Come To Grace, Delight In Giving 11/4/12

Mark 10:17-31

The Message (MSG)

To Enter God’s Kingdom

17 As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”

18-19 Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”

20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

23-25 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”

26 That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked.

27 Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”

28 Peter tried another angle: “We left everything and followed you.”

29-31 Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.”

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!

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