Let us pray:
Almighty God, Your name is glorified even in the
anguish of your Son's death. Grant us the courage to receive your
anointed servant who embodies a
wisdom and love that is
foolishness to the world. Empower us in witness so that all the
world may recognize in the
scandal of the cross the mystery of
Shout to the Lord (Darlene Zschech)
Psalm 71:1-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. 3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. 5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
7 I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long. 9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent. 10 For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together. 11 They say, “Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken, for there is no one to deliver.”
12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! 13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed; let those who seek to hurt me be covered with scorn and disgrace. 14 But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 The Message (MSG)
18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.
22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”
26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”
John 12:20-36 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
What Wondrous Love Is This (US folk hymn, harm. by Paul J. Christiansen, sung by Fernando Ortega)
Let us pray:
God our strength,
we lift to you the deepest prayers of our hearts
that you will save us from the time of trial
and comfort us in tribulation.
Please lift up those who are on your heart
Reveal your glory to the nations,
that your cross may stand
as a sign of the power
that conquers human pride
and confounds the wisdom of this world. Amen.
Stand by Me (Charles Tindley, sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford)
Holy and immortal God,
from earliest times
you have named us
and called us into discipleship.
Teach us to follow the One
whose light scatters the darkness of our world,
that we may walk as children of the light. Amen.
Prayers found on The Revised Common Lectionary, a service of Vanderbilt Divinity Library,
Picture of woman clinging to the cross found on Pinterest
Scriptures from biblegateway.com