Today our passages are Genesis 1:1–2:25; Matthew 1:1–2:12; Psalm 1:1-6; and Proverbs 1:1-6. The readings are the Contemporary English Version. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
Genesis 1-2:25 (Contemporary English Version)
The Story of Creation1In the beginning God created the heavens
and the earth. [a] 2The earth was barren,
with no form of life; [b] it was under a roaring ocean
covered with darkness.
But the Spirit of God [c] was moving over the water.
The First Day3 God said, "I command light to shine!" And light started shining. 4God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness 5and named the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." Evening came and then morning--that was the first day. [d]
The Second Day6 God said, "I command a dome to separate the water above it from the water below it." 7And that's what happened. God made the dome 8and named it "Sky." Evening came and then morning--that was the second day.
The Third Day9 God said, "I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground." And that's what happened. 10God named the dry ground "Land," and he named the water "Ocean." God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good. 11God said, "I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain." And that's what happened. 12The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 13Evening came and then morning--that was the third day.
The Fourth Day14 God said, "I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. 15I command them to shine on the earth." And that's what happened. 16God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other [e] to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, 18to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 19Evening came and then morning--that was the fourth day.
The Fifth Day20 God said, "I command the ocean to be full of living creatures, and I command birds to fly above the earth." 21So God made the giant sea monsters and all the living creatures that swim in the ocean. He also made every kind of bird. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 22Then he gave the living creatures his blessing--he told the ocean creatures to live everywhere in the ocean and the birds to live everywhere on earth. 23Evening came and then morning--that was the fifth day.
The Sixth Day24 God said, "I command the earth to give life to all kinds of tame animals, wild animals, and reptiles." And that's what happened. 25God made every one of them. Then he looked at what he had done, and it was good. 26God said, "Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures."
27So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. 28God gave them his blessing and said:
Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on the earth.
29I have provided all kinds of fruit and grain for you to eat. 30And I have given the green plants as food for everything else that breathes. These will be food for animals, both wild and tame, and for birds.
31God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good! Evening came and then morning--that 1was the sixth day.
Genesis 21So the heavens and the earth and everything else were created.
The Seventh Day2 By the seventh day God had finished his work, and so he rested. 3God blessed the seventh day and made it special because on that day he rested from his work. 4That's how God created the heavens and the earth.
When the LORD God made the heavens and the earth,
The Garden of Eden5no grass or plants were growing anywhere. God had not yet sent any rain, and there was no one to work the land. 6But streams [f] came up from the ground and watered the earth. 7The LORD God took a handful of soil and made a man. [g] God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing. 8The LORD made a garden in a place called Eden, which was in the east, and he put the man there. 9The LORD God placed all kinds of beautiful trees and fruit trees in the garden. Two other trees were in the middle of the garden. One of the trees gave life--the other gave the power to know the difference between right and wrong. 10From Eden a river flowed out to water the garden, then it divided into four rivers. 11The first one is the Pishon River that flows through the land of Havilah, 12where pure gold, rare perfumes, and precious stones are found. 13The second is the Gihon River that winds through Ethiopia. [h] 14The Tigris River that flows east of Assyria is the third, and the fourth is the Euphrates River. 15The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it. 16But the LORD told him, "You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 17except the one that has the power to let you know the difference between right and wrong. If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die before the day is over!"
18The LORD God said, "It isn't good for the man to live alone. I need to make a suitable partner for him." 19-20So the LORD took some soil and made animals and birds. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give each of them. Then the man named the tame animals and the birds and the wild animals. That's how they got their names.
None of these was the right kind of partner for the man. 21So the LORD God made him fall into a deep sleep, and he took out one of the man's ribs. Then after closing the man's side, 22the LORD made a woman out of the rib.
The LORD God brought her to the man, 23and the man exclaimed,
"Here is someone like me!
She is part of my body,
my own flesh and bones.
She came from me, a man.
So I will name her Woman!" [i] 24That's why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person.
25Although the man and his wife were both naked, they were not ashamed.
- Genesis 1:1 the heavens and the earth: "The heavens and the earth" stood for the universe.
- Genesis 1:2 In. . . life: Or "When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was barren with no form of life."
