Weekly Lectionary Reading

Here are this week’s readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead of offering commentary, I’ll let the readings stand on their own.

Proper 20
September 23, 2007

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

18 My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken. 19 Listen to the weeping of my people; it can be heard all across the land. “Has the Lord abandoned Jerusalem?” the people ask. “Is her King no longer there?”
“Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols and their worthless foreign gods?” says the Lord.
20 “The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,” the people cry, “yet we are not saved!”
21 I hurt with the hurt of my people. I mourn and am overcome with grief. 22 Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?
1 If only my head were a pool of water and my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered.

Psalm 79:1-9

1 O God, pagan nations have conquered your land, your special possession. They have defiled your holy Temple and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins. 2 They have left the bodies of your servants as food for the birds of heaven. The flesh of your godly ones has become food for the wild animals. 3 Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem; no one is left to bury the dead. 4 We are mocked by our neighbors, an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you—on kingdoms that do not call upon your name. 7 For they have devoured your people Israel, making the land a desolate wilderness. 8 Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors! Let your compassion quickly meet our needs, for we are on the brink of despair.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name.

I Timothy 2:1-7
1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. 7 And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.

Luke 16:1-13

Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. 2 So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’
3 “The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. 4 Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’
5 “So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ 6 The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’
7 “‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’
8 “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. 9 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.
10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

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