Save Us Now

Matthew 21:1-11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, (2) saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. (3) If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." (4) This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: (5) "Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" (6) The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. (7) They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. (8) A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. (9) The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" (10) When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" (11) The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

The Greatness of Knowing Christ

Philippians 3:8-14

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (10) I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (11) and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (12) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (13) Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (14) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Two Lost Sons

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. (2) But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." (3) Then Jesus told them this parable: "There was a man who had two sons. (12) The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. (13) Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. (14) After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. (15) So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. (16) He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. (17) When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! (18) I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. (19) I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' (20) So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (21) The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' (22) But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. (23) Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. (24) For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. 

 

(25)Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. (26)So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. (27)‘Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' (28)The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.(29)But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. (30)But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' (31)'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. (32)But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

Evil News

Luke 13:1-9

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. (2) Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? (3) I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (4) Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? (5) I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (6) Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. (7) So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' (8) 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. (9) If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'"