Sunday, February 28, 2016

Third Sunday of Lent

Genesis 13 OR 2Samuel 7:18-29
Psalm 38
John 7:40-52
Galatians 3:1-22 OR James 3:1-18


The LORD has promised, saying: “Raise your eyes now,
and look to the north, the south, the east, and the west …”
        You are great, O LORD our God; for there is no one like you;
        there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard!
“For all the land that you see
I will give to you and to your offspring forever.
I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth.”
        Now, LORD God, as for the word that you have spoken,
        confirm it forever; do as you have promised! 
“If one can count the dust of the earth,
your offspring also can be counted.
Rise up, walk through the length and the breadth of the land,
for I will give it to you.”
        Thus your name will be magnified forever!
        For you are God, and your words are true!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Second Sunday of Lent

Ezekiel 47:1-12
Psalm 143
John 7:14-39
James 2:(14-17) 18-26 OR James 2:1-26 OR Galatians 2:1-14 (15-21)

O LORD our God, you are the One true source of Living Water, the One who has been revealed in Christ Jesus, crucified, risen, and glorified, the One who sends the Spirit to summon your church into life anew. Give us life, O God, for we thirst for you! Give us freedom, O Christ, for we are bound to you! Give us courage, O Spirit, for we would have you lead us into the deep, deep waters that flow from life unto life, from deep unto deep, from the heart of the very temple of God to the heart of those who believe in and love you. This we ask in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

First Sunday of Lent

Deuteronomy 10:12-22 OR Nehemiah 9:1-38
Psalm 6
John 7:1-13
Galatians 2:1-14 (15-21) OR Galatians 1:1-24 OR James 1:1-27 OR James 1:17-2:13



You shall fear the LORD your God; him alone you shall worship.
To the LORD you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear.  
The LORD is our praise; he is our God, who has done
great and awesome things for us that our own eyes have seen.
Heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the LORD our God,
the earth with all that is in it!
The LORD, the great God, is God of gods and Lord of lords.
Mighty and awesome, he is not partial and he takes no bribe.
Circumcise your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer,
for what does the LORD your God require of you?
Only to fear the LORD, to walk in all his ways, to love him,
to serve him with all our heart and soul, and to keep
his commandments and decrees for our own well-being.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Why the creed(s) in public worship?

Twenty-five years after releasing A Soundtrack for the Close of the Age with a simple, unadorned statement of "The Apostles' Creed" as the first track — probably the least successful marketing strategy of all time (of course, that was not the intent) — I ran across this statement that, better than I have ever been able to put into words, explains why the Creed deserved (and deserves) such a prominent place:
"A declaration of personal trust and allegiance is in reality a high form of worship; to recite a creed is no barren and dry test of orthodoxy; it is a loving outburst of a loyal heart, and a claim to receive the blessing promised to members of Christ, children of God, and heirs of heaven. The well-instructed Christian will on no account part with creeds as portions of public worship." — Bishop Harvey Goodwin, The Foundations of the Creed, p. 11; quoted in A. J. Worlledge, Prayer: The Oxford Library of Practical Theology, 2nd ed. (London, New York, Bombay: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902), p. 73

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Transfiguration Sunday

Job 36:24-37:24
Psalm 11
Matthew 8:5-13 OR John 4:43-54
Jude (OR Hebrews 13:9-14, 17-25, if Transfiguration preempts Fifth OT)


Almighty God, surrounded with golden splendor, you are awesome in your majesty! Who can look upon you in your radiance? You load the clouds with moisture and from your chamber come the whirlwind and the rain. They turn round and round by your guidance, and accomplish on the earth all that you command. You say, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and the showers serve as a sign to everyone, so that all whom you have made may know you are God. Whether for correction, or for your creation, or for love, you cause it to happen, thus providing for people everywhere and giving food from heaven in abundance. Therefore, we praise you, O God. We give you thanks, O Lord, even as we seek sanctuary in you, our refuge; even as we take shelter in your holy loving presence, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Beloved of God.