Sunday, February 24, 2019, Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Joseph lives it in Egypt. Jesus preaches it in the gospel. The Spirit guides us into merciful lives with the power of forgiveness to reconcile what is fractured and divided. Such merciful living is the baptismal blessing of having put on Christ. It is the gift of the life-giving Spirit. It is a reflection of the glory of God revealed in the Christ.

Readings and Psalm
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50
Luke 6:27-38

First Reading: Genesis 45:3-11, 15

                3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ ” 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
1Do not be provoked by evildoers;
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2For they shall soon wither like the grass,
and like the green grass fade away.
3Put your trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and find safe pasture.
4Take delight in the Lord,
who shall give you your heart’s desire. 
5Commit your way to the Lord; put your trust in the Lord,
and see what God will do.
6The Lord will make your vindication as clear as the light
and the justice of your case like the noonday sun.
7Be still before the Lord and wait patiently.
Do not be provoked by the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
8Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;
do not be provoked; it leads only to evil. 
9For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who hope in the Lord shall possess the land.
10In a little while the wicked shall be no more;
even if you search out their place, they will not be there.
11But the lowly shall possess the land;
they will delight in abundance of peace.
39But the deliverance of the righteous comes from you, O Lord;
you are their stronghold in time of trouble.
40You, O Lord, will help them and rescue them;
you will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because in you they seek refuge. 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50

                35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
42So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.
50What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Luke 6:27-38

[Jesus said:] 27“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

 

Readings for Sunday, February 17, 2019, Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Introduction

Blessings and curses abound on the sixth Sunday after Epiphany. We would do well to listen closely to whom the “blessed ares” and the “woe tos” are directed and to find our place in the crowd among those who desire to touch Jesus. The risen Christ stands among us in the mystery of the holy supper with an invitation to live in him and the power to heal us all.

First Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-10

5Thus says the Lord:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
and make mere flesh their strength,
whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
6They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.

7Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.

9The heart is devious above all else;
it is perverse—
who can understand it?
10I the Lord test the mind
and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their doings.

Psalm: Psalm 1

1Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
2Their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and they meditate on God’s teaching day and night.
3They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither;
everything they do shall prosper.
4It is not so with the wicked;
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
5Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes,
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
6For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked shall be destroyed.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.

Gospel: Luke 6:17-26

17[Jesus] came down with [the twelve] and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
20Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
25“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Readings for Sunday, February 10, 2019, Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

The fifth Sunday after Epiphany continues to highlight unlikely instruments and circumstances appointed to reveal the glory of the Lord. “Who will go for us?” queries the voice of the Lord. A man of unclean lips, a former persecutor of the church of God, and three fishermen who couldn’t catch a thing. More surprising still, perhaps, is the fact that we are also called.

First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8

1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 

Psalm: Psalm 138

1I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I will sing your praise.
2I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your steadfast love and faithfulness;
for you have glorified your name and your word above all things.
3When I called, you answered me;
you increased my strength within me.
4All the rulers of the earth will praise you, O Lord,
when they have heard the words of your mouth.
5They will sing of the ways of the Lord,
that great is the glory of the Lord.
6The Lord is high, yet cares for the lowly,
perceiving the haughty from afar.
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe;
you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me.
8You will make good your purpose for me;
O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works of your hands.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

1Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
3For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11

1Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

 

 

 

New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Food Pantry Needs

Stop by one of the food pantries with your donations or bring non-perishables to worship any Sunday!

LISTEN’s FOOD PANTRY

  • LISTEN’s food pantry supplies qualifying households in our service area with 1-2 weeks of groceries each month. We also have a personal care room for toiletries.
  • LISTEN relies on food drives and donations to keep the pantry in stock. We get wholesale pricing to ensure cash donations are maximized.
  • In 2016, LISTEN spent $33,285 on food for community dinners and the food pantry. 575 unique households received assistance from the pantry.
  • 3 bags of groceries can save a household $90.

Need help?  Call  Listen at (603) 448-4553
The Listen Food Pantry is located at:  60 Hanover St. Lebanon, NH 03766
Open Monday – Friday    9 AM – 5 PM

Top 5 Needed Items:

  • Canned Soups
  • Canned Fish/Tuna
  • Rice
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Snack Foods

UPPER VALLEY HAVEN FOOD SHELF

  • The Food Shelf is committed to providing on-going, reliable access to healthy groceries once a month (including meat, dairy and produce), and unlimited access to bread and produce to anyone in need.

The Haven Food Shelf is located at:
713 Hartford Ave
White River Junction, VT 05001
802 295-6500
Food Shelf Hours: Mon – Thurs: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Fri: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Top 5 Needed Items:

  • Soup
  • Cereal
  • Beans (black, red, or white)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned tuna/chicken

 

Habitat for Humanity Seeks Labor and Lunch Volunteers!

Habitat for Humanity Seeks Labor and Lunch Volunteers Saturday, January 26 through Friday, February 1:  The days ahead will be a busy one at the Cayer House in Sharon, Vermont, as Habitat for Humanitiy prepares for cellulose insulation application the week of the 28th. They are seeking help to fill the following volunteer roles:

    • Saturday, 26th to help prep for insulation. Help get stuff out of the house and making it clean for the insulation process. Work will start at 8:30 a.m.

     • Monday-Friday, January 28 – Friday, February 1st, Help Insulate.

     • Tuesday-Friday, January 29 – Friday, February 1st, Provide lunches for the work crews!

No particular skill level is required, just an eagerness to help and to learn!

For more information and to sign up, please email two people:

     Eva Loomis at office@uppervalleyhabitat.org and

     Jim Masland, Construction Manager, at jamesq56@yahoo.com.

Be sure to provide contact information you can be notified at if any work days are cancelled due to temperature or weather.

Directions to the Site:

The Cayer House is on Sharon Meadows Drive in Sharon, VT (GPS lists it as South Royalton). Take Exit 2 off of  I-89 .  At the end of the ramp, turn towards the town of Sharon and then turn right at the end of the road onto Route 14.  About ½ mile up, turn left at the Midway Station store onto River Road, crossing the bridge and following to your right.  In another ½ mile, turn left onto Howe Hill Road, then right onto Sharon Meadows Drive after ¼ mile.

At the fork, go left onto an unmarked road and look for our construction site on your left.  You will see our trailer and banner.

Habitat is super excited about this big push because once the house is insulated, crews will be able to work in a warm house!

Readings for Sunday, February 3, 2019, Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

The glory of God is often revealed when and where it is least expected. God uses our lips to declare that glory, inexperienced and hesitant though they may be. God uses our love to demonstrate that glory and so urges us to exercise it. God uses Jesus of Nazareth, water and the word, bread and wine, to reveal God’s glory where and when God chooses. Take heed, lest the glory of God slip through our midst unnoticed.

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10

4Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
8Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.”
9Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

Psalm: Psalm 71:1-6

1In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.
3Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;
you are my crag and my stronghold.
4Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5For you are my hope, O Lord God,
my confidence since I was young.
6I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength;
my praise shall be always of you.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Gospel: Luke 4:21-30

21Then [Jesus] began to say to [all in the synagogue in Nazareth,] “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’ ” 24And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.