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Lent 4, Year B
South Sydney Uniting Church
March 15, 2015

The Gathering of the People of God




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.

Gracious God, as we continue our Lenten journey,
we want to follow Jesus but we confess our reluctance
to face the stress and temptation the journey holds for us.
We confess that we are sometimes tempted to wish for miracles
to make life easier.

We admire the difficult and risky journey that Jesus took,
challenging systems that put conditions on God’s love,
but confess that we want our journeys of faith
to be devout but not too daring;
comfortable and not too threatening.

We cherish the faithfulness and humility of Jesus,
yet confess our fear of treading Jesus’ way of obedience
the way of the cross.

Christ, save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
Forgive us our sins and fill us with the joy and peace of your salvation,
and strengthen us during this Lenten season to follow you
wherever you choose to take us. Amen.


Placing the Christ candle. Christ candle is lit.

Through the mercy of Christ,
God remembers you
but not your faults or your sins. Amen.


God, rich in mercy,
whose light reveals
the truth of things,
the judgement we bring on ourselves:
we thank you that
you sent your Own
to save and not condemn;
in his self-giving love
may life abundant reign;
through Jesus Christ, who was lifted up for us.

The Liturgy of the Word

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

EPISTLE READING Ephesians 2:1-10

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 (14):
To you, O God, I lift my soul;
to you, O God, I lift my soul.

GOSPEL John 3:14-21

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


The Liturgy of the Eucharist


God of mercy,
in these humble signs of bread and wine
your Child, Jesus, comes among us.
May he help us
to overcome temptations to be powerful and influential.
May we learn from him to do your will
for you are our God for ever.



Let us thank our God for giving Jesus, who was one of us.
He overcame temptation, and because of him we too can resist evil
and live for all that is good.


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.

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.

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.

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

That night before his friend betrayed him
and enemy soldiers took him away to be killed,
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.

Prayers of intercession.

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.

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 people 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 creation and 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 this table,
and so we offer everyone,
without exception, the bread and wine,
which are Christ’s body and blood.


The Sending Forth of the People of God


WISDOM BLESSING (Wisdom 6: 12ff.)

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;
Liturgy Alive for Sundays and Weekdays, the Philippines (www.bible.claret.org);
Prayer of Confession by Moira Laidlaw (www.liturgiesonline.org);
Collect by Steven Shakespeare, Prayers for an Inclusive Church, 2009.
Eucharistic prayers from St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church,
San Francisco, California.
Artwork: Birth Mandala, Nancy Burns (http://fertilesource.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Nancy-Burns-image-29.-jpeg-Aprils-birth-mandala1.jpg)

Birth unfolds as a butterfly, signifying metamorphosis, flowers opening up towards the light,
owls wise and all-knowing, signifying the relationship of the internal and external worlds,
heavenly and earthly worlds ...
The dancer of flamenco is there to remind me that birthing is a dance,
as is all of life, and to remember my passion for life.”