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Dec 6, 2015
Preparing The Way

Luke 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler[a] of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler[b] of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler[c] of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
    and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
    and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 3:1 Gk tetrarch
  2. Luke 3:1 Gk tetrarch
  3. Luke 3:1 Gk tetrarch

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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  • Dec 6, 2015Preparing The Way
    Dec 6, 2015
    Preparing The Way

    Luke 3:1-6

    In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler[a] of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler[b] of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler[c] of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

    “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
        make his paths straight.
    Every valley shall be filled,
        and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
    and the crooked shall be made straight,
        and the rough ways made smooth;
    and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

    Footnotes:

    1. Luke 3:1 Gk tetrarch
    2. Luke 3:1 Gk tetrarch
    3. Luke 3:1 Gk tetrarch

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Nov 29, 2015The Time is Coming
    Nov 29, 2015
    The Time is Coming

    Jeremiah 33:14-16

    14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Nov 22, 2015So Loved
    Nov 22, 2015
    So Loved

    John 3:16-21

    16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

    17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”[a]

    Footnotes:

    1. John 3:21 Some interpreters hold that the quotation concludes with verse 15

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Nov 15, 2015Don’t Be Scared
    Nov 15, 2015
    Don’t Be Scared
    Matthew 28: 16-20

     

    16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”[a]

    Footnotes:

    1. Matthew 28:20 Other ancient authorities add Amen

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Nov 8, 2015Giving All You Have
    Nov 8, 2015
    Giving All You Have
    Mark 12: 38-44

     

    38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
     
    41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
     

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

     

     
  • Nov 1, 2015Blessed Be the Saints
    Nov 1, 2015
    Blessed Be the Saints
    Matthew 5: 1-12
     

     When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

    “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

    “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely[b] on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Footnotes:

    1. Matthew 5:1 Gk he
    2. Matthew 5:11 Other ancient authorities lack falsely

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Oct 25, 2015Seeing Again
    Oct 25, 2015
    Seeing Again
    Mark 10: 46-52

     

    46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher,[a] let me see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

    Footnotes:

    1. Mark 10:51 Aramaic Rabbouni

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Oct 18, 2015Be Careful What You Ask For
    Oct 18, 2015
    Be Careful What You Ask For
    Mark 10: 35-45

    35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

    41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Oct 11, 2015Left in the Dark? (Bill Jacky)
    Oct 11, 2015
    Left in the Dark? (Bill Jacky)
    Psalm 22: 1-15

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
        Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
    O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
        and by night, but find no rest.

    Yet you are holy,
        enthroned on the praises of Israel.
    In you our ancestors trusted;
        they trusted, and you delivered them.
    To you they cried, and were saved;
        in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

    But I am a worm, and not human;
        scorned by others, and despised by the people.
    All who see me mock at me;
        they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
    “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
        let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

    Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
        you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
    10 On you I was cast from my birth,
        and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
    11 Do not be far from me,
        for trouble is near
        and there is no one to help.

    12 Many bulls encircle me,
        strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
    13 they open wide their mouths at me,
        like a ravening and roaring lion.

    14 I am poured out like water,
        and all my bones are out of joint;
    my heart is like wax;
        it is melted within my breast;
    15 my mouth[a] is dried up like a potsherd,
        and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
        you lay me in the dust of death.

    Footnotes:

    1. Psalm 22:15 Cn: Heb strength

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  • Oct 4, 2015Crowned With Glory & Honor
    Oct 4, 2015
    Crowned With Glory & Honor
    Psalm 8:1-9

    O Lord, our Sovereign,
        how majestic is your name in all the earth!

    You have set your glory above the heavens.
        Out of the mouths of babes and infants
    you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
        to silence the enemy and the avenger.

    When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
        the moon and the stars that you have established;
    what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
        mortals[a] that you care for them?

    Yet you have made them a little lower than God,[b]
        and crowned them with glory and honor.
    You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
        you have put all things under their feet,
    all sheep and oxen,
        and also the beasts of the field,
    the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
        whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

    O Lord, our Sovereign,
        how majestic is your name in all the earth!

    Footnotes:

    1. Psalm 8:4 Heb ben adam, lit. son of man
    2. Psalm 8:5 Or than the divine beings or angels: Heb elohim

    New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.