Reflecting on the Fourteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year B

Daily Readings for Tuesday
August 31, 2021

Prayer

Blessed are you, O Lord and Lover, 

source of beauty and depth of passion. 

Strengthen and inspire us to do the word we hear 

and live the faith we confess. Amen.

 

Psalm 144:9-15

The blessing of sons and daughters

 

I will sing a new song to you, O God;

upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,

the one who gives victory to kings,

who rescues his servant David.

Rescue me from the cruel sword,

and deliver me from the hand of aliens,

whose mouths speak lies,

and whose right hands are false.

May our sons in their youth

be like plants full grown,

our daughters like corner pillars,

cut for the building of a palace.

May our barns be filled,

with produce of every kind;

may our sheep increase by thousands,

by tens of thousands in our fields,

and may our cattle be heavy with young.

May there be no breach in the walls, no exile,

and no cry of distress in our streets.

Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;

happy are the people whose God is the Lord.

 

Song of Solomon 5:2—6:3

A dream of love

 

I slept, but my heart was awake.

Listen! my beloved is knocking.

“Open to me, my sister, my love,

my dove, my perfect one;

for my head is wet with dew,

my locks with the drops of the night.”

I had put off my garment;

how could I put it on again?

I had bathed my feet;

how could I soil them?

My beloved thrust his hand into the opening,

and my inmost being yearned for him.

I arose to open to my beloved,

and my hands dripped with myrrh,

my fingers with liquid myrrh,

upon the handles of the bolt.

I opened to my beloved,

but my beloved had turned and was gone.

My soul failed me when he spoke.

I sought him, but did not find him;

I called him, but he gave no answer.

Making their rounds in the city

the sentinels found me;

they beat me, they wounded me,

they took away my mantle,

those sentinels of the walls.

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

if you find my beloved,

tell him this:

I am faint with love.

What is your beloved more than another beloved,

O fairest among women?

What is your beloved more than another beloved,

that you thus adjure us?

My beloved is all radiant and ruddy,

distinguished among ten thousand.

His head is the finest gold;

his locks are wavy,

black as a raven.

His eyes are like doves

beside springs of water,

bathed in milk,

fitly set.

His cheeks are like beds of spices,

yielding fragrance.

His lips are lilies,

distilling liquid myrrh.

His arms are rounded gold,

set with jewels.

His body is ivory work,

encrusted with sapphires.

His legs are alabaster columns,

set upon bases of gold.

His appearance is like Lebanon,

choice as the cedars.

His speech is most sweet,

and he is altogether desirable.

This is my beloved and this is my friend,

O daughters of Jerusalem.

Where has your beloved gone,

O fairest among women?

Which way has your beloved turned,

that we may seek him with you?

My beloved has gone down to his garden,

to the beds of spices,

to pasture his flock in the gardens,

and to gather lilies.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;

he pastures his flock among the lilies.

 

1 Peter 2:19-25

Christ leaves an example

 

For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.

 

“He committed no sin,

and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

 

When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

 

 

Prayer

O Father of lights, 

from whose word of truth 

we have been born as firstfruits of your creatures: 

make us quick to listen and slow to speak, 

that the word implanted in us 

may take root to nourish all our living, 

and that we may be blessed in our doing 

and fruitful in action. Amen.

 

Psalm 106:1-6, 13-23, 47-48

God will remember the people

 

Praise the Lord!

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever.

Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord,

or declare all his praise?

Happy are those who observe justice,

who do righteousness at all times.

Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people;

help me when you deliver them;

that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,

that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,

that I may glory in your heritage.

Both we and our ancestors have sinned;

we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly.

But they soon forgot his works;

they did not wait for his counsel.

But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,

and put God to the test in the desert;

he gave them what they asked,

but sent a wasting disease among them.

They were jealous of Moses in the camp,

and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord.

The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,

and covered the faction of Abiram.

Fire also broke out in their company;

the flame burned up the wicked.

They made a calf at Horeb

and worshiped a cast image.

They exchanged the glory of God

for the image of an ox that eats grass.

They forgot God, their Savior,

who had done great things in Egypt,

wondrous works in the land of Ham,

and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.

Therefore he said he would destroy them—

had not Moses, his chosen one,

stood in the breach before him,

to turn away his wrath from destroying them.

Save us, O Lord our God,

and gather us from among the nations,

that we may give thanks to your holy name

and glory in your praise.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting.

And let all the people say, “Amen.”

Praise the Lord!

 

Deuteronomy 4:15-20

Do not be led astray

 

Since you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire, take care and watch yourselves closely, so that you do not act corruptly by making an idol for yourselves, in the form of any figure—the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. And when you look up to the heavens and see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, do not be led astray and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples everywhere under heaven. But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron-smelter, out of Egypt, to become a people of his very own possession, as you are now.

 

1 Peter 2:19-25

Christ leaves an example

 

For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.

 

“He committed no sin,

and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

 

When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

 

 

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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.