Third Sunday in Lent – 7th March 2021
ORDER OF SERVICE
You can click to expand or minimise the order of service below.
All are requested to join in wherever text is GREEN
HYMN: O for a heart to praise my God, A heart from sin set free
O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free;
A heart that always feels the blood
So freely spilt for me.
A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
Believing, true, and clean,
Which neither life nor death can part
From Him that dwells within.
A heart in every thought renewed,
And full of love divine;
Perfect and right and pure and good,
A copy, Lord, of thine.
Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart,
Come quickly from above;
Write thy new name upon my heart,
Thy new best name of love.
BLESSED BE GOD: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen
From Easter to Pentecost:
Allelulia. Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia
In Lent and other penitential occasions:
Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;
His mercy endures for ever.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, to whom all hearts be 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.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
This prayer is omitted during Lent and Advent:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
THE FIRST READING
Then God spoke all these words:
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.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Thanks be to God.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, *
and the firmament shows his handiwork.
2 One day tells its tale to another, *
and one night imparts knowledge to another.
3 Although they have no words or language, *
and their voices are not heard,
4 Their sound has gone out into all lands, *
and their message to the ends of the world.
5 In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun; *
it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;
it rejoices like a champion to run its course.
6 It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens
and runs about to the end of it again; *
nothing is hidden from its burning heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect
and revives the soul; *
the testimony of the Lord is sure
and gives wisdom to the innocent.
8 The statutes of the Lord are just
and rejoice the heart; *
the commandment of the Lord is clear
and gives light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean
and endures for ever; *
the judgments of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
more than much fine gold, *
sweeter far than honey,
than honey in the comb.
11 By them also is your servant enlightened, *
and in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can tell how often he offends? *
cleanse me from my secret faults.
13 Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;
let them not get dominion over me; *
then shall I be whole and sound,
and innocent of a great offense.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my
heart be acceptable in your sight, *
O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
THE SECOND READING
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
The message about 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,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Thanks be to God
All stand for the Acclamation and Gospel reading.
Glory and praise to you O Christ!
From the bright cloud the Father’s voice was heard:
This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him!”
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to:
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
After the Gospel reading
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Lent is a time of self-examination, repentance, fasting, self-denial, and of both reading and meditating on Holy Scripture. As we continue our Lenten discipline of searching the contents of our hearts and souls, the Gospel of John challenges us to dig deeper…to move further…and to act more courageously!
Today’s passage brings us face to face with a Jesus that’s sometimes very hard to imagine. This is a Jesus who’s angry. He’s thoroughly fed up – ‘to the back teeth’, as we might say!
As Jesus makes his way towards the temple in Jerusalem, it’s the festival of the Passover. There are people everywhere. It’s crowded and noisy, as the people enter into the city. The atmosphere is electric! There’s the anticipation of the Passover. And there’s also tension, because the Roman soldiers are on guard, looking for the slightest sign of disturbance amongst these Jewish pilgrims!
Although it sounds highly sacrilegious to our 21st century minds, for there to be money changers and merchants set up in the temple, it was actually considered both a necessary and also a most useful arrangement. People were traveling from far away, and were needing animals of one sort or another to sacrifice for the Passover. These merchants and money changers were providing valuable services for the faithful, who were traveling at great risk and cost, to come to the temple for Passover. In case you’re wondering, the temple had its own currency, and so pilgrims had to exchange their own ‘secular’ money in order to make the requisite Temple purchases – rather like buying in Food Courts here in Thailand, where one has to purchase coupons before heading for the counters!
In the midst of all of this tension and commotion, Jesus enters the temple. As he looks around, he suddenly becomes enraged. He makes a whip out of several cords, and begins driving out the merchants and their animals. He tips out the coins from the jars of the money changers, and overturns their tables. He tells the dove sellers to take their things out, and to stop turning his Father’s house into a marketplace!”
His disciples witness this scene and immediately recall the scriptures. In the Gospel of John, they recognize Jesus as their Lord, even early on. But the temple leaders try to argue with Jesus. Of course, they don’t even remotely begin to understand his response about the temple being destroyed, and raised up again in three days. And the final sentence here suggests that the disciples themselves did not fully realize either, that Jesus was in fact talking about himself and his own body, until after the Resurrection!
But what’s the point here? Why was Jesus so angry? And how does this passage speak to us, today?
John’s gospel doesn’t really make it clear as to just why Jesus was so upset. The other gospels suggest that the merchants were taking advantage of the pilgrims, but John does not make anyreference at all to this. John suggests that Jesus is outraged that the people seem to be morepreoccupied with the rituals of Passover than the worship and love of God.
