2nd Sunday in Lent

The Second Sunday in Lent

March 5, 2023

Christ and Nicodemus by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1919)



The Rev. Billy Graham opened his three-night crusade at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens last night with a brief sermon stripped down to its barest essentials: God, Jesus Christ and the promise of new life they offer to one and all.

Mr. Graham chose from the Scripture the familiar story of Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus, a professor and a rich man, went to see Jesus preach and peppered him with spiritual questions.

“Jesus said, ‘Nicodemus, you’re a great man,’ ” Mr. Graham recalled in an even baritone. ” ‘But you lack one thing. You must be born again.’ “

As he has been promising to do, Mr. Graham steered clear of politics. The closest he got was when he addressed the topic of sin. “There’s a lot of discussion about the Ten Commandments being in a courtroom or in our country,” Mr. Graham said. “We need to look at the Ten Commandments, because they convict us of our sins.”

He compared many Christians to a baseball player who hits a home run but is called out for failing to touch first base, or to a couple who cannot get into a Broadway show but cadge ticket stubs and learn songs so that they can convince their friends that they have seen it.

“That’s the way with many of us tonight,” he said. “We have all the trappings of true faith, but deep inside, we’ve never been born again.”

Mr. Graham ended his service as he always does, with an invitation for audience members to come forward and pledge their lives to Christ.  “You come,” he said in a loving voice as the area in front of the wide stage began to fill up. “There may never be another thing like this in New York again. You come. You come now.”

The crowd that gathered at the front – about 3,000 people, Graham officials said – stood in silence until Mr. Graham asked them to repeat after him.”Oh, God,” he said, and they echoed. “I’m a sinner. I’m sorry for my sins. I turn to Jesus for forgiveness.”

One woman who went forward, Leticia Mateo, said the emotions of the experience were overwhelming. “It’s like an opening in your heart,” said Ms. Mateo, 32, a university administrator from North Bergen, N.J. “You feel like you’re behind bars and someone has given you the keys to get out.”

Andy Newman, A Simple Message with an Invitation to the Faithful to Be Born Again. The New York Times (June, 2005)

Welcome to St. Paul Lutheran Church!

We are glad that you are with us today! If you are new to our church, you may not be familiar with Lutheran liturgy. No worries. This bulletin is designed to help guide you through the worship service. We encourage you to participate in as much or as little of the service as you feel comfortable. Thank you for being a part of our worship. We hope that the Lord blesses you through our time together!

Restrooms, Changing Stations, and Nursing Room

Restrooms are located in the lobby (narthex) of the sanctuary. Both the men’s and women’s rooms have diaper changing tables for the little ones. We also have a nursing room for mothers and babies that is located across the breezeway, straight out of the doors on the east side of the lobby.

Children in the Liturgy

We pray that all children would know that God made them, He loves them, and He goes with them everywhere. We are glad to have little ones with us in the service. We know that they sometimes can squirm, squawk, and squeal. Please don’t feel embarrassed by it! All kids are always welcome here at St. Paul. We encourage you to help them follow along and engage with them in the action of the liturgy – observe the movement of the procession, hear the music, sing the songs, smell the fire of the candles, respond with a loud Amen, make the sign of the cross, touch the water in the baptismal font, and wonder at the images and symbols that are all around. What Jesus does here is sure to engage us all.

A Note on Holy Communion

In this service we celebrate a sacred ritual of the Christian Church called the Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper. In this rite we recall the last meal that Jesus had with his disciples. In this blessed meal we have our eyes opened and we recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. Though our faith is grounded in history, this liturgy is not merely a nostalgic looking back at the past – it is a celebration and a deep recognition that in this meal our Lord Jesus Christ is truly and really present with us in the bread and the wine. We cling to the hope of resurrection that will be ours when all things will be fully redeemed and restored in Him. All baptized Christians who have a sincere sorrow for their sin and see in this holy mystery the true body and blood of Christ are invited to receive Holy Communion.

Notes for the Second Sunday in Lent   

In the second Sunday of Lent, the scripture lessons emphasize faith that is rooted in the grace of God. In Romans, Paul points to Abraham as the father of faith, emphasizing that Abraham was justified by faith and not by works. In this way, God’s promised inheritance to Abraham and his descendants is dependent on grace. In John’s gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again. In doing so, Jesus intimates that Nicodemus, though a leader among the Pharisees, does not yet understand true obedience which grows from loving trust in the living God. May God humble us as and keep us in His grace as His beloved forgiven children.

