The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Sunday, March 29, 2020


A quick word about how to worship from a distance.

A note about this Online Service: Worshipping online like this will probably be awkward. It will be challenging. It won't feel the same or look exactly the same. But it will allow us to gather as God's people to worship Him and receive His Grace and Mercy!

With that in mind I want to encourage you to do a couple of things to make the most of this way of worship...

  1. Set aside a special time where you are dedicated to worship. Don't just multitask your way through this.
  2. Say a prayer before your time of worship that God would use this time through the Holy Spirit to strengthen and encourage your faith in Jesus.
  3. Participate don't just listen! Worship is something we do together. In your homes, this may be awkward and uncomfortable, but remember when we gather together we speak the liturgy together, we pray our prayers together, we sing together, and we hear God's Word together. So in your homes try to do the same thing! Pray. Sing. Speak. Hear. Yes, at first it will be odd. It will be a little confusing. But we can do this together.
  4. Remember that this is the Lord's time and He promises to be with us! Hold fast to His Word and promises because they are for you!
  5. As a final encouragement, if you are able, PLEASE take a picture of your household worshipping God together and SHARE it on our Facebook page!
  6. If you wish to download the bulletin (and announcements and prayer sheet for weekend services), click here.

We’re So Glad You Are Joining Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ Today!

 Before worship prayer - Heavenly Father, God of all grace, govern our hearts that we may never forget Your blessings but steadfastly thank and praise You for all Your goodness in this life until, with all Your saints, we praise You eternally in Your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN.

Opening Hymn: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” LSB, hymn #425

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!


P: We gather today celebrating life: Life created by the Father;
C: Life restored by Jesus Christ, the life of all the living, who is the resurrection and the life;
P: Life sanctified by the living breath of the Holy Spirit. In the name of the Father and of the (+) Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen. (Matthew 28:19b)
P: I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
C: Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.
P: The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; suffered distress and anguish.
C: Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!”
P: We come before our Lord, confessing our sins and seeking His forgiveness.

(Moment of silent reflection)

P: The apostle Paul has called us to live life through the Spirit, not according to the flesh.
C: We confess we have not put to death the things of the flesh and have sinned against You by what we have done and left undone, and we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
P: Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
C: The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. Amen.
P: Dear Friends in Christ, rejoice in His Good News! The LORD will open the graves and put His Spirit within His people, and they shall live. God, in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and through His death brought life and immortality to light. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the (+) Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

P: Let us pray . . . .Almighty God, in whom is life now and forever, through Your Son’s suffering and death You have given us victory over all we ever need fear in sin, eternal death, and the power of the devil. Breathe into our bones and our souls Your life-giving Word, that we rejoice in Your forgiveness and serve You and others in love and faithfulness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen



Old Testament Lesson: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (The Valley Of Dry Bones)


The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'" So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'" So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet - a vast army. Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'"

P: The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the eleventh chapter.
C: Glory to You, O Lord.

Gospel Lesson: John 11:17-27, 38-53 (Resurrection and Life!)


On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." . . . . Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. "Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to You, O Christ.

Children's Message - Rich Nordmeyer

Sermon Hymn: “Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain” LSB, hymn #435

Come to Calv’ry’s holy mountain, Sinners, ruined by the fall;
Here a pure and healing fountain Flows for you, for me, for all,
In a full, perpetual tide, Opened when our Savior died.

Come in poverty and meanness, Come defiled, without, within;
From infection and uncleanness, From the leprosy of sin,
Wash your robes and make them white; Ye shall walk with God in light.

Come in sorrow and contrition, Wounded, impotent, and blind;
Here the guilty, free remission, Here the troubled, peace may find.
Health this fountain will restore; They that drink shall thirst no more.

They that drink shall live forever; ’Tis a soul-renewing flood.
God is faithful; God will never Break His covenant of blood,
Signed when our Redeemer died, Sealed when He was glorified.

Sermon: “Do Not Despair - The LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)


P: Let us confess our faith, using the words of the Apostles’ Creed.
C: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen


In this time of staying in our homes, we need to also remember our care for the house of the Lord. If you normally feel led to contribute to the offering plate, we recommend electronic giving. Consistent offering does help us to budget for the care of building, church staff, school support and the surprise extras like equipment to live-stream our preaching!

