Sunday, March 17th 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 written 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 (Ardor)

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 5th Sunday in Lent.

Week Five: Listen, God is calling you to bear fruit


The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt–a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. -Jeremiah 31:31-33


The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant… Once again in this fifth week of Lent, we have a new covenant, a new way of God saving God’s people. Only this time there are no outward signs, no miraculous deeds done, and no angel visits. This time the covenant comes as a quietly cleansed heart on which is written God’s law. It is an entire people that no longer needs teaching or reminding because their hearts know and follow God. As we’ve spent time hearing again the stories of God’s various covenants with God’s people over the last several weeks, it has been a beautiful study of how God’s love is forever calling creation onward. ‘It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt…’ With each new generation, God calls the people to a new covenant, one that meets them in their need and provides God’s salvation. As we near Holy Week, we are reminded in the covenant from Jeremiah that God’s forgiveness of sin and freedom from iniquity lies at the heart of this life God intended and that Jesus Christ, God’s son given for the salvation of the world, is the fulfillment of all the law and the prophets, the final covenant. It is in the person of Jesus Christ that God’s covenant of love for all the cosmos is finally fulfilled, not in power or might, but in faithful, gentle, and persistent love, which is so selfless Christ was willing to enter into death itself to bring redemption.

Jesus himself said that, ‘unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ This pattern of death and resurrection, while extremely difficult to live out and trust, is in fact how God’s love overcomes sin, death, and the devil. It is the call and of discipleship, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in The Cost of Discipleship:

The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering that every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

This entire season of Lent has focused on the promise of death and resurrection, the daily dying and rising with Christ in baptism, and the new ways God has continually provided life out of death. As disciples we are called to welcome this cycle of death and resurrection, to trust that only by letting go can we experience the life God intends. God is calling the church of this generation – come, and die, not the final death, but the death of a seed waiting in the dark soil for life to spring forth. The theme verse for our season talks about God making rivers in the desert, a way when the path is obscure.

The question for our generation is not, ‘how can we bring the past back?’ but ‘what needs to die in order for God’s Spirit to bring new life?’ The question could easily accompany questions about our own motivations, our own idols, and our own insistence that we know what is best for God and the world today. Listen church, do you not hear? Can you not perceive? God is calling the church today to look for the rivers in the desert. Food deserts came up in conversation the other day, along with all sorts of other kinds of deserts that have cropped up in the fertile ground of rural Iowa: healthcare deserts, social service deserts, etc.

What kind of river will God bring forth in these deserts? What kind of fruit might be borne from the seeds of the church’s death today? Could it be that the ministry of tomorrow looks less like education wings full of children, and more like space used by county services or traveling nurses? Or the rides to worship on Sundays transformed into rides to dialysis on Monday? Of course, these kinds of rivers are already starting to flow, as congregations become re-rooted in their neighborhoods and communities. Congregations partnering with community gardens and feeding programs, or their neighboring elementary schools. These signs of the church bearing fruit are the signs of God’s covenant – of love lived out in discipleship. It is as the camp song from a few decades ago went (feel free to sing this in your best rap voice):

By this my father’s glorified:

that you bear much fruit (much fruit).

So you p-p-prove to be

disciples of me

By clinging to the cross of Christ, the very cross marked on the brows of believers in the waters of baptism, the cross etched on in ash at the start of Lent, the church finds that in the act of dying, it might bear the fruit of God’s love.

By the Rev. Erika R Uthe Director for Evangelical Mission, Assistant to the Bishop Southeastern Iowa Synod, ELCA

Introduction Copyright © 2024 Augsburg Fortress.

God promises Jeremiah that a “new covenant” will be made in the future: a covenant that will allow all the people to know God by heart. The church sees this promise fulfilled in Christ, who draws all people to himself when he is lifted up on the cross. Our baptismal covenant draws us to God’s heart through Christ and draws God’s love and truth into our hearts. We join together in worship, sharing in word, song, and meal, and leave strengthened to share God’s love with all the world.

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

Jeremiah 31:31-34

The Judeans in Babylon blamed their exile on their ancestors, who had broken the covenant established at Sinai. Here the prophet looks to a day when God will make a new covenant with the people. There will be no need to teach the law, because God will write it on their hearts.

Psalm 51:1-12

Create in me a clean heart, O God. (Ps. 51:10)

Hebrews 5:5-10

Using priestly imagery and references to the Old Testament, the author explains how Christ lived in trusting obedience to God, and so God has made Christ the source of our eternal salvation.

John 12:20-33

Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time to celebrate the Passover festival. Here Jesus’ words about seeds planted in the ground turn the disaster of his death into the promise of a harvest in which everyone will be gathered.

Fellowship Time following worship

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