Original Documents

Click below to see readings for the week:

Read Mark 13:1-8

Friday

Read Mark 13:1-8

Mark 13:1–8 (GNB): As Jesus was leaving the Temple, one of his disciples said, “Look, Teacher! What wonderful stones and buildings!”
2 Jesus answered, “You see these great buildings? Not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one of them will be thrown down.”

3 Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, across from the Temple, when Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him in private. 4“Tell us when this will be,” they said, “and tell us what will happen to show that the time has come for all these things to take place.”
5 Jesus said to them, “Be on guard, and don’t let anyone deceive you. 6Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will deceive many people. 7And don’t be troubled when you hear the noise of battles close by and news of battles far away. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come. 8Countries will fight each other; kingdoms will attack one another. There will be earthquakes everywhere, and there will be famines. These things are like the first pains of childbirth.

Think

Looking at the majesty of the temple the disciples seem to wonder why Jesus is not that impressed.  Being earthly things - they will be destroyed.

Pray

Knowing that Earthly treasures will fade away; help me to put my trust in you O Lord.

Read Mark 12:38-44

Thursday

Read Mark 12:38-44

Mark 12:38–44 (GNB): 38As he taught them, he said, “Watch out for the teachers of the Law, who like to walk around in their long robes and be greeted with respect in the market place, 39who choose the reserved seats in the synagogues and the best places at feasts. 40They take advantage of widows and rob them of their homes, and then make a show of saying long prayers. Their punishment will be all the worse!”

41 As Jesus sat near the temple treasury, he watched the people as they dropped in their money. Many rich men dropped in a lot of money; 42then a poor widow came along and dropped in two little copper coins, worth about a penny. 43He called his disciples together and said to them, “I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others. 44For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, put in all she had—she gave all she had to live on.”

Think

In giving all that she had to live on the widow entrusts herself to God’s care.  If the temple is working as it should she should receive food and protection from the congregation; the priests and the Levites.  But the temple is not what it ought to be.

Pray

Lord we pray for our church; help us to care for those in need.  Help our ministers and leaders to have a heart for you and you alone.


Read Hebrews 9:24-28

Wednesday

Read Hebrews 9:24-28

Hebrews 9:24–28 (GNB): 24For Christ did not go into a Holy Place made by human hands, which was a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself, where he now appears on our behalf in the presence of God. 25The Jewish High Priest goes into the Most Holy Place every year with the blood of an animal. But Christ did not go in to offer himself many times, 26for then he would have had to suffer many times ever since the creation of the world. Instead, now when all ages of time are nearing the end, he has appeared once and for all, to remove sin through the sacrifice of himself. 27Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God. In the same manner Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many. He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are waiting for him.

Think

Jesus sacrifices is a once and for all offering that takes away the sin of the world.  In this offering he takes away the consequences of sin - all the pain of sins against you - and committed by you - are taken into Christ on the cross.  This opens the way for you to become the person God created you to be.

Pray

Lord - help me to receive the gift that you have given me - and know the true value of your sacrifice.


Read 1 Kings 17:8-16

Tuesday

Read 1 Kings 17:8-16

1 Kings 17:8–16 (GNB): Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Now go to the town of Zarephath, near Sidon, and stay there. I have commanded a widow who lives there to feed you.” 10So Elijah went to Zarephath, and as he came to the gate of the town, he saw a widow gathering firewood. “Please bring me a drink of water,” he said to her. 11And as she was going to get it, he called out, “And please bring me some bread, too.”
12 She answered, “By the living Lord your God I swear that I haven’t got any bread. All I have is a handful of flour in a bowl and a drop of olive oil in a jar. I came here to gather some firewood to take back home and prepare what little I have for my son and me. That will be our last meal, and then we will starve to death.”
13 “Don’t worry,” Elijah said to her. “Go ahead and prepare your meal. But first make a small loaf from what you have and bring it to me, and then prepare the rest for you and your son. 14For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The bowl will not run out of flour or the jar run out of oil before the day that I, the Lord, send rain.’ ”
15 The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.

Think

The widow takes a great risk in preparing the last of the flour and oil; but she is willing to take the risk because Elijah informs her that God has made a promise and will be faithful to it.

Pray

Let me trust your love so fully that when you speak I listen.


Psalm 146

Monday

Read Psalm 146

Psalm 146:1–10 (GNB): 146  Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, my soul!
2 I will praise him as long as I live;
I will sing to my God all my life.
3 Don’t put your trust in human leaders;
no human being can save you.
4 When they die, they return to the dust;
on that day all their plans come to an end.
5 Happy are those who have the God of Jacob to help them
and who depend on the Lord their God,
the Creator of heaven, earth, and sea,
and all that is in them.
He always keeps his promises;
7 he judges in favour of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free
8 and gives sight to the blind.
He lifts those who have fallen;
he loves his righteous people.
9 He protects the strangers who live in our land;
he helps widows and orphans,
but takes the wicked to their ruin.
10 The Lord is king for ever.
Your God, O Zion, will reign for all time.
Praise the Lord!

Think

The Psalmist simply reminds us what God is like - better to trust than human leaders because he is eternal.  But also good.

Pray

Dear Lord, through your Holy Spirit help me to see your nature - and know that I am safe when I put my trust in you.

Read Mark 12:28-34

Thursday

Read Mark 12:28-34

28 A teacher of the Law was there who heard the discussion. He saw that Jesus had given the Sadducees a good answer, so he came to him with a question: “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment more important than these two.”
32 The teacher of the Law said to Jesus, “Well done, Teacher! It is true, as you say, that only the Lord is God and that there is no other god but he. 33And to love God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, is more important than to offer animals and other sacrifices to God.”
34 Jesus noticed how wise his answer was, and so he told him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
After this nobody dared to ask Jesus any more questions.

Think

I suppose the 'wise' part of the man's answer was verse 33; love is more important than offering animals and other sacrifices to God.  Paul reminds us that if we have no love we have nothing.

Pray

Loving God; teach me to love you with all my heart, mind and soul; and love my neighbour as myself.

Read Hebrews 9:11-14

Wednesday

Read Hebrews 9:11-14

11 But Christ has already come as the High Priest of the good things that are already here. The tent in which he serves is greater and more perfect; it is not a tent made by human hands, that is, it is not a part of this created world. 12When Christ went through the tent and entered once and for all into the Most Holy Place, he did not take the blood of goats and bulls to offer as a sacrifice; rather, he took his own blood and obtained eternal salvation for us. 13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a burnt calf are sprinkled on the people who are ritually unclean, and this purifies them by taking away their ritual impurity. 14Since this is true, how much more is accomplished by the blood of Christ! Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will purify our consciences from useless rituals, so that we may serve the living God.

Think

According to Hebrews the sacrificial acts that took place in the temple were rituals that simply made people feel better.  But Christ's sacrifice had power - power that purifies the 'conscience'.  The meaning of 'conscience' here doesn't just speak to feeling better about past deeds; but also speaks to a purification of our 'consciousness' - so that from the heart we live lives that reflect the heart of God.

Pray

Breathe on me breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what thou dost love, And do what thou wouldst do.