St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth
March 18, 2018 Fifth Sunday in Lent
Collects Almighty and everlasting God, you despise nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our brokenness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Most merciful God,by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you created humanity anew. May the power of his victorious cross transform those who turn in faith to him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
FIRST READING: Jeremiah 31:31-34
31The LORD said: The time will surely come when I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and Judah. 32It will be different from the agreement I made with their ancestors when I led them out of Egypt. Although I was their God, they broke that agreement. 33Here is the new agreement that I, the LORD, will make with the people of Israel:”I will write my laws on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34“No longer will they have to teach one another to obey me. I, the LORD, promise that all of them will obey me, ordinary people and rulers alike. I will forgive their sins and forget the evil things they have done.”
PSALMODY: Psalm 51:1-12
1You are kind, God! Please have pity on me.
You are always merciful! Please wipe away my sins.
2Wash me clean from all of my sin and guilt.
3I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt.
4You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong.
So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me.
5I have sinned and done wrong since the day I was born.
6But you want complete honesty, so teach me true wisdom.
7Wash me with hyssop until I am clean and whiter than snow.
8Let me be happy and joyful! You crushed my bones, now let them celebrate.
9Turn your eyes from my sin and cover my guilt.
10Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again.
11Don’t chase me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey!
Prayer: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.
SECOND READING: Hebrews 5:5-10
5That is how it was with Christ. He became a high priest, but not just because he wanted the honor of being one. It was God who told him, “You are my Son, because today I have become your Father!”6In another place, God says, “You are a priest forever just like Melchizedek.”
7God had the power to save Jesus from death. And while Jesus was on earth, he begged God with loud crying and tears to save him. He truly worshiped God, and God listened to his prayers. 8Jesus is God’s own Son, but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God. 9Suffering made Jesus perfect, and now he can save forever all who obey him. 10This is because God chose him to be a high priest like Melchizedek.
GOSPEL: Luke 8:4-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
Sentence: Anyone who serves me must follow me, says the Lord, and where I am, there shall my servant be also. John 12.26
Jonathan will be speaking about the third movement in “BELLS” today: Listen