Friday, January 22, 2016

Readings for Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Here I am three days late. The Grey Eagle UMC Facebook administrator, who uses this email for some of her postings, reminded me last night that I need to get this out.

This coming Sunday is the Third Sunday after Epiphany. Our readings are:

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 – Nehemiah, Jerusalem city administrator and governor of Judea after the return of the Israelites from Babylon, and the priest Ezra call all the people together at Jerusalem. When they gather, the Torah is read aloud to them from a platform. (The first skipped verse contains the names of those standing with Ezra.) As Ezra read the people worshiped and said “Amen”. (The next skipped verse contains the name of the ones who helped the people understand what was being read, perhaps translators from Hebrew to Aramaic.) When Ezra finished the people wept. But Ezra wanted them to celebrate and share their bounty with those who had none. When we hear the Good News, do we celebrate? Do we share our bounty?

Psalm 19 – The psalmist celebrates the Law of the Lord which is perfect and which revives the soul. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Amen.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a – Last week we read that the Spirit of the Lord gives everyone gifts. Every believer gets a gift of the Spirit suitable for that believer. Everyone doesn’t get the same gift. This week Paul says that the gifts of the Spirit within the Church, the Body of Christ, is indeed like a body. Each part has a function that is vital to the operation of that body. A foot cannot be a hand and an eye cannot be an ear. So to in the church. Each person has a gift to be used for the building up of the Body of Christ. Every gift is important, even your gift. What is your gift and how are you using your gifts for the Body of Christ?

Luke 4:14-21 – After Jesus’ return from the wilderness he begins traveling from town to town sharing the good news and performing some miracles. He goes to Nazareth, his home town, and on the Sabbath he goes to the synagogue (Note: Luke says that this was his custom.) He is asked to read from the scripture. He requests and is handed the scroll of Isaiah. He reads from Isaiah 61:1-2a and inserts part of Isaiah 58:6. (Is it notable that he does not read the second part of 68:2 “. . . the day of vengeance of our God.”) Then Jesus declares that the promise of Isaiah is being fulfilled that very day. Please note that this is not the end of what Jesus says to the congregation. Next week we will read “the rest of the story”.

May your day be blessed in the reading of God’s word. See you on Sunday.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary

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