Sunday September 27, 2020 Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

 This week's Lectionary texts 

Exodus 17:1-7 

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?" So Moses cried out to the Lord, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." The Lord said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?" 

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 

Give ear, O my people, 
   to my teaching; 
incline your ears 
   to the words of my mouth. 

I will open my mouth 
   in a parable; 
I will utter dark sayings 
   from of old, 
things that we have heard 
   and known, 
that our ancestors have told us. 

We will not hide them 
   from their children; 
we will tell 
   to the coming generation 
the glorious deeds of God, 
   we will tell of God's might, 
and the wonders that God has done. 

In the sight of their ancestors 
   God worked marvels 
in the land of Egypt, 
   in the fields of Zoan. 

God divided the sea 
   and let them pass through it, 
and made the waters stand 
   like a heap. 

In the daytime God led them 
   with a cloud, 
and all night long 
   with a fiery light. 

God split rocks open 
   in the wilderness, 
and gave them drink abundantly 
   as from the deep. 

God made streams come out 
   of the rock, 
and caused waters to flow down 
   like rivers. 


Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 

The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge"? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die. 

Yet you say, "The way of the Lord is unfair." Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, "The way of the Lord is unfair." O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? 

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live. 


Psalm 25:1-9 

To you, O God, I lift up my soul. 

O my God, 
   in you I trust; 
do not let me be put to shame; 
   do not let my enemies exult 
over me. 

Do not let those who wait for you 
   be put to shame; 
let them be ashamed 
   who are wantonly treacherous. 

Make me to know your ways, 
   O God; 
teach me your paths. 

Lead me in your truth, 
   and teach me, 
for you are the God 
   of my salvation; 
for you I wait 
   all day long. 

Be mindful of your mercy, 
   O God, 
and of your steadfast love, 
   for they have been from of old. 

Do not remember the sins 
   of my youth or my transgressions; 
according to your steadfast love 
   remember me, 
for your goodness' sake, 
   O God! 

Good and upright is God; 
   therefore God instructs sinners 
in the way. 

God leads the humble 
   in what is right, 
and teaches the humble 
   God's way. 

Philippians 2:1-13 

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 
     though he was in the form of God, 
        did not regard equality with God 
     as something to be exploited, 
        but emptied himself, 
     taking the form of a slave, 
        being born in human likeness. 
   And being found in human form, 
     he humbled himself 
        and became obedient to the point of death— 
     even death on a cross. 

  Therefore God also highly exalted him 
     and gave him the name 
   that is above every name, 
     so that at the name of Jesus 
   every knee should bend, 
     in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
   and every tongue should confess 
     that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
    to the glory of God the Father. 

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 

Matthew 21:23-32 

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" Jesus said to them, "I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?" And they argued with one another, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'Of human origin', we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And he said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 

"What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' He answered, 'I will not'; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir'; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him."







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