February 4, 2024

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

ISAIAH 40:21-31; PSALM 147:1-11, 20c; 1 CORINTHIANS 9:16-23; MARK 1:29-39

In Isaiah the one God who sits above the earth and numbers the stars also strengthens the powerless.  So, in Jesus’ healing work we see the hand of the creator God, lifting up the sick woman to health and service (diakonia). Like Simon’s mother-in-law, we are lifted up and healed to serve.  Following Jesus, we strength in quiet times of prayer

February 11, 2024 

TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD

LAST SUNDAY AFTER EPHIPHANY

2 KINGS 2:1-12; PSALM 50:1-6; 2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-6; MARK 9:2-9

The Sundays after Epiphany began with Jesus’ baptism and end with three disciples’ vision of his transfiguration.  In Mark’s story of Jesus’ baptism, apparently only Jesus sees the Spirit descending and hears the words from heaven.  But now Jesus’ three closest friends hear the same words naming him God’s Beloved.  As believers, Paul writes, we are enabled to see the God-light in Jesus’ face, because the same God who created light in the first place has shone in our hearts to give us that vision.  The light of God’s glory in Jesus has enlightened us through baptism and shines in us also for others to see.

FEBRUARY 18, 2024 

 FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT

GENESIS 9:8-17; PSALM 25:1-10; 1 PETER 3:18-22; MARK 1:9-15

On Ash Wednesday the church began its journey towards baptismal immersion in the death and resurrection of Christ.  This year the Sundays in Lent lead us to focus on five covenants God makes in the Hebrew Scriptures and to use them as lenses through which to view baptism.  First Peter connects the way God saved Noah’s family in the food with the way God saves us through the water of baptism.  The baptismal covenant is made with us individually, but the new life we are given in baptism is the sake of the whole world.

FEBRUARY 25, 2024 

SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT

GENESIS 17:1-7, 15-16; PSALM 22:23-31; ROMANS 4:13-25; MARK 8:31-38

The second covenant in this year’s Lenten readings is the one made with Abraham and Sarah: God’s promise to make them ancestors of many, with whom God will remain in everlasting covenant.  Paul says this promise comes to all who share Abraham’s faith in the God who brings life into being where there was no life.  We receive this baptismal promise of resurrection life in faith.  Sarah and Abraham receive new names as a sign of the covenant, and we too get new identities in baptism, as we put on Christ.