Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord of glory: Help us to be your faithful servants before all else.
God our Savior, you call us into your service. Make us wise and resourceful: children of the light who continue your work in this world with untiring concern for integrity and justice. 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.
“Praise, my soul the King of heaven” – The Northern Baptist Association (UK)
A Reading from the Old Testament: Amos 8:4-7 (NLT)
[A warning to treat others justly.]
Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample down the needy! You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless. You measure out grain with dishonest measures and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales. And you mix the grain you sell with chaff swept from the floor. Then you enslave poor people for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals.
Now the Lord has sworn this oath by his own name, the Pride of Israel: “I will never forget the wicked things you have done!”
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8 (NLT)
[God lifts up the poor.]
Praise the Lord!
Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord now and forever.
For the Lord is high above the nations; his glory is higher than the heavens.
Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high? He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth.
He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people!
“Psalm 113: Praise the Lord Ye Servants” – Elizabeth C. Patterson and Gloriae Dei Cantores
A Reading from the Letters: 1 Timothy 2:1-8 (NLT)
[Paul reminds us to offer prayers for everyone.]
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,
There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.
This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.
In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 16:1-13 (NLT)
[We cannot be slaves both of God and money.]
Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’
“The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’
“So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’
“‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’
“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
“If My People” – Brenda James
Gracious God: We come confidently before Your throne of grace. Grant your mercy and help to those on our hearts today –
+ For all who minister among your people…. Lord, hear us.
+ For our current leaders and everyone in authority over us…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those seeking public office and positions of authority…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the preservation of righteousness throughout our land…. Lord, hear us.
+ For peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity…. Lord, hear us.
+ For freedom of religion and an end to religious persecution…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have been unjustly treated in any way…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people in difficulty, particularly those whom we know…. Lord, hear us.
+ For for all who have died in Christ, especially through conflict and violence in the Middle East…. Lord, hear us.
God of glory and majesty, you stoop from the heights to lift up the poor: hear the prayers of all who praise you, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Jesus at the Center” – Darlene Zschech
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
– Colossians 1:15-20
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen