March 23, 2025 – Third Sunday in Lent

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Isaiah 55:1–9
Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; listen to me and live.

Psalm 63:1–8
O God, you are my God, I seek you; my soul thirsts for you.

1 Corinthians 10:1–13
Our ancestors crossed the sea; they drank from Christ, the rock.

Luke 13:1–9
Lessons from a tower and a fig tree; repent or you will perish.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

O God, you are our God;
our souls thirst for you,
as in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
We have looked upon you in the sanctuary;
we have seen your power and glory.
Our lips will praise you as long as we live;
we lift up our hearts and call on your name.
Let us worship God!

Prayer of the Day

Benevolent God,
even though we are sinners,
you extend your steadfast love to us.
You offer all that we need,
that we may not hunger or thirst.
Give us grateful hearts,
that we make seek you with our lives.
Make us alert,
that we may listen for and hear your voice.
We pray that in our seeking and our listening,
you would make your thoughts our thoughts
and your ways our ways. Amen.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving for Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
God of ancient covenants,
who never breaks trust,
we thank you for baptismal waters
that pour out your steadfast love
for all creation.
Thank you for the salvation promise
you have kept.
In the name of Jesus,
the Living Water, we pray. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
When the time comes to repent,
let us not accuse our neighbor,
but face the truth within us,
and not to belittle or shame,
but to seek grace,
that we can turn our lives around with God’s help.

Almighty God,
though you lovingly tend us,
we have not put forth the good fruits
of your Spirit.
Our consumption poisons the earth.
Our violence threatens our neighbors.
Our greed exploits the poor.
We must seem a waste of time,
but don’t give up on us yet, O God.
In your power to abundantly pardon,
forgive us for the sake of Christ,
and imbue us with love, peace,
goodness, and faithfulness.

Lifting water from the font:
Incline your ear and listen,
so that you may live!
God makes with us an everlasting covenant,
the sure, steadfast love
known to Moses, David, and the ancestors
and revealed in Jesus upon the cross.
Trust in the good news.
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
O Lord of light and salvation,
let these words of Scripture
live not only in our mouths,
but in our hearts,
that we will embody your truth
and confess with our lives
that Jesus is Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
The Word is near to us,
on our lips and in our hearts.
Romans 10:8

After the readings:
This is the Word of faith
that we proclaim.
Thanks be to God.
Romans 10:8


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
Let every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord. Amen.
Philippians 2:11

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

The reconciling work of Jesus
was the supreme crisis in the life of humankind.
His cross and resurrection become personal crisis
and present hope for women and men
when the gospel is proclaimed and believed.
In this experience,
the Spirit brings God’s forgiveness to all,
moves people to respond in faith,
repentance, and obedience,
and initiates the new life in Christ.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.21

Prayers of Intercession

Let us have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus

as we pray for the world he came to save,

saying: Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.

We pray for the church . . .

Let us be an oasis in the desert—

a spring of water for all who thirst,

an abundant feast for all who hunger.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.

We pray for the world . . .

By your everlasting covenant,

embrace all the nations of this earth

with your steadfast, saving love.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.

We pray for this community . . .

Save those who are perishing.

Let new life flourish among us

and help us to bear good fruit.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.

We pray for loved ones . . .

Show your great faithfulness

to those who are sick or suffering.

Strengthen them and make them whole.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.

As we pour out our hearts in prayer, O God,

lead us to pour out our lives in service to you—

ever seeking your will, ever following your way;

all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Through the grace of God,
we have gifts in abundance
and pour them out
like perfume from a flask,
not for our sakes,
but to worship the One who
lavishes love on the world.

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
You have shown us, O God,
the sacrifice that you desire.
Now use these gifts—
and use our lives—
to liberate the oppressed,
to break the bonds of injustice,
to feed the hungry,
welcome the poor,
and unite the human family;
all in the name and for the sake
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Isaiah 58:6–7

Great Thanksgiving

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.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You made an everlasting covenant with us,
though we forsook your way.
Still, you call the thirsty to come to the waters;
you invite the poor and hungry to come and eat.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Jesus calls us to repent,
so that we might not perish.
Like a gardener Jesus tends to us with loving care,
waiting patiently for our lives
to bear the fruit of his grace.

The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation
(e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Provide us with spiritual food
and drink in the wilderness
as you have done for our brothers and sisters
who passed through the sea.
Do not test us beyond our strength,
but strengthen us for service.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
Giving God, living Lord,
you have fed us with your body.
You have poured out your life that we might live.
We thank you,
for we have tasted your goodness in this meal.
Fed, we are strengthened;
filled, we are renewed
to share the abundance of your love
with a hungry world. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the Spirit of the triune God
strengthen and sustain you,
all throughout these forty days
and into the life that is to come. Amen.
Luke 4:1–2

Go in peace,
proclaiming the message of reconciliation
God has entrusted to us. Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:19

The Gardener and the Fig Tree


Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy (OEG) RESTORATION GTG 415
  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (OEG) CWM RHONDDA GTG 65, PH 281
  • Ho, All Who Thirst (OE) JACOB’S WELL GTG 479


  • There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy (OEG) IN BABILONE GTG 435, PH 298
  • O Come unto the Lord (OEG) KOREA GTG 416, PH 381
  • Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me (EG) TOPLADY GTG 438
  • Jesus Said to Pray, “Our Father” (G) EBENEZER, Woven Into Harmony, Adam Tice, GIA 


  • You Thirsty Ones, Come (OG) HEAVEN’S RAIN GTG 78
  • Feed Us, Lord (OE) FEED US GTG 501
  • Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts (EG) QUEBEC / JESU DULCIS MEMORIA GTG 494, PH 510, 511


  • If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee (OEG) WER NUR DEN LIEBEN GOTT GTG 816, PH 282
  • O God, You Are My God (OE) STEP BY STEP GTG 743
  • Sometimes a Light Surprises (G) SALLEY GARDENS GTG 800

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 63:1–8

  • O God, You Are My God Alone [GRATUS]; GTG 696, PAS 63B, LUYH 367
  • O God, My God, with Eagerness [CM]; PCW 63


  • My Soul Thirsts for God; PAS 63A
  • My Soul Is Thirsting; PFTS2 48
  • Lord, You Are My Hope and Stay; PP 110

Organ Music

  • “The Woman at the Well,” KINGSFOLD, Three Gospel Scenes Quoting Familiar Hymns, James Biery, MSM (ME)
  • “As the Deer Runs to the River,” JULION, Augsburg Organ Library: Lent II, Marilyn Biery, AF (ME)
  • “WONDROUS LOVE,” For Manuals Only, Set 5, Charles Callahan, CON (E)

Piano Music

  • “If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee,” WER NUR DEN LIEBEN GOTT, In Christ Alone, Rachel Chapin, CON (M)
  • “Just As I Am,” WOODWORTH, The Essential Collection for the Church Pianist, Joel Raney, HOPE (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Lamb,” Richard Donn, SHAW, SATB, pno, opt vc, opt wind chimes (ME)
  • “Open Hearts, Open Doors,” Ruth Elaine Schram, LOR, SATB, pno, opt fl, opt cong (E)
  • “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley,” arr. Larry Shackley, HOPE, SATB, pno, solo, opt inst (ME)
  • “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” arr. Charles McCartha, AF, SAB, pno (E)
  • “We Shall Walk through the Valley,” arr. Undine Smith Moore, AF, SATB, acap (M)


  • The Gardener and the Fig Tree, stained glass, Dungarvan (VDL)
  • Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, Ludovico Mazzolino, 1525–30 (VDL)
  • Give Drink to the Thirsty, Nicholas Markell, 2016 (EYE)
  • Tree of Life, Mark Cazalet, 2014 (VCS)
  • Reading the Word, Lucinda Naylor, 2016 (EYE)