Preparing for the Seventeenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Thursday
September 24, 2020

Prayer

Welcoming God, 

you receive and bless all 

who come to you in humility. 

Show us our false pride, 

that we may repent of all conceit and arrogance 

and, caring for one another, 

may honor Jesus 

to the glory of your name. Amen.

 

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16

Recounting God’s power

 

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.

In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels

in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.

He divided the sea and let them pass through it,

and made the waters stand like a heap.

In the daytime he led them with a cloud,

and all night long with a fiery light.

He split rocks open in the wilderness,

and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.

He made streams come out of the rock,

and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

 

Isaiah 48:17-21

God brought water from the rock

 

Thus says the Lord,

your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I am the Lord your God,

who teaches you for your own good,

who leads you in the way you should go.

O that you had paid attention to my commandments!

Then your prosperity would have been like a river,

and your success like the waves of the sea;

your offspring would have been like the sand,

and your descendants like its grains;

their name would never be cut off

or destroyed from before me.

Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,

declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,

send it forth to the end of the earth;

say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!”

They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;

he made water flow for them from the rock;

he split open the rock and the water gushed out.

 

James 4:11-16

We do not know what tomorrow will bring

 

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?

 

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

 

 

Prayer

God of our salvation, 

we falter before the demands of your word 

and turn away from your call to life. 

Pour out your mercy on us 

as you showed mercy to your people of old, 

that we may turn from our sinfulness 

and walk the path of self-emptying love 

made known in Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Psalm 25:1-9

God’s compassion and love

 

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust;

do not let me be put to shame;

do not let my enemies exult over me.

Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;

let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;

teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth, and teach me,

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,

for they have been from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

according to your steadfast love remember me,

for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;

therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right,

and teaches the humble his way.

 

Ezekiel 12:17-28

God’s judgment is timely

 

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and with fearfulness; and say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with fearfulness, and drink their water in dismay, because their land shall be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who live in it. The inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the Lord.

 

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, what is this proverb of yours about the land of Israel, which says, “The days are prolonged, and every vision comes to nothing”? Tell them therefore, “Thus says the Lord God: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall use it no more as a proverb in Israel.” But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfillment of every vision. For there shall no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. But I the Lord will speak the word that I speak, and it will be fulfilled. It will no longer be delayed; but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and fulfill it, says the Lord God.

 

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, the house of Israel is saying, “The vision that he sees is for many years ahead; he prophesies for distant times.” Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be fulfilled, says the Lord God.

 

James 4:11-16

We do not know what tomorrow will bring

 

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?

 

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

 

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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.