16 This is what the LORD says– he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. 20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. 4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
Philippians 3:8-14 – Pressing on Toward the Goal
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Let us pray
for the courage to follow Christ.
Father, help us to be like Christ your Son,
who loved the world and died for our salvation.
Inspire us by his love, guide us by his example,
and change our selfishness into self-giving.
As we enter the last week before Holy Week,
It seems that there is so much left to do, to ask for, to be open to, to surrender, to change.
We beg forgiveness for our pride and our hardened hearts.
You invite us to open our lives
and free ourselves from the burden of our judgments.
“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.”
Fill our hearts with the grace we need and desire this week.
We ask for courage to continue our journey through Lent.
Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace.
Let us pray to him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.
Christ, through baptism we were buried with you and rose to new life with you,
– may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, you have brought blessings to all mankind,
– help us to share your concern for the good of all.
Healer of body and soul, cure any sickness in our spirit,
– so that we may grow in holiness through your constant care.
it’s so hard to love the world
sometimes andto love it the way Jesus did seemsimpossible.
Help me to be inspired by His love
and guidedby His example.
Most of all, I want to accept that I can’t do it alone,
and that trying is an act of arrogance and self-centeredness.
I need you, dear God, to give me support in this journey.
Show me how to unlock my
heart sothat I am less selfish.
Please bring joy to the dark places in my heart
as I celebrate your gift of new life on Easter.