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Scripture Readings January 30, 2022

Posted by on Jan 27, 2022 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings January 30, 2022

Sunday    1/30/2022      Summary

 

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 1:4-10

God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet and consecrates him in the womb. Jeremiah’s task is to preach God’s word amid the difficult political realities of his time, before the Babylonian exile. He is to make God known not only to Judah, but also to the nations.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Christians in Corinth prided themselves on their spiritual gifts. Paul reminds them that God gives us many gifts through the Holy Spirit, but the purpose behind all of them is love, the kind of love that God showed us in Jesus Christ.

GOSPEL: Luke 4:21-30

People in Jesus’ hometown are initially pleased when he says that God will free the oppressed. Their pleasure turns to rage when he reminds them that God’s prophetic mission typically pushes beyond human boundaries so that mercy and healing are extended to those regarded as outsiders.

 

Scripture Readings January 23, 2022

Posted by on Jan 21, 2022 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings January 23, 2022

Sunday   1/23/2022       Summary

 

FIRST READING: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

The exiles have returned and rebuilt Jerusalem. Now Ezra, the priest, reads the law of Moses to them in the public square. When they hear it, they weep for their sins and for the long years in exile, but Ezra reminds them that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

The apostle and pastor Paul uses the metaphor of the human body to describe how intimately connected we are in the church. For this struggling congregation in Corinth, Paul delivers a vital message of unity that is a mark of the church today.

GOSPEL: Luke 4:14-21

Near the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, he visits his hometown of Nazareth. In the words of Isaiah, he states and claims his identity, purpose, and mission.

Scripture Readings January 16, 2022

Posted by on Jan 14, 2022 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings January 16, 2022

Sunday   1/16/2022    Summary

FIRST READING: Isaiah 62:1-5

The people’s return to Judah after the exile was marred by economic and political troubles. Nevertheless, the prophet declares, Jerusalem and Judah will be restored. God will rejoice over Jerusalem as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride; and the people are called to the celebration.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

The congregation at Corinth experienced division as people were comparing their spiritual gifts, thinking some to be superior to others. Paul invites this fractured community to trust that God’s Holy Spirit has gifted them all perfectly for their mission together.

GOSPEL: John 2:1-11

Turning water to wine at the wedding at Cana is described as the first of Jesus’ signs. Through many such epiphanies, Jesus reveals that he bears God’s creative power and joyful presence into the world.

Scripture Reading January 9, 2022

Posted by on Jan 5, 2022 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Reading January 9, 2022

Sunday    2/9/2022      Summary

FIRST READING: Isaiah 43:1-7

Near the end of Israel’s exile in Babylon, God promises to bring them home. They need no longer be afraid, because this one who formed, created, and called them by name now redeems them from all their enemies. God declares them precious and honored, and God loves them.

SECOND READING: Acts 8:14-17

Peter and John are sent to support the new Christians in Samaria, a group that was recently baptized after hearing the good news of Christ through the preaching of Philip. Here the Samaritans receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in the laying on of hands.

GOSPEL: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The reading opens with questions about the identity of the Messiah. John the Baptist insists that he is not the Messiah; instead he points ahead to one who is coming. And whether the voice of God was heard by all or only by Jesus, God settles the matter: Jesus is God’s beloved Son.

Scripture Readings December 26, 2021

Posted by on Dec 22, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings December 26, 2021

Sunday    12/26/2021       Summary

THE FIRST READING:     1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26

Having dedicated her son Samuel to God’s service, Hannah visits him every year when she and her husband Elkanah come to the temple to offer sacrifices. God grants Hannah more children, and Samuel himself gains favor in the sight of all.

THE SECOND READING:      Colossians 3:12-17

Just as newly baptized Christians in the early church were clothed with new garments upon arising from the baptismal waters, so all who have received God’s gift of life in Jesus Christ are covered with the character of Christ.

Gospel: Luke 2:41-52

Jesus grew up in a family that went to the Passover festival each year. It was in this environment of faithful adherence to the law that Jesus grew into spiritual maturity and an understanding of his identity and mission.

