Reflecting on the Fourteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Wednesday
September 18, 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

 

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!

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 14:1-10, 17-22

A plea for healing

 

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

 

Judah mourns

and her gates languish;

they lie in gloom on the ground,

and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.

Her nobles send their servants for water;

they come to the cisterns,

they find no water,

they return with their vessels empty.

They are ashamed and dismayed

and cover their heads,

because the ground is cracked.

Because there has been no rain on the land

the farmers are dismayed;

they cover their heads.

Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn

because there is no grass.

The wild asses stand on the bare heights,

they pant for air like jackals;

their eyes fail

because there is no herbage.

Although our iniquities testify against us,

act, O Lord, for your name’s sake;

our apostasies indeed are many,

and we have sinned against you.

O hope of Israel,

its savior in time of trouble,

why should you be like a stranger in the land,

like a traveler turning aside for the night?

Why should you be like someone confused,

like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?

Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,

and we are called by your name;

do not forsake us!

Thus says the Lord concerning this people:

Truly they have loved to wander,

they have not restrained their feet;

therefore the Lord does not accept them,

now he will remember their iniquity

and punish their sins.

You shall say to them this word:

Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,

and let them not cease,

for the virgin daughter—my people—is struck down with a crushing blow,

with a very grievous wound.

If I go out into the field,

look—those killed by the sword!

And if I enter the city,

look—those sick with famine!

For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land,

and have no knowledge.

Have you completely rejected Judah?

Does your heart loathe Zion?

Why have you struck us down

so that there is no healing for us?

We look for peace, but find no good;

for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.

We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,

the iniquity of our ancestors,

for we have sinned against you.

Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake;

do not dishonor your glorious throne;

remember and do not break your covenant with us.

Can any idols of the nations bring rain?

Or can the heavens give showers?

Is it not you, O Lord our God?

We set our hope on you,

for it is you who do all this.

 

Luke 22:31-33, 54-62

Peter denies Jesus

 

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”

 

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

 

 

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.

 

Job 40:6-14; 42:1-6

Job repents

 

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:

 

“Gird up your loins like a man;

I will question you, and you declare to me.

Will you even put me in the wrong?

Will you condemn me that you may be justified?

Have you an arm like God,

and can you thunder with a voice like his?

“Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;

clothe yourself with glory and splendor.

Pour out the overflowings of your anger,

and look on all who are proud, and abase them.

Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;

tread down the wicked where they stand.

Hide them all in the dust together;

bind their faces in the world below.

Then I will also acknowledge to you

that your own right hand can give you victory.”

 

Then Job answered the Lord:

 

“I know that you can do all things,

and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,

things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

‘Hear, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you declare to me.’

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye sees you;

therefore I despise myself,

and repent in dust and ashes.”

 

Luke 22:31-33, 54-62

Peter denies Jesus

 

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!”

 

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

 

 

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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.