Preparing for the Eighteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Thursday
October 1, 2020

Prayer

God, our beloved, 

you set before us the goal of new life in Christ. 

May we live in the power of his resurrection 

and bring forth the fruit of your gentle and loving rule. Amen.

 

Psalm 19

The law rejoices the heart

 

The heavens are telling the glory of God;

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Day to day pours forth speech,

and night to night declares knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words;

their voice is not heard;

yet their voice goes out through all the earth,

and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,

and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

Its rising is from the end of the heavens,

and its circuit to the end of them;

and nothing is hid from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,

reviving the soul;

the decrees of the Lord are sure,

making wise the simple;

the precepts of the Lord are right,

rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is clear,

enlightening the eyes;

the fear of the Lord is pure,

enduring forever;

the ordinances of the Lord are true

and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,

even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey,

and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is your servant warned;

in keeping them there is great reward.

But who can detect their errors?

Clear me from hidden faults.

Keep back your servant also from the insolent;

do not let them have dominion over me.

Then I shall be blameless,

and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to you,

O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

 

Exodus 23:1-9

Justice for all

 

You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.

 

When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.

 

When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.

 

You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

 

You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

 

Colossians 2:16-23

Hold fast to Christ, the head

 

Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

 

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

 

 

Prayer

Holy God, 

you love justice and hate oppression; 

you call us to righteousness and not to exploitation. 

Give us generous and loving hearts, 

and eyes to see the splendor of your reign, 

that we may live in truth and honor, 

and praise you for the transformation of our lives, 

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Psalm 80:7-15

Look down from heaven, O God

 

Restore us, O God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

You brought a vine out of Egypt;

you drove out the nations and planted it.

You cleared the ground for it;

it took deep root and filled the land.

The mountains were covered with its shade,

the mighty cedars with its branches;

it sent out its branches to the sea,

and its shoots to the River.

Why then have you broken down its walls,

so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

The boar from the forest ravages it,

and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts;

look down from heaven, and see;

have regard for this vine,

the stock that your right hand planted.

 

Jeremiah 2:14-22

The choice vine becomes degenerate

 

Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?

Why then has he become plunder?

The lions have roared against him,

they have roared loudly.

They have made his land a waste;

his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.

Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes

have broken the crown of your head.

Have you not brought this upon yourself

by forsaking the Lord your God,

while he led you in the way?

What then do you gain by going to Egypt,

to drink the waters of the Nile?

Or what do you gain by going to Assyria,

to drink the waters of the Euphrates?

Your wickedness will punish you,

and your apostasies will convict you.

Know and see that it is evil and bitter

for you to forsake the Lord your God;

the fear of me is not in you,

says the Lord God of hosts.

For long ago you broke your yoke

and burst your bonds,

and you said, “I will not serve!”

On every high hill

and under every green tree

you sprawled and played the whore.

Yet I planted you as a choice vine,

from the purest stock.

How then did you turn degenerate

and become a wild vine?

Though you wash yourself with lye

and use much soap,

the stain of your guilt is still before me,

says the Lord God.

 

Colossians 2:16-23

Hold fast to Christ, the head

 

Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

 

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

 

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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.