The Sundays after Pentecost
Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal (1993)
3-Year Lectionary, Year C
Holy Trinity Sunday (The First Sunday after Pentecost)
22The 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.
12“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.
The Second Sunday after Pentecost
1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43
22Then 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.
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.
Paul, an apostle—not from men, nor through a man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2and all of the brothers who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4He gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father— 5to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
6I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, 7which is really not another gospel at all. There are, however, some who are trying to disturb you by perverting the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven would preach any gospel other than the one we preached to you—a curse on him! 9As we have said before, so I now say again: If anyone preaches to you any gospel other than the one you received—a curse on him!
10Am I now seeking the favor of people or of God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to gain the approval of people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
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.
The Third Sunday after Pentecost
1 Kings 17:17-24
17After 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.”
11But I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation from Jesus Christ.
13Certainly you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God to an extraordinary degree and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my own people, because I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15However, God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me, so that I would preach him among the Gentiles. At that time, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17and I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me. Instead I went away into Arabia, and then I returned again to Damascus.
18Next, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to meet Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19But I saw none of the other apostles, except James, the Lord’s brother. 20(Now about the things I am writing to you—look, I assure you in the presence of God that I am not lying.) 21Then I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22I was still personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They heard only: “The one who was once persecuting us is now preaching the faith that he once tried to destroy.” 24And they were praising God for what happened to me.
11Soon 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.
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15
26The wife of Uriah the Hittite heard that her husband was dead, so she mourned for her husband. 27When her mourning was completed, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife. She gave birth to a son for him. But what David had done was evil in the eyes of the Lord.
12:1So the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came and told him this:
There were two men in a city. One was rich and one poor. 2The rich man had a large number of flocks and herds. 3The poor man did not own anything except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He raised it so that it grew up together with him and his children. It ate from his food and drank from his cup. It slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4When a traveler came to the rich man, the rich man was unwilling to take an animal from his flock or from his herd to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. So he took the lamb from the poor man and prepared it for the man who had come to him.
5David’s anger flared up against that man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this is as good as dead. 6In place of that lamb, he will restore four lambs, because he did this and had no pity.”
7Nathan told David, “You are the man. This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says.”
I anointed you king over Israel. I rescued you from the hand of Saul. 8I gave the house of your master to you, and I gave the wives of your master into your embrace. I gave you the house of Israel and the house of Judah. If this was too little, I would have added even more. 9Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in his eyes? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword. You have taken his wife as your own wife. You have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10So now the sword will not depart from your house forever, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”
13David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan said to David, “The Lord himself has put away your sin. You will not die. 14Nevertheless, because by this deed you have treated the Lord with utter contempt, the child that is born to you shall surely die.” 15Then Nathan went to his house.
11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly wrong. 12For before some people came from James, he ate with the Gentiles. But when those people came, he drew back and separated himself, because he feared those from the circumcision group. 13And the rest of the Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not acting according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of all of them, “If you, a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, why do you compel the Gentiles to live like the Jews?”
15“We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners. 16We know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. So we also believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. 17But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were also found to be sinners, then is Christ a servant of sin? Certainly not!
18“In fact, if I build up again those things that I destroyed, I bring on myself the judgment of being a lawbreaker. 19Indeed, through the law I died to the law that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not regard the grace of God as nothing. As a matter of fact, if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”
36A 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.”
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
7Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
and against the man who is my associate, declares the Lord of Armies.
Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8This will take place in the whole land, declares the Lord:
Two thirds of those who remain in it will be cut off and perish,
but one third will be left in it.
9I will put that third into the fire,
and I will refine them as silver is refined,
and I will test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name, and I will answer them.
I will say, “This is my people.”
And they will say, “The Lord is my God.”
23But 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 clothed yourselves 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.
18One time when Jesus was praying alone and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19They answered, “‘John the Baptist,’ but others say, ‘Elijah,’ and others say ‘one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’”
20He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
21He gave them a strict command not to tell this to anyone. 22He said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law. He must be killed and be raised on the third day.”
23Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
1 Kings 19:14-21
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.”
19So 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.
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.
51When 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.”
The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
10Rejoice with Jerusalem and celebrate with her, all you who love her.
