Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Bible Readings and Prayers for Sunday, October 10, 2021

 

The Sunday Bible Readings and Prayers
Sunday, October 10, 2021
Job 23:1-9, 16-17; Psalm 22:1-15; Hebrews 4:12-16; Mark 10:17-31
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Made for Something Great
We were created for a purpose and that God has a specific plan for our lives. And if we let go and allow Jesus to lead, He will show us how to walk by faith and not by sight. Our paths will be made straight and He will lead us to a life of trust, into the great unknown.

Introduction & Theme
Psalm 22 is so commonly associated with Jesus’ torment on Good Friday that it seems unworthy to be applied to our own lives. Yet, the psalm speaks of the suffering and emptiness that so many feel in times of unimaginable sorrow—the death of a child, the devastation of a hurricane, the anguish of a loved one away at war. There is power in acknowledging this suffering and the church’s response to it. We are not called to explain life’s hardships; rather, like Job, we are called to seek God’s presence with us in their midst. The Hebrews text reassures us that Jesus is with us in times of trial because he himself endured such trials for our sake. Mark reminds us that when we question God’s intentions for us, it is often our own choices that turn us away from God—choosing money, family, or security over God’s will for our lives.

Opening Prayer (Job 23, Heb 4)
There are days, O God, when we feel far from your presence. We long for you, yet we feel no response, no closeness. Give us the strength to cry out in pain, speaking our truth. Give us the courage to complain, even when there is no response. In the emptiness, we long for your presence. We wait, O God, for you. We know that you are the source of all mercy and grace. We trust that you will help us in times of need. Amen.

Call to Confession (Job 23, Ps 22, Mark 10)
Living God, your way can be hard. How can we give up everything to follow you? We feel so frustrated when we reach out to you and feel only silence. We cling to what we own, fearing the future. Free us from our desire to accumulate more and more. Transform us into generous spirits, sharing your gifts with the world. Work within us, that we may know your real presence, even when we feel so little. We cannot do this alone. We need your help. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon (Heb 4, Mark 10)
In Jesus, we have one who has experienced pain and struggle. He understands us, and leads us to the one who offers grace and forgiveness. He reminds us that all things are possible for God.

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Proverbs 19:20-21

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
It is unfortunate when we make our own plans and forget to seek God’s counsel because only His plan can stand—not our own. Therefore, seek the Lord in everything and obey Him. He will move heaven and earth to show you what to do, and your obedience to Him will bring greater blessings than your plans could ever hope to achieve.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Books of Wisdom

Job 23:1-9, 16-17
The Almighty Hidden from Job


1 Then Job replied:

2 “Even today my complaint is bitter;
     his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
3 If only I knew where to find him;
     if only I could go to his dwelling!
4 I would state my case before him
     and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would find out what he would answer me,
     and consider what he would say to me.
6 Would he vigorously oppose me?
     No, he would not press charges against me.
7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him,
     and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.

8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there;
     if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
     when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.

16 God has made my heart faint;
      the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
      by the thick darkness that covers my face.


Commentary
Verses 1-7: Job appeals from his friends to the just judgement of God. He wants to have his cause tried quickly. Blessed be God, we may know where to find him. He is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself; and upon a mercy-seat, waiting to be gracious. Thither the sinner may go; and there the believer may order his cause before Him, with arguments taken from his promises, his covenant, and his glory. A patient waiting for death and judgment is our wisdom and duty, and it cannot be without a holy fear and trembling. A passionate wishing for death or judgement is our sin and folly, and ill becomes us, as it did Job.

Verses 8-9: Job knew that the Lord was every where present; but his mind was in such confusion, that he could get no fixed view of God's merciful presence, so as to find comfort by spreading his case before him. His views were all gloomy. God seemed to stand at a distance, and frown upon him. Yet Job expressed his assurance that he should be brought forth, tried, and approved, for he had obeyed the precepts of God.

Verses 16-17: Though the obtaining of mercy, the first-fruits of the Spirit of grace, pledges a God, who will certainly finish the work which he has began; yet the afflicted believer is not to conclude that all prayer and entreaty will be in vain, and that he should sink into despair, and faint when he is reproved of Him. He cannot tell but the intention of God in afflicting him may be to produce penitence and prayer in his heart. May we learn to obey and trust the Lord, even in tribulation; to live or die as he pleases: we know not for what good ends our lives may be shortened or prolonged.


From the Psalter
Psalm 22:1-15
Why Have You Forsaken Me?


1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
     Why are you so far from saving me,
     so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
     by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
     you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
     they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
     in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
     scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
     they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
     “let the Lord rescue him.
  Let him deliver him,
     since he delights in him.”

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
     you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
      from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
      for trouble is near
      and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
      strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
      open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
      and all my bones are out of joint.
   My heart has turned to wax;
      it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
      and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
      you lay me in the dust of death.


Commentary
Verses 1-10: The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savors of discontent and worldliness. But, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God's favor. This must be applied to Christ. In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul before God when he was upon the cross, Matthew 27:46. Being truly man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all other deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee, were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee, sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt and reproach of men. The Savior here spoke of the abject state to which he was reduced. The history of Christ's sufferings, and of his birth, explains this prophecy.

Verses 11-15: In these verses we have Christ suffering, and Christ praying; by which we are directed to look for crosses, and to look up to God under them. The very manner of Christ's death is described, though not in use among the Jews. They pierced his hands and his feet, which were nailed to the accursed tree, and his whole body was left so to hang as to suffer the most severe pain and torture. His natural force failed, being wasted by the fire of Divine wrath preying upon his spirits. Who then can stand before God's anger? or who knows the power of it? The life of the sinner was forfeited, and the life of the Sacrifice must be the ransom for it. Our Lord Jesus was stripped, when he was crucified, that he might clothe us with the robe of his righteousness. Thus it was written, therefore thus it behooved Christ to suffer. Let all this confirm our faith in him as the true Messiah, and excite our love to him as the best of friends, who loved us, and suffered all this for us. Christ in his agony prayed, prayed earnestly, prayed that the cup might pass from him. When we cannot rejoice in God as our song, yet let us stay ourselves upon him as our strength; and take the comfort of spiritual supports, when we cannot have spiritual delights. He prays to be delivered from the Divine wrath. He that has delivered, doth deliver, and will do so. We should think upon the sufferings and resurrection of Christ, till we feel in our souls the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.


From the Epistles
Hebrews 4:12-16
Approach the Throne of Grace


4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Commentary
Let us labor, and quicken each other to be diligent in duty. The Holy Scriptures are the word of God. When God sets it home by his Spirit, it convinces powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. It makes a soul that has long been proud, to be humble; and a perverse spirit, to be meek and obedient. Sinful habits, that are become as it were natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in it, are separated and cut off by this sword. It will discover to men their thoughts and purposes, the vileness of many, the bad principles they are moved by, the sinful ends they act to. The word will show the sinner all that is in his heart. Let us hold fast the doctrines of Christian faith in our heads, its enlivening principles in our hearts, the open profession of it in our lips, and be subject to it in our lives. Christ executed one part of his priesthood on earth, in dying for us; the other he executes in heaven, pleading the cause, and presenting the offerings of his people. In the sight of Infinite Wisdom, it was needful that the Savior of men should be one who has the fellow-feeling which no being but a fellow-creature could possibly have; and therefore it was necessary he should actual experience of all the effects of sin that could be separated from its actual guilt. God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Romans 8:3; but the more holy and pure he was, the more he must have been unwilling in his nature to sin, and must have had deeper impression of its evil; consequently the more must he be concerned to deliver his people from its guilt and power. We should encourage ourselves by the excellence of our High Priest, to come boldly to the throne of grace. Mercy and grace are the things we want; mercy to pardon all our sins, and grace to purify our souls. Besides our daily dependence upon God for present supplies, there are seasons for which we should provide in our prayers; times of temptation, either by adversity or prosperity, and especially our dying time. We are to come with reverence and godly fear, yet not as if dragged to the seat of justice, but as kindly invited to the mercy-seat, where grace reigns. We have boldness to enter into the holiest only by the blood of Jesus; he is our Advocate, and has purchased all our souls want or can desire.

Today’s Gospel Reading
Mark 10:17-31
Teaching on Wealth and Reward

Mark 10:17-31

10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

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, 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 (Mark 10, Heb 4)
Go and follow Jesus on the pathway of love. Share the good news of mercy and grace. Dare to let go. Find the courage and see what adventures God has in store for you. May the blessing of the Holy One give you courage, for with God, nothing is impossible.

You Have a Purpose
God has a plan for us. We were created by Him to do His work. His purpose will stand, and cannot be thwarted. We must seek to do His will and not our own.


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.

No comments:

Post a Comment