Light shines in the darkness for the upright, the psalmist sings. Isaiah declares that when we loose the bonds of injustice and share our bread with the hungry, the light breaks forth like the dawn. In another passage from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, the light of the world, calls his followers to let the light of their good works shine before others. Through baptism we are sent into the world to shine with the light of Christ.
PRELUDE Blessed Are They (Leavitt)
* CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, who makes all things new,
whose mercy endures forever. Amen.
Trusting in God’s mercy, let us confess our sin.
Holy One, source of our renewal, we confess that we are wrapped up in sin, and cannot free ourselves. We have not practiced your righteousness. Our hearts have turned away from you. For the sake of the world you so love, forgive us, that we may be reconciled to one another for the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Thus says our God: “The former things have come to pass and new things I now declare.” God’s mercy makes us new. We are forgiven in the name of Christ our Savior. Amen.
* PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray.
Lord God, with endless mercy you receive the prayers of all who call upon you. By your Spirit show us the things we ought to do, and give us the grace and power to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
* indicates please stand as you are able
GATHERING SONG This Little Light of Mine (ELW 677)
FIRST READING: Isaiah 58:1-9a
1Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
3“Why do we fast, but you do not see
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
4Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
5Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD
6Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke
7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin
8Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9aThen you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
PSALM: Psalm 112:1-9 
1Hallelujah! Happy are they who | fear the LORD
and have great delight in | God’s commandments!
2Their descendants will be mighty | in the land;
the generation of the upright | will be blessed.
3Wealth and riches will be | in their house,
and their righteousness will | last forever.
4Light shines in the darkness | for the upright;
the righteous are merciful and full | of compassion.
5It is good for them to be generous in lending
and to manage their affairs with justice.
6For they will never be shaken;
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
7They will not be afraid of any | evil rumors;
their heart is steadfast, trusting | in the LORD.
8Their heart is established and | will not shrink,
until they see their desire upon their enemies.
9They have given freely to the poor, and their righteousness stands | fast forever;
they will hold up their | head with honor.
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]
1When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
6Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20
The holy gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said:] 13“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
MEDITATION Pastor Wende Bleam
HYMN OF THE DAY Come, Beloved of the Maker (ELW 306)
* APOSTLES' CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
OFFERING OF TITHES AND GIFTS TO GOD
Please place your offering in the plate near the Sanctuary door any time during or following worship. Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our website: stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.
* OFFERING PRAYER
you break the bonds of injustice and let the oppressed go free. Receive these offerings in thanksgiving for all your works of merciful power,
and shape us as people of your justice and freedom. You we magnify and adore, through Jesus our Savior, Amen.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Called together to follow Jesus, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
Call your people to seek your wisdom in difficult conversations and action. Give the church everywhere courage to repent for the ways we have tolerated and practiced injustice. Merciful God,receive our prayer.
Inspire our wonder at creation, from the light of dawn to the beauty of the dark night. Sustain the unseen depths of the ocean to the plants and animals we know well. Bring healing to lands and communities experiencing natural disasters. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
Instruct the powerful in your ways. Provide upright leadership in business and industry, that workers are not oppressed. Throughout the world, inspire voters and raise up politicians to heed your call for nations to practice righteousness. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
Loosen the bonds of injustice in our midst. Grant peace to endless quarrels, put an end to hunger, and break every yoke of oppression. Shelter all who flee abuse in their homes or violence in their communities. Satisfy those afflicted in any way We pray especially for the family of Dajauna, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Arlene, Jose, Hoon, Connie, Pat, Hazel, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Bill, Rick, Dick, Alisia, Jacklyn, Lillian, Alexis, Jim and those we now raise before you in our hearts. We pray for those affected by the Covid virus in mind, body or spirit. Grant them healing and wholeness. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
Shape our congregation to be salt for the earth. Give us delight in your commandments, that we are generous with those in need. Make us steadfast in our trust in you, ready with tangible mercy and compassion for our neighbors. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
The cross and resurrection bring redemption from sin and death. We praise you for all whose unshaken faith in Christ shines forth in their witness. Keep them in our remembrance and bring us with them into the kingdom of heaven. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
We bring to you our needs and hopes, O God, trusting your wisdom and power revealed in Christ crucified. Amen.
* LORD'S PRAYER
Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.
* THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift the to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior, Jesus Christ. With all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name.
* HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
* INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Come and taste the joy of God!
CHOIR ANTHEM Light Shone in the Darkness. (Sedio)
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
we thank you for the healing that springs forth abundantly from this table.
Renew our strength to do justice, love kindness, and journey humbly with you. Amen.
The God who faithfully brings forth justice and breaks the oppressor’s rod
bless, strengthen, and uphold you, today and always.
* SENDING SONG We Are Marching in the Light (ELW 866)
DISMISSAL - Go in peace. Follow the way of Jesus. Thanks be to God.
POSTLUDE: The King of Glory. (Childs)
We hope that this service was meaningful for you and brought God’s peace and comfort into your homes. Continue to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently and to love others as yourself. Pray, trust, believe and wait. See you next week.
You are welcome to watch the live service at 10:15 am at https://www.facebook.com/stjohnslutheranfolcroft
Or you can watch live streaming on the St. John's website: https://stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org
If you are having trouble accessing, please let us know.
The ETERNAL CANDLE is sponsored for the month of February by the St. Johns current fund.
A sign-up sheet is available on the hallway bulletin board. Sign up for the Eternal Candle is available for the year 2023. The cost is now $20.
Our thanks go to ELAINE FISHER, our newest member of Council. There are still many available positions open to you. All of our committees need additional support, including the Finance Committee.
5 - Annual Meeting to review the year of 2022. Meeting will be in person as well as via Zoom.
12 – “Souper” Bowl Sunday – Instead of cooking soup to sell, we will ask folks to bring in canned soups to donate to Mt Zion.
22 - Lent begins - Ash Wednesday - Worship Service 7:30 pm
Lenten Food Drive going to Mt. Zion
5 - Breakfast items – cereal, oatmeal, breakfast bars, muffin mixes
12 - Lunch items – soup, canned pasta, tuna, peanut butter/jelly, ramen noodles
19 - Dinner items – canned ham, spam, chili, canned vegetables, pasta and spaghetti sauce
26 - Healthy snacks – canned fruit, applesauce, pretzels, crackers, rice cakes, popcorn
YOU CAN HELP! You can be a good steward AND get your grocery shopping done. Did you know that if you purchase a grocery food gift card from St. John’s, our congregation will receive 5% of all sales of gift cards. Please see Ruth Weaver if you wish to purchase and gift cards. Thank you for helping us raise that 5% for helping to continue our ministry.
Each week, we collect food for our hungry neighbors in need in our SHARING GOD'S BOUNTY WAGON. Hunger doesn’t take a vacation. Please consider making a donation of a food item each week.
We are registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church for Amazon Smile. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible smile.amazon.com purchases to the charities selected by customers. To register your charity designation, you will need to go to Smile.amazon.com. Then you select our name as your charity. Again, the name is registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church. You will only have to register once. Next time you plan to shop online, go first to smile.amazon.com and you will be redirected to your own Amazon account. Your charity designation will be listed on the top left. So far, we have received over $206, just by doing your shopping through Smile.amazon.
Our Financial Response (December)
Budgeted costs per month $ 9,048.05
Offering last month $ 6,156.04
Budget required to date (12 months) $ 99,528.55
Total received to date $ 65,615.79
Budget required to date (12 months) $ 6,000.00
Total received to date $ 6,000.00
Please continue to support St. John's. Our expenses continue each month even if we are not all worshipping together inside our building.
Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our website: stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.