Lent 3

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT Hymns NEH 333, 72, 374, 379

FIRST READING Exodus 20.1-17 Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 19 Response: You Lord, have the message of eternal life.

1. The law of the Lord is perfect: it revives the soul.

The rule of the Lord is to be trusted: it gives wisdom to the simple. R.

2. The precepts of the Lord are right: they gladden the heart.

The command of the Lord is clear: it gives light to the eyes. R.

3. The fear of the Lord is Holy: abiding for ever.

The decrees of the Lord are truth: and all of them just. R.

4. They are more to be desired than gold; than the purest of gold.

And sweeter they are than honey; than honey from the comb. R.

SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 1.18-25 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’ Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

GOSPEL John 2.13-22 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.


A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's. A special welcome and thanks to Fr Paul Matthias, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be saying Mass for us on Thursday at 10.30 am. If you are new to St Michael's, do join us in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Next Sunday is Mothering Sunday – also known as Refreshment Sunday. A good day to think with thanksgiving, not only of our mothers, but of all those (teachers, godparents, grandparents, other family members, clergy, older friends...) who have nurtured us in our Christian lives. And, of course, all mums and all families are especially welcome at Mass next Sunday!

Renewed thanks to Sara and her assistants for last Sunday's wonderful (and only moderately frugal) Frugal Lunch. Thanks also to those who contributed so generously to the collection – over £140 has now gone to the Maidstone Day Centre Foodbank in Knightrider Street. Please note: the Foodbank is always delighted to receive donations of money or food. Online money donations can be made via its website: homelesscare.org.uk/get-involved.

Planning is now afoot to welcome Fr John as our new parish priest, at his Licensing on Thursday, 21st March, at 7 pm. Everyone connected with St Michael's is of course invited, and acceptances have been coming in from well-wishers in the community, deanery and diocese, as well as from Fr John's previous parish in Maidenhead. We expect to have well over 100 guests at the reception afterwards in the Parish Hall. Alison P and Sue M will be happy to receive ideas and offers of help. Most important: please be there to take part, and to show St Michael's at its most welcoming!

Easter Lilies: For our Easter flower arrangements, St Michael's people often like to contribute a lily in memory of a loved one. This year the expected cost of a lily will be about £5 and you are invited to sign the list at the back of church. Please give your flower money to Margaret G.

From Our Tower: Kent County Association, Maidstone, Kent, St Michael and All Angels

Friday, 23 February 2024 in 41m (6–1–24 in C)

1319 Norfolk Surprise Minor

Composed by Mark T Elvers

  1. Jacqueline Barlow
  2. Stephen Coaker
  3. Philip Jarvis
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Pam Thomas
  6. Neil Jones (C)

Remembering David Levick, faithful member of the St Mike's Sunday Service Band (24/2/2021) and Maggie Jones, mother of the conductor, who would have been 80 yesterday, R.I.P

Sunday, 25 February 2024 in 44m (6–1–24 in C)

1280 Yorkshire Surprise Major

  1. Kath White
  2. Philip Jarvis
  3. Jacqueline Barlow
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Emma Jarvis
  6. Stephen Coaker
  7. Pam Thomas
  8. Neil Jones (C)

A 100th birthday compliment to Lucile Corby.

100th together: 2 & 8.

On Good Friday there will be a half-muffled peal – 9.30 am – 1pm approx.

Bishop Norman has been a very good and supportive friend to St Michael's. If you would like to make a contribution towards a gift to mark his retirement, Eleanor will be glad to receive it.

Advance Notice : the Annual Parochial Church Meeting will take place on 28th April.

Among the Sick, we pray particularly for Paul, Margaret, Ellie, Pauline, Rue, Fr Leon, Antony, Fran, Ellie, Tom, Joseph, Peter, Joan, Margaret, Lindsay, Glynis, Ethan, Sarah, Yvonne, and HM The King.

Among the Departed, we remember Brian Landi, Pat Ormerod, Peter Blagdon-Gamlen, priest.

Could you pass on this sheet to someone else who might like to see it?