means of grace in the world,
that all people may encounter your good news. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You planted us in an abundant garden, full of good fruit to eat.
Even when we disobeyed your word, taking fruit from the tree of knowledge,
you loved us still, covering our nakedness and forgiving our sin.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Tested for forty days in the wilderness, Jesus taught us
to seek nourishment in your word, to worship and serve you alone,
and to commit our lives to your providence and protection.
The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Give us the free and abundant gift of your grace,
so that sin and death may have no dominion over us,
but we might have forgiveness and fullness of life in Christ Jesus.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,

we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

Thank you, gracious God,
for giving us bread for the journey
of these forty days.
As we travel on through the wilderness,
help us to share your grace with others
and draw us ever closer to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the steadfast love of God,
the abundant grace of Jesus Christ,
and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit
be with you this day and always. Amen.
Psalm 51:1, 11

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
If any wish to be my disciples
let them take up the cross
and follow me. Amen.
Mark 8:34

“Christ in the Wilderness”

Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoĭ, 1872

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Beneath the Cross of Jesus (E) ST. CHRISTOPHER GTG 216, PH 92
  • O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High (G) DEO GRACIAS GTG 618, PH 83
  • Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples (OE) KINGSFOLD GTG 757, PH 434
  • Give Me Jesus / Dame a Cristo (EG) GIVE ME JESUS SSS 306


  • Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle (OE) FORTUNATUS NEW GTG 225
  • O Word of God Incarnate (G) MUNICH GTG 459, PH 327
  • When We Are Tested (G) ANGELS OF HEALING GTG 783
  • Wilt Thou Forgive the Sin, Where I Begun (OEG) DONNE EH 140


  • The Glory of These Forty Days (G) ERHALT UNS, HERR GTG 165, PH 87
  • Seek Ye First (G) LAFFERTY GTG 175, PH 333
  • Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts (G) QUEBEC, JESU DULCIS MEMORIA GTG 494, PH 510, 511
  • Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life (OE) BLACKSTONE Rejoice in God, K. Lee Scott, MSM


  • Forty Days and Forty Nights (G) AUS DER TIEFE RUFE ICH GTG 167, PH 77
  • There in God’s Garden (OE) SHADES MOUNTAIN GTG 226
  • Jesus, Lover of My Soul (EG) ABERYSTWYTH GTG 440, PH 303
  • How Sweet Was the Garden, Fertile and Fair (OE) LONG ISLAND SOUND LUYH 29

Psalms and Canticles


  • How Blest, Those Whose Transgressions (How Blest Are They Whose Trespass) [MEIRIONYDD, RUTHERFORD, ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVÖGELEIN];
    GTG 446, PAS 32A, LUYH 669, PH 184, SGP 51 (altered), SSS 527
  • While I Keep Silence [SILENCE]; PAS 32C


  • You Are My Hiding Place; PAS 32B, LUYH 412, SSS 46
  • You Are My Hiding Place, O Lord; PSA 29
  • God Is Kind and Gracious [SCARBOROUGH FAIR]; PP 62

Organ Music

  • “Reprise,” Paul Manz, MSM (ME)
  • “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Augsburg Organ Library: Lent, Robert Buckley Farlee, AF (M)
  • “Meditation Religieuse,” Augsburg Organ Library: Healing and Funeral, Henri Mulet, AF (M)
  • “Priere a Notre-Dame,” Suite Gothique, op. 25, Leon Boellmann, public domain (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Since by Man Came Death,” Messiah, G. F. Handel, CPDL, SATB, keybd or str qrt (MD)
  • “Take Us as We Are, O God,” Mark Sedio, AF, SATB, org (M)
  • “You Will I Love,” Kevin Hildebrand, MSM, SATB, org (E)
  • “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” arr. Moses Hogan, HAL, SATB div (MA)
  • “The Tree of Life,” K. Lee Scott, MSM, SATB, org (ME)
  • “Lenten Carol,” Marc Robinson, KJO, SATB, pno, vc (M)

Handbell Music

  • “Fantasy on Kingsfold,” H. Dean Wagner, 3–6 oct, opt 3 oct hc, opt orch, HOPE, hb, 2134, orch, 2134O, Level 2+
  • “Seek Ye First,” Jeffrey Honoré, 3–5 oct, CON, 97-6809, Level 2
  • “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” Linda R. Lamb, 3–5 oct, opt 3–5 oct hc, opt fl, BP, HB557, Level 3


  • Temptation in the Wilderness, Briton Rivière (VDL)
  • A Choice, Lauren Wright Pittman (VDL)
  • Christ in the Wilderness, Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi (VDL)
  • Gift of the Wilderness, Jan Richardson (JR)