Experience Jazz Sunday at St. Paul

News | July 17, 2017

ChurchJazz, a Chicago-based jazz ministry, will come to paint the town jazz at St. Paul on Sunday, July 30.

This group of veteran musicians will play the Chicago Jazz Mass at the 9:20 and 11 a.m. services. It is free and open to the public.

For 30 years, the ChurchJazz ensemble has celebrated the gift of God’s music with congregations and audiences in many parts of the United States. The repertoire includes the Jazz Passion, the Chicago Jazz Mass, the Jazz Psalms, jazz hymn festivals, a jazz vespers service, and Bending Towards the Light, a jazz nativity.

ChurchJazz includes:

Andy Tecson, the band’s leader on tenor saxophone

Ken Jandes, alto saxophone

Jerry Coleman, drums

Bobby Lewis, trumpet

Bobby Schiff, piano

Stewart Miller, bass

Nancy Hagen, oboe

Daniel Riley, guest soloist

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Isaiah 45:1-7

1Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed,

Whom I have taken by the right hand,

To subdue nations before him

And to loose the loins of kings;

To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:

2“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;

I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.

3“I will give you the treasures of darkness

And hidden wealth of secret places,

So that you may know that it is I,

The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

4“For the sake of Jacob My servant,

And Israel My chosen one,

I have also called you by your name;

I have given you a title of honor

Though you have not known Me.

5“I am the LORD, and there is no other;

Besides Me there is no God.

I will gird you, though you have not known Me;

6That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun

That there is no one besides Me.

I am the LORD, and there is no other,

7The One forming light and creating darkness,

Causing well-being and creating calamity;

I am the LORD who does all these.

God’s Supreme Power

Psalm 96:1-9

1Sing to the LORD a new song;

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

2Sing to the LORD, bless His name;

Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

3Tell of His glory among the nations,

His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

4For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;

He is to be feared above all gods.

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

But the LORD made the heavens.

6Splendor and majesty are before Him,

Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,

Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

8Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name;

Bring an offering and come into His courts.

9Worship the LORD in holy attire;

Tremble before Him, all the earth.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Thanksgiving for These Believers

1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,4knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;5for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.6You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.9For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,10and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

Matthew 22:15-22

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said.16And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.17“Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”18But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?19“Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius.20And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”21They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”22And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.

Jesus Answers the Sadducees

Jeremiah 31:31-34

31“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,32not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.33“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.34“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change

And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

3Though its waters roar and foam,

Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Selah.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;

God will help her when morning dawns.

6The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;

He raised His voice, the earth melted.

7The LORD of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Selah.

8Come, behold the works of the LORD,

Who has wrought desolations in the earth.

9He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;

He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;

He burns the chariots with fire.

10“Cease striving and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

11The LORD of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Selah.

Romans 3:19-28

19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Justification by Faith

21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

John 8:31-36

31So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.35“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.36“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Revelation 7:9-17

9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;10and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,12saying,

“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”14I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.16“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Psalm 34:1-10, 22

1 John 3:1-3

Children of God Love One Another

1See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.3And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Matthew 5:1-12

The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Disciples and the World

Amos 5:18-24

18Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD,

For what purpose will the day of the LORDbe to you?

It will be darkness and not light;

19As when a man flees from a lion

And a bear meets him,

Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall

And a snake bites him.

20Will not the day of the LORDbe darkness instead of light,

Even gloom with no brightness in it?

21“I hate, I reject your festivals,

Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.

22“Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,

I will not accept them;

And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.

23“Take away from Me the noise of your songs;

I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.

24“But let justice roll down like waters

And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Psalm 70

1O God, hasten to deliver me;

O LORD, hasten to my help!

2Let those be ashamed and humiliated

Who seek my life;

Let those be turned back and dishonored

Who delight in my hurt.

3Let those be turned back because of their shame

Who say, “Aha, aha!”

4Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;

And let those who love Your salvation say continually,

“Let God be magnified.”

5But I am afflicted and needy;

Hasten to me, O God!

You are my help and my deliverer;

O LORD, do not delay.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.18Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Matthew 25:1-13

Parable of Ten Virgins

1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.2“Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.3“For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,4but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.5“Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.6“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.7“Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.8“The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’9“But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’10“And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.11“Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’12“But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’13“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Parable of the Talents

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Psalm 90:1-8, 12

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Day of the Lord

1Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.3While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;5for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.7For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.8But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.9For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Christian Conduct

Matthew 25:14-30

14“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.15“To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.17“In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.18“But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them.20“The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’21“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

22“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’23“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.25‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’

26“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.27‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.28‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

29“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.30“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Judgment

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Psalm 95:1-7a

1O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD,

Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.

2Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,

Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

3For the LORD is a great God

And a great King above all gods,

4In whose hand are the depths of the earth,

The peaks of the mountains are His also.

5The sea is His, for it was He who made it,

And His hands formed the dry land.

6Come, let us worship and bow down,

Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

7For He is our God,

And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you would hear His voice,

Ephesians 1:15-23

15For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Matthew 25:31-46

31“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.32“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.35‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Isaiah 64:1-9

1Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,

That the mountains might quake at Your presence—

2As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—

To make Your name known to Your adversaries,

That the nations may tremble at Your presence!

3When You did awesome things which we did not expect,

You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.

4For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,

Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,

Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

5You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,

Who remembers You in Your ways.

Behold, You were angry, for we sinned,

We continued in them a long time;

And shall we be saved?

6For all of us have become like one who is unclean,

And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;

And all of us wither like a leaf,

And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

7There is no one who calls on Your name,

Who arouses himself to take hold of You;

For You have hidden Your face from us

And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.

8But now, O LORD, You are our Father,

We are the clay, and You our potter;

And all of us are the work of Your hand.

9Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD,

Nor remember iniquity forever;

Behold, look now, all of us are Your people.

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,5that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,6even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,7so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,8who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.9God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark 13:24-37

24“But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENEDAND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,25AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.26“Then they will see THE SON OF MANCOMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory.27“And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.29“Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door.30“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.31“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.32“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

33“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.34It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert.35“Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—36in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.37“What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”

Isaiah 9:2-7

2The people who walk in darkness

Will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land,

The light will shine on them.

3You shall multiply the nation,

You shall increase their gladness;

They will be glad in Your presence

As with the gladness of harvest,

As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,

The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

5For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,

And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

God’s Anger with Israel’s Arrogance

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

2 Peter 3:8-15a

8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

A New Heaven and Earth

10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!13But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

14Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,

Mark 1:1-8

Preaching of John the Baptist

1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGERAHEAD OF YOU,

WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;

3THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS,

‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD,

MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.’”

4John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.5And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.6John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.7And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.8“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Psalm 126

1When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion,

We were like those who dream.

2Then our mouth was filled with laughter

And our tongue with joyful shouting;

Then they said among the nations,

“The LORD has done great things for them.”

3The LORD has done great things for us;

We are glad.

4Restore our captivity, O LORD,

As the streams in the South.

5Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.

6He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,

Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

16Rejoice always;17pray without ceasing;18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.19Do not quench the Spirit;20do not despise prophetic utterances.21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;22abstain from every form of evil.

23Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.24Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

John 1:6-8, 19-28

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

Luke 1:46b-55

46And Mary said:

“My soul exalts the Lord,

47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

48“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;

For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.

49“For the Mighty One has done great things for me;

And holy is His name.

50“AND HIS MERCY ISUPON GENERATIONAFTER GENERATION

TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.

51“He has done mighty deeds with His arm;

He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.

52“He has brought down rulers from their thrones,

And has exalted those who were humble.

53“HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS;

And sent away the rich empty-handed.

54“He has given help to Israel His servant,

In remembrance of His mercy,

55As He spoke to our fathers,

To Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Romans 16:25-27

25Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,26but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

Luke 1:26-38

26Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.28And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”29But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.31“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.32“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”35The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.36“And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.37“For nothing will be impossible with God.”38And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

Isaiah 9:2-7

2The people who walk in darkness

Will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land,

The light will shine on them.

3You shall multiply the nation,

You shall increase their gladness;

They will be glad in Your presence

As with the gladness of harvest,

As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,

The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

5For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,

And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

God’s Anger with Israel’s Arrogance

Psalm 96

1Sing to the LORD a new song;

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

2Sing to the LORD, bless His name;

Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

3Tell of His glory among the nations,

His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

4For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;

He is to be feared above all gods.

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

But the LORD made the heavens.

