Reflecting on the Ninth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Monday
August 3, 2020

Prayer

God beyond all seeing and knowing, 

we meet you in the night of change and crisis, 

and wrestle with you in the darkness of doubt. 

Give us the will and spirit 

to live faithfully and love as we are loved. Amen.

 

Psalm 17:1-7, 15

I shall see your face

 

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry;

give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.

From you let my vindication come;

let your eyes see the right.

If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,

if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;

my mouth does not transgress.

As for what others do, by the word of your lips

I have avoided the ways of the violent.

My steps have held fast to your paths;

my feet have not slipped.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;

incline your ear to me, hear my words.

Wondrously show your steadfast love,

O savior of those who seek refuge

from their adversaries at your right hand.

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;

when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

 

Genesis 31:22-42

Laban overtakes Jacob

 

On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. So he took his kinsfolk with him and pursued him for seven days until he caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night, and said to him, “Take heed that you say not a word to Jacob, either good or bad.”

 

Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsfolk camped in the hill country of Gilead. Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword. Why did you flee secretly and deceive me and not tell me? I would have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre. And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? What you have done is foolish. It is in my power to do you harm; but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Take heed that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.’ Even though you had to go because you longed greatly for your father’s house, why did you steal my gods?” Jacob answered Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. But anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsfolk, point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.

 

So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent, and entered Rachel’s. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt all about in the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched, but did not find the household gods.

 

Then Jacob became angry, and upbraided Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? Although you have felt about through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsfolk and your kinsfolk, so that they may decide between us two. These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. That which was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself; of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. It was like this with me: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”

 

Romans 1:8-15

A harvest among the Gentiles

 

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers, asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish—hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

 

Prayer

Glorious God, 

your generosity floods the world with goodness 

and you shower creation with abundance. 

Awaken in us a hunger for food 

to satisfy both body and heart, 

that in the miracle of being fed 

we may be empowered to feed the hungry in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Psalm 78:1-8, 17-29

God fed the people with manna

 

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;

incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in a parable;

I will utter dark sayings from of old,

things that we have heard and known,

that our ancestors have told us.

We will not hide them from their children;

we will tell to the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,

and the wonders that he has done.

He established a decree in Jacob,

and appointed a law in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to teach to their children;

that the next generation might know them,

the children yet unborn,

and rise up and tell them to their children,

so that they should set their hope in God,

and not forget the works of God,

but keep his commandments;

and that they should not be like their ancestors,

a stubborn and rebellious generation,

a generation whose heart was not steadfast,

whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Yet they sinned still more against him,

rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

They tested God in their heart

by demanding the food they craved.

They spoke against God, saying,

“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?

Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out

and torrents overflowed,

can he also give bread,

or provide meat for his people?”

Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of rage;

a fire was kindled against Jacob,

his anger mounted against Israel,

because they had no faith in God,

and did not trust his saving power.

Yet he commanded the skies above,

and opened the doors of heaven;

he rained down on them manna to eat,

and gave them the grain of heaven.

Mortals ate of the bread of angels;

he sent them food in abundance.

He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,

and by his power he led out the south wind;

he rained flesh upon them like dust,

winged birds like the sand of the seas;

he let them fall within their camp,

all around their dwellings.

And they ate and were well filled,

for he gave them what they craved.

 

Deuteronomy 8:1-10

God will feed the people

 

This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you. Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.

 

Romans 1:8-15

A harvest among the Gentiles

 

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers, asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish—hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

 

 

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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.