Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, October 18, 2020 — 20th Sunday After Pentecost

 

The Daily Readings
SUNDAY, October 18, 2020 — 20th Sunday After Pentecost

The Glory of God
Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10;
Matthew 22:15-22
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)



These are challenging times. The division and frustration are palpable. The balance is constantly shifting. The lines, consistently blurred. Truths, half truths, lies, mixed messages, confusing headlines…all in the middle of a Nation whose back has been broken. Finding God in the midst of this moment is difficult. As the election draws closer, countless voices will try to sway you one way or the other. Yet your responsibility is simple. Pray earnestly, seek God passionately, listen carefully and vote how He leads you. God’s is sovereign, He always has been. He is faithful and always will be. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens outside of His providence. This is where we find peace in this moment.

Opening Sentences

We strive to have the ways of God revealed in concrete and tangible ways. Yet, with our limitations, we fail to recognize that God is revealed through all things. Moses needs assurance that God will not leave him alone and pleads to see God’s face so that he can trust God’s presence at all times. The psalmist proclaims that God is revealed in the quaking of the earth, the pillars of clouds, and in the high mountains. All of the earth belongs to God, revealing God’s goodness and love of justice. In response, we are called to break into glorious songs of praise. In 1 Thessalonians, God’s love is revealed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Spirit, we respond to Christ by being steadfast in hope, as we labor in love, revealing Christ’s love to all people. In Matthew, Jesus reveals that the ways of God are not narrow but, rather, broad and all-encompassing.

Opening Prayer

Living God, move among us and awaken us to your loving presence. When we lose our way and put our confidence in our possessions and our wisdom, call us back to you. Remind us that our very identity is dependent on your abiding mercy. Show us how to walk with steadfast faithfulness, following the path of justice and goodness in our daily lives. May our days be filled with joy and hope as we share the good news of abundant life that comes from following Jesus Christ. In the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

God of mercy, we place our trust in tangible things—things we can see and touch—and question whether you are really there. Forgive us, Holy One, when we fail to recognize that you are always nearby, patiently waiting for us to recognize your presence and your glory. Help us when we lose our way, and forgive us when we forget to whom we truly belong. Lover of justice, open our eyes to see you; open our ears to hear you; open our hearts to love you; and open our hands to serve you.

Assurance of Pardon

When we cry to God, looking for favor in God’s sight, God answers: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” In the power of the Spirit and in the name of Jesus, we are forgiven! We will rest in God’s mercy!

First Reading
Exodus 33:12-23
God’s glory revealed to Moses

33:12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
Commentary
Moses is very earnest with God. Thus, by the intercession of Christ, we are not only saved from ruin but become entitled to everlasting happiness. Observe here how he pleads. We find grace in God's sight if we find grace in our hearts to guide and quicken us in the way of our duty. Moses speaks as one who dreaded the thought of going forward without the Lord's presence. God's gracious promises, and mercy towards us, should not only encourage our faith but also excite our fervency in prayer. Observe how he speeds. See, in a type, Christ's intercession, which he ever lives to make for all that come to God by him; and that it is not by anything in those for whom he intercedes. Moses then entreats a sight of God's glory and is heard in that also. A full discovery of the glory of God would overwhelm even Moses himself. Man is mean and unworthy of it; weak, and could not bear it; guilty, and could not but dread it. We can bear the merciful display which is made in Christ Jesus, alone. The Lord granted that which would abundantly satisfy. God's goodness is his glory; and he will have us to know him by the glory of his mercy, more than by the glory of his majesty. Upon the rock, there was a suitable place for Moses to view the goodness and glory of God. The rock in Horeb was typical of Christ the Rock—the Rock of refuge, salvation, and strength. Happy are they who stand upon this Rock. The cleft may be an emblem of Christ, as smitten, crucified, wounded, and slain. What follows denotes the imperfect knowledge of God in the present state, even as revealed in Christ; for this, when compared with the heavenly sight of him. is but like seeing a man that is gone by, whose back only is to be seen. As he is, God in Christ is even the fullest and brightest displays of his glory, grace, and goodness, are reserved to another state.


