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September 6, 2015 - Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: Isaiah 35:4-7 (NRSV)
35:4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you."
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
The Psalm: Psalm 146:1-10 (NRSV)
146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!
The second reading: James 2:1-17 (NRSV)
2:1 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?
2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in,
3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet,"
4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?
6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court?
7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?
8 You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
11 For the one who said, "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You shall not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?
15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?
17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
The Gospel: Mark 7:24-37 (NRSV)
7:24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice,
25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.
26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 He said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
28 But she answered him, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
29 Then he said to her, "For saying that, you may go the demon has left your daughter."
30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.
32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him.
33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.
34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."
35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."
September 13, 2015 - Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: Isaiah 50:4-9 (NRSV)
50:4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens� wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
The Psalm: Psalm 116:1-9 (NRSV)
116:1 I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I pray, save my life!"
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
6 The LORD protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
9 I walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
The second reading: James 3:1-12 (NRSV)
3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
2 For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle.
3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies.
4 Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!
6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species,
8 but no one can tame the tongue�a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.
10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.
11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water?
12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
The Gospel: Mark 8:27-38 (NRSV)
8:27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
28 And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
29 He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah."
30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?
37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?
38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
September 20, 2015 - Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: Jeremiah 11:18-20 (NRSV)
11:18 It was the LORD who made it known to me, and I knew; then you showed me their evil deeds.
19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. And I did not know it was against me that they devised schemes, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will no longer be remembered!"
20 But you, O LORD of hosts, who judge righteously, who try the heart and the mind, let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.
The Psalm: Psalm 54:1-7 (NRSV)
54:1 Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your might.
2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For the insolent have risen against me, the ruthless seek my life; they do not set God before them. Selah
4 But surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.
5 He will repay my enemies for their evil. In your faithfulness, put an end to them.
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.
7 For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
The second reading: James 3:13-4:3, 7-8 (NRSV)
James 3:13-4:3
3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth.
15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.
16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
4:1 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?
2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.
James 4:7-8
4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
The Gospel: Mark 9:30-37 (NRSV)
9:30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it;
31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again."
32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?"
34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.
35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."
36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them,
37 "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
September 27, 2015 - Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 (NRSV)
Numbers 11:4-6
11:4 The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, "If only we had meat to eat!
5 We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;
6 but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at."
Numbers 11:10-16
11:10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the LORD became very angry, and Moses was displeased.
11 So Moses said to the LORD, "Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me?
12 Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child,' to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors?
13 Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, 'Give us meat to eat!'
14 I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me.
15 If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once if I have found favor in your sight and do not let me see my misery."
16 So the LORD said to Moses, "Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you.
Numbers 11:24-29
11:24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent.
25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.
27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."
28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, stop them!"
29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!"
The Psalm: Psalm 19:7-14 (NRSV)
19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
The second reading: James 5:13-20 (NRSV)
5:13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.
14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.
19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another,
20 you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
The Gospel: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 (NRSV)
Numbers 11:4-6 (NRSV)
11:4 The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, "If only we had meat to eat!
5 We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;
6 but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at."
Numbers 11:10-16 (NRSV)
11:10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the LORD became very angry, and Moses was displeased.
11 So Moses said to the LORD, "Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me?
12 Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child,' to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors?
13 Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, 'Give us meat to eat!'
14 I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me.
15 If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once if I have found favor in your sight and do not let me see my misery."
16 So the LORD said to Moses, "Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you.
Numbers 11:24-29 (NRSV)
11:24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent.
25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.
27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."
28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, stop them!"
29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!"
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