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The Story of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and
The First Day
The Second Day
The Third Day
God said, "I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain." And that's what happened. The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. Evening came and then morning - that was the third day.
The Fourth Day
Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. Evening came and then morning that was the fourth day.
The Fifth Day
Then he gave the living creatures his blessing -- he told the ocean creatures to live everywhere in the ocean and the birds to live everywhere on earth. Evening came and then morning that was the fifth day.
The Sixth Day
God said, "Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures." So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. God gave them his blessing and said:
Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on the earth. I have provided all kinds of fruit and grain for you to eat. And I have given the green plants as food for everything else that breathes. These will be food for animals, both wild and tame, and for birds. God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good! Evening came and then morning - that was the sixth day.
So the heavens and the earth and everything else were created.
The Seventh Day
The LORD Tells Abraham To Offer Isaac as a Sacrifice
Some years later God decided to test Abraham, so he spoke to him.
Abraham answered, "Here I am, LORD."
The LORD said, "Go get Isaac, your only son, the one you dearly love! Take him to the land of Moriah, and I will show you a mountain where you must sacrifice him to me on the fires of an altar." So Abraham got up early the next morning and chopped wood for the fire. He put a saddle on his donkey and left with Isaac and two servants for the place where God had told him to go.
Three days later Abraham looked off in the distance and saw the place. He told his servants, "Stay here with the donkey, while my son and I go over there to worship. We will come back."
Abraham put the wood on Isaac's shoulder, but he carried the hot coals and the knife. As the two of them walked along, Isaac said, "Father, we have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?"
"My son," Abraham answered, "God will provide the lamb."
The two of them walked on, and when they reached the place that God had told him about, Abraham built an altar and placed the wood on it. Next, he tied up his son and put him on the wood. He then took the knife and got ready to kill his son. But the LORD'S angel shouted from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he answered.
"Don't hurt the boy or harm him in any way!" the angel said. "Now I know that you truly obey God, because you were willing to offer him your only son."
Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. So he took the ram and sacrificed it in place of his son.
Abraham named that place "The LORD Will Provide." And even now people say, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
The LORD'S angel called out from heaven a second
The Israelites Cross the Red Sea
At Etham the LORD said to Moses:
Tell the people of Israel to turn back and camp across from Pi-Hahiroth near Baal-Zephon, between Migdol and the Red Sea. The king will think they were afraid to cross the desert and that they are wandering around, trying to find another way to leave the country. I will make the king stubborn again, and he will try to catch you. Then I will destroy him and his army. People everywhere will praise me for my victory, and the Egyptians will know that I really am the LORD.
The Israelites obeyed the LORD and camped where he told them.
When the king of Egypt heard that the Israelites had finally left, he and his officials changed their minds and said, "Look what we have done! We let them get away, and they will no longer be our slaves."
The king got his war chariot and army ready. He commanded his officers in charge of his six hundred best chariots and all his other chariots to start after the Israelites. The LORD made the king so stubborn that he went after them, even though the Israelites proudly went on their way. But the king's horses and chariots and soldiers caught up with them while they were camping by the Red Sea near Pi-Hahiroth and Baal-Zephon.
When the Israelites saw the king coming with his army, they were frightened and begged the LORD for help. They also complained to Moses, "Wasn't there enough room in Egypt to bury us? Is that why you brought us out here to die in the desert? Why did you bring us out of Egypt anyway? While we were there, didn't we tell you to leave us alone? We had rather be slaves in Egypt than die in this desert!"
But Moses answered, "Don't be afraid! Be brave, and you will see the LORD save you today. These Egyptians will never bother you again. The LORD will fight for you, and you won't have to do a thing."
The LORD said to Moses, "Why do you keep calling out to me for help? Tell the Israelites to move forward. Then hold your walking stick over the sea. The water will open up and make a road where they can walk through on dry ground. I will make the Egyptians so stubborn that they will go after you. Then I will be praised because of what happens to the king and his chariots and cavalry. The Egyptians will know for sure that I am the LORD."
All this time God's angel had gone ahead of Israel's army, but now he moved behind them. A large cloud had also gone ahead of them, but now it moved between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud gave light to the Israelites, but made it dark for the Egyptians, and during the night they could not come any closer.
Moses stretched his arm over the sea, and the LORD sent a strong east wind that blew all night until there was dry land where the water had been. The sea opened up, and the Israelites walked through on dry land with a wall of water on each side.
The Egyptian chariots and cavalry went after them. But before daylight the LORD looked down at the Egyptian army from the fiery cloud and made them panic. Their chariot wheels got stuck, and it was hard for them to move. So the Egyptians said to one another, "Let's leave these people alone! The LORD is on their side and is fighting against us."
The LORD told Moses, "Stretch your arm toward the sea; the water will cover the Egyptians and their cavalry and chariots." Moses stretched out his arm, and at daybreak the water rushed toward the Egyptians. They tried to run away, but the LORD drowned them in the sea. The water came and covered the chariots, the cavalry, and the whole Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them was left alive. But the sea had made a wall of water on each side of the Israelites; so they walked through on dry land.
On that day, when the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore, they knew that the LORD had saved them. Because of the mighty power he had used against the Egyptians, the Israelites worshiped him and trusted him and his servant Moses.
The Song of Moses
Moses and the Israelites sang this song in praise of the LORD:
I sing praises to the LORD for his great
The LORD All-Powerful, the Holy God of Israel,
You were like a young wife, brokenhearted and
But the LORD your God says,
For a while, I turned away in furious anger.
I once promised Noah that I would never again
Every mountain and hill may disappear.
Jerusalem, you are sad and discouraged,
Your fortresses will be built of rubies,
You will be built on fairness with no fears
The LORD'S Invitation
If you are thirsty, come and drink water!
Why waste your money on what really isn't food?
Listen carefully to me,
Pay close attention! Come to me and live.
You will call out to nations you have never
Turn to the LORD! He can still be found.
The LORD says: "My thoughts and my ways
"Rain and snow fall from the sky.
Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4
Wisdom Comes from God
Listen carefully, people of Israel, so you can learn about wisdom and the commands that lead to life. You have lived in this enemy land so long that you are now much older. You are unfit to worship the Lord and are unclean, like a dead body. In fact, you are almost dead yourselves! Don't you know why these things are happening to you? It's because you have turned away from the only source of wisdom. If you had followed the ways of God, you would have lived in peace forever. Learn where wisdom, strength, and knowledge come from. Then you will know how to have a long and peaceful life, and you will find light to guide you.
God alone knows Wisdom, because he knows everything. In fact, he discovered Wisdom with his own knowledge. God created the earth to last forever, and then filled it with all kinds of animals. When he commanded light to shine, it trembled and obeyed, and now goes wherever he sends it.
Wisdom is found in the book of God's laws and teachings, and they will last forever. Everyone who follows Wisdom will live, but those who ignore her will die. People of Israel, you must turn to Wisdom and keep her with you always. Her light shines brightly, so walk toward it. Don't give away to any other nation the glorious Wisdom that rightfully belongs to you. We should celebrate, because we are the people of Israel, the only ones who know what pleases God.
The LORD Will Be Honored
The LORD said:
Ezekiel, son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own country, they made the land unclean by the way they behaved, just as a woman's monthly period makes her unclean. They committed murders and worshiped idols, which made the land even worse. So in my anger, I punished my people and scattered them throughout the nations, just as they deserved. Wherever they went, my name was disgraced, because foreigners insulted my people by saying I had forced them out of their own land. I care what those foreigners think of me, so tell the Israelites that I am saying:
You have disgraced my holy name among the nations
where you now live. So you don't deserve what I'm going to do for you.
I will lead you home to bring honor to my name and to show foreign nations
that I am holy. Then they will know that I am the LORD God. I have spoken.
Don't you know that all who share in Christ Jesus by being baptized also share in his death?
When we were baptized, we died and were buried with Christ. We were baptized, so that we would live a new life, as Christ was raised to life by the glory of God the Father.
If we shared in Jesus' death by being baptized, we will be raised to life with him. We know that the persons we used to be were nailed to the cross with Jesus. This was done, so that our sinful bodies would no longer be the slaves of sin. We know that sin doesn't have power over dead people.
As surely as we died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him. We know that death no longer has any power over Christ. He died and was raised to life, never again to die. When Christ died, he died for sin once and for all. But now he is alive, and he lives only for God.
In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.
Jesus Is Alive
After the sabbath, as the first
day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came
to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an
angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the
stone, and sat upon it.
Gospel Year B
Mark 16: 1-8
Jesus Is Alive
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. They were saying to one another, "Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"
He said to them, "Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'"
Gospel Year C
Jesus Is Alive
Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices that they had prepared.
When they found the stone rolled away from the entrance, they went in. But they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus, and they did not know what to think.
Suddenly two men in shining white clothes stood beside them. The women were afraid and bowed to the ground. But the men said, "Why are you looking in the place of the dead for someone who is alive? Jesus isn't here! He has been raised from death. Remember that while he was still in Galilee, he told you, 'The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail him to a cross. But three days later he will rise to life.' "
Then they remembered what Jesus had said.
Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women were the ones who had gone to the tomb. When they returned, they told the eleven apostles and the others what had happened. The apostles thought it was all nonsense, and they would not believe.
But Peter ran to the tomb. And when he stooped
down and looked in, he saw only the burial clothes. Then he returned, wondering
what had happened.
Contemporary English Version - The Holy Bible (New York , NY: American Bible Society 1995)