The Wartburg Project

The Season of Lent

Christian Worship: Hymnal (2021)

3-Year Lectionary, Year A

Ash Wednesday

First Reading

Isaiah 59:12-20

Yes, our rebellious deeds are many before you,

and our sins testify against us.

Our rebellious deeds are with us,

and as for our guilty deeds, we are aware of them.

13Those deeds are rebellion and treachery against the Lord.

We turn back from following our God.

We incite oppression and apostasy.

We conceive and mutter deceitful words from our hearts.

14Justice is turned back,

and righteousness stands far away,

for truth stumbles in the city square,

and honesty cannot enter it.

15The truth is missing,

and anyone who turns from evil makes himself prey.

The Lord looked and saw something evil—

there was no justice.

16He saw that there was no one.

He was appalled that there was no one who could intervene.

So his own arm worked salvation for him,

and his own righteousness supported him.

17He clothed himself with righteousness like armor

and wore a helmet of salvation on his head.

He dressed in garments for vengeance,

and he wrapped himself with zeal like a cloak.

18He will repay in full what they have earned,

namely, wrath to his foes and full payment to his enemies.

He will repay even the distant coastlands.

19From the west they will fear the Lord’s name,

and from the rising of the sun they will fear his glory,

for he will come like a raging river,

driven by the Spirit of the Lord.

20Then a redeemer will come for Zion

and for those in Jacob who turn from rebellion.

This is the declaration of the Lord.

Second Reading

2 Corinthians 7:8–13a

For even if I caused you sorrow with my letter, I do not regret it (even though I did regret it, for I see that my letter caused you sorrow—yet only for a little while). 9Now I rejoice, not because you were made to feel sorrow, but because this sorrow resulted in repentance. Yes, you were made sorry in a godly way. So you were not harmed in any way by us. 10In fact, godly sorrow produces repentance, which leads to salvation, leaving no regret. On the other hand, worldly sorrow produces death.

11Yes, look what godly sorrow produced in you: what diligence, what eagerness to clear yourself, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what correction! In every way you proved yourselves to be pure in this matter. 12So although I wrote to you, it was not because of the one who did what was wrong, or because of the one who was harmed by it. I wrote instead so that your genuine concern for us would be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13For that reason we have been comforted.


Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21

“Be careful that you do not do your righteous works in front of people, so that they will notice. If you do, you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2So whenever you perform acts of mercy, do not sound a trumpet for yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets to be praised by people. Amen I tell you: They have received their reward. 3Instead, when you perform acts of mercy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4Then your acts of mercy will be in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

5“Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by people. Amen I tell you: They have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your private room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what others cannot see, will reward you.

“Whenever you fast, do not make yourself look sad like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces to show everyone that they are fasting. Amen I tell you: They have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18so that it is not apparent to people that you are fasting, but only to your Father who sees what is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

19“Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21Because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The First Sunday in Lent

First Reading

Genesis 3:1–15

Now the serpent was more clever than any wild animal which the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3but not from the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden. God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it. You shall not touch it, or else you will die.’ ”

4The serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die. 5In fact, God knows that the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was appealing to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate. She gave some also to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7The eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for their waists. 8They heard the voice of the Lord God, who was walking around in the garden during the cooler part of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

9The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

10The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”

11God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?”

12The man said, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13The Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14The Lord God said to the serpent:

Because you have done this,

you are cursed more than all the livestock,

and more than every wild animal.

You shall crawl on your belly,

and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

15I will put hostility between you and the woman,

and between your seed and her seed.

He will crush your head,

and you will crush his heel.

Second Reading

Romans 5:12-19

So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, so also death spread to all people because all sinned. 13For even before the law was given, sin was in the world. Now, sin is not charged to one’s account if there is no law, 14and yet death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those whose sin was not like the transgression of Adam, who is a pattern of the one who was to come.

15But the gracious gift is not like Adam’s trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of this one man, it is even more certain that God’s grace, and the gift given by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ, overflowed to the many!

16And the gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin, for the judgment that followed the one trespass resulted in a verdict of condemnation, but the gracious gift that followed many trespasses resulted in a verdict of justification.

17Indeed, if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through the one man, it is even more certain that those who receive the overflowing grace of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ!

18So then, just as one trespass led to a verdict of condemnation for all people, so also one righteous verdict led to life-giving justification for all people. 19For just as through the disobedience of one man the many became sinners, so also through the obedience of one man the many will become righteous.


Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The Tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”

4But Jesus answered, “It is written:

Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”

5Then the Devil took him into the holy city. He placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and he said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:

He will command his angels concerning you.

And they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

7Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written:

You shall not test the Lord your God.”

8Again the Devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9He said to him, “I will give you all of these things, if you will bow down and worship me.”

10Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

11Then the Devil left him, and just then angels came and served him.

The Second Sunday in Lent

First Reading

Genesis 12:1-8

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Get out of your country and away from your relatives and from your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you. 2I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse anyone who dishonors you. All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you.”

4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5Abram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother’s son, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to travel to the land of Canaan. Eventually they arrived in the land of Canaan. 6Abram passed through the land until he came to the Oak of Moreh at the place called Shechem. The Canaanites were in the land at that time.

7The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” Abram built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

8He moved on from there to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent there, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and proclaimed the name of the Lord.

Second Reading

Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered according to the flesh? 2If indeed Abraham had been justified by works, he would have had a reason to boast—but not before God. 3For what does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

4Now to a person who works, his pay is not counted as a gift but as something owed. 5But to the person who does not work but believes in the God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness.

13Indeed, the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not given to Abraham or his descendants through the law, but through the righteousness that is by faith. 14To be sure, if people are heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 15For law brings wrath. (Where there is no law, there is no transgression.) 16For this reason, the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace and may be guaranteed to all of Abraham’s descendants—not only to the one who is a descendant by law, but also to the one who has the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”


John 3:1–17

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these miraculous signs you are doing unless God is with him.”

3Jesus replied, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Unless someone is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

5Jesus answered, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God! 6Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh. Whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be surprised when I tell you that you must be born from above. 8The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9“How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.

10“You are the teacher of Israel,” Jesus answered, “and you do not know these things? 11Amen, Amen, I tell you: We speak what we know, and we testify about what we have seen. But you people do not accept our testimony. 12If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven, except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.

14“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

The Third Sunday in Lent

First Reading

Exodus 17:1–7

The entire Israelite community set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin as the Lord had commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2So the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses said to them, “Why are you quarreling with me? Why are you testing the Lord?”

3But the people were thirsty for water there, so they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you ever bring us up out of Egypt to let us, our children, and our livestock die of thirst?”

4Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me!”

5The Lord said to Moses, “Go in front of the people, and take the elders of Israel with you. Also take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6Watch me. I will stand there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock. Water will come out of it, and the people will drink.” Moses did that in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He named the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Second Reading

Romans 5:1–8

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we also have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice confidently on the basis of our hope for the glory of God.

3Not only this, but we also rejoice confidently in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patient endurance, 4and patient endurance produces tested character, and tested character produces hope. 5And hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.

6For at the appointed time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7It is rare indeed that someone will die for a righteous person. Perhaps someone might actually go so far as to die for a person who has been good to him. 8But God shows his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


John 4:5–26

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the piece of land Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there. Then Jesus, being tired from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)

9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

11“Sir,” she said, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this living water? 12You are not greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave us this well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his animals.”

13Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty ever again. Rather, the water I will give him will become in him a spring of water, bubbling up to eternal life.”

15“Sir, give me this water,” the woman said to him, “so I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.”

17“I have no husband,” the woman answered.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say, ‘I have no husband.’ 18In fact, you have had five husbands, and the man you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

19“Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews insist that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will not worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23But a time is coming and now is here when the real worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for those are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ). “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26Jesus said to her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.”

The Fourth Sunday in Lent

First Reading

Isaiah 42:14-21

I have been silent for a long time.

I have kept still. I have restrained myself.

But now, like a woman giving birth, I will scream.

I will gasp and pant.

15I will dry up mountains and hills.

I will make all their grass wither.

I will turn rivers into islands.

I will dry up pools.

16I will lead the blind on a way they do not know.

Along paths they do not know I will direct them.

Ahead of them I will turn darkness into light

and rough places into level ground.