Share her joy with her, all you who have been mourning over her,
11so that you may nurse and be satisfied from her comforting breast,
so that you may suck and find delight from her milk-filled breasts.
12Yes, this is what the Lord says.
I am ready to extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream.
You will be nursed. You will be carried on her side,
and you will be bounced on her knees.
13Just like a man whom his mother comforts,
in the same way I myself will comfort you,
and you will be comforted concerning Jerusalem.
14Then you will see, and your heart will be glad.
Like grass you will receive new strength, right down to your bones.
Then the Lord’s hand will be known to his servants,
but his fury to his enemies.
Galatians 6:1–10, 14–16
Brothers, if a person is caught in some trespass, you who are spiritual should restore such a person in a spirit of humility, carefully watching yourself so that you are not also tempted. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ. 3For if someone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Let each person test his own work, and then he will take pride in regard to himself and not his neighbor. 5For each man will bear his own burden.
6Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with his teacher.
7Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. To be sure, whatever a man sows, he will also reap. 8Indeed, the one who sows for his own sinful flesh will reap destruction from the sinful flesh. But the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit. 9Let us not become weary of doing good, because at the appointed time we will reap, if we do not give up. 10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the household of faith.
14But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. 15In fact, in Christ Jesus circumcision or uncircumcision does not matter. What matters is being a new creation. 16Peace and mercy on those who follow this rule, namely, on the Israel of God.
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.”
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
9The Lord your God will cause you to be overflowing with good things from all the work of your hands, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your animals, and in the fruit of your soil. For once again he will rejoice over your prosperity, just as he rejoiced over your fathers, 10when you obey the voice of the Lord your God by keeping his commandments and his statutes written in this Book of the Law, when you return to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11Certainly, this commandment that I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not far away. 12It is not up in the heavens, so that you have to say, “Which one of us will go up to the heavens and get it for us so we can listen to it and carry it out?” 13It is not across the sea, so that you have to say, “Which one of us will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us so we can listen to it and carry it out?” 14Instead, the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so you can obey it.
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.
25Just 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 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
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.”
21At one time, you were alienated from God and hostile in your thinking as expressed through your evil deeds. 22But now Christ reconciled you in his body of flesh through death, in order to present you holy, blameless, and faultless before him— 23if you continue steadfast and firm in faith, without being moved away from the hope of the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a minister.
24Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church. 25I became a minister of the church for your benefit when God gave me the task of fully proclaiming the word of God, 26namely, the mystery that was hidden for past ages and generations, but now has been revealed to his saints. 27God wanted to make known to them what is the wealth of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles—this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28We proclaim him as we admonish and teach everyone with all wisdom, so that we might present everyone perfect in Christ. 29This is the goal I am laboring to reach, striving with his strength, which is powerfully at work in me.
38As 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.”
The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
20So 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.”
6Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in him, 7by being rooted and built up in him, and strengthened in the faith just as you were taught, while you overflow in faith with thanksgiving.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, which are in accord with human tradition, namely, the basic principles of the world, but not in accord with Christ. 9For all the fullness of God’s being dwells bodily in Christ. 10And you have been brought to fullness in him. Christ is the head over every ruler and authority. 11You were also circumcised in him, with a circumcision not done by human hands, in the putting off of the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, 12when you were buried with Christ in baptism. And in baptism you were also raised with him through the faith worked by the God who raised Christ from the dead.
13Even when you were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ by forgiving us all our trespasses. 14God erased the record of our debt brought against us by his legal demands. This record stood against us, but he took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15After disarming the rulers and authorities, he made a public display of them by triumphing over them in Christ.
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?”
The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:18-26
2“Nothing but vapor,” Ecclesiastes said. “Totally vapor. Everything is just vapor that vanishes.”
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?
23Pain 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.
13Someone 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.”
The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
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
1Faith 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.
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.
35“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 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
23Am 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.
49“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.”
The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
18As 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.
18You 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.
22He 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.”
The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
6Do 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
whom your eyes have seen.
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?
7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Carefully consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
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.”
The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
8Do not warn a mocker, or he will hate you.
Warn a wise person, and he will love you.
9Give advice to a wise person, and he will become even wiser.
Teach a righteous person, and he will add to his learning.
10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,
11because through me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage.
But if you scoff, you alone will bear the consequences.
Philemon 1:1, 10–21
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon, our dear friend and coworker,
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.
25Large 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.
The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
7The Lord spoke to Moses: “Hurry down, because your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves! 8They have quickly turned from the way which I commanded them. They have made a calf for themselves out of metal and have worshipped it. They have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’”
9The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and they certainly are a stiff-necked people. 10So now leave me alone, so that my anger can burn hot against them, so that I may consume them and make you into a great nation.”
11Moses begged the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your anger burn against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out for an evil purpose, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn back from your fierce anger and change your mind about inflicting disaster on your people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self. You said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed like the stars of the sky, and I will give all this land that I have spoken about to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.’”
14Then the Lord changed his mind about the disaster which he said he would inflict on his people.
1 Timothy 1:12–17
12I give thanks to the one who empowered me, namely, Christ Jesus our Lord, that he treated me as trustworthy, appointing me into his ministry. 13He did this even though formerly I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. But I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord overflowed on me along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15This saying is trustworthy and worthy of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” of whom I am the worst. 16But I was shown mercy for this reason: that in me, the worst sinner, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his unlimited patience as an example for those who are going to believe in him, resulting in eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, to the immortal, invisible, only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
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.”
The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
4Listen to this, you who trample on the needy
to wipe out the oppressed from the land,
5who say, “When will the New Moon be over so that we can sell grain?
When will the Sabbath end, so that we can open the grain bins?
Then we will make the bushel smaller and make the shekel weight heavier.
We will cheat with dishonest scales.
6We will buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals.
We will sell the chaff with the grain.”
7The Lord swears by the Pride of Jacob,
“I will never forget any of their deeds!”
1 Timothy 2:1–8
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.
8Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.
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 are. 9I tell you, make friends for yourselves with unrighteous mammon, 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.”
The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
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.
1 Timothy 6:6–16
6But 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.
11But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and about which you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who made a good confession as a witness before Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep this command without spot and without fault, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which he will make known at the proper time—the blessed and only ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or is able to see. To him be honor and power forever! Amen.
19“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.’”
The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
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.
4For this reason the law has become powerless.
Justice is never carried out.
In fact, the wicked overwhelm the righteous
so that justice is perverted.
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.
2 Timothy 1:3–14
3I 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. 11For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher of the Gentiles, 12and that is why I am suffering these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
13Hold fast to the pattern of sound words that you heard from me, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14Through the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you.
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.’”
The Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
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.
2 Timothy 2:8–13
8Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, a descendant of David, in accordance with my gospel, 9for which I am suffering, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10For this reason I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, along with eternal glory. 11This saying is trustworthy:
Indeed, if we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12If we endure, we will also reign with him;
If we deny him, he will also deny us;
13If we are faithless, he remains faithful, because he cannot deny himself.
11On 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.”
The Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost
22He 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.”
2 Timothy 3:14–4:5
14As for you, continue in the things you have learned and about which you have become convinced. You know from whom you learned them 15and that from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be complete, well equipped for every good work.
4:1I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom: 2Preach the word. Be ready whether it is convenient or not. Correct, rebuke, and encourage, with all patience and teaching. 3For there will come a time when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, because they have itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in line with their own desires. 4They will also turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
5As for you, keep a clear head in every situation. Bear hardship. Do the work of an evangelist. Fulfill your ministry.
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.”
The Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
12So 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.
2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18
6You see, I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 8From now on, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will give it to me on that day, and not only to me but also to everyone who loved his appearing.
16At my first hearing, no one came to my defense, but everyone deserted me. May it not be counted against them. 17But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message would be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles would hear it, and I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
18A 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.”
The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
5The Lord came down in the cloud. He took his stand there with Moses and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6The Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and overflowing with mercy and truth, 7maintaining mercy for thousands, forgiving guilt and rebellion and sin. He will by no means clear the guilty. He calls their children and their children’s children to account for the guilt of the fathers, even to the third and the fourth generation.”
8Moses quickly bowed to the ground and worshipped. 9He said, “If I have now found favor in your sight, Lord, please let the Lord go along with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our guilt and our sin, and accept us as your possession.”
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 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.”