© 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 March 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 March 1st

Mark 10:17-31 17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'You
shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'" 20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth." 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and
said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?" 27 Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible." 28 Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and followed you." 29 Jesus
said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age — houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions — and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last
will be first."
Psalm 19:7-10 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;  9 the fear of the LORD is pure,  enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Prayer:
Lord of abundant riches, when asked to give everything to follow Jesus, a rich man faltered. Give us the courage to give everything
that we have to you, knowing that what you offer is more valuable than all the riches in the world. Amen.

Week of March 8th

Mark 10:32-52 32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, "See, we are going up to
Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; 34 they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again." 35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." 36 And he said to them, "What is it you want me to do for you?" 37 And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." 38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" 39 They replied, "We are able." Then Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." 41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, "You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." 46 They came to Jericho.
As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." 52 Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and
followed him on the way.
Psalm 34:11-14 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  12 Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?  13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.  14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue
it.
Prayer:
Lord Jesus, it was hard for your disciples to hear that they would have to suffer in order to follow you. Give us faith and courage to
follow you when following is painful or frightening. Amen.

Week of March 15th

Mark 12:1-17 1 Then he began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5 Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7 But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the keystone;  11 this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'?" 12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away. 13 Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. 14 And they
came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? 15 Should we pay them,
or should we not?" But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, "Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it." 16 And they brought one. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." 17 Jesus said to them, "Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were utterly amazed at him. Psalm 86:8-13   8 There is none like you among the gods, O LORD, nor are there any works like yours.  9 All the nations you have made shall come  and bow down before you, O LORD, and shall glorify your name.  10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.  11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.  12 I give thanks to you, O LORD my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.  13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you
have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Prayer:
Son of God, you spoke words to Jerusalem’s leaders that were hard to hear. Give us ears to receive your word of life so that we can
follow you faithfully. Amen.

Week of March 22nd

Mark 12:28-44 28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" 29 Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'he is one, and besides him there is no other'; 33 and 'to love him with
all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,' — this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask him any question. 35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, "How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet." ' 37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?" And the large crowd was listening to him with delight. 38 As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." 41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of
them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
Psalm 89:1-4 1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.  2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.  3 You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David:  4 'I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all
generations.'" Selah
Prayer:
Lord of love, you have taught us that love is our greatest commandment. Teach us to love as unconditionally as you love us. Amen.

Week of March29th

Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 1 As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!" 2 Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down." 3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished? 5 Then Jesus began to say to them, "Beware that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8 For nation will rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the
birth pangs. 24 But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,  25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28 From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake." Psalm 102:12-17 12 But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations. 13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favor it; the appointed time has come. 14 For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust. 15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory. 16 For the LORD will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory. 17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer. Prayer: Son of Man, you encouraged your followers to obey only your voice, and promised that they could see your glorious presence. Show us your glory and teach us to obey. Amen.

Week of April 5th

Mark 11:1-11; 14:3-9 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and
said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'" 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!" 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at
everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. 3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4 But some were there who said to one another in anger, "Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her."
Psalm 118:25-29   25 Save us, we beseech you, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!  26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD.  27 The LORD is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.  28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.  29 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Prayer: Hosanna! King of all, you reign over all. Reign in our lives, triumph over evil, and teach us to follow in your footsteps. 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 March 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 March 1st

Mark 10:17-31 17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'You
shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'" 20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth." 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and
said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?" 27 Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible." 28 Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and followed you." 29 Jesus
said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age — houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions — and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last
will be first."
Psalm 19:7-10 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;  9 the fear of the LORD is pure,  enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Prayer:
Lord of abundant riches, when asked to give everything to follow Jesus, a rich man faltered. Give us the courage to give everything
that we have to you, knowing that what you offer is more valuable than all the riches in the world. Amen.

Week of March 8th

Mark 10:32-52 32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, "See, we are going up to
Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; 34 they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again." 35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." 36 And he said to them, "What is it you want me to do for you?" 37 And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." 38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" 39 They replied, "We are able." Then Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." 41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, "You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." 46 They came to Jericho.
As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." 52 Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and
followed him on the way.
Psalm 34:11-14 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  12 Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?  13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.  14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue
it.
Prayer:
Lord Jesus, it was hard for your disciples to hear that they would have to suffer in order to follow you. Give us faith and courage to
follow you when following is painful or frightening. Amen.

Week of March 15th

Mark 12:1-17 1 Then he began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5 Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7 But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the keystone;  11 this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'?" 12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away. 13 Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. 14 And they
came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? 15 Should we pay them,
or should we not?" But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, "Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it." 16 And they brought one. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." 17 Jesus said to them, "Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were utterly amazed at him. Psalm 86:8-13   8 There is none like you among the gods, O LORD, nor are there any works like yours.  9 All the nations you have made shall come  and bow down before you, O LORD, and shall glorify your name.  10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.  11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.  12 I give thanks to you, O LORD my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.  13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you
have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Prayer:
Son of God, you spoke words to Jerusalem’s leaders that were hard to hear. Give us ears to receive your word of life so that we can
follow you faithfully. Amen.

Week of March 22nd

Mark 12:28-44 28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" 29 Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'he is one, and besides him there is no other'; 33 and 'to love him with
all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,' — this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask him any question. 35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, "How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet." ' 37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?" And the large crowd was listening to him with delight. 38 As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." 41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of
them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
Psalm 89:1-4 1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.  2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.  3 You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David:  4 'I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all
generations.'" Selah
Prayer:
Lord of love, you have taught us that love is our greatest commandment. Teach us to love as unconditionally as you love us. Amen.

Week of March29th

Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 1 As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!" 2 Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down." 3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished? 5 Then Jesus began to say to them, "Beware that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8 For nation will rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the
birth pangs. 24 But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,  25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28 From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake." Psalm 102:12-17 12 But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations. 13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favor it; the appointed time has come. 14 For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust. 15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory. 16 For the LORD will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory. 17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer. Prayer: Son of Man, you encouraged your followers to obey only your voice, and promised that they could see your glorious presence. Show us your glory and teach us to obey. Amen.

Week of April 5th

Mark 11:1-11; 14:3-9 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and
said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'" 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!" 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at
everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. 3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4 But some were there who said to one another in anger, "Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her."
Psalm 118:25-29   25 Save us, we beseech you, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!  26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD.  27 The LORD is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.  28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.  29 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Prayer: Hosanna! King of all, you reign over all. Reign in our lives, triumph over evil, and teach us to follow in your footsteps. Amen.