Reflecting on the Nineteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Monday
October 21, 2019

Prayer

O God, Spirit of righteousness, 

you temper judgment with mercy. 

Help us to live the covenant written upon our hearts 

so that when Christ returns 

we may be found worthy 

to be received into your by grace presence. Amen.

 

Psalm 129

My attackers have not prevailed

 

“Often have they attacked me from my youth”

—let Israel now say—

“often have they attacked me from my youth,

yet they have not prevailed against me.

The plowers plowed on my back;

they made their furrows long.”

The Lord is righteous;

he has cut the cords of the wicked.

May all who hate Zion

be put to shame and turned backward.

Let them be like the grass on the housetops

that withers before it grows up,

with which reapers do not fill their hands

or binders of sheaves their arms,

while those who pass by do not say,

“The blessing of the Lord be upon you!

We bless you in the name of the Lord!”

 

Jeremiah 38:14-28

King and prophet consult

 

King Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, “I have something to ask you; do not hide anything from me.” Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, you will put me to death, will you not? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” So King Zedekiah swore an oath in secret to Jeremiah, “As the Lord lives, who gave us our lives, I will not put you to death or hand you over to these men who seek your life.”

 

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, If you will only surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be handed over to the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand.” King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, for I might be handed over to them and they would abuse me.” Jeremiah said, “That will not happen. Just obey the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall go well with you, and your life shall be spared. But if you are determined not to surrender, this is what the Lord has shown me—a vision of all the women remaining in the house of the king of Judah being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and saying,

 

‘Your trusted friends have seduced you

and have overcome you;

Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,

they desert you.’

 

All your wives and your children shall be led out to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the king of Babylon; and this city shall be burned with fire.”

 

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone else know of this conversation, or you will die. If the officials should hear that I have spoken with you, and they should come and say to you, ‘Just tell us what you said to the king; do not conceal it from us, or we will put you to death. What did the king say to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘I was presenting my plea to the king not to send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there.’” All the officials did come to Jeremiah and questioned him; and he answered them in the very words the king had commanded. So they stopped questioning him, for the conversation had not been overheard. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

 

1 Corinthians 6:1-11

You are washed and sanctified

 

When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer and another, but a believer goes to court against a believer—and before unbelievers at that?

 

In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers at that.

 

Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

 

 

Prayer

Holy One, 

we lift our eyes to you in hope and awe. 

Grant that we may reject all apathy of spirit, 

all impatience and anxiety, 

so that, with the persistence of the widow, 

we may lift our voice again and again to seek your justice. Amen.

 

Psalm 57

Vindication from God

 

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

until the destroying storms pass by.

I cry to God Most High,

to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

He will send from heaven and save me,

he will put to shame those who trample on me.    Selah

God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness.

I lie down among lions

that greedily devour human prey;

their teeth are spears and arrows,

their tongues sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.

Let your glory be over all the earth.

They set a net for my steps;

my soul was bowed down.

They dug a pit in my path,

but they have fallen into it themselves.    Selah

My heart is steadfast, O God,

my heart is steadfast.

I will sing and make melody.

Awake, my soul!

Awake, O harp and lyre!

I will awake the dawn.

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;

I will sing praises to you among the nations.

For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;

your faithfulness extends to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.

Let your glory be over all the earth.

 

1 Samuel 25:2-22

David judges against Nabal

 

There was a man in Maon, whose property was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was clever and beautiful, but the man was surly and mean; he was a Calebite. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. Thus you shall salute him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. I hear that you have shearers; now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing, all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your sight; for we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

 

When David’s young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David; and then they waited. But Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are breaking away from their masters. Shall I take my bread and my water and the meat that I have butchered for my shearers, and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” So David’s young men turned away, and came back and told him all this. David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every one of them strapped on his sword; David also strapped on his sword; and about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.

 

But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he shouted insults at them. Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we never missed anything when we were in the fields, as long as we were with them; they were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know this and consider what you should do; for evil has been decided against our master and against all his house; he is so ill-natured that no one can speak to him.”

 

Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs. She loaded them on donkeys and said to her young men, “Go on ahead of me; I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. As she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, David and his men came down toward her; and she met them. Now David had said, “Surely it was in vain that I protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; but he has returned me evil for good. God do so to David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:1-11

You are washed and sanctified

 

When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of ordinary matters? If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer and another, but a believer goes to court against a believer—and before unbelievers at that?

 

In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers at that.

 

Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

 

 

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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.