These are the things I will accomplish for them.

I will not abandon them.

17They will be turned back and completely disgraced—

those who trust in an idol,

those who say to molten images, “You are our gods.”

18You deaf ones, listen!

You blind ones, watch carefully so that you can see!

19Who is as blind as my servant?

Who is as deaf as my messenger whom I sent?

Who is as blind as my associate,

as blind as the servant of the Lord?

20You, Israel, see many things, but you do not observe.

Israel opens his ears, but he does not hear.

21Because of his own righteousness,

the Lord was pleased to make his law great and glorious.

Second Reading

Ephesians 5:8-14

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, 9for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. 10Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord, 11and do not participate in fruitless deeds of darkness. Instead, expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention the things that are done by people in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes things visible. 14Therefore it is said, “Awake, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”


John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39

As Jesus was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that God’s works might be revealed in connection with him. 4I must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.”

6After saying this, Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the man’s eyes. 7“Go,” Jesus told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

13They brought this man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15So the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight.

“He put mud on my eyes,” the man told them. “I washed, and now I see.”

16Then some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” Others were saying, “How can a sinful man work such miraculous signs?”

There was division among them, 17so they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

34They answered him, “You were entirely born in sinfulness! Yet you presume to teach us?” And they threw him out.

35Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. When he found him, he asked, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

36“Who is he, sir,” the man replied, “that I may believe in him?”

37Jesus answered, “You have seen him, and he is the very one who is speaking with you.”

38Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” and he knelt down and worshipped him.

39Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, in order that those who do not see will see, and those who do see will become blind.”

The Fifth Sunday in Lent

First Reading

2 Kings 4:17–37

But the woman conceived, and she gave birth to a son at that same time of year, just as Elisha said to her.

18The boy grew up, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19Then he said to his father, “My head! My head!”

His father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20So he picked him up and carried him to his mother, and the boy sat on her lap until noon. Then he died.

21Then she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God. She shut the door behind her and went out. 22Then she called to her husband and said, “Send one of the servants to me with one of the donkeys, so that I can run to the man of God and come back.”

23He said, “Why are you going to him today? It’s not the new moon, and it’s not the Sabbath.”

But she said, “It’s all right.”

24Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead the way. Don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.”

25So she went to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When the man of God saw her from a distance, he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! That’s the woman from Shunem! 26Now run to meet her and say, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your son all right?’ ”

She answered, “We’re all right.”

27Then she came to the man of God at the mountain, and she grasped his feet. Gehazi stepped forward to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone, for her soul is in distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me. He has not told me.”

28Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn’t I say, ‘Don’t give me false hope’?”

29Then Elisha said to Gehazi, “Hike up your garments for travel, and take my staff in your hand and go! If you meet someone, do not greet him, and if someone greets you, do not answer. Put my staff on the boy’s face.”

30But the boy’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her. 31Gehazi went ahead of them and put the staff on the boy’s face. But there was no sound, and there was no response. So he went back to Elisha and told him, “The boy did not wake up.”

32When Elisha came to the house, there the boy was—dead, lying on his bed. 33So he went in and he shut the door behind the two of them. Then he prayed to the Lord. 34He got up and lay down on top of the boy. He put his mouth to the boy’s mouth, his eyes to the boy’s eyes, his palms to the boy’s palms. Then he bent down over him, and the boy’s flesh became warm. 35He went back into the house and paced back and forth. Then he went up and bent down over him, and the boy sneezed seven times. Then the boy opened his eyes.

36Then Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the woman of Shunem!” So he called her, and she came in. He said, “Pick up your son.” 37So she came in and fell at Elisha’s feet and bowed down to the ground. Then she picked up her son and went out.

Second Reading

Romans 8:11-19

And if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit, who is dwelling in you.

12So then, brothers, we do not owe it to the sinful flesh to live in harmony with it. 13For if you live in harmony with the sinful flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live.

14Indeed, those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery so that you are afraid again, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we call out, “Abba, Father!” 16The Spirit himself joins our spirit in testifying that we are God’s children.

17Now if we are children, we are also heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, since we suffer with him, so that we may also be glorified with him.

18For I conclude that our sufferings at the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19In fact, creation is waiting with eager longing for the sons of God to be revealed.


John 11:17-27, 38-45

17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

18Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.

20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary was sitting in the house.

21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”

23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the Last Day.”

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even if he dies. 26And whoever lives and believes in me will never perish. Do you believe this?”

27“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

38Jesus was deeply moved again as he came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39“Take away the stone,” he said.

Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, because it has been four days.”

40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone.

Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

44The man who had died came out with his feet and his hands bound with strips of linen and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus told them, “Loose him and let him go.”

45Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him.

The Sixth Sunday in Lent—Palm Sunday

First Reading

Zechariah 9:9-10

Rejoice greatly, Daughter of Zion!

Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

Look! Your King is coming to you.

He is righteous and brings salvation.

He is humble and is riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

10I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim

and the horse from Jerusalem.

The battle bow will be taken away,

and he will proclaim peace to the nations.

His kingdom will extend from sea to sea,

from the River to the ends of the earth.

Second Reading

Philippians 2:5-11

5Indeed, let this attitude be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. 6Though he was by nature God, he did not consider equality with God as a prize to be displayed, 7but he emptied himself by taking the nature of a servant. When he was born in human likeness, and his appearance was like that of any other man, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Matthew 21:1-11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2telling them, “Go to the village ahead of you. Immediately you will find a donkey tied there along with her colt. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”

4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5Tell the daughter of Zion: Look, your King comes to you, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

6The disciples went and did just as Jesus commanded them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their outer clothing on them, and he sat on it. 8A very large crowd spread their outer clothing on the road. Others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them out on the road. 9The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed kept shouting,

Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!

10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, asking, “Who is this?” 11And the crowds were saying, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Sixth Sunday in Lent—Sunday of the Passion


Matthew 26:1–27:66

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2“You know that after two days it will be the Passover, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas. 4They plotted together how to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5But they said, “Not during the Festival, or else there might be a riot among the people.”

6When Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman approached him holding an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She poured it on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8But when his disciples saw this, they were upset and said, “Why this waste? 9This perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.”

10Jesus was aware of this and said to them, “Why are you causing trouble for this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 11You are always going to have the poor with you, but you are not always going to have me. 12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13Amen I tell you: Wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her.”

14Then one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16From that time on Judas was looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

17On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him the Teacher says, ‘My time is near. I will observe the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ”

19The disciples did as Jesus commanded them and prepared the Passover. 20When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.

21As they were eating, he said, “Amen I tell you: One of you will betray me.”

22They were very sad and began to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I, Lord?”

23He replied, “The one who dipped his hand in the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man is going just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”

25Judas, who betrayed him, replied, “Surely, not I, Rabbi?”

He said to him, “Yes, you are the one.”

26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples. He said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” 27Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you, 28for this is my blood of the new testament, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30After they sang a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

31Then Jesus said to them, “This night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

33Peter answered him, “Even if all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”

34Jesus said to him, “Amen I tell you: Tonight before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.”

35Peter said to him, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” And all the disciples said the same.

36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane. He told his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and he began to be sorrowful and distressed. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to the point of death. Stay here, and keep watch with me.”

39He went a little farther, fell on his face, and prayed. He said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “So, were you not able to stay awake with me for one hour? 41Watch and pray, so that you do not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to pass from me unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43Again he returned and found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time. He said the same words as before. 45Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise. Let us go. Look, my betrayer is near.”

47While Jesus was still speaking, suddenly Judas (one of the Twelve) arrived. With him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign: “The one I kiss is the man. Arrest him.” 49Immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

50Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?”

Then they advanced, took hold of Jesus, and arrested him. 51Suddenly, one of the men with Jesus reached out his hand, drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, because all who take the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you not realize that I could call on my Father, and at once he would provide me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”

55At that same time Jesus said to the crowd, “Have you come out to arrest me with swords and clubs as if I were a robber? Day after day I was sitting in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

57Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the experts in the law and the elders were assembled. 58Peter was following him at a distance and went as far as the courtyard of the high priest. He went inside and sat down with the guards to see how it would turn out.

59The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60They found none, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”

62The high priest stood up and said to him, “Have you no answer? What is this that these men are testifying against you?” 63But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I place you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God!”

