March 9, 2025 – First Sunday in Lent

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

Lectionary Readings

Deuteronomy 26:1–11
We cried to the Lord, God of our ancestors, and God delivered us.

Psalm 91:1–2, 9–16
The Lord says: I will deliver and protect those who call on me.

Romans 10:8b–13
The word is near to you; those who call on the Lord will be saved.

Luke 4:1–13
For forty days in the wilderness, Jesus is tempted by the devil.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
say to the Lord:
My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.
For God will protect us from evil
and commands angels to guard us in all our ways.
God rescues those who love God
and is present with us in trouble.
God answers when we cry out
and reveals our salvation to us.
Let us worship God!

Prayer of the Day

Mighty God,
you heard the cries of your people
and rescued them from the hand of their oppressors.
You cared for them in the wilderness.
In the life of Christ,
you experienced that wilderness yourself.
As we journey through our own wilderness,
we give thanks that your Spirit sustains us
and your love guides us. Amen.

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.
God of ancient covenants,
who never breaks trust,
we thank you for baptismal waters
that pour out your steadfast love
for all creation.
Thank you for the salvation promise
you have kept.
In the name of Jesus,
the Living Water, we pray. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
The journey of life inevitably leads to wilderness,
times marked by guilt, frustration,
and the sense that we are not in the right place.
But even in the wilderness, God is with us.
Even in the wilderness, God’s mercy is sure.

As Lent unfolds before us, great God,
we see how far we have to go to Jerusalem.
The road is long, our sins are many,
and our burdens are heavy.
We can’t imagine new life, Easter life,
because our current lives are filled
with bad choices and failed efforts.
Meet us in our weakness.
Take up our sins.
Ease our burdens.
Carry us on the way.
Bring us to Jerusalem, at last.
Show us a love that is stronger than death,
a love no tomb can hold.

Lifting water from the font:
Walking this earth,
facing temptation,
defeating sin,
Jesus has done for us
what we could never do for ourselves.
This is good news!
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
O Lord of light and salvation,
let these words of Scripture
live not only in our mouths,
but in our hearts,
that we will embody your truth
and confess with our lives
that Jesus is 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

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

Let us have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus

as we pray for the world he came to save,

saying: Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for the church . . .

Help us to confess with our lips,

believe in our hearts, and show in our lives

that Christ Jesus is our risen Lord. 

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for the world . . .

Let the milk and honey of your promised land

flow in every nation of the earth,

so that all may enjoy the fruit of salvation. 

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for this community . . .

Let us be angels of your mercy,

surrounding all who are in danger

and lifting up those who are falling.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for loved ones . . .

Deliver and protect them,

be with them in their trouble,

and satisfy them with long life. 

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


As we pour out our hearts in prayer, O God,

lead us to pour out our lives in service to you—

ever seeking your will, ever following your way;

all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Through the grace of God,
we have gifts in abundance
and pour them out
like perfume from a flask,
not for our sakes,
but to worship the One who
lavishes love on the world.

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
You have shown us, O God,
the sacrifice that you desire.
Now use these gifts—
and use our lives—
to liberate the oppressed,
to break the bonds of injustice,
to feed the hungry,
welcome the poor,
and unite the human family;
all in the name and for the sake
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Isaiah 58:6–7

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:
When our ancestors were slaves in Egypt,
strangers in the land,
you saw our suffering, heard our cries,
and came to deliver us—
bringing us out of captivity
into a land flowing with milk and honey.

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.

Put your word of faith on our lips and in our hearts
so that we may confess that Jesus Christ the Lord
is risen from the dead.
Save us when we call upon your name!

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

At the communion table:
Giving God, living Lord,
you have fed us with your body.
You have poured out your life that we might live.
We thank you,
for we have tasted your goodness in this meal.
Fed, we are strengthened;
filled, we are renewed
to share the abundance of your love
with a hungry world. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
Put away the past.
God is about to do a new thing!
God makes a way where there is no way!
God carves a path through the wilderness
and sends angels to guard and guide us. Amen.

Having been reconciled to God,
we are now agents of God’s righteousness
and ambassadors for Christ.
Live boldly, for Christ welcomes sinners
and makes all things new. Amen.

Temptation in the Wilderness

Briton Rivière

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Lord, Who throughout These Forty Days (OEG) ST. FLAVIAN GTG 166, PH 81

  • I Will Call Upon the Lord (EG) I WILL CALL GTG 621, STF 2002

  • O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High (G) DEO GRACIAS GTG 618, PH 83

  • Our Help (O) OUR HELP LUYH 497


  • Forty Days and Forty Nights (OEG) AUS DER TIEFE RUFE ICH GTG 167, PH 77

  • When We Are Tested (EG) ANGELS OF HEALING GTG 783

  • Listen to the Word That God Has Spoken (E) LISTEN GTG 455


  • When at This Table (OG) FEASTDAY GTG 537

  • We Lift Our Voices (O) OFFERING GTG 710

  • You Who Dwell in the Shelter of the Lord (G) ON EAGLE’S WINGS GTG 43

  • I Believe in God the Father (E) GENEVAN 42 GTG 481


  • As Those of Old Their Firstfruits Brought (O) FOREST GREEN GTG 712, PH 414

  • The Glory of These Forty Days (OG) ERHALT UNS, HERR GTG 165, PH 87

  • What Wondrous Love Is This (G) WONDROUS LOVE GTG 215, PH 85

  • Great God of Every Blessing (E) AURELIA GTG 694

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 91:1–2, 9–16

  • Within Your Shelter, Loving God [ABBEY]; GTG 168, PH 212

  • Within the Shelter of the Lord [YE BANKS AND BRAES]; PAS 91B, LUYH 459

  • El que habita / Those Who Dwell [ABRIGO DE DIOS]; PAS 91C

  • All Those Who Dwell in God’s Cool Shade [CM]; SGP 131


  • Be with Me, Lord, When I Am in Trouble; PAS 91D (pointed vv.), PFTS2 8 (through-composed vv.)

  • On Eagles’ Wings [ON EAGLE’S WINGS]; GTG 43,
    PAS 91E

  • God Will Give His Angels Charge over You [A LA VENUE DE NOËL]; HTP1 82

Organ Music

  • “As Your Spirit in the Desert,” ROSEVILLE, Wondrous Image: Eight Hymn Impressions for Organ, Harold Stover, AF (ME)

  • “Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort,” BuxWV 185, Dietrich Buxtehude, (ME)

  • “Reflection on St Flavian,” Oxford Hymn Settings: Lent and Passiontide, David Schelat, OUP (E)

  • “Jesus in the Desert: Forty Days and Forty Nights,” HEINLEIN, Three Gospel Scenes Quoting Familiar Hymns, James Biery, MSM (E)

Piano Music

  • “On Eagle’s Wings,” ON EAGLE’S WINGS, The Essential Collection for the Church Pianist, Douglas Wagner, HOPE (M)

  • “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley,” LONESOME VALLEY, Amazing Grace, Jack Schrader, HOPE (MA)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “You Are My Refuge,” Michael John Trotta, Hampton Roads Music Group, SATB/SAB/SA, pno or acap, opt solo (ME)

  • “O Lord, My God, You Are My Refuge,” arr. Hal H. Hopson, HOPE, 2 pt mx, keybd (E)

  • “A Lenten Reflection,” Lee Dengler, SHAW, SAB, pno, opt hb (E)

  • “Precious Savior, Still Our Refuge,” Vicki Bedford, arr. Cindy Berry, SHAW, SATB, pno (ME)

  • “O Gentle Savior,” Charles McCartha, SHAW, SAB, pno (E)

  • “What Wondrous Love Is This?” arr. Heather Sorenson, HAL, SATB, pno, opt inst (M)


  • Temptation in the Wilderness, Briton Rivière, 1898 (VDL)

  • Three Temptations, Cara B. Hochhalter, 2019 (VDL)

  • Jesus Transported by a Spirit onto a High Mountain, James Tissot, 1886–94 (VDL)

  • The Mind of Christ (temptation story), Frank Wesley, 1923–2002 (VDL)

  • Jesus in the Desert, Lucinda Naylor, 2016 (EYE)