7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
First Reading: Genesis 3:1-11: 22
3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
Second Reading: Galatians 3:10-11
3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”
Gospel Reading: John 8:39-44
8:39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
First Reading: Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. 2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. 3 A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
Second Reading: Philippians 4:6-9
4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:5-8
6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:11-15
28:11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
1st Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:6 (NIV)
52:13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—15 so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. 53:1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Gospel Reading: Mark 11:1-11 (NIV)
11:1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Sermon Reading: Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1st Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)
31:31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Gospel Reading: Mark 6:6-13 (NIV)
6:6 […] Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Sermon Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NIV)
10: 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
Sermon Reading: John 13:1-17 (NIV)
13:1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Sermon Reading: Exodus 19:18-21 (NIV)
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
Jonah 4:1-11 (NIV)
4:1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. 2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. 4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. 7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. 10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” 15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man[b] touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.” 18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.” 20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.
Genesis 2:1-9; 15-17 (NIV)
2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Zechariah 2:1-13 (NIV)
2:1 Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.” 3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. 5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord. 7 “Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!” 8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye— 9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me. 10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
Opening Hymn: Great Is The Lord
Isaiah 49:8-13 (NIV)
8 This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. 12 See, they will come from afar—some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan.” 13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
6:1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. 11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.
Opening Hymn: There Is A Redeemer
Genesis 12:1-9 (NIV)
12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
1 John 2:1-11 (NIV)
2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
Opening Hymn: Just As I Am
Ephesians 3:6-21 (NIV)
3:6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
29:1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. 11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Today's Sermon: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” 5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
Thank you for listening to our Sunday Service podcast.
The sermon test is Titus 2:11-15
2:11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-14
2:1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
This service is a celebration of the Fourth Week of Advent and the Eucharist.
Sermon Text: Mark 13:3-8; 21-23; 26-27
13:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” 5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
Do you really understand what Christ has done for you? If so, are you resting on it?
Hymns Sung: Thine be the Glory / For the Beauty of the Earth / Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Scipture readings: Psalm 27:1-3 / 1 Samuel 15:20-29 / John 14:15-21
Sermon text: Ephesians 5:1-16
Beware that you do not make the gospel into something that will just fix your problems or bring material gain, but rather that it is an end in itself.
Hymns Sung: Amazing Grace / Take My Life And Let It Be / Great is Thy Faithfulness
Scipture readings: Psalm 78:1-4 / Nehemiah 8:1-6 / John 7:14-24
Sermon text: 1 Timothy 6:3-10
God will continue to speak until we learn to joy him more than the things we want and begin to honor him.
Hymns Sung: All Creatures of Our God and King / What A Friend We Have In Jesus / It Is Well With My Soul
Scipture readings: Psalm 127:1-5 / Exodus 19;1-9 / John 21:15-19
Sermon text: Haggai 1:1-11
God wants to use your sin and sorrow to lead you to him. Solid Christian friends will bring you sorrow, but the kind that reminds you of your need for God. Lastly, Godly sorrow will always lead you to life.
Hymns Sung: We Will Glorify / Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners / O, Worship the King, All Glorious Above
Scipture readings: Psalm 32:1-3, 5 / Isaiah 8:11-22 / John 8:12-30
Sermon text: 2 Corinthians 7:8-13
The true test of a Christian is how they respond in unfavorable circumstances, but it is in these trials that one can become more like Christ and through these trials that one has the most impact on their world.
Hymns Sung: Crown Him With Many Crowns / A Mighty Fortress is Our God / How Great Thou Art
Scipture readings: Psalm 15:1-5 / Jeremiah 31:1-14 / Matthew 7:24-29
Sermon text: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
Reserving judgment is a very difficult calling for the believer in disputable matters, but when the Christian does he trusts in God's justice, remembers his own guilt, and respects the other persons freedom in Christ.
