Worship Leader:  Barb DeJeet LLWL                                                                 Music Director:  Tim Hallman

THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT - MARCH 3, 2024

 How clean is your heart!!

Welcome/Announcements/Celebrations

Land Acknowledgement:
For the keepers of this land who came before us, we give thanks. May we learn from them and be reconciled with them. We are all children of God.

Lighting Of Christ Candle:
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the light of the world. We light this candle as a sign that God, through Jesus, is always with us.
Marie Slivocka, Trinity U.C., New Glasgow, N.S.

Call To Worship:
On Mount Sinai, God gave Moses the law; a guide for the Hebrew people and a covenant between them.
Seeking to be God’s people, we too shall be obedient to God’s commandments.
Within the Ten Commandments is God’s instruction that after the six days of labour, you shall rest- not only you, but those who work for you and those who provide services to you as well.
May this day be a day of Sabbath, holy to the Lord.
The nature of God is revealed in the commandments and they instruct us on who we have obligations to: God, our families, and our communities.
May our worship this Sabbath day help us to know God and provide rest to our weary souls.
Taylor Croissant, Southminister U.C., Lethbridage, Alta.

Opening Hymn: MV 1 “Let Us Build a House”

Passing of the Peace:
We stand in good company, the congregation of our God of righteousness and mercy. Let us greet our family in the name of our good God. PEACE OF CHRIST!

Opening Prayer:
Creator God, you call us from our busy lives to find knowledge and rest in this holy place. Center our spirits in your love. Open our heart to your transforming word, for we are ready to realign our spirits, remember your words, and walk in your paths. Guide us in wisdom and truth as we seek to follow your word. AMEN

Invitation For Offering:
As we have been blessed by our gracious God, let us now give back a portion of his goodness.

Offering Hymn:  VU 541 “Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow”

Offering Prayer:
We dedicate our lives to you, loving and giving God. May our offerings, in whatever form, contribute to the healing of the world and the spreading of the gospel. AMEN

Beth W Johnston, Bridging Waters, P.C. Nipawin, Sask,

Invitation For Illumination:
Holy Spirit, open our hearts to receive your Word.

Scripture:
John 2: 13 – 22 “Jesus clears the temple”

Reflection: “Cleaning House!”

Spring is almost here; a time of the year we begin to think about spring cleaning – opening the windows, washing the windows, putting away the winter things and bringing out the bright colors of spring.

In the scripture today we heard about Jesus cleaning the temple of those who were selling things and making money where they shouldn’t be.

Please pray with me: May the words spoken today give us understanding as we follow

our Savior Jesus Christ.

Remember the show that used to be on T.V. “To tell the truth”? Three individuals present themselves to the celebrity contestants and answer question. Then the contestants guess who was the real individual being portrayed. The show host would reveal the real person by saying “Would the real John Doe please stand up!” Sometimes we were shocked at the end result.

Well may be the gospel of John is saying the same thing, “Will the real Jesus please stand up?”

Would the Jesus our Sunday School teachers, told us about, make a whip and drive people out of the house of God? At the wedding at Cana; would the real Jesus spend time a lighthearted wedding and turn water into wine?

Jesus came to show us the Father. In Jesus we see what God is like. In Jesus we see what God is like. How we understand Jesus is of paramount importance to our Christian life. Why?? Because He is our example and the way we understand Him is the way we will try to be.

What is Jesus really like? Is He the fun- loving hippie that many imagined during the Jesus Movement of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s – just a guy with little purpose hanging around with His buddies having a good time? Some in the institutionalized religion, thought Jesus was stern faced, never smiling, and always at least a little disappointed in everybody including the disciples. What is your picture of Jesus?

Capernaum became the home base for much of Jesus ministry. What a privilege for those living there, to be present when Jesus worked his powerful miracles. Just imagine what that must have been like. But privilege is an opportunity that must be embraced. With privilege comes responsibility. The town as a whole did not seize their opportunity. In the end they rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Have we!??

As a devout Jew, Jesus had been to the temple many times prior to this occasion. And I’m sure He had been progressively grieved by what He saw. In obedience to the Father, He held His peace. His time had not yet come. But now He has been anointed by the Spirit for his Messianic ministry. Now is the time for Him announce His arrival to Israel.

How does He do that?  kind and gentle miracles that will win everyone’s favor? Words of encouragement. NO! He suddenly appears in the temple, makes a whip from ropes used to restrain the animals, and drives the moneychangers and animal merchants out of the temple. Is that any way to get a ministry started??
What Jesus does here in our text, is not some guy losing his temper and attacking. It is righteous indignation and it is all done in perfect obedience to the Father.

“Get these out of here! How dare you turn MY Father’s house into a market!!”
The Jews demanded “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do this?”
If the priests had been paying attention and knew their scriptures, they would have known this came directly from their own Scripture – Malachi 3.
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in 3 days.”
 “It took 46 years to build this temple and you are going to raise it in 3 days?”
The temple Jesus spoke of was his body.

The priests had turned the temple into a market place to make money – to take more money from the poor -over and above the temple tax they already paid.

 Why is Jesus stirred up? We rarely see him operating like this. Most of the time He is compassionately touching the leper, healing the blind, forgiving the adulteress. Jesus is motivated for the honor of the Father. Yes, there is oppression and abuse of people by these merchandisers, and that does invoke indignation in Jesus, but something bigger than that is at stake here – the honor of Almighty God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (24) These merchants had no fear of God. But it was Jesus’ deep reverence for the Father that caused him to be so disturbed by their disrespect. This is how Jesus declared His divinity- he mentioned “My Father’s house” not our Father’s house – claiming his unique relationship as the Son of God.

 In verse 19, Jesus’ answer gives us some insight on what He was thinking at the time. He understood where this would all lead. He knew He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He knew the time would come for His temple – body- to be destroyed on a cruel cross. Yet, He did not back down from this confrontation which initiates a conflict with the Jews that will culminate in His death.

 That took a lot of courage.
John shows us the Real Jesus taking charge- taking His office as the Messiah!
A complete picture of Jesus cannot be found in one passage alone. As we receive the Word of God as a whole and allow it to mold and shape our understanding of Him, we are blessed.
hat is Jesus wanting you to clear out of your temple – your heart- today? Do you have the courage to ask God to help you clean up your act as you represent Jesus our Messiah?
God is ready to help you spring clean your life. AMEN

Communion: Hymn VU 466 “Eat This Bread”

Great Thanksgiving:
May God be with you.
May God be with us here.
We come with all we are, body, mind and spirit.
We offer all we are to God.
Let us thank God.
We thank God for wisdom, truth and life.
And so, with all creation, and the great company of heaven, we praise you as we join in the unending hymn:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and strength!
Creation and heaven are filled with your glory!
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is Jesus, who comes in your name.
Hosanna in the highest.

Let us remember together that vision of Gods reign shown to us in Jesus at the table:
He shared food with followers and friends,
with saints and sinners,
with crowds of thousands on the hillside,
and a few friends in an upper room.
On the night before he died, he had supper with his companions.
He took a loaf of bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it, and give it to them saying:
“Take, eat, do this in remembrance of me.”
Then, he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he passed it among them, saying:
“Drink this. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Through this loaf and cup, Jesus lives within us.
In word and in deed, Jesus lives among us.
We praise you and give thanks for all that we have received, offering our whole selves to you, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ was. Christ is. Christ will be.

Receiving of the elements.  (music)

Communion Prayer / Prayers of The People / Lord’s Prayer:
Jesus, You, are the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. On this day, we are once again renewed as we have shared at Your table. For your faithfulness to us, we thank you. Forgive our complaining. Thank you for feeding our souls with your life-giving love and understanding. You have invited us into a relationship with You, in this life and the life beyond this life, life eternal.

Accept our gratitude, accept our love.

We bring before you those who are less fortunate than we are. Those who do not know you as we do. We pray that you will be with those who are grieving, anxious, alone and lonely. Homeless and without work, those who are recovering from addictions, and surgeries. May they all feel your loving arms around them and find peace. We ask these requests in your Son’s precious name who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”

Post Communion Hymn:  MV 208 “Great Amen”

Commissioning:
From the temple, Jesus calls us to action, to restore God’s house, so all of creation will be a place where everyone shares in the blessings of God, free from hunger, want and injustice! Let us go forth to being restoration, hope and justice.
Sandy Ferguson, Strathearn U.C., Edmonton, Alta.

Parting Song: MV 209 “Go, Make a Diff’rence” (vs 2 only)

 

         "A Village Church With A Heart For The World"

Christ United Church

12 Perth St., PO Box 113, Lyn, ON, K0E 1M0
(613)498-0281 (Phone)   (613)498-2589 (Fax)


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