The 5th Sunday of Lent – 07 Apr 2019 – Luke 20:9-19 ~ The stone that the builders rejected.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

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

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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“Shir Ha Ma’alot” – Song of Ascents (Ps 126) – Sheli Myers

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Gospel Reading: Luke 20:9-19 (NLT)

Parable of the Evil Farmers

Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away.

“‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’

“But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.”

“How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested.

Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean?

‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’

Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”

The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction.
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Prayer:

Almighty God: Hear the prayers of your people made right with you through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. We pray especially –

+ For the unrepentant: Merciful God, you desire not the death of sinners, but rather that they should turn to you and live. Have mercy on the unrepentant and those who do not believe. Awaken in them, by your Word and Holy Spirit, a deep sense of their sinfulness and peril. Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word. Grant them to know and feel that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which they must be saved, but only the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so bring them home and number them among your children, that they may be yours for ever….

+ For missionaries: Gracious God, you desire that all people be saved and come to knowledge of the truth: Prosper all those who live, preach, and teach the Gospel at home and in distant lands; protect them in all perils, support them in their loneliness, sustain them in the hour of trial; give them your abundant grace to bear faithful witness; and endue them with burning zeal and love, that they may turn many to righteousness….

+ For local congregations: Father God, strengthen and confirm the faithful; protect and guide the children; visit and relieve the sick; turn and soften the wicked; arouse the careless; recover the fallen; restore the penitent; remove all hindrances to the advancement of your truth; and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church….

+ For those suffering or weak: Compassionate God, we hold up our weaknesses to your strength, our failures to your faithfulness, our sinfulness to your perfection, our loneliness to your compassion, our pains to your agony on the cross. We pray that you will cleanse us, strengthen us, guide us, so that in all ways our lives may be lived as you would have us live without cowardice and for you alone. Show us how to live in true humility, true contrition, and true love….

Almighty God, the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you: Help us so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Press On” – Selah

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Blessing – Philippians 3:13-14

Focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

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



Categories: Life in Christ

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