Monday, February 29, 2016

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, March 6, 2016 (The Fourth Sunday in Lent)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (Joshua 5:9-12), the Psalms (Psalm 32), the Letters (2 Corinthians 5:16-21), and the Gospels (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32). 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.


Joshua 5:9-12

The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

Psalm 32

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable:

“There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe-the best one-and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 28, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 28, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 22:17–23:44; Mark 9:30–10:12; Psalm 44:1-8; and Proverbs 10:19 . The readings are from  The Message  ...

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 26, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 26, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 19:1–20:21; Mark 8:11-38; Psalm 42:1-11; and Proverbs 10:17. The readings are from  The Message  by...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 25, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 25, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 16:29–18:30; Mark 7:24–8:10; Psalm 41:1-13; and Proverbs 10:15-16. The readings are from  The Messa...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 24, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 24, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 15:1–16:28; Mark 7:1-23; Psalm 40:11-17; and Proverbs 10:13-14. The readings are from  The Message ...

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, February 28, 2016 (The Third Sunday in Lent)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (Isaiah 55:1-9), the Psalms (Psalm 63:1-8), the Letters (1 Corinthians 10:1-13), and the Gospels (Luke 13:1-9). 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.


Isaiah 55:1-9

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psalm 63:1-8

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips

when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play." We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Luke 13:1-9

At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them-do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did."

Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, `See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, `Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 23, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 23, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56; Psalm 40:1-10; and Proverbs 10:11-12. The readings are from  The Message  by...

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 22, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 22, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 13:1-59; Mark 6:1-29; Psalm 39:1-13; and Proverbs 10:10. The readings are from  The Message  by  Eu...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 21, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 21, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 11:1–12:8; Mark 5:21-43; Psalm 38:1-22; and Proverbs 10:8-9. The readings are from  The Message  by ...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 20, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 20, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 9:7–10:20; Mark 4:26–5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; and Proverbs 10:6-7. The readings are from  The Message ...

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 19, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 19, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 7:28–9:6; Mark 3:31–4:25; Psalm 37:12-29; and Proverbs 10:5. The readings are from  The Message  by...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 18, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 18, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 6:1–7:27; Mark 3:7-30; Psalm 37:1-11; and Proverbs 10:3-4. The readings are from  The Message  by  ...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 17, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 17, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 4:1–5:19; Mark 2:13–3:6; Psalm 36:1-12; and Proverbs 10:1-2. The readings are from  The Message  by  E...

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, February 21, 2016 (The Second Sunday in Lent)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18), the Psalms (Psalm 27), the Letters (Philippians 3:17 - 4:1), and the Gospels (Luke 9:28-36 or Luke 13:31-35). 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.


Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh- my adversaries and foes- they shall stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!

"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, Lord, do I seek.

Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!

If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.

Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Philippians 3:17 - 4:1

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

Luke 9:28-36

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" -not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

Luke 13:31-35

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you." He said to them, "Go and tell that fox for me, `Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.' Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, `Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 16, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 16, 2016: Today our passages are Leviticus 1:1–3:17; Mark 1:29–2:12; Psalm 35:17-28; and Proverbs 9:13-18. The readings are from  The Message  by...

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 15, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 15, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 39:1–40:38; Mark 1:1-28; Psalm 35:1-16; and Proverbs 9:11-12. The readings are from  The Message  by  ...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 14, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 14, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 37:1–38:31; Matthew 28:1-20; Psalm 34:11-22; and Proverbs 9:9-10. The readings are from  The Message  by ...

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 12, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 12, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 34:1–35:9; Matthew 27:15-31; Psalm 33:12-22; and Proverbs 9:1-6. The readings are from  The Message  by...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 11, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 11, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 32:1–33:23; Matthew 26:69–27:14; Psalm 33:1-11; and Proverbs 8:33-36. The readings are from  The Message...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 10, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 10, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 30:11–31:18; Matthew 26:47-68; Psalm 32:1-11; and Proverbs 8:27-32 . The readings are from  The Messag...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, February 14, 2016 (The First Sunday in Lent)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 26:1-11), the Psalms (Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16), the Letters (Romans 10:8b-13), and the Gospels (Luke 4:1-13). 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.


Deuteronomy 26:1-11

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, you shall make this response before the Lord your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.” You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,

no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.

You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.

When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.

With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

Romans 10:8b-13

“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

The Lectionary Passages for Wednesday, February 10, 2016 (Ash Wednesday)

Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament (Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12), the Psalms (Psalm 51:1-17), the Letters (2 Corinthians 5:20b - 6:10), and the Gospels (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21). 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.


Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near— a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”

Isaiah 58:1-12

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God.

"Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?" Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

Psalm 51:1-17

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.

Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

2 Corinthians 5:20b - 6:10

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you." See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see-we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 8, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 8, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 28:1-43; Matthew 25:31–26:13; Psalm 31:9-18; and Proverbs 8:12-13 . The readings are from  The Message...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 7, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 7, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 26:1–27:21; Matthew 25:1-30; Psalm 31:1-8; and Proverbs 8:1-11. The readings are from  The Message  by  E...

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 7, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 7, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 26:1–27:21; Matthew 25:1-30; Psalm 31:1-8; and Proverbs 8:1-11. The readings are from  The Message  by  E...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 6, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 6, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 23:14–25:40; Matthew 24:29-51; Psalm 30:1-12; and Proverbs 7:24-27. The readings are from   The Mes...

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 5, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 5, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 21:22–23:13; Matthew 24:1-28; Psalm 29:1-11; and Proverbs 7:6-23. The readings are from   The Messa...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 4, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 4, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 17:8–19:15; Matthew 22:34–23:12; Psalm 27:7-14; and Proverbs 6:27-35. The readings are from   The Me...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 3, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 3, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 17:8–19:15; Matthew 22:34–23:12; Psalm 27:7-14; and Proverbs 6:27-35. The readings are from   The Me...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 2, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 15:19–17:7; Matthew 22:1-33; Psalm 27:1-6; and Proverbs 6:20-26. The readings are from   The Message...

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 1, 2016

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for February 1, 2016: Today our passages are Exodus 13:17–15:18; Matthew 21:23-46; Psalm 26:1-12; and Proverbs 6:16-19. The readings are from   The Mess...