Preparing for the Nineteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year B

Daily Readings for Thursday
September 30, 2021

Prayer

Mighty and powerful God, 

through Jesus Christ our Savior 

you come to save people in all times and places, 

offering them new life in your presence. 

Give us open hearts to receive your Chosen One, 

that through him we may dwell with you 

as faithful and committed disciples. Amen.

 

Psalm 26

Your love is before my eyes

 

Vindicate me, O Lord,

for I have walked in my integrity,

and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.

Prove me, O Lord, and try me;

test my heart and mind.

For your steadfast love is before my eyes,

and I walk in faithfulness to you.

I do not sit with the worthless,

nor do I consort with hypocrites;

I hate the company of evildoers,

and will not sit with the wicked.

I wash my hands in innocence,

and go around your altar, O Lord,

singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,

and telling all your wondrous deeds.

O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell,

and the place where your glory abides.

Do not sweep me away with sinners,

nor my life with the bloodthirsty,

those in whose hands are evil devices,

and whose right hands are full of bribes.

But as for me, I walk in my integrity;

redeem me, and be gracious to me.

My foot stands on level ground;

in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

 

Job 2:11—3:26

Job and his friends

 

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

 

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. Job said:

 

“Let the day perish in which I was born,

and the night that said,

‘A man-child is conceived.’

Let that day be darkness!

May God above not seek it,

or light shine on it.

Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.

Let clouds settle upon it;

let the blackness of the day terrify it.

That night—let thick darkness seize it!

let it not rejoice among the days of the year;

let it not come into the number of the months.

Yes, let that night be barren;

let no joyful cry be heard in it.

Let those curse it who curse the Sea,

those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.

Let the stars of its dawn be dark;

let it hope for light, but have none;

may it not see the eyelids of the morning—

because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,

and hide trouble from my eyes.

“Why did I not die at birth,

come forth from the womb and expire?

Why were there knees to receive me,

or breasts for me to suck?

Now I would be lying down and quiet;

I would be asleep; then I would be at rest

with kings and counselors of the earth

who rebuild ruins for themselves,

or with princes who have gold,

who fill their houses with silver.

Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child,

like an infant that never sees the light?

There the wicked cease from troubling,

and there the weary are at rest.

There the prisoners are at ease together;

they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.

The small and the great are there,

and the slaves are free from their masters.

“Why is light given to one in misery,

and life to the bitter in soul,

who long for death, but it does not come,

and dig for it more than for hidden treasures;

who rejoice exceedingly,

and are glad when they find the grave?

Why is light given to one who cannot see the way,

whom God has fenced in?

For my sighing comes like my bread,

and my groanings are poured out like water.

Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me,

and what I dread befalls me.

I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;

I have no rest; but trouble comes.”

 

Galatians 3:23-29

Children of God in Christ

 

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

 

 

Prayer

Sovereign God, 

you make us for each other, 

to live in loving community 

as friends, sons and daughters, 

sisters and brothers, wives and husbands, 

partners and companions. 

Teach us to choose love 

that is committed and devoted; 

teach us like little children 

to wonder and to trust, 

that our loving may reflect the image of Christ. Amen.

 

Psalm 8

You adorn us with glory and honor

 

O Lord, our Sovereign,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouths of babes and infants

you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,

to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars that you have established;

what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,

and crowned them with glory and honor.

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under their feet,

all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

 

Genesis 20:1-18

Abraham pretends Sarah is his sister

 

From there Abraham journeyed toward the region of the Negeb, and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While residing in Gerar as an alien, Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” And King Abimelech of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “You are about to die because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a married woman.” Now Abimelech had not approached her; so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent people? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I did this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart; furthermore it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then, return the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all that are yours.”

 

So Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were very much afraid. Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that ought not to be done.” And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What were you thinking of, that you did this thing?” Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.’” Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife Sarah to him. Abimelech said, “My land is before you; settle where it pleases you.” To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; it is your exoneration before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.” Then Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

 

Galatians 3:23-29

Children of God in Christ

 

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

 

 

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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.