Year C
The Third Sunday in Lent
Sunday 24 March 2019


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 as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are your ways and thoughts above ours.

You spread out creation like a rich banquet
and poured forth blessings like an ever-flowing stream.
In the days of Moses, you rescued your people from slavery, and nourished them in the wilderness.

In your child, Jesus Christ,
you have met us in our suffering again.
When he was killed,
he opened the way through the deep waters of death
to the promised land of resurrection life.
Remembering this, we cling to you,
sheltered beneath your wings,
thankful that though disaster may beset us
and push us to the limits of our endurance,
you will replenish our strength, without cost,
from your overflowing table,
and so enable us to stand firm
and rest trustingly in your abundant mercy.

Therefore with .....

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



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

We thank you that even in the face of trial and disaster
you replenish our strength, without cost,
from your overflowing table,
and so enable us to stand firm
and rest trustingly in your abundant mercy.

©2001 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 as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are your ways and thoughts above ours.

You spread out creation like a rich banquet
and poured forth blessings like an ever-flowing stream.
In the days of Moses, you rescued your people from slavery, and nourished them in the wilderness.

In your child, Jesus Christ,
you have met us in our suffering again.
When he was killed,
he opened the way through the deep waters of death
to the promised land of resurrection life.
Remembering this, we cling to you,
sheltered beneath your wings,
thankful that though disaster may beset us
and push us to the limits of our endurance,
you will replenish our strength, without cost,
from your overflowing table,
and so enable us to stand firm
and rest trustingly in your abundant mercy.

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.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

God is faithful and will have mercy on all
who give up doing and planning evil
and return to the Lord.
God will abundantly pardon their sins.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now; turn to the Lord, and let his thoughts fill your minds.
Do not expend your resources on that which cannot satisfy,
and do not become overly sure of yourselves,
lest you fall into temptation.
Instead seek the Lord while he may be found,
and take the path to freedom that opens before you.

And may Godís love be better to you even than life;
May Christ Jesus be to you a rock and a life-giving spring;
And may the Holy Spirit strengthen you
and guide you in the ways of life.

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

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the Third Sunday in Lent - Year C - 24 March 2019
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.


* Isaiah 55: 1-9

This is what the LORD says:

Hey you! Are you thirsty?
    Come, then. Drink from these fresh waters!
Are you too penniless even to eat?
    Never mind! Come! Help yourselves; eat your fill!
Come and stock up with food, wine and milk.
    What will it cost you? Not a red cent!

Why sink all your money into things that leave you hungry?
    Why bust a gut working for things that can never satisfy?
Listen carefully to what I have to say
    and you will feast at a rich banquet of fine foods.

Stick with me and tune in to what Iím saying,
    for without my words, life is bland and tasteless.
I will surround your lives with love and loyalty,
    making a permanent alliance, just as I did with David.
I gave him influence and authority over the nations,
    and he was my witness among them.

You will be the same Ė a light to which others flock;
    even those who donít know you will come running;
theyíll be drawn to my glory, seen in you,
    the glory of the LORD, the one and only God of Israel.

The LORD says,
Track me down before it is too late,
    make contact while Iím in your neck of the woods.
Clean up your act and get your head straight;
    give up your corrupt practices and plans.
Get yourself back on my wavelength
    and Iíll pour out mercy and generous forgiveness.

I donít think the way you think, says the LORD,
    and I donít do things the way you do.
Your ways and mine are like cheese and chalk,
    your thoughts and mine are lightyears apart.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Psalm 63: 1-8

You are my God and I crave you;
........all that I am thirsts for you;
every fibre of my being aches for you,
........like a parched and weary land longing for rain.

Let me stay here in this sacred place
........and drink in the vision of your strength and glory.

With every breath I sing your praises,
........because your rock-solid love
................is worth more to me than life itself.

I will worship you till my dying day,
........with my hands reaching out to you
................and my voice calling your name.

You are like a rich banquet to my soul;
........like a meal I canít praise enough!

Even in the dead of night
........I lie awake thinking of you,
................and savouring each treasured thought.

I snuggle under your wings and sing for joy,
........for you have been my help and support.

With all that I am I cling to you,
........and your strong loving arms hold me safe.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* 1 Corinthians 10: 1-13

........My friends, take a lesson from the history of our people. Our ancestors all started out on the same footing. They all shared a common baptism as they passed through the sea from their old life of slavery to new life as followers of Moses. They were all led in the desert by the same cloud and they all ate the same food ó the food that God provided them each day. They all drank from the same fountain to quench their spiritual thirsts: the fountain that gushed from the rock that is Christ, for he went with them as they travelled. But despite all that God did to nourish and strengthen them, most of them rebelled and got God off-side. As a result they perished in the desert.
........Their mistakes and the price they paid for them are clearly warnings to us not to fall into the same sort of traitorous behaviour ourselves. So donít get sucked into celebrations that honour something else in place of God. The scriptures condemn the way our ancestors ate and drank and cavorted in celebrations dedicated to other so-called gods. Similarly we must not get drawn into a culture of sexual depravity as some of them were. Look at the price they paid: twenty-three thousand of them were wiped out in a single day. We also need to beware of trying to test Christ out by seeing how far his tolerance can be stretched. Some of our ancestors tried pushing their luck like that, and the next thing they knew they were being killed by a plague of deadly snakes. And donít go stirring up discontent the way they did either. Their whingeing unleashed a destructive spirit that decimated them.
........The accounts of what happened to them are like flashing lights warning us of danger. We might be living at the other end of the worldís history, but if we donít learn from their mistakes, weíll be doomed to repeat them. So donít go getting too sure of yourselves or youíll let your guard down and be on the canvas in no time. No matter how tough the going gets, you are not up against anything worse than what everyone else has to face. God never lets us down and will ensure that you donít cop any pressure that youíre not capable of withstanding. There may be situations that will seem to be testing your limits ó temptations that feel unbearable ó but God will always make sure that there is a way out for you. Itís up to you to take it, but God will make sure it is there for you.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net



* Luke 13: 1-9

    Some people came to Jesus bringing news of a massacre that had occurred in a place of worship. They said that a death squad, sent by Pilate, had butchered a group of Galileans while they were offering sacrifices. Jesus questioned the people about what they thought this meant: ďDo you think thereís some kind of justice in this? Do you think that because these particular Galileans copped it, they must therefore have been the worst sinners in Galilee? No, they didnít deserve it any more than anyone else. But all the same, unless you turn your lives around, youíll end up just as dead as them.
    ďWhat about the eighteen people who were crushed to death when the Tower of Siloam collapsed? Do you think that such a disaster proved that they had offended God more than the rest of the population of Jerusalem? If you do, I can tell you that youíre wrong. But I can also tell you that unless you get your lives back on the right track, your number will soon be up too.Ē
    Then he told a story to illustrate the point: ďA bloke had a fruit tree planted on his property. One day, after finding that the tree had still not produced any fruit, he ran out of patience with it. He called his gardener and said, ĎIíve given up on this tree. Itís been here for three years and has produced nothing but leaves. Chop it down! Itís a waste of good soil.í But the gardener replied, ĎBoss, letís give it one more year. Iíll loosen up the soil and keep the fertiliser up to it and weíll see if it gives us a crop next summer. If it does, great. But if thereís still nothing, weíll take the axe to it then.íĒ

©2001 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net