Psalm 99
Proclaim God’s greatness

1 The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

2 The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.

3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.

4 The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.

5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them.

7 He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.

8 Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.

9 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.
Commentary
Verses 1-5 — God governs the world by his providence, governs the church by his grace, and both by his Son. The inhabitants of the earth have cause to tremble, but the Redeemer still waits to be gracious. Let all who hear, take warning, and seek his mercy. The more we humble ourselves before God, the more we exalt him; and let us be thus reverent, for he is holy.

Verses 6-9 — The happiness of Israel is made out by referring to the most useful governors of those people. In everything, they made God's word and law their rule, knowing that they could not else expect that their prayers should be answered. They all wonderfully prevailed with God in prayer; miracles were wrought at their request. They pleaded for the people and obtained answers of peace. Our Prophet and High Priest, of infinitely greater dignity than Moses, Aaron, or Samuel, has received and declared to us the will of the Father. Let us not only exalt the Lord with our lips but give him the throne in our heart; and while we worship him upon his mercy-seat, let us never forget that he is holy.


Second Reading
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Thanksgiving for the church at Thessalonica

1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.

7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Commentary
Verses 1-5 — As all good comes from God, so no good can be hoped for by sinners, but from God in Christ. And the best good may be expected from God, as our Father, for the sake of Christ. We should pray, not only for ourselves but for others also, remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a true faith, it will work; it will affect both the heart and life. Faith works by love; it shows itself in love to God and love to our neighbor. And wherever there is a well-grounded hope of eternal life, this will appear by the exercise of patience; and it is a sign of sincerity when we seek to approve ourselves to God in all we do. By this, we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God without lips, but feel their power in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things. Unless the Spirit of God comes with the word of God, it will be to us a dead letter. Thus they entertained it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be shaken in mind by objections and doubts; and they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the truth of the gospel revelation.

Verses 6-10 — When careless, ignorant, and immoral persons are turned from their carnal pursuits and connexions, to believe in and obey the Lord Jesus, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, the matter speaks for itself. The believers under the Old Testament waited for the coming of the Messiah, and believers now wait for his second coming. He is yet to come. And God had raised him from the dead, which is a full assurance unto all men that he will come to judgment. He came to purchase salvation, and will, when he comes again, bring salvation with him, full and final deliverance from that wrath which is yet to come. Without delay, let all flee from the wrath to come and seek refuge in Christ and his salvation.


The Gospel
Matthew 22:15-22
A teaching about the emperor and God


22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Commentary
The Pharisees sent their disciples with the Herodians, a party among the Jews, who were for full subjection to the Roman emperor. Though opposed to each other, they joined against Christ. What they said of Christ was right; whether they knew it or not, blessed be God, we know it. Jesus Christ was a faithful Teacher and a bold reprover. Christ saw their wickedness. Whatever mask the hypocrite puts on, our Lord Jesus sees through it. Christ did not interpose as a judge in matters of this nature, for his kingdom is not of this world, but he enjoins peaceable subjection to the powers that be. His adversaries were reproved, and his disciples were taught that the Christian religion is no enemy to civil government. Christ is and will be, the wonder, not only of his friends but also of his enemies. They admire his wisdom, but will not be guided by it; his power, but will not submit to it.


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.

Sending
Beloved of the Lord, go forth in peace to joyfully serve God. Share your lives and your blessings with others in need. Go in peace. Amen.

Be Transformed

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

Commentary from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

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. www.commontexts.org
We strive to have the ways of God revealed in concrete and tangible ways. Yet, with our limitations, we fail to recognize that God is revealed through all things. Moses needs assurance that God will not leave him alone and pleads to see God’s face so that he can trust God’s presence at all times. The psalmist proclaims that God is revealed in the quaking of the earth, the pillars of clouds, and in the high mountains. All of the earth belongs to God, revealing God’s goodness and love of justice. In response, we are called to break into glorious songs of praise. In 1 Thessalonians, God’s love is revealed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Spirit, we respond to Christ by being steadfast in hope, as we labor in love, revealing Christ’s love to all people. In Matthew, Jesus reveals that the ways of God are not narrow but, rather, broad and all-encompassing.
Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

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