Friends and Families offers mental health support

Mission | April 20, 2017

A new drop-in group for people whose loved ones are impacted by mental illness is meeting at St. Paul on the fourth Monday of every month, 6-7 p.m.

Friends and Families is for anyone looking for mutual support by sharing with and listening to others. Led by mental health professionals and Pastor Sara Olson-Smith, this time is set aside to seek comfort and care in a small group setting.

The first meeting is Monday, April 24.

There’s no need to sign up, just come. Contact: Pastor Sara Olson-Smith, [email protected]

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Isaiah 44:6-8

6“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:

‘I am the first and I am the last,

And there is no God besides Me.

7‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it;

Yes, let him recount it to Me in order,

From the time that I established the ancient nation.

And let them declare to them the things that are coming

And the events that are going to take place.

8‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid;

Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?

And you are My witnesses.

Is there any God besides Me,

Or is there any other Rock?

I know of none.’”

The Folly of Idolatry

Psalm 86:11-17

11Teach me Your way, O LORD;

I will walk in Your truth;

Unite my heart to fear Your name.

12I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,

And will glorify Your name forever.

13For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,

And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,

And a band of violent men have sought my life,

And they have not set You before them.

15But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

16Turn to me, and be gracious to me;

Oh grant Your strength to Your servant,

And save the son of Your handmaid.

17Show me a sign for good,

That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,

Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Romans 8:12-25

12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Our Victory in Christ

Matthew 13:24-43

24Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.25“But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.26“But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.27“The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’28“And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’29“But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.30‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Mustard Seed

31He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;32and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THEAIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”

The Leaven

33He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

34All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable.35This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;

I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OFTHE WORLD.”

The Tares Explained

36Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”37And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,38and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.40“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.41“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,42and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43“Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THESUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Hidden Treasure

1 Kings 3:5-12

5In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”

Solomon’s Prayer

6Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.7“Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.8“Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.9“So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

God’s Answer

10It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.11God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice,12behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.

Psalm 119:129-136

129Your testimonies are wonderful;

Therefore my soul observes them.

130The unfolding of Your words gives light;

It gives understanding to the simple.

131I opened my mouth wide and panted,

For I longed for Your commandments.

132Turn to me and be gracious to me,

After Your manner with those who love Your name.

133Establish my footsteps in Your word,

And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.

134Redeem me from the oppression of man,

That I may keep Your precepts.

135Make Your face shine upon Your servant,

And teach me Your statutes.

136My eyes shed streams of water,

Because they do not keep Your law.

Tsadhe.

Romans 8:26-39

26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36Just as it is written,

“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;

WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”

37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 13:31-52

31He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;32and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THEAIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”

The Leaven

33He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

34All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable.35This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;

I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OFTHE WORLD.”

The Tares Explained

36Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”37And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,38and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.40“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.41“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,42and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43“Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THESUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Hidden Treasure

44“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

A Costly Pearl

45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,46and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

A Dragnet

47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;48and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.49“So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous,50and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51“Have you understood all these things?” They *said to Him, “Yes.”52And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

Jesus Revisits Nazareth

Isaiah 55:1-5

1“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;

And you who have no money come, buy and eat.

Come, buy wine and milk

Without money and without cost.

2“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,

And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,

And delight yourself in abundance.

3“Incline your ear and come to Me.

Listen, that you may live;

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,

According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

4“Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,

A leader and commander for the peoples.

5“Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,

And a nation which knows you not will run to you,

Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel;

For He has glorified you.”

Psalm 145:8-21

8The LORD is gracious and merciful;

Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.

9The LORD is good to all,

And His mercies are over all His works.

10All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,

And Your godly ones shall bless You.

11They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom

And talk of Your power;

12To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts

And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14The LORD sustains all who fall

And raises up all who are bowed down.

15The eyes of all look to You,

And You give them their food in due time.

16You open Your hand

And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17The LORD is righteous in all His ways

And kind in all His deeds.

18The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

19He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;

He will also hear their cry and will save them.

20The LORD keeps all who love Him,

But all the wicked He will destroy.

21My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,

And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

Romans 9:1-5

Solicitude for Israel

1I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,2that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.3For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,4who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,5whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Matthew 14:13-21

13Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.14When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.

15When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”17They *said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”18And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”19Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds,20and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.21There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

Jesus Walks on the Water

1 Kings 19:9-18

9Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORDcame to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”10He said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

11So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORDwas not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORDwas not in the earthquake.12After the earthquake a fire, but the LORDwas not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”14Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

15The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;16and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.17“It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.18“Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

Psalm 85:8-13

8I will hear what God the LORD will say;

For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;

But let them not turn back to folly.

9Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,

That glory may dwell in our land.

10Lovingkindness and truth have met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11Truth springs from the earth,

And righteousness looks down from heaven.

12Indeed, the LORD will give what is good,

And our land will yield its produce.

13Righteousness will go before Him

And will make His footsteps into a way.

Romans 10:5-15

5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.6But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down),7or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”8But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.11For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;13for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

Matthew 14:22-33

22Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.23After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.24But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.25And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.26When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”29And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.30But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”31Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”32When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.33And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

Isaiah 56:1-8

1Thus says the LORD,

“Preserve justice and do righteousness,

For My salvation is about to come

And My righteousness to be revealed.

2“How blessed is the man who does this,

And the son of man who takes hold of it;

Who keeps from profaning the sabbath,

And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

3Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say,

“The LORD will surely separate me from His people.”

Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”

4For thus says the LORD,

“To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths,

And choose what pleases Me,

And hold fast My covenant,

5To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial,

And a name better than that of sons and daughters;

I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.

6“Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,

To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD,

To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath

And holds fast My covenant;

7Even those I will bring to My holy mountain

And make them joyful in My house of prayer.

Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;

For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”

8The Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares,

“Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered.”

Psalm 67

1God be gracious to us and bless us,

And cause His face to shine upon us—

Selah.

2That Your way may be known on the earth,

Your salvation among all nations.

3Let the peoples praise You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;

For You will judge the peoples with uprightness

And guide the nations on the earth.

Selah.

5Let the peoples praise You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

6The earth has yielded its produce;

God, our God, blesses us.

7God blesses us,

That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Romans 11:1-21

Israel Is Not Cast Away

1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.2God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?3“Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”4But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”5In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;8just as it is written,

“GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR,

EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT,

DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.”

9And David says,

“LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP,

AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM.

10“LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT,

AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER.”

11I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.12Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!13But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,14if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?16If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.

Matthew 15:10-28

10After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand.11It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

12Then the disciples *came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”13But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.14“Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

The Heart of Man

15Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.”16Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also?17“Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?18“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.19“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.20“These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

The Syrophoenician Woman

21Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.22And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.”23But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.”24But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”25But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”26And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”27But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”28Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

Healing Crowds

Isaiah 51:1-6

1“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,

Who seek the LORD:

Look to the rock from which you were hewn

And to the quarry from which you were dug.

2“Look to Abraham your father

And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;

When hewas but one I called him,

Then I blessed him and multiplied him.”

3Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion;

He will comfort all her waste places.

And her wilderness He will make like Eden,

And her desert like the garden of the LORD;

Joy and gladness will be found in her,

Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.

4“Pay attention to Me, O My people,

And give ear to Me, O My nation;

For a law will go forth from Me,

And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.

5“My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,

And My arms will judge the peoples;

The coastlands will wait for Me,

And for My arm they will wait expectantly.

6“Lift up your eyes to the sky,

Then look to the earth beneath;

For the sky will vanish like smoke,

And the earth will wear out like a garment

And its inhabitants will die in like manner;

But My salvation will be forever,

And My righteousness will not wane.

Psalm 138

1I will give You thanks with all my heart;

I will sing praises to You before the gods.

2I will bow down toward Your holy temple

And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;

For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

3On the day I called, You answered me;

You made me bold with strength in my soul.

4All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD,

When they have heard the words of Your mouth.

5And they will sing of the ways of the LORD,

For great is the glory of the LORD.

6For though the LORD is exalted,

Yet He regards the lowly,

But the haughty He knows from afar.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;

You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,

And Your right hand will save me.

8The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;

Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;

Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Romans 12:1-8

Dedicated Service

1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Matthew 16:13-20

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”15He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”17And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.19“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”20Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Death