Readings for Palm Sunday

The Depth of Jesus’ Suffering and Anticipate His Final Triumph

Collect: The Sunday of the Passion

Almighty and ever-living God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Isaiah 50:4-9  . . . Isaiah pictures God’s servant enduring rejection so that he might speak God’s word.

Psalm 31:9-16 . . . The Hidden Face of Love

Philippians 2:5-11 . . . Paul describes Christ’s spirit of humility

Matthew 26:14–27:66 . . . Jesus, nailed to a cross, receives the abuse and scorn of all people.

Sermon  by Richard W. Voelz is an Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. His sermon for this week draws on the eyewitness account of Egeria, an early pilgrim to Jerusalem, who marveled at the devotion of the all-day Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. What can we learn from those pilgrims?

Also Palm Sunday: As Passover approaches two processions enter the Holy City. The might of imperial Rome, and Jesus, riding on a donkey. Rival theologies and rival social orders. by Geoffrey Plant . . . other talks about Palm Sunday.  Enjoy!

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Readings for FifthSunday of Lent

The New Life promised to Believers Through Jesus, the Christ

Collect: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners; Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Ezekiel 37:1-14 . . .  announces that, at the word of the Lord, God will restore the people and breathe into them God’s Spirit.

Psalm 130 . . . The Call for Healing

Romans 8: 6-11 . . . Paul asserts that those who belong to Christ have Christ’s Spirit living within, enlivening and empowering them.

John 11: 1-45 . . . Jesus demonstrates his power to give life by raising his friend Lazarus from the dead.

Homily by Jude Thaddeus Langeh

And then there is . . . Will Willimon is a bishop in the United Methodist Church

 

Readings for Fourth Sunday of Lent

Light for the world, dispelling spiritual darkness.

Collect: Fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore gives us this bread, that he may lie in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

1 Samuel 16: 1-13 . . . Samuel sees beyond outward appearances to choose the least likely son of Jesse to anoint as king

Psalm 23 . . . A Song From the Flock of God.

Ephesians 5:8-14 . . . Paul explains that the Christian’s life must be characterized by the light of holiness.

John 9:1-41 . . . a blind man gains sight and worships Jesus.

A Sermon for the fourth Sunday of Lent

Will Willimon is a bishop in the United Methodist Church and one of the most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. He is also a prolific author, having written more than 60 books. Will has something to say. In this sermon from John 9:1-41 he has something to say about the Man Born Blind, and how his encounter with Jesus moves him from darkness to light

Readings for 3rd Sunday in Lent

Jesus as thirst-quenching, life-giving water.
Collect: 3rd Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we me be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Exodus 17:1-7 . . . Despite the Israelites’ quarreling and complaining, God gives the people fresh water from a rock.

Psalm 95 Holding the Future, Remembering the Past . . .

Romans 5:1-11 . . . Paul characterizes the new life that is now ours in Christ

John 4:5-42 . . . Jesus offers living water to a Samaritan woman.

Sermon for the 3rd Sunday of Lent. Sermon delivered by Deacon Cathy Smith

Readings for Second Sunday of Lent, March 12

An Invitation to Rebirth

Collect: Second Sunday of Lent

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy; Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever.  Amen

Genesis 12:1-4 .  .  .  This reading marks the beginning of Israel as a people.   Hearing the call of God, Abram (later renamed Abraham), leaves his country and his people, following God into a new life.

Psalm 121 .  .  . Your Presence Till Journey’s End

Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 .  .  .   Paul explains how Abraham’s faith, revealed in his willingness to believe and act on God’s promises, makes him right with God.  Now righteousness is received by trusting in God’s Son whose own faithfulness  to God even unto death has become the basis justification by faith alone.

John 3:1-17 .  .  . Jesus invites Nicodemus, a nighttime seeker, to believe and be born again is the way this is often interpreted.  To my mind, Jesus is telling Nicodemus that “you have  to be  it to see it — the Spirit of God is already in Nicodemus.”  To my mind the invitation is to the gospel reader as stated in Mark 8:6: If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  I appears to me, in this reading, that Nicodemus is already dragging his cross; he can see.

A Sermon on the Gospel  Carla Pratt Keyes, Pastor of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches a sermon from John 3:1-17 called “Believing in Christ.” How do you preach “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son”? How do you preach a Gospel text that has been reduced to the width, height, and sometimes, sadly, the depth of a bumper sticker?

1st Sunday of Lent, March 10

A  familiar cycle of temptation: fall, forgiveness and empowerment.

Collect: First Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Genesis: 2:15-17; 3:1-7. . .  Adam and Eve, have been given all good things from God and craved more and gave in to temptation.

Psalm 32 . . . The Deep Peace in Forgiveness

Romans 5:12-19 . . . Paul announces that the gift of grace in Jesus Christ overcomes the condemnation of sin.

Matthew 4:1-11 . . . Jesus sees through the tempter’s lures and resists, using the power of God’s word.

A Lecture: “Exile and Return: the scripture and the human condition” by Geoffrey Plant.

A Sermon: “Temptation” Dr. Tracy Hartman, Daniel O.  Aleshire Professor of homiletic and Practical Theology at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, gives an unusual spin to the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. 

Last Sunday after Epiphany: About the cloud, or is it light?

The Revelation of God’s Glory,  to be revisitied on March 3, 2019

Collect:  The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Exodus 24:12-18  . . .  Moses encounters God on Mount Sinai

The cloud is a physical manifestation of the Lord’s presence.  Moses spent six days in the cloud before the Lord calls him.  He then spends 40 days and 40 nights on that same mountain where he encountered  the Lord and the burning bush and got his original call.

The Psalms provide the opportunity for the worshiper to put one’s self in the picture, make the psalm our personal response to situations.
Psalm 2  . . . Situation 1:  Struggle on the World’s Stage

Note these last three verses of this contemporary interpretation:

10) So listen well you rulers of the people, be wise pay heed to what you hear.

11) Learn service to the God of earth and heaven, in humility and awe draw close, come near.

12) Instead of fury, anger, fear and wrath, know blessedness, learn to live as a refuge of God.

Or

Psalm 99 . . .  Situation 2: Sovereign of the Universe

Another three verses:

7) And from the pillar to the clouds on high you shaped the words they heard and grew competent to understand and do.

8) There was no doubt  for them it was your words which spoke, and your forgiveness flowed to heal the inflicted for their evil deeds.

9) So it is your greatness God, that we proclaim, for you exist upon the sacred mountains of the transcendent being, And gathering now before that vast and mighty range, we worship, and in awe we honor you, O Holy One.

2 Peter 1:16-21 . . .  Peter testifies to the amazing events of Jesus’ glorious transfiguration. This letter is to be taken as the actual voice of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to us.

Matthew 17:1-9 . . .  Three of Jesus’ disciples witness Jesus’ radiance and hear the voice of God. Once the disciples know who he truly is,  Jesus begins to tell them of his impending death and resurrection. He then calls them to take up their cross and follow him down that road of suffering and vindication.  All this happened before the mountain top experience, where Peter, James and John can see the transfiguration first hand.

Note the cloud, the presence of God again.

Sermon for the Last Sunday After Epiphany: The Light

This sermon brings to mind the scripture verse most present for me these days: Isaiah 49: 6b — I give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.

February 19, Seven Epiphany, with video sermon

Today’s readings urge us to go beyond our obligations to the challenge of loving.

Collect: Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send Your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you.  Grant this for the sake of your only Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 . . . God’s calls the people to be holy and to live in love.

Psalm 119:33-40 . . . A request for guidance in keeping the commandments.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 . . .Paul reminds the Corinthians that all things belong to those who are in Christ

Matthew 5: 38-48 . . . Jesus declares that for his disciples unselfish love shows that we are God’s children. Followers are called to a way of life that teaches far beyond worldly standards of goodness — towards the limitless excellence of their heavenly Father.

Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany The Rev. Gayle Hansen Browne St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Washington Court House, Ohio

 

February 12th Epiphany Lectionary Readings

Collect: The Sixth Sunday After Epiphany

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in your weakness we can do nothing good without you, give me the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 30: 15-20, . . . Moses presents the people with their choice: love and obey the Lord and find life, or turn away to other gods and know death.

(or Sirach 15: 15-20) . . . man instruction in responsibility of human beings for their own actions.

Psalm 119:1-8 . . . a delight in the Lord’s statues, seeking to keep all the Lord’s commandments.

1 Corinthians 3: 1-9 . . . an admonishment for bickering and division

Matthew 5: 21-37 . . . a concern about the heart of human behavior.

Rev. Rachel May, Pastor of Boulevard United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches a sermon called “Deal with It,” based on Matthew 5:21-37. May struggles with the prohibition against “swearing falsely,” and finds in it–and in murder, adultery, and divorce–an unwillingness to deal with conflict. “So, deal with it,” Jesus says. “Just deal with it.”

A written commentary on the whole Sermon on the Mount,” including  and explanation of each the Beatitude,  by GRACE COMMUNION INTERNATIONAL

 

February 5, 2017 –The 5th Sunday After Epiphany

Collect:  Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12) . . . This is a denunciation of those who only act at their religion.  There is a promise of the Lord’s favor for those who genuinely repent (strive towards a more loving mind-set — “Metanoia”)  and care for the needy.
Psalm 112
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16) . . . Paul teaches the Corinthians that the wisdom of God is very different from the wisdom in which humans pride themselves. (God’s wisdom is “Metanoia” promises.)
Matthew 5:13-20 In this lesson we learn that disciples are like salt and as light to the world.  They are to live even more righteously than pious scribes and Pharisees.
Light Up the World” A You-Tube delivery by Father Michael Renninger, Pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia,