Lectionary - Lent 2 Year B

 Genesis 17:1-7,15-16 God's covenant with Abraham
Psalm 22:23-31 You who fear the Lord, praise him
Romans 4:13-25 ... to those who share the faith of Abraham
Mark 8:31-38 The Son of Man must undergo great suffering

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Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)

Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16
If we will trust in God to guide us TIS.554 AHB.459 AT OK.384
O for a closer walk with God TIS.576 AHB.488
The God of Abraham praise TIS.125 AHB.53

Psalm 22: 23-31
In the presence of your people TIS.727 SA.52
Let us with a gladsome mind TIS.83 AHB.11
You satisfy the hungry heart TIS.539

Romans 4: 13-25
Author of faith, eternal word TIS.565 AHB.473
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart TIS.547 AHB.455
This day God gives me TIS.642 AHB.570
Why should cross and trial grieve me AHB.461

Mark 8: 31-38
Dear Shepherd of your people, hear TIS.444 AHB.371
Forth in your name, O Lord, I go TIS.571 AHB.480
I danced in the morning TIS.242 AHB.183
I'm not ashamed to own my Lord TIS.562 AHB.470
Take up your cross, the Saviour said TIS.583 AHB.496
When pain of the world surrounds us SFGP.18 AT Everybody.308

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)

Celebrate (Take this water and bless it Lord)
27 Sing praise to God who reigns above
39 When all your mercies, O my God
50 What shall I do my God to love
57 Let Christian faith and hope dispel/ the fears from which we hide
350 God merciful and righteous is
511 Fight he good fight with all thy might
520 Take my life and let it be consecrated
522 O Master let me walk with thee
532 Where cross the crowded ways of life
545 God my Father loving me
555 In faith and hope and love

Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon)
There was a report from the Bible Society recently of how they had offered Bibles to Australian troops who were leaving to restore order in East Timor. What I found particularly interesting was the report that they tended to read them secretly, when they were alone, taking care that their comrades would not see them doing it. Now why was that? Why should soldiers feel that they need to hide the fact that they were reading the Bible? What does it say about our society?

We have become much more accepting than we care to admit of the fact that the dominant ideology in our culture now is frankly anti-Christian. Few people realize how anti-Christian the dominant culture of West has become. The modernist orthodoxy is a powerful weapon, threatening isolation, loss of reputation and a personal sense of shame to all who will not conform to its dominant ideology, in which it is orthodox to require to rejection of orthodoxy.

So what about the soldiers who felt that they could only read the Bible in secret? Does it have anything to do with defense of the Gospel as public truth? Or do you have a problem with the idea that the Gospel could be presented anywhere as public truth? [Compare Matthew 6:3-6 with
Matthew 7:6 and Matthew 5:14-16]

The gospel reading for today comes after the confession by Peter of Jesus as the Messiah, when he began to teach them that he must suffer and die, and they would not hear of it (Mark 8:31ff) As for humility, quietness and bold public declaration, he would show how it could all be held together, precisely in how he went through the ordeal of the cross for which he now began to prepare them. He had to show them by his own example, so that they would later remember his invitation to his followers take up their own cross(Mark 8:34,35). This then is the context of the text with which we began: Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes ....

Another contrast: Matthew 12:30 and Mark 9:39-40. When can we co-operate and when must stand apart?

As the anti-Christian elements of Western society become more dominant it will be increasingly important that believers in Christ are able confess their belief in him publically. Not to be ashamed of Jesus will sometimes require believers to speak up, among friends or family or in public institutions, letting it be known where we stand, but there is more to it. It can mean a martyr's death. Sharing the cross also means sharing the shame of the cross, and that is much more common.

Finally, Jesus had spoken of himself previously as "the Son of Man" who must suffer (Mark 8:31), take the image of the vision of Daniel (Daniel 7:13-14), to portray himself as a victorious Son of Man coming is glory (Mark 8:38) when he warns about not being ashamed of him. So the call not to be ashamed of him, in spite of his shame for humanity, is a call coming to us from one who will in future meet us in triumph. There we may share his glory.

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Order of Service including the Sacrament of Baptism - Lent 2 Year B The Gathering of the People of God


HYMN 27 Sing praise to God who reigns above

PRAYER OF ADORATION God how great you are!

? CONFESSION What have we done wrong?

Loving God, Lord of the Church, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed: we have not loved you with all our heart or served you with all our strength; we have been blind to the vision of a renewed world and deaf to your call to costly discipleship; we have been indifferent to the suffering of others and unwilling to forgive one another. In your mercy, Lord, pardon and restore us, that together in the ministry of Christ we may serve you with joy all the days of our life. Amen.


If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [1 John 1:9]
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us: Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


SCRIPTURE READING Romans 6:1-5 United with him in a resurrection like his.
PRESENTATION Introduced by an elder
THE MEANING OF BAPTISM The minister explains the purpose and asks the parents:

N and N what do you ask of God's church for N?
We ask that he be baptised into the faith and family of Jesus Christ.

In the light of the covenant promise and of your request, I ask you now: Do you believe that the gospel enables us to turn from the darkness of evil and to walk in the light of Christ? We do.

Let us confess the faith into which we are baptised The people stand.

Do you believe in God, who made you and loves you?
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, your Saviour and Lord?
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and the continuing work of our salvation?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. The people remain standing.

The elder pours water into the font.

HYMN Celebrate (Take this water and bless it Lord)

1. Take this water and please bless it, Lord
Take this water and please bless it, Lord.
Flowing gently on his head,
Symbol that You once were dead
But live again.

Celebrate the dying unto sin.
Rising up, a new life to begin,
Cleansed and purified before the Lord
His child now, no longer on your own,
Now His Holy Spirit in you sown,
Seeds of truth to spread abroad.

2. Take this person and please bless him Lord.
Take this person and please bless him Lord.
Help him grow into the one
Image of Your Holy Son,
In likeness.


3. Take this people and please bless us, Lord.
Take this people and please bless us, Lord.
Make our witness strong and true,
Always faithful unto You,
Our Father.


© Ellaine Downie 1989


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.

The minister offers a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of water
and its significance in salvation history and asks God's blessing on
the water and the child to be baptised.

THE BAPTISM The people remain standing for the act of baptism.
The people respond: Amen.
he Aaronic Blessing is sung
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Numbers 6: 24-26
The people sit. The newly baptized member is presented to the congregation.

RESPONSES The minister asks the parents and supporting friends to make promises to bring up the child in the Christian faith, and then addresses the people:

I charge you, the people of this congregation, to maintain the life of worship and service, that this child and all the children among you may grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the knowledge and love of God.
With God's help, we will live out our baptism as a loving community in Christ: nurturing one another in faith, upholding one another in prayer, and encouraging one another in service.

PRESENTATION of certificate
HYMN 545 God my Father loving me Service of the Word

 OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 17:1-7,15-16 God's covenant with Abraham
PSALM 22:23-31 You who fear the Lord, praise him
EPISTLE Romans 4:13-25 ... to those who share the faith of Abraham
GOSPEL Mark 8:31-38 The Son of Man must undergo great suffering
HYMN 511 Fight he good fight with all thy might
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]
  The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 555 In faith and hope and love
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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