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 his image, in the image of God he created them; male and
female he created them.
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."
And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was
speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
Set me as
a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7
to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present
your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is
your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will
of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect.
be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another
with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag
in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient
in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints;
extend hospitality to strangers.
If I speak
in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a
noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand
all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove
mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions,
and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love,
I gain nothing.
Love is patient;
love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It
does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does
not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues,
they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know
only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes,
the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult,
I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but
then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know
fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love
abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
I bow my
knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth
takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he
may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power
through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,
as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have
the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and
length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses
knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him
who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far
more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and
in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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 surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
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. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and
heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and,
if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as
the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe
yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were
called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell
in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with
gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Let us love,
not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know
that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever
our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows
everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness
before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his
commandments and do what pleases him.
is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus
Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey
his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know
that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.
let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves
is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God,
for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent
his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this
is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to
be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so
much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if
we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples
came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they
will be filled.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise
man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the
winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had
been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does
not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against
that house, and it fell--and great was its fall!"
Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his
teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their
"From the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'
'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined
to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer
two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one
bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and
the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant
and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop
them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly
I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child
will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands
on them, and blessed them.
On the third
day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was
there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When
the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no
wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern is that to
you and to me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the
servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now standing there were
six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding
twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with
water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now
draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it.
When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know
where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew),
the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves
the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have
become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did
this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory;
and his disciples believed in him.
As the Father
has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments,
you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy
may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one
has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants
any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing;
but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything
that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you.
And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that
the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving
you these commands so that you may love one another.