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Posts Tagged "Intercessions for Lent 5 Year B: 22 March 2015":

Intercessions for Fifth Sunday of Lent Year B: 22 March 2015


What can a person do when he thinks of all the things he cannot understand, but look at the fields of wheat. . . . We, who live by bread, are we not ourselves very much like wheat . . . to be reaped when we are ripe. . . . -Vincent van Gogh, 1889

The Collect

Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory; 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. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Jeremiah 31.31-34

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt – a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Psalm 51.1-13

Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; * according to the abundance of your compassion blot out my offences.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness * and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults * and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned * and done what is evil in your sight,
So that you are justified in your sentence * and righteous in your judgement.
I have been wicked even from my birth, * a sinner when my mother conceived me.
Behold, you desire truth deep within me * and shall make me understand wisdom in the depths of my heart.
Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; * wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear of joy and gladness, * that the bones you have broken may rejoice.
Turn your face from my sins * and blot out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God, *and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence * and take not your holy spirit from me.
Give me again the joy of your salvation * and sustain me with your gracious spirit;

Second Reading: Hebrews 5.5-10

Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’; as he says also in another place, ‘You are a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedek.’ In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel Reading: John 12.20-33

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.
Christ humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him
and given him the name that is above every name.
All: Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour. ‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say – “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.


The RSCM (2009) has: “Life comes through death. There is no escaping its totality, no hanging onto anything we value. It is costly: a complete letting-go. Yet we are not left in darkness. Just as there can be no fruit-bearing plant without the burial of the seed, we cannot know eternal life without the experience of death. It is this that marks his hour, says Jesus: glory and judgement in his death on the cross. In this moment all will be drawn to him. ”

Jane Williams unpacks the theology in a little more detail – you can read it here, by searching ‘zap’.

Prayers of Intercession


¶The Church of Christ

Lord, you come to meet us long before we search for you. May your Church, where you have promised to be present if two or three are gathered together,  be a gateway to encountering you. Sometimes this may be through the glories of the music and the spoken word, sometimes it may be in the silences in between. And may we, in turn, show forth your love to those we encounter.

Lord, teach us to be receptive to your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, inhabit our darkness and brood over our abyss. Speak to our chaos that we may breathe with your life and share your creation. Inspire us with your strength that we may draw from it the courage to stand up for justice and peace in your world. And help us to bring in your kingdom of truth and liberty here on earth.

Lord, teach us to be receptive to your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Lord, where winter has reigned, let spring break out. Where hearts are gripped in ice, may your sun rise with healing wings. Lord, embrace the orphan in each of us. Welcome the widow that we are. As strangers, shelter us. Let us learn to be your neighbour and be loved. Link us to life through you.

Lord, teach us to be receptive to your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, take us to yourself, we who hurt so much in the depths of our being. We are caught up in the pain of life, and yet so often inflict pain in our turn on others. Embrace us with the hands that show the mark of the nails, your love swallowing up all our sin and pride. So we pray that our broken bones may heal as we join in the Cosmic Dance of the Lord of Life, who embodies your power to redeem and make all things whole.

Lord, teach us to be receptive to your presence: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, you come to meet us in your cross and resurrection. We remember all those whom we knew and have now joined the great cycle of life and death… Draw them to yourself, that they may be lifted up into eternal life.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers…

Prayer after Communion

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do also for you: give us the will to be the servant of others as you were the servant of all, and gave up your life and died for us, but are alive and reign, now and for ever.


Copyright acknowledgement Collect (5th of Lent) © 1980 CBFCE; Archbishops’ Council 1999 / Church of the Province of Southern Africa Invitation to Confession (5th Sun Lent until Weds of Holy Week) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted)Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Gospel Acclamation (5th Sun. of Lent until Weds of Holy Week) © The Archbishops’ Council 2002

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