Scripture readings

Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

So God created humankind in God’s image, in the image of God created them; male and female God created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.

Psalm 118

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Save us, we beseech thee, O Lord!  O Lord, we beseech thee, give us success!  Blessed be the one who enters in the name of the Lord!  We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches,  up to the horns of the altar!  Thou art my God, and I will give thanks to thee; thou art my God, I will extol thee.  O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; for God’s steadfast love endures for ever!

Matthew 22:33-40

And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to everyone.  The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Other suggested passages

Song of Solomon 2:10-14, 16a; 8:6-7  Love is strong as death

Isaiah 43:1-7  You are precious in God’s eyes

John 1:1-11 The marriage feast of Cana

Ephesians 2:4-10 God’s love for us

I John 3:18-24 Love one another

I John 4:7-16 God is love

Contributed by Reverend Mary Kraus and Reverend Cedric A. Harmon

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