Reflecting on the Nineteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Wednesday
October 23, 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 50:1-7, 17-20

Judgment on Babylon

 

The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by the prophet Jeremiah:

 

Declare among the nations and proclaim,

set up a banner and proclaim,

do not conceal it, say:

Babylon is taken,

Bel is put to shame,

Merodach is dismayed.

Her images are put to shame,

her idols are dismayed.

 

For out of the north a nation has come up against her; it shall make her land a desolation, and no one shall live in it; both human beings and animals shall flee away.

 

In those days and in that time, says the Lord, the people of Israel shall come, they and the people of Judah together; they shall come weeping as they seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, and they shall come and join themselves to the Lord by an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.

 

My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains; from mountain to hill they have gone, they have forgotten their fold. All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, “We are not guilty, because they have sinned against the Lord, the true pasture, the Lord, the hope of their ancestors.”

 

Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured it, and now at the end King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon has gnawed its bones. Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. I will restore Israel to its pasture, and it shall feed on Carmel and in Bashan, and on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead its hunger shall be satisfied. In those days and at that time, says the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and none shall be found; for I will pardon the remnant that I have spared.

 

Luke 22:39-46

Jesus prays for life

 

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” [[Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.]] When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

 

 

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 25:36-42

David welcomes Abigail as wife

 

Abigail came to Nabal; he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; so she told him nothing at all until the morning light. In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him; he became like a stone. About ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

 

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord who has judged the case of Nabal’s insult to me, and has kept back his servant from evil; the Lord has returned the evildoing of Nabal upon his own head.” Then David sent and wooed Abigail, to make her his wife. When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” She rose and bowed down, with her face to the ground, and said, “Your servant is a slave to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” Abigail got up hurriedly and rode away on a donkey; her five maids attended her. She went after the messengers of David and became his wife.

 

Luke 22:39-46

Jesus prays for life

 

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” [[Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.]] When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

 

 

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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.