"Preparing for the Journey with Jesus"
Rev. Caedmon Grace
Rev. Caedmon Grace
Description:The scripture reading is 1 Peter 3:13-22. 13_Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14_But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15_but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16_yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17_For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18_For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19_in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20_who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21_And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22_who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
Description:The scripture reading is Mark 9:2-8. 2_Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3_and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one* on earth could bleach them. 4_And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5_Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings,* one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ 6_He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7_Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ 8_Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
Description:The scripture reading is 1 John 4:7-12. 7_Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8_Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9_This is how God showed love among us: God sent the one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10_This is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent their Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11_Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12_No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and love is made complete in us.
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 14:22-33. 22_Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23_And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24_but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25_And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. 26_But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. 27_But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ 28_Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ 29_He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. 30_But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31_Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ 32_When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33_And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’.
Rev. Caedmon Grace
Description:The Scripture reading is Psalm 62:5-12. 5_For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from God. 6_God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7_On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.8_Trust in God at all times, O people; pour out your heart before God; God is a refuge for us. Selah. 9_Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. 10_Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them. 11_Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, 12_and steadfast love belongs to you, O God. For you repay to all according to their work.
Description:The scripture reading is 1 Samuel 3:1-10. 1_Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 2_At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3_the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4_Then the LORD called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ 5_and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. 6_The LORD called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ 7_Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8_The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. 9_Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if the Lord calls you, you shall say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10_Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’
Rev. Caedmon Grace
Description:The scripture reading is Mark 1:7-11. 7_John the Baptizer proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8_I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9_In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10_And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11_And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Description:The scripture reading is Luke 2:8-20. 8_In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9_Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10_But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11_to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12_This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13_And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14_“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!” 15_When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16_So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17_When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18_and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19_But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20_The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Description:The scripture reading is Luke 2:25-35. 25_Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26_It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen God’s Messiah.27_Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28_Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29_‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; 30_for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31_which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32_a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’ 33_And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34_Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35_so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed - and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’Bonus song at the end.
Rev. Houston Burnside
Description:The scripture reading is Luke 1:46-55. 46_And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, 47_and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48_for God has looked with favor on the lowliness of this servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49_for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is God’s name. 50_God’s mercy is for those who fear God from generation to generation. 51_God has shown strength with God’s arm; and has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52_God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53_has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54_God has helped the servant Israel, in remembrance of God’s mercy, 55_according to the promise made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.’
Description:The scripture reading is Luke 1:26-38. 26_In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27_to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28_And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ 29_But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30_The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31_And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32_He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33_He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34_Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35_The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36_And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37_For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38_Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
Description:The Scripture reading is Philippians 4:11b-13 &19-20. 11_Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12_I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13_I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me...19_And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to God’s riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20_To our God and Creator be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Description:The scripture reading is 2 Kings 4:1-7. 1_Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared God, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves.’ 2_Elisha said to her, ‘What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?’ She answered, ‘Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil.’ 3_He said, ‘Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not just a few. 4_Then go in, and shut the door behind you and your children, and start pouring into all these vessels; when each is full, set it aside.’ 5_So she left him and shut the door behind her and her children; they kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring. 6_When the vessels were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another vessel.’ But he said to her, ‘There are no more.’ Then the oil stopped flowing. 7_She came and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.’
Description:The scripture reading is 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 worshipped 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 Creator and of the Christ, 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.’
Rev. Caedmon Grace
Description:The scripture reading is Acts 11:1-18. 1_Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2_So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3_saying, ‘Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?’ 4_Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5_‘I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6_As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7_I also heard a voice saying to me, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” 8_But I replied, “By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.” 9_But a second time the voice answered from heaven, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” 10_This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11_At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12_The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13_He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, “Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14_he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.” 15_And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16_And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 17_If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?’ 18_When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, ‘Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.’
Description:The scripture reading is Revelation 7:9-12. 9_After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10_They cried out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ 11_And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12_singing, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’
Description:The scripture reading is Isaiah 40:28-31. 28_Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. God does not faint or grow weary; God’s understanding is unsearchable. 29_God gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30_Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31_but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Rev. Elder Tony Freeman
Description:The scripture reading is 1 John 3:18-24. 18-My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. 19_This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. 20_It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 21-And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! 22_We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what God said, doing what pleases God. 23_Again, this is God’s command: to believe in the Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. 24_As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in Jesus, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience Jesus’ deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.
Description:The scripture reading is John 15:1-5. 1_Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and Creator God is the vine-grower. 2_God removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit is pruned to make it bear more fruit. 3_You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4_Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5_I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 11:28-30. 28_‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29_Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30_For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 25:14-23. 14_“For it will be as when someone going on a journey called in servants and entrusted to them some money, 15_giving to one five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to their ability, and then went away. 16_The one who had received the five talents went at once and traded with the money, and made five talents more. 17_So also, the one who had the two talents made two talents more. 18_But the one who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid the money. 19_Now, after a long time the sovereign of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20_And the servant who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, “Sovereign, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.” 21_The Sovereign said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your sovereign.” 22_And the one also who had the two talents came forward, saying, “Sovereign, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.” 23_The reply came, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your sovereign.”
