Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Readings for Ash Wednesday and Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015

Hello Everyone,

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a 40 day period of reflection and repentance culmination in the Resurrection of Jesus. By the way, there are more than 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but since each Sunday is a “mini-Easter” they are not included in the count.

Both churches have worship services tomorrow night with Peace United Church at 6:00 PM and Grey Eagle UMC at 7:30 PM. During Lent, but not on Ash Wednesday, both churches will have a soup and sandwich supper beginning 45 minutes before their Wednesday worship services.

The Lectionary Readings, without comment, are:

Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
or Isaiah 58:1-12
Psalm 51:1-17
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Sunday, February 22
Genesis 9:8-17 – God’s covenant with Noah
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Peter 3:18-22 – Baptism is like the flood
Mark 1:9-15 – Jesus’ baptism and temptation in the wilderness

In our sermon series, “The Beginning of the Good News”, we will start covering more than one chapter. Our reading this week is:

Mark 7:1-8:26
7:1-23 – The Pharisees challenge Jesus about the disciples eating with unclean hands. Jesus challenges them back about how some use “shelters” to protect their assets instead of caring for their parents.

7:24-20 – Traveling outside the Galilee area a Gentile woman begs Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus scoffs and seemingly puts her down but she persists. Impressed, Jesus heals the daughter without going to see the girl.

7:31-37 – Jesus heals a deaf and unspeaking man by sticking his fingers into the man’s ears and then spitting on his finger to touch the man’s tongue. Jesus orders him and his companions to tell no one but, as we have seen in Mark, nobody can keep their mouths shut.

8:1-10 – Another feeding story but instead of 5 loaves, 2 fish, 12 baskets of leftovers, and 5000 men we have 7 loaves, a few fish, 7 baskets of leftovers, and 4000 people.

8:11-13 – The Pharisees demand more signs from Jesus (Haven’t they been paying attention?) but Jesus refuses.

8:14-21 – Jesus warns the disciples about being like the Pharisees or Herod but they don’t get it. They don’t understand the signs of the two feeding miracles. (We were also told this when Jesus walked on water and calmed the wind.)

8:22-26 - At Bethsaida, on the northern shore of Lake Galilee, a blind man is brought to Jesus. Taking him away from the crowd, Jesus uses spit to clean the eye but there is only partial restoration. Jesus again touches the guy’s eyes and sight was fully restored. Did Jesus fail the first time?

We have healings and challenges. What, in your opinion, should I talk about this Sunday?

Have a great week serving God by serving people!

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor

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