Lent | 3rd Sunday 20 Mar 2022: Ex 3:1-15; Ps 103:1-12; 1 Cor 10:12-13; Luke 13:1-9 ~ Repent and turn to God!

Lent | 3rd Sunday 20 Mar 2022

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

Opening:

Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts
are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon
the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered
affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of
Christ Jesus; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“I tell you again that unless you repent,
you will perish, too.”
(Luke 13: 5)

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Great Is Thy Faithfulness Worship Ministries of Berean
Berean Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan

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OT Reading: Exodus 3:1-15 (NLT)

Moses and the Burning Bush

3:1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am!” Moses replied.

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

God replied to Moses, “I am who i am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

This is my eternal name,
my name to remember for all generations.

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Psalms: Psalm 103 – (Bless the Lord) The Prestonwood Choir
Prestonwood Baptist Church

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NT Reading: 1 Cor 10:12-13 (NLT)

10:12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

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Be Strong In the Lord
Alexandra Saluna

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

A Call to Repentance

13:1 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.’”

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Repentance Song by Jermaine Edwards
Presbyterian Church of West Middlesex

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Prayer: ACNA | BCP2019

Heavenly Father: we pray for the peace of the whole world, and for the well-being and unity of the your people; Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayers…

+ For all the clergy and people who selflessly serve you in congregations throughout the world, especially in difficult circumstances.

+ For all those who proclaim the Gospel at home and abroad; and for all who teach and disciple others, especially under duress.

+ For our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith, especially women and children and the elderly.

+ For our nation, for those in authority, and for all in public service; may we all live, govern and serve as unto you.

+ For all those who are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity, especially in the Ukraine.

+ For all those who have departed this life in the certain hope of the resurrection, and those who mourn their loss.

Heavenly Father, grant these our prayers for the sake of Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Closing: faith and worship | John Birch

The peace of God be in your heart
The grace of God be in your words
The love of God be in your hands
The joy of God be in your soul
and in the song that your life sings.

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

1st Thursday in Advent: 02 Dec 2021 – Luke 1:68-79; Malachi 3:5-12; Philippians 1:12-18a ~ God’s promise of restoration.

1st Thursday in Advent: 02 Dec 2021
[Revised Common Lectionary Year C]

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

Opening:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal
life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great
humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his
glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may
rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

“I am the Lord, and I do not change.
That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.
Ever since the days of your ancestors,
you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them.
Now return to me, and I will return to you,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

(Malachi 3:6-7)

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Psalm: Luke 1:68-79 
Canticle of Zechariah | The Monks of Weston Priory

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OT Reading: Malachi 3:5-12 (NLT)

3:5 “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

A Call to Repentance

3:6 “I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’

8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!

“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’

“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

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Your Faithfulness – Brian Doerksen

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NT Reading: Philippians 1:12-18a (NLT)

Paul’s Joy That Christ Is Preached

1:12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.

15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

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Jesus Saves – Brentwood Benson

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Prayer: Book of Common Prayer (2019)
Anglican Church of North America

The General Thanksgiving

+ Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made.

+ We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

+ And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

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For Desiring GodFrancis Xavier

+ O God, grant that we may desire you, and desiring you seek you, and seeking you find you, and finding you be satisfied in you for ever. Amen.

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Benediction: Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

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

Wednesday Morning: 20 Nov 2019 – Luke 11:37-13:9 ~ Jesus causes division!

Wednesday Morning

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

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Luke 11:37-13:9 (NLT)

Jesus Criticizes the Religious Leaders

As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom. Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.

“What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

“What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.”

“Teacher,” said an expert in religious law, “you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.”

“Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. What sorrow awaits you! For you build monuments for the prophets your own ancestors killed long ago. But in fact, you stand as witnesses who agree with what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you join in their crime by building the monuments! This is what God in his wisdom said about you: ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’

“As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world— from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation.

“What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.”

As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him.

A Warning against Hypocrisy

Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!

“Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

“I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”

Parable of the Rich Fool

Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”

Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Teaching about Money and Possessions

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming

“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.

“Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

Peter asked, “Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?”

And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful.

“And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

Jesus Causes Division

“I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.

‘Father will be divided against son and son against father;
mother against daughter and daughter against mother;
and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.

“Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right? When you are on the way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison. And if that happens, you won’t be free again until you have paid the very last penny.”

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.’”
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Morning Reflection:

Jesus causes division!

I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!
Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth?

No, I have come to divide people against each other!
– Luke 12:49,51 –

The idea that Jesus brings division instead of peace seems foreign to the Good News of the Kingdom. And yet, there it is – Jesus warns His disciples us of the coming purification of God’s people and the judgement of all people when He returns again in glory.

Jesus earthly ministry began the process of division -even within families. Today’s reading is laced with divisions that Jesus causes –

  • religious leaders who practice an outward form of piety but are corrupt inside
  • religious leaders who keep minuscule laws but neglect justice and the love of God
  • religious leaders who demand respect but place unbearable burdens on people
  • religious hypocrisy that may be hidden now, but will be revealed later in its entirety
  • those who fear worldly authorities, from those who fear fear God
  • those who acknowledge Jesus publicly on earth, from those who deny Him
  • those who are devoted to accumulating wealth, from those who are devoted to a relationship with God
  • those who worry like worldly unbelievers, from those who trust God to supply their needs
  • those who are unprepared for Jesus’ return, from those who are wisely ready and waiting
  • those who willfully ignore what God wants, from those who obey God as best they know how

These are only some of the divisions that Jesus causes within families and throughout the world – turning one person against another – all the while purifying and preparing God’s people for the final judgement when Jesus returns. Jesus divides people based on their response to Him and His teaching.

Questions for consideration

  • How do you reconcile Jesus the “Prince of Peace” with Jesus the divider? Please explain.
  • Have you experienced any of the divisions listed above? What were the consequences? Please explain.
  • Which of the divisions listed above best represents where you are now in your life? Please explain.
  • Are you assured of vindication when Jesus returns? Or, do you need to repent of something and turn to God for forgiveness and life-change? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: – Send the fire! (William Booth 1894)

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host, Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

God of Elijah, hear our cry: Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin, To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

’Tis fire we want, for fire we plead, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right, For grace to conquer in the fight,
For pow’r to walk the world in white, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Oh, see us on Thy altar lay Our lives, our all, this very day;
To crown the off’ring now we pray, Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

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“Send the Fire” – Lindell Cooley


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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

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

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

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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.’”
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Prayer:

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.
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“Come Ye Sinners” – Jami Smith

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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!

Morning Reading: Fri, 22 Jun – Luke 13-14 ~ repentance and the Kingdom of God

Morning Reading

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

Opening – (Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Reading: Luke 13-14 (NLT)

A Call to Repentance

Luke 13 (NLT) – 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.’”

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!

But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”

But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”

This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.

Parable of the Mustard Seed

Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.”

Parable of the Yeast

He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

The Narrow Door

Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”

He replied, “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’

“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.”

Jesus Grieves over Jerusalem

At that time some Pharisees said to him, “Get away from here if you want to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!”

Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn’t do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem!

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

Luke 14 (NLT) – One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees, and the people were watching him closely. There was a man there whose arms and legs were swollen. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in religious law, “Is it permitted in the law to heal people on the Sabbath day, or not?” When they refused to answer, Jesus touched the sick man and healed him and sent him away. Then he turned to them and said, “Which of you doesn’t work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don’t you rush to get him out?” Again they could not answer.

Jesus Teaches about Humility

When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

“Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”

Parable of the Great Feast

Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”

Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

The Cost of Being a Disciple

A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

“Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”
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“Take Up Your Cross” – the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Take up your cross and follow Jesus | Take up your cross every day | Don’t be ashamed to say that you know Him | Count the cost, take up your cross and follow Him

What are you doing for the King | Have you really given everything | For the One who gave His all for you | Don’t be satisfied just to know | That the Lord has saved your soul | Have you forgotten what you need to do…

I know sometimes the road is long | And I know sometimes you feel like you can’t go on | But you can make it, you just…
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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!