Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 31. 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 31. 2015: Today our passages are Exodus 12:14–13:16; Matthew 20:29–21:22; Psalm 25:16-22; and Proverbs 6:12-15 . The readings are the Contem...

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 30, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 30, 2015: Today our passages are Exodus 10:1–12:13; Matthew 20:1-28; Psalm 25:1-15; and Proverbs 6:6-11 . The readings are the Contemporary E...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 29, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 29, 2015: Today our passages are Exodus 7:25–9:35; Matthew 19:13-30; Psalm 24:1-10; and Proverbs 6:1-5 . The readings are the Contemporary E...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Growing in Grace: The Gospel of Mark (Session 3: Grey Clouds (Mark 2...

Growing in Grace: The Gospel of Mark (Session 3: Grey Clouds (Mark 2...: You may listen to a podcast of this session on the Cove Presbyterian PodBean page. During this session, we considered the first appearanc...

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, February 1, 2015 (4th Sunday after Epiphany)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Psalms (Psalm 111), Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:15-20), the Letters (1 Corinthian 8:1-13), and the Gospels (Mark 1:21-28) Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God.

Psalm 111

Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.

Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.

He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.

He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.

He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.”

1 Corinthian 8:1-13

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

Mark 1:21-28

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 28, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 28, 2015: Today our passages are Exodus 5:22–7:24; Matthew 18:23–19:12; Psalm 23:1-6; and Proverbs 5:22-23 . The readings are the Contempor...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 27, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 27, 2015: Today our passages are Exodus 4:1–5:21; Matthew 18:1-22; Psalm 22:19-31; and Proverbs 5:15-21 . The readings are the Contemporary E...

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 26, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 26, 2015: Today our passages are Exodus 2:11–3:22; Matthew 17:10-27; Psalm 22:1-18; and Proverbs 5:7-14 . The readings are the Contemporary E...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 25, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 25, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 50:1 – Exodus 2:10; Matthew 16:13–17:9; Psalm 22:1-18; and Proverbs 5:7-14 . The readings are the C...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 24, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 24, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 48:1–49:33; Matthew 15:29–16:12; Psalm 20:1-9; and Proverbs 4:20-27 . The readings are the Contempo...

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 23, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 23, 2014: Today our passages are Genesis 46:1–47:31; Matthew 15:1-28; Psalm 19:1-14; and Proverbs 4:14-19 . The readings are the Contemporary ...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 22, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 22, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 44:1–45:28; Matthew 14:13-36; Psalm 18:37-50; and Proverbs 4:11-13 . The readings are the Contempor...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Growing in Grace: The Gospel of Mark (Session 2 - Good Times, Good T...

Growing in Grace: The Gospel of Mark (Session 2 - Good Times, Good T...: You may listen to a podcast of this session at PodBean . During this session, we looked at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry. Now afte...

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 25, 2015 (3rd Sunday after Epiphany)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Psalms (Psalm 62:5–12), Old Testament (Jonah 3:1–5, 10), the Letters (1 Corinthian 7:29-31), and the Gospels (Mark 1:14-20) Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God.

Psalm 62:5–12

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.

Jonah 3:1–5, 10

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

1 Corinthian 7:29-31

I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

Mark 1:14-20

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 21, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 21, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 42:18–43:34; Matthew 13:47–14:12; Psalm 18:16-36; and Proverbs 4:7-10 . The readings are the Contem...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 20, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 20, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 41:17–42:17; Matthew 13:24-46; Psalm 18:1-15; and Proverbs 4:1-6 . The readings are the Contemporary ...

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 19, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 19, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 39:1–41:16; Matthew 12:46–13:23; Psalm 17:1-15; and Proverbs 3:33-35 . The readings are the Contemp...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 18, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 18, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 37:1–38:30; Matthew 12:22-45; Psalm 16:1-11; and Proverbs 3:27-32 . The readings are the Contempora...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 17, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 17, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 35:1–36:43; Matthew 12:1-21; Psalm 15:1-5; and Proverbs 3:21-26 . The readings are the Contemporary...

