Lent: Anointed

John 12:1-8

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of John:

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God.

Prodigal

Luke 15:1-3,11-32

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

1 Meanwhile, the tax collectors and the “sinners” were all gathering around Jesus to listen to his teaching, 2 at which the Pharisees and the religious scholars murmured, “This person welcomes sinners and eats with them!” 3 Jesus then addressed this parable to them:

11 He added, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to their father, ‘Give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.’ So the father divided up the property between them. 13 Some days later, the younger son gathered up his belongings and went off to a distant land. Here he squandered all his money on loose living. 14 “After everything was spent, a great famine broke out in the land, and the son was in great need. 15 So he went to a landowner, who sent him to a farm to take care of the pigs. 16 The son was so hungry that he could have eaten the husks that were fodder for the pigs, but no one made a move to give him anything. 17 Coming to his senses at last, he said, ‘How many hired hands at my father’s house have more than enough to eat, while here I am starving! 18 I’ll quit and go back home and say, “I’ve sinned against God and against you; 19 I no longer deserve to be called one of your children. Treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 With that, the younger son set off for home. “While still a long way off, the father caught sight of the returning child and was deeply moved. The father ran out to meet him, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘I’ve sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called one of your children.’ 22 But his father said to one of the workers, ‘Quick! Bring out the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. 23 Take the calf we’ve been fattening and butcher it. Let’s eat and celebrate! 24 This son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and now he’s found!’ And the celebration began. 25 “Meanwhile the elder son had been out in the field. As he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. 26 He called one of the workers and asked what was happening. 27 The worker answered, ‘Your brother is home, and the fatted calf has been killed because your father has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The son got angry at this and refused to go in to the party, but his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 The older son replied, ‘Look! For years now I’ve done every single thing you asked me to do. I never disobeyed even one of your orders, yet you never gave me so much as a kid goat to celebrate with my friends. 30 But then this son of yours comes home after going through your money with prostitutes, and you kill the fatted calf for him!’ 31 “ ‘But my child!’ the father said. ‘You’re with me always, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we have to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and now he’s found.’”

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Lent: Killing Prophets

Luke 13:28-36

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

People will come from the East and the West, from the North and the South, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.” 31 Just then, some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “You need to get out of town, and fast. Herod is trying to kill you.” 32 Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘Today and tomorrow, I’ll be casting out devils and healing people, and on the third day I’ll reach my goal.’ 33 Even with all that, I’ll need to continue on my journey today, tomorrow and the day after that, since no prophet can be allowed to die anywhere except in Jerusalem. 34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I wanted to gather your children together as a mother bird collects her babies under her wings—yet you refuse me! 35 So take note: your house will be left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of our God!’ ”


This is the word of the Lord.Thanks be to God


Lent: Wilderness

Luke 4:1-13

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

Jesus returned from the Jordan filled with the Holy Spirit, and she led him into the desert 2 for forty days, where he was tempted by the Devil. Jesus ate nothing during that time, at the end of which he was famished. 3 The Devil said to Jesus, “If you are God’s Own, command this stone to turn into bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “Scripture has it, ‘We don’t live on bread alone.’ ” 5 Then the Devil took Jesus up higher and showed him all the nations of the world in a single instant. 6 The Devil said, “I’ll give you all the power and the glory of these nations; the power has been given to me and I can give it to whomever I wish. 7 Prostrate yourself in homage before me, and it will all be yours.” 8 In reply, Jesus said, “Scripture has it: ‘You will worship the Most High God; God alone will you adore.’ ” 9 Then the Devil led Jesus to Jerusalem, set him up on the parapet of the Temple and said, “If you are God’s Own, throw yourself down from here, 10 for scripture has it, ‘God will tell the angels to take care of you; 11 with their hands they’ll support you, that you may never stumble on a stone.’ ” 12 Jesus said to the Devil in reply, “It also says, ‘Do not put God to the test.’ ” 13 When the Devil had finished all this tempting, Jesus was left alone. The Devil awaited another opportunity.

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God


Transformed

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the 2nd Letter to the Corinthians:

12 Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. 14 But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. 15 Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Epiphany: Love Your Enemies

Luke 6:27-38

Scripture:

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Epiphany: Paradox

Luke 6:17-26

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

17 Coming down the mountain with them, Jesus stopped in a level area where there were a great number of disciples. A large crowd of people was with them from Jerusalem and all over Judea, to as far north as the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon—18 people who had come to hear Jesus and be healed of their diseases, and even to be freed from unclean spirits. 19 Indeed, the whole crowd was trying to touch Jesus, because power was coming out of him and healing them all. 20 Looking at the disciples, Jesus said: “You who are poor are blessed, for the reign of God is yours.

21 You who hunger now are blessed,for you’ll be filled.

You who weep now are blessed,for you’ll laugh.

22 You are blessed when people hate you, when they scorn and insult you and spurn your name as evil

because of the Chosen One.

23 On the day they do so, rejoice and be glad: your reward will be great in heaven, for their ancestors treated the prophets the same way.

