The Sundays after Pentecost
Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal (1993)
3-Year Lectionary, Year A
Holy Trinity Sunday (The First Sunday after Pentecost)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was undeveloped and empty. Darkness covered the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
3God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was evening and there was morning—the first day.
6God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters, and let it separate the water from the water.” 7God made the expanse, and he separated the water that was below the expanse from the water that was above the expanse, and it was so. 8God called the expanse “sky.” There was evening and there was morning—the second day.
9God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. ˻The waters under the sky gathered to their own places, and the dry land appeared.˼ 10God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathering places of the waters he called “seas.” God saw that it was good. 11God said, “Let the earth produce plants—vegetation that produces seed, and trees that bear fruit with its seed in it—each according to its own kind on the earth,” and it was so. 12The earth brought forth plants, vegetation that produces seed according to its own kind, and trees that bear fruit with its seed in it, each according to its own kind, and God saw that it was good. 13There was evening and there was morning—the third day.
14God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to divide the day from the night, and let them serve as markers to indicate seasons, days, and years. 15Let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light to the earth,” and it was so. 16God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17God set these lights in place in the expanse of the sky to provide light for the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. 19There was evening and there was morning—the fourth day.
20God said, “Let the waters swarm with living creatures, and let birds and other winged creatures fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky.” 21God created the large sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their own kind, and every winged bird according to its own kind. God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them when he said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the waters of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23There was evening and there was morning—the fifth day.
24God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures according to their own kind, livestock, creeping things, and wild animals according to their own kind,” and it was so. 25God made the wild animals according to their own kind, and the livestock according to their own kind, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its own kind. God saw that it was good.
26God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls on the earth.”
27God created the man in his own image.
In the image of God he created him.
Male and female he created them.
28God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29God said, “Look, I have given you every plant that produces seed on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that bears fruit that produces seed. It will be your food. 30To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning—the sixth day.
1The heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them. 2On the seventh day God had finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had been doing. 3God blessed the seventh day and set it apart as holy, because on it he rested from all his work of creation that he had done.
2 Corinthians 13:11-14
11Finally, brothers, rejoice. Set things in order. Be encouraged. Agree with one another. Be at peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
12Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13All the saints greet you.
14The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
16The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some hesitated because they were uncertain. 18Jesus approached and spoke to them saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and by teaching them to keep all the instructions I have given you. And surely I am with you always until the end of the age.”
The Second Sunday after Pentecost
Deuteronomy 11:18–21, 26-28
18Put these words of mine in your hearts and in your soul, and tie them on your wrists as signs and as symbols on your forehead. 19Teach them to your children by talking about them when you sit in your house and when you travel on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be many on the land that the Lord promises to your fathers with an oath, as many as the days that the heavens remain over the earth.
26You see, I am placing before you today a blessing and a curse: 27the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, 28or the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God and you turn away from the path that I am commanding you today by walking after other gods whom you did not know.
Romans 3:21–25a, 27-28
21But now, completely apart from the law, a righteousness from God has been made known. The Law and the Prophets testify to it. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all and over all who believe.
In fact, there is no difference, 23because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God publicly displayed as the atonement seat through faith in his blood.
27What happens to boasting then? It has been eliminated. By what principle—by the principle of works? No, but by the principle of faith. 28For we conclude that a person is justified by faith without the works of the law.
15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. You do not gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do you? 17So then, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and drive out demons in your name and perform many miracles in your name?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
24“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on bedrock. 25The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was founded on bedrock. 26Everyone who hears these words of mine but does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—it was completely destroyed.”
28When Jesus finished speaking these words, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught them as one who had authority, and not like their experts in the law.
The Third Sunday after Pentecost
15I will go. I will return to my place
until they admit their guilt and seek my face.
In their distress they will earnestly seek me.
6:1Come, let us return to the Lord.
For he has torn us to pieces,
but he will heal us.
He has struck us,
but he will bandage our wounds.
2After two days he will revive us.
On the third day he will raise us up,
so that we may live in his presence.
3Let us acknowledge the Lord.
Let us pursue knowledge of the Lord.
As surely as the sun rises,
the Lord will appear.
He will come to us like a heavy rain,
like the spring rain that waters the earth.
4What am I going to do with you, Ephraim?
What am I going to do with you, Judah?
For your faithfulness is like a morning mist,
like early dew that disappears.
