April 24, 2017
April 23, 2017
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.”
April 17, 2017
April 16, 2017
Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.” 3 Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. 4 They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. 5 Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. 6 Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. 8 Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 They didn’t yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.
Jesus appears to Mary
11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.
April 11, 2017
April 9, 2017
John 12:12-19 (CEB)
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
12The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him. They shouted, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the king of Israel!” 14Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15Don’t be afraid, Daughter Zion. Look! Your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt. 16His disciples didn’t understand these things at first. After he was glorified, they remembered that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. 17The crowd who had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead were testifying about him. 18That’s why the crowd came to meet him, because they had heard about this miraculous sign that he had done. 19Therefore, the Pharisees said to each other, “See! You’ve accomplished nothing! Look! The whole world is following him!”
April 6, 2017
April 2, 2017
Psalm 130 (CEB)
1I cry out to you from the depths, Lord—2my Lord, listen to my voice! Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy! 3If you kept track of sins, Lord— my Lord, who would stand a chance? 4But forgiveness is with you—that’s why you are honored. 5I hope, Lord. My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise. 6My whole being waits for my Lord—more than the night watch waits or morning; yes, more than the night watch waits for morning! 7Israel, wait for the Lord! Because faithful love is with the Lord; because great redemption is with our God! 8He is the one who will redeem Israel from all its sin.
Romans 8:1-6 (CEB)
1So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3God has done what was impossible for the Law, since it was weak because of selfishness. God condemned sin in the body by sending his own Son to deal with sin in the same body as humans, who are controlled by sin.4He did this so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us. Now the way we live is based on the Spirit, not based on selfishness. 5People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit. 6The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace.
March 30, 2017
March 26, 2017
Psalm 23 (CEB)
A Psalm of David
1The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. 2He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; 3he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name. 4Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff—they protect me. 5You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! 6Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live.
Ephesians 5:8-11 (CEB)
8You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. 9Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. 10Therefore, test everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord, 11and don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness. Instead, you should reveal the truth about them.
March 19, 2017
March 19, 2017
Psalm 95 (CEB)
1Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord! Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation! 2Let’s come before him with thanks! Let’s shout songs of joy to him! 3The Lord is a great God, the great king over all other gods. 4The earth’s depths are in his hands; the mountain heights belong to him; 5the sea, which he made, is his along with the dry ground, which his own hands formed. 6Come, let’s worship and bow down! Let’s kneel before the Lord, our maker! 7He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep in his hands. If only you would listen to his voice right now! 8“Don’t harden your hearts like you did at Meribah, like you did when you were at Massah, in the wilderness, 9when your ancestors tested me and scrutinized me, even though they had already seen my acts. 10For forty years I despised that generation; I said, ‘These people have twisted hearts. They don’t know my ways.’ 11So in anger I swore: ‘They will never enter my place of rest!’”
John 4:19-26 (CEB)
19The woman said, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you and your people say that it is necessary to worship in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you and your people will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You and your people worship what you don’t know; we worship what we know because salvation is from the Jews. 23But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth. The Father looks for those who worship him this way. 24God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.”25The woman said, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one who is called the Christ. When he comes, he will teach everything to us.” 26Jesus said to her, “I Am—the one who speaks with you.”
March 13, 2017
March 12, 2017
A Pilgrimage Song
1I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? 2My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. 3God won’t let your foot slip. Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job. 4No! Israel’s protector never sleeps or rests! 5The Lord is your protector; the Lord is your shade right beside you. 6The sun won’t strike you during the day; neither will the moon at night. 7The Lord will protect you from all evil; God will protect your very life. 8The Lord will protect you on your journeys— whether going or coming— from now until forever from now.
Matthew 17:1-9 (CEB)
1Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain. 2He was transformed in front of them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. 3Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. 4Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll make three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, look, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” 6Hearing this, the disciples fell on their faces, filled with awe. 7But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anybody about the vision until the Human One[a] is raised from the dead.”
March 13, 2017
March 5, 2017
Psalm 32 (CEB)
1The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven, whose sin is covered over, is truly happy! 2The one the Lord doesn’t consider guilty—in whose spirit there is no dishonesty—that one is truly happy! 3When I kept quiet, my bones wore out; I was groaning all day long—every day, every night!—4because your hand was heavy upon me. My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought. Selah 5So I admitted my sin to you; I didn’t conceal my guilt. “I’ll confess my sins to the Lord, ” is what I said. Then you removed the guilt of my sin. Selah 6That’s why all the faithful should pray to you during troubled times, so that a great flood of water won’t reach them. 7You are my secret hideout! You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of rescue! Selah 8I will instruct you and teach you about the direction you should go. I’ll advise you and keep my eye on you. 9Don’t be like some senseless horse or mule, whose movement must be controlled with a bit and a bridle. Don’t be anything like that! 10The pain of the wicked is severe, but faithful love surrounds the one who trusts the Lord. 11You who are righteous, rejoice in the Lord and be glad! All you whose hearts are right, sing out in joy!
Genesis 3:6-7 (CEB)
6The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made garments for themselves.
February 27, 2017
February 26, 2017
Nehemiah 12:27-30, 13:14, 13:22
Dedication of the Wall
27When it was time for the dedication of Jerusalem’s wall, they sought out the Levites in all the places where they lived in order to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with joy, with thanks and singing, and with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28The singers also gathered together both from the region around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites, 29also from Beth-hagilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth, because the singers had built themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30After the priests and the Levites purified themselves, they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.
14Remember me, my God, concerning this. Don’t erase my good deeds that I have done for my God’s house and for its services.
22I also commanded the Levites to purify themselves and to come and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your mercy.