26th Ordinary Sunday, 25 September: Amos 6:1a, 4-7; Psalm 146:7-10; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31 ~ pursue righteousness

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God defends the poor, the weak and the unprotected.

Opening Prayer:

O God of justice, hear our cry and save us. Make us heed your word to the prophets; rouse us to the demand of the gospel and impel us to carry it out.

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.
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“Everlasting God” – Chris Tomlin


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A Reading from the Old Testament: Amos 6:1a, 4-7 (NLT)
[Amos warns the wealthy about their selfishness.]

What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem, and you who feel secure in Samaria!
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the ruins of Detroit [Click above for more photos.]

Detroit: the ruins of a city
[Click above for more photos.]

How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds and lounge on your couches, eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock and of choice calves fattened in the stall.

You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David. You drink wine by the bowlful and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions. You care nothing about the ruin of your nation.

Therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives. Suddenly, all your parties will end.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 146:7-10 (NLT)
[God is the protector of the weak and oppressed among us.]

He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly. The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the Lord!
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“What Joy (Psalm 146)” – Sarah Emerson


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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Timothy 6:11-16 (NLT)
[Paul advises Timothy on being a faultless follower of the Lord Jesus.]

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. For,

At just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen.

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A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 16:19-31 (NLT)
[Jesus reminds us that wealth can insulate us from seeing the needs of others.]

Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

The Dog of Compassion by Paolo Pagani (1655-1716)

The Dog of Compassion
by Paolo Pagani (1655-1716)

“Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

“The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

“But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

“Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

“But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

“The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
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“Poor Man Lazarus” – Skruk (Norway)

Poor man Lazarus, sick and disabled, dip your finger in the water; come and cool my tongue, ’cause I’m tormented in the flame! He had to eat crumbs from the rich man’s table dip your finger in the water; come and cool my tongue, ’cause I’m tormented in the flame!

I’m tormented in the flame! I’m tormented in the flame! Dip your finger in the water; come and cool my tongue, ’cause I’m tormented in the flame!

Rich man Divies, he lived so well. Dip your finger in the water; come and cool my tongue, ’cause I’m tormented in the flame! And when he died, he went straight to hell. Dip your finger in the water; come and cool my tongue, ’cause I’m tormented in the flame!

I love to shout, I love to sing. Dip your finger in the water; come and cool my tongue, ’cause I’m tormented in the flame! I love to praise my heavenly King. Dip your finger in the water; come and cool my tongue, ’cause I’m tormented in the flame!
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Intercessory Prayer:

O God our God, provider for the poor and oppressed, hear our prayers:

+ That the wealthy people of our world may cheerfully share with the needy…. Lord, hear us.
+ That followers of Christ around the world may have compassion for the poor…. Lord, hear us.
+ That people who are exploited may win justice and find peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ That migrants and refugees may live peacefully and receive care and love…. Lord, hear us.
+ That people who are sick may know You are close to them…. Lord, hear us.
+ That we may be true friends to people who need us…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all who have died in Christ, especially through war and violence, may be raised up at the last day…. Lord, hear us.

God of righteousness, you are just to the poor and oppressed: hear our prayers, we ask you, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“This Kingdom” – Geoff Bullock


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Benediction:

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Timothy 1:17

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ, Life in Our Family

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