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Sunday September 22, 2019 12th Sunday of Pentecost


This week's Scripture Readings at Bethel:

Lectionary texts

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
   my heart is sick.
Hark, the cry of my poor people
   from far and wide in the land:
"Is the Lord not in Zion?
   Is her King not in her?"
("Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,
   with their foreign idols?")
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
   and we are not saved."
For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
   I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.

Is there no balm in Gilead?
   Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
   not been restored?

O that my head were a spring of water,
   and my eyes a fountain of tears,
so that I might weep day and night
   for the slain of my poor people!



Psalm 79:1-9

O God, the nations have come
   into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
   they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

They have given the bodies
   of your servants
to the birds of the air
   for food,
the flesh of your faithful
   to the wild animals
of the earth.

They have poured out their blood
   like water
all around Jerusalem,
   and there was no one
to bury them.

We have become a taunt
   to our neighbors,
mocked and derided
   by those around us.

How long, O God?
   Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealous wrath burn
   like fire?

Pour out your anger
   on the nations
that do not know you,
   and on the nations
that do not call
   on your name.

For they have devoured Jacob
   and laid waste his habitation.

Do not remember against us
   the iniquities of our ancestors;
let your compassion come speedily
   to meet us,
for we are brought very low.

Help us,
   O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
   deliver us,
and forgive our sins,
   for your name's sake.



Amos 8:4-7

Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
   and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying,
"When will the new moon be over
   so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath,
   so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
   and practice deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
   and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and selling the sweepings of the wheat."

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
   Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.


Psalm 113

Praise be to God!
Praise, O servants of God;
   praise the name of God.

Blessed be the name of God
   from this time on
and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun
   to its setting
the name of God
   is to be praised.

God is high
   above all nations,
and God's glory
   above the heavens.

Who is like God our God,
   who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens
   and the earth?

God raises the poor
   from the dust,
and lifts the needy
   from the ash heap,
to make them sit with nobles,
   with the leaders of God's people.

God gives the childless woman
   a home,
making her the joyous mother
   of children.
Praise be to God!


1 Timothy 2:1-7

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


Luke 16:1-13

Then Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, 'What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' He answered, 'A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, 'And how much do you owe?' He replied, 'A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."