Reflecting on the Eighth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Tuesday
July 28, 2020

Prayer

Seed-planting, fish-netting, bread-baking, pearl-hunting God, 

you shape us into living parables. 

Pray with your Spirit in us 

so that we may understand our experiences 

as healing metaphors, 

and become creative and abundant stewards 

of the environment you entrusted to our love. Amen.

 

Psalm 65:8-13

Meadows clothed with flocks

 

Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;

you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it,

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide the people with grain,

for so you have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

 

Genesis 30:37-43

Jacob prospers at Laban’s expense

 

Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the rods. He set the rods that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, the flocks bred in front of the rods, and so the flocks produced young that were striped, speckled, and spotted. Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and the completely black animals in the flock of Laban; and he put his own droves apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the rods, but for the feebler of the flock he did not lay them there; so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. Thus the man grew exceedingly rich, and had large flocks, and male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys.

 

Ephesians 6:10-18

The allegory of the armor of God

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

 

 

Prayer

O sovereign God, 

in Jesus Christ you set your holy reign upon this earth 

and within your people. 

So let its coming 

be like the mustard seed 

that grows into greatness, 

and like the leaven 

that mixes with the grain 

until the whole becomes greater, 

to the praise of the triune God, 

who lives forevermore. Amen.

 

Psalm 119:121-128

Give me understanding

 

I have done what is just and right;

do not leave me to my oppressors.

Guarantee your servant’s well-being;

do not let the godless oppress me.

My eyes fail from watching for your salvation,

and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.

Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,

and teach me your statutes.

I am your servant; give me understanding,

so that I may know your decrees.

It is time for the Lord to act,

for your law has been broken.

Truly I love your commandments

more than gold, more than fine gold.

Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts;

I hate every false way.

 

1 Kings 4:29-34

God gave Solomon wisdom

 

God gave Solomon very great wisdom, discernment, and breadth of understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, children of Mahol; his fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He would speak of trees, from the cedar that is in the Lebanon to the hyssop that grows in the wall; he would speak of animals, and birds, and reptiles, and fish. People came from all the nations to hear the wisdom of Solomon; they came from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

 

Ephesians 6:10-18

The allegory of the armor of God

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

 

 

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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.