Vickey Allen (she/her) is a Member in Discernment with the Middlesex Association of SNEUCC and member of First Church of Middletown, UCC, in Middletown, CT. She is pursuing her Master of Divinity at Christian Theological Seminary, a Disciples of Christ seminary in Indianapolis, IN. In her (limited) spare time, she enjoys knitting and learning tae kwon do (her kicks are more like flailing, but it’s still a lot of fun!).
Scripture: John 3:1-17 (NRSVUE)
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with that person.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Reflection: John 3:16 or Austin 3:16?
Holy One, the world honors winners and shames losers. Give us the strength to walk away from the ring and towards relationship, with you and with one another. In Jesus’ name and all your many names, we pray. Amen.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayers of Intercession:
- For the family and friends of The Rev. Dr. Barbara Smith of Stoughton, MA, who passed away on February 8, 2023. Much of Barbara's life was dedicated in service to God as an inter-faith minister, ordained by the United Church of Christ.
- For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war.
- For those grieving or suffering due to the ~6,400 gun violence deaths that happened in the US since the start of the new year.
- For those suffering due to the Turkey–Syria earthquake where ~46,000 people are known to have lost their lives, with thousands more injured, in a first earthquake, and who then suffered a second quake last week.
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For those who promote a gospel of radical inclusion.
- For youth ministries.
- For the impact made because of contributions to Proportional Giving to Our Church’s Wider Mission.
- For the partnership of Incredible Days with the Conference's Edwards House Meeting and Retreat Center that will focus on addressing urban poverty in Greater Boston.
- For Chapel of the Heart virtual devotional time with sessions of prayer, reflection and music.
This Week in History:
March 3, 1887 (136 years ago): Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. [History]
“Study the past if you would define the future.”
Vickey Allen (she/her) is a Member in Discernment with the Middlesex Association of SNEUCC and member of First Church of Middletown, UCC, in Middletown, CT. She is pursuing her Master of Divinity at Christian Theological Seminary, a Disciples of ...