The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, July 26, 2020 — 8th Sunday After Pentecost
[Ordinary 17, Proper 12]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)
Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45b; Romans 8:26-39;
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
The Best Summer Ever
In the midst of summer, when our thoughts seem occupied with relaxation and fun, we find ourselves confronted with the difficult task of faithful living. Today’s texts abound with hard work and treachery and puzzling images of the kingdom God. Yet these texts are tempered with deep love, love of another person and of God. These texts help us to see that no matter what happens in our lives nothing can separate us from the love of God.
(adapted from Romans 8, Psalm 105)
Our gracious and ever loving God, we come in the midst of summer looking for refreshment. We rest in the knowledge of the wonderful works you have done for us, and of the deep and abiding love you have for us and for all God’s people. Search our hearts. Fill our soul with your indwelling Spirit who whispers to our soul that all will be well if we but trust in you. Shine your light before us, that we may see our path to you and to your kingdom on earth. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
(adapted from Genesis 29, Matthew 13)
We pause this morning, O God, with heavy hearts. We live in the midst of great and abiding love, but also in the midst of deceit and lies. May we be found faithful in all we do. May we speak the truth in love and live lives of love each day. Too often we seek you in the spectacular and otherworldly. May we see the many inbreakings of your kingdom in the everyday, ordinary things of life: in mustard seeds, yeast, treasures in fields, and fish gathered in nets. May we be able to answer with a full-throated yes when asked if we have understood your teachings and your call. Amen.
Words of Assurance
(based on Romans 8)
When we are not sure how to pray, or if we are even able to address God in prayer, the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. Know that no matter what, nothing, absolutely nothing can ever separate us from God’s presence and God’s love.
(from the Book of Common Prayers)
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of the Day
Beloved and sovereign God, through the death and resurrection of your Son you bring us into your kingdom of justice and mercy. By your Spirit, give us your wisdom, that we may treasure the life that comes from Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Leah and Rachel Jacob’s wives
29:15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.
Give thanks to God
1 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4 Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
5 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
6 you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
7 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.”
45b Praise the Lord.
Nothing can separate us from God’s love
8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Alleluia.Many will come from east and west and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.Alleluia.
Parables of the reign of heaven
13:31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
Here end the Readings
Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message
- 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.
A nondenominational serving of bread and wineMany 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.
Go into the world to be those who are patient and willing to work with the wheat as well as the weeds. Bring the Good News of God's love wherever you go. May God's people and love go with you always. 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, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, July 26, 2020 — 8th Sunday After Pentecost
Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45b; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52