Sundays in February 2017
Worship at 11:00 and 13:30 in the Luther Church
February 05, Fifth Sunday after Epiphany: Isaiah 58:1-9a [9b-12]; Psalm 112:1-9 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]; Matthew 5:13-20: Light shines in the darkness for the upright, the psalmist sings. Isaiah declares that when we loose the bonds of injustice and share our bread with the hungry, the light breaks forth like the dawn. In another passage from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, the light of the world, calls his followers to let the light of their good works shine before others. Through baptism we are sent into the world to shine with the light of Christ.
February 12, Sixth Sunday after Epiphany: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37: In today’s reading from Deuteronomy we are called to choose life by loving and obeying God. Much of today’s gospel reading echoes portions of the Ten Commandments. Jesus’ instructions to the crowd reveal a pattern of behavior that honors both God and the neighbor, resulting in life and health for the whole community. We, too, are invited to embrace these commandments, not out of fear of retribution, but because God has promised that to do so means life for us.
February 19, Seventh Sunday after: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Psalm 119:33-40; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23; Matthew 5:38-48: In today’s first reading we hear, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Yet we know we cannot achieve perfection. Our attempts to love neighbors and even our enemies fall short of what God desires for us. Yet in Jesus we see one who loved even those who persecuted and killed him. We are made holy in baptism, and forgiven at the table of God’s mercy. As a people made holy by God, we go in peace to love as we have been loved.
February 26, Transfiguration of Our Lord: Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 2; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9: Today’s festival is a bridge between the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle that comes to a close today and the Lent-Easter cycle that begins in several days. On the mount of transfiguration Jesus is revealed as God’s beloved Son, echoing the words at his baptism. This vision of glory sustains us as Jesus faces his impending death in Jerusalem.
We turn this week to Ash Wednesday and our yearly baptismal journey from Lent to Easter. Some churches put aside the alleluia at the conclusion of today's liturgy. This word of joy will be omitted during the penitential season of Lent and will be sung again at Easter.
March 01, Ash Wednesday: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21: Lent begins with a solemn call to fasting and repentance as we begin our journey to the baptismal waters of Easter. As we hear in today’s readings, now is the acceptable time to return to the Lord. During Lent the people of God will reflect on the meaning of their baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection. The sign of ashes suggests our human mortality and frailty. What seems like an ending is really an invitation to make each day a new beginning, in which we are washed in God’s mercy and forgiveness. With the cross on our brow, we long for the spiritual renewal that flows from the springtime Easter feast to come.
March 05, First Sunday in Lent ; Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11; Today's gospel tells of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. His forty-day fast becomes the basis of our Lenten pilgrimage. In the early church Lent was a time of intense preparation for those to be baptized at the Easter Vigil. This catechetical focus on the meaning of faith is at the heart of our Lenten journey to the baptismal waters of Easter. Hungry for God’s mercy, we receive the bread of life to nourish us for the days ahead.
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