The Crucial Hours – “I will Keep the Passover!”      Ash Wednesday Celebration February 26, 2023

ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH – LCMS – 700 Main St.  P.O. Box 220   Clyman, WI  53016   

Pastor Dan 1-(920)-341-2025 –

AS WE GATHER – Today, we begin our Lenten Journey to the cross and the empty tomb of Easter morning!  We will make this journey by looking at “The Crucial Hours” of our Lord’s Passion.  As we focus on the crucial words and moments of our Lord’s Passion, our hearts and minds will once again be refreshed as we hear how He completed all that was needed for us to be saved from sin and inherit eternal life.  As we focus on His “Crucial Hours,” may we come to know the depth of His love for us in a new and deeper way.

Ringing of the Bell and Welcome

 Invocation- In the name of the Father and of the X Son and of the Holy Spirit.    Amen

 Hymn  “Savior, When in Dust to Thee”               LSB 419

Why the Imposition of Ashes? – Ashes have been a sign of repentance and sorrow over an individual’s sin for many centuries.  Ashes are a visual reminder to sinful human beings, that, without the mercy of an Almighty God, we would receive the earthly and eternal death God warned about in the garden of Eden.  The ashes also remind us that we are dust.  God created Adam from dust, (the earth), and since we are human like Adam, to dust, (the earth) we will return.  I will be putting ashes on your forehead in the shape of the cross, reminding you and all who see it that it was the cross of Christ that saves you and all sinful human beings from eternal death in hell.  As I apply the ashes, I will be saying “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  Please respond with “Amen.”  As we are receiving the mark of ashes, please remain quiet and listen to the selected penitential readings.

The Imposition of Ashes takes place.   Come forward as directed.  If you would like me to come to you once all others have their ashes, let the usher know.

Reading   Joel 2:12–19   (“Return to the LORD, your God.”)

‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’  Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Who knows?  He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing– grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.  Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.  Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast.  Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.  Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar.  Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord.  Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations.  Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?”  Then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.  The Lord will reply to them: ‘I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.


Confession and Absolution   Psalm 51:1–9 – On this night of ashes, a remembering of who we are before our God, we reflect on our sin-filled lives and we seek God’s forgiveness in what His Son has done for us.

Pulpit:  Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.  

Lectern: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin!  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 

Pulpit: Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  

 Lectern: Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.   Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  

A Time of Silence to reflect on those sins heavy on our hearts.

Most merciful Father in heaven, I am a sinner.  I have no one to blame.  The fault is my own.  I deserve to be eternally punished by You.  I am truly sorry for my sins. For the sake of the loving sacrifice of Your only Son, Jesus Christ, I ask Your forgiveness.  Remove from me the guilt of my sin and wash me that I may be whole again.  Help me to be faithful today, tomorrow, and each day through the power of God, the Holy Spirit.  Amen

 Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has had mercy on you and has given His only begotten Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins.  As a called and ordained servant of Christ, I announce God’s grace unto you.  By the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the X Son and of the Holy Spirit.         Amen.

Salutation- The Lord be with you.     And with thy spirit.

 Collect of the Day- Almighty and everlasting God, You despise nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and contrite hearts that lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness we may, like David before us, receive from You, the God of all mercy, full pardon, and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.      Amen.

Old Testament Lesson Exodus 11:1, 4-5, 12:1-14    (The Passover Christ takes us back to!)

Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.  So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.  Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.      The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.  Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.  If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.  The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.  Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.   Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.  That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.  Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire–head, legs, and inner parts.  Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.  This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand.  Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.  “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn–both men and animals–and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.  The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.  No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.  “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord–a lasting ordinance.

 Epistle 2 Corinthians 5:20b–6:10     (Paul invites us to be reconciled to God.)

We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.   God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.  For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”  I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.  We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.  Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

 Verse  Joel 2:13b  Return to the LORD, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

Holy Gospel  Luke 22:1-2, 7-20             

 The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the Twenty second chapter.    Glory to You, O Lord.

 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.      Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.  Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”  “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.  He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you.  Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’  He will show you a large upper room, all furnished.  Make preparations there.”  They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.  When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.  And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”  After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.  For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.           This is the Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to You, O Christ.

 Nicene Creed-  I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.    And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church, I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life X of the world to come.    Amen.

Hymn  “The Lamb”                                              LSB 547

Sermon – “I Will Keep the Passover”  Luke 2

Prayers of the Church

 Lord’s Prayer- 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.

** We gather our Tithes and Offerings **

Offertory                                                                       LSB 192

X Service of the Sacrament X 

Preface   2 Timothy 4:22-   The Lord be with you.     And also with you.   Lift up your hearts.   We lift them to the Lord.  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  It is right to give Him thanks and praise.  To You alone, O Father, be all glory, honor, and praise, together with the Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever.   Amen

 Prayer of Thanksgiving-    Blessed are You, Lord of heaven and earth, for You have had mercy on those whom You created and sent Your only-begotten Son into our flesh to bear our sin and be our Savior.  With repentant joy we receive the salvation accomplished for us by the all-availing sacrifice of His body and His blood on the cross.  Gathered in the name and the remembrance of Jesus, we beg You, O Lord, to forgive, renew, and strengthen us with Your Word and Spirit. Grant us faithfully to eat His body and drink His blood as He bids us do in His own testament. Gather us together, we pray, from the ends of the earth to celebrate with all the faithful the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end.  Graciously receive our prayers; deliver and preserve us.  To You alone, O Father, be all glory, honor, and worship, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.    Amen.

The Words of Our Lord – Consecration of the Elements

Proclamation of Christ     1 Corinthians 11:26; Revelation 22:20-   As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.   Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Pax Domini-  The peace of the Lord be with you always.

Agnus Dei  LSB 198

We Celebrate our Lord’s Supper

 Distribution Hymns:   “Today Your Mercy Calls Us”  LSB 915    “Your Table I Approach”  LSB 628                      “I Lay My Sins on Jesus”                                         LSB 606

 Post-Communion Canticle –  Nunc Dimittis  LSB 199

Post-Communion Thanksgiving –   O God, You desire not the death of sinners, but rather that they turn from their wickedness and live.  We implore You to have compassion on the frailty of our mortal nature, for we acknowledge that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Thank You for forgiving our sins and giving us the faith needed to  inherit the promises You have laid up for those who are repentant.  We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Benediction – 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.    Amen.

Hymn:  “O Jesus, Blessed Lord to Thee”       LSB 632