Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Sunday Bible Readings and Prayers for Sunday, October 17, 2021


The Sunday Bible Readings and Prayers
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Job 38:1-7 [34-41]; Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35b;
Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:35-45
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Psalm 104

Introduction & Theme
Like Job, we complain about our misfortunes, forgetting that God is the creator and sustainer of everything that exists, ignoring that God is beyond our ability to control or even understand. Like James and John, who wanted to sit at Jesus’s right and left hand when he came into his glory, we never fully comprehend God’s design. When we let go of arguing with God or trying to be first in some kind of contest, we are free to take our proper place among all the wonders of God’s good creation, to be grateful for all the goodness that surrounds us, and to serve one another in love.

Opening Prayer
(Job 38, Mark 10)
God of wind and water, God of love and compassion, God of all that is and all that ever shall be, when Job insisted he was innocent of every sin, you came to him in a whirlwind, and showed him the wonders of a world he had not made. When James and John asked Jesus for power and glory, he told them that they would share in the bitter cup that he would drink, and in the baptism of suffering that he would endure for the world.

Remind us that we are members of the body of Christ, and that we are called to serve your creation in love and compassion. Amen.

Call to Confession
(Job 38, Mark 10)
God of love and compassion, you call us to lives of love and service, and to share in Christ’s cup of compassion for the healing of the world. Like Job, we complain about the unfairness of life, seeking explanations when we don’t get everything we want. Like James and John, we want to be first. We want to win at the game of power and glory. Forgive us when we forget that we are not the center of your great creation, and that you are the beginning and ending of all things.

Assurance of Pardon
(Job 38, Mark 10)
Hear the good news: In the midst of our self-centered complaints and desires, God opens our eyes to all that surrounds us. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Glory to God. Amen.

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Psalm 25:14-15

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
If you long to understand why certain things happen, spend time with the Lord in prayer. He promises to “tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). This means He will give you insight into His will for your life, teach you His principles, and give you spiritual discernment about how He is moving in your situation.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Books of Wisdom

Job 38:1-7 [34-41]
God Challenges Job

1 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
     with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
     I will question you,
     and you shall answer me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
     Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
     Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
     or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
     and all the angels shouted for joy?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
       and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
      Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom
      or gives the rooster understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
      Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
      and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
      and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
      or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
      when its young cry out to God
      and wander about for lack of food?]

Verses 1-7: Job had silenced, but had not convinced his friends. Elihu had silenced Job, but had not brought him to admit his guilt before God. It pleased the Lord to interpose. The Lord, in this discourse, humbles Job, and brings him to repent of his passionate expressions concerning God's providential dealings with him; and this he does, by calling upon Job to compare God's being from everlasting to everlasting, with his own time; God's knowledge of all things, with his own ignorance; and God's almighty power, with his own weakness. Our darkening the counsels of God's wisdom with our folly, is a great provocation to God. Humble faith and sincere obedience see farthest and best into the will of the Lord.

Verses 34-41: Hitherto God had put questions to Job to show him his ignorance; now God shows his weakness. As it is but little that he knows, he ought not to arraign the Divine counsels; it is but little he can do, therefore he ought not to oppose the ways of Providence. See the all-sufficiency of the Divine Providence; it has wherewithal to satisfy the desire of every living thing. And he that takes care of the young ravens, certainly will not be wanting to his people. This being but one instance of the Divine compassion out of many, gives us occasion to think how much good our God does, every day, beyond what we are aware of. Every view we take of his infinite perfections, should remind us of his right to our love, the evil of sinning against him, and our need of his mercy and salvation.

From the Psalter
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35b
In Wisdom You Have Made Them All

1 Praise the Lord, my soul.

  Lord my God, you are very great;
     you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

2 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
     he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
  He makes the clouds his chariot
     and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,
     flames of fire his servants.

5 He set the earth on its foundations;
     it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
     the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
     at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
     they went down into the valleys,
     to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
     never again will they cover the earth.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
      In wisdom you made them all;
      the earth is full of your creatures.

35b Praise the Lord, my soul.

    Praise the Lord.

Every object we behold calls on us to bless and praise the Lord, who is great. His eternal power and Godhead are clearly shown by the things which he hath made. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. The Lord Jesus, the Son of his love, is the Light of the world.

From the Epistles
Hebrews 5:1-10
Through Suffering Christ Saves

5:1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.

5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

  “You are my Son;
     today I have become your Father.”

6 And he says in another place,

  “You are a priest forever,
     in the order of Melchizedek.”

7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

The High Priest must be a man, a partaker of our nature. This shows that man had sinned. For God would not suffer sinful man to come to him alone. But every one is welcome to God, that comes to him by this High Priest; and as we value acceptance with God, and pardon, we must apply by faith to this our great High Priest Christ Jesus, who can intercede for those that are out of the way of truth, duty, and happiness; one who has tenderness to lead them back from the by-paths of error, sin, and misery. Those only can expect assistance from God, and acceptance with him, and his presence and blessing on them and their services, that are called of God. This is applied to Christ. In the days of his flesh, Christ made himself subject to death: he hungered: he was a tempted, suffering, dying Jesus. Christ set an example, not only to pray, but to be fervent in prayer. How many dry prayers, how few wetted with tears, do we offer up to God! He was strengthened to support the immense weight of suffering laid upon him. There is no real deliverance from death but to be carried through it. He was raised and exalted, and to him was given the power of saving all sinners to the uttermost, who come unto God through him. Christ has left us an example that we should learn humble obedience to the will of God, by all our afflictions. We need affliction, to teach us submission. His obedience in our nature encourages our attempts to obey, and for us to expect support and comfort under all the temptations and sufferings to which we are exposed. Being made perfect for this great work, he is become the Author of eternal salvation to all that obey him. But are we of that number?

Today’s Gospel Reading
Mark 10:35-45
Warnings to Ambitious Disciples

Mark 10:35-45

10:35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39 “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,
40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Worldly honor is a glittering thing, with which the eyes of Christ's own disciples have many times been dazzled. Our care must be, that we may have wisdom and grace to know how to suffer with him; and we may trust him to provide what the degrees of our glory shall be. Christ shows them that dominion was generally abused in the world. If Jesus would gratify all our desires, it would soon appear that we desire fame or authority, and are unwilling to taste of his cup, or to have his baptism; and should often be ruined by having our prayers answered. But he loves us, and will only give his people what is good for them.

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.

(Job 38, Mark 10)
Just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve and to give his life for the sake of the world, let us go forth to love and serve all of creation in the name of the one who calls us to delight in all its goodness. Amen.

Servant of All
…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. (Mark 10:43-44)

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

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. 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.

The Morning Prayer for Sunday, October 17, 2021


The Morning Prayer
Sunday, October 17, 2021

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12, NIV

Father in heaven, we thank you for giving us light. We thank you for the great hope for a day whose light is not of our making, whose source is in you, a day to come that can touch our lives already today. Keep our hearts steadfast, free of all human wavering. May we always hold to the love you have given through your grace, and may we find joy in your love, which is full of light and understanding. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Sunday, October 17, 2021


Verse of the Day
Sunday, October 17, 2021

Psalm 25:14-15
The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
If you long to understand why certain things happen, spend time with the Lord in prayer. He promises to “tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). This means He will give you insight into His will for your life, teach you His principles, and give you spiritual discernment about how He is moving in your situation.

Read all of Psalm 25

Listen to Psalm 25

Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Our Daily Bread — Insight from the Spirit


Insight from the Spirit

When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. John 16:13

READ John 16:12–15

As the French soldier dug in the desert sand, reinforcing the defenses of his army’s encampment, he had no idea he would make a momentous discovery. Moving another shovelful of sand, he saw a stone. Not just any stone. It was the Rosetta Stone, containing a listing of the good things King Ptolemy V had done for his priests and the people of Egypt written in three scripts. That stone (now housed in the British Museum) would be one of the most important archaeological finds of the nineteenth century, helping to unlock the mysteries of the ancient Egyptian writing known as hieroglyphics.

For many of us, much of Scripture is also wrapped in deep mystery. Still, the night before the cross, Jesus promised His followers that He would send the Holy Spirit. He told them, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit is, in a sense, our divine Rosetta Stone, shedding light on the truth—including truths behind the mysteries of the Bible.

While we’re not promised absolute understanding of everything given to us in the Scriptures, we can have confidence that by the Spirit we can comprehend everything necessary for us to follow Jesus. He will guide us into those vital truths.

By Bill Crowder


What are some portions of the Bible you have found difficult? List them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into better understanding of those Scriptures.

God of all truth, help me to rest in the Spirit of truth that I might better understand the wisdom You’ve provided.

Read A Message for All Time: Understanding and Applying the Bible.


Before Jesus left the earth, He promised His disciples He would send “the Spirit of truth,” who would guide them “into all the truth” (John 16:13). The Spirit would relay what Jesus made known to Him. Jesus also told them that when they were arrested and brought to trial, they needn’t “worry beforehand about what to say.” Instead they were to speak whatever was given them to say because it would be “the Holy Spirit” speaking (Mark 13:11). In Luke, Jesus says something similar: “When you are brought before . . . authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (12:11–12; see John 14:26). In a season of persecution, the Holy Spirit will help and equip all believers in Jesus.

Alyson Kieda