Reflecting on the Ninth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Tuesday
August 4, 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 32:3-21

Jacob sends gifts to Esau

 

Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have lived with Laban as an alien, and stayed until now; and I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female slaves; and I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”

 

The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies, thinking, “If Esau comes to the one company and destroys it, then the company that is left will escape.”

 

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, and I will do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan; and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him; he may come and kill us all, the mothers with the children. Yet you have said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of their number.’”

 

So he spent that night there, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. These he delivered into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me, and put a space between drove and drove.” He instructed the foremost, “When Esau my brother meets you, and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present sent to my lord Esau; and moreover he is behind us.’” He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you meet him, and you shall say, ‘Moreover your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterwards I shall see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” So the present passed on ahead of him; and he himself spent that night in the camp.

 

Acts 2:37-47

The believers breaking bread

 

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

 

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

 

 

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 26:1-15

A tithe from God’s harvest

 

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, you shall make this response before the Lord your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.” You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.

 

When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year (which is the year of the tithe), giving it to the Levites, the aliens, the orphans, and the widows, so that they may eat their fill within your towns, then you shall say before the Lord your God: “I have removed the sacred portion from the house, and I have given it to the Levites, the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows, in accordance with your entire commandment that you commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor forgotten any of your commandments: I have not eaten of it while in mourning; I have not removed any of it while I was unclean; and I have not offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the Lord my God, doing just as you commanded me. Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our ancestors—a land flowing with milk and honey.”

 

Acts 2:37-47

The believers breaking bread

 

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

 

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

 

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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.