Preparing for Worship – 1st Sunday in Lent

From the Pastor’s Desk

It is kind of a funny name for the day in the Church Calendar, isn’t it? 1st Sunday in Lent. The first Sunday in the season of Advent is called the First Sunday of Advent. Likewise with the season of Trinity and Epiphany. What is the difference?

Perhaps you already know, Lent begins exactly 40 days before Easter. However, not included in those 40 days are the Lord’s days. That means there are actually a total of 46 days before Easter on Ash Wednesday. We do not include the Sunday’s during Lent or Holy Week (Palm Sunday) in the count because while Lent is a time of preparation and repentance, Sunday is still the day we meet in recognition of the Lord’s resurrection. Every Sunday is a “little Easter.”

We still focus on Lenten themes of repentance and preparation, but we don’t pretend that we don’t know Jesus will rise again. This is similar to how we shouldn’t go through Advent pretending like we didn’t know when Jesus would be born. Of course Easter comes at the end of Lent! God be praised! Jesus is alive!

This Sunday

This Sunday, we’ll look at one of every child’s favorite stories from the Old Testament, David and Goliath. Who is the main character of the narrative? It isn’t Goliath, that much is easy. But neither is David. Instead, it is Yahweh who steals the show.

The scripture readings for this Sunday are 1 Samuel 17:40-51, 2 Corinthians 6:1-10, and Matthew 4:1-11.

We’ll be singing a couple favorite Lenten hymns when we sing #89 My Song is Love Unknown and #61 O Sacred Head Now Wounded. We’ll also sing the beautiful song Miriam and Seiko introduced to us this past week, Is He Worthy? as well as The Lord is My Salvation.

We’ll do a couple things a little different this Sunday in order to be sensible about obvious health concerns. Pastor will not be at the back of the Sanctuary after the service. Instead, if you would like prayer, you are invited to come to the front of the sanctuary following the Three-Fold Amen.

Additionally, during the Lord’s Supper, the server of the blood of Christ will ask if you would like wine or juice and will hand you a cup. This will prevent unneeded contact with the communion cups. Lastly, be rest assured that the church has been cleaned and frequently touched surfaces, including tables, doors, and switches, have been sanitized.

Explanation of the Week

In the Garden man exalts himself to be a god in place of God. (Gen 3:1-21) He succumbs to the temptation of the devil, and eating of the forbidden fruit he receives death. But in the sin-cursed wilderness God humbles Himself to become man in place of man. (Mt 4:1-11) He does not eat but fasts and bears the onslaughts of the devil for us that we may be restored to life. Jesus stands as David in our place to do battle against the Goliath Satan. (I Samuel 17:40-51) Though outwardly Jesus appears weak, yet He comes in the name of the Lord of hosts. He draws from the five smooth stones of the books of Moses and slings the Word of God. The stone sinks into the forehead, and the enemy falls. In Christ we are victorious over the devil. Let us therefore not receive the grace of God in vain (2 Cor 6:1-10), but seeing that we have a great High Priest, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain help in time of need (Heb 4:14-16).