Preparing for the Seventh
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Thursday
July 16, 2020

Prayer

O God of Jacob, 

you speak in the light of day 

and in the dark of night 

when our sleeping is filled with dreams of heaven and earth. 

May Jacob’s vision 

remind us to be open and watchful, 

ready to discover your presence in our midst. Amen.

 

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24

You have searched me and known me

 

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

you discern my thoughts from far away.

You search out my path and my lying down,

and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

O Lord, you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before,

and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?

Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there;

if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

If I take the wings of the morning

and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

and the light around me become night,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;

the night is as bright as the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my thoughts.

See if there is any wicked way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

Isaiah 44:1-5

God’s blessing on Israel: “Do not fear”

 

But now hear, O Jacob my servant,

Israel whom I have chosen!

Thus says the Lord who made you,

who formed you in the womb and will help you:

Do not fear, O Jacob my servant,

Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,

and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,

and my blessing on your offspring.

They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,

like willows by flowing streams.

This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,”

another will be called by the name of Jacob,

yet another will write on the hand, “The Lord’s,”

and adopt the name of Israel.

 

Hebrews 2:1-9

Warning to pay attention

 

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

 

Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,

 

“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,

or mortals, that you care for them?

You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;

you have crowned them with glory and honor,

subjecting all things under their feet.”

 

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

 

 

Prayer

Faithful God, 

you care for us with compassion and firmness, 

urging us to grow in love for you. 

Through Christ, 

may we hear more deeply 

your call to be rooted in your way. Amen.

 

Psalm 86:11-17

Teach me your ways

 

Teach me your way, O Lord,

that I may walk in your truth;

give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,

and I will glorify your name forever.

For great is your steadfast love toward me;

you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

O God, the insolent rise up against me;

a band of ruffians seeks my life,

and they do not set you before them.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Turn to me and be gracious to me;

give your strength to your servant;

save the child of your serving girl.

Show me a sign of your favor,

so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,

because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

 

Isaiah 41:21-29

The futility of idols

 

Set forth your case, says the Lord;

bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.

Let them bring them, and tell us

what is to happen.

Tell us the former things, what they are,

so that we may consider them,

and that we may know their outcome;

or declare to us the things to come.

Tell us what is to come hereafter,

that we may know that you are gods;

do good, or do harm,

that we may be afraid and terrified.

You, indeed, are nothing

and your work is nothing at all;

whoever chooses you is an abomination.

I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,

from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name.

He shall trample on rulers as on mortar,

as the potter treads clay.

Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know,

and beforehand, so that we might say, “He is right”?

There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed,

none who heard your words.

I first have declared it to Zion,

and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.

But when I look there is no one;

among these there is no counselor

who, when I ask, gives an answer.

No, they are all a delusion;

their works are nothing;

their images are empty wind.

 

Hebrews 2:1-9

Warning to pay attention

 

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

 

Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,

 

“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,

or mortals, that you care for them?

You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;

you have crowned them with glory and honor,

subjecting all things under their feet.”

 

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

 

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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.