St. Mary's Church

Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent

6 Mar 2021 • General news

Exodus 20. 1-17

20Then 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; 3you 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. 5You 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, 6but 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. 9For six days you shall labour and do all your work. 10But 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. 11For 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.

1 Corinthians 1. 18-25

18 For 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. 19For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

John 2. 13-22

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

Thought for Sunday 7th March – The Third Sunday of Lent prepared by Malcolm Tyler

The 10 commandments are wonderful examples for us in the way to lead a fulfilled and good life.If we lived in a society where there was no murder, stealing, jealousy or sexual sin we would probably all feel a great deal happier. But of course I have only mentioned a few of the 10 commandments and have omitted any of the first four, all of which have to deal with our attitude to God himself.

Right living will have two elements; how we live with ourselves and neighbours and how we live with God.Jesus’ summary of the Law makes this very clear.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbour as yourself.

Some of us may have difficulty loving ourselves (so often we see our faults before our better characteristics) but by and large we are far better at loving ourselves and those around us than God himself. We may forget our wider family and friends from time to time but I sometimes wonder how often we forget the part God plays in our lives, especially when things seem to be going well. God is regularly called upon in times of crisis and even berated when things go wrong but how often do we acknowledge him when things are going well?

One of my own Lenten disciplines this year has been to try to acknowledge one good thing that has happened each day.The first week was not too bad but this second week I have struggled, not because good things haven’t happened but because I am tired at the end of the day and not used to thinking things over.In the mornings when I do set aside time to think of the place of God in my life, I am more focussed on the day ahead than the day that has passed.

Strangely, when Frances and I had some bad news this week, it was that that focussed me to think about all the good things that I do have, a loving family and a warm safe home to give just two examples.

We believe in a God who delights in us and who wants the very best for us in this beautiful world that he has created. I would suggest that at the very least we owe him the courtesy of acknowledging what he has provided for us. Following the 10 commandments as a way of life is not about donning a straightjacket of things of things we can’t do but rather about following a way of life that will provide us with the things we need and be beneficial for us all.

Intercessions for 7 March 2021

3rd Sunday of Lent

As we come together in your name, Father hear us as we pray. Help us bring all our worries, concerns and thoughts to you. Still our hearts and minds so that, in the silence, we can focus on you.

Father thank you for the way that you love us and accept us just as we are. For the way you know each of us by name and call us to follow you. Mindful of the commandments that you gave to Moses, strengthen us to live our lives as you would want us to. We give thanks for those who support, encourage and lead us on our spiritual journey. We think of those in our own church here in Walsgrave, for Malcolm and all our lay readers. Continue to work through them that we may draw ever closer to you.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Father we pray for the governments of the world asking that they work together to find solutions to global issues. Give them wisdom and compassion in their dealings with each other. We pray for the continued sharing of the covid vaccination so that people everywhere can be protected. Help leaders find non-violent ways of seeking peace and reconciliation. We pray for areas of the world where there is continued unrest and think especially of Myanmar and Syria. Be in the heart of the discussions, reduce the anger and fear and bring an end to the conflicts people find themselves in. Give us all humility and courage to seek unity where we are divided.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Father we pray for our communities, families and friends, for those we work with or share our daily lives. We pray for those we have not seen for a while due to the pandemic and ask that you would keep them safe and well. Help us to let know that they are thought about and very much loved. We pray for those young and old having lockdown birthdays at this time and who are missing out on the celebrations with their loved ones. We think especially of Edna Robinson who is 90 today. We pray for those who maybe feeling isolated because of Coronavirus and those who find it difficult to make friends and be accepted. Help us not to be afraid to show kindness to strangers and to reach out to those in our communities who are alone.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Father we pray for all those who are in need, who are suffering in any way or anxious about what tomorrow may bring. We pray for those who care for them day in and day out. We think especially of those who are facing long or incurable illnesses and especially for all those suffering with dementia. We hold before you those recently diagnosed with an illness and who are coming to terms with life changing news. In a moment of silence, we think of those known to us who we care about and name now in our hearts.

Work through medical staff, carers and volunteers looking after those who are ill. Give them the energy and patience to do their job and the words to say to reassure those who are afraid. Help us to know how best to share the burden of caring for those who are suffering as we continue to hold them in our prayers.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Father we pray for all those who have recently died. We pray for those whose death has been a release from earthly suffering and give thanks that they are now at peace. We think of those who have died without a loved one at their side or those who have suffered a violent death. Be close to families and friends who grieve, surround them with your love and bring them peace. Be their healer, comforter and close companion.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Father as we go out this week into our workplaces, our communities and in our family homes be with us. Help us to think of others and find ways to make the world a better place. Be with us in our times of questioning, anger or doubt and show us what we can do to help others find you.

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen