Third Sunday of Lent: Ex 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17; Ps 19:8-11; 1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25 ~ foolish and weak

Third Sunday of Lent

Only Christ has the message of eternal life: in Lent we come to ponder this message and deepen our relationship with the Saviour of the world.

+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening prayer:

Holy God, the folly of the cross mocks our human wisdom, and the weakness of the crucified puts worldly power to shame. Banish from our hearts every pretence of might and of knowledge, that by the power flowing from Christ’s resurrection your people may be raised up from the death of sin and fashioned into a living temple of your glory. Grant this through Christ, our liberator from sin, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God for ever and ever.
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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 luster 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.

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.
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A Reading from the Old testament: Exodus 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17 (NLT)

Then God gave the people all these instructions:

Moses with the Ten Commandments Philippe de Champaigne, 1648 Hermitage Museum

Moses with the Ten Commandments
Philippe de Champaigne, 1648
Hermitage Museum

“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

“You must not have any other god but me.
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“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
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“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

“You must not murder.

“You must not commit adultery.

“You must not steal.

“You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.

“You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 19:8-11 (NLT)

The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.
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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Cor 1:22-25 (NLT)

It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 2:13-25 (NLT)

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

A 4158

Christ Crucified Diego Velázquez, 1632 Museo del Prado, Madrid

But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”

“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
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Intercessions:

Gracious God, You loved us so much that You sacrificed Your Son to save us: hear our prayers.

+ For all baptized believers, as we continue our journey to renewal at Easter…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all believing adults and children preparing for baptism…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians being persecuted for their faith, especially in the Middle East and Africa…. Lord, hear us.
+ For an end to division, hatred and violence, in our country and in our world…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who need our care: the widow and orphan, the poor and hungry, the least, the last and the lost…. Lord, hear us.
+ For our own communities, especially those who are sick in mind, body or spirit…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all those who have died in Christ and their families, especially those who have suffered martydom at the hands of evil men…. Lord, hear us.

God of wisdom and light, Your words guide our lives: hear these prayers we offer in faith, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Benediction:

All glory to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding His blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God His Father. All glory and power to Him, forever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 1:5b-6)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life around the World, Life in Christ

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