Dr. Heath Adam Ackley
Description:The scripture readings are: Genesis 1:26-28 & 2:21-22 and Galatians 3:28 & 5:1. 26_Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ 27_So God created humankind in God’s image, in the image of God they were created; male and female God created them. 28_God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’… 21_So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then the Lord God took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22_And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man was made into a woman and brought to the man… 1_For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Description:The scripture reading is Psalm 95:1-7. 1_O come, let us sing to our God; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2_Let us come into God's presence with thanksgiving let us make a joyful noise to God with songs of praise! 3_For God is great, and great above all gods. 4_In God's hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains also. 5_The sea is God's, for God made it, and the dry land, which God's hands have formed. 6_O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before God, our Maker! 7_For God is our God, and we are the people of God's pasture, and the sheep of God's hand.
Description:The scripture reading is Colossians 3:12-17. 12_As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13_Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14_Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15_And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16_Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17_And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through Christ.
Description:The scripture reading is Ephesians 4:29-5:2. 29_Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30_And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31_Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32_and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. 5:1_Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2_and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Description:The scripture reading is Isaiah 40:27-31. 27_Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God’? 28_Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. God does not faint or grow weary; God’s understanding is unsearchable. 29_God gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30_Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31_but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Description:The scripture readings are John 14:27 and Philippians 4:6-7. 27_Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid…6_Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7_And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Description:The scripture reading is John 16:20-22. 20_Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. 21_When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. 22_So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Description:The scripture reading is 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 13. 1_If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2_And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3_If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4_Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5_or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6_it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7_It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… 13_And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
Rev. Michelle Kirby
Description:The Scripture reading is Matthew 10:12-14, 16-17, 40-42. 12_As you enter the house, greet it. 13_If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14_If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town… 16_‘See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17_Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues… 40_‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41_Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42_and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
Description:The scripture reading is James 2:14-17 & 26. 14_What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15_If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16_and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17_So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead… 26_For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.
Description:The scripture reading is Mark 1:35-42. 35_In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36_And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37_When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ 38_He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ 39_And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. 40_A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ 41_Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ 42_Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
Description:The scripture reading is Mark 1:21-22 & 29-31. 21_The disciples went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. 22_They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes… 29_As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30_Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31_He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
Rev. Elder Tony Freeman
Description:The scripture reading is Acts 2:14-21. 14_But Peter, standing with the eleven disciples, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15_Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16_No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17_“In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18_Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19_And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20_The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 21_Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Description:The scripture readings are Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 55:8-9. 11_For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.8_For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 9_For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Description:The scripture reading is Philippians 4:4-8. 4_Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5_Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6_Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7_And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8_Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Description:The scripture reading is John 10:22-30. 22_At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23_and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24_So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ 25_Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Creator’s name testify to me; 26_but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27_My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28_I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29_What my Creator has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Creator’s hand. 30_The Creator and I are one.’
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 8:1-3. 1_When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2_and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 3_He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Description:The scripture reading is Acts 26: 1, 9-18, 24-28. 1_Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and began to defend himself… 9_“Indeed, I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10_And that is what I did in Jerusalem; with authority received from the chief priests, I not only locked up many of the saints in prison, but I also cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death. 11_By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was so furiously enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities. 12_"With this in mind, I was travelling to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13_when at midday along the road, your Excellency, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. 14_When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts you to kick against the prods.’ 15_I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The Lord answered, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16_But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. 17_I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18_to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’”…24_While he was making this defense, Festus exclaimed, “You are out of your mind, Paul! Too much learning is driving you insane!” 25_But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. 26_Indeed the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am certain that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. 27_King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28_Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you so quickly persuading me to become a Christian?”
Description:The scripture reading is Luke 24:13-35. 13_Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14_and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15_While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16_but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17_And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18_Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19_He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20_and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21_But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22_Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23_and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24_Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25_Then Jesus said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26_Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27_Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28_As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29_But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30_When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31_Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32_They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 28:1-10. 1_After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2_And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3_His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4_For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5_But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6_He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7_Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8_So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9_Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10_Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell the rest to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 21:1-11. 1_When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2_saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3_If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately. 4_This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5_Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” 6_The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7_they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8_A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9_The crowds that went ahead of Jesus and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10_When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11_The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Description:The scripture reading is John 4:6-26. 6_Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. 7_A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. 8_(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9_The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10_Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ 11_The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12_Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ 13_Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14_but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ 15_The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’ 16_Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ 17_The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; 18_for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!’ 19_The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20_Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that theplace where people must worship is in Jerusalem.’ 21_Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship God neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22_You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23_But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship God in spirit and truth, for God seeks such as these to worship. 24_God is spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth.’ 25_The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’26_Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you.’
Description:The scripture reading is John 3:1-17. 1_Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2_He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ 3_Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the realm of God without being born from above.’ 4_Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ 5_Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the realm of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6_What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7_Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” 8_The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ 9_Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ 10_Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11_‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12_If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13_No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14_And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15_that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16_‘For God so loved the world that God gave God’s only Son, so that everyone who believes in Christ 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.
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 4:1-11. 1_Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2_He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3_The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ 4_But he answered, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ 5_Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6_saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’ 7_Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ 8_Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9_and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ 10_Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”’ 11_Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 8:1-3. 1_When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2_and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ 3_He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Rev. Caedmon Grace
Description:The scripture reading is Phillipians 2:1-8. 1-4_If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. 5-8_Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death.
Description:The scripture reading is Matthew 26:6-13. 6_Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7_a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8_But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, ‘Why this waste? 9_For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.’ 10_But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11_For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12_By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13_Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’
Description:The scripture reading is Hebrews 10:23-25. 23_Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for the one who has promised is faithful. 24_And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25_not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.