Sunday, February 26, 2012: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

A Reading from the Second Book of Genesis (9:8-17)


God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”


> End of Noah story (two stories threaded together)

> God establishes new covenant with Noah and his descendents

> This is a one-way covenant… God to humanity

> “Never again” God promises three times — no flood on the earth

> God the warrior puts away his bow (instrument of war).

> It is symbolized by the rainbow.

> The new beginning has begun.



PSALM 25:1-9


1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;

   my God, I put my trust in you; *
   let me not be humiliated,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
   let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3 Show me your ways, O LORD, *
   and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
   for you are the God of my salvation;
   in you have I trusted all the day long.
5 Remember, O LORD, your compassion and love, *
   for they are from everlasting.
6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
   remember me according to your love
   and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.
7 Gracious and upright is the LORD; *
   therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8 He guides the humble in doing right *
   and teaches his way to the lowly.
9 All the paths of the LORD are love and faithfulness *
   to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.


> First two verses — call for God’s help

> Third and fourth verses — deliver and enlighten me

> Fifth and sixth verses — remember and take action on God

> Seventh and eighth verses — God, who is gracious, teaches us

> Ninth verse — love is the path to God.



A Reading from the First Letter of Peter (3:18-22)


Christ suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.  And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.


> Refers back to Noah’s story

> Heavy emphasis on baptism

> Ties together with the waters of  the flood and baptism

> The eight people referred to are Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their three wives.

> End on a positive note of Jesus’ resurrection.



The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (1:9-15)


In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”


> Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness story – typical for start of Lent

> Only two verses in Mark make mention of that.
> Same type of verses as in the Epiphany — the revelation of Jesus to the world

> Short story about Jesus’ 4o days in the wilderness

> Beginning of conflict between Jesus and Satan

> New beginning – “Good News” being proclaimed — the kingdom of God is here.