A Morning Service for the 3rd Sunday before Lent 2022


St Luke's gospel contains much the same material as Mark's and Matthew's. Luke and Matthew clearly added to Mark's efforts material they found in another source, but on top of that they each seem to have their own material and each uses what they have in common in different ways, in different contexts and with differing ideas of what they mean. That is what makes the synoptic gospels so endlessly interesting - their similarities and their differences are a cause of endless fascination. 

A Morning Service for the 3rd Sunday before Lent 2022


HYMN – My God how wonderful thou art  NEH410/ AMR 169 – Westminster 

1 My God, how wonderful thou art,

Thy majesty how bright,

How beautiful thy mercy-seat,

In depths of burning light!

2 How dread are thine eternal years,

O everlasting Lord,

By prostrate spirits day and night

Incessantly adored!

3 How wonderful, how beautiful,

The sight of thee must be,

Thine endless wisdom, boundless power,

And awful purity!

4 O, how I fear thee, living God,

With deepest, tenderest fears,

And worship thee with trembling hope,

And penitential tears!

5 Yet I may love thee too, O Lord,

Almighty as thou art,

For thou hast stooped to ask of me

The love of my poor heart.

6 No earthly father loves like thee,

No mother, e’er so mild,

Bears and forbears as thou hast done

With me thy sinful child.

7 Father of Jesus, love’s reward,

What rapture will it be

Prostrate before thy throne to lie,

And gaze and gaze on thee.

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom 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. Amen

God the Father forgives us in Christ and heals us by the Holy Spirit.
Let us therefore put away all anger and bitterness, all slander and malice,
and confess our sins to God our redeemer.   cf. Ephesians 4.30,32

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour,
through our own fault,
in thought, and word, and deed,
and in what we have left undone.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
forgive us all that is past;
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by his Spirit
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen


Almighty God, who alone can bring order

to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity:

give your people grace so to love what you command

and to desire what you promise,

that, among the many changes of this world,

our hearts may surely there be fixed

where true joys are to be found;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen

FIRST READING – 1Corinthians 15.12-20

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.

HYMN – I heard the voice of Jesus say NEH 376AMR 351 – Kingsfold

1 I heard the voice of Jesus say,

‘Come unto me and rest;

Lay down, thou weary one, lay down

Thy head upon my breast:’

I came to Jesus as I was,

Weary, and worn, and sad;

I found in him a resting place,

And he has made me glad.

2 I heard the voice of Jesus say,

‘Behold, I freely give

The living water, thirsty one;

Stoop down, and drink, and live:

I came to Jesus, and I drank

Of that life-giving stream;

My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,

And now I live in him.

3 I heard the voice of Jesus say,

‘I am this dark world’s Light;

Look unto me, thy morn shall rise,

And all thy day be bright:’

I looked to Jesus, and I found

In him my Star, my Sun;

And in that light of life I’ll walk

Till traveling days are done.

GOSPEL – Luke 6.17-26

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”


St Luke’s gospel contains much the same material as Mark’s and Matthew’s. Luke and Matthew clearly added to Mark’s efforts material they found in another source, but on top of that they each seem to have their own material and each uses what they have in common in different ways, in different contexts and with differing ideas of what they mean. That is what makes the synoptic gospels so endlessly interesting – their similarities and their differences are a cause of endless fascination. 

The passage we know as the beatitudes is a case in point. Only Luke and Matthew (Matt 5.43-48) record this sermon of Jesus, and both do so quite differently. We are most used to hearing Matthew’s version, with its longer phrases, its four extra beatitudes and its absence of ‘woes’. There is something brutal about Luke’s version, uncompromising and harsh. Scholars of course differ in their views about which might go back to Jesus, and which might be later additions by either the author or the Christian community, for instance, facing persecution. If it is of any comfort, it is generally a principal of reading the gospels that additions to a basically common theme might be though of later origin. The principle is to keep it simple if you want to return to the core of Jesus’ teaching.

That would leave us with Luke’s simpler version of those who are blessed, but doubtful that he pointed out any particular groups to suffer in the future. Clearly that is not definitive, we only have the text that is in front of us, but it is of some comfort to we who are, by any world standard, and even national standard, to be considered rich, well fed, happy, and generally well thought of. It does not, however, lessen the stark power of the words – God favours those whom the world does not. And God’s priority should be our priority if are striving for God’s rule or will on earth – in other words ‘ the Kingdom of God’, which we pray daily will ‘come’.

The starkness of the these words, their uncompromising directness, is meant to bring us up short, and the woes, each corresponding to a blessing, are supposed to reinforce the effect. We should be, not just concerned, but active in reducing poverty, hunger, distress and should not care what people think of us for following Jesus. 


Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures;
he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles: this we have received,
and this we believe.  Amen.
1 Corinthians 15.3-7

HYMN – Alleluia, sing to Jesus NEH 271/AMR 399 – Hyfrydol

1 Alleluia, sing to Jesus,

His the sceptre, his the throne;

Alleluia, his the triumph,

His the victory alone:

Hark the songs of peaceful Sion

Thunder like a mighty flood;

Jesus out of every nation,

Hath redeemed us by his blood.

2 Alleluia, not as orphans

Are we left in sorrow now;

Alleluia, he is near us,

Faith believes, nor questions how;

Though the cloud from sight received him

When the forty days were o’er,

Shall our hearts forget his promise,

‘I am with you evermore’?

3 Alleluia, Bread of Angels,

Thou on earth our food, our stay;

Alleluia, here the sinful

Flee to thee from day to day;

Intercessor, Friend of sinners,

Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,

Where the songs of all the sinless

Sweep across the crystal sea.

4 Alleluia, King eternal,

Thee the Lord of lords we own;

Alleluia, born of Mary,

Earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne:

Thou within the veil hast entered,

Robed in flesh, our great High Priest;

Thou on earth both Priest and Victim

In the Eucharistic Feast.

INTERCESSIONS – Gill Macdonald

Lord we come before you again in faith, with thanks and in gratitude for all the blessings we receive from you and to bring our concerns –  knowing that you hear our prayers.

We pray for your worldwide church, for Christians everywhere, for bishops and clergy, missionaries and aid workers, remembering especially your church in   Pakistan where two members of clergy were recently murdered for their faith.  We pray for our own diocese, and for William in all that he undertakes in this our own benefice, and we pray your wisdom, love and understanding in all that we undertake in your name.

Lord in your mercy : Hear our prayer

We thank you for this wonderful world, Lord, for the wonders of nature; the contrasts of scenery and seasons, and for all that is beautiful.   We are ashamed and saddened for all that is ugly and cruel, for the hostilities of war and famine and the  results of climate change that man has caused.  We pray for a reduction in tension in Ukraine,  for  all those caught up in wars, in Syria, the Yemen, Afghanistan:  we pray for the people of Malawi  and Tonga where natural disasters have caused death and destruction, and we thank you for all those working to bring relief to refugees and casualties in whatever ways they can.

Lord in your mercy : Hear our prayer

We thank you and pray for our families and friends, for our communities, and for all who live and work here.  We pray for our schools, teachers and pupils – as all of them are facing change, and we pray for all students looking towards their GCSE mocks and exams in the coming months.

Lord in your mercy : Hear our prayer

We pray for those who are sick, in body mind and spirit.  For those we know who are in special need at this time, and in a moment of quiet we hold them in our hearts………give them a sense of your healing love and the knowledge of your peace.

Lord in your mercy : Hear our prayer

We remember those we have loved and lost and those whose anniversaries fall at this time.   We thank you for their inspiration and love and for our treasured memories ;  and we thank you that  they are safe now in your hands,

Lord in your mercy : Hear our prayer

So Lord as we go from this place into a new week, keep us true to the way you have set before us, and safe in the knowledge of your only Son, our Saviour and Friend, Jesus Christ.   

Merciful Father, 

accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. 

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.


Christ the Son of God perfect in you the image of his glory and gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon us and remain with us always. Amen

HYMN – Praise to the Lord, the Almighty  NEH 440/AMR 382 – Hast du Denn Jesu

1 PRAISE to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;

O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation:

Come ye who hear,

Brothers and sisters draw near,

Praise him in glad adoration.

2 Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,

Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth:

Hast thou not seen

All that is needful hath been

Granted in what he ordaineth?

3 Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work, and defend thee;

Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;

Ponder anew

All the Almighty can do,

He who with love doth befriend thee.

4 *Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,

Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,

Biddeth them cease,

Turneth their fury to peace,

Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

5 *Praise to the Lord, who when darkness of sin is abounding,

Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,

Sheddeth his light,

Chaseth the horrors of night,

Saints with his mercy surrounding.

6 Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!

All that hath life and breath come now with praises before him!

Let the Amen

Sound from his people again:

Gladly for ay we adore him.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

In the name of Christ. Amen

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