5That is why I cut them to pieces by means of the prophets.
I killed them with the words of my mouth.
The judgments against you go forth like the light.
6For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,
and the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.
18Hoping beyond what he could expect, he believed that he would become the father of many nations, just as he was told: “This is how many your descendants will be.” 19He did not weaken in faith, even though he considered his own body as good as dead (because he was about one hundred years old), and even though he considered Sarah’s womb to be dead. 20He did not waver in unbelief with respect to God’s promise, but he grew strong in faith, giving glory to God 21and being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
23Now the statement “it was credited to him” was not written for him alone, 24but also for us to whom it would be credited, namely, to us who believe in the one who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead. 25He was handed over to death because of our trespasses and was raised to life because of our justification.
9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting in the tax collector’s booth. He said to him, “Follow me.” Matthew got up and followed him.
10As Jesus was reclining at the table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were actually there too, eating with Jesus and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “The healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. 13Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ In fact, I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
2After they set out from Rephidim and came to the Wilderness of Sinai, they camped in the wilderness. Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and to tell the people of Israel: 4‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now if you will carefully listen to my voice and keep my covenant, then you will be my special treasure out of all the nations, although the entire earth is mine. 6You will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to speak to the Israelites.”
7Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, and he set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8All the people answered together, “Everything that the Lord has said, we will do.”
6For 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 demonstrates 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.
35Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness.
36When he saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38Therefore pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into his harvest.”
10:1Jesus called his twelve disciples to himself and gave them authority to drive out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5Jesus sent these twelve out and commanded them, “Do not go among the Gentiles, and do not enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’ 8Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cleanse lepers. Drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
7You persuaded me, Lord, and I agreed to it.
You are stronger than I am, and you won out.
I have become a laughingstock all day long,
and everyone is mocking me.
8Whenever I speak, I cry out.
I cry out, “Violence and destruction!”
But the word of the Lord has brought scorn on me.
I am mocked all day long.
9If I say, “I will not mention him
or speak in his name anymore,”
then there is a burning fire in my heart,
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary of holding it in.
10I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
All my close friends,
those who are watching for my fall, say,
“Denounce him! Let’s denounce him.
Perhaps he can be pressured into making a mistake.
Then we will have the upper hand against him,
and we will take our revenge on him.”
11But the Lord is with me like a terrifying warrior.
So my persecutors will stumble,
and they will not gain the upper hand.
They will be put to shame completely,
because they have not been successful.
Their eternal disgrace will never be forgotten.
12Lord of Armies, you test the righteous.
You see the heart and the mind.
Let me see your vengeance on them,
for I have laid out my case before you.
13Sing to the Lord!
Praise the Lord,
for he has delivered the life of the needy
from the hand of the wicked.
12So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, so also death spread to all people because all sinned. 13For even before the law was given, sin was in the world. Now, sin is not charged to one’s account if there is no law, 14and yet death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those whose sin was not like the transgression of Adam, who is a pattern of the one who was to come.
15But the gracious gift is not like Adam’s trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of this one man, it is even more certain that God’s grace, and the gift given by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ, overflowed to the many!
24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master. If the master of the house was called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
26“So do not be afraid of them, because there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29“Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without the knowledge and consent of your Father. 30And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.
32“Everyone who confesses me before others, I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
5Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the House of the Lord. 6He said, “Amen! May the Lord do that! May the Lord fulfill the words you have prophesied and bring back the vessels of the Lord’s house, and may he bring all the exiles back from Babylon to this place. 7Nevertheless, listen now to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8The prophets from ancient times, who came before you and me, prophesied war, famine, and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. 9As for the prophet who prophesies peace, only when the word of the prophet actually comes true will that prophet become known as someone whom the Lord has truly sent.”
Shall we keep on sinning so that grace may increase? 2Absolutely not! We died to sin. How can we go on living in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him by this baptism into his death, so that just as he was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too would also walk in a new life.
5For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united with him in the likeness of his resurrection.
6We know that our old self was crucified with him, to make our sinful body powerless, so that we would not continue to serve sin. 7For the person who has died has been declared free from sin. 8And since we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he will never die again. Death no longer has control over him. 10For the death he died, he died to sin once and for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11In the same way also consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
34“Do not think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
37“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
40“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42Whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink because he is my disciple—Amen I tell you—he will never lose his reward.”
