Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Bible Readings and Prayers for Sunday, October 3, 2021

 

The Sunday Bible Readings and Prayers
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Job 1:1; 2:1-10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

You Are Exalted
You are our refuge and strength; our help in times of trouble. You are exalted among the nations. You are exalted in the earth.

Introduction & Theme
The readings from Job and Psalm 26 are celebrations of faith and integrity during times of trial. God boasts of Job’s integrity, proclaiming him to be a blameless and upright man—even after Satan had devastated his family, his livelihood, and his health. Job illustrates that suffering is no indication of whether one has lived a godly life. The psalmist brags of personal integrity, challenging God to put this integrity to the test. Hebrews speaks of Christ’s integrity and how he was made higher than the angels because of his faithfulness. The Gospel reading does not fit with the other texts and deals with marriage, divorce, adultery, and entering the kingdom of God like children.

Opening Prayer
Almighty God, you spoke to our ancestors long ago through your prophets and teachers, but today you speak to us through your Son. In the midst of life’s trials and tribulations, help us keep our integrity and walk faithfully in your ways. Help us listen to the words of your Son and become like children again, that we may rejoice in your kingdom and trust in your Spirit. Amen.

Call to Confession
Merciful Lord, you know that we are stubborn and willful. We believe that we know the right way to do everything and to heal all the troubles of the world. We resort to extraordinary means to provide healing only to find that we have not placed our trust in your redeeming love. Our efforts fall far short of the goal of reconciliation. Forgive us our stubbornness and arrogance. Heal our wounded souls and restore hope and compassion to our relationships with you and with each other. Lift us up and cause us to serve you by serving others in this world. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
God’s love and restoring mercy are poured out for us. Receive these blessings, for we are loved by God and granted forgiveness and mercy.

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
1 Peter 1:3

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Peter experienced great despair as he watched the Lord Jesus—his beloved Teacher, Master, Messiah, and Friend—hanging upon the Cross. When Christ died, Peter undoubtedly felt as if all hope were lost. Three days later, however, the Resurrection would change everything. Because our Savior is alive, we have a living hope. The Resurrection of Jesus guarantees that God will honor all His promises to His faithful children. And the knowledge that He is with us and will never forsake us can encourage us and keep us going—even in the darkest times.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Books of Wisdom

Job 1:1; 2:1-10
Job’s Integrity in Suffering


1:1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

2:1 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.


Commentary
Verse 1:1: Job was prosperous, and yet pious. Though it is hard and rare, it is not impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. By God's grace the temptations of worldly wealth may be overcome. The account of Job's piety and prosperity comes before the history of his great afflictions, showing that neither will secure from troubles.

Verses 2:1-10: Not accepting defeat, Satan still claimed that Job was concerned only for himself. He would sacrifice his possessions, and even his family, provided he himself avoided suffering. He would sacrifice their skin to save his own (1-5). God again accepted Satan’s challenge, this time allowing him to attack Job’s body (6). Satan therefore afflicted Job with the most painful and loathsome disease. The faith of Job’s wife failed, but Job’s faith did not, even though he was treated worse than a diseased dog. He was driven from the town and forced to live at the public garbage dump (7-10).


From the Psalter
Psalm 26
Your Love is Before My Eyes


1 Vindicate me, Lord,
     for I have led a blameless life;
  I have trusted in the Lord
     and have not faltered.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me,
     examine my heart and my mind;
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
     and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.

4 I do not sit with the deceitful,
     nor do I associate with hypocrites.
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
     and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
     and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise
     and telling of all your wonderful deeds.

8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
     the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
     my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
      whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 I lead a blameless life;
      deliver me and be merciful to me.

12 My feet stand on level ground;
      in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.


Commentary
Verses 1-5: David appeals to God to support him against those who plot evil against him. God has done a work of grace in his life, and this causes him to hate the company of worthless people and make every effort to live the sort of life that pleases God.

Verses 6-8: He desires righteousness, delights in worship, loves to spend hours in the house of God and enjoys telling others about God.

Verses 11-12: He therefore asks that he will not suffer the same end as the wicked (9-10). Though determined to do right, he knows that he will not succeed without God’s help.


From the Epistles
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
God Has Spoken by a Son


1:1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

2:5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:

  “What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
     a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little lower than the angels;
     you crowned them with glory and honor
8    and put everything under their feet.”

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.
9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,

   “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
      in the assembly I will sing your praises.”


Commentary
Verses 1:1-3: God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, through successive generations, and in divers manners, as he thought proper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams, sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on the minds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent above the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his Son. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Father, John 14:7; the fullness of the Godhead dwells, not typically, or in a figure, but really, in him. When, on the fall of man, the world was breaking to pieces under the wrath and curse of God, the Son of God, undertaking the work of redemption, sustained it by his almighty power and goodness. From the glory of the person and office of Christ, we proceed to the glory of his grace. The glory of His person and nature, gave to his sufferings such merit as was a full satisfaction to the honor of God, who suffered an infinite injury and affront by the sins of men. We never can be thankful enough that God has in so many ways, and with such increasing clearness, spoken to us fallen sinners concerning salvation. That he should by himself cleanse us from our sins is a wonder of love beyond our utmost powers of admiration, gratitude, and praise.

Verse 1:4: Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay them a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it was necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ's being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made subject.

Verses 2:5-9: Neither the state in which the church is at present, nor its more completely restored state, when the prince of this world shall be cast out, and the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdom of Christ, is left to the government of the angels: Christ will take to him his great power, and will reign. And what is the moving cause of all the kindness God shows to men in giving Christ for them and to them? it is the grace of God. As a reward of Christ's humiliation in suffering death, he has unlimited dominion over all things; thus this ancient scripture was fulfilled in him. Thus God has done wonderful things for us in creation and providence, but for these we have made the basest returns.

Verses 2:10-12: Whatever the proud, carnal, and unbelieving may imagine or object, the spiritual mind will see peculiar glory in the cross of Christ, and be satisfied that it became Him, who in all things displays his own perfections in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. His way to the crown was by the cross, and so must that of his people be. Christ sanctifies; he has purchased and sent the sanctifying Spirit: the Spirit sanctifies as the Spirit of Christ. True believers are sanctified, endowed with holy principles and powers, set apart to high and holy uses and purposes. Christ and believers are all of one heavenly Father, who is God. They are brought into relation with Christ. But the words, his not being ashamed to call them brethren, express the high superiority of Christ to the human nature.


Today’s Gospel Reading
Mark 10:2-16
Teaching on Marriage

Mark 10:1-16

10:2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.

4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Commentary
Verses 2-12: Preaching was Christ's constant practice. He here shows that the reason why Moses' law allowed divorce, was such that they ought not to use the permission; it was only for the hardness of their hearts. God himself joined man and wife together; he has fitted them to be comforts and helps for each other. The bond which God has tied, is not to be lightly untied. Let those who are for putting away their wives consider what would become of themselves, if God should deal with them in like manner.

Verses 13-16: Some parents or nurses brought little children to Christ, that he should touch them, in token of his blessing them. It does not appear that they needed bodily cures, nor were they capable of being taught: but those who had the care of them believed that Christ's blessing would do their souls good; therefore they brought them to him. Jesus ordered that they should be brought to him, and that nothing should be said or done to hinder it. Children should be directed to the Savior as soon as they are able to understand his words. Also, we must receive the kingdom of God as little children; we must stand affected to Christ and his grace, as little children to their parents, nurses, and teachers.


Here end the Readings

The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed
  • We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
  • And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
  • And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord's Prayer - Our Father Who Art in Heaven
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

Holy Communion
A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
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. This table is open to all who recognize Jesus Christ as healer and redeemer. This table is open to all who work to bring God’s Kingdom here on earth. No one is turned away because of life circumstances. No one is barred from this table. No one seeking God’s abundant grace and mercy is turned aside. We see before us the abundance that a life of faith offers as we respond to God’s everlasting mercy in prayer and deed.

Benediction
Having been healed and made whole by God’s love, now go out into God’s world to be a healer and one who brings peace and hope to others. Know always that God is with you. Amen.

More Than Enough For Tomorrow
In the midst of uncertainty; our faith can struggle, our walk becomes labored, and our heart heavy. There’s something about the unknown which seems to weaken us. It drains our patience and blurs our focus. Yet, in the middle of everything stands a faithful God. A God who is not swayed by the struggle and isn’t moved by the winds of chaos. A God who remains faithful even when our faith is fragile. It seems more difficult than ever to not worry about tomorrow, yet that’s exactly what God has asked us to do. For when we cast our burdens on Him, the troubles of the moment begin to fade. When we trust the plans He has for us, our fear begins to subside. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, our focus becomes consumed by clarity. Yes, we are in the midst of uncertainty, but we can be certain of one thing…God is faithful, and that is more than enough for tomorrow.


Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year B. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2021, we will be in Year C. The year which ended at Advent 2020 was Year A. 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. 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. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

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