Reflecting on the Fourteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Monday
September 16, 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 94

God disciplines the nations

 

O Lord, you God of vengeance,

you God of vengeance, shine forth!

Rise up, O judge of the earth;

give to the proud what they deserve!

O Lord, how long shall the wicked,

how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words;

all the evildoers boast.

They crush your people, O Lord,

and afflict your heritage.

They kill the widow and the stranger,

they murder the orphan,

and they say, “The Lord does not see;

the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;

fools, when will you be wise?

He who planted the ear, does he not hear?

He who formed the eye, does he not see?

He who disciplines the nations,

he who teaches knowledge to humankind,

does he not chastise?

The Lord knows our thoughts,

that they are but an empty breath.

Happy are those whom you discipline, O Lord,

and whom you teach out of your law,

giving them respite from days of trouble,

until a pit is dug for the wicked.

For the Lord will not forsake his people;

he will not abandon his heritage;

for justice will return to the righteous,

and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?

Who stands up for me against evildoers?

If the Lord had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”

your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

When the cares of my heart are many,

your consolations cheer my soul.

Can wicked rulers be allied with you,

those who contrive mischief by statute?

They band together against the life of the righteous,

and condemn the innocent to death.

But the Lord has become my stronghold,

and my God the rock of my refuge.

He will repay them for their iniquity

and wipe them out for their wickedness;

the Lord our God will wipe them out.

 

Jeremiah 5:1-17

Judgment against Jerusalem

 

Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,

look around and take note!

Search its squares and see

if you can find one person

who acts justly

and seeks truth—

so that I may pardon Jerusalem.

Although they say, “As the Lord lives,”

yet they swear falsely.

O Lord, do your eyes not look for truth?

You have struck them,

but they felt no anguish;

you have consumed them,

but they refused to take correction.

They have made their faces harder than rock;

they have refused to turn back.

Then I said, “These are only the poor,

they have no sense;

for they do not know the way of the Lord,

the law of their God.

Let me go to the rich

and speak to them;

surely they know the way of the Lord,

the law of their God.”

But they all alike had broken the yoke,

they had burst the bonds.

Therefore a lion from the forest shall kill them,

a wolf from the desert shall destroy them.

A leopard is watching against their cities;

everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces—

because their transgressions are many,

their apostasies are great.

How can I pardon you?

Your children have forsaken me,

and have sworn by those who are no gods.

When I fed them to the full,

they committed adultery

and trooped to the houses of prostitutes.

They were well-fed lusty stallions,

each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.

Shall I not punish them for these things?

says the Lord;

and shall I not bring retribution

on a nation such as this?

Go up through her vine-rows and destroy,

but do not make a full end;

strip away her branches,

for they are not the Lord’s.

For the house of Israel and the house of Judah

have been utterly faithless to me,

says the Lord.

They have spoken falsely of the Lord,

and have said, “He will do nothing.

No evil will come upon us,

and we shall not see sword or famine.”

The prophets are nothing but wind,

for the word is not in them.

Thus shall it be done to them!

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:

Because they have spoken this word,

I am now making my words in your mouth a fire,

and this people wood, and the fire shall devour them.

I am going to bring upon you

a nation from far away, O house of Israel,

says the Lord.

It is an enduring nation,

it is an ancient nation,

a nation whose language you do not know,

nor can you understand what they say.

Their quiver is like an open tomb;

all of them are mighty warriors.

They shall eat up your harvest and your food;

they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;

they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;

they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;

they shall destroy with the sword

your fortified cities in which you trust.

 

1 Timothy 1:18-20

The danger of rejecting conscience

 

I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.

 

 

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 73

God is my portion

 

Truly God is good to the upright,

to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;

my steps had nearly slipped.

For I was envious of the arrogant;

I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pain;

their bodies are sound and sleek.

They are not in trouble as others are;

they are not plagued like other people.

Therefore pride is their necklace;

violence covers them like a garment.

Their eyes swell out with fatness;

their hearts overflow with follies.

They scoff and speak with malice;

loftily they threaten oppression.

They set their mouths against heaven,

and their tongues range over the earth.

Therefore the people turn and praise them,

and find no fault in them.

And they say, “How can God know?

Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Such are the wicked;

always at ease, they increase in riches.

All in vain I have kept my heart clean

and washed my hands in innocence.

For all day long I have been plagued,

and am punished every morning.

If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”

I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.

But when I thought how to understand this,

it seemed to me a wearisome task,

until I went into the sanctuary of God;

then I perceived their end.

Truly you set them in slippery places;

you make them fall to ruin.

How they are destroyed in a moment,

swept away utterly by terrors!

They are like a dream when one awakes;

on awaking you despise their phantoms.

When my soul was embittered,

when I was pricked in heart,

I was stupid and ignorant;

I was like a brute beast toward you.

Nevertheless I am continually with you;

you hold my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,

and afterward you will receive me with honor.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;

you put an end to those who are false to you.

But for me it is good to be near God;

I have made the Lord God my refuge,

to tell of all your works.

 

Amos 7:1-6

God relents from punishing Israel

 

This is what the Lord God showed me: he was forming locusts at the time the latter growth began to sprout (it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings). When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,

 

“O Lord God, forgive, I beg you!

How can Jacob stand?

He is so small!”

The Lord relented concerning this;

“It shall not be,” said the Lord.

 

This is what the Lord God showed me: the Lord God was calling for a shower of fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said,

 

“O Lord God, cease, I beg you!

How can Jacob stand?

He is so small!”

The Lord relented concerning this;

“This also shall not be,” said the Lord God.

 

1 Timothy 1:18-20

The danger of rejecting conscience

 

I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.

 

 

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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.