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Selected Scripture Readings

July 05, 2020
EPISTLE: Romans (10: 1 - 10)

Brothers and Sisters! My heart's desire, my prayer to God of the Israelites, is that they may be saved. Indeed, I can testify that they are zealous for God though their zeal is unenlightened. Unaware of God's justice and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the justice of God. Christ is the end of the law. Through him, justice comes to everyone who believes. Moses writes of the justice that comes from the law, “The one who observes the law shall live by it.” But of the justice that comes from faith he says, “Do not say in your heart, 'Who shall go up into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down), or 'Who shall go down into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” What is it he does say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach). For if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Faith in the heart leads to justification, confession on the lips to salvation.

GOSPEL: Matthew (8: 28 - 9: 1)

At that time as Jesus approached the Gadarene boundary, he encountered two men coming out of the tombs. They were possessed by demons and were so savage that no one could travel along that road. With a sudden shriek they cried: “Why meddle with us, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before the appointed time? Some distance away a large herd of swine was feeding. The demons kept appealing to him, “If you expel us, send us into the herd of swine.; He answered, “Out with you!; At that they came forth and entered the swine. The whole herd went rushing down the bluff into the sea and were drowned. The swineherds took to their heels, and upon their arrival in the town related everything that had happened, including the story about the two possessed men. The upshot was that the entire town came out to meet Jesus. When they caught sight of him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood. Then he reentered the boat, made the crossing, and came back to his own town.

JULY 12, 2020
EPISTLE: Romans (12: 6 - 14)

Brothers and Sisters! We have gifts that differ according to the favor bestowed on each of us. One’s gift may be prophecy; its use should be in proportion to his faith. It may be the gift of ministry; it should be used for service. One who is a teacher should use his gift for teaching; one with the power of exhortation, should exhort. He who gives alms should do so generously; he who rules should exercise his authority with care; he who performs works of mercy should do so cheerfully. Your love must be sincere. Detest what is evil, cling to what is good. Love one another with the affection of brothers. Anticipate each other in showing respect. Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer. Look on the needs of the saints as your own; be generous in offering hospitality. Bless your persecutors; bless and do not curse them.

GOSPEL: Matthew (9: 1 - 8)

At that time Jesus reentered the boat, made the crossing, and came back to his own town. There the people at once brought to him a paralyzed man lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.” At that some of the scribes said to themselves, “The man blasphemes.” Jesus was aware of what they were thinking and said: “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is less trouble to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? To help you realize that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” -- he then said to the paralyzed man -- “Stand up! Roll up your mat, and go home.” The man stood up and went toward his home. At the sight, a feeling of awe came over the crowd, and they praised God for giving such authority to men.

July 19, 2020

EPISTLE: Hebrews (13: 7 - 16)

Brothers and Sisters: Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching. It is good to have our hearts strengthened by the grace of God and not by foods which are useless to those who take them as a standard for living. We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. The bodies of the animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sin offering are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus died outside the gate, to sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us go to him outside the camp, bearing the insult which he bore. For here we have no lasting city; we are seeking one which is to come. Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge his name. Do not neglect good deeds and generosity, God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.

GOSPEL: John (17: 1 - 13)

At that time Jesus looked up to heaven and said: ''Father, the hour has come! Give glory to your Son that your Son may give glory to you, inasmuch as you have given him authority over all mankind, that he may bestow eternal life on those you gave him. Eternal life is this, to know you, the only true God, and him whom you have sent, Jesus Christ. I have given you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Do you now, Father, give me glory at your side, a glory I had with you before the world began. I have made your name known to those you gave me out of the world. These men you gave me were yours; they have kept your word. Now they realize that all that you gave me comes from you. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me. They have known that in truth I came from you, they have believed it was you who sent me. For these I pray -- not for the world but for these you have given me, for they are really yours. Just as all that belongs to me is yours, so all that belongs to you is mine. It is in them that I have been glorified. I am in the world no more, but these are in the world as I come to you. O Father most holy, protect them with your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. As long as I was with them, I guarded them with your name which you gave me. I kept careful watch, and not one of them was lost, none but him who was destined to be lost -- in fulfillment of Scripture. Now, however, I come to you; I say all this while I am still in the world that they may share my joy completely.”


July 26, 2020

EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians (1: 10 - 18)

Brothers and Sisters! I beg you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree in what you say. Let there be no factions; rather, be united in mind and judgment. I have been informed, my brothers, by certain members of Chloe’s household that you are quarreling among yourselves. This is what I mean: One of you will say, "I belong to Paul,” another, "I belong to Apollos,” still another, "Cephas has my allegiance,” and the fourth, "I belong to Christ.” Has Christ, then, been divided into parts? Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Was it in Paul’s name that you were baptized? Thank God I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so there are none who can say that you were baptized in my name. Oh, and I baptized the household of Stephanus. Beyond that, I am not aware of having baptized anyone else. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel -- not with wordy "wisdom,” however, lest the cross of Christ be rendered void of its meaning. The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation, it is the power of God.


GOSPEL: Matthew (14: 14 - 22)

At that time as Jesus saw the vast throng, his heart was moved with pity, and he cured their sick. As evening drew on, his disciples came to him with the suggestion: "This is a deserted place and it is already late. Dismiss the crowds so that they may go to the villages and buy some food for themselves.” Jesus said to them: "There is no need for them to disperse. Give them something to eat yourselves.” "We have nothing here,” they replied, "but five loaves and a couple of fish.” "Bring them here,” he said. Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed and broke them and gave the loaves to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the people. All those present ate their fill. The fragments remaining, when gathered up, filled twelve baskets. Those who ate were about five thousand, not counting women and children. Immediately afterward, while dismissing the crowds, Jesus insisted that his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side.

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