The Season after Pentecost
Christian Worship: Hymnal (2021)
3-Year Lectionary, Year C
The First Sunday after Pentecost—Holy Trinity
The Lord told Moses 23to speak to Aaron and to his sons and to tell them to bless the Israelites with these words:
24The Lord bless you and keep you.
25The Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you.
26The Lord look on you with favor
and give you peace.
27In this way they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we also have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice confidently on the basis of our hope for the glory of God.
3Not only this, but we also rejoice confidently in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patient endurance, 4and patient endurance produces tested character, and tested character produces hope. 5And hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.
“I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own, but whatever he hears he will speak. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 15Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I said that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.
Proper 3 (May 24-28)
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord.
2Stand in the gate of the House of the Lord and proclaim this message there.
Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who are coming through this gate to worship the Lord. 3This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says.
Reform your ways and your actions, and I will establish you in this place. 4Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.”
5Sincerely reform your ways and your actions. Carry out justice between a man and his neighbor. 6Do not oppress the alien who lives in your land, the fatherless, or the widow. Do not shed innocent blood in this place. Do not follow after other gods to your own harm. If you avoid these things, 7I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your fathers forever and ever.
8Take warning. You are trusting in deceptive words that cannot help you.
Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, who does not change or shift like a shadow. 18Just as he planned, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creations.
19Remember this, my dear brothers: Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. 20Certainly, a man’s anger does not bring about what is right before God. 21So after getting rid of all moral filthiness and overflowing wickedness, receive with humility the word planted in you. It is able to save your souls.
22Be people who do what the word says, not people who only hear it. Such people are deceiving themselves. 23In fact, if anyone hears the word and does not do what it says, he is like a man who carefully looks at his own natural face in a mirror. 24Indeed, he carefully looks at himself; then, he goes away and immediately forgets what he looked like. 25But the one who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues to do so—since he does not hear and forget but actually does what it says—that person will be blessed in what he does.
26If anyone considers himself to be religious but deceives his own heart because he does not bridle his tongue, this person’s religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled in the sight of God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
He also told them a parable: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye? 42Or how can you tell your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck in your eye,’ when you do not see the beam in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s eye.
43“Certainly a good tree does not produce bad fruit, and a bad tree does not produce good fruit. 44In fact, each tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not gather figs from thorn bushes, and they do not gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45The good person brings what is good out of the good stored in his heart, and the evil person brings what is evil out of the evil within. To be sure, what his mouth speaks flows from the heart.
46“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and does them—I will show you what he is like: 48He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid a foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, the river beat against that house but could not shake it, because it was founded on bedrock. 49But the one who listened to my words and did not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river broke against it, it fell immediately, and that house was completely destroyed.”
Proper 4 (May 29-June 4)
1 Kings 8:22-24, 27-29, 41-43
Then Solomon stood in front of the altar in the presence of the whole congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23He said:
O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in the heavens above or on the earth below. You keep the covenant of mercy and faithfulness with your servants who walk before you with all their heart. 24You have kept the word which you spoke to your servant, my father David. What you have said with your mouth you have fulfilled with your hand, as it is today.
27But will God really dwell on the earth? In truth, the heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this house, which I have built! 28But turn your face toward the prayer of your servant and toward his plea for mercy. O Lord my God, listen to the cry and the prayer which your servant offers before you today.
29Let your eyes be open toward this house night and day, toward this place where you said, “My Name will be there,” to hear the prayer which your servant offers toward this place.
41Also for the foreigner, who is not one of your people Israel, but who comes from a distant land because of your Name 42(for they will hear about your great Name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm, and they will come and pray toward this house), 43for that foreigner, hear in heaven, which is your dwelling place, and do everything for which that foreigner cries out to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your Name and fear you, just as your people Israel do, and because they know that your Name is proclaimed in this house which I have built.
But before this faith came, we were held in custody under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24So the law was our chaperone until Christ, so that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a chaperone.
26In fact, you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27Indeed, as many of you as were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 28There is not Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one and the same in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants and heirs according to the promise.
After Jesus had finished saying all these things to the people who were listening, he went into Capernaum. 2A centurion’s servant, who was valuable to him, was sick and about to die. 3When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, 5because he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue for us.”
6Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell Jesus, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, because I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I am also a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another one, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
9When Jesus heard these things, he was amazed at him. He turned to the crowd that was following him and said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.” 10And when the men who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.
Proper 5 (June 5-11)
1 Kings 17:17-24
After these events, the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. The illness became worse until he stopped breathing.
18Then she said to Elijah, “What is the issue between us, man of God? Have you come to remind me of my sins and to kill my son?”
19He said to her, “Bring your son to me.” Then he took him and carried him to the upstairs room where he was living, and he laid him on his bed. 20Then he cried out to the Lord, “O Lord, my God, have you sent tragedy on this woman with whom I am staying by killing her son?”
21Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times, and he cried out to the Lord, “O Lord, my God, let this boy’s soul return to his body!” 22The Lord listened to Elijah’s voice, and the boy’s soul returned to his body, and he came to life. 23Then Elijah took the boy and brought him down to the house from his upstairs room, and he gave him to his mother.
Elijah said, “See, your son is alive!”
24The woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is true.”
In every way, whether for outward appearance or for the truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19because I know that this will turn out for my deliverance, through your prayer and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20This matches my earnest expectation and hope that I will in no way be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, so even now, Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21Yes, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22But if I am to go on living in the flesh, that will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet which should I prefer? I do not know. 23I am pulled in two directions, because I have the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. 24But, it is more necessary for your sake that I remain in the flesh. 25And since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and will continue with all of you, for your progress and joy in the faith. 26And so by my coming to you again, my goal is to give you even more reason to boast in Christ Jesus.
Soon afterward Jesus went on his way to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd were traveling with him. 12As he was approaching the town gate, there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother. She was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not cry.” 14He went up to the open coffin, touched it, and the pallbearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
16Fear gripped all of them, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us” and “God has visited his people!” 17This was reported about him in all of Judea and in all the surrounding countryside.
Proper 6 (June 12-18)
And now, Lord our God, you who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made a name for yourself to this very day, we have sinned, we have acted wickedly. 16Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain, although, because of our sins and the guilt of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people are viewed with contempt by everyone around us.
17Now listen, our God, to the prayer of your servant and to his plea for grace, and let your face shine upon your desolate sanctuary for your sake, my Lord. 18My God, turn your ear toward us and listen. Open your eyes and see the desolation that is upon us and the city that is called by your name. No, it is not because of our righteous acts that we are casting our plea for grace before you, but because of your great acts of compassion. 19Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, pay attention! Act, and do not delay—for your sake, my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.
1 Corinthians 6:9–20
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor males who have sex with males, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor the verbally abusive, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And some of you were those types of people. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
12“All things are permitted for me”—but not all things are beneficial. “All things are permitted for me”—but I will not allow anything to control me. 13“Foods are for the belly, and the belly is for foods, but God will do away with both of them.” However, the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then remove the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Certainly not! 16Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For it says, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
18Flee from sexual immorality! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.
A certain one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him. Jesus entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37Just then a sinful woman from that town learned that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38stood behind him near his feet weeping, and began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she began to wipe them with her hair while also kissing his feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would realize who is touching him and what kind of woman she is, because she is a sinner.”
40Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
He said, “Teacher, say it.”
41“A certain moneylender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he forgave them both. So, which of them will love him more?”
43Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the larger debt forgiven.”
Then he told him, “You have judged correctly.” 44Turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, but you did not give me water for my feet. Yet she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but she, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfume. 47Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that is why she loved so much. But the one who is forgiven little loves little.” 48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
49Those reclining at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Proper 7 (June 19-25)
Bring out the people who are blind, though they have eyes,
and the people who are deaf, though they have ears.
9Let all the nations be gathered together,
and let peoples be assembled.
Who among them has declared this?
Who has made known to us the former things?
Let them produce their witnesses to show that they were right,
so that people can hear and say, “This is truth.”
10You are my witnesses, declares the Lord.
You are my servant, whom I have chosen,
so that you may know me and believe in me,
so that you will understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
and after me there will not be another.
11I, yes I, am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12I myself declared it.
I brought salvation, and I announced it.
It was not some strange god among you.
You are my witnesses, declares the Lord,
and I am God.
13Indeed, from the first day, I am he.
There is no one who can deliver anyone from my hand.
I act, and who can reverse it?
2 Timothy 1:3–10
I thank God, whom I serve with a clean conscience as my ancestors did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day. 4When I remember your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5I remember your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am convinced that it also lives in you.
6For this reason I am reminding you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a timid spirit, but a spirit of power and love and sound judgment. 8So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Instead, join with me in suffering for the gospel while relying on the power of God. 9He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10and it has now been revealed through the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
They sailed down to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across from Galilee. 27When Jesus stepped ashore, a man from the town met him. He was possessed by demons and for a long time had not worn any clothes. He did not live in a house but in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torment me!” 29For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. In fact, the unclean spirit had seized him many times. He was kept under guard, and although he was bound with chains and shackles, he would break the restraints and was driven by the demon into deserted places.
30Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Legion,” because many demons had gone into him. 31They were begging Jesus that he would not order them to go into the abyss. 32A herd of many pigs was feeding there on the mountain. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33The demons went out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
34When those who were feeding the pigs saw what happened, they ran away and reported it in the town and in the countryside. 35People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet. He was clothed and in his right mind, and the people were afraid. 36Those who saw it told them how the demon-possessed man was saved. 37The whole crowd of people from the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were gripped with great fear.
As Jesus got into the boat and started back, 38the man from whom the demons had gone out begged to be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your home and tell how much God has done for you.” Then he went through the whole town proclaiming what Jesus had done for him.
Proper 8 (June 26-July 2)
1 Kings 19:19-21
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. Elisha was doing the plowing with twelve teams of oxen in front of him, and he himself was driving the twelfth team. Elijah crossed over to him and threw his cloak over him. 20Then Elisha left the oxen and ran after Elijah. He said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother good-bye! Then I will follow you.”
Then Elijah said, “Go back! For what have I done to you?”
21So Elisha turned back from following him. Then he took the team of oxen and slaughtered them. Using the equipment from the oxen as fuel, he cooked the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he got up, followed Elijah, and served him.
2 Corinthians 11:21b–30
However bold anyone might be (I am speaking in a foolish way), I am going to be bold too. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s seed? So am I. 23Are they ministers of Christ? (I am speaking in a crazy way.) I am even more. I’ve done more hard work, been in prisons more often, been whipped far more, and I’ve been close to death many times. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods. One time I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day on the open sea. 26I have often been on journeys, in danger from rivers, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own people, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger on the sea, in danger among false brothers. 27I have worked hard and struggled. I’ve spent many sleepless nights. I’ve been hungry and thirsty. I’ve gone without food many times. I’ve been cold and lacked clothing.
28Besides those external matters, there is the daily pressure on me of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak without my being weak? Who falls into sin without my being distressed?
30If it is necessary that I boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
When the days were approaching for him to be taken up, Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem. 52He sent messengers ahead of him. They went and entered a Samaritan village to make preparations for him. 53But the people did not welcome him, because he was determined to go to Jerusalem. 54When his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”
55But he turned and rebuked them. “You don’t know what kind of spirit is influencing you. 56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy people’s souls, but to save them.” Then they went to another village.
57As they went on the way, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59He said to another man, “Follow me!”
But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61Another man also said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say good-bye to those at my home.”
62Jesus told him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Proper 9 (July 3-9)
Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out toward me, and in it there was a rolled-up scroll. 10He unrolled it in front of me, and there was writing on both sides. Written on it was: Laments, Groaning, and Woe.
3:1Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat what you have received. Eat this scroll, and then go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll.
3Then he said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll that I am giving you.” I ate, and in my mouth it was sweet like honey.
4He then said to me, “Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5For you are not being sent to a people who have incomprehensible speech or a difficult language, but you are being sent to the house of Israel. 6Nor are you being sent to many peoples who have incomprehensible speech and difficult languages, whose words you cannot understand. Certainly, if I were to send you to such people, they would listen to you. 7But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, because the whole house of Israel is hard-headed and hard-hearted. 8Look, I have made your face just as hard as their faces and your forehead just as hard as their foreheads. 9I have made your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not fear them, and do not be intimidated by their looks, for they are a rebellious house.”
10Then he said to me, “Son of man, receive into your heart all my words that I will speak to you, and hear them with your ears. 11Go now to the exiles, to your own people. You shall speak to them and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says,’ whether they listen or they do not.”
1 Peter 5:1–4
Therefore, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and as one who also shares in the glory that is about to be revealed, I appeal to the elders among you: 2Shepherd God’s flock that is among you, serving as overseers, not grudgingly but willingly, as God desires, not because you are greedy for money but because you are eager to do it. 3Do not lord it over those entrusted to your care, but be examples for the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive an unfading crown of glory.
Luke 10:1–12, 16–20
After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go your way. Look, I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4Do not carry a money bag or traveler’s bag or sandals. Do not greet anyone along the way. 5Whenever you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6And if a peaceful person is there, your peace will rest on him, but if not, it will return to you. 7Remain in that same house, eating and drinking what they give you, because the worker is worthy of his pay. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8Whenever you enter a town and they welcome you, eat what is set before you. 9Heal the sick who are in the town and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’
10“But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust from your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom on that day than for that town.
16Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
17The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!”
18He told them, “I was watching Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Look, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing will ever harm you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names have been written in heaven.”
Proper 10 (July 10-16)
During the days of the judges, a famine occurred in the land. So a man left Bethlehem in Judah to stay awhile in the territory of Moab—he, his wife, and his two sons. 2The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were from the clan of Ephrath from Bethlehem in Judah. They entered the territory of Moab and remained there.
3But Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, so she was left with her two sons. 4They then married Moabite wives. The name of the first was Orpah, and the name of the second was Ruth. They lived there for about ten years. 5But Naomi’s sons, Mahlon and Kilion, also died. So the woman was left without her two children and without her husband.
6Then Naomi set out with her daughters-in-law to return from the territory of Moab, because while she was in the territory of Moab, she had heard that the Lord had graciously visited his people by providing them with food. 7So she left the place where she had been, and her two daughters-in-law left with her. They set out on the road to return to the land of Judah.
8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back. Both of you return to your mother’s house. May the Lord show you kindness as you have shown kindness to the dead and to me. 9May the Lord grant that each of you finds security in the house of a husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept loudly.
10But they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”
11Then Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Am I going to give birth to any more sons who could become your husbands? 12Turn back, my daughters. Go! For I am too old to be married to another husband. Suppose I say, ‘I have hope, and I will be married to another husband tonight, and I will even give birth to sons.’ 13Would you wait for them until they grow up? On the basis of that hope would you give up the chance to marry another husband? No, my daughters. It is much more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has reached out against me.”
14They once again wept loudly. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth would not let her go.
15Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law has returned to her people and to her gods. Go back! Follow your sister-in-law.”
16But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to abandon you or to turn back from following you. Because wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you make your home, I will make my home. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely and double it if anything but death separates me from you.”
18When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19Then the two of them traveled until they arrived at Bethlehem.
Galatians 5:1, 13–25
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not allow anyone to put the yoke of slavery on you again.
13After all, brothers, you were called to freedom. Only do not use your freedom as a starting point for your sinful flesh. Rather, serve one another through love. 14In fact, the whole law is summed up in this one statement: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15But if you keep on biting and devouring one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16What I am saying is this: Walk by the spirit, and you will not carry out what the sinful flesh desires. 17For the sinful flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit, and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful flesh. In fact, these two continually oppose one another, so that you do not continue to do these things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the control of the law.
19Now the works of the sinful flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, complete lack of restraint, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, discord, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things similar to these. I warn you, just as I also warned you before, that those who continue to do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the spirit, let us also walk in step with it.
Just then, an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26“What is written in the law?” he asked him. “What do you read there?”
27He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself.”
28He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He fell among robbers who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31It just so happened that a priest was going down that way. But when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32In the same way, a Levite also happened to go there, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 33A Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man was. When he saw him, he felt sorry for the man. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He put him on his own animal, took him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day, when he left, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. Whatever extra you spend, I will repay you when I return.’ 36Which of these three do you think acted like a neighbor to the man who fell among robbers?”
37“The one who showed mercy to him,” he replied.
Then Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he was sitting by the door to his tent during the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up, and he saw three men standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and he bowed down to the ground. 3He said, “My lord, if I have now found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by. 4Now let me get a little water so that all of you can wash your feet and rest under the tree. 5Let me get some bread so that you can refresh yourselves. After that you may go your way. That is why you have come to your servant.”
They said, “Yes, do as you have said.”
6Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly prepare twenty quarts of fine flour, knead it, and make some loaves of bread.” 7Abraham ran to the herd, brought a good, tender calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to prepare it. 8He took cheese curds, milk, and the calf that he had prepared and set it before them. He stood beside them under the tree while they ate.
9They asked him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?”
He said, “She is over there in the tent.”
10One of the men said, “I will certainly return to you when this season comes around next year. Then Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Sarah was listening to this from the tent door, which was behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well into old age. Sarah was past the age for childbearing. 12Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, will I have pleasure, since my lord is also old?”
13The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really give birth to a child though I am old?’ 14Is anything impossible for the Lord? At the set time next year I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.”
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints 5because of the hope that is stored up for you in heaven. You have already heard about this in the word of truth, the gospel 6that is present with you now. The gospel is bearing fruit and growing in the entire world, just as it also has been doing among you from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth. 7You learned this from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf. 8He is the one who told us about your love in the Spirit.
9For this reason, from the day we heard about your love, we also have not stopped praying for you. We keep asking that you would be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10so that you might live in a way that is worthy of the Lord. Our goal is that you please him by bearing fruit in every kind of good work and by growing in the knowledge of God, 11as you are being strengthened with all power because of his glorious might working in you. Then you will have complete endurance and patience, joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
13The Father rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
As they went on their way, Jesus came into a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at the Lord’s feet and was listening to his word. 40But Martha was distracted with all her serving. She came over and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.”
41The Lord answered and told her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42but one thing is needed. In fact, Mary has chosen that better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Proper 12 (July 24-30)
So the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very flagrant, 21I will go down now and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has come to me. If not, I will know.”
22The two men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23Abraham approached him and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous along with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep them away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25You would never do such a thing, killing the righteous along with the wicked, treating the righteous the same as the wicked. You would never do such a thing. The Judge of all the earth should do right, shouldn’t he?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people within the city of Sodom, then I will spare the entire place for their sake.”
27Abraham answered, “See now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it on myself to speak to my Lord. 28What if there are five fewer than fifty righteous? Will you destroy the entire city if the number is five short?”
He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29He spoke to him yet again and said, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”
30He said, “Please, do not be angry, my Lord, but I will speak again. What if thirty are found there?”
He said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
31He said, “See now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to my Lord. What if there are twenty found there?”
He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32He said, “Please, do not be angry, my Lord, but I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?”
He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
1 Timothy 2:1–7
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all those who are in authority, in order that we might live a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 7For this testimony, I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I speak the truth; I am not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
On another occasion, Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”
2He said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4Forgive us our sins, as we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”
5He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine who is on a journey has come to me, and I do not have anything to set before him.’ 7And the one inside replies, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you.’ 8I tell you, even if he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his bold persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives. The one who seeks finds. And to the one who knocks, it will be opened.
11“What father among you, if your son asks for bread, would give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if he asks for an egg, would give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
Proper 13 (July 31-August 6)
Ecclesiastes 1:1-2, 12-14, 2:18-26
The words of Ecclesiastes, David’s son, king in Jerusalem.
2“Nothing but vapor,” Ecclesiastes said. “Totally vapor. Everything is just vapor that vanishes.”
12I, Ecclesiastes, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I applied my heart to seek out and explore with wisdom everything done under the sky. (What a burdensome task God has given the children of Adam to keep them busy!) 14I have seen all the actions done under the sun, and, look, it is all nothing but vapor. It is all chasing the wind.
2:18I also hated all the results of my hard work, for which I worked so hard under the sun, since I must leave it all to the man who comes after me. 19And who knows—will he be wise, or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the results of my hard work, for which I worked so hard and so wisely, under the sun. This too is vapor that vanishes.
20So I changed my course, and my heart began to despair over all my hard work at which I worked so hard under the sun. 21Sure, there may be a man who has worked hard—wisely, aptly, and skillfully. But he must hand over whatever he accumulated by all his hard work to a man who has not worked hard for it. This too is vapor. It’s so unfair! 22For what does a man gain through all his hard work, through all the turmoil in his heart as he works so hard under the sun?
23Bah! Pain fills his days. His occupation is frustration. Even at night his heart does not rest. This too is vapor.
24There is nothing better for a man than to eat and to drink and to find joy in his work. This too, I saw, is from God’s hand. 25For who can eat or enjoy himself apart from him? 26Yes, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness to the man whom he considers good, but to the person who goes on sinning God gives the task of gathering and collecting, but only so that he can give it all to a person whom God considers good. This too is vapor, nothing but chasing wind.
Therefore, because you were raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5So put to death whatever is worldly in you: sexual immorality, uncleanness, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6It is because of these things that the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 7You too once walked in these things, when you were living in them.
8But now, you too are to rid yourselves of all of these: wrath, anger, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9Do not lie to each other since you have put off the old self with its practices, 10and put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in knowledge, according to the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcision or uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but rather Christ is all and is in all.
Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14But Jesus said to him, “Man, who appointed me to be a judge or an arbitrator over you?”
15Then he said to them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because a man’s life is not measured by how many possessions he has.”
16He told them a parable: “The land of a certain rich man produced very well. 17He was thinking to himself, ‘What will I do, because I do not have anywhere to store my crops?’ 18He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and goods. 19And I will tell my soul, “Soul, you have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20“But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your soul will be demanded from you. Now who will get what you have prepared?’
21“That is how it will be for anyone who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Proper 14 (August 7-13)
After these events the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. He said, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2Abram said, “Lord God what can you give me, since I remain childless, and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Abram also said, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant born in my house will be my heir.”
4Just then, the word of the Lord came to him. God said, “This man will not be your heir, but instead one who will come out of your own body will be your heir.” 5The Lord then brought him outside and said, “Now look toward the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “This is what your descendants will be like.” 6Abram believed in the Lord, and the Lord credited it to him as righteousness.
Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16
Faith is being sure about what we hope for, being convinced about things we do not see. 2For by this faith the ancients were commended in Scripture.
3By faith we know that the universe was created by God’s word, so that what is seen did not come from visible things.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go to a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance, and he left without knowing where he was going.
9By faith he lived as a stranger in the Promised Land, as if it did not belong to him, dwelling in tents along with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11By faith Abraham also received the ability to conceive children, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was past the normal age, because he considered him faithful who made the promise. 12And so from one man, and he as good as dead, descendants were born as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand along the seashore.
13One by one, all of these died in faith, without having received the things that were promised, but they saw and welcomed them from a distance. They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14Indeed, people who say things like that make it clear that they are looking for a land of their own. 15And if they were remembering the land they had come from, they would have had an opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better land—a heavenly one. For that reason, God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he prepared a city for them.
Jesus said to his disciples, “For that reason I tell you, stop worrying about your life, about what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23Certainly life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap; they have no warehouse or barn; and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds! 25And who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan? 26Since you are not able to do this little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of these. 28If this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will he clothe you, you of little faith? 29Do not constantly chase after what you will eat or what you will drink. Do not be worried about it. 30To be sure, the nations of the world chase after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, continue to seek the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you. 32Do not be afraid, little flock, because your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not become old, a treasure in the heavens that will not fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Proper 15 (August 14-20)
Am I a God who is only nearby, declares the Lord,
and not a God far away?
24Can anyone hide in secret places
so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord.
Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.
25I have heard what the prophets who prophesy lies in my name have said. They say, “I have had a dream! I have had a dream!” 26How long will this be in the hearts of these lying prophets? These prophets proclaim the fantasies of their own hearts. 27They think they can make my people forget my name with the dreams each one tells his neighbor, the way their fathers forgot my name because of Baal. 28Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream. But let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully.
What has chaff to do with grain? declares the Lord. 29Is not my word like a fire? declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us get rid of every burden and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with patient endurance the race that is laid out for us. 2Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author of our faith and the one who brings it to its goal. In view of the joy set before him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of God’s throne. 3Carefully consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinful people, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.
4You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood in your fight against sin. 5Have you also forgotten the encouragement that addresses you as sons?
My son, do not regard the Lord’s discipline lightly,
and do not become weary of his correction.
6For the Lord disciplines the one whom he loves,
and he corrects every son he accepts.
7Endure suffering as discipline. God is dealing with you as sons. Is there a son whose father does not discipline him? 8If you are not disciplined (and all of us have received it), then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9In addition, we have earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them. Should we not submit even more to the Father of the spirits and live? 10They disciplined us for a little while, according to what seemed best to them, but God disciplines us for our good, so that we may have a share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant when it is happening, but painful, yet later it yields a peaceful harvest of righteousness for those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore strengthen your weak hands and feeble knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but rather healed.
