Scripture Readings

Isaiah 58:5–14

Is such the fast that I choose,
 a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
 and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
 a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
 to loose the bonds of injustice,
 to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
 and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
 and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
 and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
 and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
 the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
 you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,
 the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
 and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
 and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
 and satisfy your needs in parched places,
 and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
 like a spring of water,
 whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
 you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
 the restorer of streets to live in.

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
 from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
 and the holy day of the Lord honourable;
if you honour it, not going your own ways,
 serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
 and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
 for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Psalm 50:1–6

The Acceptable Sacrifice

A Psalm of Asaph.

The mighty one, God the Lord,
 speaks and summons the earth
 from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
 God shines forth.

Our God comes and does not keep silence,
 before him is a devouring fire,
 and a mighty tempest all around him.
He calls to the heavens above
 and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
‘Gather to me my faithful ones,
 who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!’
The heavens declare his righteousness,
 for God himself is judge. Selah

Colossians 3:1–17

The New Life in Christ

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

St. John 2:1–11

The Wedding at Cana

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Prayers

Opening Prayer

Our gracious an dmericful Lord, we pray, please grant that we may observe this season of Lent with holy fasting, so that we may by Your power, battle against spiritual evils and grow in purity within and without. Enable us to live close to you and ceaselessly praise You, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and always forever will be, world without end. Amen.


Great Thanksgiving Prayer

It is indeed good and right to give you thanks and praise, Almighty God and Everlasting Father, through Jesus Christ Your Son. For in this season of Lent, You lead us into the desert of repentance, that through the pilgrimage of prayer and discipline we may grow in grace and become more like our Lord. Through fasting, prayer and acts of service, You bring us to Your generous heart. May our self denial bring glory to You, and help us to be humble and get rid of our sinful pride. Help us to care for the poor and the destitute. Help us, Lord, to imitate You in our deeds. We thank you for Your mercy and join with saints and angels to proclaim:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,
heaven and earth are full of His glory,
hosanna in the highest;
blessed is He who has come,
and is to come
in the name of the Lord,
hosanna in the highest.


Post Communion Prayer

Gracious and compassionate Father in heaven, we thank you for strengthening our faith and hope. We praise You for deepening our love through this worship. Pour out the power of the Holy Spirit on us that we may live by the Word of Christ, the Bread of Life. We offer our life at your feet that in this season of Lent, the life and nature of Christ may grow deeper in us. We ascribe praise and thanksgiving to You, to Your Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and always forever will be, world without end. Amen.


Prayer Focus

For the month of February we at GFA World are focusing our prayers for GFA World’s medical ministry. Please join us in praying for them.

Even though the poor, especially in developing regions such as the countries where GFA serves, are more vulnerable to disease and ill health, these men, women and children have less access to health services. They may live in remote areas where health care is simply unavailable, or they may lack the means to obtain proper health care.

Struggling just to survive on meagre incomes, they may face the difficult choice of going into debt or leaving ailments untreated when they or their family members become ill. Every year, medical expenses push millions of people into extreme poverty. Meanwhile, approximately 5 million people die every year from antibiotic-treatable diseases. Many others suffer from treatable ailments.

GFA World’s medical ministry has helped thousands such people in need of medical attention, while demonstrating the love of the Great Physician. But many remain in need. The World Bank estimates half of the world lacks access to essential health services. Many of these people are in impoverished communities, including those where GFA missionaries serve.

Please join us in praying this month for GFA World’s medical ministry and for those in need of medical care.


Please Pray with us

Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Art: David, Gérard, ca. 1460-1523. Miracle at Cana, from Art in the Christian Tradition a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=46657 [retrieved January 2, 2019].

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