Sunday, March 3rd Information

Theme for the season of Lent (February 14 – March 29, 2024)

Listen! God is Calling.

The Season of Lent

Excerpt from: “Listen! God is Calling.” SEIA Synod Resource by the Rev. Erika R Uthe Director for Evangelical Mission, Assistant to the Bishop Southeastern Iowa Synod, ELCA

Theme Verse: Behold, I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43.19

Theme Write-up: If Epiphany is a season of answering the question, “Who is God in and through the person of Jesus Christ?” Lent, I think becomes the season of, “How then shall we live?” It is a season of contradictions, a call back to the spiritual practices that ground the life of disciples throughout the millennia, and a call forward to the lives God is calling us to embrace, individually and communally. It is a season that calls us to live in the tension of confession and forgiveness, death and resurrection. In this particular Lenten series, “Listen, God is Calling,” we explore how Lent is a season of ancient practice and courageous experimentation, of prophetic dreaming rooted in practiced tradition.

If you would like to read more information about the season of Lent and the resource we will be using for the season, click on the link below.

Worship Musicians

The musicians for worship can find the service orders and music in the crate on the back pew in the sanctuary for each week of the month of February. The musicians will rehearse from 9 – 9:45 am every Sunday morning. All are welcome! Contact the office if you plan to help lead worship.

Sunday School

The Sunday school classes (youth and adult) will meet on Sunday from 9:00 – 9:45 am.

Worship Information

You are invited to join All Saints Lutheran Church for the Worship Service at 10 am on Sunday! It is the 3rd Sunday in Lent.


Exodus 20:1-7


One of the best parts of Lent in year B is that there are so many beautiful stories of God’s love for humanity, and no better example for how many, various ways God works to bring creation to salvation. Through the flood, and Abraham and Sarah, and now through the covenant of the 10 Commandments and Moses what is being spun is a tale of salvific creativity in which God meets humanity where they are and finds new ways to bring them to full and eternal life.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.”

The 10 Commandments are placed before the Israelites as the next chapter: living in freedom, they will love God and love neighbor, and their freedom will be a means of thriving and abundance for the entire community. Of course, we know that after God delivered the Israelites from slavery they then need to be rescued from their own proclivity to sin and the following 40 years in the wilderness. And then the kings don’t end up working out like they thought. And then the Babylonians conquer them. And then, and then, and then… Each time God has found a new and unique way to bring salvation.

Is it any wonder the Israelites are so committed to building the lavish temple and offering the prescribed sacrifices? Clearly this God is one worthy of worship after so many generations of saving a people who just can’t seem to get their end of the covenant right. So when Jesus enters the temple at the festival of the Passover, one of the most important festivals as the Israelites remember God’s salvation from slavery in Egypt, he is greeted by the moneychangers and merchants, ready to monetize God’s salvation and commercialize faith. Is there any reason Jesus responds with anger, whips, and throwing tables? What was meant to be a life-giving, God-given gift has turned into yet another way in which humans found a way to idolize something other than God. And here is where I start to feel a little uncomfortable as a Jesus-follower in 2024. While we don’t have merchants and moneychangers sitting at the door of our narthexes and fellowship halls, I have noticed how our congregational language has shifted in the last several years to be one much more about ‘attracting new members.’ (Sounds rather commercial, doesn’t it?) Whether it is through a building facelift, adding a shiny electronic sign, a new marketing strategy, or a program with a targeted audience, our efforts to get people into the doors of our buildings are taking up more and more space: in our resources, in our budgets, in our ministry.

And, here is where it really hurts: we have now joined the generations of ancestors who can’t quite get the covenant right. What was intended as a life-giving gift, a command to honor the sabbath and keep it holy, has become a goal, a growth metric, or a reason to feel guilty or like a failure. But don’t worry! Time and time again God found new ways to save God’s beloved children, and God is calling to us today, too. ‘Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”’ In one sentence (and one world-changing action) Jesus has completely recentered God’s salvation – and it has left the building.

Jesus Christ, the Word of God incarnate, literally became God dwelling among us. God no longer needed the temple or the priests to be the conduits of God’s word. When Jesus died the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and in the resurrection the Word of God was raised in order to be in and with all of God’s children in every time and every place – including in you and in the work of your congregation.

Listen, God is calling to you – you are now the temple through which God works to bring salvation to the world today! God’s saving action does not just happen on Sunday mornings in your sanctuary because God is not limited to any one kind of space. It is a difficult thing for us to try to shift in our minds as the paradigm of Christianity shifts in our world today yet when so much of our energy is spent trying to get people in the building, we discount the ways in which God is working every other day of the week in the lives of the members of the community.

When the disciples saw Jesus’ response to the moneychangers, they remembered what it says in Psalm 69.9 where the psalmist says, ‘zeal for your house will consume me.’ Zeal for houses of worship is strong in our culture today, and if you want to test the zeal, go into any sanctuary, and move the furniture. A person quickly finds out what is sacred to any congregation when you start messing with sanctuary or worship patterns. While sanctuaries, traditions, and practices are important and can be means by which we experience God’s presence, when they become so rigid we are blinded to how God’s love is at work in other ways, they have become idols.

Holy and beautiful things happen in sanctuaries, and they hold the range of human experience: joy and excitement of birth and baptism, pride at confirmation and owning of faith, anger, and fury at hardship and disappointment in life, love and commitment at marriage, grief, and loss at funerals, plus everything that happens every other day in our lives. They are places of comfort, they hold core memories of candle lighting and singing of Silent Night on Christmas Eve, shouting ‘Alleluia’ on Easter morning, chaos of Vacation Bible School, etc. It can be hard to imagine that God is starting to use new things in the world to bring about these old things.

We find that there can be a fine line between faithfulness and idolatry, or as Fredrik Backman said, “It’s strange how close love and fear live to each other.” When we deeply love something, it becomes easy to hold on too tight, fearing that any change will result in the loss of what we have come to find life-giving or comforting. As this Lenten season is reminding us, God’s work of salvation is ever-changing and relevant to our needs here and now. What if, in our attempts to hold on we have missed God’s call to the new ways God is saving our world today? Only by clinging to the cross can we have the courage to believe that God is really calling us to ministry in new ways (and places) that aren’t centered in our buildings. Trusting in new life, living by faith, and with open minds, we find the courage to let the Spirit drive us out into the world and find how God is at work.

Introduction Copyright © 2024 Augsburg Fortress.

The third covenant in this year’s Lenten readings is the central one of Israel’s history: the gift of the law to those God freed from slavery. The commandments begin with the statement that because God alone has freed us from the powers that oppressed us, we are to let nothing else claim first place in our lives. When Jesus throws the merchants out of the temple, he is defending the worship of God alone and rejecting the ways commerce and profit-making can become our gods. The Ten Commandments are essential to our baptismal call: centered first in God’s liberating love, we strive to live out justice and mercy in our communities and the world.

Scripture Introductions (two (2) lessons are read during worship) Copyright © 2024 Augsburg Fortress.

Exodus 20:1-17

After escaping from slavery, the Israelites come to Mount Sinai, where God teaches them how to live in community. The Ten Commandments proclaim that God alone is worthy of worship. Flowing from God, the life of the community flourishes when based on honesty, trust, fidelity, and respect for life, family, and property.

Psalm 19

The commandment of the Lord gives light to the eyes. (Ps. 19:8)

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The word of the cross is pure foolishness and nonsense to the world because it claims that God is mostly revealed in weakness, humiliation, and death. But through such divine foolishness and weakness, God is working to save us. The center of Paul’s preaching is Christ crucified.

John 2:13-22

Jesus attacks the commercialization of religion by driving merchants out of the temple. When challenged, he responds mysteriously, with the first prediction of his own death and resurrection. In the midst of a seemingly stable religious center, Jesus suggests that the center itself has changed.

Fellowship Time following worship

You are invited to stay after worship for refreshments and fellowship time. This takes place in the gathering space.