Sunday, March 7, 2021 – Third Sunday in Lent


Confession and Forgiveness

P:         Blessed be the Holy Trinity, + one God, the keeper of the covenant, the source of steadfast love, our rock and our redeemer. Amen

God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ.  Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.

Silence is kept for reflection

Fountain of living water,

Pour your mercy over us.  Our sin is heavy and we long to be free.  Rebuild what we have ruined and mend what we have torn.  Wash us in your cleansing flood of love and grace.  Make us alive in the Spirit to follow in the way of Jesus, as healers and restorers of the world you have made.  Amen

P:         Beloved, God’s word never fails.  The promise rests on grace: by the saving love of Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God, your sin is + forgiven.  Journey in the way of Jesus.


Adapted from Sundays & Seasons, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress

Gathering Song               Softly and Tenderly”            # 608

  1.  Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
    calling for you and for me;
    see, on the portals he’s waiting and watching,
    watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home;  you who are weary come home;
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,  calling, O sinner, come home!

  •  Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
    pleading for you and for me?
    Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,
    mercies for you and for me? [Refrain]
  •  O for the wonderful love he has promised,
    promised for you and for me!
    Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,
    pardon for you and for me. [Refrain]


P:         The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

P:         Let us pray,

Holy God, you call us to live faithfully and act courageously.  Keep us steadfast in your covenant of grace and teach us the wisdom that comes through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



First Reading

After escaping slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea, the Israelites come to Mount Sinai in the wilderness where God teaches them how to live as God’s people in community.

A reading from Exodus, the 20th chapter.

Then God spoke all these words:

2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3you shall have no other gods before me.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

8 Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. 9For six days you shall labour and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

12 Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 You shall not murder.

14 You shall not commit adultery.

15 You shall not steal.

16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

Word of God.  Word of Life. 

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation for Lent

Return to the Lord your God,

for God is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.


P:         The holy gospel according to John, the 2nd chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

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

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Hymn of the Day                          “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”                            # 338

1 Beneath the cross of Jesus I long to take my stand;
the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land,
a home within a wilderness, a rest upon the way,
from burning of the noontide heat and burdens of the day.

2 Upon the cross of Jesus, my eye at times can see
the very dying form of one who suffered there for me.
And from my contrite heart, with tears, two wonders I confess:
the wonder of his glorious love and my unworthiness.

3 I take, O cross, your shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame, my glory all, the cross.


God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Sharing of the Peace


Offertory                             Now We Join in Celebration”                    # 462

Now we join in celebration at our Saviour’s invitation,

dressed no more in spirit somber, clothed instead in joy and wonder,

for the Lord of all existence, putting off divine transcendence,

stoops again in love to meet us, with his very life to feed us.

Lord, as round this feast we gather, fill our hearts with holy rapture!

For, this bread and cup of blessing, are for us the sure possessing

of your loving deed on Calvary, of your living self, our victory,

pledge of your unfailing presence, foretaste here of heavenly gladness.

Text: Joel W. Lundeen, 1918-1990 © Joel We. Lundeen, admin. Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.

Offertory Prayer

The Great Thanksgiving

P:         The Lord be with you.  And also with you.

Lift up your 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.

Eucharistic Prayer

Holy God, our living Water and our merciful Guide,

together with rivers and seas, wells and springs, we bless and magnify you.

You led your people Israel through the desert, and provided them water from the rock.

We praise you for Christ, our Rock and our Water, who joined us in our desert, pouring out his life for the world.

A plate of bread in each home may be lifted up.

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: This is my body given for you.  Do this for the remembrance of me.

A cup of wine in each home may be lifted up.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.  Do this for the remembrance of me.

Remembering, therefore, his life, death, and resurrection, we await your salvation for all this thirsty world.

Pour out your Spirit on this holy food and on all who are gathered for this feast.  Wash away our sin, that we may be revived for our journey by the love of Christ,

through whom all glory and honour are yours, Almighty God, with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and forever.  Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen


If you are in a group, you may serve one another.  If you are alone, you may serve yourself.  All use these or similar words:

The body of Christ, given for you.

The blood of Christ, shed for you.


Post-Communion Canticle                     Now We Join in Celebration”  

Lord, we share in this communion as one family of God’s children,

reconciled through you our brother, one in you with God our Father.

Give us grace to live for others, servig all, both friends and strangers,

seeking justice, love, and mercy till you come in final glory.

Text: Joel W. Lundeen, 1918-1990 © Joel We. Lundeen, admin. Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.

Post-Communion Prayer


Announcements may be made.


Sending Hymn                                “All My Hope on God is Founded”                              # 757        

1 All my hope on God is founded who will all my trust renew,
who through change and chance will guide me, only good and only true.

God unknown, God alone, call my heart to be thine own.

2 Mortal pride and earthly glory, sword and crown betray our trust;
what with care and toil we fashion, tow’r and temple, fall to dust.
But thy pow’r, hour by hour, is my temple and my tow’r.

3 Great thy goodness, e’er enduring; deep thy wisdom, passing thought;
splendor, light, and life attend thee, beauty springing out of naught.
Evermore from thy store new-born worlds rise and adore.

4 Still from earth to God eternal sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising for the gift of God’s own Son.
Christ doth call one and all: ye who follow shall not fall.


            A:         Go in peace.  Share the good news!

Thanks be to God!