The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
12Moses said to the Lord, “Look, you yourself have been telling me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13So now if I have found favor in your sight, please show me your ways, so that I may know you, so that I may find favor in your sight. Consider that this nation is your people.”
14The Lord said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15Moses said to him, “If your Presence is not going to go with me, do not send us up from here. 16After all, how would people know that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Isn’t it in this way: that you go with us, so that we are distinguished, I and your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?”
17The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have said, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
18Then Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”
19The Lord said, “I will make all my goodness pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord in your presence. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” 20He said, “You cannot see my face, for no human may see me and live.”
21The Lord also said, “Look, there is a place next to me, where you shall stand on the rock. 22It will happen that, while my glory passes by, I will put you in a crevice in the rock. I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back. But my face will not be seen.”
15For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not keep doing what I want. Instead, I do what I hate. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17But now it is no longer I who am doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18Indeed, I know that good does not live in me, that is, in my sinful flesh. The desire to do good is present with me, but I am not able to carry it out. 19So I fail to do the good I want to do. Instead, the evil I do not want to do, that is what I keep doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who am doing it, but it is sin living in me.
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is present with me. 22I certainly delight in God’s law according to my inner self, 23but I see a different law at work in my members, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me captive to the law of sin, which is present in my members. 24What a miserable wretch I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
25At that time, Jesus continued, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from clever and learned people and have revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, because this was pleasing to you. 27Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wants to reveal him.
28“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
10Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky
and do not return there
unless they first water the earth, make it give birth, and cause it to sprout,
so that it gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11in the same way my word that goes out from my mouth
will not return to me empty.
Rather, it will accomplish whatever I please,
and it will succeed in the purpose for which I sent it.
18For I conclude that our sufferings at the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19In fact, creation is waiting with eager longing for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in the hope 21that even creation itself will be set free from slavery to corruption, in order to share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22For we know that all of creation is groaning with birth pains right up to the present time. 23And not only creation, but also we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we eagerly await our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24Indeed, it was for this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for something we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patient endurance.
Matthew 13:1–9, 18-23
That same day Jesus left the house and was sitting by the sea. 2A large crowd gathered around him. So he stepped into a boat and sat down, while all the people stood on the shore. 3He told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen, a sower went out to sow. 4As he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil. Immediately the seed sprang up, because the soil was not deep. 6But when the sun rose, the seed was scorched. Because it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked it. 8But some seed fell on good ground and produced grain: some one hundred times, some sixty, and some thirty times more than was sown. 9Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.
18“So listen carefully to the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the Evil One comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the seed that was sown along the path. 20The seed that was sown on rocky ground is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21yet he is not deeply rooted and does not endure. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. 22The seed that was sown among the thorns is the one who hears the word, but the worry of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it produces no fruit. 23But the seed that was sown on the good ground is the one who continues to hear and understand the word. Indeed he continues to produce fruit: some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times more than was sown.”
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
12Let the nations be roused.
Let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will be seated to judge all the nations.
13Swing the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Come, trample the grapes,
for the winepress is full and the vats overflow,
because the nations’ wickedness is so great!
14Multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision!
For the Day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision.
15The sun and moon will be darkened,
and the stars will stop shining.
16The Lord will roar from Zion
and shout from Jerusalem.
The sky and the earth will tremble.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
26In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we should pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that are not expressed in words. 27And he who searches our hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints, according to God’s will.
Matthew 13:24–30, 36-43
24He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while people were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26When the plants sprouted and produced heads of grain, the weeds also appeared. 27The servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’ 28He said to them, ‘An enemy did this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather up the weeds?’ 29‘No,’ he answered, ‘because when you gather up the weeds, you might pull up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the weeds, bind them in bundles, and burn them. Then, gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
36Then Jesus sent the people away and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37He answered them, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world. The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the Evil One. 39The enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the world. The reapers are angels. 40Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so it will be at the end of the world. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will pull out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and those who continue to break the law. 42The angels will throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
1 Kings 3:5-12
5The Lord appeared to Solomon in Gibeon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6Solomon said, “You have shown great mercy and faithfulness to your servant, my father David, just as he walked before you in truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart toward you. You have shown this great mercy and faithfulness to him and have given him a son who is seated on his throne to this very day. 7O Lord my God, now you have made your servant king in the place of my father David, but I am a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8And I, your servant, am among your people whom you have chosen, a great people, who cannot be counted or numbered because they are so many. 9Now give to your servant a perceptive heart to judge your people, to distinguish between good and evil, for who is able to judge this great people of yours?”
10In the eyes of the Lord, Solomon’s request was good. 11So God said to him, “Because you have asked for this, and you have not asked for a long life, nor have you asked for riches, nor have you asked for the lives of your enemies, but you have asked for discernment to reach just verdicts, 12therefore I will act according to your words. Yes, I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you before you, nor will anyone like you rise up after you.
28We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose, 29because those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called. Those he called, he also justified. And those he justified, he also glorified.
44“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid again. In his joy, he goes away and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls. 46When he found one very valuable pearl, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48When the net was filled, they pulled it onto the shore. They sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw the bad ones away. 49That is how it will be at the end of the world. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous who are among them. 50And they will throw the wicked into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 51Jesus said to them, “Did you understand all these things?”
They answered him, “Yes.”
52He said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained as a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure both new things and old things.”
The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Hey, all of you who are thirsty, come to the water,
even if you have no money!
Come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
2Why do you spend money on something that is not bread?
Why do you waste your labor on something that does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good.
Satisfy your appetite with rich food.
3Turn your ear toward me, and come to me.
Listen, so that you may continue to live.
Yes, I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
the faithful mercies promised to David.
4Look, I appointed him as a witness for peoples,
a leader and commander of peoples.
5Look, you will call out to a nation you do not know,
and a nation that does not know you will run to you,
on account of the Lord your God,
because of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
35What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36Just as it is written:
For your sake we are being put to death all day long.
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither things present nor things to come, nor powerful forces, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
13When Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed him on foot from the towns.
14When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd. He had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15When evening came, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away, so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17They told him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
18“Bring them here to me,” he replied. 19Then he instructed the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish. After looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples. The disciples gave the food to the people. 20They all ate and were filled. They picked up twelve basketfuls of what was left over from the broken pieces. 21Those who ate were about five thousand men, not even counting women and children.
The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
1 Kings 19:9-18
9He came to a cave and spent the night there.
Then the word of the Lord suddenly came to him, saying, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
10He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of Armies, but the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant. They have torn down your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking to take my life.”
11Then the Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is passing by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains and shattered rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind came an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
12After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a soft, whispering voice.
13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak, and he went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. Then a voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
14He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of Armies, but the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant. They have torn down your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking to take my life.”
15Then the Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came and go to the Wilderness of Damascus. When you get there, you are to anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16You will also anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah as prophet in your place. 17Whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill, and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18But I have preserved in Israel seven thousand whose knees have not bent to Baal and whose lips have not kissed him.”
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying—my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit 2that I have great sorrow and continuous pain in my heart. 3For I almost wish that I myself could be cursed and separated from Christ in place of my brothers, my relatives according to the flesh, 4those who are Israelites. Theirs are the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, came the Christ, who is God over all, eternally blessed. Amen.
22Immediately Jesus urged the disciples to get into the boat and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed the crowd, he went up onto the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 24By then the boat was quite a distance from shore, being pounded by the waves because the wind was against it. 25In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified and cried out in fear, “It’s a ghost!” 27But Jesus spoke to them at once, saying, “Take heart! It is I! Do not be afraid.”
28Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
29Jesus said, “Come!”
Peter stepped down from the boat, walked on the water, and went toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid. As he began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33Those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God!”
The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
This is what the Lord says.
Protect justice, and carry out righteousness,
because my salvation is coming very soon.
My righteousness is ready to be revealed.
6Then the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him and to love the name of the Lord
and to become his servants,
every one of them who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,
those who take hold of my covenant—
7I will bring them to my holy mountain,
and I will make them glad in my house of prayer.
Their whole burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be
acceptable on my altar.
For my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples of the world.
8This is the declaration of God the Lord,
who gathers Israel’s dispersed people:
“I will gather still more people to my house besides
the ones already gathered.”
Romans 11:13–15, 28-32
13I am speaking to you Gentiles. For as long as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I am going to speak highly of my ministry. 14Perhaps I may make my own people jealous, and so save some of them. 15For if their rejection meant the reconciliation of the world, what does their acceptance mean other than the dead coming to life?
28In regard to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But, in regard to election, they are especially dear for the sake of the patriarchs, 29because God’s gracious gifts and call are not regretted. 30For just as you were once disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy due to their disobedience, 31so also now they have become disobedient, so that by the mercy shown to you they may be shown mercy too. 32For God imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may show mercy to all.
21Jesus left that place and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22There a Canaanite woman from that territory came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! A demon is severely tormenting my daughter!”
23But he did not answer her a word.
His disciples came and pleaded, “Send her away, because she keeps crying out after us.”
24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25But she came and knelt in front of him, saying, “Lord, help me.”
26He answered her, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to their little dogs.”
27“Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet their little dogs also eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, your faith is great! It will be done for you, just as you desire.” And her daughter was healed at that very hour.
The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
2Then God spoke to Moses, telling him, “I am the Lord. 3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name, the Lord, I was not known to them. 4I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land where they were residing as aliens. 5I certainly have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians have enslaved, and I have remembered my covenant.
6“Therefore tell the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord. I will bring you out from under the forced labor of the Egyptians. I will deliver you from being their slaves. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you out from under the forced labor of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you to the land which I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”
33Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments
and how untraceable his ways!
34“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his adviser?”
35“Or who has first given to God
that he will be repaid?”
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
13When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14They said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15He said to them, “But you, who do you say that I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overpower it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he commanded the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
15O Lord, you understand.
Remember me and care for me.
Take vengeance for me on those who persecute me.
You are slow to anger.
Do not take me away.
Keep in mind that for your sake I bear disgrace.
16Your words came to me, and I devoured them.
Your words became my joy,
the delight of my heart,
because I bear your name,
O Lord God of Armies.
17I did not sit with the band of partygoers,
nor did I celebrate with them.
I sat alone, because your hand was upon me.
You filled me with indignation.
18Why is my pain unending?
Why is my wound incurable, refusing to heal?
Will you be as deceptive as an intermittent stream to me,
like a source of water that a person can’t depend on?
19Therefore this is what the Lord says.
If you repent, I will take you back,
so that you may stand before me.
If what you say is worthwhile and not worthless,
you will be my spokesman.
They must turn to you,
but you must not turn to them.
20I will make you like a bronze wall to this people.
They will fight against you,
but they will not overcome you,
because I am with you to save you
and to rescue you, declares the Lord.
21I will rescue you from the hand of the wicked,
and I will deliver you from the grasp of the ruthless.
Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy and pleasing to God—which is your appropriate worship. 2Also, do not continue to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you test and approve what is the will of God—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
3So by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think in a way that results in sound judgment, as God distributed a measure of faith to each of you. 4For we have many members in one body, and not all the members have the same function. 5In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6We have different gifts, according to the grace God has given us. If the gift is prophecy, do it in complete agreement with the faith. 7If it is serving, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. 8If it is encouraging, then encourage. If it is contributing, be generous. If it is leadership, be diligent. If it is showing mercy, do it cheerfully.
21From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised again.
22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “May you receive mercy, Lord! This will never happen to you.”
23But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a snare to me because you are not thinking the things of God, but the things of men.”
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25In fact whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26After all, what will it benefit a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for his soul?”
The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
7But I have appointed you, son of man, to be a watchman for the house of Israel. So whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you are to warn them from me. 8When I say to a wicked man, “Wicked man, you shall surely die,” if you do not speak to warn the wicked man against his way, that wicked man will die because of his guilt, but I will also hold you responsible for his blood. 9But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he will die because of his guilt, but you will have saved your life.
10So you, son of man, say the following to the house of Israel.
This is what you people are saying: “Certainly our rebellion and our sins weigh us down, and because of them we are rotting away. How then can we live?” 11Say to them, “As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from their way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why should you die, O house of Israel?”
Everyone must submit to the governing authorities. For no authority exists except by God, and the authorities that do exist have been established by God. 2Therefore the one who rebels against the authority is opposing God’s institution, and those who oppose will bring judgment on themselves.
3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to evil. Would you like to have no fear of the one in authority? Do what is good, and you will receive praise from him, 4because he is God’s servant for your benefit. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because he does not carry the sword without reason. He is God’s servant, a punisher to bring wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore it is necessary to submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of conscience.
6For this reason you also pay taxes, because the authorities are God’s ministers, who are employed to do this very thing. 7Pay what you owe to all of them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, and honor to whom honor is owed.