Scripture Readings December 24, 2021

Posted by on Dec 22, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings December 24, 2021

Friday  Christmas Eve     12/24/2021

THE FIRST READING      Isaiah 9:2-7

This poem promises deliverance from Assyrian oppression, a hope based on the birth of a royal child with a name full of promise. While Judah’s king will practice justice and righteousness, the real basis for faith lies in God’s passion for the people: The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!

THE SECOND READING :        Titus 2:11-14

The appearance of God’s grace in Jesus Christ brings salvation for all humanity. Consequently, in the present we live wisely and justly while also anticipating the hope of our Savior’s final appearance.

Gospel: Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

God’s greatest gift comes as a baby in a manger. Angels announce the “good news of great joy” and proclaim God’s blessing of peace.

Scripture Readings December 19, 2021

Posted by on Dec 14, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings December 19, 2021

Sunday   12/19/2021    Summary

First Reading: Micah 5:2-5a

The prophet Micah, having pronounced judgment upon Judah, speaks of a future shepherd-king who, like David, will come from the small town of Bethlehem. (Ephrathah refers to the area around Bethlehem.) This king will restore Israel and bring peace. New Testament writers understood this passage to be referring to Jesus.

Second Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10

The author of Hebrews uses the image of religious sacrifice to convey the significance of Christ’s coming. Through obedient acceptance of God’s will, Christ allows his own body to become the greatest sacrifice of all, one through which we are made a holy people.

Gospel: Luke 1:39-45[46-55]

Elizabeth, John’s mother, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are two women filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. In Elizabeth’s inspired greeting and Mary’s song of praise we hear of a saving God who remembers, scatters, lifts up, and fulfills all things.

Scripture Readings December 12, 2021

Posted by on Dec 8, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings December 12, 2021

Sunday   12/12/2021        Summary

First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20

The prophet Zephaniah’s message is mostly one of judgment for sin. This reading, however, which comes from the conclusion of the book, prophesies joy for Judah and Jerusalem. Judgment has led to repentance, and God’s salvation is at hand.

Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-7

Despite being in prison, Paul is remarkably upbeat as he writes this letter. Here, he urges his friends in Philippi to trust God with all their worries and concerns with the hope that they will experience God’s joy and peace.

Gospel: Luke 3:7-18

John the Baptist heralds the mighty one who is coming. John teaches that preparation for God’s reign is not a matter of identity but of bearing fruits of merciful justice, radical generosity, and vocational integrity.

Scripture Readings December 5, 2021

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings December 5, 2021

Sunday   12/5/2021       Summary

First Reading: Malachi 3:1-4

God announces a covenant with Israel. A messenger like Malachi (his name means “my messenger”) will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord by purifying and refining God’s people, as silver and gold are refined.

Second Reading: Philippians 1:3-11

The apostle Paul was the pastor of many new churches. He writes in this letter about his joy to be in partnership with the Christians of Philippi. Listen to how tender-hearted Paul, sometimes a stern preacher, is with his friends as he encourages them to grow in love and knowledge.

Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

John the Baptist is a herald of Jesus, whose way is prepared by “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” As we hear the careful record of human leaders, we sense the spectrum of political and religious authority that will be challenged by this coming Lord.

Scripture Readings November 28, 2021

Posted by on Nov 24, 2021 in Announcement, Scriptures | Comments Off on Scripture Readings November 28, 2021

Sunday      11/28/2021       Summary

 

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 33:14-16

In the Old Testament, “righteousness” often has to do with being faithful in relationship. God acts righteously both in punishing Israel for its sin and in having mercy. In today’s reading, Jerusalem’s future name—“The Lord is our righteousness”—proclaims that God is even now working salvation for Israel.

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Upon Timothy’s report from the congregation at Thessalonica, Paul is exuberant with gratitude for them. In this passage from his letter, Paul voices overflowing thanks, joy, and blessings for the people of this growing church.

Gospel: Luke 21:25-36

God will fulfill God’s purposes and, already, hidden signs of that fulfillment abound. On that great day there will be dismay, perplexity, confusion, and terror, but God’s people shall be given strength to stand boldly and receive God’s promised redemption.