idols

Friday: Preparation for the First Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Exodus 6:1-13

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”

God also spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘The Lord’ I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.” But Moses spoke to the Lord, “The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?” Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt.

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
 who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
 my God, in whom I trust.”

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
 the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,
 no scourge come near your tent.

For he will command his angels
 concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
 so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
 the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
 I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
 I will be with them in trouble,
 I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
 and show them my salvation.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 7:35-42

[Stephen is speaking before the Sanhedrin]

The Golden Calf

“It was this Moses whom they rejected when they said, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ and whom God now sent as both ruler and liberator through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up a prophet for you from your own people as he raised me up.’¹ He is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living oracles to give to us. Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make gods for us who will lead the way for us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’² At that time they made a calf, offered a sacrifice to the idol, and reveled in the works of their hands. But God turned away from them and handed them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

‘Did you offer to me slain victims and sacrifices
 forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?’”³

¹Deuteronomy 18:15   ²Exodus 32:1   ³Amos 5:25

Year C Lent 1 Friday

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, 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.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1985 by Consultation on Common Texts.

Additional citations of Hebrew Scripture used in Christian Scripture, when not found in the NIV, are from the NET Bible. Scriptures designated (NET) are from the Net Bible-New English Translation ® copyright © 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, LLC (www.bible.org) used by permission. All rights reserved.

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: Adoration of the Golden Calf by François Perrier, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Monday: Reflection on the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Jeremiah 50:1-7 Babylon will be overthrown, and the people will return to God.

Semi-continuous 2 Samuel 7:18-29 David’s prayer of gratitude to God.

Both Hebrews 13:17-25 Jesus is the Great Shepherd.

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Thursday: Preparation for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary Jeremiah 10:1-16 False gods and the Living God.

Semi-continuous 1 Chronicles 11:15-19 Three of David’s men risk death to bring him waster from Bethlehem’s well. David would not drink it, saying, “Should I drink the lifeblood of these men? For at the risk of their lives they have brought it.”

Both Colossians 1:15-23 God reconciles all things through Christ.

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Friday: Preparation for the Third Sunday in Lent

Exodus 19b-15 God said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them, because on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”

Acts 7:30-40 Part of Stephen’s response to the Sanhedrin, in which he recounts the actions of Moses at the burning bush and the Israelites when they asked Aaron to make gods for them.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

2 Kings 7:3-10 There were four leprous men outside the city gate, who said to one another, “Let us desert to the Aramean camp; if they spare our lives, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.” When they came to the edge of the Aramean camp, there was no one there at all. For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, and of horses, the sound of a great army, so they fled away in the twilight. So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, “We went to the Aramean camp, but there was no one to be seen or heard there, nothing but the horses tied, the donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.”

1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany

Isaiah 46:1-13 I am God, and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill my intention.”

Matthew 12:9-14 On the Sabbath, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand.

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The Fourth Sunday in Epiphany

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Moses told the people, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people.” He also told them that God said, “any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.”

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Paul lays out rules for eating food sacrificed to idols, emphasizing the effect on other believers.

Mark 1:21-28 Jesus heals a demoniac in the Capernaum synagogue on the Sabbath.

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Thursday: Preparation for the First Sunday in Advent

Zechariah 13:1-9 A fountain shall be opened up for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

Revelation 14:6-13 I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people.

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