Reflecting on the Seventeenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Wednesday
October 9, 2019

Prayer

God, the refuge of wanderers and exiles, 

the mother and father of the homeless, 

you weep with those who are uprooted from their homeland, 

and you suffer with those who exist without shelter and security. 

Grant that your faithful love may reach out, 

and that your healing mercy rise like the dawn 

on all who are oppressed. 

We ask this through Jesus, your Son, 

who knew hardship and died outside the city wall. Amen.

 

Psalm 137

Weeping by the rivers of Babylon

 

By the rivers of Babylon—

there we sat down and there we wept

when we remembered Zion.

On the willows there

we hung up our harps.

For there our captors

asked us for songs,

and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,

“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How could we sing the Lord’s song

in a foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

let my right hand wither!

Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,

if I do not remember you,

if I do not set Jerusalem

above my highest joy.

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites

the day of Jerusalem’s fall,

how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!

Down to its foundations!”

O daughter Babylon, you devastator!

Happy shall they be who pay you back

what you have done to us!

Happy shall they be who take your little ones

and dash them against the rock!

 

Lamentations 5:1-22

A plea for mercy

 

Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us;

look, and see our disgrace!

Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,

our homes to aliens.

We have become orphans, fatherless;

our mothers are like widows.

We must pay for the water we drink;

the wood we get must be bought.

With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven;

we are weary, we are given no rest.

We have made a pact with Egypt and Assyria,

to get enough bread.

Our ancestors sinned; they are no more,

and we bear their iniquities.

Slaves rule over us;

there is no one to deliver us from their hand.

We get our bread at the peril of our lives,

because of the sword in the wilderness.

Our skin is black as an oven

from the scorching heat of famine.

Women are raped in Zion,

virgins in the towns of Judah.

Princes are hung up by their hands;

no respect is shown to the elders.

Young men are compelled to grind,

and boys stagger under loads of wood.

The old men have left the city gate,

the young men their music.

The joy of our hearts has ceased;

our dancing has been turned to mourning.

The crown has fallen from our head;

woe to us, for we have sinned!

Because of this our hearts are sick,

because of these things our eyes have grown dim:

because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate;

jackals prowl over it.

But you, O Lord, reign forever;

your throne endures to all generations.

Why have you forgotten us completely?

Why have you forsaken us these many days?

Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored;

renew our days as of old—

unless you have utterly rejected us,

and are angry with us beyond measure.

 

Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

Faith that moves mountains

 

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

 

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

 

Prayer

God of all the ages, 

you have revealed your grace 

in our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

As we wait patiently on your mercies, 

strengthen us to live in your justice, 

that with open hearts we may hear 

and accomplish your will, 

through Christ, who lights the way to life everlasting. Amen.

 

Psalm 3

Deliverance comes from God

 

Lord, how many are my foes!

Many are rising against me;

many are saying to me,

“There is no help for you in God.”    Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,

my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.

I cry aloud to the Lord,

and he answers me from his holy hill.    Selah

I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.

I am not afraid of ten thousands of people

who have set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;

you break the teeth of the wicked.

Deliverance belongs to the Lord;

may your blessing be on your people!    Selah

 

Habakkuk 2:12-20

Knowledge of the glory of God

 

“Alas for you who build a town by bloodshed,

and found a city on iniquity!”

Is it not from the Lord of hosts

that peoples labor only to feed the flames,

and nations weary themselves for nothing?

But the earth will be filled

with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,

as the waters cover the sea.

“Alas for you who make your neighbors drink,

pouring out your wrath until they are drunk,

in order to gaze on their nakedness!”

You will be sated with contempt instead of glory.

Drink, you yourself, and stagger!

The cup in the Lord’s right hand

will come around to you,

and shame will come upon your glory!

For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you;

the destruction of the animals will terrify you—

because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth,

to cities and all who live in them.

What use is an idol

once its maker has shaped it—

a cast image, a teacher of lies?

For its maker trusts in what has been made,

though the product is only an idol that cannot speak!

Alas for you who say to the wood, “Wake up!”

to silent stone, “Rouse yourself!”

Can it teach?

See, it is gold and silver plated,

and there is no breath in it at all.

But the Lord is in his holy temple;

let all the earth keep silence before him!

 

Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

Faith that moves mountains

 

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

 

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

 

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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.