Our readings for this week include our Lenten Wednesday Worship and our regular Sunday Worship:
I am reprising our Lenten Worship from 2011 which was a modified Taizé Worship experience. It will consist of three readings, one each from the Psalms, Isaiah, and the Gospel of John, Taizé hymns, and silent prayer. I will not be preaching but will allow the texts to permeate our thoughts in silent prayer. Our texts this week are:
Psalm 10 – Not all voices in the Bible are the voice of God or a prophet. Some are the voice of a victim of the crowd. Perhaps 1/3 of the Psalms are spoken by a victim seeking relief from God. This is one of them and I will read a different one each week. Most of these Psalms also reflect hope that God will act to save.
Isaiah 41:1-9 – This is the first of the four so called “Suffering Servant” songs in Isaiah. We will be reading all four on each of our Wednesday night services. Who is the Suffering Servant? More than likely it is the Nation of Israel (see Isaiah 49:3) but for centuries Christians have identified him as Jesus. What do you think?
John 13 – We will be reading the Passion of Jesus as presented in John without the chapters where Jesus is teaching the disciples about what will happen, that is chapters 14 to 16. This week we start with the dinner and the foot washing. What would your reaction be if Jesus wanted you to kick off your shoes and socks so he could wash your feet? Wouldn’t we all be a bit like Peter?
This Sunday our texts are:
Genesis 12:1-4a – God calls 90 year old Abram to pick up and move hundreds of miles away with the promise that he will be blessed and that his offspring will be a blessing to all people. Remember, at 90 Abram walked or rode on a donkey or camel those hundreds of miles.
Psalm 121 – A song of Assents. What do you think that means? I quote the first two verses when we have an interment following a funeral.
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 – Paul cites Abraham (Abram) as an example of being made righteous (right with God) through his faith in God’s promises and quotes Genesis 15:6. He also compares wages received through work with a gift given with no attachments. It all depends on faith in the promise of grace.
John 3:1-17 – Nicodemus is a man moving toward faith. He appears in John three times, here, in 7:45-52, and in 19:38-42. Taken together, I believe it shows Nicodemus as questioning, then defending, and then following. His story would have wonderful to know, but these short passages are all we know about him. What does it mean to be “born again”? The Greek words of John could also be translated “born from above”. Nicodemus hears it as “physically born again” but does Jesus mean “born from above”? You decide.
May the Spirit of the Lord and Jesus Christ bless you in your daily ministry (and everything you do should be a ministry).
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor