Sunday 4 March, 2018 – Third Sunday in Lent, Year B

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Altar colour: Violet

Bible readings:
FIRST READING Exodus 20:1-17 The ten commandments
PSALM Psalm 19*For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 Christ crucified – God’s power and wisdom
GOSPEL John 2:13-22 Jesus cleanses the temple and gives a sign

Notes on the readings:
GENESIS 20:1-17: The law of God, given through Moses to Israel at Mount Sinai, was spoken by the voice of God and written by him on two tablets of stone. Although brief, this code of conduct yet encompassed a breadth of social behaviour towards family and community which would guarantee an ideal society if followed comprehensively. God Almighty (El Shaddal) had the right to expect Israel to follow his stipulated will as he was the gracious and protecting saviour who had brought his people out of Israel. Nearly all the commands (except for the abrogated Sabbath command) are repeated and amplified variously in the New Testament.

1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-25: We still run up against the same difficulty as St Paul did with the gospel if we proclaim it faithfully. The world sees it as weak and foolish. The sophisticated ‘wise’ of our time also expect to reach and find God only if he can be defined and explained by human intellectual power. Paul shows us that salvation comes only by the power of God through the word he chooses to use to change people and save them. The crucifixion calls for humble sorrow over sin, but because it is the ‘wisdom of God’ is the only effective means of lifting people above their own intellectual limits unto an eternal relationship with the Father.

JOHN 2:13-22: Because of the Jewish dispersion, the sale of sacrificial animals and money changing was offered as a service to people who had travelled long distances to Jerusalem. However, the presence of competitive commercial enterprise and no doubt the accompanying opportunity for exorbitant profiteering had threatened true devotional worship. Hence Jesus’ sharp and dramatic reaction. His reference to ‘my Father’s house’ implies clearly a distinctive messianic claim. Recognition of this claim led the Jews to ask for a ‘sign’ or miracle to prove his authority. Understandably the enigmatic reply about raising his body in three days went past their comprehension. The disciples, on the other hand, remembered the saying after the resurrection. Their faith that Jesus’ word was on the same level as the Old Testament scripture was thus strengthened.

Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon
Based on first reading: edited for lay reading sermon – exodus 20 1-17 – year b – lent 3 ; Pr Tim Stringer ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – exodus 20 1-6 – year b – lent 3
Based on second reading: edited for lay reading sermon – 1 corinthians 1 25 – year b – lent 3
Based on gospel reading: Pr Roger Atze ; Pr Simon Cooper ; Pr Vince Gerhardy

Opening sentences:
The Lord said to Israel:  If you obey my voice and keep my covenant,
you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. 
(Exod 19:5a,6a NRSV)

The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  
(1 Cor 1:18 NRSV)

Orders of service:
Lent Sunday Word and Prayer (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt )
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / rtf/ ppt)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
Almighty God,
look upon the heartfelt desires
of your humble servants,
and stretch out your mighty hand
to defend us against all our enemies;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Almighty God,
look in mercy on our heartfelt desires,
and stretch out your mighty hand
to defend us.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, alternative
(Let us pray for strength in temptation. [silence])
Lord God, our strength,
the battle of good and evil rages
within and around us.
Keep us firm in our faith in your Son,
and when we fall,
raise and restore us.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new
(Let us pray that we live repentant lives. [silence])
Holy and merciful God,
we thank you for giving your Son Jesus
to die on the cross for us sinners.
Turn us away from our sins
and back to a life of trust in you.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

VERSE (after the second reading)
Use either the Verse given in the order of service or the following verse.
After he was raised from the dead,
his disciples believed the scripture
and the word that Jesus had spoken.  (John 2:22 NRSV)

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
for coming from God with his power and authority.
Help us to trust in you alone.

Children’s Address: Lent 3B

Offering Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for Christ crucified,
as your wisdom and the power that saves us.
Help us to have no other gods but you,
and to live our lives fully committed to you,
obeying your commandments
and loving and serving other people.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Lent 3B or NEW Prayer of the Church – 10 commandments

Resources for services with Holy Communion

It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He has taken on himself our sin,
so that we might die to sin
and live to righteousness.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we adore and praise your glorious name:


Every time we eat this bread and drink from this cup
we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.


The following variation of the post-communion prayer may be used during Lent.

Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, as you did not spare your own Son,
but gave him up to die on the cross for us all:
Grant that we who have received
his body and blood in the sacrament
may live in him and he in us,
so that, as your children,
we may walk in your ways
and serve you all the days of our life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Alternatively, use the third prayer of the day (as listed above) at this point. It may be modified as follows.

