Third Sunday in Lent
March 12, 2023
GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST! GLORY FOREVER!
LIVE AUDIO STREAMING during today’s service is available on the Order of Service page. Recorded audio will be added following worship.
PREVIEW OF SUNDAY’S READINGS
THE LESSON: Ephesians 5:1-14
Our Epistle lesson today provides us with the moral and spiritual application of today’s Gospel lesson whereby the passions (afflictive thoughts and behaviors) from which we have been set free, are not allowed to gain a foothold in our lives.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them, for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.”
THE HOLY GOSPEL: Luke 11:14-26
These last two Sundays in Lent we have seen in the Gospel lesson how Jesus Christ liberates people from the spiritual forces (demons, unclean spirits, etc., ) that deceive, destroy and bind us. Today’s Gospel develops this theme by showing us the power by which Jesus accomplishes this work, that is the Truth, and also that it is not enough, in fact dangerous, simply to have the house of our souls cleaned up, without finding new occupants, that are the virtues to fill the empty space left by the unclean spirits.
Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.’ Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. ‘When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but not finding any, it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.’
PARISH LIFE NOTES
WORSHIP CENTRE ( for 3 to 6 year olds) is in urgent need of helpers! If you love children and are able to give one Sunday a month to pray, play, sing, alongside them, please be in touch with our Churchwarden, Dave or our Rector, Claude Schroeder.
RECTOR’S ANNUAL PRAYER RETREAT takes place this week. Canon Claude will be out of the parish until Thursday afternoon.
WEDNESDAY EVENING PRAYER AND SUPPER Wednesday at 5:30 pm.
WORSHIP THIS WEEK
- Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 8:30 am
- Wednesday at 9.00 a.m.
- Wednesday at 5:30 pm. followed by a light supper.
Lenten Study groups
- Men’s Group – Wednesdays at 9.30 following Morning Prayer (fasting breakfast included!)
- Women’s Group – Thursdays at 10.00 a.m.