The Wartburg Project

The Sundays after Pentecost

Christian Worship: Supplement

3-Year Lectionary, Year A

Holy Trinity Sunday (The First Sunday after Pentecost)

First Lesson

Genesis 1:1-2:3

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.

Second Lesson

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.


Matthew 28:16-20

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

First Lesson

1 Kings 22:10-28

10Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were seated, each on his own throne, arrayed in their robes. They were sitting by the threshing floor at the entrance to the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying before them.

11Zedekiah son of Kena’anah had made iron horns for himself, and he said, “This is what the Lord says. With these you will gore Aram to death.” 12All the prophets were prophesying in this same way: “Go up to Ramoth Gilead and triumph, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”

13The messenger who was sent to summon Micaiah said to him, “Pay attention to the words of the prophets. With one mouth they are promising good things to the king. Let your words be like the words of one of them and say something good.”

14But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that is what I will say.”

15Then he came to the king, and the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go up to make war on Ramoth Gilead, or should we refrain?”

He answered him, “Go up and triumph, for the Lord will give them into the hand of the king.”

16Then the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear that you will tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

17Then Micaiah said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘They have no masters. Each one should return to his home in peace.’ ”

18Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he does not prophesy anything good about me, but only bad?”

19Then Micaiah said:

Now hear this word from the Lord.

I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and the whole army of heaven was standing around him, on his right and on his left.

20Then the Lord said, “Who will entice Ahab so that he goes up and falls at Ramoth Gilead?”

One spirit said this. Another one said that. 21Finally a spirit came and stood before the Lord and said, “I will entice him.”

The Lord said to him, “How?”

22He said, “I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.”

Then the Lord said, “You will entice him successfully. Go and do it.”

23Now look! The Lord has put a lying spirit into the mouths of all these prophets of yours, for the Lord has decreed disaster for you.

24Then Zedekiah son of Kena’anah came up and struck Micaiah on his cheek and said, “Where is this pathway on which the spirit of the Lord has traveled from me to speak to you?”

25Micaiah said, “Listen to me. You will see it on the day you go into the inner room to hide.”

26Then the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon, the administrator of the city, and to Joash son of the king. 27Then say, ‘This is what the king says. Put this man in prison and feed him nothing more than bread and water until I come back safely.’ ”

28Then Micaiah said, “If you ever come back safely, then the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he said, “Hear this, you people, all of you!”

Second Lesson

2 Peter 1:20–2:3

20Since we know this above all else: No prophecy of Scripture comes about from someone’s own interpretation. 21In fact, no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were being carried along by the Holy Spirit.

1There were false prophets also among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their depraved ways, and because of them the way of the truth will be blasphemed. 3In their greed they will exploit you with fabricated messages. Their condemnation announced long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.


Matthew 7:15–29

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

First Lesson

Exodus 3:1–15

Now Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, a priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in blazing fire from within a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but the bush was not burning up. 3So he said, “I will go over and look at this amazing sight—to find out why the bush is not burning up.”

4When the Lord saw that Moses had gone over to take a look, God called to him from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!”

Moses said, “I am here.”

5The Lord said, “Do not come any closer. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6He then said, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7The Lord said, “I have certainly seen the misery of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry for help because of their slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8So I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9Now indeed, the Israelites’ cry for help has come to me. Yes, I have seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10Come now, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

11But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12So he said, “I will certainly be with you. This will be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will serve God on this mountain.”

13But Moses said to God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I say to them?”

14So God replied to Moses, “I am who I am.” He also said, “You will say this to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you.”

15God also told Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.’

Second Lesson

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.


Matthew 9:9–13

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

First Lesson

Numbers 27:15–23

15Moses spoke to the Lord, 16“May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the community, 17who will go out before them and come in before them, who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

18The Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and place your hand on him. 19Have him stand in front of Eleazar the priest and the entire community. You will commission him in their sight. 20You will give some of your authority to him so that the entire Israelite community will listen to him. 21He will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will inquire for him before the Lord with the decision of the Urim. He and all the Israelites with him, the entire community, will go out at his command and come in at his command.”

22Moses did just as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand in front of Eleazar the priest and the entire community. 23He placed his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the Lord spoke through Moses.

Second Lesson

2 Thessalonians 2:16–3:5

16May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and in his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and establish you in every good work and word.

3:1Finally, brothers, pray for us so that the word of the Lord may spread quickly and be glorified just as it was among you. 2Pray also that we may be rescued from evil and wicked people. For not everyone has faith. 3Still, the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and protect you from the Evil One. 4We also have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we are telling you. 5May the Lord continue to direct your hearts to God’s love and Christ’s patient endurance.


Matthew 9:35–10:8

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

First Lesson

Jeremiah 19:14-20:6

14Then Jeremiah came back from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and he stood in the courtyard of the House of the Lord and said to all the people: 15“This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says. I will certainly bring on this city and on all its towns every disaster that I have proclaimed against it, because they have become stiff-necked, refusing to hear my words.”

20:1When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who served as the chief officer in the House of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying about these things, 2Pashhur ordered them to beat Jeremiah the prophet, and he put him in the stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate in the House of the Lord.

3The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord does not call you Pashhur, but Magor Missabib, 4for this is what the Lord says: I will certainly make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They will fall by the sword of their enemies before your very eyes. I will hand Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will carry the people captive to Babylon, and he will strike them with the sword. 5Also, the riches of this city, all its property, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah—I will give it all away into the hands of their enemies. They will plunder them, seize them, and carry them off to Babylon. 6As for you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, you will go into captivity. You will go to Babylon! You will die there, and you will be buried there, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied falsely.”

Second Lesson

Acts 23:1–11

Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “Gentlemen, brothers, I have lived my life before God with a completely clear conscience to this very day.”

2But the high priest Ananias ordered those who were standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there judging me according to the law, and then you order them to strike me contrary to the law!”

4Those who were standing nearby said, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?”

5Paul replied, “I did not know, brothers, that he is the high priest. Indeed, it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’”

6When Paul realized that some of them were Sadducees and the others were Pharisees, he shouted out in the Sanhedrin, “Gentlemen, brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope for the resurrection of the dead!”

7When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8(For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angel or spirit, but the Pharisees believe in them all.) 9Then there was a great uproar, and some of the experts in the law who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly: “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”

10The uproar became so great that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He commanded the soldiers to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

11The following night the Lord stood next to Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have solemnly testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”


Matthew 10:24–33

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

First Lesson

Exodus 32:15–29

15Moses turned and went down the mountain, with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand—tablets that were written on both sides, written on one side and on the other. 16The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

17When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is the noise of war in the camp.”

18Moses said, “It is not the sound of people who shout for victory; neither is it the sound of people who cry because of defeat. But I do hear the sound of people who are celebrating.”

19As soon as Moses came near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing, and Moses’ anger burned. So he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20He took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, and scattered it on the water. Then he made the people of Israel drink it.

21Moses said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you have brought such a great sin on them?”

22Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn. You know these people. They are set on evil, 23so they said to me, ‘Make a god for us, who will go ahead of us, because this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24So I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, pull it off.’ So they gave it to me. I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.”

25When Moses saw that the people were out of control (for Aaron had let them get so out of control that they were disgraced among their enemies), 26Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side, come to me!”

All the descendants of Levi gathered themselves together to Moses. 27He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Every man is to strap his sword on his thigh and go back and forth throughout the camp, from one gate of the camp to the other, and every man is to kill his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’” 28The Levites did what Moses said, and that day about three thousand men from among the people fell. 29Moses said, “Begin your service of the Lord today. Yes, because every man among you took a stand against his son and against his brother, the Lord is bestowing a blessing on you today.”

