The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Ruth 4:1-17
No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, "Come over, friend; sit down here." And he went over and sat down. Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, "Sit down here" so they sat down. He then said to the next-of-kin, "Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you." So he said, "I will redeem it." Then Boaz said, "The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance." At this, the next-of-kin said, "I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it." Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, "Acquire it for yourself," he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses." Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the LORD will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah." So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the LORD made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him." Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi." They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10
But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture-- "I believed, and so I spoke"-- we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling-- if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord-- for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in Matthew 6:1-16
Glory be to Thee, O Lord
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. "Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. "And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
Here ends the Gospel lesson for today.
Glory be to Thee ,O Christ!
Psalm 137 Super flumina
1 By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered you, O Zion.
2 As for our harps, we hung them up on the trees in the midst of that land.
3 For those who led us away captive asked us for a song, and our oppressors called for mirth: "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."
4 How shall we sing the LORD'S song upon an alien soil?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.
7 Remember the day of Jerusalem, O LORD, against the people of Edom, who said, "Down with it! down with it! even to the ground!"
8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy the one who pays you back for what you have done to us!
9 Happy shall he be who takes your little ones, and dashes them against the rock!
Psalm 144 Benedictus Dominus
1 Blessed be the LORD my rock! who trains my hands to fight and my fingers to battle;
2 My help and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I trust, who subdues the peoples under me.
3 O LORD, what are we that you should care for us? mere mortals that you should think of us?
4 We are like a puff of wind; our days are like a passing shadow.
5 Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6 Hurl the lightning and scatter them; shoot out your arrows and rout them.
7 Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the great waters, from the hand of foreign peoples,
8 Whose mouths speak deceitfully and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
9 O God, I will sing to you a new song; I will play to you on a ten-stringed lyre.
10 You give victory to kings and have rescued David your servant.
11 Rescue me from the hurtful sword and deliver me from the hand of foreign peoples,
12 Whose mouths speak deceitfully and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
13 May our sons be like plants well nurtured from their youth, and our daughters like sculptured corners of a palace.
14 May our barns be filled to overflowing with all manner of crops; may the flocks in our pastures increase by thousands and tens of thousands; may our cattle be fat and sleek.
15 May there be no breaching of the walls, no going into exile, no wailing in the public squares.
16 Happy are the people of whom this is so! happy are the people whose God is the LORD!
Psalm 104 Benedic, anima mea
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; O LORD my God, how excellent is your greatness! you are clothed with majesty and splendor.
2 You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak and spread out the heavens like a curtain.
3 You lay the beams of your chambers in the waters above; you make the clouds your chariot; you ride on the wings of the wind.
4 You make the winds your messengers and flames of fire your servants.
5 You have set the earth upon its foundations, so that it never shall move at any time.
6 You covered it with the Deep as with a mantle; the waters stood higher than the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they fled; at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.
8 They went up into the hills and down to the valleys beneath, to the places you had appointed for them.
9 You set the limits that they should not pass; they shall not again cover the earth.
10 You send the springs into the valleys; they flow between the mountains.
11 All the beasts of the field drink their fill from them, and the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the air make their nests and sing among the branches.
13 You water the mountains from your dwelling on high; the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works.
14 You make grass grow for flocks and herds and plants to serve mankind;
15 That they may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden our hearts,
16 Oil to make a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen the heart.
17 The trees of the LORD are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which he planted,
18 In which the birds build their nests, and in whose tops the stork makes his dwelling.
19 The high hills are a refuge for the mountain goats, and the stony cliffs for the rock badgers.
20 You appointed the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows the time of its setting.
21 You make darkness that it may be night, in which all the beasts of the forest prowl.
22 The lions roar after their prey and seek their food from God.
23 The sun rises, and they slip away and lay themselves down in their dens.
24 Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening.
25 O LORD, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
26 Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, creatures both small and great.
27 There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it.
28 All of them look to you to give them their food in due season.
29 You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
30 You hide your face, and they are terrified; you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.
31 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.
32 May the glory of the LORD endure for ever; may the LORD rejoice in all his works.
33 He looks at the earth and it trembles; he touches the mountains and they smoke.
34 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.
35 May these words of mine please him; I will rejoice in the LORD.
36 Let sinners be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked be no more.
37 Bless the LORD, O my soul. Hallelujah!
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.