Reflecting on the Fifteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year B

Daily Readings for Monday
September 6, 2021

Prayer

Holy Lord, maker of us all, 

you call us to love our neighbors as ourselves 

and teach us that faith without works is dead. 

Open us to the opportunities for ministry that lie before us, 

where faith and works and the need of our neighbor 

come together in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

 

Psalm 73:1-20

I saw the prosperity of the wicked

 

Truly God is good to the upright,

to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;

my steps had nearly slipped.

For I was envious of the arrogant;

I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pain;

their bodies are sound and sleek.

They are not in trouble as others are;

they are not plagued like other people.

Therefore pride is their necklace;

violence covers them like a garment.

Their eyes swell out with fatness;

their hearts overflow with follies.

They scoff and speak with malice;

loftily they threaten oppression.

They set their mouths against heaven,

and their tongues range over the earth.

Therefore the people turn and praise them,

and find no fault in them.

And they say, “How can God know?

Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Such are the wicked;

always at ease, they increase in riches.

All in vain I have kept my heart clean

and washed my hands in innocence.

For all day long I have been plagued,

and am punished every morning.

If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”

I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.

But when I thought how to understand this,

it seemed to me a wearisome task,

until I went into the sanctuary of God;

then I perceived their end.

Truly you set them in slippery places;

you make them fall to ruin.

How they are destroyed in a moment,

swept away utterly by terrors!

They are like a dream when one awakes;

on awaking you despise their phantoms.

 

Proverbs 8:32—9:6

Wisdom speaks

 

“And now, my children, listen to me:

happy are those who keep my ways.

Hear instruction and be wise,

and do not neglect it.

Happy is the one who listens to me,

watching daily at my gates,

waiting beside my doors.

For whoever finds me finds life

and obtains favor from the Lord;

but those who miss me injure themselves;

all who hate me love death.”

Wisdom has built her house,

she has hewn her seven pillars.

She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,

she has also set her table.

She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls

from the highest places in the town,

“You that are simple, turn in here!”

To those without sense she says,

“Come, eat of my bread

and drink of the wine I have mixed.

Lay aside immaturity, and live,

and walk in the way of insight.”

 

Hebrews 11:29—12:2

The heroes of faith

 

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

 

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

 

Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

 

Prayer

God, whose love streams like fresh water 

into the deserts of our hearts, 

you turn us from greed and partiality 

to healing and justice. 

Make us companions of those who long for your deliverance, 

and give us safe passage at the last 

into the land of your shalom. Amen.

 

Canticle: Isaiah 38:10-20

Prayer for health

 

I said: In the noontide of my days

I must depart;

I am consigned to the gates of Sheol

for the rest of my years.

I said, I shall not see the Lord

in the land of the living;

I shall look upon mortals no more

among the inhabitants of the world.

My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me

like a shepherd’s tent;

like a weaver I have rolled up my life;

he cuts me off from the loom;

from day to night you bring me to an end;

I cry for help until morning;

like a lion he breaks all my bones;

from day to night you bring me to an end.

Like a swallow or a crane I clamor,

I moan like a dove.

My eyes are weary with looking upward.

O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!

But what can I say? For he has spoken to me,

and he himself has done it.

All my sleep has fled

because of the bitterness of my soul.

O Lord, by these things people live,

and in all these is the life of my spirit.

Oh, restore me to health and make me live!

Surely it was for my welfare

that I had great bitterness;

but you have held back my life

from the pit of destruction,

for you have cast all my sins

behind your back.

For Sheol cannot thank you,

death cannot praise you;

those who go down to the Pit cannot hope

for your faithfulness.

The living, the living, they thank you,

as I do this day;

fathers make known to children

your faithfulness.

The Lord will save me,

and we will sing to stringed instruments

all the days of our lives,

at the house of the Lord.

 

Joshua 6:1-21

The Israelites conquer Jericho

 

Now Jericho was shut up inside and out because of the Israelites; no one came out and no one went in. The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldiers. You shall march around the city, all the warriors circling the city once. Thus you shall do for six days, with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets. When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and all the people shall charge straight ahead.” So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and have seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” To the people he said, “Go forward and march around the city; have the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.”

 

As Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets; the rear guard came after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. To the people Joshua gave this command: “You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall you utter a word, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” So the ark of the Lord went around the city, circling it once; and they came into the camp, and spent the night in the camp.

 

Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually. The armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. On the second day they marched around the city once and then returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

 

On the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live because she hid the messengers we sent. As for you, keep away from the things devoted to destruction, so as not to covet and take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel an object for destruction, bringing trouble upon it. But all silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are sacred to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it. Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.

 

Hebrews 11:29—12:2

The heroes of faith

 

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

 

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

 

Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

 

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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.