Second Lesson

1 John 2:15–17

15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, boasting about material possessions—is not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.


Matthew 10:34–42

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

First Lesson

Joshua 23:1-11

After many days, when the Lord had given Israel rest from all its enemies all around, when Joshua had grown old and advanced in years, 2Joshua summoned all Israel—its elders, its heads, its judges, and its officers, and he said to them:

I have grown old and advanced in years. 3You yourselves have seen everything that the Lord your God has done for you against all these nations. Yes, the Lord your God was fighting for you! 4See now, I have allotted to your tribes an inheritance from these nations that remain unconquered, as well as from the nations that I have destroyed. It extends from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5The Lord your God himself will push them away from you and drive them out of your presence, until they perish. He will send wild animals among them until he completely destroys them and their kings from your presence and you will take possession of their land, just as the Lord your God promised you. 6You must be very resolute in carrying out all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses by not turning from it to the right or to the left, 7by not intermingling with these nations that remain with you. Do not ever call on or swear by the names of their gods. Never serve them and never bow down to them. 8But hold fast to the Lord your God, just as you have been doing to this day.

9The Lord has driven out great and powerful nations from among you. As for you, no one has stood up against you to this day. 10One of you would put a thousand to flight because the Lord your God himself was fighting for you, just as he promised you. 11Therefore, for your own sakes be very careful to love the Lord your God.

Second Lesson

Hebrews 4:1–11

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be fearful that any one of you may be judged to have failed to reach it. 2In fact, we have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did. But the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united in faith with those who did listen. 3Indeed, we who believe are going to enter his rest.

It happened just as he vowed when he said:

So I swore an oath in my wrath,

“They will never enter my rest.”

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in this way:

And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.

5And again in this statement:

They will never enter my rest.

6Therefore, since it is still the case that some do enter this rest, and yet those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not enter because of disobedience, 7God again set a certain day, namely, “today,” when he later said through David, as quoted before:

Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.

8For, if Joshua had given them rest, then God would not have spoken later about another day.

9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God rested from his work. 11Therefore, let us make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.


Matthew 11:25–30

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

First Lesson

Isaiah 55:10-13

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.

12Yes, you will go out with joy,

and in peace you will be carried along.

The mountains and the hills will break out in shouts of joy before you,

and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

13Instead of thorns, a fir tree will grow up.

Instead of briers, a myrtle tree will grow up.

This will make a name for the Lord.

It will serve as an everlasting sign that will not be cut off.

Second Lesson

Acts 18:1–11

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them. 3Because he had the same occupation, he stayed and worked with them, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4Every Sabbath he led a discussion in the synagogue, trying to persuade both Jews and Greeks.

5When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was entirely devoted to preaching the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6But when they opposed Paul and slandered him, he shook out his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!”

7He left that place and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshipper of God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8Crispus, the synagogue leader, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.

9One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid, but keep on speaking, and do not be silent. 10For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11He stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.


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

First Lesson

Joel 3:12-16

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.

Second Lesson

1 Peter 4:1–8

Therefore, because Christ suffered in flesh, arm yourselves with the same mindset, because the one who has suffered in flesh is done with sin. 2Do this so that you no longer live the rest of your time in the flesh for human desires but for God’s will. 3Indeed, you have already spent enough time in the past doing what the Gentiles want to do: living in unbridled immorality, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and disgusting idolatry.

4For this reason, they are surprised that you do not plunge into the same overflowing river of filth with them, and they slander you. 5They will have to give an account to the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6In fact, it was for this reason that the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, so that they might be judged the way people are judged in flesh and that they might live the way God lives in spirit.

7The end of all things is near. So have sound judgment and be self-controlled for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, love each other constantly, because love covers a multitude of sins.


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

First Lesson

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.

Second Lesson

1 Timothy 6:17–21

17Instruct those who are rich in this present age not to be arrogant or to put their hope in the uncertainty of riches, but rather in God, who richly supplies us with all things for our enjoyment. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they are storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, turning away from godless, empty talk and the contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge.” 21By professing it, some have veered away from the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.


Matthew 13:44–52

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

First Lesson

Genesis 41:41–49

41Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “Look, I have appointed you over the whole land of Egypt.”

42Pharaoh took his signet ring off of his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand. He dressed Joseph in robes made from the best linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He had him ride in the second best chariot that he had. Men went ahead of him crying out, “Kneel down!” Pharaoh appointed him over the whole land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but in the whole land of Egypt no one will lift up his hand or his foot without your permission.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath Paneah, and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as a wife. Joseph went out and began to rule over the land of Egypt.

46Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and traveled throughout the whole land of Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance the earth produced plentiful harvests. 48He collected all the food during the seven good years in the land of Egypt, and he stored up the food in the cities. In every city he stored the food from the fields that were around the city. 49Joseph stored up a huge amount of grain, like the sand of the sea. Finally he stopped keeping track, because it was too much to measure.

Second Lesson

1 Timothy 4:4–5

4In fact, everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.


Matthew 14:13–21

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

First Lesson

Exodus 14:10–31

10As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians marching after them. The Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12Wasn’t this what we said to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

13Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm, and see the salvation from the Lord, which he will perform for you today. For the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you. You must wait quietly.”

15The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to set out. 16As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide the sea so that the Israelites can go through the middle of the sea on dry ground. 17I myself will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go into the sea after them, and I will gain glory through Pharaoh and his entire army, through his chariots and his charioteers. 18The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his charioteers.”

19Then the Angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. 20It went between the Egyptian forces and the Israelite forces. The cloud was dark on one side, but it lit up the night on the other. Neither group approached the other all night long.

21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all night long the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned the sea into dry land. The waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the middle of the sea on dry ground. The waters were like a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued them, and all of Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his charioteers went after them into the middle of the sea. 24During the last watch of the night, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud. Then he confused the Egyptian forces. 25He jammed their chariot wheels, and they had difficulty driving them. The Egyptians said, “We must flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”

26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, and the waters will come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their charioteers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal place. While the Egyptians were fleeing from it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the middle of the sea. 28The waters came back and covered the chariots and the charioteers, the entire army of Pharaoh that went into the sea after the Israelites. Not even one of them survived.

29But the Israelites went through the middle of the sea on dry land, and the waters were like a wall for them on their right and on their left. 30On that day the Lord saved Israel from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the mighty hand which the Lord put into action against the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.

Second Lesson

James 1:2–8, 12

2Consider it complete joy, my brothers, whenever you fall into various kinds of trials, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces patient endurance. 4And let patient endurance finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

5If any one of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives it to all without reservation and without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But let him ask in faith, without doubting, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7In fact, that person should not expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

12Blessed is the man who endures a trial patiently, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God promised to those who love him.


Matthew 14:22–33

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

First Lesson

Joshua 2:8-21

8But before the men lay down, Rahab came up to them on the roof. 9She said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land. Because of you, terror has fallen upon us, and all the inhabitants of the land are melting in fear before you. 10Indeed, we have heard that the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea in front of you when you came out of Egypt, and we heard what you did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan—to Sihon and to Og. We heard that you devoted them to destruction. 11We heard, and our hearts melted, and no one’s courage could hold up anymore against you, because the Lord your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth below. 12So now, please swear to me by the Lord that since I have shown kindness to you, you in turn will show kindness to my father’s house. Give me a trustworthy sign 13that you will preserve the lives of my father and mother and my brothers and sisters and everyone who belongs to them, and that you will spare our lives.”

14The men said to her, “If you do not reveal what we are doing, our lives are pledged for your lives, even to the point of death. Then when the Lord gives us the land, we will show mercy and faithfulness to you.”

15She let them down through the window with a rope, since her house was built into the city wall, and she was living inside the wall.

16She said to them, “To the hill country! Get moving, so the pursuers do not catch up with you. Hide there for three days until the pursuers return, and then you can go on your way.”

17The men said to her, “When we come into the land, we will be free from this oath that you made us swear 18unless you tie this bright red cord in the window through which you let us down, and you gather your father and mother, your brothers, and your father’s entire household into your house. 19If any one of them goes outside the doors of your house, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be free of guilt. Anyone who is with you in the house, his blood will be on our heads if a hand is laid on him. 20If you reveal what we are doing, we will be free from the oath that you made us swear.”

21She said, “It will be done just as you have said!” Then she sent them out, and they went away. She tied the bright red cord in the window.

Second Lesson

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.


Matthew 15:21–28

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

First Lesson

Joshua 4:1-9

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord told Joshua, 2“Take twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, 3and give them the following orders: ‘Pick up twelve stones from here in the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the priests are standing securely. Carry them over with you and put them at the place where you will stay tonight.’”

4So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had selected from the people of Israel—a man from each tribe. 5Joshua said to them, “Go to the middle of the Jordan in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. There each man is to lift up one stone on his shoulder. The number will correspond to the number of the tribes descended from the sons of Israel, 6so that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in the future, ‘What do these stones mean for you?’ 7Then you shall respond to them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. When the ark passed through the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones will serve as a permanent memorial for the people of Israel.”

8So the people of Israel did just as Joshua had ordered. They picked up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, corresponding to the number of the tribes descended from the sons of Israel, as the Lord had instructed Joshua. They carried the stones over with them to their lodging place and deposited them there. 9Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant had stood. They are there to this day.

Second Lesson

Revelation 7:1–8

After this I saw four angels, who stood at the four corners of the earth. They were holding back the four winds of the earth so that the wind could not blow on the earth, the sea, or any tree.

2And I saw another angel coming up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He called out with a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to harm the earth and the sea. He said, 3“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees until we have placed a seal on the foreheads of God’s servants.”

4And I heard the number of those sealed:

144,000 sealed from all the tribes of the people of Israel:

5from the tribe of Judah,12,000, who were sealed,

from the tribe of Reuben,12,000,

from the tribe of Gad,12,000,

6from the tribe of Asher,12,000,

from the tribe of Naphtali,12,000,

from the tribe of Manasseh,12,000,

7from the tribe of Simeon,12,000,

from the tribe of Levi,12,000,

from the tribe of Issachar,12,000,

8from the tribe of Zebulun,12,000,

from the tribe of Joseph,12,000,

from the tribe of Benjamin,12,000, who were sealed.


Matthew 16:13–20

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

First Lesson

Judges 16:22-31

22But the hair on his head began to grow after it had been shaved.

23Meanwhile, the serens of the Philistines gathered to make a great sacrifice to their god Dagon and to celebrate. They said, “Our god has given our enemy Samson into our hands.”

24When the people saw him, they praised their god: “Our god has given our enemy into our hands, the devastator of our land, who has caused the death of many of us.”

25When they were feeling good, they said, “Send for Samson, so that he can provide amusement for us.” They summoned Samson from the prison, and he served as their entertainment.

They made Samson stand between the pillars. 26He said to the young man who led him by his hand, “Put me where I can touch the pillars that support the building, so I can lean upon them.” 27The building was full of men and women, as well as all the serens of the Philistines. On the roof were about three thousand more men and women watching Samson as he was amusing them.

28Samson called out to the Lord. He said, “Lord God, remember me, I pray. Give me strength, I pray, this one more time, O God. Let me get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes in one act of vengeance.” 29Samson then grasped the two central pillars supporting the building. He leaned against them, one with his right hand and one with his left. 30Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He pushed with all his strength, and the building fell upon the serens and upon all the people who were inside.

The Philistines he put to death when he died were more numerous than those he had put to death during his lifetime.

31Then his brothers and his father’s entire household went down, carried him back, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had served as judge of Israel for twenty years.

Second Lesson

Galatians 6:12–16

12Those who want to look good in the flesh are the ones who are trying to compel you to be circumcised. Their only reason is so that they are not persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13As a matter of fact, those who are circumcised do not keep the law themselves. But they want to have you circumcised, so that they can boast about your flesh.

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.


Matthew 16:21–26

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

First Lesson

Ezekiel 33:7-11

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?”

Second Lesson

Galatians 2:11–21

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!”


Matthew 18:15–20

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

First Lesson

Genesis 50:15–21

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.

Second Lesson

Ephesians 4:29–5:2

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come from your mouths. Say only what is beneficial when there is a need to build up others, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear. 30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of every kind of bitterness, rage, anger, quarreling, and slander, along with every kind of malice. 32Instead, be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one other, just as God in Christ has forgiven us.

5:1Therefore, be imitators of God as his dearly loved children. 2And walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


Matthew 18:21–35

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

First Lesson

Jonah 4:5-11

5Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city. He made a shelter for himself there and sat in the shade under it, waiting to see what would happen in the city.

6Then the Lord God provided a plant and made it grow up over Jonah to provide shade over his head, to relieve him from his discomfort. So Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, and it attacked the plant so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, so he said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

9But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” Jonah said, “I do have a right to be angry—angry enough to die!”

10So the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant. You did not work for it or make it grow. It grew up in one night and perished after one night. 11So should I not be concerned for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than one hundred twenty thousand people who do not know the difference between their right hand and their left—and also many animals?”

Second Lesson

Romans 9:6–16

6This does not mean that God’s word has failed, because not all who are descended from Israel are really Israel, 7and not all who are descended from Abraham are really his children. On the contrary, “Your line of descent will be traced through Isaac.” 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are counted as his descendants. 9For this is what the promise said: “I will arrive at this set time, and Sarah will have a son.”

10Not only that, but Rebekah also had children by one man, our forefather, Isaac. 11Even before the twins were born or did anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose in election might continue— 12not by works but because of him who calls us—it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14What will we say then? Does this mean that God is unjust? Absolutely not! 15For God says to Moses:

I will show mercy to whom I show mercy,

and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.

16So then, it does not depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.


Matthew 20:1–16

“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

First Lesson

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!

Second Lesson

2 Corinthians 13:5–8

5Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not know this about yourselves: that Jesus Christ is in you—unless perhaps you fail the test? 6But I hope that you will recognize that we are not failing the test.

7We pray to God that you may not do anything evil, not so that we may appear to have passed the test, but so that you may do what is good, even if we may seem like those who are failing to pass the test. 8To be sure, we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.


Matthew 21:28–32

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

First Lesson

2 Kings 21:1-15

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.

2He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the disgusting practices of the nations which the Lord had driven out before the people of Israel. 3He rebuilt the high places which his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, just as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to the whole army of the heavens, and he served them. 4He built altars in the House of the Lord, about which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my name.” 5He built altars to all the army of the heavens in the two courtyards of the House of the Lord.

6He made his son pass through the fire. He practiced fortune telling and sought omens and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He greatly increased the evil he did in the eyes of the Lord and provoked him to anger.

7He put an image of Asherah, which he had made, into the house about which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8I will not make the feet of Israel wander again from the land which I gave to their fathers, if they will just be careful to do whatever I commanded them and to observe the whole law which my servant Moses commanded them.” 9But they did not listen. Manasseh led them astray so that they did more evil than the nations whom the Lord exterminated before the people of Israel.

10Then the Lord said through his prophets:

11Because Manasseh king of Judah has engaged in these disgusting practices and has done more evil than all that which the Amorites who had gone before him had done, and he has caused Judah to sin with his filthy idols, 12therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says. Pay attention! I am bringing such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of all who hear of it will tingle. 13I will stretch out over Israel the plumb line that was stretched out over Samaria and the level used on the house of Ahab. I will wipe away Jerusalem just as someone wipes a bowl clean and turns it upside down. 14I will hand over the remnant of my possession and give them into the hand of their enemies, so that they become plunder and spoils for all their enemies, 15because they have done what is evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day when their fathers came out of Egypt until today.

Second Lesson

2 Corinthians 6:1–13

As fellow workers we also urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2For he says:

At a favorable time I listened to you, 

and in the day of salvation I helped you. 

Look, now is the favorable time! See, now is the day of salvation!

3We are giving no one a reason to stumble in any way, so that our ministry will not be blamed. 4Rather, in every way we show ourselves to be God’s ministers: in great endurance, in troubles, in hardships, in difficulties, 5in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in hard work, in sleepless nights, in times of hunger; 6in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere love, 7in the word of truth, in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness on the right and on the left; 8through glory and dishonor, through bad report and good report; treated as deceivers yet being honest, 9treated as unknown and yet being well known; as dying, and yet look—we live; as punished yet not put to death; 10as grieving yet always rejoicing; as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing yet possessing everything.

11We have spoken to you openly, Corinthians. Our heart is standing wide open. 12We have plenty of room for you, but you do not have room for us in your affections. 13I am speaking as to my children: In exchange, open your hearts wide too.


Matthew 21:33–43

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

First Lesson

2 Chronicles 30:1-5, 10-22

Hezekiah sent messengers to all Israel and Judah. He also wrote letters inviting Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of the Lord at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel. 2The king, his officials, and the whole assembly in Jerusalem had made plans to celebrate the Passover in the second month. 3They were not able to celebrate it at its proper time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem.

4The plan seemed right in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of the whole assembly. 5So they decided to issue a proclamation throughout Israel from Beersheba to Dan to come to observe the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, because they had not been celebrating it with large numbers of people as had been commanded.

10The runners went from city to city through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh and even as far as Zebulun, but people laughed at them and ridiculed them. 11Nevertheless, some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.

12But in Judah the hand of God was present to give them one heart to follow the command of the king and the command of the officials, in agreement with the word of the Lord. 13Many people gathered in Jerusalem to keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month—a very great assembly.

14They quickly removed the altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the altars for burning incense and threw them into the Kidron Valley.

15They slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites had been put to shame, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of the Lord. 16They took up their positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. The priests splashed the blood, which was given to them by the Levites, against the altar. 17Because many of the assembly had not consecrated themselves, the Levites carried out the slaughtering of the Passover lambs for everyone who was not ceremonially clean, to make them holy to the Lord.

18A large number of the people, many of whom were from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, but they ate the Passover anyway, in a manner not in keeping with what is written. So Hezekiah prayed for them: “May the good Lord pardon everyone all around, 19that is, everyone who seeks God the Lord, the God of his fathers, with all his heart, even though he does not have the ceremonial purity required by the holy place.”

20The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

21The people of Israel who were present in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing. The Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day with loud instruments for the Lord.

22Hezekiah encouraged the hearts of all the Levites, who displayed wonderful skills in service of the Lord. They ate the food of the festival for the appointed seven days, presenting fellowship sacrifices and giving thanks to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

Second Lesson

Romans 11:1–10

So I say, did God reject his people? Absolutely not! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not reject his people whom he foreknew—or don’t you know what Scripture says about Elijah, how he was pleading with God against Israel: 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life.” 4But what did God’s answer tell him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

5So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6Now if it is by grace, then it is not the result of works—otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

7What then? Israel did not receive what it was striving to get. The elect did, but the rest were hardened. 8Just as it is written:

God gave them a spirit of stupor,

eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear,

right up to the present day.

9And David says:

Let their table be a trap and a net,

and a snare and a retribution for them.

10Let their eyes be darkened so they do not see,

and let their backs be always bent.


Matthew 22:1–14

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

First Lesson

Daniel 1:3-21

3The king told Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to bring some young Israelite men from the royal family or from the nobility. 4He was to choose young men who had no blemish, who were good looking, who had insight into all kinds of wisdom, who possessed knowledge, understanding, and learning, and who were capable of serving in the king’s palace, in order to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5The king assigned them daily rations from the special royal food and from the king’s own wine. He ordered that they should be trained for three years. At the end of training they were to serve the king. 6In this group of young men were the Judeans Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7The chief of the officials gave them new names. He gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar, Hananiah the name Shadrak, Mishael the name Meshak, and Azariah the name Abednego.

8Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the special food of the king or with the wine that he drank. So he sought permission from the chief official, so that he would not have to defile himself. 9God made the chief of the officials favorable and sympathetic toward Daniel. 10Then the chief of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink. Why should he see your faces looking less healthy than those of the other young men who are your age? You put my life at risk before the king.”

11Daniel said to the superintendent whom the chief of the officials had placed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12“Please test your servants for ten days. Tell them to give us only vegetables, and we will eat them and drink water. 13Observe our appearance and the appearance of the young men who eat the special royal food. Then deal with your servants based on what you see.” 14So he listened to what they said about this and tested them for ten days.

15At the end of ten days, their appearance was noticeably better than that of the others. They were healthier than any of the young men who had been eating the special royal food. 16So the superintendent permanently took away the special royal food and the wine they were to drink and gave them only vegetables. 17As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and insight into all kinds of literature, as well as wisdom. In addition, Daniel also understood every kind of vision and dream.

18At the end of the time which the king had set for them to be brought to him, the chief of the officials brought them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19The king spoke with them, and none of the others were found to be comparable to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they served the king. 20In every matter concerning wisdom and understanding that the king sought from them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and spell casters in his entire kingdom. 21So Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Second Lesson

Romans 13:1–7

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.


Matthew 22:15–21

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

First Lesson

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.

Second Lesson

2 John 1–6

The Elder,

To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth—not only I, but also everyone who knows the truth— 2because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever:

3Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, in truth and love.

4I was overjoyed to find out that some of your children are walking in the truth, in keeping with the command we received from the Father. 5And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing a new command to you, but the one we have had from the beginning—let us love one another. 6And this is love: that we walk according to his commands. This is the command: Just as you have heard from the beginning, keep on walking in it.


Matthew 22:34–46

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

First Lesson

Genesis 25:19–34

19This is the account about the development of the family of Isaac, Abraham’s son.

Abraham became the father of Isaac. 20Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, who was the daughter of Bethuel, an Aramean from Paddan Aram, and the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22The children fought with each other inside her. She said, “What is this? Why is this happening to me?” She went to inquire of the Lord.

23The Lord said to her:

Two nations are in your womb. 

Two peoples will be separated from your body. 

The one people will be stronger than the other people. 

The elder will serve the younger. 

24When it was time for her to give birth, it was true: There were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him Esau. 26After that, his brother came out, with his hand grabbing Esau’s heel. So he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

27The boys grew up. Esau was a skillful hunter, an outdoorsman. Jacob was a quiet man, who stayed home among the tents. 28Now Isaac loved Esau more, because he ate Esau’s wild game. Rebekah loved Jacob. 29Once Jacob was cooking stew, and Esau came in from the field, and he was starving. 30Esau said to Jacob, “Come on, let me eat some of that red stew, that red stew there, because I am starving.” (That is why Esau was also called Edom.)

31Jacob said, “First, sell me your right as the firstborn.”

32Esau said, “Look, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?”

33Jacob said, “Swear to me first.”

So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34Jacob gave Esau bread and a stew made of lentils. Esau ate and drank, got up, and went on his way. So Esau treated his birthright as if it was worthless.

Second Lesson

Romans 12:1–8

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.


Matthew 25:14–30

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.’”