“I came to throw fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ignited. 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished! 51Do you think that I came to bring peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52Yes, from now on there will be five divided in one household: 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 her mother-in-law.”
Proper 16 (August 21-27)
As for me, because of their works and their thoughts,
the time is coming for me to gather people from all nations and all languages.
They will come, and they will see my glory.
19Then I will set up a sign among them,
and I will send out survivors from among them to the nations,
to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, to those who are archers,
to Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands,
who have not heard my message and have not seen my glory.
Then they will declare my glory among the nations.
20Then they will bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord. They will bring them on horses and chariots and wagons and mules and dromedaries to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, in the same way that the people of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel to the Lord’s house.21Even from among these people I will take priests and Levites, says the Lord.
22For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will remain standing before me, declares the Lord, in the same way your offspring and your name will stand. 23As often as one new moon follows another and one Sabbath follows another, all flesh will come to worship before me, says the Lord.
24They will go out, and they will see the corpses of the ones who were rebelling against me, for their worm will not die, and their fire will not be quenched, and all flesh will be horrified by them.
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to burning fire, to darkness, to gloom, to a raging storm, 19to the sound of a trumpet, and to a voice that spoke. Those who heard the voice asked that not one more word be added, 20because they could not endure what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21The sight was so terrifying that even Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
22Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God; to the heavenly Jerusalem; to tens of thousands of angels in joyful assembly; 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven; to God, who is the judge of all; to the spirits of righteous people, who have been made perfect; 24to Jesus, the mediator of a new testament; and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better message than the blood of Abel.
He went on his way from one town and village to another, teaching, and making his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone said to him, “Lord, are only a few going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24“Strive to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. 25Once the master of the house gets up and shuts the door, you will begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open for us!’ He will tell you in reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27And he will say, ‘I don’t know where you come from. Depart from me, all you evildoers.’ 28There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown outside. 29People will come from east and west, from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. 30And note this: Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Proper 17 (August 28-September 3)
Do not honor yourself in a king’s presence.
Do not stand in a place reserved for great people,
7because it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than for you to be humiliated before a ruler.
My brothers, have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ without showing favoritism. 2For example, suppose a man enters your worship assembly wearing gold rings and fine clothing, and a poor man also enters wearing filthy clothing. 3If you look with favor on the man wearing fine clothing and say, “Sit here in this good place,” but you tell the poor man, “Stand over there” or “Sit down here at my feet,” 4have you not made a distinction among yourselves and become judges with evil opinions? 5Listen, my dear brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom, which he promised to those who love him? 6But you dishonored the poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you, and don’t they drag you into court? 7Aren’t they the ones who blaspheme the noble name that was pronounced over you? 8However, if you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9But if you show favoritism, you are committing a sin, since you are convicted by this law as transgressors.
10In fact, whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles in one point has become guilty of breaking all of it. 11For the one who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law of freedom. 13For there will be judgment without mercy on the one who has not shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Luke 14:1, 7–14
One Sabbath day, when Jesus went into the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat bread, they were watching him closely.
7When he noticed how they were selecting the places of honor, he told the invited guests a parable. 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline in the place of honor, or perhaps someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him. 9The one who invited both of you may come and tell you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then you will begin, with shame, to take the lowest place.
10“But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when the one who invited you comes, he will tell you, ‘Friend, move up to a higher place.’ Then you will have honor in the presence of all who are reclining at the table with you.
11“Yes, everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
12He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, do not invite your friends, or your brothers, or your relatives, or rich neighbors, so that perhaps they may also return the favor and pay you back.
13“But when you make a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. Certainly, you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”
Proper 18 (September 4-10)
See now, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. 16This is what I am commanding you today: Love the Lord your God, walk in his ways, and keep his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and increase in number, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are going to possess.
17But if your heart turns away, and you do not listen, and you are lured away, and you bow down to other gods and serve them, 18then I declare to you today that you will most certainly perish. You will not live a long life on the land that you are about to enter and possess by crossing over the Jordan.
19I call the heavens and the earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live 20by loving the Lord your God, by listening to his voice, and by clinging to him, because that means life for you, and you will live a long life on your land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Philemon 1, 7–21
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
7For I have received great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
8For that reason, even though I have plenty of boldness in Christ to order you to do what is proper, 9I am appealing to you, instead, on the basis of love, just as I, Paul, am an old man and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 10I am appealing to you on behalf of my child Onesimus. I became his father while I was in chains. 11There was a time when he was useless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me. 12I have sent him (who is my very heart) back to you. Welcome him. 13I wanted to keep him with me, so that he might serve me in your place while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that your kindness would not be the result of compulsion, but of willingness. 15Perhaps this is why he was separated from you for a while: so that you would have him back forever, 16no longer as a slave, but as more than a slave, as a dear brother. He certainly is dear to me, but he is even more of a dear brother to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18And if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19I, Paul, have written this with my own hand: I will repay it—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20Yes, brother, I am asking for a favor from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, if he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, everyone who sees it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build, but was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, as he goes out to confront another king in war, will not first sit down and consider if he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32And if he is not able, he sends out a delegation and asks for terms of peace while his opponent is still far away. 33So then, any one of you who does not say farewell to all his own possessions cannot be my disciple. 34Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its flavor, how will it become salty again? 35It is not fit for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Proper 19 (September 11-17)
The Lord said to me, “Go again. Show love to a woman who is loved by another man, a woman who keeps committing adultery. Show love just as the Lord loves the people of Israel, even though they keep turning to other gods and loving the raisin cakes.”
2So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and nine bushels of barley. 3I said to her, “You will stay with me for many days. You must not be promiscuous. You must not be with any other man, and I will also be for you.”
4So the people of Israel will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred memorial stones, and without the special vest or family idols. 5Afterward the people of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.
2 Corinthians 2:5–11
Now if anyone has caused sorrow, he has not done it to me, but to all of you to some extent (not to overstate it). 6This punishment inflicted on such a person by the majority is enough, 7so that instead you should rather forgive and comfort him, or else such a person could be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8For that reason, I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9In fact, this was also the purpose of my writing: I wanted to know the result of your being tested, that is, if you are obedient in all things.
10If you forgive anyone anything, I do too. To be sure, if I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven it in the presence of Christ for your sake, 11so that Satan would not take advantage of us. We are certainly not unaware of his schemes.
All the tax collectors and sinners were coming to Jesus to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the experts in the law were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3He told them this parable: 4“Which one of you, if you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that was lost until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls together his friends and his neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ 7I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.
8“Or what woman who has ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, would not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the lost coin.’ 10In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Proper 20 (September 18-24)
Anyone who loves money is never satisfied with money, and anyone who loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is vanishing vapor.
11When goods increase, so do those who eat them. What profit, then, does the owner get, except to see these things with his eyes?
12The worker’s sleep is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but a rich person’s abundant possessions allow him no sleep.
13I have seen a sickening evil under the sun—wealth hoarded by its owner to his own harm, 14or wealth that is lost in a bad investment. Or a man fathers a son, but he has nothing left in his hand to give him. 15As he came out from his mother’s womb, so he will go again, naked as he came. From his hard work he can pick up nothing that he can carry away in his hand. 16This too is a sickening evil: Just as he came, so he will go. So what does he gain, he who works for the wind? 17Besides this, during all his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, sickness, and anger.
18So then, here is what I have seen to be good: It is beautiful to eat, to drink, and to look for good in all a person’s hard work which he has done under the sun, during the few days of his life that God has given him, for that is his reward. 19Likewise, for everyone to whom God has given wealth and riches, if God has also given him ability to eat from it, to enjoy his reward, and to rejoice in the results of his hard work—this is a gift of God, 20for the man seldom reflects on the days of his life, since God keeps him busy with the joy in his heart.
1 Timothy 6:6–10, 17–19
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly cannot take anything out. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be satisfied.
9Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into complete destruction and utter ruin. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evils. By striving for money, some have wandered away from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.
17Instruct those who are rich in this present age not to be arrogant or to put their hope in the uncertainty of riches, but rather in God, who richly supplies us with all things for our enjoyment. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they are storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
Jesus also said to his disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager who was accused of wasting his possessions. 2The rich man called him in and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you can no longer be manager.’
3“The manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, since my master is taking away the management position from me? I am not strong enough to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 4I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from my position as manager, people will receive me into their houses.’
5“He called each one of his master’s debtors to him. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6He said, ‘Six hundred gallons of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write three hundred.’ 7Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘Six hundred bushels of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and write four hundred and eighty.’
8“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the children of the light. 9I tell you, make friends for yourselves with unrighteous so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings. 10The person who is faithful with very little is also faithful with much. And the person who is unrighteous with very little is also unrighteous with much. 11So if you have not been faithful with unrighteous mammon who will entrust you with what is really valuable? 12If you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you something to be your own? 13No servant can serve two masters. Indeed, either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
Proper 21 (September 25-October 1)
Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you distinguished people of the leading nation,
to whom the house of Israel comes.
2Travel to Kalneh and look.
Go from there to Hamath Rabbah,
and go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are you better than those kingdoms?
Are their territories greater than your territory?
3You who are trying to put off the evil day,
you bring near the session for violence!
4Those who lie on ivory beds,
sprawling upon their couches,
eating lambs from the flock
and calves straight from the stall,
5improvising tunes on the lyre,
composing music for themselves on musical instruments like David,
6drinking large bowls of wine—
they slather themselves with the most expensive perfumed oils,
but they do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
7That is why they will go into exile as the first of the exiles.
Those who sprawl out at their feasts for the dead will depart.
Continue to show brotherly love. 2Do not fail to show love to strangers, for by doing this some have welcomed angels without realizing it. 3Remember those in prison, as if you were fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated, as if you yourselves were also suffering bodily.
4Marriage is to be held in honor by all, and the marriage bed is to be kept undefiled, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers. 5Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have. For God has said:
I will never leave you,
and I will never forsake you.
6So then we say with confidence:
The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid.
What will man do to me?
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 20A beggar named Lazarus had been laid at his gate. Lazarus was covered with sores and 21longed to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Besides this, the dogs also came and licked his sores. 22Eventually the beggar died, and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell, where he was in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus at his side. 24He called out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in misery in this flame.’
25“But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus received bad things. But now he is comforted here, and you are in misery. 26Besides all this, a great chasm has been set in place between us and you, so that those who want to cross from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27“He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s home, 28because I have five brothers—to warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29“Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to them.’
30“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31“Abraham replied to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Proper 22 (October 2-8)
1 Chronicles 29:1–2, 10–18
King David said this to the whole assembly:
My son Solomon, the one God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The work is great because this citadel is not for a man. It is for the Lord God. 2According to all my strength, I have provided these things for the house of my God: gold for the gold items, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron, wood for the wooden, onyx stones and settings, antimony, stones of many different colors, every kind of precious stone, and alabaster in abundance.
10David blessed the Lord in the presence of the entire assembly. He said:
Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel, our father, from eternity to eternity. 11To you, O Lord, belong greatness, power, glory, victory, and majesty, because everything in the heavens and on the earth belongs to you. You, Lord, are exalted as head above everything. The kingdom belongs to you. 12Riches and honor come from you. You are ruling over everything. In your hand are power and strength. It is in your power to make anyone great and strong. 13Now, our God, we are thanking you and praising your glorious name.
14Who am I? Who are my people that we are able to offer willingly like this? For everything comes from you. What we have given to you came from your hand. 15We are aliens and temporary residents before you, as were all our fathers. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope of staying.
16Lord, our God, all this abundance, which we have provided for building a house for you, for your holy name, is from your hand. This abundance belongs to you.
17I know, my God, that you test the heart, and you take pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things. Now with joy I see your people, who are present here to bring the offering freely to you.
18Lord, the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, preserve forever this purpose and way of thinking in the heart of your people. Direct their heart to you.
2 Thessalonians 1:1–5, 11–12
Paul, Silas, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3We are always obligated to thank God for you, brothers, as is fitting, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love that each and every one of you has for one another is increasing. 4So we ourselves boast about you in God’s churches in regard to your patient endurance and faith in all your persecutions and in the trials that you are enduring. 5This is evidence of God’s righteous verdict that resulted in your being counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also suffer.
11For this reason, we are always praying for you, that our God will make you worthy of your calling and use his power to fulfill every good desire and work of your faith, 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in him, in keeping with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2It would be better for that person if a millstone would be hung around his neck and he would be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3Watch yourselves.
“If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 4Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6The Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you could tell this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7Which one of you who has a servant plowing or taking care of sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at the table’? 8Won’t the master tell him instead, ‘Prepare my supper, and after you are properly dressed, serve me while I eat and drink. After that you may eat and drink’? 9He does not thank the servant because he did what he was commanded to do, does he? 10So also you, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have only done what we were supposed to do.’”
Proper 23 (October 9-15)
God spoke to Noah. He said, 16“Go out of the ark—you, your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 17Bring out with you every living thing of every sort that is with you, all flesh, including birds, livestock, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may swarm over the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
18Noah went out with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives along with him. 19Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever swarms on the earth went out of the ship, species by species.
20Noah built an altar to the Lord and took from every clean animal and every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21The Lord smelled the pleasant aroma. The Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the soil anymore because of man, for the thoughts he forms in his heart are evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike every living thing, as I have done. 22While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
2 Corinthians 9:10–15
And he who provides seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing, and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be made rich in every way so that you may be generous in every way, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.
12To be sure, the administration of this service is not only making up for what is lacking among the saints, but it is also overflowing in many prayers of thanksgiving to God. 13By proving yourselves in this service, many people are glorifying God, as they see the obedience shown in your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity shown in your sharing with them and all people. 14At the same time as they pray for you, they also express their longing for you, because of the extraordinary measure of God’s grace given to you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
On another occasion, as Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he was passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12When he entered a certain village, ten men with leprosy met him. Standing at a distance, 13they called out loudly, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they went away they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. 16He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Jesus responded, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go your way. Your faith has saved you.”
Proper 24 (October 16-22)
He got up that night and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and he also sent his possessions across. 24Jacob was left alone, and he wrestled with a man there until daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not defeat him, he touched the socket of his thigh, and the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated as he wrestled. 26The man said, “Let me go. It’s daybreak.”
Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”
27Then he said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.”
28Then he said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have fought with God and with men, and you have won.”
29Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”
He said, “Why do you ask what my name is?” Then he blessed him there.
30Jacob named the place Peniel, because he said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life has been spared.”
1 John 5:13–15
I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
14This is the confidence that we have before him: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we also know that we receive the things we have asked from him.
Jesus told them a parable about the need to always pray and not lose heart: 2“There was a judge in a certain town who did not fear God and did not care about people. 3There was a widow in that town, and she kept going to him, saying, ‘Give me justice from my adversary!’ 4For some time he refused, but after a while he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God or care about people, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice so that she will not wear me out with her endless pleading.’”
6The Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7Will not God give justice to his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night? Will he put off helping them? 8I tell you that he will give them justice quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Proper 25 (October 23-29)
So now, Israel, what is the Lord your God asking of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13to keep the commandments of the Lord and his statutes that I am commanding you today for your own good.
14Indeed, the heavens and the heaven of heavens, the earth and everything that is on it—these belong to the Lord your God. 15Still, the Lord attached himself to your fathers, loved them, and he chose their descendants after them (that’s you!) from all peoples, as it is today.
16So cut away the tough shell of your sinful nature, and do not be stubborn any longer.
17The Lord your God is God of Gods and Lord of Lords, the great God, the mighty one and the awesome one, who does not show favoritism and does not take a bribe. 18He carries out justice for the fatherless and widows. He loves the alien who dwells among you and gives him food and clothing. 19So you are to love the alien, because you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
20Fear the Lord your God, serve him, cling to him, and take your oaths in his name.
21He is your glory. He is your God, who performed for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.
22When your fathers went down to Egypt, they numbered seventy people, but now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.
1 John 2:15–17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, boasting about material possessions—is not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
A certain ruler asked Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19Jesus asked him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good, except one—God. 20You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery. You shall not murder. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony. Honor your father and mother.’ ”
21“I have kept all these since I was a child,” he said.
22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23But when the ruler heard these words, he became very sad, because he was very rich.
24When Jesus saw that the man became very sad, he said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?”
27He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible for God.”
28And Peter said, “Look, we have left our possessions and followed you.”
29He said to them, “Amen I tell you: Anyone who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will most certainly receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Proper 26 (October 30-November 5)
Who is a God like you, who forgives guilt,
and who passes over the rebellion of the survivors from his inheritance?
He does not hold onto his anger forever.
He delights in showing mercy.
19He will have compassion on us again.
He will overcome our guilty deeds.
You will throw all their sins into the depths of the sea.
20You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham,
as you swore to our fathers from days of old.
For at the appointed time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7It is rare indeed that someone will die for a righteous person. Perhaps someone might actually go so far as to die for a person who has been good to him. 8But God shows his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9Therefore, since we have now been justified by his blood, it is even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, it is even more certain that, since we have been reconciled, we will be saved by his life. 11And not only is this so, but we also go on rejoicing confidently in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received this reconciliation.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man named Zacchaeus was there. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but since he was short, he could not see because of the crowd. 4He ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus, because he was about to pass by that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6He came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully. 7When the people saw it, they were all grumbling because he went to be a guest of a sinful man.
8Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I am going to give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I will pay back four times as much.”
9Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Proper 27 (November 6-12)
Watch this! I am about to create new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered.
They will not come to mind.
18Instead, rejoice and celebrate forever, because of what I am creating.
Watch this! I am about to create Jerusalem to be a source of gladness,
and her people will be a source of joy.
19I also will be glad because of Jerusalem,
and I will rejoice over my people.
The sound of weeping will not be heard in her again,
nor will the sound of crying.
20There will never again be an infant there who lives for only a few days,
or an elderly man who does not fill out all his days,
for one who dies at a hundred will be considered a young man,
and one who fails to attain the age of one hundred will be regarded as cursed.
21Then they will build houses and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22They will not build a house and have another person live in it.
They will not plant and have another person eat the crop,
for the days of my people will be like the days of a tree,
and my chosen ones will enjoy all the work of their hands.
23They will not labor only to receive nothing,
and they will not give birth to children doomed to disaster,
for they will be offspring who are blessed by the Lord,
and their descendants will be with them.
24Then even before they call, I will answer.
While they are still speaking, I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb will graze together,
and lions will eat straw like cattle,
but the serpent will eat dust as its food.
They will not harm or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain,
says the Lord.
The angel showed me the river of the water of life, which was as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. 2In the middle of the city’s street and on each side of the river was a tree of life that yielded twelve kinds of fruit. The tree yields its fruit every month, and its leaves are for the healing of the nations.
3There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him. 4They will see his face. His name will be on their foreheads. 5There will no longer be any night or any need for lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
Some of the Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to him. 28They asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no children, his brother should take the wife and raise up children for his brother. 29So there were seven brothers. The first took a wife and died childless. 30The second took her as a wife, 31and so did the third, and in the same way the seven died and left no children. 32Finally the woman died too. 33So in the resurrection, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as a wife.”
