Lent

The Sixth Sunday in Lent Palm/Passion Sunday

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Isaiah 50:4-9a

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
 that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
 wakens my ear to listen
 as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
 and I was not rebellious,
 I did not turn backward.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
 and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
 from insult and spitting.
¹

The Lord God helps me;
 therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
 and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
 Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
 Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me;
 who will declare me guilty?

¹This verse is indirectly referred to in Jesus' prediction of his passion at Matthew 20:17-19 Mark 10:32-34, and Luke 18:31-34.

Philippians 2:5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
 did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
 being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
 even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
 and gave him the name
that is above every name,
 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
 in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
 that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Liturgy of the Palms

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
 his steadfast love endures forever!

Let Israel say,
 “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
 that I may enter through them
 and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
 the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
 and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
 has become the chief cornerstone.¹
This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.²

This is the day that the Lord has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
 O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!³

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
 We bless you from the house of the Lord.
³*§
The Lord is God,
 and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
 up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
 you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
 for his steadfast love endures forever.

¹Chief Cornerstone: Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter:7   Cornerstone and marvelous: Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11    ³Beseech and blessed: Matthew 21:9, 15; Mark 11:9-10; John 12:13   *Blessed: Matthew 23:29; Luke 13:35, 19:38   §The crowds following Jesus as he enters Jerusalem shout the first part of this verse. See Matthew 21:6-11 and Luke 19:28-40. Jesus quotes this verse in response to the Pharisees who come to warn him of Herod's plans. See Luke 13:31-35.

Luke 19:28-40

There are parallel passages at Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, and John 12:12-19.

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

“Blessed is the king
 who comes in the name of the Lord!¹
Peace in heaven,
 and glory in the highest heaven!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

¹Psalm 118:26 (above)

Liturgy of the Passion

Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
 my eye wastes away from grief,
 my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
 and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
 and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
 a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
 those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
 I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
 terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
 as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
 I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
 deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
 save me in your steadfast love.

Luke 22:14-23:56

There are parallel passages at Matthew 26:26-27:31, Mark 14:22-15:47, and John 18:1-19:42.

[The verses in [brackets] (also set off by ------ dashes ------) may be omitted if it is not possible to read the entire Passion narrative.]

--------------------

[When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!” Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.

A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

“You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.”

He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’¹; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later yet another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” They kept heaping many other insults on him.

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”]

--------------------

Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”

Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’² For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.&rdquo³ Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

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[Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.]

¹Isaiah 52:12   ²Hosea 10:8   ³Psalm 31:5   

Year C Lent 6 Sunday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.


Image Credit: Philip Barrington from Pixabay. This is a public domain image.

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Saturday: Preparation for Palm and Passion Sunday

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Leviticus 23:1-8

There are parallel passages at Exodus 12:14-20, Numbers 28:16-25, and Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed festivals.

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Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a sabbath to the Lord throughout your settlements.

These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a Passover offering to the Lord, and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. For seven days you shall present the Lord's offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.

Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
 my eye wastes away from grief,
 my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
 and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
 and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
 a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
 those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
 I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
 terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
 as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
 I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
 deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
 save me in your steadfast love.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 22:1-13

There are parallel passages about the preparation for Passover at Matthew 26:17-25 and Mark 14:12-21. There are parallel passages about the plot to kill Jesus at Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1-2, 10-11, and John 11:45-53.

Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?” “Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.” So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

Year C Lent 6 Saturday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version (MEV) , copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.


Image Credit: Forest Chapel by Rog Frost via Wikimedia Commons. This image is used under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license.

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Friday: Preparation for Palm and Passion Sunday Sunday

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 54:9-10

This is like the days of Noah to me:
 Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
 would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
 and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
 and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
 and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
 says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah-54-10.jpg

Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
 my eye wastes away from grief,
 my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
 and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
 and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
 a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
 those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
 I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
 terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
 as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
 I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
 deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
 save me in your steadfast love.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 2:10-18

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,

“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”¹

And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”²

And again,

“Here am I and the children whom God has given me.”³

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

¹Psalm 22:22   ²Isaiah 8:17   ³Isaiah 8:18

Year C Lent 6 Friday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Image credit: Isaiah 54:10a, photo by Frances Gunn via Unsplash. This is a public domain image.

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Thursday: Preparation for Palm and Passion Sunday Sunday

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 53:10-12

Isaiah-53-11.jpg

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
 he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
 Out of his anguish he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
 and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
 and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
 and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
 and made intercession for the transgressors.¹

¹This passage is cited in Mark 15:28 about Jesus being mocked while on the cross (not included in all translations), Jesus' final talk with the apostles (Luke 22:30-38), indirectly in Hebrews 23-28, which explains that Christ bears our sins, and indirectly in 1 Peter 2:18-25, which sets Christ's suffering as an example for us.

Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
 my eye wastes away from grief,
 my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
 and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
 and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
 a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
 those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
 I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
 terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
 as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
 I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
 deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
 save me in your steadfast love.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 2:1-9

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,

“What are human beings
 that you are mindful of them,
 or mortals, that you care for them?
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
 you have crowned them with glory and honor,
 subjecting all things under their feet.”¹

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

¹Psalm 8:4-6

Year C Lent 6 Thursday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: Out of His Anguish He Shall See Light image by Hogarth de la Plante, from via Unsplash.com. This is a public domain image.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Twelve Prophets: Habakkuk 3:2-15

O Lord, I have heard of your renown,
 and I stand in awe,
 O Lord, of your work.
In our own time revive it;
 in our own time make it known;
 in wrath may you remember mercy.
God came from Teman,
 the Holy One from Mount Paran.

