Preparing for the Seventeenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year B

Daily Readings for Thursday
September 16, 2021

Prayer

God of unsearchable mystery and light, 

your weakness is greater than our strength, 

your foolishness brings all our cleverness to naught, 

your gentleness confounds the power we would claim. 

You call first to be last and last to be first, 

servant to be leader and ruler to be underling of all. 

Pour into our hearts the wisdom of your Word and Spirit, 

that we may know your purpose and live to your glory. Amen.

 

Psalm 1

Delight in God’s law

 

Happy are those

who do not follow the advice of the wicked,

or take the path that sinners tread,

or sit in the seat of scoffers;

but their delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law they meditate day and night.

They are like trees

planted by streams of water,

which yield their fruit in its season,

and their leaves do not wither.

In all that they do, they prosper.

The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

 

Proverbs 30:1-10

Sayings of Agur

 

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle.

 

Thus says the man: I am weary, O God,

I am weary, O God. How can I prevail?

Surely I am too stupid to be human;

I do not have human understanding.

I have not learned wisdom,

nor have I knowledge of the holy ones.

Who has ascended to heaven and come down?

Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand?

Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?

Who has established all the ends of the earth?

What is the person’s name?

And what is the name of the person’s child?

Surely you know!

Every word of God proves true;

he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Do not add to his words,

or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar.

Two things I ask of you;

do not deny them to me before I die:

Remove far from me falsehood and lying;

give me neither poverty nor riches;

feed me with the food that I need,

or I shall be full, and deny you,

and say, “Who is the Lord?”

or I shall be poor, and steal,

and profane the name of my God.

Do not slander a servant to a master,

or the servant will curse you, and you will be held guilty.

 

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Beyond human wisdom

 

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

 

 

Prayer

O God, our teacher and guide, 

you draw us to yourself 

and welcome us as beloved children. 

Help us to lay aside our envy and selfish ambition, 

that we may walk in your ways of wisdom and understanding 

as servants of your peace. Amen.

 

Psalm 54

God is my helper

 

Save me, O God, by your name,

and vindicate me by your might.

Hear my prayer, O God;

give ear to the words of my mouth.

For the insolent have risen against me,

the ruthless seek my life;

they do not set God before them.    Selah

But surely, God is my helper;

the Lord is the upholder of my life.

He will repay my enemies for their evil.

In your faithfulness, put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;

I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.

For he has delivered me from every trouble,

and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

 

Judges 6:1-10

Israel ignores a prophet of God

 

The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. The hand of Midian prevailed over Israel; and because of Midian the Israelites provided for themselves hiding places in the mountains, caves and strongholds. For whenever the Israelites put in seed, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east would come up against them. They would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the land, as far as the neighborhood of Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel, and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they and their livestock would come up, and they would even bring their tents, as thick as locusts; neither they nor their camels could be counted; so they wasted the land as they came in. Thus Israel was greatly impoverished because of Midian; and the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.

 

When the Israelites cried to the Lord on account of the Midianites, the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites; and he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the house of slavery; and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you, and gave you their land; and I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not pay reverence to the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not given heed to my voice.”

 

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Beyond human wisdom

 

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power 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.