Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We worship God who sustains us in this life and promises us resurrection in the life to come.
God of all the living, in the resurrection of Christ Jesus you have given us the life which even death cannot destroy. Remember your unshakeable promise and strengthen us to live in this world as your new creation. 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.
“How Great Thou Art ( 1957 )” – George Beverly Shea
A Reading from the Apocrypha: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14 (NRSVCE)
[The story of a woman and her sons whose faith in the resurrection gave them the strength to endure martyrdom.]
It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and thongs, to partake of unlawful swine’s flesh. One of them, acting as their spokesman, said, “What do you intend to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”
And when he was at his last breath, he said, “You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.”
After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, and said nobly, “I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again.” As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man’s spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing.
After he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. When he was near death, he said, “One cannot but choose to die at the hands of mortals and to cherish the hope God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!”
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15 (NLT)
[The Lord hears our prayers, and when we die brings us to the sight of glory.]
O Lord, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from honest lips.
My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you. I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.
“Apple of Your eye (Psalm 17)” – Sons of Korah
A Reading from the Letters: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 (NLT)
[Paul writes to the Christians of Thessolonika to reassure and encourage them.]
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 20:27 (NLT)
[Jesus’ answer to people who doubted the resurrection of the dead.]
Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees — religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. Finally, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!”
Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection.
“But now, as to whether the dead will be raised — even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”
“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” – Joey + Rory
O God: bend down and listen as we pray; pay heed to our cries:
+ For peace in our world, especially in Syria and the Middle East — that innocent people may be defended from war and violence…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all those who are kind to refugees and the destitute — that You may reward their goodness….. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians persecuted for believing — that You may fill them with courage…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who doubt that life continues after death — that they may hear the Good News…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who mourn their loved ones — that You may comfort them and raise those who have died in Christ to their eternal rest…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the upcoming US presidential election – that Your will may done, on earth as it is in heaven…. Lord, hear us.
Lord our God, You watch over and protect Your people: turn your ear to us, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Great Is Thy Faithfullness” – Israel Houghton
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen