Third Sunday in Lent
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
The third covenant in this year’s Lenten readings is the central one of Israel’s history: the gift of the law to those God freed from slavery. The commandments begin with the statement that because God alone has freed us from the powers that oppressed us, we are to let nothing else claim first place in our lives. When Jesus throws the merchants out of the temple, he is defending the worship of God alone and rejecting the ways commerce and profit-making can become our gods. The Ten Commandments are essential to our baptismal call: centered first in God’s liberating love, we strive to live out justice and mercy in our communities and the World.
FIRST READING: Exodus 20: 1-17
After escaping from slavery, the Israelites come to Mount Sinai, where God teaches them how to live in community. The Ten Commandments proclaim that God alone is worthy of worship. Flowing from God, the life of the community flourishes when based on honest, trust, fidelity, and respect for life, family, and property.
PSALM: Psalm 19
SECOND READING: 1st Corinthians 1: 18-31
The word of the cross is pure foolishness and nonsense to the World because it claims that God is mostly revealed in weakness, humiliation, and death. But through such divine foolishness and weakness, God is working to save us. The center of Paul’s preaching is Christ crucified.
GOSPEL: John 2: 13-22
Jesus attacks the commercialization of religion by driving merchants out of the temple. When challenged, he responds mysteriously with the first prediction of his own death and resurrection. In the midst of a seemingly stable religious center, Jesus suggests that the center itself has changed.
SUNDAY DISCUSSIONS BEFORE CHURCH–We meet at 9:45 on Sunday mornings to have discussions before the service each week. We currently are reading C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity.
Easter Sunday will be here soon. It is March 31st this year. Passion Sunday will be the 24th. This presents a problem since the 31st is a 5th Sunday. We should be serving breakfast at First English that day. Plan to meet in our parking lot at 7 a.m. or so. (No later than 7:15) . Yes that is in the morning. It makes for a busy day but it is so gratifying.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 9-10 a.m. at the Community Center. Instructor-led workouts. Want some exercise? This is where to find it.
Please keep these people in your prayers: Michael Koch, Margret Phillips' 1-year-old granddaughter Aurora Lander, Wesley and JoAnn Porter, Nicole Biler Robinette, Mike and Donna Toy, and all of those who are still suffering from diseases or other health issues, as well as their families.
Please remember all of our shut ins and sick: Arlene Castor. (Also, pray for the families and caretakers of those on the prayer list.)
FUNDS FOR ZION
Please check the bulletin board behind the office door for all of the sign-up sheets for this year. Communion, birthday Sundays, and Worship Assistants/helpers. Thank you so much!
You can also remember special occasions or special people by contributing money that would normally be used for altar flowers. Instead the donation goes to our local food pantry.