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Worship, prayer and Bible resources for Ordinary 9

Second Sunday of Lent - Year B

Liturgical Colour - Green


The Pharisees in the reading today take exception to Jesus and are angry that he breaks the rules of the aabbath which they so treasured. He allowed people to pluck grain on the sabbath and he healed on the sabbath. If he had waited until Sunday it would have been fine but he broke one of their religious practices and instead of showing remorse he challenged them and questioned their customs. But don't read this passagae today and think just of Jesus quesstioning the traditions of the first century Jews. Jesus raises questions which challenege the traditional customs and practices of all of us which are lacking in copmpassion.


Opening Verses of Scripture  2 Corinthians Chapter 4

Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

Collect Prayer for the Day — Before we read we pray

O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace,
that in the keeping of your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. CW

God of truth, help us to keep your law of love and to walk in ways of wisdom, that we may find true life in Jesus Christ your Son. CW

First Bible Reading  1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The LORD called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ Then the LORD said to Samuel, ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. On that day I will fulfil against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to punish his house for ever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering for ever.’

Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, ‘Samuel, my son.’ He said, ‘Here I am.’ Eli said, ‘What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.’ So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, ‘It is the LORD; let him do what seems good to him.’

As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the LORD. NRSV

Second Reading  2 Corinthians 4:5-12

We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. NRSV

Gospel Reading Mark 2:22-3:6

One sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?’ And he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.’ Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.’

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Post Communion Sentence

Eternal Father, we thank you for nourishing us with these heavenly gifts: may our communion strengthen us in faith, build us up in hope, and make us grow in love; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. CW


Bishop Michael Curry stole the show at the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan with his 14 minute sermon. Some folks liked it and others were clearly not used to the style and perhaps missed the content of his message which was about the importance of love. He reminded people that Jesus summed up all of the law and the teachings of the commandments in one command, that was to love. He mentioned love dozens of times and that seems to have got on some folks nerves!

Jesus got himself into the same trouble when he went on about the importance of love and the passage today is no exception. The Pharisees believed that one should do no work on the sabbath, which included picking grain and healing, it was against God’s law. Jesus saw the law more as a means to an end and the purpose was help people and to protect the vulnerable. The Pharisees saw obedience to the law as an end in itself and so they were angry that Jesus exalted the importance of love above their cherished rules and regulations which they believed were the way to please God. They were so angry that we are told at the end of the reading that they wanted to destroy him. Believe it or not that is how lost they had become, they honestly believed that God's purposes would be best served by killing somebody for the crime of transgressing their spiritual values.

What makes this all too sad of course is the fact that there is nothing unusual about this distortion because we have seen it throughout history. Catholics killing protestants, protestants killing catholics, Jews, Palestinians, Muslims, Hindus, it doesn't really matter what the reason is we will always find something to justify our hatred of people who do things differently or who are not like us. Our own way of doing things becomes more important than anything else and the commandment to love is far less important than preserving things the way that we like them.

Jesus broke the rukes of the aabbath and to the Pharisees that was striking at the heart of centuries of custom and practice. He allowed people to pluck grain on the sabbath and he healed on the sabbath. If he had waited until Sunday it would have been fine but he broke one of their religious practices and instead of showing remorse he challenged them and questioned their customs. If we read this passage and condemn the Pharisees then we also condemn ourselves for whenever we allow our customs and practices to become more important than the command to show love. More importantly we also condemn ourselves when we allow our sincerely and honestly held religious beliefs to become more important than the command to show love, which is much more difficult. Like the Pharisees we can justify apathy and even hatred when we convince ourselves that it is not just us who are offened but God shares our distaste. Obedience to rules helps us feel safe that we are obedient to God, but what if God is calling us to step outside of that safe zone and see the needs of those around us and how we are called to serve them? Charles Royden


It is only 79 verses into the Gospel of Mark and already jesus has people wanting to kill him ! On the face of it the dispute is over sabbath rules, but actually it is about Jesus asserting his authority and challenging the power of the religious authorities. We need to remind ourselves today that the Pharisees never invented the sabbath. It was given to them by God as a gift a special way for a people who had toiled in slavery to have rest. Jesus was not against the sabbath, it was created for humankind to enjoy, he just pointed out that sometimes there is a greater need, such as when King David ate the bread only the priest was supposed to eat. We have abandoned the sabbath today with all of its rules and regulations but we would do well to consider some of the benefits of taking time to rest. We all benefit from having time to rest, think and pray. God does not want you to drive yourself into the ground and when he created the world even God had a day off. Jesus challenged the prevailing custom and expectation of the Sabbath in his day. Perhaps today one response for us is to challenge the prevailing expectations of our materialistic culture which reduce us to consumers and judge success in terms of financial gain rather than relationships to one another and to God.

