Readings for Sunday, November 17, 2019, Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

The end is near. There is no doubt about it. The warnings are dire. The tone of Sunday’s texts is ominous. But the baptized know how to live in the “meantimes.” The baptized are strengthened for the living of these days in word and sacrament. The baptized rally around the invitation of the apostle: “Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.”

Prayer of the Day

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy. Embrace us with your mercy, that with you as our ruler and guide, we may live through what is temporary without losing what is eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

Readings and Psalm
Malachi 4:1-2a
Psalm 98
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Luke 21:5-19

First Reading: Malachi 4:1-2a

1See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2aBut for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.

Psalm: Psalm 98

1Sing a new song to the Lord, who has done marvelous things,
whose right hand and holy arm have won the victory.
2O Lord, you have made known your victory,
you have revealed your righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3You remember your steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands;
lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.
5Sing to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the voice of song.
6With trumpets and the sound of the horn
shout with joy before the king, the Lord.
7Let the sea roar, and all that fills it,
the world and those who dwell therein.
8Let the rivers clap their hands,
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord, who comes to judge the earth.
9The Lord will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with equity.

Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

 6Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.

Gospel: Luke 21:5-19

 5When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, [Jesus] said, 6“As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
7They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.
9“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12“But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your souls.”

Readings for Sunday, November 10, 2019, Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

Searching for readings for a different week?  You’ll find readings for additional Sundays here.

We worship on the first day of the week because our Savior was raised on that day. Every Sunday is a little Easter. This Sunday feels more like Easter than many as the appointed texts celebrate the reality of the resurrection. Live it up this Lord’s day. Our God is the God of the living.

Readings and Psalm

Job 19:23-27a
Psalm 17:1-9
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Luke 20:27-38

First Reading: Job 19:23-27a

23“O that my words were written down!
O that they were inscribed in a book!
24O that with an iron pen and with lead
they were engraved on a rock forever!
25For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;
26and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then in my flesh I shall see God,
27awhom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”

Psalm: Psalm 17:1-9

1Hear a just cause, O Lord; give heed to my cry;
listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.
2Let my vindication come forth from your presence;
let your eyes be fixed on justice.
3Examine my heart, visit me by night,
melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
4I have not regarded what others do;
at the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5My footsteps hold fast to your well-worn path;
and my feet do not slip.
6I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me;
incline your ear to me and hear my words.
7Show me your marvelous lovingkindness,
O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise against them.
8Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me under the shadow of your wings,
9from the wicked who assault me,
from my deadly enemies who surround me.

Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17

1As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. 4He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. 5Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you?

13But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 17comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

Gospel: Luke 20:27-38

27Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to [Jesus] 28and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30then the second 31and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32Finally the woman also died. 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”
34Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 35but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”

Readings for Sunday, November 3, 2019, All Saints Sunday

In holy baptism God makes saints out of sinners. In holy communion God forgives the sins of all the saints. In the assembly today we give thanks for all the saints “who from their labors rest,” who have fought the good fight, who have gained the crown. In the same breath we petition our God for the strength to hear and to heed the admonitions of the Lord Jesus in today’s gospel. Recalling that we have been sealed by the Spirit and sustained by the Savior’s body and blood, we keep on keeping on as God gives us breath, to the praise of God’s glory.

First Reading: Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18

1In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in bed. Then he wrote down the dream: 2I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, 3and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.

15As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. 16I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: 17“As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. 18But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever—forever and ever.”

Psalm: Psalm 149

1Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song,
God’s praise in the assembly of the faithful.
2Let Israel rejoice in their maker;
let the children of Zion be joyful in their ruler.
3Let them praise their maker’s name with dancing;
let them sing praise with tambourine and harp.
4For the Lord takes pleasure in the people
and adorns the poor with victory.
5Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
6Let the praises of God be in their throat
and a two-edged sword in their hand,
7to wreak vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
8to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles with links of iron,
9to inflict on them the judgment decreed;
this is glory for all God’s faithful ones. Hallelujah!

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:11-23

11In 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, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In 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; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel: Luke 6:20-31

20Then [Jesus] looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
25“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
27“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Pods for the Pulpit

podsforthepulpit2019Pods for the Pulpit, Friday & Saturday, November 29-30, 2019, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., in Norwich: John Fenley and Madeline Boughter will be at the “Pods for the Pulpit” Crafts Fair at Tracy Hall in Norwich selling raffle tickets for the 2019 Spark Raffle Quilt. This year’s quilt, “Autumn Blaze”, was donated by Geraldine North and quilted by Joyce Lundrigan. (The raffle drawing will take place on December 20th at Spark! Community Center’s Holiday Party at 75 Bank Street in Lebanon, NH.) If you are looking for something to do on Thanksgiving weekend, this crafts fair won’t disappoint.

Readings for Sunday, October 27, 2019, Reformation Sunday

On this day we celebrate the heart of our faith: the gospel of Christ—the good news—that makes us free! We pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to unite the church today in its proclamation and witness to the world. In the waters of baptism we are made one body; we pray for the day that all Christians will also be one at the Lord’s table.

Prayer of the Day

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy catholic church. Fill it with all truth and peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in need, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Psalm: Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,
  and though the mountains shake in the depths of the sea;
though its waters rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
  the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be shaken;
God shall help it at the break of day.
 The nations rage, and the kingdoms shake;
  God speaks, and the earth melts away.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
 Come now, regard the works of the Lord,
  what desolations God has brought upon the earth;
behold the one who makes war to cease in all the world;
who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire.
 “Be still, then, and know that I am God;
  I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Second Reading: Romans 3:19-28

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

Gospel: John 8:31-36

31Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”
34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

Readings for Sunday, October 20, 2019, Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Searching for readings for a different week?  You’ll find readings for additional Sundays here.

Pray always. Do not lose heart. This is the encouragement of the Christ of the gospel today. Persistence in our every encounter with the divine will be blessed. Wrestle with the word. Remember your baptism again and again. Come regularly to Christ’s table. Persistence in our every encounter with the divine will be blessed.

Prayer of the Day

O Lord God, tireless guardian of your people, you are always ready to hear our cries. Teach us to rely day and night on your care. Inspire us to seek your enduring justice for all this suffering world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

First Reading: Genesis 32:22-31

22The same night [Jacob] got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” 27So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

Psalm: Psalm 121

1I lift up my eyes to the hills;
from where is my help to come?
2My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
3The Lord will not let your foot be moved
nor will the one who watches over you fall asleep.
4Behold, the keeper of Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep;
5the Lord watches over you;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6the sun will not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7The Lord will preserve you from all evil
and will keep your life.
8The Lord will watch over your going out and your coming in,
from this time forth forevermore.

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5

14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
4:1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8

1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ ” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”