Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Sunday Bible Readings and Prayers for Sunday, February 13, 2022 — Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Sermon on the Plain, Luke 6:17-26

The Sunday Bible Readings and Prayers
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 1; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Luke 6:17-26
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

To be blessed, is to recover your true identity and calling. To be broken, is to be opened up to the grace of God. To be given, is to discover your mission for the life of the world.

Introduction & Theme

The blessings and woes of Jesus’ sermon on the plain capture the tone and theme of today’s scriptures. Jeremiah and the psalmist contrast the blessing of the righteous, who are like trees planted by streams of water, with the curse of the wicked, who are like shrubs that wither and in the desert. Likewise, Jesus contrasts the blessings in store for those who are poor and who suffer now with the woes in store for those who are rich and comfortable. These scriptures describe both the blessings of God’s kingdom and the consequences of putting earthly rewards above heavenly blessings. They highlight the blessings gained from trusting God, and the loss incurred when we turn away from God. The epistle argues for belief in the resurrection and does not fit these themes.

Opening Prayer
(Luke 6)

God of blessings and woes, bless us this day with lives filled with love, caring, generosity, and deep, abiding hope. We pray that your kingdom will dwell among all people, and that we may be instruments of your love and your grace. Open our hearts with the joy of healing a world filled with brokenness and pain. In the name of the one who taught us the ways of light and love, be in our worship and in our very lives. Amen.

Call to Confession
(Jer 17, Ps 1)

Gentle guide, loving guardian, heal our foolish ways. We long to forsake the advice of the wicked and the slow seduction of sinful paths, but our speech and actions often belie us. We yearn to be like trees planted beside living waters, bearing the fruit of righteousness in due season, but the seat of scoffers calls to us and the temptation to return evil for evil withers our souls like shrubs in the desert. Our hearts seek the ways of your Spirit and the waters of life, but our footsteps lead us into arid, desert sands. This is not your hope and plan for us. Forgive us. Turn us again to the healing you so freely offer, and mend the brokenness in our lives and in our world. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
(Luke 6)

God looks at us in our brokenness, and offers blessings to all who turn to the Lord. With the assurance of God’s faithful love, choose this day to be people of blessing.

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
What does it mean to believe in Jesus? Does it mean that intellectually you agree with the fact that He was born in Bethlehem of a virgin and that He is a great teacher? Yes, but there’s even more to it than that. To have faith in Jesus Christ means to believe that He is God (John 1:1; 10:30; 14:9) and that He saves you by His crucifixion (Eph. 2:8, 9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5). If you continue to believe that you can somehow earn your salvation, you have never been truly born again. However, when you truly place your faith in Him, you receive His gift of eternal life (John 6:40; 17:3).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Jeremiah 17:5-10
Those Who Trust the Lord are Like Trees

17:5 This is what the Lord says:

  “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
     who draws strength from mere flesh
     and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
     they will not see prosperity when it comes.
  They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
     in a salt land where no one lives.

7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
     whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
     that sends out its roots by the stream.
  It does not fear when heat comes;
     its leaves are always green.
  It has no worries in a year of drought
     and never fails to bear fruit.”

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
     and beyond cure.
     Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
      and examine the mind,
   to reward each person according to their conduct,
      according to what their deeds deserve.”


The happiness of the man that trusts in God.

He who puts confidence in man, shall be like the heath in a desert, a naked tree, a sorry shrub, the product of barren ground, useless and worthless. Those who trust to their own righteousness and strength, and think they can do without Christ, make flesh their arm, and their souls cannot prosper in graces or comforts. Those who make God their Hope, shall flourish like a tree always green, whose leaf does not wither. They shall be fixed in peace and satisfaction of mind; they shall not be anxious in a year of drought. Those who make God their Hope, have enough in him to make up the want of all creature-comforts. They shall not cease from yielding fruit in holiness and good works. The heart, the conscience of man, in his corrupt and fallen state, is deceitful above all things. It calls evil good, and good evil; and cries peace to those to whom it does not belong. Herein the heart is desperately wicked; it is deadly, it is desperate. The case is bad indeed, if the conscience, which should set right the errors of other faculties, is a leader in the delusion. We cannot know our own hearts, nor what they will do in an hour of temptation. Who can understand his errors? Much less can we know the hearts of others, or depend upon them. He that believes God's testimony in this matter, and learns to watch his own heart, will find this is a correct, though a sad picture, and learns many lessons to direct his conduct. But much in our own hearts and in the hearts of others, will remain unknown. Yet whatever wickedness there is in the heart, God sees it. Men may be imposed upon, but God cannot be deceived.

From the Psalter
Psalm 1
Trees Planted by Streams of Water

1 Blessed is the one
     who does not walk in step with the wicked
  or stand in the way that sinners take
     or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
     and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
     which yields its fruit in season
  and whose leaf does not wither—
     whatever they do prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
     They are like chaff
     that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
     nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
     but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.


The holiness and happiness of a godly man (vv. 1-3). The sinfulness and misery of a wicked man, The ground and reason of both (vv. 4-6).

Verses 1-3: To meditate in God's word, is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with close application of mind and fixedness of thought. We must have constant regard to the word of God, as the rule of our actions, and the spring of our comforts; and have it in our thoughts night and day. For this purpose no time is amiss.

Verses 4-6: The ungodly are the reverse of the righteous, both in character and condition. The ungodly are not so, ver. 4; they are led by the counsel of the wicked, in the way of sinners, to the seat of the scornful; they have no delight in the law of God; they bring forth no fruit but what is evil. The righteous are like useful, fruitful trees: the ungodly are like the chaff which the wind drives away: the dust which the owner of the floor desires to have driven away, as not being of any use. They are of no worth in God's account, how highly soever they may value themselves. They are easily driven to and fro by every wind of temptation. The chaff may be, for a while, among the wheat, but He is coming, whose fan is in his hand, and who will thoroughly purge his floor. Those that, by their own sin and folly, make themselves as chaff, will be found so before the whirlwind and fire of Divine wrath. The doom of the ungodly is fixed, but whenever the sinner becomes sensible of this guilt and misery, he may be admitted into the company of the righteous by Christ the living way, and become in Christ a new creature. He has new desires, new pleasures, hopes, fears, sorrows, companions, and employments. His thoughts, words, and actions are changed. He enters on a new state, and bears a new character. Behold, all things are become new by Divine grace, which changes his soul into the image of the Redeemer. How different the character and end of the ungodly.

From the Epistles
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Christ Has Been Raised

15:12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.


Those answered who deny the resurrection of the body.

Having shown that Christ was risen, the apostle answers those who said there would be no resurrection. There had been no justification, or salvation, if Christ had not risen. And must not faith in Christ be vain, and of no use, if he is still among the dead? The proof of the resurrection of the body is the resurrection of our Lord. Even those who died in the faith, had perished in their sins, if Christ had not risen. All who believe in Christ, have hope in him, as a Redeemer; hope for redemption and salvation by him; but if there is no resurrection, or future recompense, their hope in him can only be as to this life. And they must be in a worse condition than the rest of mankind, especially at the time, and under the circumstances, in which the apostles wrote; for then Christians were hated and persecuted by all men. But it is not so; they, of all men, enjoy solid comforts amidst all their difficulties and trials, even in the times of the sharpest persecution. All that are by faith united to Christ, are by his resurrection assured of their own.

Today’s Gospel Reading
Luke 6:17-26
Blessings on the Poor Woes on the Rich

6:17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

20 Looking at his disciples, he said:

   “Blessed are you who are poor,
      for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
      for you will be satisfied.
   Blessed are you who weep now,
      for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
      when they exclude you and insult you
      and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.

23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

24 “But woe to you who are rich,
      for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
      for you will go hungry.
   Woe to you who laugh now,
      for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
      for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.


The miraculous draught of fishes, Peter, James, and John called.

Verses 17-19: It is indeed worth while to go a great way to hear the word of Christ, and to go out of the way of other business for it. They came to be cured by him, and he healed them. There is a fulness of grace in Christ, and healing virtue in him, ready to go out from him, that is enough for all, enough for each. Men regard the diseases of the body as greater evils than those of their souls; but the Scripture teaches us differently.

Verses 20-26: Here begins a discourse of Christ, most of which is also found in Luke 6:5; Luke 6:7. But some think that this was preached at another time and place. All believers that take the precepts of the gospel to themselves, and live by them, may take the promises of the gospel to themselves, and live upon them. Woes are denounced against prosperous sinners as miserable people, though the world envies them. Those are blessed indeed whom Christ blesses, but those must be dreadfully miserable who fall under his woe and curse! What a vast advantage will the saint have over the sinner in the other world! and what a wide difference will there be in their rewards, how much soever the sinner may prosper, and the saint be afflicted here!

Here end the Readings

The Nicene Creed

  • We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
  • And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
  • And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Communion

A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present. This table is open to all who recognize Jesus Christ as healer and redeemer. This table is open to all who work to bring God’s Kingdom here on earth. No one is turned away because of life circumstances. No one is barred from this table. No one seeking God’s abundant grace and mercy is turned aside. We see before us the abundance that a life of faith offers as we respond to God’s everlasting mercy in prayer and deed.

(Luke 6)

Go with joy to bring blessings, for we are blessed by God.

Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

The Morning Prayer for Sunday, February 13, 2022


The Morning Prayer
Sunday, February 13, 2022

Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience. For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
Ecclesiasticus 2:4-5, DRA

Lord our God, we thank you for helping us again and again. Praised be your name for all you do for us and for all your help in many dangers and hardships! We trust you completely and have faith in you through Jesus Christ, the Savior. He reveals your grace everywhere, in every hardship, giving us the courage and freedom to look toward your kingdom. Help us remain courageous when we have to face suffering, for we want to be your disciples in Jesus Christ, the Crucified One. He has made suffering holy, that our suffering too may bear fruit for you in time and in eternity. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Sunday, February 13, 2022


Verse of the Day
Sunday, February 13, 2022

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
What does it mean to believe in Jesus? Does it mean that intellectually you agree with the fact that He was born in Bethlehem of a virgin and that He is a great teacher? Yes, but there’s even more to it than that. To have faith in Jesus Christ means to believe that He is God (John 1:1; 10:30; 14:9) and that He saves you by His crucifixion (Eph. 2:8, 9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5). If you continue to believe that you can somehow earn your salvation, you have never been truly born again. However, when you truly place your faith in Him, you receive His gift of eternal life (John 6:40; 17:3).

Read all of John Chapter 3

Listen to John Chapter 3

Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Our Daily Bread — Not Forgotten


Not Forgotten

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

READ Hebrews 6:9–12

When we think of historic, trailblazing missionaries, the name of George Liele (1750–1820) doesn’t leap to mind. Perhaps it should. Born into slavery, Liele came to Christ in Georgia and gained his freedom prior to the American Revolutionary War. He took the message of Jesus to Jamaica, ministering to the slaves in the plantations there, and served as the founding pastor of two African American churches in Savannah, Georgia—one of which is considered the “mother church of Black Baptists.”

Liele’s remarkable life of kingdom service may have been forgotten by some, but his spiritual service will never be forgotten by God. Neither will the work you do for God. The letter to the Hebrews encourages us with these words, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (6:10). God’s faithfulness can never be underestimated, for He truly knows and remembers everything done in His name. And so Hebrews encourages us, “Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (v. 12).

If we serve behind the scenes in our church or community, it might be easy to feel our labor is unappreciated. Take heart. Whether or not our work is recognized or rewarded by the people around us, God is faithful. He’ll never forget us.

By Bill Crowder

What service do you do for God? How does knowing He doesn’t forget your service encourage you?

Loving God, my service to You is far from perfect, but I also know that as I serve You, that service is remembered and valued by You. Thank You for equipping me to serve.

To learn more about serving others.


The letter of Hebrews encourages believers in Jesus to continue to live in the power of the Spirit. In earlier days, those to whom this letter was written had shown courage and concern for one another (10:32–34). They were living witnesses to God, who sacrificed His Son so we could be reconciled to Him. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we’re now free from the “fear of death” (2:15) and a self-centered way of life (6:10–12). But then, as now, time and trouble have a way of wearing us down. And the temptation is always to avoid situations where we might face persecution. So while the author went into great detail to show how the temple foreshadowed Jesus, his purpose was to urge his readers to never slide back into something less than a living demonstration of the Spirit of God.

Mart DeHaan