Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Readings for Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hello Everyone,
Grace and Peace be with you this day.

We will be continuing with out worship series "The Great Invitation" with the theme "This, Not That". We will be exploring the section of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says "You have heard it said . . . but I say to you . . .!" Some have said that the entire Sermon on the Mount is Jesus' call to a "higher righteousness." In other words, going beyond the letter of the law or rules. Tough stuff here but something our growth in God's Love can help us with.

This Sunday, Donald Moore, representing the Long Prairie chapter of Gideons International, will be with us to make a short presentation about Gideons.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 – Moses, speaking to the Israelites, asks them to make a choice: choose the way (commandments) of God and life or choose other gods and idols and death. This passage is not a “prosperity gospel” saying if you choose God then God will give you everything you ever wanted. It is about choosing real life; life with meaning and value because you choose God. So, whom will you choose this day (see Joshua 24:14-17)?

OR Sirach 15:15-20 – This is one of the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical Books. Catholics and Orthodox Christianity accept these books of the Bible but Protestants and Jews do not. This passage is similar to the Deuteronomy passage and can be found here: 
Sirach 15:15-20.

Psalm 119:1-8 – Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible containing 176 verses. This is an alphabetic acrostic psalm meaning that letters of the alphabet are used at the beginning of each line or stanza in order. There are 22 stanzas containing 8 verses. Each verse in a stanza starts with the same letter and each stanza uses the next letter. Our reading is the first stanza and each verse begins with the first letter of the Hebrew language, alef. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come across in the English translations. Also notice the first word and phrase: "Happy" and "Happy are those whose way is blameless." Living in the love of God (in God's Reign or God's family) brings happiness. Are we practicing the way of Christ that brings happiness?

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 – The controversies that are dividing the First Church of Corinth are beginning to emerge in Paul’s letter. In verse 3 we read that there is jealousy and quarreling in the church about whose teaching they will follow, Paul's or Apollos'. It is not about Paul or Apollos, Paul says, but it is only about God and what God is doing in the church. Paul uses an agricultural metaphor: he planted the seeds, Apollos watered the seeds, but only God can give the growth (implying here that the people need to quit fighting and let God’s growth happen). Are we, in our own church settings, allowing God's growth to happen or do we stunt that growth?

Matthew 5:21-37 – This is part of the “Sermon on the Mount” which covers chapters 5-7. Also, this is the third week of four covering chapter 5. The four topics Jesus covers with his “You have heard it said . . . but I say to you . . .” are anger, adultery, divorce, and oaths. Of these four, the topic of divorce is the most sensitive in our modern setting, yet we are very likely to encounter anger and lust in our daily lives, within our own lives and in others. How can Jesus' teaching here help?

May your week be bless with opportunities to love your neighbors as God loves you.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor

No comments:

Post a Comment