Readings for August 25, 2019, Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Remember the sabbath day. Call the sabbath a delight. This is the Lord’s day, and the Lord will do for us what the Lord does: feed us, forgive us, help and heal us. Rejoice at all the wonderful things God is doing.

First Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14

9bIf you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
11The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.

13If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
14then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Psalm: Psalm 103:1-8

1Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.
2Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all God’s benefits—
3who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases;
4who redeems your life from the grave
and crowns you with steadfast love and mercy;
5who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.
6O Lord, you provide vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7You made known your ways to Moses
and your works to the children of Israel.
8Lord, you are full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Second Reading: Hebrews 12:18-29

18You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. 20(For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.” 21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”) 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! 26At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” 27This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; 29for indeed our God is a consuming fire.

Gospel: Luke 13:10-17

10Now [Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. 14But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” 15But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” 17When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Readings and Psalm for Sunday, September 1, 2019, Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Invited and inviting—that is the nature of the church. By God’s grace in holy baptism we have a place at the banquet table of the Lord. When, by the power of that same Spirit, humility and mutual love continue among us, the church can be more inviting still.

Prayer of the Day
O God, you resist those who are proud and give grace to those who are humble. Give us the humility of your Son, that we may embody the generosity of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Readings and Psalm
Proverbs 25:6-7
Psalm 112
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14

First Reading: Proverbs 25:6-7

6Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
or stand in the place of the great;
7for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

Psalm: Psalm 112

1Hallelujah! Happy are they who fear the Lord
and have great delight in God’s commandments!
2Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3Wealth and riches will be in their house,
and their righteousness will last forever.
4Light shines in the darkness for the upright;
the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.
5It is good for them to be generous in lending
and to manage their affairs with justice.
6For they will never be shaken;
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
7They will not be afraid of any evil rumors;
their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8Their heart is established and will not shrink,
until they see their desire upon their enemies.
9They have given freely to the poor, and their righteousness stands fast forever;
they will hold up their head with honor.
10The wicked will see it and be angry; they will gnash their teeth and pine away;
the desires of the wicked will perish.

Second Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

1Let mutual love continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. 4Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” 6So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”
7Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 15Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-14

1On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
7When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Join the Conversation. Sunday Morning Study Group returns September 15th!

rohr book for CROur Sunday Morning Book Discussion Group return Sunday, September 15th at 9:30 a.m. in the Emmaus Room (the green room at the end of Cana Hall).  We’ll be discussing “The Universal Christ” by Richard Rohr.

Please read the brief introduction, “Before We Begin” before the first gathering.  You can read the intro online.  If you have any questions, please contact Wendy Manganiello or the church office.

Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence (And the Rest of Us), Friday, August 9th, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

In the stunning aftermath of the attacks this weekend in Texas and Ohio, we call the community to gather on Friday, August 9th, from 7-8:30 p.m., people of faith and of no faith, in a Vigil for the Victims of Gun Violence (and the Rest of Us), to be hosted at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry, 5 Summer St., Hanover. Come as you are able to during this time to stand together against gun violence.

Those who want to honor the victims with a reading, song, prayer, dance, reflection, exhortation or some other means are invited to do so. If possible, please give us advance notice of your intention by emailing PastorKyle@oslchanover.org so that we might provide appropriate space.

These horrific events continue to reveal intolerance and hatred for “the other”. The shootings manifest again our obsession with violence and our use of guns and of hateful rhetoric to feel powerful.

Our response must reveal another kind of power. That is the power of love and respect for our neighbor, whoever that neighbor is, and our fierce devotion to our nation as a safe and just place where all can live out their lives without fear.

Questions – email PastorKyle@oslchanover.org

Readings and Psalm for Sunday, August 18, 2019, Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

The word of God is a refining fire. Jesus is the great divide in human history. He invites our undivided attention and devotion. Today, in the assembly, we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” In the word and in the holy communion we are invited yet again to look to Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”

First Reading: Jeremiah 23:23-29

23Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? 24Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. 25I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!” 26How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back—those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? 27They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. 28Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. 29Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Psalm: Psalm 82

1God stands to charge the divine council assembled,
giving judgment in the midst of the gods:
2“How long will you judge unjustly,
and show favor to the wicked?
3Save the weak and the orphan;
defend the humble and needy;
4rescue the weak and the poor;
deliver them from the power of the wicked.
5They do not know, neither do they understand; they wander about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6Now I say to you, ‘You are gods,
and all of you children of the Most High;
7nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.’ ”
8Arise, O God, and rule the earth,
for you shall take all nations for your own.

Second Reading: Hebrews 11:29-12:2

29By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.
32And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. 36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented—38of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

12:1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Gospel: Luke 12:49-56

[Jesus said:] 49“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53they will be divided:
father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. 55And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

Readings and Psalm for Sunday, August 11, 2019, Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Jesus says, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It is God’s promise from the beginning—to Abraham, to the early church, and to the “little flock” of which we are a part today in assembly. Faith, God’s baptismal gift, trusts the promises of God. Have no fear.

First Reading: Genesis 15:1-6

1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” 5He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Psalm: Psalm 33:12-22

12Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord!
Happy the people chosen to be God’s heritage!
13The Lord looks down from heaven,
and sees all humankind.
14God sits firmly enthroned and watches
all who dwell on the earth.
15God fashions all their hearts
and observes all their deeds.
16A king is not saved by the size of the army,
nor are warriors rescued by their great strength.
17The horse gives vain hope for victory;
despite its great strength it cannot save.
18Truly, your eye is upon those who fear you, O Lord,
upon those who wait for your steadfast love,
19to deliver their lives from death,
and to keep them alive in time of famine.
20Our innermost being waits for you, O Lord,
our helper and our shield.
21Surely, our heart rejoices in you,
for in your holy name we put our trust.
22Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we place our hope in you.

Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Gospel: Luke 12:32-40

[Jesus said:] 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”