A Reflection and Intercessions for Lent 3 (2024)

So, this is a bit awkward.

The problem with going to Jerusalem (and remember, I was dead against it from the start) is that it’s much harder to stay under the radar of the Romans. Seeing as there’s so many of them there.

In Galilee, in Capernaum, there’s a bit of … flexibility. The soldiers get decent quarters and a good fish supper and in return, they “overlook” some of the illegal gatherings and provocative preaching.

Not in Jerusalem.

The Romans there are all nervy. Pilate is always strutting about trying to be popular, but underneath he’s a bag of nerves. He thinks even the smallest crowd is dry powder ready to explode. He tries to squash everything before it can even get started.

Don’t annoy them! I said. Keep a low profile and we might be okay.

And he does what? Annoy? Not the Roman – oh no! It’s not them he insults and challenges. It’s the temple authorities … his own people for goodness’ sake! Herding out sheep, kicking over tables, shouting …

I’ve never seen him like this. Following him, you get used to him calling a spade a spade and telling people some pretty uncomfortable truths. But this seemed to wound him like a sword in the heart. He just went mental – as if he’s caught someone bullying his kid brother or something.

I honestly don’t know what got into him. Sure, the temple should be better – a holy place, I mean. I guess it should be a shining light amongst God’s chosen race, a sign of His presence amongst us. But I didn’t expect him to take it quite so personally. I suppose he was expecting honour and reverence and found only greed. Come to think of it, if God’s name isn’t held in honour here, where will it be?

I don’t know why, but that verse from the psalm came to me – zeal for your house has consumed me. Consumed is about right.

Be that as it may, the end result is this: us (a couple of dozen at the most – and falling) against the Romans and the Jewish authorities. Just because he was expecting worship and found corruption, expecting thankfulness and found distain.

If you want my opinion, a little self-control wouldn’t have gone amiss, given the situation. Might have saved us a shed-load of trouble.

Mary M keeps telling me to zip it and keep away from him. Can’t you see how hurt he is? she says. Don’t you know that this is his Father’s house? How would you feel if someone invaded your home and started selling off all the precious mementoes that your mother keeps to remember your father? She always seems to know when he needs a gentle touch, or a napkin to wipe away a tear.

I keep away. I usually manage to say the wrong thing anyway.

But what I’m thinking, if I’m honest, is … where do we go from here?

For goodness sake Peter, Mary says, looking straight at me. Have a bit of faith.


Gracious Father, you have promised that you are near to us when we draw near to you; cleanse and purify our hearts as we bow before you and pray for health, safety, justice and peace throughout the world.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for one another as we meet the trials and testing of our faith, and all the bewildering changes to our daily lives. In our sufferings, give us perseverance, in our confusion, wisdom, in our doubts, faith.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We prayer for our families, neighbours and friends, and for the community of faith at St Andrew’s. in our frustrations and longing for closeness, give us patience, in our new ways of being in touch with each other, give us love and humility. May we be quick to listen and slow to anger. Take from us all envy and malice, that we may be peacemakers who act with integrity and compassion.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for those in need both near and far, and for those who seek to bring them help and hope. For all who provide healing and protection, shelter, clothing and daily bread for those who have nothing. In Christian Aid Week, we pray for a just society, and for insight to see those who are rich in faith, though poor in the eyes of the world.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for our queen and government and for the leaders of nations with all the difficult decisions they have to make, which so greatly affect the lives of others. May justice prevail over tyranny, calm over anxiety, peace over conflict and love over hatred and fear.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for those who are sick or in trouble, especially …….. For peace, reassurance and hope in their need, and for healing and renewal in their weakness.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

We rejoice in the fellowship we have with the household of faith throughout the world and with the saints in glory; we remember especially ………. May we, with them, come to know the fullness of the kingdom you promise to all who love you.

Merciful Father Accept these prayers for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you;my soul is athirst for you.

My flesh also faints for you,as in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.

Your loving-kindness is better than life itselfand so my lips shall praise you.

I will bless you as long as I liveand lift up my hands in your name.

My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness,and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,

When I remember you upon my bedand meditate on you in the watches of the night.

For you have been my helperand under the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.

My soul clings to you;your right hand shall hold me fast.

A Reflection and Intercessions for Lent 3 (2024)
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