64Jesus said to him, “It is as you have said. But I tell you, soon you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? See, you have just heard the blasphemy! 66What do you think?”

They answered, “He is deserving of death!” 67Then they spit in his face and punched him. Some slapped him 68and said, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who hit you?”

69Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came to him and said, “You were also with Jesus the Galilean.”

70But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

71When Peter went out to the entryway, someone else saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72Again Peter denied it with an oath and said, “I do not know the man.”

73After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them because even your accent gives you away.”

74Then he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man!” Just then the rooster crowed. 75And Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

27:1Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people reached the decision to put Jesus to death. 2They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pontius Pilate, the governor.

3Then when Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he felt remorse. He brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders 4and said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? That’s your problem.”

5He threw the pieces of silver into the temple and left. Then he went out and hanged himself. 6The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put these into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7They reached a decision to buy the potter’s field with the money, as a burial place for foreigners. 8So that field has been called The Field of Blood to this day. 9Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:

They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price the sons of Israel had set for him, 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as the Lord commanded me.

11When Jesus stood in the presence of the governor, the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”

12When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how many things they are testifying against you?”

14But he did not answer him—not even one word, so that the governor was very surprised.

15At the time of the Festival the governor had a custom to release to the crowd any one prisoner they wanted. 16At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17So when they were assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you? Barabbas—or Jesus, who is called Christ?” 18For Pilate knew that they had handed Jesus over to him because of envy.

19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, Pilate’s wife sent him a message. “Have nothing to do with that righteous man,” she said, “since I have suffered many things today in a dream because of him.” 20But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus put to death. 21The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”

“Barabbas!” they said.

22Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?”

They all said to him, “Crucify him!”

23But the governor said, “Why? What has he done wrong?”

But they kept shouting even louder: “Crucify him!”

24When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing and that instead it was turning into a riot, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this righteous man’s blood. It is your responsibility.”

25And all the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”

26Then he released Barabbas to them, but he had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified.

27Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. 29They twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand, knelt in front of him, and mocked him by saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spit on him, took the staff, and hit him repeatedly on his head.

31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32As they were going out of the city, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33They came to a place called Golgotha, which means “The place of the skull.” 34They offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35After they had crucified him, they divided his clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36Then they sat down and were keeping watch over him there. 37Above his head they posted the written charge against him: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

38At the same time two criminals were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39People who passed by kept insulting him, shaking their heads, 40and saying, “You who were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

41In the same way the chief priests, experts in the law, and elders kept mocking him. They said, 42“He saved others, but he cannot save himself. If he’s the King of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now, if he wants him, because he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with him kept insulting him.

45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour, there was darkness over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “This fellow is calling for Elijah.”

48Immediately one of them ran, took a sponge, and soaked it with sour wine. Then he put it on a stick and gave him a drink. 49The rest said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50After Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51Suddenly, the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and rocks were split. 52Tombs were opened, and many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised to life. 53Those who came out of the tombs went into the holy city after Jesus’ resurrection and appeared to many people. 54When the centurion and those who were guarding Jesus with him saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this was the Son of God.”

55Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and who had served him were there, watching from a distance. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60and laid it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. He rolled a large stone over the tomb’s entrance and left. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there sitting opposite the tomb.

62On the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered in the presence of Pilate 63and said, “Sir, we remembered what that deceiver said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64So give a command that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise his disciples might steal his body and tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead.’ And this last deception will be worse than the first.”

65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard. Go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and posting a guard.

Holy Thursday

First Reading

Exodus 24:1–11

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, along with Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship me from a distance. 2Only Moses is allowed to come near the Lord, but the others are not to come near, and the people are not to go up with him.”

3Moses came and reported to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances. Then all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do.” 4Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord.

He got up early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He set up twelve memorial stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5He sent young Israelite men, who offered whole burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings of cattle to the Lord. 6Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and he splashed half of the blood on the altar. 7He took the Book of the Covenant and read it out loud to the people and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do. We will obey.”

8Moses took the blood and splashed it on the people. He said, “Look, here is the blood of the covenant, which the Lord made with you by means of all these words.”

9Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet they saw what looked like a pavement of sapphire as clear as the sky. 11The Lord did not lay his hand on the dignitaries of the people of Israel. They gazed at God, and they ate and drank.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 11:23-28

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after the meal, he also took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new testament in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the Lord’s body and blood. 28Instead, let a person examine himself and after doing so, let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup.


John 13:1-15, 34

Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved those who were his own in the world, he loved them to the end.

2By the time the supper took place, the Devil had already put the idea into the heart of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.

3Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God. 4He got up from the supper and laid aside his outer garment. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6He came to Simon Peter, who asked him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7Jesus answered him, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but later you will understand.”

8Peter told him, “You will never, ever, wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.”

9“Lord, not just my feet,” Simon Peter replied, “but also my hands and my head!”

10Jesus told him, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet, but his body is completely clean. And you are clean, but not all of you.” 11Indeed, he knew who was going to betray him. That is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12After Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer garment, he reclined at the table again. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me Teacher and Lord. You are right, because I am. 14Now if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15Yes, I have given you an example so that you also would do just as I have done for you.

34“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you are to love one another.”

Good Friday

First Reading

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Look, my servant will succeed.

He will rise. He will be lifted up. He will be highly exalted.

14Just as many were appalled at him—

his appearance was so disfigured that he did not look like a man,

and his form was disfigured more than any other person—

15so he will sprinkle many nations,

and kings will shut their mouths because of him,

because they will see something they had never been told before,

and they will understand something they had never heard before.

53:1Who has believed our report,

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2He grew up before him like a tender shoot

and like a root from dry ground.

He had no attractiveness and no majesty.

When we saw him, nothing about his appearance made us desire him.

3He was despised and rejected by men,

a man who knew grief,

who was well acquainted with suffering.

Like someone whom people cannot bear to look at,

he was despised,

and we thought nothing of him.

4Surely he was taking up our weaknesses,

and he was carrying our sufferings.

We thought it was because of God

that he was stricken, smitten, and afflicted,

5but it was because of our rebellion that he was pierced.

He was crushed for the guilt our sins deserved.

The punishment that brought us peace was upon him,

and by his wounds we are healed.

6We all have gone astray like sheep.

Each of us has turned to his own way,

but the Lord has charged all our guilt to him.

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he did not open his mouth.

Like a lamb he was led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that is silent in front of its shearers,

he did not open his mouth.

8He was taken away without a fair trial and without justice,

and of his generation, who even cared?

So, he was cut off from the land of the living.

He was struck because of the rebellion of my people.

9They would have assigned him a grave with the wicked,

but he was given a grave with the rich in his death,

because he had done no violence,

and no deceit was in his mouth.

10Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him

and to allow him to suffer.

Because you made his life a guilt offering, he will see offspring.

He will prolong his days,

and the Lord’s gracious plan will succeed in his hand.

11After his soul experiences anguish, he will see the light of life.

He will provide satisfaction.

Through their knowledge of him, my just servant will justify the many,

for he himself carried their guilt.

12Therefore I will give him an allotment among the great,

and with the strong he will share plunder,

because he poured out his life to death,

and he let himself be counted with rebellious sinners.

He himself carried the sin of many,

and he intercedes for the rebels.

Second Reading

Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9

Therefore, since we have a great high priest, who has gone through the heavens, namely, Jesus the Son of God, let us continue to hold on to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin. 16So let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5:7In the days of his flesh, he offered prayers and pleas with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8Although he was the Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9After he was brought to his goal, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys him.


John 19:17-30

Carrying his own cross, he went out to what is called the Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified him with two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the middle.

19Pilate also had a notice written and fastened on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.”

20Many of the Jews read this notice, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek.

21So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that ‘this man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”

22Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took his tunic, which was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it. Instead, let’s cast lots to see who gets it.” This was so that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says:

They divided my garments among them

and cast lots for my clothing.

So the soldiers did these things.

25Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene were standing near the cross.

26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son!” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother!” And from that time this disciple took her into his own home.

28After this, knowing that everything had now been finished, and to fulfill the Scripture, Jesus said, “I thirst.”

29A jar full of sour wine was sitting there. So they put a sponge soaked in sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.

30When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished!” Then, bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.