March 3, 2024 – Third Sunday in Lent

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

Lectionary Readings

Exodus 20:1–17
On Mount Sinai, God gives the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Psalm 19
The law of the Lord is perfect; God’s commandments are clear.

1 Corinthians 1:18–25
The message of the cross reveals God’s wisdom and strength.

John 2:13–22
Before Passover, Jesus chases the money-changers out of the temple.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

We are here with a vision of what can be
as God calls us to worship.
We have journeyed this far,
and we pause in gratitude.
Our endurance builds a spirit of understanding and,
even in our weariness, joyful praise.
Hear our thanks as our hearts dance and voices sing.

Prayer of the Day

You have revealed to us
the sacrifices of the Lenten journey as we go.
Here in the middle,
as we sojourn,
we look back at how far we have come
and forward towards what is to come.
Beloved God, you call us to stop and to be,
finding joy where we are.
You show us the beauty of the sky above,
the firmness of the earth below.
We breathe in the air of a new day,
remember the rain along the way,
and cling to the dreams of our nights.
We stop and give thanks because we are alive
and you are our God! 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.

O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the mercy you so freely offer us
through the grace of our baptism—
safe passage through the sea,
justice rolling down like water,
deliverance from sin and death forever.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
teach us to love and serve you faithfully
and reconcile us to you and to one another
as members of one, living body;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
In the name of Christ, I urge you:
Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20

Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.

O Christ who chased the money changers from the temple,
chase the greed from our lives and our hearts.
As you overturned the tables, O Lord,
overturn the systems in our world
that contribute to cycles of poverty and oppression.
Forgive us, O God, of the ways we contribute to the world’s brokenness.
Forgive us, O God, and wash us in your mercy.
Forgive us, O God, and free us to try again.

Lifting water from the font:
Listen, the time has come at last.
Look, now is the day of salvation!
2 Corinthians 6:2

In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Gracious God, our way in the wilderness,
guide us by your Word through these forty days,
and minister to us with your Holy Spirit,
so that we may reformed,
restored, and renewed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15

After the readings:
We proclaim Christ crucified—
the wisdom and power of God.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 1:23–25


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
we bend our knees
and lift up our hearts,
giving glory to God forever. Amen.
Philippians 2:9–11

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

Season of Lent
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 the People

Out of the ashes, up from the dust
we bring our prayers to God, saying:
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for the church . . .
Give your people the wisdom and strength
to bear witness to your saving love
through the message of the cross.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for the world . . .
Cast out the powers of corruption and greed
and overturn the tables of injustice,
until the whole earth becomes your holy temple.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for this community . . .
Help us to live together according to your law,
honoring one another, living in peace,
and seeking the common good in all things.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for loved ones . . .
Give rest to those who are struggling;
bless and keep them, by your grace,
so that their days may be full of life.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

Restore in us, O God, the joy of your salvation;
renew and sustain our spirits,
so that we may live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ, our hope and strength. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Jesus says: Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
Matthew 6:21

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:
At Sinai, you gave us the gift of your law
calling us to worship you—and you alone—
and teaching us to live together as you intended.
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:
Christ turned the tables on injustice and corruption;
he came to restore and renew the temple of your presence
by offering us a place in the temple of his risen body
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.
Confound the foolishness of our wisdom
by the saving power of the cross of Jesus Christ;
strengthen us to proclaim this good news to all the world.
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:
Holy God, we give you thanks
that you have claimed us as your own
and nourished us in this meal
as members of Christ’s body.
By the work of your Spirit within us
give us the grace to glorify you
as one, living body in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1 Corinthians 6:15–20

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the steadfast love of God,
the abundant grace of Jesus Christ,
and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit
be with you this day and always. Amen.
Psalm 51:1, 11

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
If any wish to be my disciples
let them take up the cross
and follow me. Amen.
Mark 8:34

