October 13, 2019
Old Testament: Leviticus 23:26-32
The Lord spoke to Moses, “On the tenth day of this seventh month is a special day for the payment for sins called the Day of Atonement. There will be a holy assembly. Humble yourselves, deny yourself food and bring a food offering to the Lord. Do not do any work that day. It is a special day the Day of Atonement. It is a time when you make peace with the Lord your God. Those who do not deny themselves food on that day will be excluded from the people. I will kill those who do any work on that day. Do not do any work. It is a permanent law for generations to come wherever you live. It is a day of rest, a day when you don’t work. Deny yourself food starting on the evening of the ninth day of the month. From that evening to the next, observe the day of rest as a holy day.”
Epistle Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
You were once dead because of your failures and sins. You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God. All of us once lived among these people, and followed the desires of our corrupt nature. We did what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. So, because of our nature, we deserved God’s anger just like everyone else.
But God is rich in mercy because of his great love for us. We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. It is God’s kindness that saved you. God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him. He did this through Christ Jesus out of his generosity to us in order to show his extremely rich kindness in the world to come. God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you have done so no one can brag about it. God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.
Gospel Reading: Mark 2:1-12
Jesus went back to Capernaum. The report went out that he was home. Many people had gathered. There was no room left, even in front of the door. Jesus was speaking the word to them.
Four men came to him carrying a paralyzed man. Since they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd they made an opening in the roof over the place where Jesus was. Then they lowered the cot on which the paralyzed man was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Some experts in Moses’ Teachings were sitting there. They thought, “Why does he talk this way? He’s dishonoring God. Who besides God can forgive sins?”
At once, Jesus knowing inwardly what they were thinking. He asked them, “Why do you have these thoughts? Which is easier to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your cot, and walk’? I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then he said to the paralyzed man, “I’m telling you to get up, pick up your cot, and go home!”
The man got up immediately, picked up his cot and walked away while everyone watched. Everyone was amazed and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”