Hymns Sung: Be Thou My Vision / Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing / Holy, Holy, Holy
Scripture Reading: Psalm 31, Exodus 2, Matthew 7
Sermon: Romans 14:1-23
Humility and goodness give us great standing in the Kingdom of Heaven. Also, joy comes when we become childlike in this current age.
Hymns Sung: Thine Is The Glory / For the Beauty of the Earth / Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Scripture Reading: Psalm 103, Exodus 15, Romans 14,
Sermon: Matthew 18:1-9
If we want to live a life that is worthy of Jesus Christ, it should be marked with humility, gentleness, patience and love.
Hymns Sung: Amazing Grace / Take My Life And Let It Be / Great is Thy Faithfulness
Scripture Reading: Psalm 5, Ezekiel 33, Mark 4
Sermon Text: Ephesians 4
Every moment in our life is an opportunity to do good, even if we are treated unjustly, even when we could do evil, even if it costs us our lives. because it honors God when we suffer for doing good for his sake.
Unfortunately, this is a recording of a Zoom meeting as we were not able to meet in our regular venue this week. Apologies for the audio quality.
Hymns Sung (only intros!): For the Beauty of the Earth / What A Friend We Have In Jesus / We Will Glorify
Scripture Reading: Joshua 24, 1 Peter 2
If you are in the midst of trial, worry, accusation, fear, discomfort, or tempted to act rashly, David encourages you to be patient, to wait for the Lord.
Unfortunately, this is a recording of a Zoom meeting as we were not able to meet in our regular venue this week. Apologies for the audio quality.
Hymns Sung (only intros!): How Great Thou Art / It Is Well With My Soul / Crown Him With Many Crowns
Scripture Reading: Psalm 37
No matter what we say we believe, our lifestyle and speech reveal who we really are.
Hymns Sung: O Worship the King, All Glorious Above / Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing / Take My Life And Let It Be
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 29 / Romans 7 / Matthew 15
How we deal with our sin, mainly, how we perceive and respond when we do sin, reflects what we truly believe. Here, David provides us with prescription for when we do find ourselves guilty.
Hymns Sung: Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners / Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise / Thine be the Glory
Readings: Job 33 / Psalms 32
How can suffering cause you to grow? What is to gain from suffering? We explore Paul's arguments that roots the value of suffering and hardship in the blessings already received through the gospel.
Hymns Sung: Be Thou My Vision / All Creatures of Our God and King / Holy Holy Holy
Readings: Psalms 40 / Amos 5 / Matthew 16 / Romans 5
What kind of Christian do you wish to be? Are you willing to undergo training from God, perhaps bad experiences, in order to be made into the image of Christ Jesus?
Hymns Sung: Crown Him With Many Crowns / For the Beauty of the Earth / What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Readings: Psalms 118 / Hebrews 12 / Proverbs 3
In a the modern world's continual search for meaning, we must continually look to Scripture and the Word of God, Christ Jesus.
Hymns Sung: How Great Thou Art / Dear Father Of All Mankind / It Is Well With My Soul
Readings: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 / Acts 7:5460 / Isaiah 1:1-7
Today we take the Lord's Supper together as we reflect on gratitude toward God and unity with other Christians
Hymns Sung: O Worship the King, All Glorious Above / Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing / Take My Life And Let It Be
Readings: 2 Chronicles 35 / John 15 / 1 Corinthians 11
Sermon Text: Colossians 2:6-15
In the midst of false teaching or the temptation to go back to former ways of life, Paul encourages the Colossians to be grateful by reminding them of what God has done for them in Christ.
Sermon Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-24
Paul responds to the Thessalonians questions about the end times: "Paul, how shall we live?" He give his answer which is not much different from what he would suggest in normal times: seek to help those around you and constantly be grateful for what God has done.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Church of Vilnius is not meeting publicly and therefore our order of worship has been altered.
Sermon Text: Romans 8:22-32
Paul writes to the believers in Rome in regard to their apparent belief that their lives and experiences can lack purpose. He reminds them of their purpose in Christ in the midst of their often mundane or suffering-filled lives.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Church of Vilnius is not meeting publicly and therefore our music and order of worship have even altered.
Sermon text: 1 Peter 1: 3-9
Peter writes to exiles in the midst of their persecution calling them to use their opportunities to rejoice and cling to their hope in Christ Jesus.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Church of Vilnius is not meeting publicly and therefore our music and order of worship have even altered.
Sermon text: 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
Paul explains how and why the Christ is to put the other person first. Rights are not always meant to be exercised or exploited. The love of Christ and the building up of the other person should be our goal as Christians, not ourselves.
Guest choir from Lativa under choirmaster Beata Goka
Hymns: Crown Him With Many Crowns, Blessed Assurance, and Thine be the Glory
Hymns: "There is a Redeemer," "Just As I Am," "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less"
In today's sermon, we discuss the aftermath of the gospel. That is, how God transforms the believer, building upon the gospel. This begins with a choice to pursue the life of Christ, and passively achieved through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Hymns: "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "Give Thanks," and "The Church’s One Foundation"
In today's sermon, the Christian is to consider their "religion" with the question, "What actions do you believe please God?" The Israelites often "went through the motions" instead of actually worshipping and communing with God. So, God used their suffering to redeem them. What might God be doing in order to bring you back?
In todays service we sang "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," "In The Sweet By and By," and "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise". Our main reading this morning was from Hebrews 2 in regard to watching (or attending to) the gospel in a world where there is so much competition.
In today's worship service we sing the following Christmas hymns: "In the Bleak Midwinter," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "Angels We Have Heard On High."
The sermon is based on Revelation 12 that depicts a war between Good and Evil, God and Satan. Christmas is ultimately an answer to this war, and it is decidedly ended through the coming of Jesus.
This episode is our afternoon Christmas Carols and Lessons service. Unfortunately, due to the multiple locations for readings, the audio was not available for the readings, so it is just a recording of the carols.
In today's service we sing sing "Blessed Assurance," "Crown Him With Many Crowns," and "Thine Be The Glory". The sermon is based on Luke's Gospel and the visitation of the angel to Zechariah. Have you ever considered that "Advent" (or the arrival) of Jesus is ultimately about judgment as it relates to the Hebrew Scriptures and the "terrible day of the Lord". However, something is different. Check out this weeks service to find out.
In today's service we sing sing "Take My Life," "I Love To Tell The Story," and "Allelujah! Sing To Jesus". The sermon is based on Paul's letter to the Colossians. Here, he speaks of the wisdom of gospel and how it affects our lives as Christians. Do you live in a way that reflects the wisdom of God or the wisdom of the world?
In today's service we sing sing "Abide With Me," "All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name," and "All Things Bright And Beautiful". The sermon is based on the gospel of John chapter 6 where Jesus tells the hungry Jews they do not know him. He tells them, in fact, that they only follow him because he miraculously feeds him, but they do not see the truth behind his actions, that he is actually he Bread of Life. Do you see Jesus for who he really is or is Christianity a concession-like ritual that provides you with what you want?
In today's service we sing sing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," "Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners," and "Be Thou My Vision". The sermon is based on the story of Joseph and his brothers, focused primarily on the perspectives of Jacob and the brothers. Could your struggles and hardships in life actually be the means by which God's provision will come? Are you willing to change your perspective in order to see your purpose in the midst of your unfortunate circumstances?
In today's service we sing sing "Spirit of the Living God," "And Can It Be that I Should Gain ," and "Amazing Grace". The sermon is based on the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning a new covenant, not based on the Law of Moses, but the Holy Spirit and mercy of God.
In today's service we are blessed to have a Denmark choir under the director of Ole Schmidtt. We sing sing "O Worship the King, All Glorious Above," "We Will Glorify," and "When I survey the Wondrous Cross". The sermon is based on Paul's second letter to Timothy as he explains the importance of the gospel and how Timothy should live as a minister of the gospel..
In today's service we sing "How Great Thou Art," "All Creatures of Our God and King," and "Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty". The sermon is based on Paul's letter to the Philippians as he processes his own suffering from prison, and how this actually benefited his ministry. Oftentimes, what seems to be setbacks often work to the benefit of one's mission, at the same time, causes the suffering individual to grow.
In today's service we sing "The Church’s One Foundation," "Lift High the Cross," and "As the Deer". The sermon is based on Paul's first letter to Timothy where he speaks on the dangers of pursuing money and material possessions instead of the godliness. Paul continues with the value of eternal life, in this world and the next, in comparison to what we seek in our daily lives.
In today's service we sing "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less," "It Is Well With My Soul," and "A Might Fortress is Our God". The sermon is based on Paul's second letter to the Corinthians in which he describes the power of the Holy Spirit in their scandalous lives but also his role as a worker of their joy.
In today's service we sing "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less," "It Is Well With My Soul," and "A Might Fortress is Our God". The sermon is based on the famous discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus, and explores Jesus' comparison of himself to the Bronze Serpent in Numbers 21.
In today's service we sing "Give Thanks," "There is a Redeemer," and "Just As I Am". The sermon is based on the Letter to Philemon and speaks to the application of the Gospel to broken relationships and the reconciliation of believers.
In today's service we sing "Great is They Faithfulness," "This is my Father’s World," and "Come, Though Fount of Every Blessing". The sermon is based on Hebrews 13 and speaks to the difference between hospitality and brotherly love and how the gospel drives both.
In today's service we sing "We Shall Overcome," "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise," and "For the Beauty of the Earth". The readings are from Romans 11 and Exodus 19. Our bishop leads us in the Eucharist with teachings based on the life of Jesus.
In today's service we sing "Be Thou My Vision," "I Love To Tell the Story," and "In The Sweet By and By". The sermon is based on Jeremiah 23 and speaks on the contrasting messages of the world versus the Gospel and the importance of viewing what we believe through the lens of Jesus.
In today's service we sing "And Can It Be that I Should Gain," "Amazing Grace," and "Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners". The sermon is based on Isaiah 1 and speaks on the approaching God on his terms and the importance of the gospel.
In today's service we sing "We Will Glorify," "When I survey the Wondrous Cross," and "Spirit of the Living God". The sermon is based on Ecclesiastes 1 and 2 and speaks on the philosophical issue of meaning and purpose.
In today's service we sing "All Creatures of Our God and King," "Holy Holy Holy," and "O Worship the King, All Glorious Above". The sermon is based on Hosea 1 and speaks on the topic of God's faithfulness despite the adulterous acts of his people..
In today's service we sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," "As the Deer," and "How Great Thou Art". The sermon is based on Colossians 1:16-28 and speaks on the topic of spiritual warfare, the identity of Jesus, and how they two relate.
In today's service we sing "Come, Though Fount of Every Blessing," "Give Thanks," and "There is a Redeemer". The sermon is based on Romans 1:16-32 and speaks on the topic of wisdom and how we as believers can suppress God's wisdom.
In today's service we sing "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise," "For the Beauty of the Earth," and "This is my Father’s World.". The sermon is based on 1 Corinthians 1:17-21 and speaks on the topic of wisdom and how the wisdom of God is often in contrast to the wisdom of the world.
In today's service we sing "I Love To Tell the Story," "In The Sweet By and By," and "We Shall Overcome.". The sermon is from John 13 and speaks on the footwashing of the disciples, how that relates to Jesus' mission in the world, and how that informs the life of the believer today.
In today's service we sing Amazing Grace, Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners, and Be Thou My Vision. The sermon was on 1 Thessalonians 1:3-11 and speaks to the issue of suffering and how God uses it in the life of the believer.