Third Sunday of Lent
23 March 2014

306, 781, 341, 282 ( V 1,2,4,5), 347.


Exodus 17: 1-7;
'The Israelites put God to the test'

The whole Israelite community left the desert of Sin, moving from one place to another at the command of the Lord. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there to drink. They complained to Moses and said, 'Give us water to drink'.
Moses answered, 'Why are you complaining? Why are you putting the Lord to the test?'
But the people were very thirsty and continued to complain to Moses. They said, 'Why did you bring us out of Egypt?
To kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?'
Moses prayed earnestly to the Lord and said, 'What can I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me'.
The Lord said to Moses, 'Take some of the leaders of Israel with you, and go on ahead of the people. Take along the stick with which you struck the Nile. I will stand before you on a rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink'.
Moses did so in the presence of the leaders of Israel.
The place was name Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites complained and put the Lord to the test when they asked, 'Is the Lord with us or not?'


Romans 5: 1-11;
'While we were still sinners, Christ died for us'

Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory!
We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God's approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to us.
For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person.
But God has shown us how much he loves us - it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! By his sacrificial death we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God's anger!
We were God's enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God's friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ's life!
But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God's friends.


John 4: 5-30, 39-42;
'Jesus and the Samaritan woman'

(Dramatised reading: Pastor, Lector and Narrator)

Narrator: [Jesus] came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her,

Jesus: "Will you give me a drink?"
Narrator: (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him,
Woman: "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?"
(For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus: "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
Woman: "Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?"
Jesus: "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Woman: "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
Jesus: "Go, call your husband and come back."
Woman: "I have no husband."
Jesus: "You are right when you say you have no husband.
The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
Woman: "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus: "Woman, believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
Woman: "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
Jesus: "I, the one speaking to you -I am he."
Narrator: Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?" Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,
Woman: "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?" They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
Narrator: Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony,
Woman: "He told me everything I ever did."
Narrator: So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world."


ROMANS 5: 1-11:
In this reading Paul continues on from the teachings of the previous chapters on 'justification'. He enlarges now upon its results in the new life of the believer. There is now the experience of peace with God and access to him by his freely given favour (grace). Even suffering produces a positive outcome in terms of endurance, character and hope. All of this new relationship is based not on feeling but on fact. The fact that Christ died not for good people but for sinners establishes assurance of salvation and ensures God's forgiven people the removal of his wrath.
A Christian's boasting is indeed only in God.

Bible readings for Sunday 30th March 2014:
1 Samuel 16: 1-13, Ephesians 5: 8-14, John 6: 1-41.

1. Announcements:
This week in the Lord's Service 23rd - 30th Mar:
Wednesday - 11.00 am - Lenten worship service at St Paul's Grovedale - 7.30 pm at St John's Yarra St.
Wednesday - 4.30 pm - Confirmation class.
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time to learn songs for the Sunday.
Saturday - 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service - (Non- Communion).

2. 'Operation Christmas Child ':
When shopping at Woolworth's, if anyone is not collecting the 'DreamWorks Hero' cards for family,
Peggy Werner would love them to be passed onto her for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.
Any enquiries, please see Peggy.

3. Lenten Appeal 2014:
The 2014 Lenten appeal brochures have now arrived and may be taken home from member's boxes.
Members are encouraged to prayerfully and financially consider supporting the Hospital Chaplaincy in Greater Geelong by specifying this as
indicated. Please see brochure as to how to make your gift to this appeal.

Coming up for your diary:
Tuesday 1st April - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Thursday 10th April - 10.30 am - Ladies Fellowship.
Tuesday 15th April - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.
Thursday 17th April - 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm - Maundy Thursday mid-week worship service with Holy- Communion. Fellowship afternoon tea to follow.
Tuesday 29th April - 7.00 pm - Combined meeting of Church Council, Deacons. Worship Team and other interested members, (including those persons
involved/ interested in our Youth Ministry) re vision for future spiritual direction of 'Our Redeemer'.
Friday 30th May - 9.30 am - Worship Team.