Lord God, our strength,
the battle of good and evil rages
within and around us.
Through this holy meal,
strengthen our faith in your Son,
and when we fall,
raise and restore us.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

This seasonal blessing is used together with (ie before) the usual blessing in the order of service.

(May) Christ our crucified Saviour draw you to himself,
so that you may find in him the assurance of sins forgiven
and the gift of eternal life; . . .

Be strong in the strength of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. 
OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures

Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH

First reading: Exodus 20:1-17

270     The law of God is good and wise G3
345     O that the Lord would guide my ways* G6
353     Holy Father, Thou hast taught me* G5
355     May we Thy precepts, Lord, fulfil* G3
120     One God
117     The Lord Jehovah reigns
428     Help us, O Lord, to learn
576     O for a closer walk with thee

Second reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

54     When I survey the wondrous cross G5 (see TIS 342)
75     We sing the praise of Him who died G5 (mod TIS 347)
80     Praise to the Holiest in the height G8 (see TIS 141)
162     In Jesus I find peace and rest (esp v 3)* G3
171     In the cross of Christ I glory G4 (see TIS 349)
807     Lift high the cross GS (see TIS 351)
823     Your strong Word broke through the darkness G5
244     We have seen the Word of life
466     I am aware
531     How the world was won
535     Never by might
141     Praise to the holiest in the height
174    Morning glory, starlit sky
192     Christ is the world’s redeemer
262     When pain and terror strike by chance
342     When I survey the wondrous cross
343     Nature with open volume stands
347     We sing the praise of him who died
349     In the cross of Christ I glory
351     Lift high the cross
422     Come, Holy Spirit, come (esp vv 1,2)

Gospel: John 2:13-22

49     Alone Thou goest forth, O Lord G5
187     Glorious things of Thee are spoken* G9 (mod TIS 446)
188     Built on a rock the Church doth stand* G4
197     Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word* G5(mod TIS 436)
125     Man more than man
355    Man more than man
436     Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word
446     Glorious things of you are spoken

22    He was wounded
24    God’s love
27    Lord of the Dance
59    Jesus
61    Hallelujah, my Father
67    Let your word fill my days
125   Celebration song
133   Jesus set us free
135   Bitter was the night
139   Christ humbled Himself
141    Mary’s child
143   Jesus dying on the cross
147   When our life began again
188   Reaching out with open arms
190  The Way is low
203   Keeping my eyes on You
227   Allelu!
230   Christ the worker
231    A Cry in the night
235    In your hand, my Saviour
244    We have seen the Word of life (Verse 3)
245    You are the prisoner
261    The Servant King
287   Stay here
331   Turn to me with all your heart
335   And we stood right there
338   God in human shoes
344   The New Road
345   Nothing but the blood
347   O dearest Jesus
349   There is a redeemer
387   Jesus, remember me
401   Follow me
451   Saviour of the world
461   God, you take our breath away
495   Come and follow me
536   If you were a king
538   They went to the garden
571   On that final night
600  Jesus the bright morning star
622   Out of this world
626   Together through the valley
630   You would not
635   How deep the Father’s love for us
658   Jesus, You are the bread
659   Remember now my children
668   As you have loved

TIS 7, The sky tells the glory of God, is a version of Psalm 19:1-5, and TIS 8, God’s law is perfect, is a version of Psalm 19:7-10.

The Iona song ‘May the words of my mouth’ in AT 323  may be used as a congregational refrain, while a reader reads the verses of Psalm 19. AT 518 ‘May the words’ would also be suitable.

The following paraphrase of Psalm 19 by David Schütz is sung to either St Denio (LH 392, TIS 143) or Foundation (LHS A4, TIS 578). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

Accept now, O Lord, my redeemer, my rock,
the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart.
The heavens are telling your glory and power,
your handwork is shown by the sky all around.

Though night teaches night, and though day speaks to day,
no language is heard in the words that they say.
And yet their voice goes throughout all of the world,
their words are conveyed to the end of the earth.

God set up a tent for the sun in the sky;
it comes like a bridegroom on his wedding day,
and runs, like an athlete, from morning to night,
and nothing is hidden from its burning light.

The Lord’s law is perfect, reviving the soul;
his precepts are right, making saddened hearts whole.
His teachings are certain, they make us all wise;
and all his commandments give light to our eyes.

The fear of the Lord will forever endure.
His judgments are righteous and holy and pure,
far sweeter than honey, more precious than gold;
in them both a warning and promise is told.

But no-one can know all the things they’ve done wrong,
so cleanse me from those secret things that I’ve done.
From sinning intention’ly, Lord, keep me free,
then holy and blameless forever I’ll be.

Music Resources Vol 3– Psalm settings- Psalm 19 p26 , Psalm 19 p27 , Psalm 19 p28

While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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