The Lessons Appointed for Use on the

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Year C
BCP


Joshua (4:19-24);5:9-12
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Luke 15:11-32
Psalm 34 or 34:1-8

The Collect

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Old Testament

Joshua (4:19-24);5:9-12

[The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal, saying to the Israelites, "When your children ask their parents in time to come, 'What do these stones mean?' then you shall let your children know, 'Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground.' For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we crossed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may fear the LORD your God forever."]

The LORD said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt." And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

The Psalm

Psalm 34 or 34:1-8 Page 627, BCP

Benedicam Dominum

1
I will bless the LORD at all times; *
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

2
I will glory in the LORD; *
let the humble hear and rejoice.

3
Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD;
let us exalt his Name together.

4
I sought the LORD, and he answered me *
and delivered me out of all my terror.

5
Look upon him and be radiant, *
and let not your faces be ashamed.

6
I called in my affliction and the LORD heard me *
and saved me from all my troubles.

7
The angel of the LORD encompasses those who fear him, *
and he will deliver them.

8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; *
happy are they who trust in him!

9
Fear the LORD, you that are his saints, *
for those who fear him lack nothing.

10
The young lions lack and suffer hunger, *
but those who seek the LORD lack nothing that is good.

11
Come, children, and listen to me; *
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

12
Who among you loves life *
and desires long life to enjoy prosperity?

13
Keep your tongue from evil-speaking *
and your lips from lying words.

14
Turn from evil and do good; *
seek peace and pursue it.

15
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, *
and his ears are open to their cry.

16
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, *
to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.

17
The righteous cry, and the LORD hears them *
and delivers them from all their troubles.

18
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted *
and will save those whose spirits are crushed.

19
Many are the troubles of the righteous, *
but the LORD will deliver him out of them all.

20
He will keep safe all his bones; *
not one of them shall be broken.

21
Evil shall slay the wicked, *
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.

22
The LORD ransoms the life of his servants, *
and none will be punished who trust in him.


2 Corinthians 5:17-21

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Luke 15:11-32

Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.' So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands."' So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly, bring out a robe--the best one--and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!' And they began to celebrate.

"Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.' Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, 'Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!' Then the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'"



Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.


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