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Selected Scripture Readings

October 14, 2018
EPISTLE: Galatians (2: 16-20)

Brothers and Sisters! Knowing that a man is not justified by legal observance but by faith in Jesus Christ, we too have believed in him in order to be justified by faith in Christ, not by observance of the law; for by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we are shown to be sinners does that mean that Christ is encouraging sin? Unthinkable! If, however, I were to build up the very things I had demolished, I should then indeed be a transgressor. It was through the law that I died to the law, to live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

GOSPEL: Luke (8: 5-15)

The Lord told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow some seed. In the sowing, some fell on the footpath where it was walked on and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, sprouted up, then withered through lack of moisture. Some fell among briers, and the thorns growing up with it stifled it. But some fell on good soil, grew up, and yielded grain a hundredfold.’’ As he said this he exclaimed: “Let everyone who has ears attend to what he has heard.’’ His disciples began asking him what the meaning of this parable might be. He replied, “To you the mysteries of the reign of God have been confided, but to the rest in parables that, seeing they may not perceive, and hearing they may not understand. This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the footpath are people who hear, but the devil comes and takes the word out of their hearts lest they believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear the word, receive it for a while, but fall away in time of temptation. The seed fallen among the briers are those who hear, but their progress is stifled by the cares and riches and pleasures of life and they do not mature. The seed on good ground are those who hear the word in a spirit of openness, retain it, and bear fruit through perseverance.’’

October 21, 2018
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.’ “

September 09, 2018
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: John (3: 13-17)

The Lord said, No one has gone to heaven except the One who came down from there -- the Son of Man who is in heaven. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in him. Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

October 28, 2018
EPISTLE: Colossians (1: 12-20)

Brothers and Sisters! Give thanks to the Father for having made you worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creatures. In him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, principalities or powers; all were created through him, and for him. He is before all else that is. In him everything continues in being. It is he who is head of the body, the church; he who is the beginning, the first-born of the dead, so that primacy may be his in everything. It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in him and by means of him, to reconcile everything in his person both on earth and in the heavens, making peace through the blood of his cross.

GOSPEL: John (18: 33-37)

At that time, Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus. “Are you the King of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or have others been telling you about me?” “I am no Jew!” Pilate retorted. “It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered: “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my subjects would be fighting to save me from being handed over to the Jews. As it is, my kingdom is not here.” At this Pilate said to him, “So, then, you are a king?” Jesus replied: “It is you who say I am a king. The reason I was born, the reason why I came into the world is to testify to the truth. Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice.”


November 04, 2018
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.

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