Third Sunday in Lent (March 11th, 2012)

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(Congregation may be invited to be seated for prayer.)

With the prayer “Lord, in your mercy” you are invited to respond…

1. We cry to you for help, O God, praying at this time for the church, the world and all those who are in need.

A brief silence.

2. In this season of Lent, we pray for the Body of Christ that all its members would continue to marvel at God’s love for them. And may our actions and words never discourage others from coming into our sanctuaries in their search for that love.
Lord, in your mercy:

3. We pray for our partner Anglican Church of Canada and our neighboring communities of faith. We pray in particular for our sister congregations: for Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penticton and their pastor Curtis Aguirre; and for Trinity Lutheran and Anglican Church in Port Alberni and their priest, George Pell. We pray also for the hospital chaplains and all who carry out a ministry of caring for those who are unwell or anxious. May all our ministries reflect to all people God’s good news.
Lord, in your mercy:

4. We pray for ourselves that we would turn to you: when the idols of this world tempt us; when our devotional life is weak; when we fail to express our appreciation for the gift of parents, spouses and relatives; when we discourage others with our criticism; when the gift of our sexuality fails to reflect respect for our partner; when in our workplace, in the school and in our community we fail to defend our neighbor against rumour and falsehoods; when we covet the gifts others have, and fail to recognize the special gifts God has given us.
Lord, in this season of Lent, renew our faith and our love for one another.
Lord, in your mercy:

5. We pray for the nations of the world and their leaders: for legislatures and judges; for merchants and stock brokers; for police and military personnel; for the care givers of war torn countries. May we daily recognize the variety of your ministries, and may they know our appreciation for their work on our behalf.

Lord, in your mercy:

6. We pray for those who are captive to addictions; for victims of crime, for survivors of sexual or domestic abuse, for those who are sick with aids or HIV/AIDS; for those who suffer from dementia and alzheimer’s and for those who fear the deterioration of body or mind. We pray especially for those we name aloud or quietly in our heart at this time…
In your loving kindness, bring comfort and reassurance to all who are in need.
Lord, in your mercy:

7. Holy God, you continue to bless us and our church:
– we thank you for those who have the gift of another birthday or another
anniversary, and for those who have known the gift of new life.
– we thank for your Word that reminds us when we stray from your way;
– and we thank you for your Word which reassures us that we are worthy to call ourselves children of God.
– Finally we thank you for those blessings we name aloud at this time….

May we continue to recognize your presence and our calling to care for others.
Lord, in your mercy:

8. We lift up the names of loved ones who have died in the faith trusting that in the crucified and risen Christ we are bound to them in death as in life.
Lord, in your mercy:

9. Now indeed is the acceptable time to offer our prayers to you, God of grace and of truth. Receive them in your mercy, and grant us and our neighbor all that we need. AMEN

1Corinthians 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.
19 For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
20 Where 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.
14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables.
15 Making 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.
16 He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’
17 His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’
18 The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’
19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’
20 The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’
21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body.
22 After 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.

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