Preparing for the Nineteenth
Sunday after Pentecost
Year B

Daily Readings for Saturday
October 2, 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.

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 7:1-21

Job asks why life is so hard

 

“Do not human beings have a hard service on earth,

and are not their days like the days of a laborer?

Like a slave who longs for the shadow,

and like laborers who look for their wages,

so I am allotted months of emptiness,

and nights of misery are apportioned to me.

When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I rise?’

But the night is long,

and I am full of tossing until dawn.

My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;

my skin hardens, then breaks out again.

My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,

and come to their end without hope.

“Remember that my life is a breath;

my eye will never again see good.

The eye that beholds me will see me no more;

while your eyes are upon me, I shall be gone.

As the cloud fades and vanishes,

so those who go down to Sheol do not come up;

they return no more to their houses,

nor do their places know them any more.

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

Am I the Sea, or the Dragon,

that you set a guard over me?

When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,’

then you scare me with dreams

and terrify me with visions,

so that I would choose strangling

and death rather than this body.

I loathe my life; I would not live forever.

Let me alone, for my days are a breath.

What are human beings, that you make so much of them,

that you set your mind on them,

visit them every morning,

test them every moment?

Will you not look away from me for a while,

let me alone until I swallow my spittle?

If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity?

Why have you made me your target?

Why have I become a burden to you?

Why do you not pardon my transgression

and take away my iniquity?

For now I shall lie in the earth;

you will seek me, but I shall not be.”

 

Luke 16:14-18

The law endures

 

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.

 

“The law and the prophets were in effect until John came; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone tries to enter it by force. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be dropped.

 

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

 

 

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

 

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.

Lord, our Sovereign,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

 

Genesis 23:1-20

Abraham buries Sarah

 

Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years; this was the length of Sarah’s life. And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. Abraham rose up from beside his dead, and said to the Hittites, “I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” The Hittites answered Abraham, “Hear us, my lord; you are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places; none of us will withhold from you any burial ground for burying your dead.” Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land. He said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me Ephron son of Zohar, so that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as a possession for a burying place.” Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all who went in at the gate of his city, “No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it; in the presence of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.” Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. He said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “If you only will listen to me! I will give the price of the field; accept it from me, so that I may bury my dead there.” Ephron answered Abraham, “My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver—what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.” Abraham agreed with Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants.

 

So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, passed to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, in the presence of all who went in at the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. The field and the cave that is in it passed from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burying place.

 

Luke 16:14-18

The law endures

 

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.

 

“The law and the prophets were in effect until John came; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone tries to enter it by force. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be dropped.

 

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

 

 

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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.