Greeting and Welcome

The assembly stands and faces the entrance of the sanctuary. We begin with a procession – the cross leading the way – an image of our life in Christ and journey to heaven. Some bow as the cross passes, honoring the mystery of salvation.

Great is thy Faithfulness (809)

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;

There is no shadow of turning with Thee.

Thou changest not: Thy compassions, they fail not;

As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon and stars in their courses above

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!


          En el nombre del Padre, y del X Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo.

All     Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us

All     But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Señor, ten piedad de nosotros.

All     Señor, ten piedad de nosotros.

Cristo, ten piedad de nosotros.

All     Cristo, ten piedad de nosotros.

Señor, ten piedad de nosotros

All     Señor, ten piedad de nosotros

Silence is Kept

Let us then confess our sins to God our Father:

All     Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

All     Amen.

The Kyrie

Prayer of the Day

The Lord be with you.

All     And also with you.

Let us pray.

All     Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Scripture Readings

Genesis 12:1-9

Now the Lord saidto Abram, “Go from your countryand your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak[d] of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

         This is the word of the Lord.

All     Thanks be to God.

Romans 4:1-8, 13-17

What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.And to the one who does not work but believes inhim who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

This is the word of the Lord.

All     Thanks be to God

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St John.

All     Glory to You, O Lord.

John 3:1-17

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesusby night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born againhe cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The windblows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but youdo not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

All     Praise to you, O Christ.

Children’s Sermon

On My Heart Imprint Your Image (422)

On my heart imprint Your image,
Blessed Jesus, King of grace,
That life’s riches, cares, and pleasures
Never may Your work erase;
Let the clear inscription be:
Jesus, crucified for me,
Is my Life, my hope’s foundation,
And my glory and salvation!


Prayer of the Church

After the pastor says Lord in Your Mercy, all respond with Hear our Prayer.

For a Holy Lent – to focus on Christ in our praying, fasting, and giving.

For blessing in our outreach; CDC, Thrift Ship, Food Pantry, LINC, Presa

Pastors Philip, Roy, Naresh, Christoph, Matt, and all church planters

For U.S. Leaders: President Joe, Governor Greg, Mayor Ron

For those in Military: Jarred, Alissa, Mark, Tom, Thomas, Ricky

Church Leaders; LCMS President Matthew, District President Michael

Persecuted Christians in: Afghanistan, India, Sudan, Syria

Global Partner Church: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Paraguay

For Comfort, Health, Encouragement, and Recovery:

The people of Ukraine

Pastor Dave, Carlos, and Mike (as they travel to conference)

Keith Everett (thanksgiving after receiving kidney transplant)

Pat Garcia (cousin of Rick Garza in need of liver transplant)

Marianna (thanksgiving for successful gallbladder surgery)

Linda Wenck (as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment)

Michael Garcia (brother of Eva, with upcoming treatments for cancer)

Daniel (brother of Patricia Perez, recovering from surgery)

Diane Beasley

Ana Garcia (cousin of Paul and JoAnn – diagnosed with cancer)

Cecilia Luna (friend of America Alderete – diagnosed with cancer)

Joe Ojeda (blessing and guidance as he begins pastoral formation)

Tillie Cropper

Alex Rivera

Gulley Rivera

Roy Wessel

Everett Mason

Vicky Dean (sister of Melissa Hild)

Yesenia (daughter of Anna Marquez)

Teresa Medellin (neighbor of Alicia Guerrero)

Mildred Westphal

Albert Pedroza (neighbor of Thomas Robledo)

Cayley (granddaughter of Robert and Linda Chetwood)

Austin Hernden

Robin Beasley Jr

The Offering

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow (805)

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host:

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Prayer Before Reception of Holy Communion

O Lord, I believe and profess that you are truly Christ,
The Son of the living God, who came into the world
To save sinners of whom I am the first.

Accept me as a partaker of your mystical supper, O Lord,
For I will not reveal your mystery to your enemies,
Nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas, But like the thief I profess to you:

Remember me, O Lord, when you come in your kingdom.
Remember me, O Master, when you come in your kingdom.
Remember me, O Holy One, when you come in your kingdom.

May the partaking of your Holy mysteries, O Lord,
Be not for my judgment or condemnation,
But for the healing of my soul and body.

O Lord, I also believe and profess, that this,

Which I am about to receive,
Is truly your most precious Body, and your life-giving Blood,
Given for me for remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen

Service of the Sacrament

          The Lord be with you.

All     And also with you.

          Lift up your hearts.

All     We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All     It is right to give Him thanks and praise.

It is indeed right and good to give you thanks and praise, almighty God  and everlasting Father, through Jesus Christ your Son. For in these forty days you lead us into the desert of repentance that through a pilgrimage of prayer and discipline we may grow in grace and learn to be your people once again. Through fasting, prayer and acts of service you bring us back to your generous heart. Through study of your holy word you open our eyes to your presence in the world and free our hands to welcome others into the radiant splendor of your love. As we prepare to celebrate the Easter feast with joyful hearts and minds we bless you for your mercy and join with saints and angels forever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of Sabaoth adored;

Heaven and earth with full acclaim shout the glory of Your name.

Sing hosana in the highest, sing hosana to the Lord;

Truly blest is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

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 to faithfully eat His body and drink His blood as He bids us to in His own testament. Gather us together 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. Receive our prayers; deliver and preserve us. To You alone be all glory, honor, and worship, now and forever.

All     Amen.

The Consecration

The Acclamation and Invitation

As often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

All     Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Behold the Lamb of God, behold Jesus, who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

All     Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

          La paz del Señor sea con ustedes.

All     Y Tambien contigo

Sharing of the Peace

Greet each other in the name of Jesus by saying, ‘the Peace of the Lord be with you’ as a sign of forgiveness & reconciliation in preparation for reception of the Blessed Sacrament.

Lamb of God

Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.

The Distribution

From the Depths of Woe, I Cry to Thee (607)

Lead by the Choir

Eucharistic Dismissal

Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace (937)

Lord, bid Your servant go in peace, Your word is now fulfilled.
These eyes have seen salvation’s dawn, This child so long foretold.

This is the Savior of the world, The Gentiles’ promised light,
God’s glory dwelling in our midst, The joy of Israel.

With saints of old, with saints to come, To You we lift our voice;
To Father, Son, and Spirit blest Be honor, love, and praise.

Post-Communion Prayer

          We give thanks to You, almighty God, that You have refreshed us through this salutary gift, and we implore You, that of Your mercy, You would strengthen us in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.



  Christ be my Leader (861)

Christ be my leader by night as by day;

Safe through the darkness, for He is the way.

Gladly I follow, my future His care,

Darkness is daylight when Jesus is there.

Christ be my teacher in age as in youth,

Drifting or doubting, for He is the truth.

Grant me to trust Him; though shifting as sand,

Doubt cannot daunt me; in Jesus I stand.

Christ be my Saviour in calm as in strife;

Death cannot hold me, for He is the Life.

Nor darkness nor doubting nor sin and its stain

Can touch my salvation: with Jesus I reign.

Serving Today @ St. Paul

Music                                     Jim Wollmann, Ronnie Biediger, Judy Foerster

Duty Elders                             Rick Garza, George Fernandez, Paul Mallow

Altar Servers                          Michael Cruz & Moriah Windhorst

Lector                                    Michael Cruz

Preacher/Celebrant           Rev. Dave Murillo              (davem@stpaulsa.org)

Liturgist                                  Rev. Carlos Boerger          (carlosb@stpaulsa.org)

Parish Administrator             Suzanne Segovia              (suzannes@stpaulsa.org

CDC Director                         Deborah Stephenson       (deborahs@stpaulsa.org)

Deaconess                             Claire Jackson

Pastoral Intern                      Michael Cruz


Bible Study Opportunities This Week

We have ongoing online zoom classes throughout the week – all are invited!

(Meeting ID #2105327341 No Password required)

Monday @ 6:30           (Deaconess Claire)

Thursday @ 6:30          (Pastor Carlos – the Gospel of Mark)

Church Leadership Conference

Please keep Pastor Dave, Pastor Carlos, and Intern Mike in prayer as they travel to Florida with other pastors from the District for a conference.

Easter Donations

It is an Easter tradition here at St. Paul to give away Easter baskets as well as cascarones (hallowed out egg with confetti) to all the children. We are seeking donations to help with this ministry. If you can help, see Judy Simon.

Easter Potluck

Easter Sunday from 8 – 10am we are having a potluck in the gym before the Easter service. Please contact Suzanne at the church office for more info.

First Communion Class

1st communion class meets in Room 6 from 12 –3. Lunch will be provided.

Vacation Bible School

Mark your calendar for Monday June the 19th to Friday June the 23rd.