- Genesis 1:2 the Spirit of God: Or "a mighty wind."
- Genesis 1:5 the first day: A day was measured from evening to evening.
- Genesis 1:16 the brighter. . . the other: The sun and the moon. But they are not called by their names, because in Old Testament times some people worshiped the sun and the moon as though they were gods.
- Genesis 2:6 streams: Or "mist."
- Genesis 2:7 man: In Hebrew "man" comes from the same word as "soil."
- Genesis 2:13 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has "Cush," which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
- Genesis 2:23 a man. . . Woman: In Hebrew the words "man" and "woman" are similar.
Matthew 1-2:12 (Contemporary English Version)
The Ancestors of Jesus
(Luke 3.23-38)1Jesus Christ came from the family of King David and also from the family of Abraham. And this is a list of his ancestors. From Abraham to King David, his ancestors were: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers (Judah's sons were Perez and Zerah, and their mother was Tamar), Hezron;
Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David.
From David to the time of the exile in Babylonia, the ancestors of Jesus were:
David, Solomon (his mother had been Uriah's wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram;
Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers.
12-16From the exile to the birth of Jesus, his ancestors were:
Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim;
Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
17There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David. There were also fourteen from David to the exile in Babylonia and fourteen more to the birth of the Messiah.
The Birth of Jesus
(Luke 2.1-7)18This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David's family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God's Holy Spirit. 19Joseph was a good man [a] and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding. 20While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, [b] because he will save his people from their sins." 22So the Lord's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 23"A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel," which means "God is with us." 24After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord's angel had told him to do. 25But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.
The Wise Men1When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men [c] from the east came to Jerusalem 2and said, "Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east [d] and have come to worship him." 3When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born?" 5They told him, "He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,
6'Bethlehem in the land
you are very important
among the towns of Judea.
From your town
will come a leader,
who will be like a shepherd
for my people Israel.' "
7Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. 8He told them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too."
9The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10They were thrilled and excited to see the star.
11When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh [e] and gave them to him. 12Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.
- Matthew 1:19 good man: Or "kind man," or "man who always did the right thing."
- Matthew 1:21 name him Jesus: In Hebrew the name "Jesus" means "the Lord saves."
- Matthew 2:1 wise men: People famous for studying the stars.
- Matthew 2:2 his star in the east: Or "his star rise."
- Matthew 2:11 frankincense, and myrrh: Frankincense was a valuable powder that was burned to make a sweet smell. Myrrh was a valuable sweet-smelling powder often used in perfume.
Psalm 1:1-6 (Contemporary English Version)
The Way to Happiness1God blesses those people who refuse evil advice
and won't follow sinners
or join in sneering at God.
2Instead, the Law of the LORD
makes them happy,
and they think about it
day and night.
3They are like trees
growing beside a stream,
trees that produce
fruit in season
and always have leaves.
Those people succeed
in everything they do.
4That isn't true of those
who are evil,
because they are like straw
blown by the wind.
5Sinners won't have an excuse
on the day of judgment,
and they won't have a place
with the people of God.
6The LORD protects everyone
who follows him,
but the wicked follow a road
that leads to ruin.
Proverbs 1:1-6 (Contemporary English Version)
How Proverbs Can Be Used1These are the proverbs of King Solomon of Israel,
the son of David.
2Proverbs will teach you
wisdom and self-control
and how to understand
sayings with deep meanings.
3You will learn what is right
and honest and fair.
4From these, an ordinary person
can learn to be smart,
and young people can gain
knowledge and good sense.
5If you are already wise,
you will become even wiser.
And if you are smart,
you will learn to understand
6proverbs and sayings,
as well as words of wisdom
and all kinds of riddles.
Verse of the Day
Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. - 2 Corinthians 5:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
American politician and businessman who was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona (1953–65, 1969–87) and the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 1964 election, Barry Goldwater wrote, “My faith in the future rests squarely on the belief that man, if he doesn't first destroy himself, will find new answers in the universe, new technologies, new disciplines, which will contribute to a vastly different and better world in the twenty-first century ... To my mind the single essential element on which all discoveries will be dependent is human freedom.”