Ask Alexa

The Church of England has had apps for morning and evening prayers for some time and we already use those at occasional services. However about a quarter of UK households have Alexa and the Church of England is keen to get involved in this new way. You can now access daily prayers, and ask Alexa to answer a range of questions including asking where the nearest church is ! Users must activate the Church of England skill by saying “Alexa, open the Church of England”.  The work is part of a wider Renewal and Reform programme, which seeks to ensure the Church of England is a growing Church for all people and in all places. Platforms such as Alexa give the Church the ability to connect people with God and to weave faith into daily lives, whether for daily prayers or exploring Christianity. It is also seen as an opportunity to encourage people into their local church, which is why the link to A Church Near You is important, particularly at key moments in the Christian year such as Easter and Christmas.
Watch the You Tube demonstration with the Reverend Kate Botley and see what you think, then ask yourself how you think the church can best communicate with the lost generations who never come to church.


  • I the Lord of wind and sky - It is I lord ?
  • Open our eyes Lord
  • Awke my sould and with the sun
  • As the deer pants for the water
  • Lord for the years
  • Now let us from this table rise
  • Rock of ages
  • Knowing You (All I once held dear)
  • Such love
  • Abd can it be
  • How deep the Father's love
  • Lead us heavenly Father lead us
  • The Spirit of the Lord
  • Songs of thankfulness and praise
  • Christ is our King
  • Lord, as I wake I turn to you
  • Awake, my soul, and with the sun
  • Open our eyes, Lord
  • As the deer pants for the water
  • Great is thy faithfulness
  • Lord, for the years
  • Now let us from this table rise;
  • Rock of ages, cleft for me
  • Such love, pure as the whitest snow
  • Ye that know the Lord is gracious
  • Knowing You (All I once held dear)
  • Almighty Father, who for us thy Son didst give, (Almighty Father, who for us thy Son)
  • And can it be
  • Come, O thou all-victorious Lord
  • Come, O thou Traveller unknown
  • O Christ the Lord, O Christ the King (O Christ the Lord, O Christ the Kin)
  • Freely, freely (God forgave my sin in Jesus' name)Hail, thou once despised Jesus
  • How deep the Father's love
  • How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
  • I am trusting thee, Lord Jesus
  • St Patrick's Breastplate (I bind unto myself today)
  • It's your blood that cleanses me
  • Jesu, lover of my soul
  • Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
  • My God, I love thee; not because
  • No weight of gold or silver
  • Forgive our sins as we forgive


Prayers for Sunday and the week ahead

Prayer is a plant, the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian,
if it is well cultivated and nourished it will produce fruit, but if it is neglected, it will wither and die

Prayer encouragement in the Christian life


  • We pray for those deprived of the sacraments, may we be one in love and prayer with all those who are not allowed to practice their faith, and cannot receive their Lord in the Eucharist.
  • We pray for the leaders of the wealthy nations, may Jesus’s concern for the hungry find a response in their hearts, so that no one in our world dies of hunger, or is forced to live in sub-human conditions.
  • We pray for a spirit of prayer and generosity in our community, may our union with Christ lead us to a deeper personal life, and to a generous sharing of our time and talents with each other.
  • Let us particularly pray for all those countries, where war or conflicts exists that the Lord will look mercifully upon the sufferings of his people and grant peace.
  • Let us pray for our Government, may they always have regard for the poor and vulnerable in society in the decisions they make.
  • Let us also pray that this church will be the centre of the community and that all the work being done here will be made fruitful.
  • Let us remember all the sick, those at home or in hospitals. May all who suffer pain and sickness, draw strength and courage from communion with your son.
  • We pray for the recently departed and those whose anniversary of death fall this time. Rest eternal, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen

Guide your Church, O Lord, with your perpetual providence; that it may walk warily in times of quiet and boldly in times of trouble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Franciscan Breviary (13th Century)

Blessed be your name, O God, for the glory of this hour and the holiness of this day. Today may we drink from the cup of your salvation, rejoice in the company of your saints and offer you the sacrifice of eternal praise; through Christ our Lord. Amen. Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 155)


Additional Material

The Thursday after Trinity Sunday has been observed since the 13th century as a commemoration and thanksgiving for the Eucharist, The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi, or in the modern Roman rite Corpus et Sanguis.

God ever-faithful, you have made a covenant with your people in the gift of your Son, who offered his body for us and poured out his blood for the many. We thank you for the bread and wine which remind us of the great gift to us of Christ’s Body and Blood, welcoming us as brothers and sisters to spread the Good News to all people. Build up your Church by deepening within us the life of your covenant and by opening our hearts to those in need. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen