Sunday, Jan 10, 2010: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
Today’s Scripture Readings
An In-Depth Discussion Led by The Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, January 10, 2010


Isaiah (43:1-7):


1 But now, this is what the LORD says— 
he who created you, O Jacob, 
he who formed you, O Israel: 
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, 
I will be with you; 
and when you pass through the rivers, 
they will not sweep over you. 
When you walk through the fire, 
you will not be burned; 
the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the LORD, your God, 
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; 
I give Egypt for your ransom, 
Cush [a] and Seba in your stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, 
and because I love you, 
I will give men in exchange for you, 
and people in exchange for your life. 

5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; 
I will bring your children from the east 
and gather you from the west.

6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ 
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ 
Bring my sons from afar 
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-

7 everyone who is called by my name, 
whom I created for my glory, 
whom I formed and made.”


– Exile from Babylon

– Reminder of Judah’s sinfulness

– Change in direction — new beginning

-“You are still my children.”

– “You are worth more to me (the Lord) than the whole world.”

– The people are punished because God loves them (tough love)

– The second half of Isaiah was written about two centuries after the first half.


Psalm 29:


1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones, 
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; 
worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness. 

3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; 
the God of glory thunders, 
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; 
the voice of the LORD is majestic.

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; 
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, 
Sirion [b] like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the LORD strikes 
with flashes of lightning.

8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; 
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks [c] 
and strips the forests bare. 
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The LORD sits [d] enthroned over the flood; 
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.

11 The LORD gives strength to his people; 
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

– Chosen because of the voice of God speaking

– A storm coming over the Mediterranean

– Shows the power of God in the storm

– It moves over Lebanon and then over Israel

– The people are overwhelmed and cry “Glory”

– God is sitting serenely above the storm

– God’s ultimate gift: care for his people and peace on earth. 


Acts (8:14-17):


14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into[c] the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.


– People in Samaria (through Phillip’s preaching) becoming Christian

– “The Way”

– Peter and John sent there as it’s a breakthrough to associate with the Samarians

– The Jewish world did not previously associate with them.


Luke (3:15-17; 21-22):


15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. [b] 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with [c] water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”


– Starts with John the Baptist

– He is unworthy and baptizes with fire

– The judge of the world will be coming

– Chapters 19 and 20 are skipped — out of sequence with the arrest of John

– (He gets “air time” before Jesus appears on the scene)

– Emphasis is not on the actual baptism but on Jesus praying before a major event

– The heavens opened — the day of the Lord is coming

– The Spirit of God appears like a dove — not sure why a dove is used as the image

– The Spirit is the driving force in both Luke and Acts

– The voice of heaven re-emphasizes the Son of God.