Reflecting on the Eighteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Wednesday
October 11, 2017

Psalm 119:49-56

God’s commandments are my songs

 

Remember your word to your servant,

in which you have made me hope.

This is my comfort in my distress,

that your promise gives me life.

The arrogant utterly deride me,

but I do not turn away from your law.

When I think of your ordinances from of old,

I take comfort, O Lord.

Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,

those who forsake your law.

Your statutes have been my songs

wherever I make my home.

I remember your name in the night, O Lord,

and keep your law.

This blessing has fallen to me,

for I have kept your precepts.

 

Deuteronomy 6:10-25

Keeping the commandments

 

When the Lord your God has brought you into the land that he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—a land with fine, large cities that you did not build, houses filled with all sorts of goods that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and when you have eaten your fill, take care that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. The Lord your God you shall fear; him you shall serve, and by his name alone you shall swear. Do not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who are all around you, because the Lord your God, who is present with you, is a jealous God. The anger of the Lord your God would be kindled against you and he would destroy you from the face of the earth.

 

Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. You must diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his decrees, and his statutes that he has commanded you. Do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may go in and occupy the good land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you, thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.

 

When your children ask you in time to come, “What is the meaning of the decrees and the statutes and the ordinances that the Lord our God has commanded you?” then you shall say to your children, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. The Lord displayed before our eyes great and awesome signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household. He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land that he promised on oath to our ancestors. Then the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now the case. If we diligently observe this entire commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, we will be in the right.”

 

John 11:45-57

Critics plan to silence Jesus

 

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

 

Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

 

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

 

 

Psalm 144

Prayer for blessing

 

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,

who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

my rock and my fortress,

my stronghold and my deliverer,

my shield, in whom I take refuge,

who subdues the peoples under me.

Lord, what are human beings that you regard them,

or mortals that you think of them?

They are like a breath;

their days are like a passing shadow.

Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;

touch the mountains so that they smoke.

Make the lightning flash and scatter them;

send out your arrows and rout them.

Stretch out your hand from on high;

set me free and rescue me from the mighty waters,

from the hand of aliens,

whose mouths speak lies,

and whose right hands are false.

I will sing a new song to you, O God;

upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,

the one who gives victory to kings,

who rescues his servant David.

Rescue me from the cruel sword,

and deliver me from the hand of aliens,

whose mouths speak lies,

and whose right hands are false.

May our sons in their youth

be like plants full grown,

our daughters like corner pillars,

cut for the building of a palace.

May our barns be filled,

with produce of every kind;

may our sheep increase by thousands,

by tens of thousands in our fields,

and may our cattle be heavy with young.

May there be no breach in the walls, no exile,

and no cry of distress in our streets.

Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;

happy are the people whose God is the Lord.

 

Song of Solomon 8:5-14

A love song for the vineyard

 

Who is that coming up from the wilderness,

leaning upon her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you.

There your mother was in labor with you;

there she who bore you was in labor.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

for love is strong as death,

passion fierce as the grave.

Its flashes are flashes of fire,

a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,

neither can floods drown it.

If one offered for love

all the wealth of one’s house,

it would be utterly scorned.

We have a little sister,

and she has no breasts.

What shall we do for our sister,

on the day when she is spoken for?

If she is a wall,

we will build upon her a battlement of silver;

but if she is a door,

we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

I was a wall,

and my breasts were like towers;

then I was in his eyes

as one who brings peace.

Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;

he entrusted the vineyard to keepers;

each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.

My vineyard, my very own, is for myself;

you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,

and the keepers of the fruit two hundred!

O you who dwell in the gardens,

my companions are listening for your voice;

let me hear it.

Make haste, my beloved,

and be like a gazelle

or a young stag

upon the mountains of spices!

 

John 11:45-57

Critics plan to silence Jesus

 

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

 

Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

 

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

 

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