© St. Paul Lutheran Church - 721 Twelfth Ave. Huntington, WV 25701 - (304) 525-9630
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church 721 Twelfth Ave. Huntington, WV 25701   (304) 525-9630

Daily Devotion

For the month of February You are encouraged to try a new approach to your daily Bible reading.  Each week you will follow an ancient practice called "Lectio Divina" or scripture praying. Each day you will contemplate the same scripture in a different way.  The readings will also be published on our website. On Monday use the "Lectio" method: read the passages slowly and deliberately. Get a good sense of what the passage says. On Tuesday, us the “Meditatio” method: read the passage again, slowly. Pause on a word or phrase that strikes you and take time to consider what it means to you in your life. On Wednesday, use the “Oratio” method: read the passage again, slowly. Consider how God has spoken to you in this passage and respond back to God in prayer. On Thursday, use the “Contemplatio” method: Ask yourself: What conversion of mind, heart, life is the Lord asking of me? Take some time to simply remain in the presence of God. On Friday, use the “Actio” method: Action is an essential result of the encounter with God in sacred scripture. Having received God’s grace and love, we go forth to serve others out of the love we have been given. What call to action is God calling you to through this passage?

Week of February 3rd

Mark 6:1-29 1 He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house." 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. 14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him." 15 But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old." 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised." 17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. 18 For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John,
knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it." 23 And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom." 24 She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer." 25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." 26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard about it, they
came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
Psalm 122   1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!"  2 Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.  3 Jerusalem — built as a city that is bound firmly together.  4 To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD.  5 For there the thrones for judgment were set up, the thrones of the house of David.  6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.  7 Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers."  8 For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you."  9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your
good.
Prayer: Holy Jesus, you sent many into the world to proclaim your kingdom on earth. Send us, equip us, and walk with us so that
everyone can learn of your abundant love. Amen.

Week of February 10

Mark 7:1-23 1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5 So the
Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" 6 He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips,  but their hearts are far from me;  7 in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.' 8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition." 9 Then he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.' 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, 'Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban' (that is, an offering to God) — 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this." 14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile." 17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, "Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, "It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things
come from within, and they defile a person."
Psalm 51:1-7   1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.  2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.  5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.  6 You desire truth in the inward being;  therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.  7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than
snow.
Prayer: Teacher Jesus, too often we blame external people and situations for our heartaches and brokenness. Help us to look
inward to uncover and heal the things that defile: bitterness, hatred, jealousy, and greed. Help us instead to be agents of peace,
hope, generosity, and love. Amen.

Week of February 17

Mark 8:27-9:8 27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" 28 And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." 29 He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. 31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." 34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of
my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." 1 And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power." 2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved listen to him!" 8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus.
Psalm 27:1-4 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh —  my adversaries and foes —  they shall stumble and fall.  3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.  4 One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
Prayer: Lord of light, as you were transfigured on the mountain, your followers were given a glimpse of your glory. Shine your light
in our lives so that we will know how truly marvelous you are. Amen.

Ash Wednesday February 26

Mark 9:30-37 30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples,
saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again." 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. 33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent
me.
Psalm 32:1-5   1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  2 Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,  and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.  4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.Selah  5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah
Prayer: Holy God, on this Ash Wednesday we reflect upon our sin, our failings, and the harms we have caused. Remind us that,
although we are dust, we are also your children, and your love never fails. Amen.
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© St. Paul Lutheran Church - 721 Twelfth Ave. Huntington, WV 25701 - (304) 525-9630
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

For the month of February You are encouraged to try a new approach to your daily Bible reading.  Each week you will follow an ancient practice called "Lectio Divina" or scripture praying. Each day you will contemplate the same scripture in a different way.  The readings will also be published on our website. On Monday use the "Lectio" method: read the passages slowly and deliberately. Get a good sense of what the passage says. On Tuesday, us the “Meditatio” method: read the passage again, slowly. Pause on a word or phrase that strikes you and take time to consider what it means to you in your life. On Wednesday, use the “Oratio” method: read the passage again, slowly. Consider how God has spoken to you in this passage and respond back to God in prayer. On Thursday, use the “Contemplatio” method: Ask yourself: What conversion of mind, heart, life is the Lord asking of me? Take some time to simply remain in the presence of God. On Friday, use the “Actio” method: Action is an essential result of the encounter with God in sacred scripture. Having received God’s grace and love, we go forth to serve others out of the love we have been given. What call to action is God calling you to through this passage?

Week of February 3

Mark 6:1-29 1 He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the
synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house." 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. 14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him." 15 But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old." 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised." 17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. 18 For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it." 23 And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom." 24 She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer." 25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." 26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard
about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
Psalm 122   1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!"  2 Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.  3 Jerusalem — built as a city that is bound firmly together.  4 To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel,  to give thanks to the name of the LORD.  5 For there the thrones for judgment were set up, the thrones of the house of David.  6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.  7 Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers."  8 For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you."  9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your
good.
Prayer: Holy Jesus, you sent many into the world to proclaim your kingdom on earth. Send us, equip us, and walk with us so that
everyone can learn of your abundant love. Amen.

Week of February 10

Mark 7:1-23 1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5 So the
Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" 6 He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips,  but their hearts are far from me;  7 in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.' 8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition." 9 Then he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.' 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, 'Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban' (that is, an offering to God) — 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this." 14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile." 17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, "Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, "It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil
things come from within, and they defile a person."
Psalm 51:1-7   1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.  2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.  5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.  6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.  7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter
than snow.
Prayer: Teacher Jesus, too often we blame external people and situations for our heartaches and brokenness. Help us to look
inward to uncover and heal the things that defile: bitterness, hatred, jealousy, and greed. Help us instead to be agents of peace,
hope, generosity, and love. Amen.

Week of February 17

Mark 8:27-9:8 27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" 28 And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." 29 He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. 31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." 34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of
my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." 1 And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power." 2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved listen to him!" 8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus.
Psalm 27:1-4 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh —  my adversaries and foes —  they shall stumble and fall.  3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.  4 One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
Prayer: Lord of light, as you were transfigured on the mountain, your followers were given a glimpse of your glory. Shine your light
in our lives so that we will know how truly marvelous you are. Amen.

Ash Wednesday February 26

Mark 9:30-37 30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples,
saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again." 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. 33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who
sent me.
Psalm 32:1-5   1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  2 Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,  and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.  4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.Selah  5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah
Prayer: Holy God, on this Ash Wednesday we reflect upon our sin, our failings, and the harms we have caused. Remind us that,
although we are dust, we are also your children, and your love never fails. Amen.