FIRST READING: Numbers 21: 4 - 9
4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way.
5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food."
6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.
7 And the people came to Moses, and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live."
9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
PSALM: Psalms 78: 1 - 2, 34 - 38
1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
34 When he slew them, they sought for him; they repented and sought God earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not true to his covenant.
38 Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often, and did not stir up all his wrath.
SECOND READING: Philippians 2: 6 - 11
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
GOSPEL: John 3: 13 - 17
13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.
14 And 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, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.