Reflecting on the Twenty-Third
Sunday after Pentecost
Year C

Daily Readings for Wednesday
November 20, 2019

Prayer

O God, 

in Christ you give us hope 

for a new heaven and a new earth.

Grant us wisdom to interpret the signs of our times,

courage to stand in the time of trial, 

and faith to witness to your truth and love. Amen.

 

Psalm 76

God breaks the weapons of war

 

In Judah God is known,

his name is great in Israel.

His abode has been established in Salem,

his dwelling place in Zion.

There he broke the flashing arrows,

the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.    Selah

Glorious are you, more majestic

than the everlasting mountains.

The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;

they sank into sleep;

none of the troops

was able to lift a hand.

At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,

both rider and horse lay stunned.

But you indeed are awesome!

Who can stand before you

when once your anger is roused?

From the heavens you uttered judgment;

the earth feared and was still

when God rose up to establish judgment,

to save all the oppressed of the earth.    Selah

Human wrath serves only to praise you,

when you bind the last bit of your wrath around you.

Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;

let all who are around him bring gifts

to the one who is awesome,

who cuts off the spirit of princes,

who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.

 

Isaiah 66:14-24

The reign of God

 

You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;

your bodies shall flourish like the grass;

and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants,

and his indignation is against his enemies.

For the Lord will come in fire,

and his chariots like the whirlwind,

to pay back his anger in fury,

and his rebuke in flames of fire.

For by fire will the Lord execute judgment,

and by his sword, on all flesh;

and those slain by the Lord shall be many.

 

Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the center, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the Lord.

 

For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.

 

For as the new heavens and the new earth,

which I will make,

shall remain before me, says the Lord;

so shall your descendants and your name remain.

From new moon to new moon,

and from sabbath to sabbath,

all flesh shall come to worship before me,

says the Lord.

 

Matthew 23:37—24:14

The last things

 

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

 

As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

 

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

 

“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.”

 

 

Prayer

God, our God, 

you hear our cry and listen to our prayer. 

Grant that we may know that our redeemer lives 

and, trusting in you, 

be confident that we will not be lost or forgotten. 

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

 

Psalm 141

God is my refuge

 

I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;

give ear to my voice when I call to you.

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,

and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;

keep watch over the door of my lips.

Do not turn my heart to any evil,

to busy myself with wicked deeds

in company with those who work iniquity;

do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Let the righteous strike me;

let the faithful correct me.

Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head,

for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.

When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,

then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.

Like a rock that one breaks apart and shatters on the land,

so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.

But my eyes are turned toward you, O God, my Lord;

in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me,

and from the snares of evildoers.

Let the wicked fall into their own nets,

while I alone escape.

 

Ezekiel 43:1-12

Divine glory returns to the temple

 

Then he brought me to the gate, the gate facing east. And there, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east; the sound was like the sound of mighty waters; and the earth shone with his glory. The vision I saw was like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like the vision that I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, the spirit lifted me up, and brought me into the inner court; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

 

While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me out of the temple. He said to me: Mortal, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet, where I will reside among the people of Israel forever. The house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their whoring, and by the corpses of their kings at their death. When they placed their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them, they were defiling my holy name by their abominations that they committed; therefore I have consumed them in my anger. Now let them put away their idolatry and the corpses of their kings far from me, and I will reside among them forever.

 

As for you, mortal, describe the temple to the house of Israel, and let them measure the pattern; and let them be ashamed of their iniquities. When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the plan of the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, and its whole form—all its ordinances and its entire plan and all its laws; and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe and follow the entire plan and all its ordinances. This is the law of the temple: the whole territory on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. This is the law of the temple.

 

Matthew 23:37—24:14

The last things

 

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

 

As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

 

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

 

“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.”

 

 

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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.