Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God’s forgiveness sweeps away all that holds us back. God, who forgave King David and who through the ages took away the sins of everyone who asked, invites us to experience that same healing power today.
Compassionate God, you gather your people in prayer and lavish your gifts upon us anew. Sinners that we are, you have forgiven us much. Grant that our experience of your pardon may increase our love until it reflects your own immeasurable forgiveness. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
“Love Divine” – BBC Songs of Praise from St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast
A Reading from the Old Testament:2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13 (NLT)
[David is reminded of all the wrong things he did by the brave prophet Nathan. David repents.]
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.
13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11 (NLT)
1 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
“Psalm 32” – Sons of Korah
A Reading from the Letters: Galatians 2:16, 19-21 (NLT)
[Paul refutes errors common in Galatia. One such error was a belief that Christians still had to be conformed to the Law of Moses. Here Paul teaches that the Spirit of God supersedes the law.]
16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.
19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 7:36—8:3 (NLT)
[A woman who had a bad name in the town honors Jesus and experiences his forgiveness.]
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
Luke 7:36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
40 Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”
“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.
41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”
“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”
50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Women Who Followed Jesus
Luke 8 Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, 2 along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; 3 Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.
Hymn: “Forgiven” – Sanctus Real
O Lord our God: you are compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. Hear our heartfelt prayers –
+ For confidence in your power to heal us and raise us up….. Lord, hear us.
+ For forgiveness in all our many failings…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the courage to make a new start…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the healing of all the sick in body, mind and spirit…. Lord, hear us.
+ For blessing on all who minister in your name…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the shelter, comfort and support of displaced persons…. Lord, hear us.
+ For eternal life for all who have died in Christ, especially those in the Middle East…. Lord, hear us.
O Lord our God: you forgive the guilt of our sin and you save us from all our distress – hear our prayers and help us each day of this week, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Amazing Love (You Are My King)” – Acoustic
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen