About the Season of Lent: Lent is the time in the church year when we get a little bit more solemn and serious. Ancient Christians used this time to contemplate the fragility of life, serve the poor and reoriented their lives towards health, love and wholeness. Some people choose to give something up and remember the suffering of Jesus on the cross. Others choose to add rituals or practices to their life that help them enjoy life, decrease their stress or improve their ability to care for the world.
Regardless of how you celebrate in your day-to-day life, we hope you will join us at Grace for worship. Our services during this season will focus more on confession and forgiveness than other times of the year. This is not because we believe that we are more in need of forgiveness. Actually, Lutherans believe that everyone is equally a saint and a sinner. We also believe that God’s grace is a gift that erases all the times we’ve done the wrong thing - even when we’ve enjoyed it. Our congregation’s name is Grace because we really love how God names, claims and loves everyone.
So why so serious this time of year? We know that life is rough sometimes. Cancer, HIV/AIDS, depression, debt, racism, the death of those who leave us too soon, war, poverty and homelessness and countless other things are very real and heartbreaking. Faith and worship that ignores all the rough things in life, leaves us unprepared, unable to mourn and unable to respond to the unjust parts of life.
During this time of Lent, we invite you to sit with all the uncomfortable parts of your life. Our worship is designed to help you notice that even during the rockiest times, God is with you and loves you.
If you would like support during your Lenten journey, please reach out to Pastor Megan for a special visit or phone call.
Confession and Forgiveness
Please stand. The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of your Baptism.
P In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
P Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
P If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Silence for reflection and self-examination.
P Most merciful God,
C we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen
P Almighty God, in his mercy, has given his Son to die for us and, for his sake, forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
P The Grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C And also with you.
Prayer of the Day:
Creating God, you formed us out of dust, blew the breath of life into our bodies and called us good. Help us reorient ourselves towards you, to respect the fragility of our lives and to care for our fragile bones. Amen.
2:15-17; 3:1-7 Reading
15 Then God took the earth creature and settled it in the garden of Eden so that it might cultivate and care for the land. 16 YHWH commanded the earth creature, “You may eat as much as you like from any of the trees of the garden— 17 except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. You must not eat from that tree, for on the day you eat from that tree, that is the day you will die—yes, die.”
3:1 But the snake was even more naked: the most cunning11 of all the animals that God had made. The snake asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from the trees in the garden?” 2 The woman answered the snake, “We may eat fruit from all the other trees in the garden. 3 But of the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘Don’t eat it and don’t touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The snake said to the woman, “Die? You won’t die! 5 God knows well that on the day that you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil!” 6 The woman knew that the tree was enticing to the eye, and now saw that the fruit was good to eat—that it was desirable for the knowledge it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to the man beside her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
1 Happiness comes from having your rebellion taken away, from having your failure completely covered.
2 Happiness comes from God not counting your mistakes, from having nothing to hide.
3 As long as I kept my stubborn silence, my bones grew weak because of my constant complaints. 4 Day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped by a summer’s heat.
5 Finally I admitted my sin to you, and stopped hiding my guilt. I said, “I confess my rebellion, God,” and you took away the guilt of my sin.
6 That’s why people of faith everywhere should pray to you—they’ll find you. Even when the flood begins rising, it will never touch them.
7 You are my hiding place; you’ll protect me from trouble
12 Therefore, sin entered the world through the first humans, and through sin, death—and in this way death has spread through the whole human race, because all have sinned. 13 Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given, even though it’s not called “sin” when there is no law. 14 Even so, death reigned over all who lived from our first parents until moses, even though their sin—unlike that of our first parents—was not a matter of breaking a law. 15 But the gift is not like the offense. For if by the offense of one couple all died, how much more did the grace of God—and the gracious gift of the One Jesus Christ—abound for all! 16 The gift that came to us is not at all like what came through the ones who sinned. In the one case, the sentence followed upon one offense and brought condemnation; in the other, the free gift came after many offenses and brought complete acquittal. 17 If death began its reign through one person because of an offense, so much more will those who receive the overflowing grace and the gift of justice live and reign through the One Jesus Christ. 18 To sum up, then: just as a single offense brought condemnation to all, a single righteous act brought all acquittal and life. 19 Just as through one person’s disobedience, all became sinners, so through one person’s obedience, all will become just.
41Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit, to be tempted by the Devil 2 After fasting for forty days and forty nights, Jesus was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached and said, “If you are the only begotten, command these stones to turn into bread.” 4 Jesus replied, “Scripture has it, ‘We live not on bread alone but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Next the Devil took Jesus to the
set him on the parapet of the
6 and said, “If you are the only begotten, throw yourself down. Scripture has
said, ‘God will tell the angels to take care of you; with their hands they will
support you that you may never stumble on a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus answered,
“Scripture also says, ‘Do not put God to the test.’ ” 8 The Devil then took
Jesus up a very high mountain and displayed all the dominions of the world in
their magnificence, 9 promising, “All these I will give you if you fall down
and worship me.” 10 At this, Jesus said to the Devil, “Away with you, Satan!
Scripture says, ‘You will worship the Most High God; God alone will you adore.’
” 11 At that the Devil left, and angels came and attended Jesus. Temple
P The gospel of the Lord. C Praise to you, O Christ.
Silence for reflection follows the sermon. The assembly stands to proclaim the word of God in song.
Hymn of the Day (see insert)
Prayers of Intercession
A During this season of Lent, we pray for all who long for better days, suffer, mourn and for the church, the world and all people in their need. A brief silence.
A Creating God, help us take the time to enjoy the world, live greener and love the animals and pets in our lives. God in your mercy, hear our prayer.
A Parent God, bless all who are parents, the family and staff of the
and all who have
created families. Take special care of
all who have lost children, parents or partners before their time. Help us to love the best we can. God in your mercy, hear our prayer. Grace
A Help our civic leaders to bring justice to a war torn world and cultivate love beyond borders. Be with our bishops Elizabeth and Mark, our pastor Megan and all the staff and leaders of our congregation. Help us to follow your path towards wholeness. God in your mercy, hear our prayer.
A Help us to love each other, our neighbors and care for the poor. We pray especially for the homeless and hungry and those who care for them. God in your mercy, hear our prayer.
A For whom and what else do the people of Grace pray?
(Please offer - silently or aloud- petitions to God. End spoken petitions with “God in your mercy.”)
P Our prayers rise like incense and are held by a loving God who yearns for us to be our best. May we find comfort, hope and love in our days to come. Amen.
The presiding minister and the assembly greet each other in the peace of the risen Christ.
P The peace of Christ be with you always. C And also with you.
The people may greet one another with the sign of Christ’s peace, and may say, “Peace be with you” or similar words. Then, the assembly is seated.
An offering is gathered for the mission of the church, including the care of those in need. After the offering is gathered, the assembly stands.
A Let us pray. God, bless our diversity gifts. Beyond our times, talents and treasures, we give thanks for the relationships and visions that we bring into this holy place. May our relationships with money, giving and receiving become one of the ways we live our faith in the world. Amen.
P It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise . . . we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
P On the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
The Lord’s Prayer
C Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen
A: Go in peace and serve our God.
C: Thanks be to God.
Please join us for coffee and refreshments downstairs in the Fellowship Hall.
To get to the Fellowship Hall, exit to the right of the communion railing at the front of the church.
Important Dates and Events Worship Services and Events in the Season of Lent:
· Thursday Lenten Potluck Eucharist: Each Thursday from March 13 to April 10, 6:30 pm at Grace (
@3201 Ulloa St)
we’ll celebrate communion the way Jesus did (eating with a small group of friends). This casual service is great for newcomers,
individuals who want a faithful experience outside of a traditional worship,
and anyone who loves a church potluck.
· March 22nd and 23rd, JOB Conference: JOB (pronounced like the book of the Bible) stands for Journey Outside the Box and is a conference planned by Pastor Megan to provide an opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to share stories about faith, life and scripture. Modelled after the TED talks, the JOB Conference continues the storytelling style of scriptures and allows ordinary and extraordinary individuals to share how God is working through their hands in the world. This event will be held at St. Paulus Lutheran Church (@
1541 Polk St). Learn more about speakers and times at: www.jobconference.org
· April 12th, Health and Vision Event: This Saturday from 10am -4pm Grace, in collaboration with SF CARES (Welcome, the Night Ministry and St. Paulus Lutheran Church) will take our Lenten obligation to serve the poor seriously. Free eye exams and prescription glasses will be given away, along with lunch, clothing, toiletries, books and other opportunities for whole body health care.
· April 17th, Maundy Thursday: This is the night that we remember the woman who washed Jesus’ feet and Jesus’ request that we serve others. This service will include a special hand washing and blessing ritual. Join us for a joint worship with St. Paulus Lutheran Church (@
· April 18th, Good Friday: This is the night that we remember the death of Jesus on the cross. This dark worship services helps us practice journeying through the darkest nights of our soul. Join us for a joint worship with St. Paulus Lutheran Church (@
· April 19th, Saturday Easter Vigil: This is the night that we journey from darkness towards light. This service is great for people who are unfamiliar with Christian History or the Bible. Over the course of a few hours, you can hear many of the most important biblical stories and get a feel for how the ancient stories of the Hebrew Bible weave into the story of Jesus life, death and resurrection. This is the traditional night when individuals who are new to the faith are baptized. Join us for a joint worship with St. Paulus Lutheran Church (@
1541 Polk St).
· April 20th, Easter Sunday: This worship service is a celebration! All are welcome to join us. Whether you’re a regular at worship or you only come once a year, the Grace family is glad to have you join us. Join us at 10 am at Grace (@
3201 Ulloa St)
Pastor Megan Rohrer’s contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org