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Scripture Readings September 19, 2021

Posted by on Sep 15, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings September 19, 2021

Sunday  9/19/2021      Summary

 

First Reading: Jeremiah 11:18-20

Today’s reading tells of the suffering of the prophet Jeremiah, who announced God’s word to Judah but was met with intense opposition and persecution. Jeremiah continues to trust in God in the midst of his suffering.

Second Reading: James 3:13–4:3, 7-8a

The wisdom God gives unites our hearts and minds. Instead of living to satisfy our own wants and desires, we manifest this wisdom in peace, gentleness, mercy, and impartiality toward others.

Gospel: Mark 9:30-37

Jesus’ teaching and action in this text are directed to the church whenever it is seduced by the world’s definition of greatness: prestige, power, influence, and money. The antidote to such a concern for greatness is servanthood.

Scripture Readings September 12, 2021

Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings September 12, 2021

Sunday   9/12/2021     Summary

 

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

The image of the servant of the Lord is one of the notable motifs in the book of Isaiah. Today’s reading describes the mission of the servant, whom early Christians associated with Jesus. Like Jesus, the servant does not strike back at his detractors but trusts in God’s steadfast love.

Second Reading: James 3:1-12

This text uses various images to illustrate how damaging and hurtful the way we speak to and about others can be. Not only are we to control our speech, but what we say and how we say it are to reflect our faith.

Gospel: Mark 8:27-38

This story provides the turning point in Mark’s gospel. Peter is the first human being in the narrative to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, but he cannot accept that as the Messiah Jesus will have to suffer. Moreover, Jesus issues a strong challenge to all by connecting discipleship and the cross.

Scripture Readings September 5, 2021

Posted by on Sep 1, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings September 5, 2021

Sunday   9/5/2021     Summary

First Reading: Isaiah 35:4-7a

These verses are a word of hope to the exiles in Babylon. Isaiah 34 portrays God’s vengeance on Edom, Israel’s age-old enemy, which makes the path from Babylon to Zion safe for the exiles’ return. The desert itself will flow with water to give drink to the returning exiles.

Second Reading: James 2:1-10 [11-13] 14-17

Faithful Christians do not show partiality to the rich and powerful of the world, especially at the expense of the poor and weak. Likewise, faith does not pay mere lip service to God’s will. Instead, a living Christian faith expresses itself in acts of compassion and mercy for those in need.

Gospel: Mark 7:24-37

In Mark’s gospel, encounters with women usually signify turning points in Jesus’ ministry. Here, a conversation with a Syrophoenician woman marks the beginning of his mission to the Gentiles.

Scripture Readings August 29, 2021

Posted by on Aug 25, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings August 29, 2021

Sunday   8/29/2021     Summary

First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9

The Israelites believed the law was a divine gift that provided guidelines for living out the covenant. Moses commands the people to obey the law and to neither add to nor subtract from it. The Israelites are also to teach the law to their children and their children’s children.

Second Reading: James 1:17-27

The letter of James was intended to provide first-century Christians with instruction in godly behavior. Here Christians are encouraged to listen carefully and to act on what they hear, especially by caring for those least able to care for themselves.

Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Mark’s gospel depicts Jesus as challenging traditional ways in which religious people determine what is pure or impure. For Jesus, the observance of religious practices cannot become a substitute for godly words or deeds that spring from a faithful heart.

Scripture Readings August 22, 2021

Posted by on Aug 18, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings August 22, 2021

Sunday   8/22/2021       Summary

First Reading: Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18

In the Near East, covenant means “agreement” or “alliance.” It describes relationships and is the primary word used to characterize the relationship between God and Israel. By delivering Israel, God has already begun the relationship. Joshua calls upon the people to respond.

Second Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20

Like a general giving a rousing speech to troops before battle, this letter closes by calling on Christians to be equipped for spiritual warfare against evil. The full armor of God includes truth, righteousness, peace, faith, the gift of salvation, and the word of God inspired by the Spirit.

Gospel: John 6:56-69

The “hard saying” that offends Jesus’ disciples is his claim that his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood. The followers who return to their old lives know something about how odd this sounds. Simon Peter, on the other hand, knows something about the scarcity of living, gracious words. He asks the most important question: “To whom shall we go?”

Scripture Readings August 15, 2021

Posted by on Aug 11, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings August 15, 2021

Sunday   8/15/2021      Summary

First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom is portrayed as a woman who invites people to partake of her banquet. Just as ordinary food is necessary for physical life, Wisdom’s food—insight and understanding—is necessary for fullness of life with God. Partaking of Wisdom’s banquet is the way to life.

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

True wisdom integrates our new reality in Christ with our Christian fellowship and daily conduct. Because we are filled with the Spirit, Christians regularly rejoice together, give thanks to God for one another, and care for one another. In this way we revere our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel: John 6:51-58

In John’s gospel, the feeding of the five thousand leads to extended teaching in which Jesus identifies himself as the true “bread of life.” Finally, in these verses, he makes a connection that would not be understood until after his death, in light of the church’s celebration of holy communion.

Scripture Readings August 8, 2021

Posted by on Aug 4, 2021 in Sermon | Comments Off on Scripture Readings August 8, 2021

Sunday   8/8/2021     Summary

First Reading: 1 Kings 19:4-8

First Kings chapter 18 describes the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The contest proves that the Lord is God, and afterward Elijah orders the killing of the Baal prophets. Angered by the deaths of her prophets, Queen Jezebel threatens to kill Elijah. This reading finds Elijah fleeing, fatigued, and in utter despair.

Second Reading: Ephesians 4:25–5:2

Christians are called to be imitators of God. This does not mean Christians are perfect. Rather, the Spirit is at work in our lives so that our actions and attitudes genuinely reflect the love and forgiveness we have received through Christ and his death.

Gospel: John 6:35, 41-51

After feeding more than five thousand people in the wilderness, Jesus teaches them regarding the true significance of this remarkable sign.

Scripture Readings August 1, 2021

Posted by on Jul 28, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings August 1, 2021

Sunday   8/1/2021        Summary

First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15

A food crisis becomes a faith crisis for the Israelites in the wilderness. The hungry people forget God’s saving work in the exodus, and they wish for the food they had in Egypt. Nevertheless, God miraculously meets their needs, with manna for bread and quail for meat.

Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16

Christians share fundamental unity and diversity. Our unity consists in the one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. Our diversity is expressed in various forms of ministry whose goal is equipping the saints and building up Christ’s one body.

Gospel: John 6:24-35

Many of the five thousand people Jesus fed in the wilderness continued to follow him throughout the countryside. Jesus challenges them to consider the real nature of their quest.

Scripture Readings July 25, 2021

Posted by on Jul 21, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings July 25, 2021

Sunday   7/25/2021      Summary

 

First Reading: 2 Kings 4:42-44

Today’s reading is part of a larger section of 2 Kings that describes the miracles of Elisha, the successor to Elijah. Here the prophet gives food to a hungry crowd. Though there is not enough food to go around, Elisha trusts God, who provides enough and even more to satisfy the need.

Second Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21

We have been rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, which surpasses all human knowledge. Because Christ dwells in our hearts, our lives are continuously strengthened and empowered by the ongoing presence of the Spirit. 

Gospel: John 6:1-21

In John’s gospel, the miracles of Jesus are called “signs,” because they reveal the true character of God. As such, they remain within the mystery of God and cannot be brought under human control.

Scripture Readings July 18, 2021

Posted by on Jul 14, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings July 18, 2021

Sunday    7/18/2021     Summary

 

First Reading:   Jeremiah 23:1-6

Jeremiah prophesied before the exile in 587 BCE. In this passage, he uses the metaphor of a shepherd to describe the bad kings who have scattered the “flock” of Israel. God promises to gather the flock and to raise up a new king from David’s line to save Israel and Judah.

Second Reading:   Ephesians 2:11-22

The author of this letter reminds his audience that originally they were not part of God’s chosen people. Through Jesus’ death, however, they are included in God’s household of faith, whose cornerstone is Jesus Christ.

Gospel: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

When Jesus sends his disciples out to teach and heal, they minister among large numbers of people. Their work is motivated by Christ’s desire to be among those in need.