Reading Scripture For 1/8/12

January 8, 2012

The Baptism of Our Lord

(First Sunday after the Epiphany)

FIRST READING: Genesis 1:1-5

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2The earth was barren, with no form of life;
it was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness.
But the Spirit of God was moving over the water.

3God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. 4God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness 5and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came and then morning — that was the first day.

 

PSALMODY: Psalm 29

1All of you angels in heaven,
honor the glory and power of the LORD!
2Honor the wonderful name of the LORD,
and worship the L
ORD most holy and glorious.

3The voice of the LORD echoes over the oceans.
The glorious LORD God thunders
       above the roar of the raging sea,
       4and his voice is mighty and marvelous.
5The voice of the LORD destroys the cedar trees;
       the LORD shatters cedars on Mount Lebanon.
6God makes Mount Lebanon skip like a calf
       and Mount Hermon jump like a wild ox.

7The voice of the LORD makes lightning flash
8and the desert tremble.
And because of the LORD,
the desert near Kadesh shivers and shakes.

9The voice of the LORD makes deer give birth
before their time.
Forests are stripped of leaves,
and the temple is filled with shouts of praise.

10The LORD rules on his throne,
king of the flood forever.
11Pray that our LORD will make us strong
and give us peace.

 

SECOND READING: Acts 19:1-7

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled across the hill country to Ephesus, where he met some of the LORD’S followers. 2He asked them, “When you put your faith in Jesus, were you given the Holy Spirit?”
“No!” they answered. “We have never even heard of the Holy Spirit.”
3“Then why were you baptized?” Paul asked.
They answered, “Because of what John taught.”
4Paul replied, “John baptized people so that they would turn to God. But he also told them that someone else was coming, and that they should put their faith in him. Jesus is the one that John was talking about.” 5After the people heard Paul say this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6Then Paul placed his hands on them. The Holy Spirit was given to them, and they spoke unknown languages and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in this group.

GOSPEL: Mark 1:4-11

          4So John the Baptist showed up in the desert and told everyone, “Turn back to God and be baptized! Then your sins will be forgiven.”
5From all Judea and Jerusalem crowds of people went to John. They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.
6John wore clothes made of camel’s hair. He had a leather strap around his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey.
7John also told the people, “Someone more powerful is going to come. And I am not good enough even to stoop down and untie his sandals. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”
9About that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10As soon as Jesus came out of the water, he saw the sky open and the Holy Spirit coming down to him like a dove. 11A voice from heaven said, “You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.”

Reading The Bible For Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011     Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

FIRST READING: Isaiah 44:6-8

6I am the LORD All-Powerful, the first and the last,
the one and only God.
Israel, I have rescued you! I am your King.
7Can anyone compare with me?
If so, let them speak up and tell me now.
Let them say what has happened
since I made my nation long ago,
and let them tell what is going to happen.
8Don’t tremble with fear! Didn’t I tell you long ago?
Didn’t you hear me? I alone am God
no one else is a mighty rock.

PSALMODY: Psalm 86:11-17

11Teach me to follow you, and I will obey your truth.
Always keep me faithful.
12With all my heart I thank you.
I praise you, LORD God.
13Your love for me is so great
that you protected me from death and the grave.

14Proud and violent enemies, who don’t care about you,
have ganged up to attack and kill me.
15But you, the LORD God, are kind and merciful.
You don’t easily get angry,
and your love can always be trusted.
16I serve you, LORD,
and I am the child of one of your servants.
Look on me with kindness.
Make me strong and save me.
17Show that you approve of me!
Then my hateful enemies will feel like fools,
because you have helped and comforted me.

SECOND READING: Romans 8:12-25

12My dear friends, we must not live to satisfy our desires. 13If you do, you will die. But you will live, if by the help of God’s Spirit you say “No” to your desires. 14Only those people who are led by God’s Spirit are his children. 15God’s Spirit doesn’t make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. 16God’s Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. 17His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.

18I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. 19In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. 20Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope 21that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. 22We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.
23The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

GOSPEL: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

24Jesus then told them this story:

The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a farmer scattered good seed in a field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed seeds in the field and then left.
26When the plants came up and began to ripen, the farmer’s servants could see the weeds. 27The servants came and asked, “Sir, didn’t you scatter good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?”
28“An enemy did this,” he replied.
His servants then asked, “Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?”
29“No!” he answered. “You might also pull up the wheat. 30Leave the weeds alone until harvest time. Then I’ll tell my workers to gather the weeds and tie them up and burn them. But I’ll have them store the wheat in my barn.”

35So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said,
“I will use stories to speak my message
and to explain things that have been hidden
since the creation of the world.”
36After Jesus left the crowd and went inside, his disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the story about the weeds in the wheat field.”
37Jesus answered:

The one who scattered the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seeds are the people who belong to the kingdom. The weed seeds are those who belong to the evil one, 39and the one who scattered them is the devil. The harvest is the end of time, and angels are the ones who bring in the harvest.
40Weeds are gathered and burned. That’s how it will be at the end of time. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!

Reading The Bible For Sunday, May 15, 2011

Readings for Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A

From Contemporary English Version © 1995, American Bible Society.

May 15, 2011

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

FIRST READING: Acts 2:42-47

42They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together.

43Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. 44All the LORD’S followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. 45They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. 46Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, 47while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.

PSALMODY: Psalm 23

1You, LORD, are my shepherd. I will never be in need.
       2You let me rest in fields of green grass.
You lead me to streams of peaceful water,
       3and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name,
and you lead me along the right paths.
4I may walk through valleys as dark as death,
but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.
5You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch.
You honor me as your guest,
and you fill my cup until it overflows.
6Your kindness and love will always be with me
each day of my life,
       and I will live forever in your house, LORD.

SECOND READING: 1 Peter 2:19-25

19God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him. 20You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good. 21After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.

22Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie.
23Although he was abused, he never tried to get even.
And when he suffered, he made no threats.
Instead, he had faith in God, who judges fairly.
24 Christ carried the burden of our sins.
He was nailed to the cross, so that we would stop sinning
and start living right.
By his cuts and bruises you are healed.
25You had wandered away like sheep. Now you have returned
to the one who is your shepherd and protector.

GOSPEL: John 10:1-10

Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.

4When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away.

6Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.

7Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. 8Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. 9I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.

10A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.

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SUNDAY’S WORD (6/27/10)

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God,
that God may hear me.

In the day of my trouble I seek God;
in the night my hand is stretched out
without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.

I will call to mind the deeds of God;
I will remember your wonders of old.

I will meditate on all your work,
I will muse on your mighty deeds.

Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who works wonders;
you have displayed your might
among the peoples.

With your strong arm
you redeemed your people,
you redeemed descendants
of Jacob and Joseph.

When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you,
they were afraid;
the very deep trembled.

The clouds poured out water;
the skies thundered;
your arrows flashed on every side.

The crash of your thunder
was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.

Your way was through the sea,
your path, through the mighty waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.

You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Galatians 5:1,13-25

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

Luke 9:51-62

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”