Reflecting on the Twentieth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Wednesday
October 30, 2019

Prayer

O Wellspring of salvation, 

we come to you in joy, 

for you have heard the prayers of the poor 

and raised up the lowly. 

Pour out your Spirit on young and old alike, 

that our dreams and visions may bring 

justice and peace to the world. Amen.

 

Psalm 87

Glorious things are spoken of Zion

 

On the holy mount stands the city he founded;

the Lord loves the gates of Zion

more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

Glorious things are spoken of you,

O city of God.    Selah

Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;

Philistia too, and Tyre, with Ethiopia—

“This one was born there,” they say.

And of Zion it shall be said,

“This one and that one were born in it”;

for the Most High himself will establish it.

The Lord records, as he registers the peoples,

“This one was born there.”    Selah

Singers and dancers alike say,

“All my springs are in you.”

 

Joel 3:17-20

The glorious future of Judah

 

So you shall know that I, the Lord your God,

dwell in Zion, my holy mountain.

And Jerusalem shall be holy,

and strangers shall never again pass through it.

In that day

the mountains shall drip sweet wine,

the hills shall flow with milk,

and all the stream beds of Judah

shall flow with water;

a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord

and water the Wadi Shittim.

Egypt shall become a desolation

and Edom a desolate wilderness,

because of the violence done to the people of Judah,

in whose land they have shed innocent blood.

But Judah shall be inhabited forever,

and Jerusalem to all generations.

 

Matthew 21:28-32

Faith of tax collectors and prostitutes

 

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

 

 

Prayer

O God, 

the strength of those who humbly confess their sin 

and place their hope in you, 

save us from vain displays of righteousness, 

and give us grace to keep faith 

with the true humility of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Psalm 84:8-12

A doorkeeper in God’s house

 

Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;

give ear, O God of Jacob!    Selah

Behold our shield, O God;

look on the face of your anointed.

For a day in your courts is better

than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

than live in the tents of wickedness.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

he bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does the Lord withhold

from those who walk uprightly.

Lord of hosts,

happy is everyone who trusts in you.

 

Daniel 5:13-31

Daniel urges humility

 

Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king said to Daniel, “So you are Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? I have heard of you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that enlightenment, understanding, and excellent wisdom are found in you. Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and tell me its interpretation, but they were not able to give the interpretation of the matter. But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you are able to read the writing and tell me its interpretation, you shall be clothed in purple, have a chain of gold around your neck, and rank third in the kingdom.”

 

Then Daniel answered in the presence of the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, or give your rewards to someone else! Nevertheless I will read the writing to the king and let him know the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar kingship, greatness, glory, and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. He killed those he wanted to kill, kept alive those he wanted to keep alive, honored those he wanted to honor, and degraded those he wanted to degrade. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he acted proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and his glory was stripped from him. He was driven from human society, and his mind was made like that of an animal. His dwelling was with the wild asses, he was fed grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals, and sets over it whomever he will. And you, Belshazzar his son, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this! You have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven! The vessels of his temple have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them. You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know; but the God in whose power is your very breath, and to whom belong all your ways, you have not honored.

 

“So from his presence the hand was sent and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: mene, mene, tekel, and parsin. This is the interpretation of the matter: mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; tekel, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

 

Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed in purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made concerning him that he should rank third in the kingdom.

 

That very night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was killed. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

 

Matthew 21:28-32

Faith of tax collectors and prostitutes

 

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

 

 

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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.