Prepare for Worship
June 3 – Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 9
Readings (semi-continuous): 1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 2 Corinthians 4:5-12; Mark 2:23-3:6.
During the months of June and August, the semi-continuous reading option for Lectionary Cycle B will be used. This series begins with Samuel’s prophetic ministry and concludes with the deaths of King Saul and his son, Jonathan. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus challenges the prevailing interpretation of what is lawful on the Sabbath and tells his critics that the Sabbath was made for humankind, not the other way around. Healing the man with the withered hand is work that cannot wait until after the Sabbath.
Hymns: “O Day of Rest and Gladness” (521); “Here I Am, Lord” (574); “Lord, Speak to Us, That We May Speak” (676).
June 10 – Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 10
Readings (semi-continuous): 1 Samuel 8:4-11 [12-15] 16-20 [11:14-15]; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35.
In our semi-continuous reading, God has settled the Israelites in the Promised Land and has appointed judges to govern them. Wanting to be like the nations around them, the Israelites have Samuel for a human king. Rejecting the kingship of God, they open themselves up to oppression at the hands of a human king. The second reading brings words of assurance – that God promises to bring us eternal life, just as God raised Jesus from death to life. All who do the will of God by the power of the Holy Spirit are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Hymns: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (504); “I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me” (860); “On Our Way Rejoicing” (537).
June 17 – Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 11
Readings: 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13; Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 [11-13] 14-17.
Saul, anointed by the prophet Samuel as the first king of Israel, displeases the Lord. The Lord sends Samuel to Bethlehem, where he anoints David to succeed Saul as king. In the second lesson, Paul encourages believers to life by faith and not by sight. Believing that Jesus died and was raised for all, we are now part of God’s new creation. Jesus’ parable in Mark’s Gospel uses the image of sowing the smallest of seeds which grow – unexpectedly – with a power beyond our comprehension.
Hymns: “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” (533); “We Walk by Faith” (635); “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing” (547).
June 24 – Time after Pentecost – Lectionary 12
Readings (semi-continuous): 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 10-16; Psalm 133; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41.
The soldier Goliath offers a strong image of the superiority of the Philistine army’s might. Armed with a slingshot and faith in God, David’s victory over Goliath bears witness to the whole earth that “there is a God in Israel.” Jesus’ calming of the storm at sea reveals his power over evil and chaos. Just as the wind and the waves obey their creator, we are likewise called to believe in the power of God’s word through Christ – a power greater than all that we fear.
Hymns: “We Praise You, O God” (870); “Give Thanks” (reprinted from This Far by Faith), “How Firm a Foundation” (796).