8Do not owe anyone anything except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments—do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet (and if there is any other commandment)—are summed up in this statement: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no harm to a neighbor, so love is the fulfillment of the law.
15“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his sin just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And, if he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as an unbeliever or a tax collector. 18Amen I tell you: Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19Amen I tell you again: If two of you on earth agree to ask for anything, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. 20In fact where two or three have gathered together in my name, there I am among them.”
The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
15When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and will pay us back in full for all of the evil that we did to him.”
16They sent the following message to Joseph: “Before he died your father commanded us, 17‘You are to tell Joseph, “Please forgive the offense of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ Now, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father.”
Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18His brothers also came and fell down in front of him, and they said, “See now, we are your servants.”
19Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring this to pass and to keep many people alive, as it is this day. 21Now therefore do not be afraid. I will nourish you and your little ones.” He comforted them and spoke to them in a kind way.
5One person values one day above another. Another person values every day the same. Let each person be fully convinced in his own mind. 6The person who honors a certain day does this for the Lord, and the person who eats does this for the Lord, because he gives thanks to God. And the person who does not eat does this for the Lord and gives thanks to God.
7In fact, not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself. 8Indeed, if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this reason he died, rose, and lived, to be Lord of both the dead and the living.
21Then Peter came up and asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother when he sins against me? As many as seven times?”
22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but I tell you as many as seventy-seven times. 23For this reason the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began to settle them, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Because the man was not able to pay the debt, his master ordered that he be sold, along with his wife, children, and all that he owned to repay the debt.
26“Then the servant fell down on his knees in front of him, saying, ‘Master, be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!’ 27The master of that servant had pity on him, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began choking him, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
29“So his fellow servant fell down and begged him, saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!’ 30But he refused. Instead he went off and threw the man into prison until he could pay back what he owed.
31“When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were very distressed. They went and reported to their master everything that had taken place.
32“Then his master called him in and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt when you begged me to. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had mercy on you?’ 34His master was angry and handed him over to the jailers until he could pay back everything he owed.
35“This is what my heavenly Father will also do to you unless each one of you forgives his brother from his heart.”
The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
6Seek the Lord while he may be found!
Call on him while he is near!
7Let the wicked man abandon his way.
Let an evil man abandon his thoughts.
Let him turn to the Lord,
and he will show him mercy.
Let him turn to our God,
because he will abundantly pardon.
8Certainly my plans are not your plans,
and your ways are not my ways, declares the Lord.
9Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my plans are higher than your plans.
18What does it matter? Only this, that 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.
27Just conduct yourselves in a way that is worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come to see you or am absent, I may hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, contending together with one soul for the faith of the gospel.
“Indeed the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing to pay the workers a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3He also went out about the third hour and saw others standing unemployed in the marketplace. 4To these he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6When he went out about the eleventh hour, he found others standing unemployed. He said to them, ‘Why have you stood here all day unemployed?’
7“They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“He told them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When it was evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group and ending with the first.’
9“When those who were hired around the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10When those who were hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But they each received a denarius too. 11After they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner: 12‘Those who were last worked one hour, and you made them equal to us who have endured the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’
13“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not make an agreement with me for a denarius? 14Take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last one hired the same as I also gave to you. 15Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16In the same way, the last will be first, and the first, last.”
The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
The word of the Lord came to me.
2What do you mean, you who keep repeating this proverb concerning the soil of Israel, “Fathers eat sour grapes, and their sons’ teeth are set on edge”? 3As surely as I live, declares the Lord God, you will never again use this proverb in Israel. 4Indeed, all souls are mine. The soul of the father is mine just like the soul of the son. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
25But you say, “The Lord’s way is not fair.” Listen now, house of Israel. Is it my way that is not fair? Is it not your ways that are not fair? 26If a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and practices unrighteousness, he will die because of it. Because of the unrighteousness that he has practiced, he will die.
27But if a wicked man turns from his wickedness that he has done and practices justice and righteousness, he will preserve his life. 28Because he has seen and turned away from all the rebellious acts that he had committed, he will surely live, and he will not die. 29But the house of Israel says, “The Lord’s way is not fair.” Is it really my ways that are not fair, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not fair?