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 16, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 16, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 32:13–34:31; Matthew 11:7-30; Psalm 14:1-7; and Proverbs 3:19-20 . The readings are the Contemporar...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 15, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 15, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 31:17–32:12; Matthew 10:26–11:6; Psalm 13:1-6; and Proverbs 3:16-18 . The readings are the  Contempor...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Growing in Grace: The Gospel of Mark (Session 1- Setting the Stage (...

Growing in Grace: The Gospel of Mark (Session 1- Setting the Stage (...: You may listen to a podcast of this session at PodBean . During this session, we'll consider the background of Mark and how he prepare...

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 18, 2015 (2nd Sunday after Epiphany)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Psalms (Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18), Old Testament (1 Samuel 3:1-10), the Letters (1 Corinthian 6:12-20), and the Gospels (John 1:43-51) Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God.

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.

You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.

How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.


1 Samuel 3:1-10

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”



1 Corinthian 6:12-20

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.


John 1:43-51

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 14, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 14, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 30:1–31:16; Matthew 10:1-25; Psalm 12:1-8; and Proverbs 3:13-15 . The readings are the Contemporary...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 13, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 13, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 28:1–29:35; Matthew 9:18-38; Psalm 11:1-7; and Proverbs 3:11-12 . The readings are the Contemporary E...

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 12, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 12, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 26:17–27:46; Matthew 9:1-17; Psalm 10:16-18; and Proverbs 3:9-10 . The readings are the Contemporar...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 11, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 11, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 24:52–26:16; Matthew 8:18-34; Psalm 10:1-15; and Proverbs 3:7-8 . The readings are the Contemporary...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 10, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 10, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 23:1–24:51; Matthew 8:1-17; Psalm 9:13-20; and Proverbs 3:1-6 . The readings are the Contemporary E...

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 9, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 9, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 20:1–22:24; Matthew 7:15-29; Psalm 9:1-12; and Proverbs 2:16-22 . The readings are the Contemporary...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 8, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 8, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 18:20–19:38; Matthew 6:25–7:14; Psalm 8:1-9; and Proverbs 2:6-15 . The readings are the Contemporar...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Growing in Grace: The Passages of Christmas (Session 4 - The Epiphan...

Growing in Grace: The Passages of Christmas (Session 4 - The Epiphan...: You may listen to a podcast of this session at PodBean . During this session, we considered the story behind Epiphany, according to Matthe...

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 11, 2015 (Baptism of the Lord)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Psalms (Psalm 29), Old Testament (Genesis 1:1-5), the Letters (Acts 19:1-7), and the Gospels (Mark 1:4-11) Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God.

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!


Genesis 1:1-5

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


Acts 19:1-7

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them.


Mark 1:4-11

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 7, 2014

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 7, 2014: Today our passages are Genesis 16:1–18:19; Matthew 6:1-24; Psalm 7:1-17; and Proverbs 2:1-5 . The readings are the Contemporary En...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 6, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 6, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 13:5–15:21; Matthew 5:27-48; Psalm 6:1-10; and Proverbs 1:29-33 . The readings are the Contemporary...

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 5, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 5, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 11:1–13:4; Matthew 5:1-26; Psalm 5:1-12; and Proverbs 1:24-28 . The readings are the Contemporary E...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 4, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 4, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 8:1–10:32; Matthew 4:12-25; Psalm 4:1-8; and Proverbs 1:20-23 . The readings are the Contemporary Eng...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 3, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 3, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 5:1–7:24; Matthew 3:7–4:11; Psalm 3:1-8; and Proverbs 1:10-19 . The readings are the Contemporary ...

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 2, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 2, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 3:1–4:26; Matthew 2:13–3:6; Psalm 2:1-12; and Proverbs 1:7-9. The readings are the Contemporary Engl...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, January 4, 2015

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Psalms (Psalm 147:12-20), Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:7–14), the Letters (Ephesians 1:3-14), and the Gospels (John 1:(1-9) 10-18) Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God.

Psalm 147:12-20

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.
He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs— who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!

Jeremiah 31:7–14

For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.” See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.” For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, says the Lord.

Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 1, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for January 1, 2015: Today our passages are Genesis 1:1–2:25; Matthew 1:1–2:12; Psalm 1:1-6; and Proverbs 1:1-6. The readings are the Contemporary Englis...