Reflecting on the Fifteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Wednesday
September 16, 2020

Prayer

God of freedom, 

you brought your people out of slavery with a mighty hand. 

Deliver us from our captivity to pride 

and indifference to the needs and gifts of others, 

that we may be ready to love as you have loved us, 

and to give even as we have received. Amen.

 

Psalm 77

God’s way was in the sea

 

I cry aloud to God,

aloud to God, that he may hear me.

In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;

in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;

my soul refuses to be comforted.

I think of God, and I moan;

I meditate, and my spirit faints.    Selah

You keep my eyelids from closing;

I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

I consider the days of old,

and remember the years of long ago.

I commune with my heart in the night;

I meditate and search my spirit:

“Will the Lord spurn forever,

and never again be favorable?

Has his steadfast love ceased forever?

Are his promises at an end for all time?

Has God forgotten to be gracious?

Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”    Selah

And I say, “It is my grief

that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”

I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;

I will remember your wonders of old.

I will meditate on all your work,

and muse on your mighty deeds.

Your way, O God, is holy.

What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who works wonders;

you have displayed your might among the peoples.

With your strong arm you redeemed your people,

the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.    Selah

When the waters saw you, O God,

when the waters saw you, they were afraid;

the very deep trembled.

The clouds poured out water;

the skies thundered;

your arrows flashed on every side.

The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;

your lightnings lit up the world;

the earth trembled and shook.

Your way was through the sea,

your path, through the mighty waters;

yet your footprints were unseen.

You led your people like a flock

by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

 

2 Kings 2:1-18

Prophets cross the Jordan

 

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

 

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”

 

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

 

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

 

He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

 

When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. They said to him, “See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please let them go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the Lord has caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into some valley.” He responded, “No, do not send them.” But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, “Send them.” So they sent fifty men who searched for three days but did not find him. When they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them, “Did I not say to you, Do not go?”

 

Mark 11:20-25

Forgiveness for those who forgive

 

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

 

 

Prayer

O God of Joseph and all his brothers, 

your forgiveness transcends 

whatever wrong exists between us. 

Grant us the courage to forgive others, 

and to practice reconciliation 

by the kindness of our speaking, 

the sharing of our resources, 

and the honoring of your desire for good. Amen.

 

Psalm 133

How good it is to live in unity

 

How very good and pleasant it is

when kindred live together in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head,

running down upon the beard,

on the beard of Aaron,

running down over the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon,

which falls on the mountains of Zion.

For there the Lord ordained his blessing,

life forevermore.

 

Genesis 50:22-26

Joseph dies

 

So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s household; and Joseph lived one hundred ten years. Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation; the children of Machir son of Manasseh were also born on Joseph’s knees.

 

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die; but God will surely come to you, and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” So Joseph made the Israelites swear, saying, “When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here.” And Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

 

Mark 11:20-25

Forgiveness for those who forgive

 

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

 

 

Logo full blue lg

Subscribe to DailyLectio

Download the DailyLectio App

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.