Fifth Sunday of Lent
As Easter approaches, remember all those who are preparing for Baptism; and may we be prepared to renew our Baptismal promises as well.
+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
In our hearts, O God, You have written a covenant of grace, sealed by the obedience of Jesus Your Son. Raise us up with Christ, the grain fallen to earth that yields a harvest of everlasting life. Help us to glorify Your name by following faithfully where He has led. We ask this through Christ, our deliverance and hope, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God for ever and ever.
A Reading from the Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:31-343 (NLT)
“The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord.
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15 (NLT)
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.
A Reading from the Letters: Hebrews 5:7-9 (NLT)
While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.
A Reading from the Gospels: John 12:20-33 (NLT)
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.
Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels — a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.”
Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.
Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
In this 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.
Gracious God: You are the source of mercy and compassion. Hear our prayers.
+ For all who are preparing to celebrate baptism at Easter time…. Lord, hear us.
+ For obedience to the will of God among the followers of Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians suffering persecution for their faith today…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the continuing faithfulness to God’s word of our Jewish brothers and sisters…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who hunger and thirst, in many nations, today…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the people in need in our communities, particularly our sick…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have gone before us in faith, and for those who mourn their loss…. Lord, hear us.
God of mercy and compassion, You give new heart to Your people: hear the prayers we offer in faith, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen