4th Sunday in Lent

Jesus Healing a blind man

 

Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for Sunday, March 22, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

 

As we are not able to meet due to health and safety concerns, we are still finding ways to share and celebrate our faith together.

Below are the readings, prayers, and various announcements for this Sunday and this week.

For both of our congregations, Waldeck and MLLC, please remember that our expenses continue even when we are unable to meet as usual.  Please make a point to give your offerings as usual.  Here are some ideas of what to do:

For Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church; 6915 Waldeck Church Lane; Ledbetter, TX 78946

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

For MLLC in Carmine:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – MLLC, P O BOX 362, Carmine, TX 78932-0362

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

– give offerings through the church web site:  mllccarmine.com/online-giving  This page has a link to our secure giving page.  Offerings can be made by bank draft, debit card, or credit card through this special web site.

 

The 4th Sunday in Lent

March 22, 2020

First Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

R:  A reading from 1st Samuel the 16th chapter.

Samuel anointed David even though he was the eighth-oldest son of Jesse and did not match his brothers in height or other physical characteristics. With the anointing came endowment with the Spirit of the Lord, designating David as the Lord’s chosen successor to Saul.

And now the reading.

1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” 4Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” 7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

KJV

 

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14

R:  A reading from Ephesians, the 5th chapter.

Because we now live in the divine light which is Jesus Christ, we conduct our lives in ways that reflect the light of Christ, so that our activity is truly pleasing to God.

And now the reading.

8Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Sleeper, awake!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

*Gospel: John 9:1-41

P:  The holy gospel according to St. John, the 9th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus heals a man born blind, provoking a hostile reaction that he regards as spiritual blindness to the things of God.

And now the reading.

1As [Jesus] walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
13They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and

opened his eyes. 15Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.
35Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36He answered,

“And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

 

Devotion

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We remember the great hymn of church:

Amazing grace, How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

Today’s Gospel reading is the story of Jesus’ encounter with a man who was born blind.  The story begins with a discussion between Jesus and his disciples about the man’s condition and the reasons for his difficulty.  The disciples ask Jesus, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus responds by challenging the entire premise of their question when he says, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”  The disciples had falsely assumed that if someone had a disability or health problem that this was caused by the sin of that person or of his or her parents.

After Jesus teaches them about the true situation of the man, he proceeds to heal the man.   Because he can see now, his friends and neighbors don’t recognize him.  When they express doubt regarding his new ability to see he keeps saying, “I am the man,” yet few believe him.  They seem to not believe that a man born blind can now see.  Following this, some in authority begin challenging him regarding who performed the healing.  They were especially concerned that somebody apparently had broken a Sabbath regulation.  This leads to debate among them regarding whether or not Jesus was a sinner due to his act of healing on the Sabbath.  Eventually the man’s parents are questioned about the healing, but they defer the question back to their son.

The authorities corner the formerly blind man and begin the questioning.  They start by announcing that they know this man is a sinner, suggesting that they themselves are not sinners.  The discussion gets nowhere.  When the formerly blind man makes a good point, the authorities reject it because they assume that both the man and Jesus are unreliable due to their assumed sinfulness.

Soon after this the man comes to Jesus.  He confesses his faith in Jesus and begins to worship him.  Our Lord responds by saying, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”

The authorities respond, “Surely we are not blind, are we?”

Jesus says, “If you were blind, you would not have sin.  But now that you say, “We see,” your sin remains.”

What Jesus was pointing out was an important truth.  He was stating that those who are focusing on the sin in others are those who are the most likely to be sinners themselves.  They are those who understand their own sinfulness the least.

Humanity really doesn’t understand or accept its broken nature.  The truth is that we have disregarded God’s love, guidance, and provision.  We have become what God calls sinners.  Long ago humanity had turned from God’s ways and turned toward thinking, doing and believing that which was contrary to God’s will for us.  Our own sinfulness blinds us to the truth of our condition.

The truth of this story is that today we are often the ones quick to see the sins of others, and are just as quick to overlook our own sins.  We are the ones who complain about individual sins of others, while ignoring the poor, the hungry, and persecuted, and those who suffer due to injustice or hate.  We have received the forgiveness of sin, but we have refused to repent – to turn away from sin and toward God’s better way.  We are often the sighted righteous ones who are, in fact, the blind sinners.

In 1 John 1:8, the apostle reminds us:  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  Today in the middle of Lent we are reminded of this truth:  We are sinners, this is true.  But I invite you to remember the even greater truth.  God loves us and forgives us and gives himself for us in Jesus Christ.  God’s love is always bigger than the sin in our lives.  God’s mercy for us blind sinners is what will help us see.

We are sinners, this is true.  Thanks be to God for Jesus, for without his love and forgiveness we could neither survive the wages of our sin, nor be able to see that we are sinners.  We are sinners, this is true.  Thanks be to God that we can receive God’s love and forgiveness.  We are sinners, this is true.  Even more so, God puts his love in our lives in ways that are right in front of us and plain to see.  God provides himself to us in the Holy Spirit, by God’s Word, and through the gifts of Baptism and Holy Communion so that we might live as his beloved of God.

The Holy Spirit of God enables us to understand God.  The Spirit calls us to the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness, and guides us into a relationship with God.

God’s Word tells us again and again that the mercy, grace, forgiveness and love of God are ever-present for us.  We read in Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

The Gift of Holy Baptism joins us to the saving work of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ death on the cross and rising from the dead have been given so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.  By baptism we are enlightened so that we can see God’s Goodness.  We celebrate this weekend with all who remember their March Baptisms.

The Gift of Holy Communion continually reminds us that the love of God is for us.  Each time we receive this sacrament it announces to us that God cares deeply for each one of us.

We give thanks in all this that God helps us to see our sin. Even more so, he enables us to see the great things he has done for us.  Let us go out today with renewed sight, knowing how good God has been to each of us.  In this, we revisit that great hymn:

Amazing grace, How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

Let us pray –   Almighty Lord, source of light and life and hope.  As broken and sinful people we receive your offer of forgiveness.  We pray that your Holy Spirit will enable us to understand what you have done for us.  We pray this in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen

 

*Prayers of Intercession

A:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence.

Lord God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for your abundant mercy.  Help us to listen to your Word and to respond to you with worship which is to the praise of your glory.  Lord, in your mercy,      Hear our prayer.

 

Guide and protect all medical professionals, as well as all who work in emergency services.  During this time of uncertainty and fear, help us all work together for the building up of health and safety for our community, nation, and world.   Lord, in your mercy,        Hear our prayer.

 

During this season of Lent help us to give of ourselves to you through self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love.  Renew our faith during these forty days. Lord, in your mercy,  Hear our prayer.

 

Other petitions may be added here.

 

We lift in prayer the ministry Lutheran Disaster Response.  Help us to share the resources entrusted to us to care for the victims of disasters.  Lord, in your mercy,  Hear our prayer.

 

You comfort all who struggle in body, mind or spirit.  Bring healing, strength and hope to all for whom we pray.  We lift in prayer… , and also those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…   Lord, in your mercy,  Hear our prayer.

 

You are the source of all mercy and consolation.  We pray for all who mourn (especially the family and friends of…).  Lord, in your mercy,    Hear our prayer.

 

You call us to be your disciples.  Help us to be faithful in our daily time of prayer.  Stir us to greater joy in our ongoing and eternal relationship with you.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

P:  Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen 

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND PRAYER REQUEST LIST FOR WALDECK EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF LEDBETTER

Phillip Procell, Brian Shaffer, Sandra Gest, James Smith, Barbara Spence, April Weyand, Fritz Schoenst, Alicia McQuaig, Diana Garik Poentisch, Sally Beettner, Carrie Oltmann, Robin Hardin, Beverly Drescher

 

 

HOLY WEEK schedule: – All these services are subject to change in the event that we must continue the suspension of services.

Palm Sunday weekend – April 4-5

6:00 p.m. on Saturday             Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

8:00 a.m. on Sunday               Worship at Waldeck

10:00 a.m. on Sunday             Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

 

Maundy Thursday – April 9   5:45 pm Worship at Waldeck

7:30 p.m. at Martin Luther in Carmine

Good Friday – April 10          7:00 pm Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

Saturday Easter Vigil with Holy Communion – April 11 – 7:00 p.m. at Martin Luther in Carmine

Easter Sunday – April 12

6:45 a.m. – Sunrise at Carmine Cemetery

8:00 a.m. – Worship at Waldeck

9:00 a.m. – Easter Brunch at Waldeck, followed by an egg hunt

Easter Reception in Parlor in Carmine – 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Festival Worship with Holy Communion in Carmine – 10:00 a.m.

Egg hunt in Carmine –11:30 a.m.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR MARTIN LUTHER LUTHERAN CHURCH OF CARMINE

 

REMEMBER IN PRAYERRicky Eckert (brother of Ronnie Eckert, health concerns); Jeannie Johnson (grandmother of Matthew & Nick Colpetzer, Joshua Aranzolo, and Emily Ortiz, chronic pain); Eugene Muehlbrad (health concerns); J. C. Pohl (health concerns); Carol Carmean (thyroid surgery last Monday); Kalisa Pomykal (Paula Barrick’s sister, medical concerns); Jacquelyn Mercado (JoLynn Schoenbeg’s daughter, severe broken wrist); Elisabeth McDaniel (mother of R.W. Crawford, friend of Alvis Mueller, cancer); Kenny Lorenz (former member Robert Hinze’s relative, serious burns); Nancy Pietsch (former RT-C teacher, health concerns); Johnny Dunham (health concerns); LaVerne Krumrey (friend from Brenham, cancer); Joyce Kelley (friend, health concerns); Jack Walsh (friend of Wade Eilers, recurring melanoma); Bill Clarke (friend of Daryl & Susan Ray, stage 4 cancer); Robert Vaughn (at Texas Neurology, thankful for extended stay for rehab); Carrie Bozarth (friend of Sedalia Ullrich, cancer); Edna Mae Krivacka (friend of Ed and Carol, back home, health concerns)

 

Sympathy to the families of Eugene Muehlbrad; The Rev. August M. Hannemann (former MLLC pastor); Genie Fuhrman (Ruby Renck’s niece); Edna Krause (mother of former organist Susan Michael); Charles Rudy Weigelt (brother-in-law of Kay Schmidt, JoLynn Schoenberg, and Darrel & Vickie Neutzler); Ricky Ebner (friend from Ledbetter)

 

The Ongoing Prayer Concerns may be found in the monthly newsletter.

THIS WEEK at MLLC

Today              5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)

Tuesday          5:30 pm-Yoga class

March 29         5:00 pm-AA Meeting (subject to change)

 

BAPTISM REMEMBRANCE  Those remembering their baptism during the month of March are Tiffani Brooks, Carol Carmean, Levi Carmean, Liam Diehl, Jill Eilers, Tess Eilers, Berrie Etzel, Floyd Etzel, Dianna Gerland, Thelma Hinze, Kyler Jacob, Seth Kelley, Randall Kohring, Linda Kovar, Autumn Lehmann, Brock Marburger, Michelle Marburger, Susie Markwardt, Linda Mattocks, Aaron Moore, Eugene Muehlbrad, Gaylon Mueller, Debby Peele, Carsyn Pratt, Michelle Pratt, Hannah Roemer, Dianne Sager, Brayden Scheffer, Colter Siptak, Wyatt Waak, Janette Weidemann, Reagan Williams, Gwen Woelfel, and Raylon Zwernemann

 

DATE CHANGE FOR CONFIRMATION The new date is Sunday, May 17.  This has been changed due to the MS150 Bike Ride which will come through Carmine on May 3.

2020 FLOWER CHART:  Four dates are open on the flower chart.  They are September 20 & 27 and November 1 & 22.

 

LENTEN MEALS AND SERVICES are cancelled.

 

SPECIAL LENTEN ENVELOPES this year are designated for Lutheran Disaster Response of the ELCA.  These envelopes are in the pews marked “Lenten Offering.”  The envelopes for Lent that you receive in the mail go to the general fund.  The other envelopes in the pews will go to the general fund or where noted.

 

EASTER EGG HUNT Monetary and candy donations would be appreciated for the egg hunt following worship on April 12.  Please bring them to the church by Palm Sunday, April 5.  They will be filled that day.  Goody bags will be provided for the treats, but children may bring their Easter baskets if they wish.

(This may be subject to change.)

 

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL will be at MLLC June 14-18, 2020 with the theme Rocky Railway.  See the codes on p. 2 of the March newsletter to register your child and volunteer.

Registration is also available at the church web site:  https://mllccarmine.com/vacation-bible-school-2020/

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL at Bethlehem Lutheran in Round Top will be June 1-4 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. with the theme “Anchored.”  There are registration forms in the narthex and church office.

CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBER A person is needed to serve as chairperson of the Outreach/Care Committee.  Please consider serving in this role.

THRIVENT CHOICE DOLLARS March 31 is the deadline for members to call Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to direct your 2019 Choice Dollars.  Call 1-800-847-4836 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Time and say “Thrivent Choice.”  Have your member ID ready.  Martin Luther Lutheran Church is a choice.

You may also go online to direct the Choice Dollars.  If you do not give them your choice, they will designate your money where they think best.  If you need help, contact Nancy Eilers.  Thanks to those who have directed their Choice Dollars to MLLC.

 

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CLASSES will possibly be offered April 5 starting at 11:15 a.m. in the Mission and Ministry Building.  More information is in the March newsletter. Contact Pastor Tinker to sign up.  This may be subject to change due to the stay at home order and cancellation of gatherings at the church.

 

EASTER LILIES may be ordered through the church office.  The Nesting Company is offering 6” potted lilies with gold pot covers for $14.50.  Make the check payable to MLLC.  Deadline is April 5.   Let the office know and if it is in memory or honor of someone.  A form is in the March newsletter.

 

EASTER EGG HUNT sponsored by the Carmine Lions Club and (EDC) will not be held on Saturday, April 11 at the Carmine City Park.

 

HOLY WEEK schedule: – All these services are subject to change in the even that we must continue the suspension of services.

Palm Sunday weekend – April 4-5

6:00 p.m. on Saturday             Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

8:00 a.m. on Sunday               Worship at Waldeck

10:00 a.m. on Sunday             Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

 

Maundy Thursday – April 9   5:45 pm Worship at Waldeck

7:30 p.m. at Martin Luther in Carmine

Good Friday – April 10          7:00 pm Worship at Martin Luther in Carmine

Saturday Easter Vigil with Holy Communion – April 11 – 7:00 p.m. at Martin Luther in Carmine

Easter Sunday – April 12

6:45 a.m. – Sunrise at Carmine Cemetery

8:00 a.m. – Worship at Waldeck

9:00 a.m. – Easter Brunch at Waldeck, followed by an egg hunt

Easter Reception in Parlor in Carmine – 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Festival Worship with Holy Communion in Carmine – 10:00 a.m.

Egg hunt in Carmine –11:30 a.m.

 

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