Monday, January 29, 2018

Readings for Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hello Everyone,

The Christian season of Lent will begin in 15 days with Ash Wednesday. We will have a Service of the Imposition of Ashes on Wednesday, February 14 (yeah, I know, Valentine's Day) at 6:00 PM at Peace United Church and 7:30 PM at Grey Eagle UMC.

On the following Sunday, February 18, we will begin the Journey to the Cross and Resurrection with a worship series titled "The Road to Light". If you have any pictures of roads that I could use in worship at Grey Eagle UMC, please email them to me. Then, each Wednesday we will meet for coffee and discussion about the previous Sunday's scripture. For instance, on Sunday, February 18, our Gospel lesson will be Mark 1:9-15. Then on Wednesday, February 21, we will gather at 6:00 PM at PUC to discuss the lesson and the sermon. Grey Eagle UMC will meet at 7:30 PM. This will be our pattern throughout Lent.

This week is the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany. Our lessons, some comments and questions from 2012 follow.

Isaiah 40:21-31 – I often use part of this passage, verses 28-31 along with verses 1-8, in funeral services. After a series of questions in verses 12-20, the prophet begins to offer the answer: God. The main question is asked in verse 27: where is God in all our troubles (many Israelites are exiled in Babylon)? Verses 28-31 are the reply: God has not forgotten his people and he will strengthen them so that they may soar like eagles.

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c – A psalm of praise for God who creates all things. You may as well read the entire psalm because it continues the list of all that God does. My main question: despite all of these great things, in whom does the Lord delight and take pleasure?

1 Corinthians 9:16-23 – Following his discussion on the eating of meat sacrificed to animals Paul defends the rights of apostles to be supported by the church. Beginning in verse 15, Paul argues that he has not made use of that right. His one duty/obligation is to proclaim the gospel and if something he does would subtract from that message then he won’t do it. When proclaiming the Gospel to Jews then he will live up to their standards so as to not appear a hypocrite and thus push them away from the Gospel. The same holds true for other people: those outside the law (Gentiles), the weak, and others. The ultimate goal is to win some people to the Gospel. Is there anything in your life that would cause others to reject Christ?

Mark 1:29-39 – Whose house did they go to spend the night? Who was there and was sick? What does this tell us about Simon (Peter)? After sundown (that is, after the Sabbath) who came to the house? What did Jesus do for them? Before sunrise where did Jesus go and for what reason? Why do you think everyone was searching for Jesus? Where did Jesus want to go and why? What was the message Jesus wanted to proclaim (see 1:15)?

Have a blessed week serving God by serving your neighbor.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary

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