March 19, 2023 – Fourth Sunday in Lent

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

Lectionary Readings

1 Samuel 16:1–13
Samuel anoints David, the youngest son of Jesse, to be king.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I will live in the house of God always.

Ephesians 5:8–14
Live as children of light; awake and rise, Christ will shine on you.

John 9:1–41
Jesus heals a man born blind; the Pharisees question him about sin.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

We come to sanctify ourselves.
We come seeking to be worthy of our call.
The Lord looks not at our outward selves,
but seeks to know what is in our hearts.
Let us learn what is pleasing to the Lord,
that we might live as children of the Most High.

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:
How do we know when our actions are right?
When the fruits of our labors are good and true.
Christ is the light that exposes all we keep hidden,
but offers us healing and renewal instead of judgment.
Therefore, let us hold up our sins to Christ’s gaze.

God of compassion and mercy,
we sometimes fail to see
what you are doing in the world.
We want you to act in ways we predict,
but we forget:
you do what is good, not what is expected.
Forgive us when we do not recognize your miracles.
Forgive us when we doubt the wisdom of your actions.
Most of all, forgive us
when we do not respond to your call,
ignoring what we need to do
to show the world your love and grace.

Lifting water from the font:
Jesus restores our souls
and leads us in right paths for his name’s sake.
Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow us all the days of our lives,
and we will dwell in the house of the Lord
our whole lives long.

— 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

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

To be reconciled to God
is to be sent into the world
as God’s reconciling community.
This community, the church universal,
is entrusted with God’s message of reconciliation
and shares God’s labor of healing the enmities
which separate people from God
and from each other.
Christ has called the church to this mission
and given it the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The church maintains continuity
with the apostles and with Israel
by faithful obedience to his call.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.31

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 . . .
By your grace, make us children of light,
reflecting the glory of our Savior—
Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for the earth . . .
Renew in us a vision of the world restored,
shining with the splendor of your glory,
unstained by the sin of human greed.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for all nations . . .
Raise up new leaders among us,
new shepherds who will defend the weak
and lead us all in paths of peace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for this community . . .
Help us to notice our neighbors in need.
Give us the courage and compassion
to see them all as your beloved children.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for loved ones . . .
Accompany those who walk in darkness;
protect those who are facing danger;
comfort those who live in fear.
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 are our shepherd; there is nothing we lack.
You prepare a table for us, even in the presence of our enemies.
You anoint our heads with oil; the cup of blessing overflows.

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:
Jesus is the light of the world, dispelling darkness and uncovering what is hidden.
He has the authority to judge, the grace to forgive, and the power to heal and set free.
Since the world began who has seen such things?
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.

Help us to live as children of light,
always seeking what is good and right and pleasing to you.
Wake the dead from their sleep, to rise and shine with the light of Christ.

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

“David Is Anointed and Affirmed as King”

Dura Europos, 3rd Century

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (EG) HOUSTON GTG 377
  • Give Us Light (OE) JYOTHI DHO GTG 467
  • Arise, Your Light Is Come! (E) FESTAL SONG GTG 744, PH 411
  • Jesus Christ, Workers’ Lord / Urinŭn bujirŏnhan (G) KEUH-LOH STB 234


  • I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (EG) KINGSFOLD GTG 182
  • Open My Eyes, That I May See (EG) OPEN MY EYES GTG 451, PH 324
  • To the Hills I Lift My Eyes (EG) NA-UI DO-UM GTG 845
  • Tree of Life (EG) THOMAS G3 475


  • Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying (EG) CHILDREN PRAYING GTG 469
  • Shepherd Me, O God (refrain only) (EG) SHEPHERD ME GTG 473
  • Wash, O God, Your Sons and Daughters (G) BEACH SPRING GTG 490
  • I Am Not Forgotten (O) NO ESTOY OLVIDADO Sing No Empty Alleluias, Chris Shelton


  • Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers (OE) LLANGLOFFAN GTG 362, PH 15
  • O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright (OE) WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET GTG 827, PH 69
  • We Are Marching in the Light of God (EG) SIYAHAMBA GTG 853
  • Joy in the Morning (E) JOY IN THE MORNING STF 2284

Psalms and Canticles


  • My Shepherd Will Supply My Need [RESIGNATION]; GTG 803, PH 172, PAS 23A, LUYH 369, SSS 44
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is [ST. COLUMBA, DOMINUS REGIT ME]; GTG 802, PH 171, LUYH 824, LUYH 23D, E (altered text), SSS 359
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want [CRIMOND, BROTHER JAMES’ AIR]; GTG 801, PH 170, PAS 23C, SSS 375
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want [Townend]; PAS 23F
  • The God of Love My Shepherd Is [RIDGEWOOD]; PAS 23J
  • El Señor es mi pastor / You, O Lord, You Are My Shepherd; SSS 532


  • Shepherd Me, O God; GTG 473, LUYH 456, PAS 23G (pointed vv.), 23H (through-composed vv.), SSS 365 (refrain only)
  • El Señor es mi pastor / My Shepherd Is the Lord; PAS 23 I, LUYH 368, SSS 338
  • El Señor es mi pastor / The Lord Is My Shepherd; OC 33, SSS 294–295
  • My Shepherd Is the Lord [Gelineau]; PH 173, PSA 18
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd / El Señor es mi pastor; SSS 613 (refrain only)
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd; PFTS2 54
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd [THE PARTING GLASS]; CP2 1

Organ Music

  • “Introit: Laetare/Rejoice, ‘Rejoice, O Jerusalem; and gather round, all you who love her,’” Five Liturgical Pieces for Organ, Lynn Trapp, MSM (E)
  • “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light,” HOUSTON, Augsburg Organ Library: Epiphany, Wayne L. Wold, AF (E)
  • “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound,” NEW BRITAIN, Organ Impressions for the Church Year, Jacob B. Weber, AF (E)
  • “Christ Be My Leader,” SLANE, 7 Hymn Preludes, John Behnke, CON (E)
  • “O Christ, You Are the Light and Day,” Georg Bohm, public domain (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” arr. Tom Shelton, HIN, SATB, sax (ME)
  • “Psalm 23,” Andrew Marshall, GIA, SATB, acap (MA)
  • “Gently, Lord, O Gently Lead Us,” arr. R. Nathaniel Dett, GIA, SATB, acap, solo (MA)
  • “Jesus, Good Shepherd,” Bradley Ellingboe, AF, SATB, pno or hp (M)
  • “On My Heart Imprint Thine Image,” Paul Manz, MSM, SATB, acap (M)
  • “This Little Light of Mine,” arr. John Work, ECS, SATB, solo (M)

Handbell Music

  • “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light,” Sondra Tucker, 3–5 oct, AF, 11-11024, Level 3
  • “Arise, Shine, Thy Light Is Come,” Kevin McChesney, 3–5 oct, JHS, JHS9108, Level 4
  • “Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers,” Mitchell Eithun, 3–5 oct, opt 3–5 oct hc, SFP, 20/2044SF, Level 2


  • David Is Anointed and Affirmed as King, Dura Europos (VDL)
  • Healing of the Man Born Blind, Duccio di Buoninsegna (VDL)
  • Lord, That I Might See, sculpture, Budapest, Hungary (VDL)
  • Psalm 23, Anneke Kaai (AK)