His glory covered the heavens,
 and the earth was full of his praise.
The brightness was like the sun;
 rays came forth from his hand,
 where his power lay hidden.
Before him went pestilence,
 and plague followed close behind.
He stopped and shook the earth;
 he looked and made the nations tremble.
The eternal mountains were shattered;
 along his ancient pathways
 the everlasting hills sank low.

I saw the tents of Cushan under affliction;
 the tent-curtains of the land of Midian trembled.
Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord?
 Or your anger against the rivers,
 or your rage against the sea,
when you drove your horses,
 your chariots to victory?
You brandished your naked bow,
 sated were the arrows at your command.
 You split the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw you, and writhed;
 a torrent of water swept by;
the deep gave forth its voice.
 The sun raised high its hands;
the moon stood still in its exalted place,
 at the light of your arrows speeding by,
 at the gleam of your flashing spear.
In fury you trod the earth,
 in anger you trampled nations.
You came forth to save your people,
 to save your anointed.
You crushed the head of the wicked house,
 laying it bare from foundation to roof. You pierced with his own arrows the head of his warriors,
 who came like a whirlwind to scatter us,
 gloating as if ready to devour the poor who were in hiding.
You trampled the sea with your horses,
 churning the mighty waters.

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
 The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
 and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings,
 and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

May he grant you your heart's desire,
 and fulfill all your plans.
May we shout for joy over your victory,
 and in the name of our God set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed;
 he will answer him from his holy heaven
 with mighty victories by his right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
 but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
 but we shall rise and stand upright.

Give victory to the king,
 O Lord; answer us when we call.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 18:31-34

There are parallel passages at Matthew 20:17-19 and Mark 10:32-34.

Luke 18_31-TW.jpg

Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.” But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

Year C Lent 5 Wednesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version (MEV) , copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: Christ Preaches the Apostles by Duccio di Buoninsegna, via Wikiart.org. This is a public domain image.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Former Prophets: Judges 9:7-15

[Just before this scene, Abimelech has killed all of Jotham's brothers and persuaded the people of Shechem to make him king, in part with a bribe of seventy pieces of silver which he used to hire worthless and reckless fellows.]

When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you lords of Shechem, so that God may listen to you.

The trees once went out
 to anoint a king over themselves.
So they said to the olive tree,
 ‘Reign over us.’
The olive tree answered them,
 ‘Shall I stop producing my rich oil
  by which gods and mortals are honored,
  and go to sway over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the fig tree,
 ‘You come and reign over us.’
But the fig tree answered them,
 ‘Shall I stop producing my sweetness
  and my delicious fruit,
  and go to sway over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the vine,
 ‘You come and reign over us.’
But the vine said to them,
 ‘Shall I stop producing my wine
  that cheers gods and mortals,
  and go to sway over the trees?’
So all the trees said to the bramble,
 ‘You come and reign over us.’
And the bramble said to the trees,
 ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you,
  then come and take refuge in my shade;
 but if not, let fire come out of the bramble
  and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’”

Psalm 20

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
 The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
 and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings,
 and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

May he grant you your heart's desire,
 and fulfill all your plans.
May we shout for joy over your victory,
 and in the name of our God set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed;
 he will answer him from his holy heaven
 with mighty victories by his right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
 but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
 but we shall rise and stand upright.

Give victory to the king,
 O Lord; answer us when we call.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 John 2:18-28

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.

Year C Lent 5 Tuesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Image credit: Jotham from Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum, published by Guillaume Rouille (1518?-1589) via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Monday: Reflection on the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Exodus 40:1-15

Model of the Tabernacle

The Lord spoke to Moses: On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. You shall put in it the ark of the covenant, and you shall screen the ark with the curtain. You shall bring in the table, and arrange its setting; and you shall bring in the lampstand, and set up its lamps. You shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the covenant, and set up the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle. You shall set the altar of burnt offering before the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. You shall set up the court all around, and hang up the screen for the gate of the court. Then you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, so that it shall become holy. You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar, so that the altar shall be most holy. You shall also anoint the basin with its stand, and consecrate it. Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, and put on Aaron the sacred vestments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, so that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put tunics on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout all generations to come.

Psalm 20

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
 The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
 and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings,
 and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

May he grant you your heart's desire,
 and fulfill all your plans.
May we shout for joy over your victory,
 and in the name of our God set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed;
 he will answer him from his holy heaven
 with mighty victories by his right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
 but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
 but we shall rise and stand upright.

Give victory to the king,
 O Lord; answer us when we call.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 10:19-25

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Year C Lent 5 Monday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Image credit: Image By Daniel Ventura. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Share Alike license via Wikimedia Commons. Degem Mischan made by Michael Osnis.

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The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 43:16-21

Thus says the Lord,
 who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
who brings out chariot and horse,
 army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
 they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
Do not remember the former things,
 or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
 now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
 and rivers in the desert.
The wild animals will honor me,
 the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
 rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
 the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.¹

¹Peter declares that we are a chosen people in 1 Peter 2:1-10.

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
 we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
 and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
 “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
 and we rejoiced

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
 like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
 reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
 bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
 carrying their sheaves.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Philippians 3:4b-14

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 12:1-8

There are parallel passages at Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9.

Mary-Nard.jpg

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you,¹ but you do not always have me.”

¹This is an allusion to Deuteronomy 15:7-11, which has commandments concerning the treatment of poor people.

Year C Lent 5 Sunday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version (MEV) , copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.
Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: Mary Magdalene's box of very precious ointment by James Tissot via www.wikiart.org. This is a public domain image.

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