We ask, if at all possible, that you please continue your offerings as we have ongoing and regular expenses with utilities, payroll, and mortgage among others.

Ways to give:
1. Mail in your offering check to the church office at: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School 1780 Career Center Road, Bourbonnais, IL 60914.
2. You can give online. You can go to our website.
3. You can text-to-give. Text your amount to 815-205-1213. Just click on the link and follow the directions.

If you are able to increase your offering during this time to help us, we would greatly appreciate it.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

P: Let us pray, . . . O God, as You created everything out of nothing by Your mighty Word, so You have brought resurrection and eternal life to light by the mighty command of Your Son, Jesus, who went through death and emerged victorious over death. Help us to learn from Ezekiel’s vision the death that comes when we lose faith and the life we gain through Your Spirit. Receive our praise and thanks for Your gift of eternal life. Help us to live as Your resurrection people, bringing the might of Your Word to all. Lord, in Your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
P: As we walk with our Savior in this Lenten season, help us continue to recognize our sin, our need for repentance, and our dependence on our Savior. Lord, in Your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
P: We lift up those who mourn and carry grief and sorrow in the loss of loved ones. Help us learn from our Savior at Lazarus’s tomb, that death is not the last word of this life, that we rejoice in Your promises made, fulfilled, and yet to come of the resurrection of the dead and life of the world to come. Enable and equip us to be heralds of the hope that is ours and witness to Christ and the power of His resurrection. Lord, in Your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
P: For the sake of Your Word, by which You cause repentance and faith to issue from human hearts, guide the leaders of nations and communities in our world to pursue ways of peace and tranquility among people, that Your Word be preached for the salvation of all. Lord, in Your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
P: Comfort and heal all those who are sick or infirm, disabled, or troubled, [especially . . .]. Breathe Your life-giving Spirit into all in need, that hope, comfort, and peace in You may be theirs. Remind us that our ultimate healing is in the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting. Lord, in Your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.

(Additional prayers of the congregation. Each petition concludes with. . . )

P: . . . Lord, In Your Mercy,
C: 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, who has taught us to pray:
C: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen


P: The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and (+) give you peace.
C: Amen

Closing Hymn: “Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing” LSB, hymn #421

Jesus, grant that balm and healing
In Your holy wounds I find,
Ev’ry hour that I am feeling
Pains of body and of mind.
Should some evil thought within
Tempt my treach’rous heart to sin,
Show the peril, and from sinning
Keep me from its first beginning.

Should some lust or sharp temptation
Fascinate my sinful mind,
Draw me to Your cross and passion,
And new courage I shall find.
Or should Satan press me hard,
Let me then be on my guard,
Saying, “Christ for me was wounded,”
That the tempter flee confounded.

If the world my heart entices
With the broad and easy road,
With seductive, sinful vices,
Let me weigh the awful load
You were willing to endure.
Help me flee all thoughts impure
And to master each temptation,
Calm in prayer and meditation.

Ev’ry wound that pains or grieves me
By Your wounds, Lord, is made whole;
When I’m faint, Your cross revives me,
Granting new life to my soul.
Yes, Your comfort renders sweet
Ev’ry bitter cup I meet;
For Your all-atoning passion
Has procured my soul’s salvation.

O my God, my rock and tower,
Grant that in Your death I trust,
Knowing death has lost its power
Since You crushed it in the dust.
Savior, let Your agony
Ever help and comfort me;
When I die be my protection,
Light and life and resurrection.


After worship prayer Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with Your most gracious favor, and further us with Your continual help that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in You we may glorify Your holy name and finally by Your mercy obtain eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN.

[Legal Stuff:
Portions of this service may be copyrighted under: Divine Service, Setting One from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. Reprinted with permission. Scripture quotations taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®. Used by permission. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.
Music: Music re-printed through CCLI License #640335 or through hymnal/songbook ownership or song is Public Domain and not copyrighted. LSB425 - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Text and Music: Public domain; LSB435 - Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain: Text (sts. 1–4) and Music: Public domain; LSB421 - Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing: Text and music: Public domain.]