Cleansing the Temple

Pieter Aertsen, 16th century

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • God the Sculptor of the Mountains (G) JENNINGS-HOUSTON GTG 5
  • I Danced in the Morning (G) LORD OF THE DANCE GTG 157
  • Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle (EG) FORTUNATUS NEW GTG 225
  • This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made (O) NUN DANKET ALL’ UND BRINGET EHR’ GTG 681


  • Lord Jesus, Come and Overturn (G) ERHALT UNS HERR David Gambrell Breathing Spirit into Dust GIA
  • Lord, Who throughout These Forty Days (G) ST. FLAVIAN GTG 166
  • Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness (O) SPIRIT GTG 291
  •  Take Time to Be Holy (OG) HOLINESS UMH 395


  • Be Still and Know That I Am God (O) PSALM 46 GTG 414
  • Bread of the World in Mercy Broken (E) RENDEZ À DIEU GTG 499
  • You, Lord, Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (E) PICARDY GTG 274
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (EG) HAMBURG GTG 223, ROCKINGHAM GTG 224


  • God of Grace and God of Glory (EG) CWM RHONDDA GTG 307
  • I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord (G) ST. THOMAS GTG 310
  • Lead Me, Guide Me (OG) LEAD ME, GUIDE ME GTG 740
  • Lift High the Cross (E) CRUCIFER GTG 826

Psalms and Canticles


  • Your Law, O Lord, Is Perfect [CHRISTUS, DER IST MEIN LEBEN]; GTG 61
  • God’s Glory Fills the Heavens [ST, PATRICK, CREATION, YE BANKS AND BRAES]; GTG 690, PAS 19B, LUYH 719, PLP1 19
  • The Stars Declare His Glory [DEERFIELD]; PAS 19A
  • Silent Voices [SILENT VOICES]; PAS 19F


  • May the Words of My Mouth; PAS 19E
  • Lord, You Have the Words; PAS 19C (alt. refrain)
  • Lord, You Have the Words of Everlasting Life; PFTS2 44
  • Lord, You Have the Words; PP 32
  • The Statutes of the Lord Rejoice the Heart; HTP2 49

    Organ Music

    • “God of Grace,” God of Grace, Paul Manz, MSM (M)
    • “The Glory of These Forty Days,” When I Survey, Lynn Trapp, LOR (E)
    • “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” When I Survey, Lynn Trapp, LOR (E)
    • “Lift High the Cross,” Improvisations on Great Hymns of Faith, Paul Manz, MSM (ME)

    Anthems for Adult Choirs

    • “Psalm 19,” James J. Chepponis, MSM, SATB, fl, ob, brass, cymbal, timp, stngs (M)
    • “If Ye Love Me,” Philip Wilby, ECS, SSATB, org (E)
    • “The Law of the Law Is Perfect,” G. Fauré, Lynn Trapp, LOR, SATB, org (M)
    • “Be Thou My Vision,” Paul Basler, CV, SATB, hn, pno (E)
    • “If Ye Love Me,” Peter Niedmann, LOR, SATB, pno (M)
    • “The Lord Is My Strength,” Peter Aldins, ECS, SATB, keybd (A)
    • “Make Me a Captive,” Eugene Butler, GMC, SATB, org (M)
    • “Teach Me, O Lord,” Phillip Stopford, MSM, SATB, org (E)

    Handbell Music

    • “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God (Psalm 19),” Valerie Stephenson, 3–5 oct, opt tpt or C-inst, HOPE, 1678, Level 3
    • “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” Mitchell Eithun, 3–6 oct, opt hc, GIA, G9813, Level 2+
    • “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Matthew Prins, 4–5 oct, opt hc, FTM, FM20246, Level 3


    • Blessing Cross, Jan Richardson (JR)
    • Cleansing of the Temple, Pieter Aertsen (VDL)
    • The Two Commandments, Jan Richardson (JR)
    • Psalm 19:1–5, Timothy Botts (EYE)