The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Jeremiah 22:13-23
Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages; who says, "I will build myself a spacious house with large upper rooms," and who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar, and painting it with vermilion. Are you a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the LORD. But your eyes and heart are only on your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah: They shall not lament for him, saying, "Alas, my brother!" or "Alas, sister!" They shall not lament for him, saying, "Alas, lord!" or "Alas, his majesty!" With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried-- dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are crushed. I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, "I will not listen." This has been your way from your youth, for you have not obeyed my voice. The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and dismayed because of all your wickedness. O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor!
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 8:12-27
So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ-- if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in John 6:41-51
Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered them, "Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Psalm 69 Salvum me fac
1 Save me, O God, for the waters have risen up to my neck.
2 I am sinking in deep mire, and there is no firm ground for my feet.
3 I have come into deep waters, and the torrent washes over me.
4 I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
5 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. Must I then give back what I never stole?
6 O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you.
7 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.
8 Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, and shame has covered my face.
9 I have become a stranger to my own kindred, an alien to my mother's children.
10 Zeal for your house has eaten me up; the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11 I humbled myself with fasting, but that was turned to my reproach.
12 I put on sack-cloth also, and became a byword among them.
13 Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, and the drunkards make songs about me.
14 But as for me, this is my prayer to you, at the time you have set, O LORD:
15 In your great mercy, O God, answer me with your unfailing help.
16 Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
17 Let not the torrent of waters wash over me, neither let the deep swallow me up; do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18 Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; in your great compassion, turn to me."
19 Hide not your face from your servant; be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
20 Draw near to me and redeem me; because of my enemies deliver me.
21 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all in your sight."
22 Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I could find no one.
23 They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
24 Let the table before them be a trap and their sacred feasts a snare.
25 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and give them continual trembling in their loins.
26 Pour out your indignation upon them, and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
27 Let their camp be desolate, and let there be none to dwell in their tents.
28 For they persecute him whom you have stricken and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.
29 Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, and let them not receive your vindication.
30 Let them be wiped out of the book of the living and not be written among the righteous.
31 As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
32 I will praise the Name of God in song; I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
33 This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
34 The afflicted shall see and be glad; you who seek God, your heart shall live.
35 For the LORD listens to the needy, and his prisoners he does not despise.
36 Let the heavens and the earth praise him, the seas and all that moves in them;
37 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; they shall live there and have it in possession.
38 The children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his Name will dwell therein.
Psalm 73 Quam bonus Israel!
1 Truly, God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; I had almost tripped and fallen;
3 Because I envied the proud and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
4 For they suffer no pain, and their bodies are sleek and sound;
5 In the misfortunes of others they have no share; they are not afflicted as others are;
6 Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
7 Their iniquity comes from gross minds, and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
8 They scoff and speak maliciously; out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their evil speech runs through the world.
10 And so the people turn to them and find in them no fault.
11 They say, "How should God know? is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12 So then, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase their wealth.
13 In vain have I kept my heart clean, and washed my hands in innocence.
14 I have been afflicted all day long, and punished every morning.
15 Had I gone on speaking this way, I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand these things, it was too hard for me;
17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God and discerned the end of the wicked.
18 Surely, you set them in slippery places; you cast them down in ruin.
19 Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction, come to an end, and perish from terror!
20 Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord, when you arise you will make their image vanish.
21 When my mind became embittered, I was sorely wounded in my heart.
22 I was stupid and had no understanding; I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me by your counsel, and afterwards receive me with glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
26 Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27 Truly, those who forsake you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful.
28 But it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.
29 I will speak of all your works in the gates of the city of Zion.
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.