Selected Scripture Readings

Nov. 10, 2019
EPISTLE: Galatians (6: 11-18)

Brothers and Sisters: See, I write to you in my own large handwriting! Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised are making a play for human approval --- with an eye to escaping persecution for the cross of Christ. The very ones who accept circumcision do not follow the law themselves. They want you to be circumcised only that they may boast about your bodily observance. May I never boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through it, the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. It means nothing whether one is circumcised or not. All that matters is that one is created anew. Peace and mercy on all who follow this rule of life, and on the Israel of God. Henceforth, let no man trouble me, for I bear the brand marks of Jesus in my body. Brothers, may the favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

GOSPEL: Luke 16 (19-31)

The Lord told this parable: “Once there was a rich man who dressed in purple and linen and feasted splendidly every day. At his gate lay a beggar named Lazarus who was covered with sores. Lazarus longed to eat the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. The dogs even came and licked his sores. Eventually the beggar died. He was carried by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man likewise died and was buried. From the abode of the dead where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus resting in his bosom. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to refresh my tongue, for I am tortured in these flames.’ ‘My child,’ replied Abraham, ‘remember that you were well off in your lifetime, while Lazarus was in misery. Now he has found consolation here, but you have found torment. And that is not all. Between you and us there is fixed a great abyss, so that those who might wish to cross from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross from your side to us.’ ‘Father, I ask you, then,’ the rich man said, ‘send him to my father’s house where I have five brothers. Let him be a warning to them so that they may not end in this place of torment.’ Abraham answered, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them.’ ‘No, Father Abraham,’ replied the rich man, ‘But if someone would only go to them from the dead, then they would repent.’ Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead.’ “

Nov. 17, 2019
EPISTLE: Ephesians (2: 4 -10)

Brothers and Sisters! God is rich in mercy; because of his great love for us he brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin. By this favor you were saved. Both with and in Christ Jesus he raised us up and gave us a place in the heavens, that in ages to come he might display his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. I repeat, it is owing to his favor that salvation is yours through faith. This is not your own doing, it is God’s gift; neither is it a reward for anything you have accomplished, so let no one pride himself on it. We are truly his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance.

GOSPEL: Luke (8: 26 -39)

At that time, Jesus came into the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When he came to land, he was met by a man from the town who was possessed by demons. For a long time he had not worn any clothes, he did not live in a house, but among the tombstones. On seeing Jesus he began to shriek; then he fell at his feet and exclaimed at the top of his voice, “Jesus, Son of God Most High, why do you meddle with me? Do not torment me, I beg you.” By now Jesus was ordering the unclean spirit to come out of the man, This spirit had taken hold of him many a time. The man used to be tied with chains and fetters, but he would break his bonds and the demon would drive him into places of solitude. “What is your name?” Jesus demanded. “Legion,” he answered, because the demons who had entered him were many. They pleaded with him not to order them back to the abyss. It happened that a large herd of swine was feeding nearby on the hillside, and the demons asked him to permit them to enter the swine. This he granted. The demons then came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd charged down the bluff into the lake, where they drowned. When the swineherds saw what had happened, they took to their heels and brought the news to the town and country roundabout. The people went out to see for themselves what had happened. Coming on Jesus, they found the man from whom the devils had departed sitting at his feet dressed and in his full senses; this sight terrified them. They were told by witnesses how the possessed man had been cured. Shortly afterward, the entire population of the Gerasene territory asked Jesus to leave their neighborhood, for a great fear had seized them; so he got into the boat and went back across the lake. The man from whom the devils had departed asked to come with him, but he sent him away with the words, “Go back home and recount all that God has done for you.” The man went all through the town making public what Jesus had done for him.

Nov. 24, 2019

EPISTLE: Ephesians (2: 14-22)

Brothers and Sisters! It is Christ who is our peace, and who made the two of us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility that kept us apart. In his own flesh he abolished the law with its commands and precepts, to create in himself one new man from us who had been two and to make peace, reconciling both of us to God in one body through his cross, which put that enmity to death. He came and “announced the good news of peace to you who were far off, and to those who were near”; through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. This means that you are strangers and aliens no longer. No, you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God. You form a building which rises on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is fitted together and takes shape as a holy temple in the Lord; in him you are being built into this temple, to become a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.

GOSPEL: Luke (8: 41 - 56)

At that time, a man named Jairus, who was chief of the synagogue, came up and fell at Jesus’ feet, begging that he come to his home because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus went, the crowds almost crushed him. A woman with a hemorrhage of twelve years’ duration, incurable at any doctor’s hands, came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped. Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” Everyone disclaimed doing it, while Peter said, “Lord, the crowds are milling and pressing around you!” Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me, I know that power has gone forth from me.” When the woman saw that her act had not gone unnoticed, she came forward trembling. Falling at his feet, she related before the whole assemblage why she had touched him and how she had been instantly cured. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you. Now go in peace.” He was still speaking when a man came from the ruler’s house with the announcement, “Your daughter is dead; do not bother the Teacher further.” Jesus heard this, and his response was: “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust and her life will be spared.” Once he had arrived at the house, he permitted no one to enter with him except Peter, John, James and the child’s parents. While everyone wept and lamented her, he said, “Stop crying for she is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, being certain she was dead. He took her by the hand and spoke these words: “Get up, child.” The breath of life returned to her and she got up immediately; whereupon he told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astounded, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

Dec. 01, 2019
EPISTLE: Ephesians (4: 1 - 6)

Brothers and Sisters! I plead with you, then, as a prisoner for the Lord, to live a life worthy of the calling you have received, with perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly. Make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force. There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and works through all, and is in all.

GOSPEL: Luke (10: 25-37)

On one occasion a lawyer stood up to pose him this problem, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” Jesus answered him: “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.” But because he wished to justify himself he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied: “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho who fell prey to robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and then went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road; he saw him but continued on. Likewise there was a Levite who came the same way; he saw him and went on. But a Samaritan who was journeying along came on him and was moved to pity at the sight. He approached him and dressed his wounds, pouring in oil and wine. He then hoisted him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, where he cared for him. The next day he took out two silver pieces and gave them to the innkeeper with the request: ‘Look after him, and if there is any further expense I will repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the man who fell in with the robbers?” The answer came, “The one who treated him with compassion.” Jesus said to him, “Then go and do the same.”

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