24 But woe to you rich, for you are now receiving your comfort in full.

25 Woe to you who are full, for you’ll go hungry.

Woe to you who laugh now, for you’ll weep in your grief.

26 Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets

in the same way.


This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Epiphany: Experiencing Christ

Luke 5:1-11

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

One day, Jesus was standing by Lake Gennesaret, and the crowd pressed in on him to hear the word of God. 2 He saw two boats moored by the side of the lake; the fishers had disembarked and were washing their nets. 3 Jesus stepped into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a short distance from the shore; then, remaining seated, he continued to teach the crowds from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Pull out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Rabbi, we’ve been working hard all night long and have caught nothing; but if you say so, I’ll lower the nets.” 6 Upon doing so, they caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point. 7 They signaled to their mates in the other boat to come and help them, and together they filled the two boats until they both nearly sank. 8 After Simon saw what happened, he was filled with awe and fell down before Jesus, saying, “Leave me, Rabbi, for I’m a sinner.” 9 For Simon and his shipmates were astonished at the size of the catch they had made, 10 as were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s partners. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you’ll fish among humankind.” 11 And when they brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God.

Epiphany: Hometown Prophet

Luke 4:21-30

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

21 Then he said to them, “Today, in your hearing, this scripture passage is fulfilled.” 22 All who were present spoke favorably of him; they marveled at the eloquence of the words on Jesus’ lips. They said, “Surely this isn’t Mary and Joseph’s son!” 23 Jesus said to them, “Undoubtedly you’ll quote me the proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your own country the things we heard you did in Capernaum.’ 24 But the truth is, prophets never gain acceptance in their hometowns. 25 “The truth is, there were many women who were widowed in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens remained closed for three and a half years and a great famine spread over the land. 26 It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but to a woman who had been widowed in Zarephath, near Sidon. 27 Recall, too, that many had leprosy in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one was cured except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 At these words, the whole audience in the synagogue was filled with indignation. 29 They rose up and dragged Jesus out of town, leading him to the brow of the hill on which the city was built, with the intention of hurling him over the edge. 30 But he moved straight through the crowd and walked away.

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Epiphany: Release

Luke 4: 14-21

Hear what the Spirit is saying from the Gospel of Luke:

Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and his reputation spread throughout the region. 15 He was teaching in the Galilean synagogues, and all were loud in their praise. 16 Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. Entering the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was his habit, Jesus stood up to do the reading. 17 When the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed him, he unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of our God is upon me:

because the Most High has anointed me

to bring Good News to those who are poor.

God has sent me to proclaim liberty to those held  captive,

recovery of sight to those who are blind,

and release to those in prison— 19 to proclaim the year of our God’s favor.”

20 Rolling up the scroll, Jesus gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he said to them, “Today, in your hearing, this scripture passage is fulfilled.”

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God





Epiphany: Sign of the Times

John 2:2-11

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of John:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.


This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God


Epiphany: Baptism

Isaiah 43:1-7, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the prophet Isaiah:

But now thus says the Lord,

   he who created you, O Jacob,

   he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

   I have called you by name, you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

   and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

   and the flame shall not consume you.

3 For I am the Lord your God,

   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I give Egypt as your ransom,

   Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.

4 Because you are precious in my sight,

   and honored, and I love you,

I give people in return for you,

   nations in exchange for your life.

5 Do not fear, for I am with you;

   I will bring your offspring from the east,

   and from the west I will gather you;

6 I will say to the north, “Give them up,”

   and to the south, “Do not withhold;

bring my sons from far away

   and my daughters from the end of the earth—

7 everyone who is called by my name,

   whom I created for my glory,

   whom I formed and made.”

And from the Gospel of Luke:

15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”


This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God


Epiphany

Matthew 2:1-12

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the book of Matthew:

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

   who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God


Family of God

Scripture Reading:  Hosea 11:1–4

When Israel was a child, I loved him,

   and out of Egypt I called my son.

The more I called them,

   the more they went from me;

they kept sacrificing to the Baals,

   and offering incense to idols.

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,

   I took them up in my arms;

   but they did not know that I healed them.

I led them with cords of human kindness,

   with bands of love.

I was to them like those

   who lift infants to their cheeks.

   I bent down to them and fed them.


Scripture Reading: Luke 2:41-52

41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Scripture Reading: 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 the Father through him.



Love

Luke 1:39-45

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the book of Luke:

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God


Filled With Expectation

Luke 3:7-18

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the book of Luke:

7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Peace

Luke 3:1-6

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the Gospel of Luke:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler 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.'"

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Luke 21:25-36

Luke 21:25-36

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the book of Luke:

There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.

People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Finding Meaning: Storytelling

Genesis 2:1-9, Matthew 27:37-51, Revelation 22:1-5

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the book of Genesis, Matthew, and Revelation:

Genesis 2:1-9

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; 6 but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Matthew 27: 37-51

37 Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

38 Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” 44 The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Revelation 22

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4 they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.


This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God



Finding Meaning: Belonging

Ephesians 4:1-6, 14-16; John 17:20-23

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church from the book of Ephesians:

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.


From the Gospel of John:

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

This is the word of the Lord.         Thanks be to God