Monday, November 23, 2015

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, November 29, 2015 (First Sunday in Advent)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (Jeremiah 33:14-16), the Psalms (Psalm 25:1-10), the Letters (1 Thessalonians 3:9-13), and the Gospels (Luke 21:25-36). Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God. 

If you find this point helpful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.


Jeremiah 33:14-16

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Psalm 25:1-10

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.

Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Luke 21:25-36

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The Cove Community: Sunday's Sermon - When Facing Evil

The Cove Community: Sunday's Sermon - When Facing Evil: Below is a copy of the sermon I preached on Sunday, November 22, at 11:00 a.m. in Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, West Virginia.  During ...

A Thought from the Word - A 15-second thought based on Colossians 3:15

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 23, 2015

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 23, 2015: Today our passages are Ezekiel 45:13–46:24; 1 Peter 1:13–2:10; Psalm 119:33-48; and Proverbs 28:11. The readings are from the  Cont...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 18, 2015: Today our passages are Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19–2:17; Psalm 117:1-2; and Proverbs 28:1. The readings are from the  Contempora...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, November 22, 2015 (Christ the King)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (2 Samuel 23:1-7), the Psalms (Psalm 132:1-18), the Letters (Revelation 1:4b-8), and the Gospels (John 18:33-37). Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God. 

If you find this point helpful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.


2 Samuel 23:1-7

Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel: The spirit of the Lord speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away; for they cannot be picked up with the hand; to touch them one uses an iron bar or the shaft of a spear. And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.

Psalm 132:1-18

O Lord, remember in David’s favor all the hardships he endured;

how he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,

“I will not enter my house or get into my bed;

I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,

until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

We heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.

“Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.”

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.

Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your faithful shout for joy.

For your servant David’s sake do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.

If your sons keep my covenant and my decrees that I shall teach them, their sons also, forevermore, shall sit on your throne.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation:

“This is my resting place forever; here I will reside, for I have desired it.

I will abundantly bless its provisions; I will satisfy its poor with bread.

Its priests I will clothe with salvation, and its faithful will shout for joy.

There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.

His enemies I will clothe with disgrace, but on him, his crown will gleam.”

Revelation 1:4b-8

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

John 18:33-37

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

A Thought from the Word - A 15-second thought based on Psalm 119:18

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 17, 2015: Today our passages are Ezekiel 35:1–36:38; James 1:1-18; Psalm 116:1-19; and Proverbs 27:23-27. The readings are from the  Contempo...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 15, 2015: Today our passages are Ezekiel 31:1–32:32; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalm 113:1–114:8; and Proverbs 27:18-20. The readings are from the  Contemp...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, November 15, 2015 (Twentieth-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (1 Samuel 1:4-20; 1 Samuel 2:1-10) the Letters (Hebrews 10:11-25), and the Gospels (Mark 13:1-8). Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God. 

If you find this point helpful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.


1 Samuel 1:4-20

On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”


1 Samuel 2:1-10

Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. “There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.”


Hebrews 10:11-25

And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.” For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,” he also adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Mark 13:1-8

As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birthpangs.

A Thought from the Word - A 15-second thought based on Job 37:5-6

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 11, 2015: Today our passages are Ezekiel 23:1-49; Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalm 109:1-31; and Proverbs 27:13. The readings are from the Contemporary...

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, November 8, 2015 (Twentieth-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Psalms (Psalm 127), the Old Testament (Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17) the Letters (Hebrews 9:24-28), and the Gospels (Mark 12:38-44). Please make any comments concerning the passages you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God. 

If you find this point helpful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.


Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Hebrews 9:24-28

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Mark 12:38-44

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

A Thought from the Word - A 15-second thought based on Ephesians 1:18

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 2, 2015: Today our passages are Ezekiel 3:16–6:14; Hebrews 4:1-16; Psalm 104:24-35; and Proverbs 26:27. The readings are from the Contempora...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

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

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for November 1, 2015: Today our passages are Ezekiel 1:1–3:15; Hebrews 3:1-19; Psalm 104:1-23; and Proverbs 26:24-26 . The readings are from the  Contempora...