Third Sunday in Lent (Year C)

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday the prophet Isaiah writes: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; listen to me and live (Isaiah 55:1-9). The psalmist sings: O God, you are my God, I seek you; my soul thirsts for you (Psalm 63:1-8). The apostle Paul writes: Our ancestors crossed the sea; they drank from Christ, the rock (1 Corinthians 10:1-13). In Luke, Jesus gives lessons on a tower and a fig tree; repent or you will perish (Luke 13:1-9).

Lectionary Readings

Isaiah 55:1–9

1 Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psalm 63:1–8

1 O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

5 My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
6 when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

1 Corinthians 10:1–13

1 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

6 Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10 And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Luke 13:1–9

1 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ 8 He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Based Isaiah 55:1-2

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Come and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

Prayer of Renewal

Based on Psalm 63:1-8

O God, you are our God, we long to seek you.
May our souls thirst for you; and our flesh faint for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

As we enter our times of worship,
may we gaze upon you and behold your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
our lips will praise you.
By your grace, may we bless you as long as we live,
lifting up our hands and calling on your name.

May our souls be satisfied as with a rich feast,
and may our mouths praise you with joyful lips
when we think of you throughout the day and night;
for you have been our help,
and in the shadow of your wings we sing for joy.
Our souls cling to you; your right hand upholds us.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning our spiritual ancestors?

We believe our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.

We believe they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.
However, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

How are these things an example for us?

These things occurred and were written down to instruct us,
that we would not desire evil as they did;
that we would not become idolaters as some of them did;
that we would not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did;
that we would not put Christ to the test, as some of them did;
that we not complain as some of them did,

What do we believe about God in the midst of testing and temptation?

We believe God is faithful, and he will not let us be tested beyond our strength,
but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that we may be able to endure it.

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