34Jesus said to them, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35But those who are considered worthy to experience that age and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36In fact, they cannot die any more, for they are like the angels. They are sons of God, because they are sons of the resurrection.
37“Even Moses showed in the account about the burning bush that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord: ‘The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all are alive to him.”
Proper 28 (November 13-19)
Look! The day is coming, burning like a blast furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The day that is coming will set them on fire, says the Lord of Armies, a day that will not leave behind a root or branch for them. 2But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, and there will be healing in its wings. You will go out and jump around like calves from the stall. 3You will trample the wicked. They will surely be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action, says the Lord of Armies.
4Remember the law of my servant Moses, which I commanded to him at Horeb to serve as statutes and judgments over all Israel.
5Look! I am going to send Elijah the prophet to you before the great and fearful day of the Lord comes! 6He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with complete destruction.
2 Thessalonians 1:5–10
This is evidence of God’s righteous verdict that resulted in your being counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also suffer. 6Certainly, it is right for God to repay trouble to those who trouble you, 7and to give relief to you, who are troubled along with us. When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his powerful angels, 8he will exercise vengeance in flaming fire on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9Such people will receive a just penalty: eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious strength, 10on that day when he comes to be glorified among his saints, and to be marveled at among all those who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
“I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all people for my name’s sake. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By patient endurance you will gain your lives.
The Last Sunday of the Church Year (November 20-26)
Habakkuk 1:1–3, 2:1–4
The threatening oracle which the prophet Habakkuk saw.
2How long, Lord, must I cry for help, but you do not listen?
I call out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save!
3Why do you cause me to see injustice?
Why do you overlook misery?
Devastation and violence confront me.
There is strife, and tensions rise.
2:1I will stand at my watch post and station myself on the city wall. I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint.
2Then the Lord answered me. He said:
Record the vision and write it plainly on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
3Indeed, the vision is waiting for the appointed time. It longs for fulfillment and will not prove false. If it seems slow in coming, wait for it, because it will certainly come and will not be delayed.
4Look, his soul is puffed up and is not righteous within him—but the righteous one will live by his faith.
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! declares the Lord.
2Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people.
You have scattered my flock.
You have driven them away.
You have not taken care of them,
but I will certainly take care of you,
because of the evil things you have done,
declares the Lord.
3I will gather what is left of my flock
out of all the countries where I have driven them,
and I will bring them back to their pastures.
They will be fruitful and multiply.
4I will raise up shepherds over them
who will shepherd them.
They will no longer be afraid or terrified,
nor will any be missing, declares the Lord.
5Listen, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
who will reign wisely as king
and establish justice and righteousness on earth.
6In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will dwell securely.
This is his name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteousness.
The angel said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
7“And look: I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who holds on to the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I bowed down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and also with those who hold on to the words of this book. Worship God!”
10The angel also said to me:
Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.
11Let the one who is unjust continue to be unjust.
Let the one who is filthy continue to be filthy.
Let the one who is just continue to do what is just.
Let the one who is holy continue to be holy.
12Look, I am coming soon and my reward is with me, to repay each one according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
The Father rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, 16for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and all things hold together in him.
18He is also the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things he might have the highest rank. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile all things to himself (whether things on earth or in heaven) by making peace through the blood of his cross.
“Be dressed, ready for service, and keep your lamps burning. 36Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37Blessed are those servants, whom the master will find watching when he comes. Amen I tell you: He will dress himself and have them recline at the table, and he will come and serve them. 38Even if he comes in the second or third watch, they will be blessed if he finds them alert. 39But know this: If the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you are not expecting him.”
The people stood watching. The rulers were ridiculing him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, the Chosen One!”
36The soldiers also made fun of him. Coming up to him, they offered him sour wine, 37saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
38There was also an inscription written above him: “This is the King of the Jews.”
39One of the criminals hanging there was blaspheming him, saying, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same condemnation? 41We are punished justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for what we have done, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.”
43Jesus said to him, “Amen I tell you: Today you will be with me in paradise.”
(October 31 or the Last Sunday in October)
Yes, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
32It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers,
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.
They broke that covenant of mine,
although I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.
33But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days,
declares the Lord.
I will put my law in their minds,
and I will write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34No longer will each one teach his neighbor,
or each one teach his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,”
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord,
for I will forgive their guilt,
and I will remember their sins no more.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not allow anyone to put the yoke of slavery on you again. 2Look, I, Paul, tell you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3I testify again to every man who allows himself to be circumcised that he is obligated to do the whole law. 4You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law are completely separated from Christ. You have fallen from grace.
5Indeed, through the Spirit, we by faith are eagerly waiting for the sure hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters. Rather, it is faith working through love that matters.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples. 32You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33“We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered, “and we have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be set free’?”
34Jesus answered, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Everyone who keeps committing sin is a slave to sin. 35But a slave does not remain in the family forever. A son does remain forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.
All Saints’ Day
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer existed. 2And I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And from the throne I heard a loud voice that said, “Look! God’s dwelling is with people. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain, because the former things have passed away.”
5The one who was seated on the throne said to me, “Look, I am making everything new!” He also said, “Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6And he said to me:
It is done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
To anyone who is thirsty,
I will give freely from the spring of the water of life.
And what more should I say? There would not be enough time for me to continue to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33By faith they conquered kingdoms, carried out justice, obtained things that were promised, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edges of the sword, were made powerful after being weak, became mighty in battle, and caused foreign armies to flee. 35Women received back their dead by resurrection. And others who were tortured did not accept their release, so that they may take part in a better resurrection. 36Still others experienced mocking and lashes, in addition to chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were tempted; they were killed with the sword; they went around in sheepskins and goatskins, needy, afflicted, and mistreated. 38The world was not worthy of them as they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
39All of these were commended in Scripture by faith, yet they did not receive what was promised, 40because God had planned something better for us, namely, that they would not reach the goal apart from us.
He lifted up his eyes to his disciples and said:
Blessed are you who are poor,
because yours is the kingdom of God.
21Blessed are you who hunger now,
because you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
because you will laugh.
22Blessed are you whenever people hate you,
and whenever they exclude and insult you
and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man.
23“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy because of this: Your reward is great in heaven! The fact is, their fathers constantly did the same things to the prophets.”