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Lent 3, Year B
South Sydney Uniting Church
March 11, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God


The genius of God
is displayed in creation.
Night and day proclaim the word of God
in silence.

God’s design for the universe
is like the offer of centred happiness.
Sometimes I have misunderstood
or misused this gift.
Forgive me my clumsiness.

Unmindfulness blocks my appreciation.
Keep me godly in thought and deed.
Your grace supports me.

SONG ‘Morning has broken’ (156)


In the name of God:
Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of Life. Amen.

Grace and peace to you from God.
God fill you with peace and joy.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.


Silence for personal confession. Placing the Cross on the altar-table.

The word of the cross is the wisdom of God to those who are saved.

Merciful God, we confess our bewilderment
in the presence of a wisdom in such a dreadful act as crucifixion.

It seems that evil triumphed in this wretched deed.
Yet, when we know the risen Christ,
we believe that it was an act of powerful and sacrificial love,
and that, in the end, good did triumph over evil.
And so, forgive us, O God, when we become so influenced
by the wisdom of the world that we demand signs
and seek intellectual certainty as proof of your existence.

Forgive us when we get caught up in the quest for achievement and power,
forgetting that Jesus’ power was made perfect in weakness.

Forgive our reluctance, O God, to proclaim with our lips and our lives
that the crucified and risen Christ is Sovereign,
and help us to empty ourselves of all that hinders
such proclamation.

Have mercy on us, O God, and strengthen us to do your will.
This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Christ candle is lit.


God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom
and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
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.
Jesus Christ became, for us, righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Jesus says, Your sins are forgiven.
Jesus says, I am committing myself to you.
Thanks be to God.

SONG ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you’ (650)

The Liturgy of the Word

Your word, O God, is a lamp to our feet:
a light to our path.

FIRST READING Exodus 20:1-17

May your word live in us, O God;
and bear much fruit to your glory.

We stand.


Let us stand to acclaim God’s saving justice,
attested by the Law and the prophets,
and now revealed through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe.

GOSPEL John 2:13-22

The Wisdom of God:
God’s word made new.



The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING ‘A new commandment’ (699)


The peace of Christ the Saviour be with you.
And also with you.


God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

God whose love knows no limit,
when you spoke your Word into darkness
sun, moon and stars shone forth,
seas teemed with life and the play of Leviathan.
Mountains rose, earth sprouted grass and trees;
birds soared, lambs lept, lions roared,
and people joined in singing creation’s hymn.

L: Faithful and merciful God,
your promise is true:
as once you redeemed slaves,
in the fullness of time you sent your Own, Jesus,
to fulfill the prophets and free all humankind.

R: You anointed him with your Spirit
to preach good news to the poor
and make the broken-hearted whole.
He healed the sick and gave sight to the blind.
He freed people from powers and oppressors.

He proclaimed the time of your favour,
welcoming sinners to feast together in your friendship.
Blessing just and unjust alike,
he revealed your perfection and taught us to be like you.

Now giving thanks for the work of Jesus, let us pray for those who are poor, or sick, or dying.
Pray for prisoners, and all who suffer at the hands of others.

Father and Mother of all, your Child Jesus
served and loved us till the end.

On the night of his passion ...

L: That night before his friend betrayed him
and enemy soldiers took him away to be killed,
R: he knelt down and washed his friends’ feet,
so we pray to love one another as he loved us:
bring us together, God, and make us one in your love.

Pray for enemies and friends.
Pray for peacemakers and soldiers.

Living God, you raised Jesus from the dead,
now show us all you have promised:
Your Spirit filling the whole world, and conquering death.

Show us here the Body and Blood of Jesus your Own,
whose breath and heartbeat move through all creation.

Nourish and transform us through bread and wine
which give life to the world.
Open our eyes to see your work around us
that we may join in with all who have gone before,
living as Jesus lives, and loving as he loves.

Give thanks for God’s work where we see it.
Pray for those who have died and for those who mourn them.

God who unites us,
we pray that all our work, all our thanksgiving,
and all our praise may find in your embrace
communion with God’s beloved in every time and place
as we join with them in the song of the angels (761):

Holy, holy, holy God,
wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory;
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One
who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

Through your Own, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit in your holy church,
all honour and glory is yours, almighty God,
now and forever. Amen.


Abba God, our Mother
and our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your dominion 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.


Servant of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Servant of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Servant of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace, grant us peace.

Jesus welcomes everyone to his table,
and so we offer everyone,
without exception, the bread and wine,
which are Christ’s body and blood.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION ‘Lord of creation, to you be all praise’ (656)

The Sending Forth of the People of God



Go from here today,
in the power of the Holy Spirit
to witness to the wisdom of the cross.

Wisdom is brilliant, she never fades.
By those who love her, she is easily seen,
by those who seek her, she is readily found.
She is a breath of God’s power,
and image of God’s goodness,
the eternal light and mirror of God’s glory.
Now let + Wisdom do all things,
renew all things,
and pass into holy souls everywhere
to make them friends of God.


Go forth in peace to live your Lenten discipline.
We go in faith and hope. Amen.

During Lent we depart in silence.

Based on UIW2;Prayer of Confession by Moira Laidlaw;
Eucharistic prayers from St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church,San Francisco, California.
Image: Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Templeoil on hardboard, 1972, Michael Smither, New Zealand,Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection (http://teamnoah.info/Stirred/tds.html).