Readings

BELOW ARE THE READINGS FOR THE LAST SUNDAY SERVICE PLUS READINGS FOR FORTHCOMING SUNDAYS

23 February – Sunday before Lent
2 Peter 1: 16 – end

16 We have not depended on made-up stories in making known to you the mighty coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. With our own eyes we saw his greatness. 17 We were there when he was given honour and glory by God the Father, when the voice came to him from the Supreme Glory, saying, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased!” 18 We ourselves heard this voice coming from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 So we are even more confident of the message proclaimed by the prophets. You will do well to pay attention to it, because it is like a lamp shining in a dark place until the Day dawns and the light of the morning star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all else, however, remember that no one can explain by himself or herself a prophecy in the Scriptures. 21 For no prophetic message ever came just from human will, but people were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God.

Matthew 17: 1 – 9

1 Six days later Jesus took with him Peter and the brothers James and John and led them up a high mountain where they were alone. 2 As they looked on, a change came over Jesus: his face was shining like the sun, and his clothes were dazzling white. 3 Then the three disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. 4 So Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how good it is that we are here! If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was talking, a shining cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased — listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard the voice, they were so terrified that they threw themselves face downwards on the ground. 7 Jesus came to them and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid!” 8 So they looked up and saw no one there but Jesus. 9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone about this vision you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from death.”

1 March – Lent 1
Romans 5: 12 – 19

12 Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned. 13 There was sin in the world before the Law was given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins. 14 But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses death ruled over the whole human race, even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam did when he disobeyed God’s command. Adam was a figure of the one who was to come. 15 But the two are not the same, because God’s free gift is not like Adam’s sin. It is true that many people died because of the sin of that one man. But God’s grace is much greater, and so is his free gift to so many people through the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16 And there is a difference between God’s gift and the sin of one man. After the one sin, came the judgement of “Guilty”; but after so many sins, comes the undeserved gift of “Not guilty!” 17 It is true that through the sin of one man death began to rule because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ! All who receive God’s abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ. 18 So then, as the one sin condemned all people, in the same way the one righteous act sets all people free and gives them life. 19 And just as the mass of people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man, in the same way the mass of people will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of the one man.

Matthew 4: 1 – 11

1 Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. 3 Then the Devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, order these stones to turn into bread.” 4 But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’ ” 5 Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says: ‘God will give orders to his angels about you; they will hold you up with their hands, so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’ ” 7 Jesus answered, “But the scripture also says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness. 9 “All this I will give you,” the Devil said, “if you kneel down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ” 11 Then the Devil left Jesus; and angels came and helped him.

8 March – Lent 2
Romans 4: 1-5,13-17

1 What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience? 2 If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about — but not in God’s sight. 3 The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 4 Those who work are paid wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that has been earned. 5 But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself. 13 When God promised Abraham and his descendants that the world would belong to him, he did so, not because Abraham obeyed the Law, but because he believed and was accepted as righteous by God. 14 For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then faith means nothing and God’s promise is worthless. 15 The Law brings down God’s anger; but where there is no law, there is no disobeying of the law. 16 And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God’s free gift to all of Abraham’s descendants — not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; 17 as the scripture says, “I have made you father of many nations.” So the promise is good in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed — the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist.

John 3: 1 – 17

1 There was a Jewish leader named Nicodemus, who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. 2 One night he went to Jesus and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by God. No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless God were with him.” 3 Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.” 4 “How can a grown man be born again?” Nicodemus asked. “He certainly cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time!” 5 “I am telling you the truth,” replied Jesus. “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit. 7 Do not be surprised because I tell you that you must all be born again. 8 The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 “How can this be?” asked Nicodemus. 10 Jesus answered, “You are a great teacher in Israel, and you don’t know this? 11 I am telling you the truth: we speak of what we know and report what we have seen, yet none of you is willing to accept our message. 12 You do not believe me when I tell you about the things of this world; how will you ever believe me, then, when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13  And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from heaven.” 14 As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.

15 March: Lent 3
Romans 5: 1 – 11

1 Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! 3 We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. 5 This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us. 6 For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. 7 It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God has shown us how much he loves us — it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! 9 By his blood we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s anger! 10 We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! 11 But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friends.

John 4: 5 – 42

5 In Samaria he came to a town named Sychar, which was not far from the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 A Samaritan woman came to draw some water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” 8 (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.) 9 The woman answered, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan — so how can you ask me for a drink?” (Jews will not use the same cups and bowls that Samaritans use.) 10 Jesus answered, “If only you knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you haven’t got a bucket, and the well is deep. Where would you get that life-giving water? 12 It was our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well; he and his sons and his flocks all drank from it. You don’t claim to be greater than Jacob, do you?” 13 Jesus answered, “All those who drink this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring which will provide him with life-giving water and give him eternal life.” 15 “Sir,” the woman said, “give me that water! Then I will never be thirsty again, nor will I have to come here to draw water.” 16 “Go and call your husband,” Jesus told her, “and come back.” 17 “I haven’t got a husband,” she answered. Jesus replied, “You are right when you say you haven’t got a husband. 18 You have been married to five men, and the man you live with now is not really your husband. You have told me the truth.” 19 “I see you are a prophet, sir,” the woman said. 20 “My Samaritan ancestors worshipped God on this mountain, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where we should worship God.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time will come when people will not worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans do not really know whom you worship; but we Jews know whom we worship, because it is from the Jews that salvation comes. 23 But the time is coming and is already here, when by the power of God’s Spirit people will worship the Father as he really is, offering him the true worship that he wants. 24 God is Spirit, and only by the power of his Spirit can people worship him as he really is.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah will come, and when he comes, he will tell us everything.” 26 Jesus answered, “I am he, I who am talking with you.” 27 At that moment Jesus’ disciples returned, and they were greatly surprised to find him talking with a woman. But none of them said to her, “What do you want?” or asked him, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 Then the woman left her water jar, went back to the town, and said to the people there, 29 “Come and see the man who told me everything I have ever done. Could he be the Messiah?” 30 So they left the town and went to Jesus. 31 In the meantime the disciples were begging Jesus, “Teacher, have something to eat!” 32 But he answered, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 So the disciples started asking among themselves, “Could somebody have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” Jesus said to them, “is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he gave me to do. 35 You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested! 36 The one who reaps the harvest is being paid and gathers the crops for eternal life; so another who sows and the one who reaps will be glad together. 37 The saying is true, ‘One sows, another reaps.’ 38 I have sent you to reap a harvest in a field where you did not work; others worked there, and you profit from their work.” 39 Many of the Samaritans in that town believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them, and Jesus stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of his message, 42 and they said to the woman, “We believe now, not because of what you said, but because we ourselves have heard him, and we know that he really is the Saviour of the world.”