The Lessons Appointed for Use on the
Sunday closest to September 21
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Wisdom 1:16-2:1 (6-11) 12-22
- The ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death;
- considering him a friend, they pined away
- and made a covenant with him,
- because they are fit to belong to his company.
- For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,
- "Short and sorrowful is our life,
- and there is no remedy when a life comes to its end,
- and no one has been known to return from Hades.
- ["Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist,
- and make use of the creation to the full as in youth.
- Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes,
- and let no flower of spring pass us by.
- Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither.
- Let none of us fail to share in our revelry;
- everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment,
- because this is our portion, and this our lot.
- Let us oppress the righteous poor man;
- let us not spare the widow
- or regard the gray hairs of the aged.
- But let our might be our law of right,
- for what is weak proves itself to be useless.]
- "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
- because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
- he reproaches us for sins against the law,
- and accuses us of sins against our training.
- He professes to have knowledge of God,
- and calls himself a child of the Lord.
- He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
- the very sight of him is a burden to us,
- because his manner of life is unlike that of others,
- and his ways are strange.
- We are considered by him as something base,
- and he avoids our ways as unclean;
- he calls the last end of the righteous happy,
- and boasts that God is his father.
- Let us see if his words are true,
- and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
- for if the righteous man is God's child, he will help him,
- and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
- Let us test him with insult and torture,
- so that we may find out how gentle he is,
- and make trial of his forbearance.
- Let us condemn him to a shameful death,
- for, according to what he says, he will be protected."
- Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray,
- for their wickedness blinded them,
- and they did not know the secret purposes of God,
- nor hoped for the wages of holiness,
- nor discerned the prize for blameless souls.
Psalm 54 Page 659, BCP
Deus, in nomine
- Save me, O God, by your Name; *
in your might, defend my cause.
- Hear my prayer, O God; *
give ear to the words of my mouth.
- For the arrogant have risen up against me,
and the ruthless have sought my life, *
those who have no regard for God.
- Behold, God is my helper; *
it is the Lord who sustains my life.
- Render evil to those who spy on me; *
in your faithfulness, destroy them.
- I will offer you a freewill sacrifice *
and praise your Name, O LORD, for it is good.
- For you have rescued me from every trouble, *
and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes.
Where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, "God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,
- "God opposes the proud,
- but gives grace to the humble."
Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again." But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.
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