Reflecting on the Twenty-First
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Wednesday
November 6, 2019

Prayer

In your Son you seek out and save the lost, O God, 

and invite us to the banquet of your eternal home. 

Visit your people with the joy of salvation, 

that we may rejoice in the riches of your forgiveness 

and reach out in welcome to share with others 

the feast of your love. Amen.

 

Psalm 142

The righteous will surround me

 

With my voice I cry to the Lord;

with my voice I make supplication to the Lord.

I pour out my complaint before him;

I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit is faint,

you know my way.

In the path where I walk

they have hidden a trap for me.

Look on my right hand and see—

there is no one who takes notice of me;

no refuge remains to me;

no one cares for me.

I cry to you, O Lord;

I say, “You are my refuge,

my portion in the land of the living.”

Give heed to my cry,

for I am brought very low.

Save me from my persecutors,

for they are too strong for me.

Bring me out of prison,

so that I may give thanks to your name.

The righteous will surround me,

for you will deal bountifully with me.

 

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Trust in the midst of trouble

 

Though the fig tree does not blossom,

and no fruit is on the vines;

though the produce of the olive fails,

and the fields yield no food;

though the flock is cut off from the fold,

and there is no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will exult in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,

and makes me tread upon the heights.

 

Luke 19:11-27

The parable of the pounds

 

As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’ Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”

 

 

Prayer

Holy God, 

all our worship is met by the cleansing gaze of your passion for justice. 

Enfold us in your grace 

that we may embody our devotion in acts of justice 

and in defense of the helpless, 

to the glory of your name. Amen.

 

Psalm 50

A sacrifice of thanksgiving

 

The mighty one, God the Lord,

speaks and summons the earth

from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,

God shines forth.

Our God comes and does not keep silence,

before him is a devouring fire,

and a mighty tempest all around him.

He calls to the heavens above

and to the earth, that he may judge his people:

“Gather to me my faithful ones,

who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”

The heavens declare his righteousness,

for God himself is judge.    Selah

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak,

O Israel, I will testify against you.

I am God, your God.

Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;

your burnt offerings are continually before me.

I will not accept a bull from your house,

or goats from your folds.

For every wild animal of the forest is mine,

the cattle on a thousand hills.

I know all the birds of the air,

and all that moves in the field is mine.

“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

for the world and all that is in it is mine.

Do I eat the flesh of bulls,

or drink the blood of goats?

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

and pay your vows to the Most High.

Call on me in the day of trouble;

I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

But to the wicked God says:

“What right have you to recite my statutes,

or take my covenant on your lips?

For you hate discipline,

and you cast my words behind you.

You make friends with a thief when you see one,

and you keep company with adulterers.

“You give your mouth free rein for evil,

and your tongue frames deceit.

You sit and speak against your kin;

you slander your own mother’s child.

These things you have done and I have been silent;

you thought that I was one just like yourself.

But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.

“Mark this, then, you who forget God,

or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.

Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;

to those who go the right way

I will show the salvation of God.”

 

Amos 5:12-24

God desires justice, not offerings

 

For I know how many are your transgressions,

and how great are your sins—

you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,

and push aside the needy in the gate.

Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;

for it is an evil time.

Seek good and not evil,

that you may live;

and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,

just as you have said.

Hate evil and love good,

and establish justice in the gate;

it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,

will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:

In all the squares there shall be wailing;

and in all the streets they shall say, “Alas! alas!”

They shall call the farmers to mourning,

and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing;

in all the vineyards there shall be wailing,

for I will pass through the midst of you,

says the Lord.

Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!

Why do you want the day of the Lord?

It is darkness, not light;

as if someone fled from a lion,

and was met by a bear;

or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,

and was bitten by a snake.

Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,

and gloom with no brightness in it?

I hate, I despise your festivals,

and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.

Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,

I will not accept them;

and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals

I will not look upon.

Take away from me the noise of your songs;

I will not listen to the melody of your harps.

But let justice roll down like waters,

and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

 

Luke 19:11-27

The parable of the pounds

 

As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’ Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”

 

 

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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.