Perhaps then this is the true reason for Jesus’ anger. Throughout all of the gospels, Jesus is bringing people the Good News of God’s love for everybody. But people seem constantly to keep missing the point!
Now here’s where we come into this passage. We can all too readily find ourselves in multiple roles in this scenario. We’re sometimes the money changers and merchants. We provide important and even noble services, but forget that the real focus must be on God, and his love!
We’re sometimes the temple leaders. We think we’re doing the right thing and protecting one another, when we’re actually leading people away from God’s mission!
Sometimes we’re the disciples, who witness all these remarkable goings-on. We’re the ones who help make sense of what’s happening.
But, ultimately, we are called to follow in the way of Jesus. And to be honest, this way of following Jesus has always made me somewhat uneasy. It entails a very delicate balance between prophecy and passion. It would be all too easy to believe that following Jesus’ example here, gives us permission to go ‘off the deep end’ any time we see what we believe to be wrong. We have to be so careful not to get too caught up in our own egos and our sense of righteous indignation!
Today though, we clearly see Jesus standing up for what he knows to be the will of God. And this is where our Lenten self-examination comes into play. As we examine our own thoughts, feelings, and actions, Jesus calls us to recognize our own complicity in closing our eyes, to those who need us to stand up for them. At the same time, our self-examination allows us to embrace the power that we have, to partner with God in standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves!
So then, what are we closing our eyes to – as individuals, and as a church? Are our hearts and minds open to see those who need us? Do we allow the tasks and rituals, and the habits with which we are most comfortable, to skew our vision?
At the same time, we must recognize that God has given each and every one of us amazing gifts. We have the gift of God’s abundant love. We have a community, both within this parish and the greater Body of Christ, that walks with us. We have the life, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, through which love conquers evil and death. We have the wonderful privilege of coming to this altar week by week, in communion with the saints, those have gone before, and those who will follow after us!
These are the gifts that allow us to look deeply and honestly into our hearts. These are the gifts that give us the strength to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. These are the gifts that give us the courage to stand up for those whose voices need to be heard!
This Lenten season then, may we use these gifts, and have the courage to follow Christ boldly. And, like Jesus, stand up for the Good News that God’s love brings mercy and justice for allpeople. Amen.
THE NICENE CREED
Please stand for the Nicene Creed.
Let us together affirm the faith of the Church.
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 of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and became truly human.
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.
Let us pray for the world and for the Church:
Prayers of intercession are now said and at the end of each prayer the priest says:
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
Lord hear us,
Lord graciously hear us
At the conclusion of the prayers the priest says:
Almighty God, who has promised to hear our prayers.
Grant that what we have asked in faith we may by your grace receive, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus said: Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy, welcoming sinners and inviting them to the Lord’s table.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, confident in God’s forgiveness.
Merciful God, our maker and our judge, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do: we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves; we repent and are sorry for all our sins, Father forgive us, strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Almighty God, who has promised forgiveness to all who turn to him in faith, pardon you and set you free from all your sins, strengthen you in all goodness and keep you in eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The congregation stands.
We are the Body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.
Please greet each other with a sign of peace.
HYMN: My God, I love thee; not because I hope for heaven thereby,
My God, I love thee; not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love thee not
Are lost eternally.
Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me
Upon the Cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
And manifold disgrace.
Then why, O blessed Jesu Christ,
Should I not love thee well,
Not for the sake of winning heaven,
Or of escaping hell.
E’en so I love thee, and will love,
And in thy praise will sing,
Solely because thou art my God,
And my eternal King.
Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and the service of your kingdom.
Blessed be God forever.
Let us pray
We do not presume to come to your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table, but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us. Amen.
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER C
CLICK HERE FOR EUCHARISTIC PRAYER
The Lord be with you.
and also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.
Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.
By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.
Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.
And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice, made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of [N and] all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.
Let us pray with confidence to the Father, as our Saviour has 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, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.
This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world;
Happy are those who are called to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.
After Communion the celebrant and the congregation say
Let us pray.
Father of all we give you thanks and praise that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
Keep us in this hope that we have grasped; so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name.
Father, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you and remain with you always.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
HYMN: In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive and fears annoy,
Never shall the Cross forsake me:
Lo! It glows with peace and joy.
When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the Cross the radiance streaming,
Adds more lustre to the day.
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the Cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.
NOTE: The introductory music is Chorale Prelude – JS BACH
Here is the music for this week’s hymns, if you would like to practice beforehand.
Performed by Fr. David Price