Preparing for the Fourteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Thursday
September 12, 2019

Prayer

Merciful God, 

your desire to bring us into your commonwealth 

is so great that you seek us 

in the places of our ignorance, 

and the forgotten corners where we hide in despair. 

Gather us into your loving embrace, 

and pour upon us your wise and holy Spirit, 

so that we may become faithful servants 

in whom you rejoice with all the company of heaven. Amen.

 

Psalm 14

Who seeks after God?

 

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;

there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind

to see if there are any who are wise,

who seek after God.

They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;

there is no one who does good,

no, not one.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers

who eat up my people as they eat bread,

and do not call upon the Lord?

There they shall be in great terror,

for God is with the company of the righteous.

You would confound the plans of the poor,

but the Lord is their refuge.

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!

When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,

Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

 

Jeremiah 13:20-27

Chaff driven by the desert wind

 

Lift up your eyes and see

those who come from the north.

Where is the flock that was given you,

your beautiful flock?

What will you say when they set as head over you

those whom you have trained

to be your allies?

Will not pangs take hold of you,

like those of a woman in labor?

And if you say in your heart,

“Why have these things come upon me?”

it is for the greatness of your iniquity

that your skirts are lifted up,

and you are violated.

Can Ethiopians change their skin

or leopards their spots?

Then also you can do good

who are accustomed to do evil.

I will scatter you like chaff

driven by the wind from the desert.

This is your lot,

the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,

because you have forgotten me

and trusted in lies.

I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,

and your shame will be seen.

I have seen your abominations,

your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions

on the hills of the countryside.

Woe to you, O Jerusalem!

How long will it be

before you are made clean?

 

1 Timothy 1:1-11

About false teachers

 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

 

To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith:

 

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.

 

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

 

 

Prayer

Persistently forgiving God, 

we are a stiff-necked and stubborn people 

who try your patience; 

yet, instead of giving us up for lost, 

you seek us out until we return to you. 

Break our willfulness 

and bring us back from our wanderings; 

bend our pride 

and create in us pure and faithful hearts, 

which rejoice in your forgiveness 

made known through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Psalm 51:1-10

Have mercy upon me, O God

 

Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you alone, have I sinned,

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are justified in your sentence

and blameless when you pass judgment.

Indeed, I was born guilty,

a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;

therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and put a new and right spirit within me.

 

Genesis 6:1-6

Sinful humanity forgets God

 

When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.

 

The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

 

1 Timothy 1:1-11

About false teachers

 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

 

To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith:

 

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.

 

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

 

 

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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.