Year B
Third Sunday in Lent
4 March 2018


Eucharistic Preface


Let us lift up our hearts.
    We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for the Word of your cross, though appearing foolish,
is the power and wisdom which save us.

You created the universe;
the skies tell of your glory
and the earth bears witness to your steadfast love.
You brought your people from slavery to freedom
and gave your holy commandments through Moses;
words that guide the simple and sharpen vision,
reviving the soul and delighting the heart.

When the world, in its sophistication and pride,
made an idol of money
and a marketplace of your temple,
using your name only to boost profits,
you sent your Son, Jesus Christ,
filled with zeal for your honour.
He was torn down by the fury of evil and corruption,
but rose again in three days,
forever establishing the foolishness and weakness of God
as the pathway of life and salvation.

Therefore with .....

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



Short Preface
(for insertion into Eucharistic prayers with fixed prefaces)

We give thanks for your Son, Jesus Christ,
who came, filled with zeal for your honour,
and revealed to us that the way of the cross,
which, though appearing weak foolish to the world,
is the power and wisdom which save us.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for the Word of your cross, though appearing foolish,
is the power and wisdom which save us.

You created the universe;
the skies tell of your glory
and the earth bears witness to your steadfast love.
You brought your people from slavery to freedom
and gave your holy commandments through Moses;
words that guide the simple and sharpen vision,
reviving the soul and delighting the heart.

When the world, in its sophistication and pride,
made an idol of money
and a marketplace of your temple,
using your name only to boost profits,
you sent your Son, Jesus Christ,
filled with zeal for your honour.
He was torn down by the fury of evil and corruption,
but rose again in three days,
forever establishing the foolishness and weakness of God
as the pathway of life and salvation.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

The message of the cross is the power of God to salvation.
Though faults hide within us,
through Christ crucified,
God forgives us and frees us from blame for sin.

Sisters and Brothers,
    your sins are forgiven;
        be at peace.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, with GodŐs foolishness and weakness
   as your only wisdom and strength.
Proclaim Christ crucified,
and seek riches only in the love of GodŐs Word
and in zeal for GodŐs house.

And may GodŐs just demands be your nourishment & delight.
May Christ be the power and wisdom of God to you.
And may the Holy Spirit keep you, thought and word,
   in GodŐs good grace.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
    In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the 3rd Sunday in Lent - Year B - 4 March 2018
Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary.
Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT)
P. O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.


* Exodus 20: 1-17

God spoke the following words to the people:

I am the LORD your God; the one who brought you out of the land where you were oppressed, and freed you from a life of slavery. You are not to have any other gods ahead of me.

You are not to make anything else into an object of devotion ahead of me. I donŐt care whether it is some heavenly presence, or something in the world around you, or something deep at the centre of everything; you are not to dedicate yourself to such things or to worship them. I am the LORD your God, and I want your undivided love. If people reject me, they will cop the consequences for their betrayal, and their children will be copping it for several generations to come. But those who love me and live by my instructions will enjoy my rock-solid love and loyalty for a thousand generations.

You are not to exploit my name. I am the LORD your God, and I will not let anyone get away with dragging my name through the mud.

Keep up the practice of making Saturday a dedicated rest day. You are to work on your business, projects, and chores on the other six days, and keep the seventh day as a rest day, dedicated to me, the LORD your God. You are not to do any work that day, and you are not to ask anyone else to work either Ń not your family, not your employees, not the migrant workers who live down the street, and not even your animals. I am the LORD, and I spent six days making the earth, sea and sky and everything in them, and then took the seventh day off. That is why I made the dedicated rest day so special, and set it apart as a sacred day.

Treat those who have raised you with due respect, and your future will be secure in the land that I, the LORD your God, am giving you.

Do not kill anyone.

Do not engage in any relationship that betrays or trivialises anyone.

Do not steal what rightly belongs to others.

Do not sacrifice the truth about someone else in order to win your case.

Do not desire things that belong to other people. Do not go wishing you could get your hands on someone elseŐs home or lover or employees or assets or anything else.
©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Psalm 19

Your glory is written in the sky, God;
........your artistry is carved on the face of the earth.
From one day to another, the message passes on,
........and each night puts the next one in the know.

