14 March 2021
whose blessed Son our Saviour
gave his back to the smiters
and did not hide his face from shame:
Give us grace to endure the sufferings of this present time
with sure confidence in the glory that shall be revealed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The First Reading: Numbers 21: 4-9
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.’ Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.’ So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.
The Psalm: Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say this,
those he redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
Some were foolish and took a rebellious way,
and were plagued because of their wrongdoing.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food
and drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
and saved them from destruction.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them offer him sacrifices of thanksgiving
and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.
The Second Reading: Ephesians 2: 1-10
You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
The Gospel Reading: John 3: 14-21
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’
through your goodness
we are refreshed through your Son
in word and sacrament.
May our faith be so strengthened and guarded
that we may witness to your eternal love
by our words and in our lives.
Grant this for Jesus’ sake, our Lord. Amen.
Collect of the Word
in whom we live and move and have our being
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you:
give us purity of heart and strength of purpose,
that no selfish passion may hinder us
from knowing your will,
no weakness prevent us from doing it;
that in your light we may see light,
and in your service find perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.