Lectionary - Lent 3 Year C

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[Note: There are separate files this Sunday for Harvest Thanksgiving, which in Australia tends to fall at about this time of year in those places where it survives or has been revived. Resources are provided here for the normal observance of Lent 3.]

Isaiah 55:1-9 as the heavens are higher...so are my ways higher than your ways
Psalm 63:1-8 O God, you are my God, I seek you
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 God ... will not let you be tested beyond your strength
Luke 13:1-9 "unless you repent, you will all perish"

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
Hymns for Lent 3, Yr.C
lesson hymn TIS AHB
E A charge to keep I have 573 487
G All who love and serve your city 634 562
G Amazing grace (how sweet the sound) 129 56
E Bread of heaven, on you we feed 513 433
s Bread of the world, in mercy broken 512 437
E Christ is the heavenly food that gives 522 445
G Christ's is the world in which we move 677
Ps Come down, O Love divine 398 310
O Come let us to the Lord our God 577 490
G Come we that love the Lord 356
G Dear Father, Lord of humankind 598 519
s Draw near and take the body of the Lord 498 C589
E For all the saints who from their labours rest 455 384
E Glorious things of you are spoken 446 374
E Guide me O thou great Redeemer 569 478
G Hark! a herald voice is calling 264 192
E How sweet the name of Jesus sounds 223 158
E I come with joy to meet my Lord 533 452
Ps Jesus priceless treasure 463
E Jesus the very thought of thee 420
E Lord enthroned in heavenly splendour 520 441
Ps Lord Jesus joy of loving hearts 499 420
E O bless the Lord, my soul 64 63
G O for a closer walk with God 576 488
G O Jesus I have promised 595 514
Ps O Lord you are my God, for you I long 34
G O Love that wilt not let me go 602 525
G Praise my soul, the King of heaven 134 68
E Rock of Ages cleft for me 222 157
G Sometimes a healing word is comfort 692
O There's a wideness in God's mercy 136 72
E We sing the praise of him who died 347 262
G When I needed a neighbour, were you there? 629 558
O You satisfy the hungry heart 539
O You shall go out with joy 755

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia. TIS = Together in Song)
115 (TIS 52) Let us sing to the God of salvation
172 (TIS 230) It passeth knowledge, that dear love of thine
373 (TIS 777) May the grace of Christ our saviour
467 (TIS 568) Who would true valour see

Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon.)

Are those who suffer worse sinners?

It is a common enough question: Why did it happen to me? Why did it happen to her? She was such a good person! Some of us would even know people who have turned away from faith in God altogether, or at least from Christian faith, for want of a satisfying personal answer to such a question. While the answers to such questions are always personal, because the challenge to faith is personal, there are some things about it we can learn from one another and from scripture. Jesus dealt directly with a question of this kind when people were wondering about the unjust death of some Galileans who had been killed on Pilate's orders while sacrificing in the temple at Jerusalem (Luke 13:2).

He left aside the political implications and addressed the issue of justice in the most general terms, of whether their deaths were a sign of their guilt. His own answer was 'No' (Luke 13:3), and to strengthen the point he took up another example which must also have been a topic of conversation at the time (Luke 13:4). Jesus was challenging a whole way of thinking. It was a common belief among the Jews at that time that painful experiences were signs of God's judgment. It was this very general and pervasive idea that Jesus challenged with different examples on more than one occasion. (See example John 9:1-3a and compare Matthew 5:44-45). The message for us is that if God does not demand immediate balancing of the moral books, why should we? That does not mean that the books will not be balanced in the end. They will, in God's time and in his way. The scriptures are clear enough about that too (eg Hebrews 10:30; Matthew 25). It should not, however, be our concern. God is to be trusted to act justly without demonstrating his justice to us here and now.

But Jesus had a more immediate concern when he challenged conventional wisdom about human guilt and the judgment of God. He did not simply say 'No', but he threw the question of sin back onto the inquirers:

So what about you? First face the facts about yourself. Repent! Turn away from the evil that you do. Turn to God and you will live: repent and believe the good news (Mark 1:14-15). Do not ask whether we or they more guilty. We are not called upon to resolve these questions, or to wallow in guilt or to project it onto others, or to seek moral explanations of all pain and suffering. We are only called to repent of what we know we have done wrong. The point of recognizing and repenting of our sins is not to bind us in our guilt but to set us free. The same applies to others whom we should not bind in their sins.

Remember the gospel reading last Sunday with the words of lament over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34 and see Luke 19:41). It is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ whose loving care Jesus showed as he went to Jerusalem, longing to gather her people as a hen gathers her chickens, there to offer the sacrifice which would later call sinners to repentance with the promise of redemption. 'The promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.' (Acts 2:38-39).

Order of Service - Lent 3 Year C - | DBHome | RCL Resources Index |

The Gathering of the People of God

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;     (Isaiah 55:6)
Let us worship God.
O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.    (Psalm 63:1-3)

HYMN Praise my soul the king of heaven TIS 134 AHB 68

We have failed to love you with all our heart and to be good stewards of your creation: Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
We have failed to take up the cross of discipleship and to be good stewards of your gospel: Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
We have failed to be faithful members of your church and to be good stewards of your spiritual gifts: Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

[From Uniting in Worship]

Hear then Christ's word of grace, 'Your sins are forgiven'
Thanks be to God

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.

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.


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Who needs to repent?
OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 55:1-9 as the heavens are higher...so are my ways higher than your ways
PSALM 63:1-8 O God, you are my God, I seek you
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 God ... will not let you be tested beyond your strength
GOSPEL Luke 13:1-9 "unless you repent, you will all perish"

HYMN Who would true valour see TIS 568 AHB 467


HYMN It passeth knowledge, that dear love of thine TIS 230 AHB 172

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]

Father, we pray for the holy catholic Church;
that we all may be one.
Grant that every member of the church
may truly and humbly serve you;
that your name may be glorified by all people.
We pray for all ministers of the gospel;
that they may faithfully proclaim your Word
and administer your holy sacraments.
We pray for all who govern and hold authority
in the nations of the world;
that there may be justice and peace on the earth.
Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;
that our works may find favour in your sight.
Have compassion on those who suffer
from any grief or trouble;
that they may be delivered from their distress
We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;
may we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Let us pray for our community
for the life and worship of this congregation
and for those whose needs are known to us.....

Let us pray for ourselves.....

Holy and merciful Father,
you never leave your children abandoned
but always reveal your name to them.
Break through the hardness of our minds and hearts,
so that we may learn to receive your teachings
with childlike simplicity,
and bear the fruit of true and continual conversion.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.  Amen


The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN May the grace of Christ our saviour TIS 777 AHB 373
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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