Preparing for the Fifteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Friday
September 20, 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 8:1-13

The shameful forget how to blush

 

At that time, says the Lord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs; and they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have followed, and which they have inquired of and worshiped; and they shall not be gathered or buried; they shall be like dung on the surface of the ground. Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, says the Lord of hosts.

 

You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord:

When people fall, do they not get up again?

If they go astray, do they not turn back?

Why then has this people turned away

in perpetual backsliding?

They have held fast to deceit,

they have refused to return.

I have given heed and listened,

but they do not speak honestly;

no one repents of wickedness,

saying, “What have I done!”

All of them turn to their own course,

like a horse plunging headlong into battle.

Even the stork in the heavens

knows its times;

and the turtledove, swallow, and crane

observe the time of their coming;

but my people do not know

the ordinance of the Lord.

How can you say, “We are wise,

and the law of the Lord is with us,”

when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes

has made it into a lie?

The wise shall be put to shame,

they shall be dismayed and taken;

since they have rejected the word of the Lord,

what wisdom is in them?

Therefore I will give their wives to others

and their fields to conquerors,

because from the least to the greatest

everyone is greedy for unjust gain;

from prophet to priest

everyone deals falsely.

They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,

saying, “Peace, peace,”

when there is no peace.

They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;

yet they were not at all ashamed,

they did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;

at the time when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,

says the Lord.

When I wanted to gather them, says the Lord,

there are no grapes on the vine,

nor figs on the fig tree;

even the leaves are withered,

and what I gave them has passed away from them.

 

Romans 8:31-39

It is God who justifies

 

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,

 

“For your sake we are being killed all day long;

   we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

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!

 

Ezekiel 22:17-31

Israel becomes dross to God

 

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them, silver, bronze, tin, iron, and lead. In the smelter they have become dross. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As one gathers silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into a smelter, to blow the fire upon them in order to melt them; so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. I will gather you and blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted within it. As silver is melted in a smelter, so you shall be melted in it; and you shall know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath upon you.

 

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, say to it: You are a land that is not cleansed, not rained upon in the day of indignation. Its princes within it are like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows within it. Its priests have done violence to my teaching and have profaned my holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Its officials within it are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. Its prophets have smeared whitewash on their behalf, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, “Thus says the Lord God,” when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress. And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; I have returned their conduct upon their heads, says the Lord God.

 

Romans 8:31-39

It is God who justifies

 

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,

 

“For your sake we are being killed all day long;

   we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

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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.