The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Jeremiah 23:9-15
Concerning the prophets: My heart is crushed within me, all my bones shake; I have become like a drunkard, like one overcome by wine, because of the LORD and because of his holy words. For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course has been evil, and their might is not right. Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their wickedness, says the LORD. Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall; for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, says the LORD. In the prophets of Samaria I saw a disgusting thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a more shocking thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah. Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: "I am going to make them eat wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land."
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 9:1-18
I am speaking the truth in Christ-- I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit-- I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, and not all of Abraham's children are his true descendants; but "It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For this is what the promise said, "About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son." Nor is that all; something similar happened to Rebecca when she had conceived children by one husband, our ancestor Isaac. Even before they had been born or had done anything good or bad (so that God's purpose of election might continue, not by works but by his call) she was told, "The elder shall serve the younger." As it is written, "I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau." What then are we to say? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, "I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth." So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in John 6:60-71
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?" But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, "Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father." Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil." He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
33 He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 A fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants.
1 My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being!
2 Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
3 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
6 That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer me!
7 God has promised in his holiness: “With exultation I will divide up Shechem and portion out the Valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
10 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!
13 With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.
Psalm 33 Exultate, justi
1 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; it is good for the just to sing praises.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp; play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
3 Sing for him a new song; sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4 For the word of the LORD is right, and all his works are sure.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7 He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin and stores up the depths of the sea.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to pass; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11 But the LORD'S will stands fast for ever, and the designs of his heart from age to age.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
13 The LORD looks down from heaven, and beholds all the people in the world.
14 From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze on all who dwell on the earth.
15 He fashions all the hearts of them and understands all their works.
16 There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army; a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; for all its strength it cannot save.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, on those who wait upon his love,
19 To pluck their lives from death, and to feed them in time of famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
21 Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, for in his holy Name we put our trust.
22 Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in you.
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.