Scripture Readings

Genesis 28:10–22

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

Jacob left Beer–sheba and went towards Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’ Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’ And he was afraid, and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’

So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one–tenth to you.’

Psalm 40:5–10

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
 your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;
 none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
 they would be more than can be counted.

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
 but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt–offering and sin–offering
 you have not required.
Then I said, ‘Here I am;
 in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God;
 your law is within my heart.’

I have told the glad news of deliverance
 in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
 as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
 I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
 from the great congregation.

Hebrews 2:11–18

For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,

‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’

And again,

‘I will put my trust in him.’

And again,

‘Here am I and the children whom God has given me.’

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

St. Luke 1:24–38

After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, ‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.’

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Prayers

Thematic Prayer

O God,
we rejoice in your salvation,
for your Spirit brought to life in Mary
the one who saves your people from their sins.
Send your Spirit on your church
to quicken all that is barren in us,
that we may give birth to Christ
for our world today. Amen.


Intercessory Prayer

O Loving One,
your daughter Mary prayed to be your faithful servant.
Hear the prayers of our hearts on behalf of your world.

Prayers of the People, concluding with:

Ever–surprising One,
as your messenger came to Mary
with words of your favour
and the pledge of wondrous new life,
may we, in our day,
prove ourselves
as ready to serve you,
and as willing to bear the life you offer,
for the blessing of our world. Amen.


Scripture Prayer

God of impossibilities,
you chose to enter human flesh
through the one who called herself lowly.
Teach us who daily receive announcements of Christ's coming
to live as Mary did,
trusting in your power
to bring your desire to fulfillment. Amen.


Prayer Focus

For the month of March we at GFA World are focusing our prayers for Water. Please join us in praying for those needing clean water.

Water is essential for life. Yet 663 million people across the globe don’t have access to safe drinking water.1 In many of these areas, water can be scarce, and locals are forced to travel miles, often by foot, to obtain it and then haul it back to their homes for everyday use. But the water is often contaminated, and the people forced to drink it suffer from waterborne diseases.

GFA is helping meet the need of water-starved people by providing Jesus Wells and BioSand water filters, thanks to which 37.5 million people in Asia now have access to clean water. These resources offer life and health to entire communities and testify of the Living Water.

But many remain in need.

Please join us in praying for clean water, and the people who need it, this month.

Please pray with us


1Mains, Karen Burton. Don’t Drink the Water! (Unless You Know What’s in It). GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/global-clean-water-crisis/#solutions-safe-water. July 7, 2020.


Source for Scripture Passages: Scripture texts are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Source for Revised Common Lectionary Prayers: Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress.

Source for Art: Angelico, fra, approximately 1400-1455. Annunciation to Mary, from Art in the Christian Tradition a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56337 [retrieved 15 February 2022]. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Angelico,_prado.jpg.

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