6Splendor and majesty are before Him,

Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,

Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

8Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name;

Bring an offering and come into His courts.

9Worship the LORD in holy attire;

Tremble before Him, all the earth.

10Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved;

He will judge the peoples with equity.”

11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

Let the sea roar, and all it contains;

12Let the field exult, and all that is in it.

Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy

13Before the LORD, for He is coming,

For He is coming to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness

And the peoples in His faithfulness.

Titus 2:11-14

11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

Isaiah 9:2-7

2The people who walk in darkness

Will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land,

The light will shine on them.

3You shall multiply the nation,

You shall increase their gladness;

They will be glad in Your presence

As with the gladness of harvest,

As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,

The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

5For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,

And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

God’s Anger with Israel’s Arrogance

Psalm 96

1Sing to the LORD a new song;

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

2Sing to the LORD, bless His name;

Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

3Tell of His glory among the nations,

His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

4For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;

He is to be feared above all gods.

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

But the LORD made the heavens.

6Splendor and majesty are before Him,

Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,

Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

8Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name;

Bring an offering and come into His courts.

9Worship the LORD in holy attire;

Tremble before Him, all the earth.

10Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved;

He will judge the peoples with equity.”

11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

Let the sea roar, and all it contains;

12Let the field exult, and all that is in it.

Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy

13Before the LORD, for He is coming,

For He is coming to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness

And the peoples in His faithfulness.

Titus 2:11-14

11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Luke 2:22-40

22And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “EVERYfirstbornMALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD”),24and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.”

25And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.27And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,28then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,

According to Your word;

30For my eyes have seen Your salvation,

31Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32A LIGHTOF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES,

And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.34And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—35and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,37and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.38At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Return to Nazareth

39When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.40The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Visit to Jerusalem

Genesis 1:1-5

The Creation

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Psalm 29

1Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty,

Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name;

Worship the LORD in holy array.

3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;

The God of glory thunders,

The LORD is over many waters.

4The voice of the LORD is powerful,

The voice of the LORD is majestic.

5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;

Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

6He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

And Sirion like a young wild ox.

7The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.

8The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve

And strips the forests bare;

And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”

10The LORD sat as King at the flood;

Yes, the LORD sits as King forever.

11The LORD will give strength to His people;

The LORD will bless His people with peace.

Acts 19:1-7

Paul at Ephesus

1It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples.2He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”3And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.”4Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.7There were in all about twelve men.

Mark 1:4-11

4John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.5And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.6John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.7And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.8“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism of Jesus

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.10Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;11and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

12All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.13Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.14Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!16Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”17But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.18Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

John 1:43-51

43The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He *found Philip. And Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me.”44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.45Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”46Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.”47Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and *said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”48Nathanael *said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”49Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”50Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”51And He *said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Psalm 62:5-12

5My soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.

6He only is my rock and my salvation,

My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

7On God my salvation and my glory rest;

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

8Trust in Him at all times, O people;

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.

Selah.

9Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;

In the balances they go up;

They are together lighter than breath.

10Do not trust in oppression

And do not vainly hope in robbery;

If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.

11Once God has spoken;

Twice I have heard this:

That power belongs to God;

12And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,

For You recompense a man according to his work.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

29But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;30and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

Mark 1:14-20

14Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

16As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.17And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.19Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.20Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

15“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.16“This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’17“The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well.18‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.19‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.20‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’

Psalm 111

1Praise the LORD!

I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart,

In the company of the upright and in the assembly.

2Great are the works of the LORD;

They are studied by all who delight in them.

3Splendid and majestic is His work,

And His righteousness endures forever.

4He has made His wonders to be remembered;

The LORD is gracious and compassionate.

5He has given food to those who fear Him;

He will remember His covenant forever.

6He has made known to His people the power of His works,

In giving them the heritage of the nations.

7The works of His hands are truth and justice;

All His precepts are sure.

8They are upheld forever and ever;

They are performed in truth and uprightness.

9He has sent redemption to His people;

He has ordained His covenant forever;

Holy and awesome is His name.

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;

His praise endures forever.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Take Care with Your Liberty

1Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.2If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;3but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

4Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.5For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords,6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

7However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.8But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.10For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?11For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died.12And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.13Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

Mark 1:21-28

21They *went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach.22They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,24saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”26Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him.27They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”28Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Crowds Healed