5th Sunday in Lent – March 29

'The_Raising_of_Lazarus',_tempera_and_gold_on_panel_by_Duccio_di_Buoninsegna,_1310–11,_Kimbell_Art_Museum
The Raising of Lazarus, by Duccio, 1310–11

Readings, Devotion, Prayers and Announcements for Sunday, March 29, 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.  The Sunday devotion is at the end of the page.

 

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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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 you would on a typical week.  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 5th Sunday in Lent

March 29, 2020

 

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

A reading from Ezekiel.

Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a promise that Israel as a nation, though dead in exile, will live again in their land through God’s life-giving spirit. Three times Israel is assured that through this vision they will know that “I am the Lord.”

1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 130

1Out | of the depths
I cry to | you, O Lord;
2O Lord, | hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my | supplication.
3If you were to keep watch | over sins,
O Lord, | who could stand?
4Yet with you | is forgiveness,
in order that you | may be feared. R
5I wait for you, O Lord; | my soul waits;
in your word | is my hope.
6My soul waits for the Lord more than those who keep watch | for the morning,
more than those who keep watch | for the morning.
7O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is | steadfast love;
with the Lord there is plen- | teous redemption.
8For the Lord shall | redeem Israel
from | all their sins. R

 

Second Reading: Romans 8:6-11

A reading from Romans.

For Paul, Christian spirituality entails living in the reality of the Holy Spirit. The driving force behind our actions and values is not our sinful desire for self-satisfaction but the very Spirit by which God raised Jesus from the dead and will also raise us from the dead.

6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel: John 11:1-45

The holy gospel according to John.   Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus is moved to sorrow when his friend Lazarus falls ill and dies. Then, in a dramatic scene, he calls his friend out of the tomb and restores him to life.

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

 

*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.

Merciful God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise you, for you are Lord of heaven and earth.  Receive our prayers and worship.   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 pray for all who struggle in body, mind or spirit.  By your Spirit grant healing, strength and hope to all for whom we pray.  We lift in prayer…  and also those whom we now name aloud or in quiet prayer…  Lord, in your mercy,                     Hear our prayer.

Guide and protect all who serve the community in medicine and emergency services.  Help us to work together as neighbors for the health, safety, and well-being of all in our community.  Keep us steadfast in our care for the most vulnerable in this world. Lord, in your mercy,                     Hear our prayer.

You are the source of all mercy and consolation.  We lift in prayer all who grieve for deceased friends and loved ones (and we especially pray for the family and friends of…).  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

Health and Well-being Prayer List:  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.  The Church Council will decide this in the next few days.

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 and Prayer Request list for Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine

REMEMBER IN PRAYER: Angelica Colpetzer (upcoming surgery); Ruby Ivey (Nikki Pohl’s mother, health concerns); Ricky 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)

THOSE SERVING WEDNESDAY

 

NEXT SATURDAY ASSISTING MINISTER

 

THOSE SERVING NEXT SUNDAY

 

CHURCH COUNCIL will meet this Tuesday, March 31 to see what the recommendation is from the CDC and Gulf Coast Synod Office, and then make a decision on future church services.

 

APRIL NEWSLETTER printing will be postponed until April 1, and then mailed after that.  This is to have up-to-date information on schedules.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SHIPMENT has been postponed until November.  It will not be taken on April 13.  Packing will still be on April 8 at 2 p.m., so those who would like to come may do so.  If you have any respiratory symptoms, or just wish to stay at home, please do so.

 

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:  Three dates are open on the flower chart.  They are September 20 and November 1 & 22.

LENTEN MEALS are cancelled.

LENTEN 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 This Tuesday, 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  Are on hold until further notice.  Contact Pastor Tinker to sign up.

 

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: The Church Council will meet on Tuesday to determine our plans for ending or continuing the suspension of services due to the COVID19 health crisis.

Palm Sunday-10:00 a.m. Worship with Palm Processional and

Blessing of Quilts for Lutheran World Relief

Maundy Thursday-7:30 pm Worship with First Holy Communion

Good Friday – 7:00 pm Worship

Saturday Easter Vigil with Holy Communion – 7:00 p.m.

Easter Sunday-6:45 a.m. – Sunrise at Carmine Cemetery

Sunday School – 9:00 a.m.

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

Festival Worship with Holy Communion-10:00 a.m.

Egg hunt-11:30 a.m.

 

(Subject to change.)

 

Devotion

By Pastor David J. Tinker

Martin Luther Lutheran Church – Carmine

Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

29 March 2020   Lent 5/Cycle A RCL

Ezekiel 37:1-14           Psalm 130       Romans 8:6-11           John 11:1-45

“God Knows Who You Are”

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

Ash Wednesday was about a month ago.  It is the beginning of our Lent Journey each year.  A significant part of that service each year is the imposition of Ashes.  This is when each person at worship that day is marked on his or her forehead with a cross of ashes.  The pastor says, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

These ashes symbolize two realities for us.  One is that ashes are a sign of repentance and sorrow for one’s sin.  The second symbolic message of the Ashes is that we are mortal.

If you think about what is happening it can be overwhelming.  Think back on any Ash Wednesday.  People of all ages are lined up and are reminded of their mortality.  The words said that day are reminding everybody of the undeniable truth about each person:  someday, each will die.

In the midst of this we are also reminded of a greater truth.  We remember that Jesus, being fully human, died as well.  Even more so, he died to save.  Jesus died to bring life.

Today we have a reading about death and life again.  The friends of Jesus, Mary and Martha, are concerned for their brother’s health.  Lazarus is ill, and is likely to die.  They know Jesus has the power to heal, so they send for him. Their message:  “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”  Upon hearing this, Jesus comments to his associates, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  Jesus does nothing for two days.  Why?  Because he knows the ends of this story.  He knows about life and death.  He knows that life will prevail.  Jesus takes decisive action to lead us toward eternal life with him.

When Jesus does finally arrive he receives the message:  “Lazarus is dead.”  Jesus goes to his friends and he mourns with them.  Then Jesus and Mary talk about the Resurrection of the Dead.

Her response was that of life.  She said, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”  She pointed to the mission of Jesus by saying who he was.  He is the Son of the Living God who has come into the world so that we might have life with God, even though we face earthly death.

Now the life Jesus brings is much more than what happens to Lazarus.  He died, then Jesus revives him.  Lazarus was brought back to life, but he will also die again.  When it comes to what will soon happen to Jesus, it is different.  Jesus will die, just as we all do, but his resurrection is to eternal life.  He doesn’t face death again.  The resurrection we are promised by Jesus is one which is beyond both death and earthly life.  It is to a new and forever life with God.

As people who are followers of Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, we are called to have a different perspective on life.  Life is both a now and a future reality.  For those who are baptized and have faith in Jesus, they have a life perspective.  Life is a wonderful reality on both sides of the grave.

Remember, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  By Baptized we are joined to Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection.  By baptism, Jesus meets us in the one thing we all have in common – death – and leads us to life with him beyond death.  Death is the lowest part of life, but for those who belong to Jesus, death doesn’t stop our destiny.

Knowing this changes everything.  Knowing this gives us a new perspective.  This is an “Eternal Life” perspective.  We see that life is not just an effort to keep from dying.  Nor are we here to bide our time until we die.  Rather, when we understand that Jesus died so that we can have life, we are transformed into truly living people.  When and where those with an Eternal Life perspective gather it is a place of life.  When we gather as the Church, we are people in a place of life, wherever that may be.

In this place of life we get to treat others in a new way.  In this place of life we look to what God has to say about a person rather than what the broken world has to say.  God’s abundant grace and love are all about brining life and helping us have that life abundantly.  The broken and sinful world leads us to death.

In this life we can be people who are in the place of life or the place of death.  The invitation of Jesus in today’s Gospel Reading is that we be in that place of life.  This world can keep on reminding us of all that we have done wrong.  Sin and death and evil always enjoy more company.  In the place of death we are told again and again of all that we have done wrong.

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality, but it doesn’t leave us there.  Ash Wednesday is always, always, pointing us toward the saving work of Jesus Christ.  That work of Jesus Christ is always about bringing us to that place of life with the Lord.  As we prepare for Holy Week let us look forward through the suffering and death of Jesus for our sin, and also onto the life he leads us toward in his rising from the dead.  With that, let us always remember that God knows who we are.

Let us pray – Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and our neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

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