Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today’s Gospel challenges us to stand ready for our Master’s return in glory.
O God, on whom our faith rests secure and whose kingdom we await, sustain us by word and sacrament and keep us alert for the coming of the Son of Man, that we may welcome him without delay. 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. Amen.
“Waiting Here For You” – Christy Nockels
A Reading from the Old Testament: Wisdom 18:6-9 (NRSVCE)
[These are some of the words used by the Jews to celebrate God’s deliverance of them at Passover.]
That night was made known beforehand to our ancestors, so that they might rejoice in sure knowledge of the oaths in which they trusted.
The deliverance of the righteous and the destruction of their enemies were expected by your people. For by the same means by which you punished our enemies you called us to yourself and glorified us.
For in secret the holy children of good people offered sacrifices, and with one accord agreed to the divine law, so that the saints would share alike the same things, both blessings and dangers; and already they were singing the praises of the ancestors.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22 (NLT)
Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.
“Unfailing Love” – Hillsong
A Reading from the Letters: Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-12 (NLT)
[The Letter to the Hebrews is more a sermon on who Christ is than a letter. In today’s reading, Abraham and Sarah are held up as examples of faith.]
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 12:32-48 (NLT)
[Stand ready, we are told, for we do not know when Christ will return.]
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.
“Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”
Peter asked, “Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful.
“And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
“Boldly I Approach” – Rend Collective
The Lord is our help and our shield, so let us approach his throne of grace with confidence:
+ That Christian preachers around the world may spread God’s Word with a sense of urgency…. Lord, hear us.
+ That Christian people may remember that life is short, and always be ready to meet their Master…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those on summer vacation may be preserved from every danger, and return home safely…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Olympic Games may be conducted peacefully, and draw the world closer together…. Lord, hear us.
+ That your grace may help people who find life hard, especially the poor and helpless…. Lord, hear us.
+ That you may rescue all who have died in Christ, and bring them safely to their eternal home….. Lord, hear us.
Lord our God, your faithful love sustains your people: hear the prayers of all who put their faith in you, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Holy” – Wedding Day | The City Harmonic
He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen