August 31, 2014 - Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost|
The first reading: Jeremiah 15:15-21 (NRSV)|
15 O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance do not take me away; know that on your account I suffer insult.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; under the weight of your hand I sat alone, for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail.
19 Therefore thus says the Lord: If you turn back, I will take you back, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall serve as my mouth. It is they who will turn to you, not you who will turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.
The Psalm: Psalms 26:1-8 (NRSV)|
1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.
3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.
4 I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
5 I hate the company of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O Lord,
7 singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
8 O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.
The second reading: Romans 12:9-21 (NRSV)|
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
20 No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The Gospel: Matthew 16:21-28 (NRSV)|
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you."
23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
27 "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.
28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
September 7, 2014 - Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost|
The first Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-11 (NRSV)|
7 So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
8 If I say to the wicked, "O wicked ones, you shall surely die," and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand.
9 But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.
10 Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: "Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?"
11 Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
The Psalm: Psalms 119:33-40 (NRSV)|
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you.
39 Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good.
40 See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.
The second reading: Romans 13:8-14 (NRSV)|
8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet"; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers;
12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light;
13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.
14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
The Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV)|
15 "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.
16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
September 14, 2014 - Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost|
The first reading: Genesis 50:15-21 (NRSV)|
15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers said, "What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?"
16 So they approached Joseph, saying, "Your father gave this instruction before he died,
17 'Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.' Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, "We are here as your slaves."
19 But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God?
20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.
21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones." In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
The Psalm: Psalms 103:1-13 (NRSV)|
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
The second reading: Romans 14:1-12 (NRSV)|
1 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.
2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.
3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.
4 Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.
6 Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.
7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.
8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.
9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
11 For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God."
12 So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
The Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35 (NRSV)|
21 Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him;
25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.
26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'
27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.
28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, 'Pay what you owe.'
29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'
30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt.
31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.
33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?'
34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt.
35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart."
September 21, 2014 - Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost|
Jonah 3:10-4:11 (NRSV)|
3:10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
4:1 But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry.
2 He prayed to the Lord and said, "O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.
3 And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live."
4 And the Lord said, "Is it right for you to be angry?"
5 Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.
6 The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush.
7 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered.
8 When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, "It is better for me to die than to live."
9 But God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?" And he said, "Yes, angry enough to die."
10 Then the Lord said, "You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night.
11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?"
The Psalm: Psalms 145:1-8 (NRSV)|
1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The second reading: Philippians 1:21-30 (NRSV)|
21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer.
23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better;
24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.
25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith,
26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel,
28 and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God's doing.
29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—
30 since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
The Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16 (NRSV)|
1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;
4 and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.
5 When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same.
6 And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why are you standing here idle all day?'
7 They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.'
8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.'
9 When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.
10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.
11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner,
12 saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'
13 But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.
15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?'
16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last."