30Therefore, I will judge each one of you according to his ways, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn away from all your rebellious acts, so that you will not set out a stumbling block that makes you guilty. 31Throw off from yourselves all your rebellious actions by which you have rebelled, and obtain a new heart and a new spirit for yourselves. Why should you die, O house of Israel? 32For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, declares the Lord God. So repent and live!
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility consider one another better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look carefully not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Indeed, let this attitude be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. 6Though he was by nature God, he did not consider equality with God as a prize to be displayed, 7but he emptied himself by taking the nature of a servant. When he was born in human likeness, and his appearance was like that of any other man, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
28“What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not,’ but later he changed his mind and went. 30He came to the second and said the same thing. The second son answered, ‘I will go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen I tell you: The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness, but you did not believe him. However, the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him. Even when you saw this, you did not change your mind and believe him.”
The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Let me sing for my loved one a song about my loved one’s vineyard.
My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile ridge.
2He dug it up and gathered the stones out of it.
He planted it with the best vines.
He built a tower in the middle of it.
He also cut a winepress into it.
He expected it to produce clusters of sweet grapes,
but it produced only sour grapes.
3So now, you residents of Jerusalem and you men of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
4What more could have been done for my vineyard
that I have not already done for it?
When I expected it to produce clusters of sweet grapes,
why did it produce sour grapes?
5Now, let me tell you what I will do to my vineyard.
I will take away its hedge, and it will become a pasture.
I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled down.
6I will make it a wasteland.
It will not be pruned or hoed.
So briers and thorns will shoot up.
I will also command the clouds not to pour rain on it.
7Yes, the vineyard of the Lord of Armies is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah are the planting that was pleasing to him.
He expected justice, but instead there was oppression.
He expected righteousness, but there was an outcry.
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus also took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it yet, but there is one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and straining toward the things that are ahead, 14I press on toward the goal, for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore, let all of us who are mature continue to think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you too. 16Only let us think the same thing and walk in line with what we already have attained.
17Brothers, join together in imitating me and in paying attention to those who are walking according to the pattern we gave you. 18To be sure, many walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. I told you about them often, and now I am saying it while weeping. 19Their end is destruction, their god is their appetite, and their glory is in their shame. They are thinking only about earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. We are eagerly waiting for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21By the power that enables him to subject all things to himself, he will transform our humble bodies to be like his glorious body.
33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. He leased it out to some tenant farmers and went away on a journey. 34When the time approached to harvest the fruit, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35The tenant farmers seized his servants. They beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36Then the landowner sent even more servants than the first time. The tenant farmers treated them the same way. 37Finally, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance!’ 39They took him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40So when the landowner comes, what will he do to those tenant farmers?”
41They told him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end. Then he will lease out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his fruit when it is due.”
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?
43“That is why I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces its fruit.”
The Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
6On this mountain
the Lord of Armies will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food,
a banquet of aged wines,
with the best cuts of meat,
and with the finest wines.
7On this mountain
he will destroy the shroud that covers all peoples,
the burial cloth stretched over all nations.
8He has swallowed up death forever!
The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face.
He will take away the shame of his people throughout the earth.
For the Lord has spoken.
9On that day it will be said,
“Look, here is our God!
We waited for him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord!
We waited for him.
Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
4Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent, and if anything is praiseworthy, think about these things. 9The things that you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: Keep doing these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
10I rejoice greatly in the Lord now that you have revived your concern for me once again. Actually, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I lack anything; in fact, I have learned to be content in any circumstances in which I find myself. 12I know what it is to live in humble circumstances, and I know what it is to have more than enough. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, while being full or hungry, while having plenty or not enough. 13I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
Jesus spoke to them again in parables. He said, 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent out his servants to summon those who were invited to the wedding banquet, but they did not want to come.
4“Then he sent out other servants and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and my fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet!’
5“But those who were invited paid no attention and went off, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6The rest seized the king’s servants, mistreated them, and killed them. 7As a result, the king was very angry. He sent his army and killed those murderers and burned their town.
8“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9So go to the main crossroads and invite as many as you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10Those servants went out to the roads and gathered together everyone they found, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wearing wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost
This is what the Lord says to his anointed one,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
by stripping kings of their weapons,
to open doors before him
so that the gates cannot be shut.
2I myself will go before you,
and I will level high mountains.
I will break bronze doors into pieces,
and I will cut through iron bars.
