Thursday, 4 March 2021

MRUC Order of Service Lent 3 - 07 March 2021

 Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford


One Driver Sticks...,

Sunday 7th March 2021

Lent 3 Sunday - year of Mark 9.30am 

Gathering God’s People       

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.          

 Call to Worship - (The Abingdon Worship Annual 2018)

Passion consumed Jesus as he overturned the tables of the merchants and moneychangers in the Temple grounds. As we follow Jesus toward the cross, may we too be consumed by a righteous passion to do what is right and honourable.

The heavens declare the glory of God.

The earth proclaims God’s handiwork.

In speech without words, their voices are heard.

In praise without language, their sounds extend

throughout creation.

The law of God is perfect, reviving the soul.

The teachings of God are sure, making wise the simple.

The precepts of God are right, rejoicing the heart.

The ordinances of God are true and are righteous altogether.

Come and proclaim with the heavens the glory and majesty of our God. 

Hymn TIS 156: Morning has broken.

                       (Tune – Bunessan) 

     Opening prayer

God of righteous fire, just as Jesus was consumed with passion as he cleared the Temple, may we be consumed with passion as we seek justice and righteousness in our world; just as Christ never flinched on his journey to the cross, may we never waver in our devotion to you and our defence of the poor. On this great journey of Lent, teach us the perfection of your ways, as we keep our eyes fixed upon your Son. Amen. 

A Prayer of Confession

God of majesty and might, when we fail to hear the heavens proclaim your glory in speech without words,

Open our ears to perceive your precepts in the singing of the stars and in the music of the sun and moon; when we fail to perceive the wonder of your law in every act of kindness and mercy and in every act of devotion,

revive our souls with your wisdom and heal our hearts with your ways.

In your holy name, we pray. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

The foolishness of the cross is greater than the wisdom of the world. The love and forgiveness of the Holy One is greater than the waywardness of our hearts. Let us rejoice in the glory of our salvation.

Thanks, be to God! Amen 

The Peace

Living according to God’s law brings joy to the heart, light to the mind, and peace to the soul. Let us share this joy, light, and peace with one another as we exchange signs of peace and remember the way of the cross.

The peace of Christ be with you.

The peace of Christ be with you always.

 (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.) 

Offering Prayer

Eternal God, your law has guided your people from generation to generation. With the blessings of your covenant: receive our lives, that we may live your commandments; receive our gifts, that we may share your glory with the world. This we pray in the name of your Son, Jesus, who is our wisdom and our strength. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 546: Lord Jesus, think on me.

                       (Tune - Southwell (Daman))

 The Service of Holy Communion 

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.

And also, with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise. 

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you our parent, Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth. In love you made us for yourself; and when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, your love remained steadfast. You bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts and prepare with joy for the Easter feast, that, renewed by your Word and Sacraments and fervent in prayer and works of justice and mercy, we may come to the fullness of grace that you have prepared for those who love you. And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest! 

Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ, whom you sent in the fullness of time to redeem the world. He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in our likeness. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. He offered himself, a perfect sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your Church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said: "Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ's offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died.

Christ is risen.

Christ will come again!

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Amen.

Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.     

The Breaking of the Bread

The Bread we break is the Bread of Life.

The Cup We Share is the Cup of Promise

These are the gifts of God for the people of God.

Thanks, be to God. 

Lamb of God

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace. 

Invitation to Communion

Jesus says: ‘The bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

Prayer after Communion

Almighty and merciful God, you sent your only Son as the word of life for our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Help us by your gifts of word and sacrament to believe with joy what they proclaim.

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. 

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                                            Exodus 20: 1-17

The Gospel Reading:                                        John 2.13-22

After the final reading, the reader will say           For the Word of the Lord

Please respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God. 

Exodus 20: 1-17

1 Then God spoke all these words: 2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. 8 Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. 9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. 12 Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery. 15 You shall not steal. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. 17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour. 

John 2.13-22

13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the moneychangers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 18 The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ 19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. 

Preaching of the Word - One Driver Sticks...,

One driver sticks post-it notes all over the dashboard of her car to make sure she remembers each errand. Kitchen calendars fill up with family appointments. Many cell phones now include calendars so their owners can have instant access to appointments that are too numerous to remember.

Chronic stress accompanies an increasing number of Americans who feel busy beyond measure. It’s a common problem for the current generation, even among the retired. People are so overwhelmed that one of the greatest luxuries of the twenty-first century is free time.

Busy-ness intrudes on all of us because we have so many opportunities. And because we want everything at once and more, we have become slaves to what we desire, not what we need. We have become possessed by our activities and by our getting and spending and doing. Isn’t that part of the malady that infects us during this difficult economic period? Living beyond our means? Materialism and greed? Are there no boundaries to keep us in check?

Obviously, we need to re-set priorities and follow them.

A classic story about a business management consultant is instructive. The CEO of a large company stared failure in the face as he floundered, trying to pull his workforce out of a production tailspin. Swallowing his pride, he called in a consultant and said he would take any and all advice. The consultant asked the CEO to list what he did in the course of a normal week. Once this was done, she told the CEO to rank the list in priority.

This took a while, but when it was finished, she told the CEO what he needed to do. When you come to work, complete item number one before attending to item number two, and complete number two before going to number three. The next day, take out the list and start with number one again and repeat the process. Do the same each and every day. Don’t worry if you fail to reach lower items on your priority list. That’s it.

The CEO tried it and turned the company around. He lived into his own priorities and his workforce followed.

Emulating this would be a good way for Christians to amplify their Lenten disciplines while setting priorities and following them rigorously. This might free us from the busy-ness and overindulgence that we have fallen subject to as the things that enslave us. Heeding today’s reading from Exodus would make that task easier.

The Ten Commandments begins with a reminder that it is God who first leads us from that which enslaves us. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, you shall have no other gods before me.” God’s commandments can free us from the confinement of excessive busy-ness, too much wanting everything and more, obsession with our cravings and desires. God’s commandments lay out boundaries and help us set priorities by God’s standards.

Look at any list of the ten commandments in your old Prayer Book or Catechisms. Often these are stripped down lists of ten priorities provides us with a time-honoured but too-often-neglected guide for daily living. The Ten Commandments provide simplicity in the midst of too much complexity and busy-ness that often confounds us.

Furthermore, our Catechism’s, tend to help us even further by grouping the ten into two basic priorities. First is our duty to believe and trust in God. Second is our duty to care for and respect our neighbours.

For the initial priority, simply said, we put God first and putting nothing in God’s place. The Catechism helps us understand deeper meanings of not making idols, not misusing God’s name, and keeping holy the Sabbath day.

We show love for God and obedience to him in thought, word, and deed’s. We set aside special time for reflection on God’s way’s through worshipping with our community of believers and praying and studying about the things of God that are our priority.

For the second priority, simply said, we put our neighbours first. Again, the Catechism expands our understanding of honouring parents and refraining from murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, and coveting what is our neighbour’s.

We love, honour, and help our parents and others who exercise just authority. It is a partnership, for the sake of God, with those who teach us and lead us into the way of Christ. We respect the created order of humanity by accepting the righteous reality God has made. We honour human life, deplore war, work for peace, rid our hearts of hatred and malice, and seek to become one with what God has created.

We use all bodily desires as God intended, remaining faithful in human relationships. We deal with others honestly and fairly, and we work for justice in the world around us and far off. We seek freedom whether it does not exist. We share the precious resources of this planet and do not horde unnecessary surplus when others stand in need.

We do not simply refrain from lying, but we exercise the courage to tell the truth. We are careful not to mislead others by our silence. We resist the all-too-human temptation to have what is not ours. We guard against desires that lead us to envy, greed, and jealousy. Rather, we look with happiness and thanksgiving at the success of others and what they possess.

In the process of living into these commandments, we continue to expand this view and uncover for ourselves, in the particularities of our lives, the richness of what each means.

The list of Ten Commandments need not complicate our thinking, because each is a part of one whole: duty to and love for God and fellow human beings.

Our Lord Jesus Christ reminds us of this. We recall this teaching at this time as it sems to me to be so appropriate for Lent:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commands hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Here’s the place to grab onto the management consultant’s advice. At the beginning of each day, let’s lay aside all our calendars and day planners and lists of things to do. Rather, let us turn to this top item on our list of priorities, loving God and loving neighbour, and tend to it before we move on to the next thing.

Then maybe, just maybe our problem of busy-ness, our rush to fulfill so many wants and desires, will cease to make us anxious, and the success of our personal lives will be secured. 

Hymn TIS 684: Love will be our Lenten Calling.

                       (Tune – Picardy)

Intercessory Prayers      

      After the words:            In your mercy,

      please respond with      hear our prayer. 

Lent 3 – Year B –

Holy God, slow to anger and infinite in mercy, hear us when we bring our prayers for your people.

We pray for the world, for peace and co-operation between nations, for wise and honest government and for a just and careful use of the earth ' s resources.

When we make idols of power and possessions, when we are greedy for what is not ours, or take what belongs to others,

overturn our values, that we may be passionate in the pursuit of justice. Holy God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for your worldwide church, for all who exercise leadership, for those who minister in your name, for all who worship in this place.

When we do not place you first in our lives, when we profane your name, or forget your worship, overturn our values, that we may proclaim your gospel by our words and by our lives.  

Holy God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who live in this community, for our families, our friends and all with whom our lives are bound.

When our jealousy, unfaithfulness or neglect destroys relationships with parents, children, partners or friends, when we are less than truthful, or damage others by our words, overturn our values, that our relationships may be based on mutual respect and trust. Holy God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all in need, for the hungry, the homeless and the unemployed, for those without friends and those who .have lost loved ones, for all who are in pain, for the sick and for the dying.

When our selfishness overrides our concern for others, when we abandon our responsibilities for the vulnerable, the aged and the infirm, overturn our values that we may learn to care for each other with compassion and tenderness. Holy God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We give you thanks for your faithful people of every generation, for all who have walked in your way and now find eternal rest with you.

When we choose to disobey your commandments, when we leave your path and follow our own desires, overturn our values, that, with all your saints, we may find true treasure in following your law and come into the joy of your everlasting presence. Holy God, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen 

Hymn TIS 609: May the mind of Christ my Saviour

                       (Tune – St Leonards) 


         Walk in the ways of God. Go forth with the song of the heavens in your ears. Listen to the words of life. Go forth to live fully and completely: with the teachings of God’s law to lead you, with the grace of Christ Jesus to guide you, and with the peace of the Holy Spirit to sustain you. Go with God.

        And the blessing of God almighty, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life be with you always, Amen.     

Hymn TIS 778: Shalom to you

                          (Tune – Somos Del Sensor)

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