The 3rd Sunday of Lent – 24 Mar 2019 – Luke 13:1-9 ~ repentance: one more chance

Third Sunday of Lent

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

Opening Prayer

God of salvation, we stand before you on holy ground, for your name is glorified and your mercy revealed wherever your mighty deeds are remembered.

Since you are holy and forbearing, turn us from every rash and shallow judgement to seek the ways of repentance.

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. Amen.

“There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” – Ben Grace (Based on the hymn by Frederick Faber)


Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9 (NLT)

A Call to Repentance

About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”

Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’

“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”


Most holy and merciful Father: We confess that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

  • We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength.
  • We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
  • We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
  • We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
  • We have not been true to the mind of Christ.
  • We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Lord, have mercy upon us: for we have sinned against you.

  • For all our unfaithfulness and disobedience; for the pride, vanity, and hypocrisy of our lives…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our self-pity and impatience, and our envy of those we think more fortunate than ourselves…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our unrighteous anger, bitterness and resentment; for all lies, gossip, and slander against our neighbors…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our sexual impurity, our exploitation of other people, and our failure to give of ourselves in love…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our intemperate pursuit of worldly goods and comforts…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our dishonesty in daily life and work, our ingratitude for your gifts, and our failure to heed your call…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our wastefulness and misuse of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For all false judgments, for prejudice and contempt of others, and for all uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our negligence in prayer and worship; for our presumption and abuse of your means of grace…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For seeking the praise of others rather than the approval of God…. Lord, have mercy.
  • For our failure to commend the faith that is in us…. Lord, have mercy.

Show favor to your people, O Lord, who turn to you in true repentance. For you are a merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and abounding in steadfast love. You spare when we deserve punishment, and in your wrath you remember mercy. Spare your people, good Lord, spare us; in the multitude of your mercies, look upon us and forgive us; through the all-sufficient sacrifice of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Come Ye Sinners” – Jami Smith


Blessing – Psalm 102:17-18

The love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!

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