March 15, 2023 – Lenten Service
March 15, 2023
THE OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Jeremiah 2:4-13
4Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5Thus says the LORD: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? 6They did not say, “Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives?” 7I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. 8The priests did not say, “Where is the LORD?” Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit. 9Therefore once more I accuse you, says the LORD, and I accuse your children’s children. 10Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has ever been such a thing. 11Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that does not profit. 12Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD, 13for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.
THE PSALM PSALM 81
1Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob. 2Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. 3Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our festal day. 4For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 5He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known: 6“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. 7In distress you called, and I rescued you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you; O Israel, if you would but listen to me! 9There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god. 10I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. 11“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. 13O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! 14Then I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes. 15Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their doom would last forever. 16I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
THE GOSPEL LESSON John 7:14-31, 37-39
14About the middle of the festival Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. 15The Jews were astonished at it,
saying, “How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?” 16Then Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. 17Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. 18Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him. 19Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me? 20The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?” 21Jesus answered them, “I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. 22Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the
sabbath. 23If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body on the sabbath? 24Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” 25Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? 26And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? 27Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” 28Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. 29I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” 30Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, “When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?” 37On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'” 39Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
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