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July 12, 2015 - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: Amos 7:7-15 (NRSV)
7:7 This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
8 And the LORD said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by;
9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword."
10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.
11 For thus Amos has said, 'Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.'"
12 And Amaziah said to Amos, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there;
13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom."
14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, "I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees,
15 and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
The Psalm: Psalm 85:8-13 (NRSV)
85:8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
The second reading: Ephesians 1:3-14 (NRSV)
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.
5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight
9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,
10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,
12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.
13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit;
14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
The Gospel: Mark 6:14-29 (NRSV)
6:14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him."
15 But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."
16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised."
17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her.
18 For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee.
22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it."
23 And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom."
24 She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer."
25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.
27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,
28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
July 19, 2015 - Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6 (NRSV)
23:1 Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD.
2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.
3 Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
5 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness."
The Psalm: Psalm 23:1-6 (NRSV)
23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.
The second reading: Ephesians 2:11-22 (NRSV)
2:11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called "the uncircumcision" by those who are called "the circumcision" a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands
12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.
15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace,
16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.
17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near;
18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God,
20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord;
22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
The Gospel: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 (NRSV)
Mark 6:30-34
6:30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
31 He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.
34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
Mark 6:53-56
6:53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat.
54 When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him,
55 and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.
56 And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
July 26, 2015 - Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: 2 Kings 4:42-44 (NRSV)
4:42 A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, "Give it to the people and let them eat."
43 But his servant said, "How can I set this before a hundred people?" So he repeated, "Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the LORD, 'They shall eat and have some left.'"
44 He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the LORD.
The Psalm: Psalm 145:10-18 (NRSV)
145:10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your faithful shall bless you.
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power,
12 to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
The second reading: Ephesians 3:14-21 (NRSV)
3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
16 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,
17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.
18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 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,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The Gospel: John 6:1-21 (NRSV)
6:1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.
2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.
5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?"
6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,
9 "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?"
10 Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.
11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost."
13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.
14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world."
15 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,
17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.
19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.
20 But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
August 2, 2015 - Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
The first reading: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 (NRSV)
Exodus 16:2-4
16:2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.
Exodus 16:9-15
16:9 Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, 'Draw near to the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.'"
10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
11 The LORD spoke to Moses and said,
12 "I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'"
13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground.
15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.
The Psalm: Psalm 78:23-29 (NRSV)
78:23 Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;
24 he rained down on them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Mortals ate of the bread of angels; he sent them food in abundance.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind;
27 he rained flesh upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas;
28 he let them fall within their camp, all around their dwellings.
29 And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
The second reading: Ephesians 4:1-16 (NRSV)
4:1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift.
8 Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people."
9 (When it says, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)
11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love.
The Gospel: John 6:24-35 (NRSV)
6:24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
26 Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal."
28 Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
30 So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?
31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32 Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34 They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
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