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Lent 4, Year B
South Sydney Uniting Church
March 18, 2012

The Gathering of the People of God



It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith
and even that is not of yourselves, but the gift of God.
Nor is it a reward for anything that you have done,
so nobody can claim the credit.
We are God’s work of art,
created in Christ Jesus
to do the good things God created us to do
from the beginning.

SONG ‘Where love and lovingkindness dwell’
(SA 95/Tune TIS 129)


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.

SONG ‘O Love that wilt not let me go’ (602)

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


Placing the Christ candle. Christ candle is lit.


God sent the Only Begotten into the world
not to condemn the world,
but that through the Only Begotten
the world might be saved.
Jesus says, Your sins are forgiven.
Jesus says, I am committing myself to you.
Thanks be to God.

The Liturgy of the Word

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

FIRST READING Numbers 21:4-9

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 3:14-21

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



Reaffirmation of Baptism



Do you repent of your sins?
I repent of my sins.

Do you turn to Jesus Christ
who has defeated the power of sin and death
and brought us new life?
I turn to Christ.
Do you commit yourself to God,
trusting in Jesus Christ as Saviour
and in the Holy Spirit as God’s power and presence along the way?
I commit myself to God.


In the love of Christ we encourage you,
and pray that Christ will continue to bless you.
Glory and praise to God. Alleluia!


Water is poured into the font.

Come, O Christ,
refresh the lives of all your faithful people.

Friends in Christ,
Always remember you are baptised,
and praise the Holy Spirit.

Sign of water. Facing the congregation, says:

Since my baptism, I have belonged to Christ,
the light of the world.

Lights a candle from the Christ Candle.

Let your light so shine before the world
that all may see your good works
and give glory to God who is in heaven.


Will you continue in the community of faith,
the apostles’ teaching,
the breaking of bread and the prayers?
With God’s help, we will.

Will you proclaim by word and example
the good news of God in Christ?
With God’s help, we will.

Will you seek Christ in all people,
and love your neighbour as yourself?
With God’s help, we will.

Will you strive for justice and peace,
and respect the dignity of every human being?
With God’s help, we will.

Lighting candles.

May almighty God,
who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit,
keep us steadfast in the faith,
and bring us to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING ‘Great God, your Spirit like the wind’ (SA 41)


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 into freedom,
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.


O 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,
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.

‘It passes knowledge, that dear love of thine’ (230)

The Sending Forth of the People of God



Go now, and live as people made by God for good works.
Live your life in God openly in the light so all may see.
Celebrate God’s love with a sacrifice of praise,
and tell your story of salvation with joy.

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;
Eucharistic prayers from St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church,
San Francisco, California.
Image: I am born again, Ellen (pen and ink),