Second Sunday of Lent, 21 February: Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18; Psalm 27:1, 7-9, 13-14; Philippians 3:20-4:1; Luke 9:28-36 ~ I am a citizen of heaven

Second Sunday of Lent

Blessed be the Lord of glory, who leads me through the darkness of Lent to the light of Easter.

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

Opening Prayer:

God of the covenant, your presence fills me with awe, your word gives me unshakeable hope. Fix in my heart the image of your Son in glory that I may walk with him in newness of life as a citizen of heaven. Grant this through Christ, my deliverance and hope, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, holy and mighty God for ever and ever. Amen.
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Hymn: “Come People of the Risen King” – Stuart Townend, Lou Fellingham & Band


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A Reading from the Old Testament: Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18 (NLT)
[A covenant was made between God and Abram, who became Abraham, our father in faith.]

Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”

stars in desert sky

And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.

Then the Lord told him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”

But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?”

The Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.

Promised-Land1

As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him.
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After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants….”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 27:1, 7-9, 13-14 (NLT)

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
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Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation!
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Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

“Psalm 27” – James Block


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A Reading from the Letters: Philippians 3:20—4:1 (NLT)
[Paul encourages us to remain faithful, remembering that our true homeland is in heaven.]

Citizens-of-heaven

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 9:28-36 (NLT)
[Jesus is transfigured in the presence of Peter, James and John – the three who were to be with him in Gethsemane.]

"The Saviour's Transfiguration" an early-15th century icon, attributed to en: Theophanes the Greek from the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

“The Saviour’s Transfiguration”
an early-15th century icon, attributed to en: Theophanes the Greek from the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them.

Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
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Hymn: “The Lord Is My Light” – by Christopher Walker


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Intercessions:

Lord God: you are my light and my help. Hear the cries of my heart.

+ That I may persevere on my Lenten journey…. Lord, hear me.
+ That I may cultivate and care for your creation…. Lord, hear me.
+ That adults preparing for baptism at Easter may grow in faith…. Lord, hear me.
+ That all believers may value our citizenship in heaven…. Lord, hear me.
+ That those for whom God is distant or irrelevant, may find Jesus…. Lord, hear me.
+ That anyone in need may find help and relief…. Lord, hear me.
+ That those who have died and gone before us may share the glory of Jesus…. Lord, hear me.

O God, in you I hope — you are my constant help, hear my prayers, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Hymn: “My Hope” – Hillsong

Benediction:

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

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



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ, Life in Our Family

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