Preparing for the Sixteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year B

Daily Readings for Saturday
September 11, 2021

Prayer

Wisdom of God, 

from the street corners and at the entrances to the city 

you proclaim the way of life and of death. 

Grant us the wisdom to recognize your Messiah, 

that following in the way of the cross, 

we may know the way of life and glory. Amen.

 

Psalm 19

God’s statutes rejoice 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,

Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

 

Proverbs 21:1-17

God is in charge

 

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;

he turns it wherever he will.

All deeds are right in the sight of the doer,

but the Lord weighs the heart.

To do righteousness and justice

is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—

the lamp of the wicked—are sin.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,

but everyone who is hasty comes only to want.

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue

is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.

The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,

because they refuse to do what is just.

The way of the guilty is crooked,

but the conduct of the pure is right.

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop

than in a house shared with a contentious wife.

The souls of the wicked desire evil;

their neighbors find no mercy in their eyes.

When a scoffer is punished, the simple become wiser;

when the wise are instructed, they increase in knowledge.

The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;

he casts the wicked down to ruin.

If you close your ear to the cry of the poor,

you will cry out and not be heard.

A gift in secret averts anger;

and a concealed bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous,

but dismay to evildoers.

Whoever wanders from the way of understanding

will rest in the assembly of the dead.

Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want;

whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich.

 

Matthew 21:23-32

The faith of tax collectors and prostitutes

 

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

 

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

 

 

Prayer

Through suffering and rejection, O God, 

you bring forth our salvation, 

for in Jesus you embrace our humanity 

and transform our lives by the glory of his cross. 

Grant that for the sake of the gospel 

we may rebuke the lure of this world, 

take up our cross, 

and follow your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Psalm 116:1-9

I will walk in God’s presence

 

I love the Lord, because he has heard

my voice and my supplications.

Because he inclined his ear to me,

therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The snares of death encompassed me;

the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;

I suffered distress and anguish.

Then I called on the name of the Lord:

“O Lord, I pray, save my life!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;

our God is merciful.

The Lord protects the simple;

when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return, O my soul, to your rest,

for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,

my eyes from tears,

my feet from stumbling.

I walk before the Lord

in the land of the living.

 

Joshua 6:22-27

Rahab and her family are spared

 

Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house, and bring the woman out of it and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” So the young men who had been spies went in and brought Rahab out, along with her father, her mother, her brothers, and all who belonged to her—they brought all her kindred out—and set them outside the camp of Israel. They burned down the city, and everything in it; only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. But Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, Joshua spared. Her family has lived in Israel ever since. For she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

 

Joshua then pronounced this oath, saying,

 

“Cursed before the Lord be anyone who tries

to build this city—this Jericho!

At the cost of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation,

and at the cost of his youngest he shall set up its gates!”

 

So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was in all the land.

 

Matthew 21:23-32

The faith of tax collectors and prostitutes

 

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

 

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

 

 

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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.