Preparing for the Fifth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Thursday
July 11, 2019

Prayer

Divine Judge, 

you framed the earth with love and mercy 

and declared it good; 

yet we, desiring to justify ourselves, 

judge others harshly, 

without knowledge or understanding. 

Keep us faithful in prayer 

that we may be filled with the knowledge of your will, 

and not ignore or pass by another’s need, 

but plumb the depths of love in showing mercy. Amen.

 

Psalm 82

O God, rule the earth

 

God has taken his place in the divine council;

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

“How long will you judge unjustly

and show partiality to the wicked?    Selah

Give justice to the weak and the orphan;

maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.

Rescue the weak and the needy;

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,

they walk around in darkness;

all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I say, “You are gods,

children of the Most High, all of you;

nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,

and fall like any prince.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;

for all the nations belong to you!

 

Amos 1:1—2:3

Judgment on Israel’s neighbors

 

The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of King Uzziah of Judah and in the days of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

 

And he said:

 

The Lord roars from Zion,

and utters his voice from Jerusalem;

the pastures of the shepherds wither,

and the top of Carmel dries up.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Damascus,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they have threshed Gilead

with threshing sledges of iron.

So I will send a fire on the house of Hazael,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.

I will break the gate bars of Damascus,

and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven,

and the one who holds the scepter from Beth-eden;

and the people of Aram shall go into exile to Kir,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Gaza,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they carried into exile entire communities,

to hand them over to Edom.

So I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza,

fire that shall devour its strongholds.

I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,

and the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;

I will turn my hand against Ekron,

and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,

says the Lord God.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Tyre,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they delivered entire communities over to Edom,

and did not remember the covenant of kinship.

So I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre,

fire that shall devour its strongholds.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Edom,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because he pursued his brother with the sword

and cast off all pity;

he maintained his anger perpetually,

and kept his wrath forever.

So I will send a fire on Teman,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of the Ammonites,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead

in order to enlarge their territory.

So I will kindle a fire against the wall of Rabbah,

fire that shall devour its strongholds,

with shouting on the day of battle,

with a storm on the day of the whirlwind;

then their king shall go into exile,

he and his officials together,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Moab,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because he burned to lime

the bones of the king of Edom.

So I will send a fire on Moab,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,

and Moab shall die amid uproar,

amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;

I will cut off the ruler from its midst,

and will kill all its officials with him,

says the Lord.

 

James 2:14-26

Faith produces good works

 

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

 

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

 

 

Prayer

Almighty God, 

you give the holy law to your people 

so that it will always be near us and our children. 

Through our Lord Jesus who has fulfilled the law in every way, 

grant that we may love you with heart, soul, strength, and mind, 

and our neighbor as ourselves. Amen.

 

Psalm 25:1-10

Show me your ways

 

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust;

do not let me be put to shame;

do not let my enemies exult over me.

Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;

let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;

teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth, and teach me,

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,

for they have been from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

according to your steadfast love remember me,

for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;

therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right,

and teaches the humble his way.

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,

for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

 

Genesis 41:14-36

Joseph plans to feed Egypt

 

Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile; and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt. The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke. I fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk, and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them; and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.”

 

Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land. The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous. And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

 

James 2:14-26

Faith produces good works

 

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

 

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

 

 

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Prayer reprinted from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. Reproduced by permission.

Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Reproduced by permission. No further reproduction allowed without the written permission of Augsburg Fortress.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.