Not a word is spoken,
........not a sound do they make;
yet their silence reverberates around the earth
........and their unspoken message echoes from pole to pole.

You made the sun at home flying across the sky.
........It takes to its task with the eagerness of a bridegroom;
................as exultant as an athlete breasting the tape.
As your messenger, God, it does its rounds,
........from one end of the sky to the other,
................warming everything in its path.

Your revealed will is right on the mark, LORD;
........it gives our souls their second wind.
What you says goes,
........and any fool can wise up by taking note.

Your instructions are spot on, LORD;
........anyone who follows them will be glad they did.
What you direct us to do is easy to see,
........and once seen, everything become clear.

Respect for you keeps us true, LORD,
........nothing can corrupt it, now or ever.
What you decide is always accurate;
........a fair ruling, beyond dispute.

Your Word is worth far more
........than even diamond encrusted gold!
It is sweeter by far
........than any mouth watering delicacy,
................even chocolate dipped strawberries with cream!

But thatŐs not all!
........Your Word, O LORD, keeps me out of danger,
................and following it pays off richly.
Can anyone put their finger on all their own faults?
........LORD, eradicate the bugs I havenŐt even identified yet.

Remind me not to entertain sour contemptuous thoughts,
........and donŐt let them start pulling my strings.
Without them, I can stay on course,
........and keep my record clean.

ThatŐs what I want, O LORD.
........I want all the things I say,
................and all the things I mull over in my heart,
........to be things IŐd be proud to offer to you,
................for you are the bedrock of my life;
........................the one who puts me back where I belong.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25

........The message about the cross sounds like a lot of mindless cock-and-bull to those who have thrown their lot in with this present world order and are going down with the ship. But to those of us who are being saved from that, it is nothing less than the power of God! God spoke about this in the Scriptures:
ŇI will expose the brilliant insights of your experts
........and the wise counsel of your gurus;
I will expose them for what they really are,
........a load of codswallop!Ó
So where are the intellectuals now? Where are the religious experts? Where are those who have an answer for everything? What have they got to show for all their cleverness now that God has turned all the conventional wisdom on its head and made it look foolish? Seeing that no amount of human cleverness had ever woken anybody up to GodŐs ways, God made the wise decision to use something that seemed utterly foolish to everyone Ń our preaching! Ń to rescue those who would trust the message. Most people want something more than this. Those with a religious world view demand to see miraculous signs to prove that it is from God. Those with a modern rational world view insist that it should have to prove its intellectual credibility. But what we are preaching is a Messiah who was strung up and killed. The religious people find this unthinkable, and the intellectuals regard it as primitive nonsense; but to those who have heard the call of God, whatever their background, it is the ultimate good news of GodŐs chosen one Ń as miraculous and profound as one could ever wish for! When itŐs all said and done, the sum total of the human raceŐs intellectual achievements donŐt even begin to stack up against the foolishness of God; and the combined force of all the worldŐs powers is puny in comparison to the weakness of God.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* John 2: 13-22

........Jesus travelled up to Jerusalem shortly before the Jewish religious festival known as Passover. He walked into the Temple and found people selling the cattle, sheep and pigeons required for the religious sacrifices. He also saw the money changers seated at their tables supplying the required currency for the temple taxes. Jesus grabbed a length of rope and, wielding it like a stock-whip, drove them all out of the Temple and trashed their stalls. It was bedlam, with cattle and sheep going in all directions and coins spilling everywhere as he kicked over the money changerŐs tables and shouted at those selling the pigeons, saying, ŇGet those things out of here. Stop treating my FatherŐs house like a shopping mall!Ó
........It reminded his followers of the passage of scripture that says, ŇI will be consumed by passion for your house.Ó
........The Jewish authorities were soon on the scene demanding to know whether he could produce any evidence that his actions were authorised. Jesus answered them, ŇTear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it back up.Ó
........The authorities snorted, ŇThe construction of this temple has taken forty-six years, and itŐs still not finished. Are you so out-of-your-tree that you think you could rebuild it in three days?Ó
........Of course, Jesus was really describing his own body as the new temple. After he had been raised from the dead, his followers remembered that he had said this, and it reinforced their belief in the words of scripture and in the words spoken by Jesus.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net