What follows are readings for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity — Sixth Sunday after Pentecost — July 21, 2019.

These are for Year C in the three-year Lectionary used in public worship.

There are two choices for the First Reading and Psalm. I have differentiated these by using blue in the headings for the second option.

Emphases below are mine.

First reading — first option

The Lord tells Amos that he will deprive the people of Israel of a prophet for their idolatry and mistreatment of the poor. ‘Summer fruit’ sounds like the word for ‘end’, incidentally.

Matthew Henry explains that, while some people did not mind being without a prophet or a preacher for a long spell of time, many others rightly relied on spiritual nourishment. Therefore, this was a severe judgement given by the Lord.

In Amos 9, the Lord promises the Messiah.

It would have been helpful for context’s sake if the final two verses of Amos 8 had been included, as they point to spiritual deprivation:

13 In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
    shall faint for thirst.
14 Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria,
    and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
and, ‘As the Way of Beersheba lives,’
    they shall fall, and never rise again.”

Now on to the reading:

Amos 8:1-12

8:1 This is what the Lord GOD showed me–a basket of summer fruit.

8:2 He said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, “The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass them by.

8:3 The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,” says the Lord GOD; “the dead bodies shall be many, cast out in every place. Be silent!”

8:4 Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land,

8:5 saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances,

8:6 buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”

8:7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

8:8 Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who lives in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?

8:9 On that day, says the Lord GOD, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight.

8:10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day.

8:11 The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

8:12 They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.

Psalm — first option

In this Psalm, David contemplates his adversary, Doeg. In a broader context, God will punish evildoers and preserve the faithful.

Psalm 52

52:1 Why do you boast, O mighty one, of mischief done against the godly? All day long

52:2 you are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery.

52:3 You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. Selah

52:4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

52:5 But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

52:6 The righteous will see, and fear, and will laugh at the evildoer, saying,

52:7 “See the one who would not take refuge in God, but trusted in abundant riches, and sought refuge in wealth!”

52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

52:9 I will thank you forever, because of what you have done. In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.

First reading — second option

This conversation took place after Abraham obeyed God’s command to be circumcised. He promises Abraham a son (Isaac).

Genesis 18:1-10a

18:1 The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day.

18:2 He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground.

18:3 He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.

18:4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.

18:5 Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on–since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”

18:6 And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.”

18:7 Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it.

18:8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

18:9 They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.”

18:10a Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.”

Psalm — second option

This beautiful Psalm ties in well with Abraham’s faith in and obedience to God.

Psalm 15

15:1 O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?

15:2 Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart;

15:3 who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;

15:4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the LORD; who stand by their oath even to their hurt;

15:5 who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.

Epistle

Last week’s Epistle featured the first 14 verses of Colossians 1. This week’s continues with the second half of the chapter, in which Paul provides a moving description of Christ and his own commission for ministry.

Colossians 1:15-28

1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;

1:16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers–all things have been created through him and for him.

1:17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

1:18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.

1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

1:20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

1:21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,

1:22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him

1:23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

1:24 I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.

1:25 I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

1:26 the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints.

1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

1:28 It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Gospel

This is the iconic meeting of Jesus with Mary and Martha. Pre-Lectionary, when I was growing up, this was the annual reading for this particular Sunday.

Luke 10:38-42

10:38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

10:39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.

10:40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”

10:41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things;

10:42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Lazarus was their brother. Our Lord raised him from the dead. Mary anointed His feet with expensive nard, to which Judas objected.

In closing, I hope that everyone has a blessed Sunday.

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