Without much ado, here are our readings for this coming Sunday as we finish our current series on baptism, “Deep Well”.
Colossians 2:6-15 – We who have faith in and through Jesus Christ should not be taken in by “philosophy and empty deceits”. Paul here is thinking of the ancient Greek philosophies such as Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc. Christ dwells fully in us because we have died with him in our baptism and been raised with Christ through faith. Do we live our lives fully understanding and embodying the idea that “Christ dwells fully” in each one of us?
Matthew 28:16-20 – This passage is often referred to as the “Great Commission”. Christ sends his disciples, and us, into the world to do three things: make disciples; baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and teach all that Christ commanded (see John 13:34-35). How can all of us do these things? We do them by the power of the one who is with us always: Jesus Christ.
The Lectionary Reading assigned for this week are:
Jeremiah 31:27-34 – The prophet reports the Word of the Lord who promises to give us a new covenant. It will not be written on stones, or sealed by circumcision, nor come with the promise of multiple descendants. It will be a covenant written on our hearts and we will know and be in relationship with God.
Psalm 119:97-104 – An acrostic psalm which consists of 22 stanzas (one for each Hebrew letter) of 8 lines (each beginning with the same letter) for a total of 176 verses. These 8 verses are on the 13th letter of the alphabet. This is very clear when you look at the Hebrew Scripture, the Tanakh. Here, the psalmist reflects on how much wiser he has become by studying God’s Word and Law.
Genesis 32:22-31 – Jacob, on his way home to reunite with his twin brother, Esau, spends a night alone on the Jabbok river. There, he wrestles with a man/angel/God. The man does not prevail in the match but does dislocate Jacob’s hip. Jacob names the place Peniel, meaning “The face of God” because he saw God face to face and did not die.
Psalm 121 – The psalmist is assured of God’s continuing love and protection.
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 – Paul instructs Timothy to continue studying the scriptures as he carries out his work in the church. The scripture Paul refers to is what we call the Old Testament or the Hebrew Scripture. Why should we study the scripture? We study so that we may be taught, corrected, for our own reproof, and for our training in righteousness so that we may be equipped for every good work. In verse 4:5 Paul asks Timothy to be sober, endure suffering, work as an evangelist, and continue in ministry.
Luke 18:1-8 – In this difficult parable, the widow is persistent in asking the unjust judge for the justice due to her. He eventually grants it just to get rid of her. Jesus then says that God will grant justice to those who cry out day after day. The difficult part is the idea that God grants justice just to get rid of someone. Is that how God works or is Jesus reaching for something deeper and more meaningful?
Have a great week Serving God by Serving Neighbor!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor