Preparing for the Fifteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Thursday
September 19, 2019

Prayer

When joy is gone and hearts are sick, O God, 

you give us Christ as our healing balm. 

He came in human flesh 

that he might give himself as a ransom for our salvation 

and anoint us with the Spirit of consolation and joy. 

Hear the cry of your people, 

that we may rejoice in the richness of your love 

and be faithful stewards of your many gifts. Amen.

 

Psalm 79:1-9

Deliver us and forgive our sins

 

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;

they have defiled your holy temple;

they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

They have given the bodies of your servants

to the birds of the air for food,

the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.

They have poured out their blood like water

all around Jerusalem,

and there was no one to bury them.

We have become a taunt to our neighbors,

mocked and derided by those around us.

How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?

Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

Pour out your anger on the nations

that do not know you,

and on the kingdoms

that do not call on your name.

For they have devoured Jacob

and laid waste his habitation.

Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;

let your compassion come speedily to meet us,

for we are brought very low.

Help us, O God of our salvation,

for the glory of your name;

deliver us, and forgive our sins,

for your name’s sake.

 

Jeremiah 12:14—13:11

God’s people lie a ruined loincloth

 

Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: I am about to pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again to their heritage and to their land, every one of them. And then, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, “As the Lord lives,” as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it, says the Lord.

 

Thus said the Lord to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water.” So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, “Go now to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. But now the loincloth was ruined; it was good for nothing.

 

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.

 

Romans 3:1-8

The justice of God

 

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,

 

“So that you may be justified in your words,

and prevail in your judging.”

 

But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

 

 

Prayer

O God, 

you call us to embrace 

both you and the children of this world 

with unconditional love. 

Give us grace to discern 

what your love demands of us, 

that, being faithful in things both great and small, 

we may serve you with an undivided heart. Amen.

 

Psalm 113

Our God lifts up the poor

 

Praise the Lord!

Praise, O servants of the Lord;

praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord

from this time on and forevermore.

From the rising of the sun to its setting

the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is high above all nations,

and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,

who is seated on high,

who looks far down

on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust,

and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

to make them sit with princes,

with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home,

making her the joyous mother of children.

Praise the Lord!

 

Exodus 23:1-9

The justice of God

 

You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.

 

When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.

 

When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.

 

You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

 

You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

 

Romans 3:1-8

The justice of God

 

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,

 

“So that you may be justified in your words,

and prevail in your judging.”

 

But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

 

 

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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.