Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, September 6, 2020 — 14th Sunday After Pentecost
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The Daily Readings
SUNDAY, September 6, 2020 — 14th Sunday After Pentecost

Ready to Go
Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Opening Prayer
Gracious God, we come this day seeking courage and hope for the future. Our world is in such peril. Heal these wounds and quiet the words of war. Help us to be those who bring peace in our families and communities. Banish the darkness of doubt and fear; anoint us with your light and love that we may spread the good news of your mercy to everyone. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Forgiving and loving God, our hearts are filled today with pain and concern for the future of humankind. Words of anger assail our airways—we cannot escape from the threats being thrown about. In our fear, we cry “Where are you, O Lord?” We wander around in the darkness of the spirit, seeking light and hope. Forgive us when we forget that you are always with us, through times of peace and times of war. Heal our souls. Help us to reach out to others with the assurance of your love and presence, for we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
God hears our prayers and our cries. God leads us out of the darkness of the past into the bright promise of today. We are called to stand strong and confident in God’s Love. Rejoice, dear friends, for that love which began before creation flows in and through you this day!

First Reading
The passover
The Passover celebrates God’s miraculous deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt. The focal point of the ceremony was the sacrifice of a Passover lamb whose blood was placed on the doorframes of the houses of the Israelites. While God enacted his final plague, the killing of the firstborn of the nation of Egypt, those living in homes marked by blood were spared death.

God provided clear specifications for the lamb that could be used at Passover—the lamb had to be a young male, without blemish or defect. In order to ensure its purity, the lamb was examined for four days following its selection. Those animals meeting God’s requirements were sacrificed in public, and none of the animal’s bones could be broken (Ex 12:46). The severity of the coming judgment required that the people of God observe this sacrifice with the utmost care. The annual commemoration of the Passover reminded the people both of the faithfulness of God to provide deliverance for his people and of their ongoing need for a substitute to pay the price their sin deserved.

The Passover sacrifice is one of the clearest pictures in the Old Testament of the coming work of Jesus. At the beginning of his earthly ministry, John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). His life met the requirements for a Passover sacrifice. He too was a young male, perfect in all ways. He would die a heinous, public death, though none of his bones were broken in the process (Jn 19:36). Because of Jesus’ death, those covered by his blood are spared the coming judgment (Ro 5:9; Eph 2:13).
12:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,

2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover.

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

Sing praise in the congregation
Psalm 149 serves as a challenge to God’s people to give God their best effort when praising him. Believers are not called to recite praises mundanely to God with little to no care about the actual words they are saying, but rather they are to enter into praise with great joy and with heartfelt emotion. The psalmist encourages people to sing “a new song,” to “praise [God’s] name with dancing,” and to “sing for joy on their beds” (vv. 1,3,5). There is a reason that Psalms has the most chapters of any book in the Bible; there are so many ways to sing to God and to bring him praise!
149:1 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;

7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

Second Reading
Live honorably as in the day 
Before Jesus died He called the disciples to love one another in the way He had loved them (John 13:34). The surrounding world, He said, would know they belonged to Jesus by their love (John 13:35). The love of God flowing through the followers of Jesus would enable the world to believe in Him (John 17:20–23). Paul raised the same call. He said that to love one another is to fulfill the entire Law (vv. 8, 10).

In prayer ask God to show you how to love the people around you in tangible ways. Look for needs and find ways to help. Ask Him to help you shift your focus away from your own needs and desires in order to focus more on the purposes of God. Ask God to fill you with supernatural love for other people—even your enemies.
13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Gospel
Reconciliation in the community of faith
There may be no clearer passage in the Gospels on conflict resolution than Matthew 18. While Jesus spoke about addressing sin in the church, His words suggest broader principles.

According to Jesus, addressing conflict and healing offenses should be a priority for us. He even instructs us to postpone our worship if we remember an unresolved offense (Matt. 5:23, 24).

Conflicts will arise in any organization. Humans disagree because they are wired differently and have different agendas. Note what Jesus taught about organizational conflict when someone has clearly done wrong:

1. Initiate the contact (v. 15).

2. Confront the person in private (v. 15).

3. If no resolution comes, meet again with one or two more people (v. 16).

4. Confirm the facts in the meeting and work toward a solution (v. 16).

5. If no resolution comes, bring the issue before the church or organization (v. 17).

6. Agree upon the truth and the appropriate options for the offender (v. 17).

7. If no resolution comes, release the offender from the church or organization (v. 17).

Behind this process lies the authority Jesus has given to church leaders (Matt. 18:18–20). We must act wisely, because we have God-given authority (18:18), because God will confirm and support the decisions made in harmony (18:19), and because He is present when we gather in His name (18:20).
18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Here end the Readings

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostles’ Creed

  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us;. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Communion
A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
Many churches around the world are working hard to adapt to online worship, and one challenge is how our members can celebrate communion from home. Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present.

You are prepared to walk away from the darkness into the light. Go into this world confident in Christ’s love and God’s eternal presence with you. Go to be a witness for good and a bearer of peace to all you meet. Go in peace! Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
The Daily Bible Readings
SUNDAY, September 6, 2020 — 14th Sunday After Pentecost
Ready to Go
Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

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