3I will give you treasures hidden in darkness
and riches concealed in secret places,
so that you will acknowledge that I am the Lord,
the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.
4For the sake of my servant Jacob,
for the sake of Israel my chosen one,
I will call you by your name.
I will give you an honored name, though you do not know me.
5I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Except for me, there is no god.
I will equip you even though you do not know me,
6so that people will know from the rising of the sun
to the place where it sets
that there is no one except me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7I am the one who forms light and creates darkness,
the one who makes peace and creates disaster.
I am the Lord, the one who does all these things.
1 Thessalonians 1:1–5a
Paul, Silas, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2We always give thanks to God for all of you as we make mention of you in our prayers, 3because we constantly remember before God our Father your work produced by faith, your labor produced by love, and your patient endurance produced by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4Dear brothers, loved by God, we know that God has chosen you, 5because our gospel did not come to you with mere words, but with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction.
15Then the Pharisees went out and plotted together how to trap him in his words. 16They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are truthful and teach the way of God in accord with the truth. You are not concerned about gaining anyone’s approval because you are not swayed by appearances. 17So tell us, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18But Jesus knew their evil purpose and said, “Why are you testing me, hypocrites? 19Show me the coin used for the tax.”
They brought him a denarius.
20He asked them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
21“Caesar’s,” they replied to him.
Then he said to them, “Therefore give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
Leviticus 19:1–2, 15-18
The Lord told Moses 2to speak to the whole community of the Israelites and tell them these things:
You shall be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
15You shall not act unjustly in court cases. Do not show favoritism to a poor person, and do not show undue honor to an important person. You must judge your fellow citizens with justice.
16You shall not go around spreading slander among your people. You shall not testify falsely against your neighbor in a capital case. I am the Lord.
17You shall not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. You must openly rebuke your fellow citizen so that you do not become responsible for his sin. 18You must not take revenge. You must not bear a grudge against the members of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:5b–10
You yourselves know very well what kind of people we proved to be for your sake, while we were with you. 6You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, when you welcomed the word during a time of great affliction with the joy from the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8Indeed, the word of the Lord has resounded from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith in God has become known. As a result, we do not need to say anything, 9because they themselves inform us about what kind of reception we received from you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. 10They also report how you patiently wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, the one who is going to rescue us from the coming wrath.
34When they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees met together. 35One of them who was an expert in the law asked him a question, trying to trap him. 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?”
37Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
They said to him, “The Son of David.”
43He said to them, “Then how can David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
44The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies
under your feet’?
45“So if David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
46No one was able to answer him a word, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
14You say, “Serving God is pointless. What have we gained by carefully keeping his requirements and by walking around like mourners before the Lord of Armies? 15Now we will call the arrogant blessed. Even evildoers are built up. They even test God and get away with it.”
16Then those who fear the Lord spoke with each other. The Lord gave them his attention and listened. A book of remembrance was written in front of him for those who fear the Lord and have regard for his name.
17They will be mine, says the Lord of Armies, on the day I make them my treasured possession. I will spare them just as a man spares his son who serves him. 18Then you will again see the distinction between a righteous person and a wicked person, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
1 Thessalonians 3:7–13
7Because of this, brothers, in all our distress and affliction, we have been encouraged about you through your faith. 8For now we really live, if you are standing firm in the Lord. 9Indeed, how can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have before God on account of you? 10Night and day we are praying earnestly to see you in person and to supply what is lacking in your faith.
11May God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord increase your love and make it overflow for each other and for all people, just as ours does for you, 13so that he may establish your hearts as blameless in holiness before our God and Father, when our Lord Jesus comes with all his saints.
14“You see, the kingdom of heaven is like a man going on a journey. He called his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. 15To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to still another one talent, each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The servant who had received the five talents immediately put them to work and gained five more talents. 17In the same way, the servant who had received the two talents gained two more. 18But the servant who had received one talent went away, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
19“After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20The servant who received the five talents came and brought five more talents. He said, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’
21“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’
22“The servant who received the two talents came and said, ‘Master, you entrusted me with two talents. See, I have gained two more talents.’
23“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’
24“Then the servant who received one talent came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter seed. 25Since I was afraid, I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26“His master answered him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter seed? 27Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers so that when I came I would get my money back with interest. 28Take the talent away from him and give it to the servant who has the ten talents. 29Because everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30Throw that worthless servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”