A Service for the Third Sunday of Lent

¶ The Gathering

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you
and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Comfortable Words

Hear the words of comfort our Saviour Christ says to all who truly turn to him:

Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Hear what Saint Paul says:

This saying is true, and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
1 Timothy 1:15

Hear what Saint John says:

If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 2:1,2

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Prayers of Penitence

Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God, though we have
rebelled against him.

Let us then renounce our wilfulness and ask his mercy by confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

We confess to you our selfishness and lack of love:
fill us with your Spirit.

Lord, have mercy    
Lord, have mercy

We confess to you our fear and failure in sharing our faith:
fill us with your Spirit.

Christ, have mercy  
Christ, have mercy

We confess to you our stubbornness and lack of trust:
fill us with your Spirit.

Lord, have mercy    
Lord, have mercy

Absolution

God, the Father of mercies,
has reconciled the world to himself
through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ,
not counting our trespasses against us,
but sending his Holy Spirit
to shed abroad his love among us.
By the ministry of reconciliation
entrusted by Christ to his Church,
receive his pardon and peace
to stand before him in his strength alone,
this day and evermore.
Amen.

The Collect  

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words “let us pray” or a more specific bidding.
Eternal God,
give us insight
to discern your will for us,
to give up what harms us,
and to seek the perfection we are promised
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

Readings

At the end of each the reader may say
For the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

Exodus 20.1–17  

And God spoke all these words:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” [NIVa]

1 Corinthians 1.18–25  

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. [NIVa]

Gospel Reading

John 2.13–22

The Gospel is announced then the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. [NIVa]

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

The Creed

Let us declare our faith in God, Father Son and Holy Spirit
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come,
Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

There are no prayers included in this service, but please do pray. You may wish to pray now (you will need to pause the audio if you do) or do so after the Dismissal.

The prayers usually include these concerns
The Church of Christ
Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority
The local community
Those who suffer
The communion of saints

This week’s prayer resource is available here

The Lord’s Prayer

Trusting in his compassion,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray…
Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

¶ The Dismissal

The president uses a suitable blessing

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.