Worship Notes

(Sunday Services at 10:30am)

7th February - Transfiguration of Jesus
Holy Communion, Dedication of Church Council
Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a)

10th February Ash Wednesday
Receiving the mark of the ashes, 7.00pm
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 (or Isaiah 58:1-12); Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Cor 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

14th February - Lent 1
Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Romans 10:8b-13; Luke 4:1-13

21st February - Lent 2
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35

28th February - Lent 3
Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalms 63:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9

The Year of Luke
In worship at Scots, our Bible readings usually follow those given in “The Revised Common Lectionary,” that is, a sequence of readings common to most of the major denominations throughout the world, including Catholic and Protestants, which was revised from earlier versions.  The Lectionary sets out four readings for each Sunday, from a gospel, a New Testament Epistle, a Psalm and from the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible. There are also readings for special days, such as Ash Wednesday and Christmas. The RCL repeats every three years, with each year focussing on one gospel: Matthew (Year A), Mark (Year B) and Luke (Year C), while parts of the Gospel of John are read each year. The new year starts at the start of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas.

This year we are Year C, where the readings usually are taken from the Gospel of Luke. It is thought that the Gospel of Luke and the Book of the Acts of the Apostles formed a two volume work, written to someone (Theophilus, Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1) who was probably well-educated and well-off, living outside the Holy Land, perhaps not Jewish. Together, the two books track the growth of the Christian Community from before the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:5ff, Luke 3:23) to the start of the church in Jerusalem, the “spiritual centre of the world” (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:4, 5) and then its spread to Rome, the “political centre of the world” (Acts 28:16-30). They were probably put together after the fall of Jerusalem (70AD/CE).

A key motif in the Gospel of Luke is that of worship – the gospel opens and closes with worship and praise in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 1:8; 24:52-53). The Gospel of Luke includes material from the Gospel of Mark, but as well Luke has included material unique to his story, for instance, the Magnificat of Mary (Luke 1:46-55), or the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) or the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Luke is concerned at how the new faith might appear to respectable members of the Roman Empire, for instance, compare the words of the centurion at the death of Jesus, Luke 23:47; Mark 15:39 and Matthew 27:54.

Who was Luke, the author of these two books? We don’t have much solid evidence by which to identify him. There are some passages in Acts which use the word “we” in relation to the activity of the author and the apostle Paul. On the basis of this, many people think that Luke was an associate of Paul. On the other hand, the stories of the change of Paul’s heart in Acts 9 and his relationship with the other Apostles do not match that told by Paul in the Letter to the Galatians 1. So it is possible that Luke incorporated someone else’s account. There is a tradition that Luke was a doctor, but, tongue in cheek, a scholar has observed that the “medical” terms used by Luke would just as likely been used by a vet!

Such speculation pales next to the real contribution of Luke to our faith, as he wrestled with expressing the gospel to the wider world of the Roman Empire and developing the foundations for the activity, life and witness of the Christian community (the “church”) in the world.

Lent
Lent is the name traditionally given to the period before Easter. It is intended as a time of preparation for the celebration of the resurrection on Easter Day. During Lent, we remember the life and ministry of Jesus and renew our commitment to follow him. There is a tradition of fasting during Lent which, more recently, has been modified into a practice of giving up some luxury, such as a favourite food or drink, or cinema, or using a credit card. Lent traditionally comprises 40 days, echoing the time Jesus spent in the wilderness after his baptism (Luke 3:21-22). Sundays are not counted as part of Lent since every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The name comes from the traditional ritual of marking the foreheads with a cross made from ashes. Ashes symbolize repentance, that is, the acknowledgement of a need to change and the starting point for renewal. The timing of Lent is based on the date of Easter, which in turn is linked to cycles of the moon and so varies from year to year. Churches in the Orthodox tradition use a different formula for calculating the date of Easter. This year, the Orthodox Easter Day is 1st May.

Lenten Program
Wednesday, 10th February, 7.00 pm     Ash Wednesday Service
Sunday, 20th March, 10.30am              Palm Sunday Worship
Thursday, 24th March, 7.00pm             Maundy Thursday Service
Friday, 25th March, 9.30am                 Good Friday Service
Sunday, 27th March, 10.30am              Easter Day Sunday Worship

Lenten Studies
Rev Dr Peter Trudinger will lead two Bible Studies during Lent
Wednesday 24th February, 10.15-11.45am.  
Wednesday, 16th March, 10.15-11.45am.

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