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31 Livingston St.

Rhinebeck, NY

 

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THIRD EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

Rhinebeck, New York   

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pentecost 16

Lectionary 25

First Reading: Jonah 3:10--4:11

After Jonah’s short sermon in 3:4, the Ninevites all repented and God decided to spare the city. Jonah objected to this and became even more angry when God ordered a worm to destroy a plant that was providing shade. The book ends with a question that challenges any who are not ready to forgive: You, Jonah, are all worked up about a bush, but should not I be concerned about a hundred and twenty thousand Ninevites who do not know the difference between their right and left hands?

10When God saw what [the people of Ninevah] did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
4:1But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 3And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4And the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.
6The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. 7But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
9But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” 10Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”

Semicontinuous First Reading: Exodus 16:2-15

Faced with hunger in the wilderness, the Israelites longed for life back in Egypt and said they wished the exodus had never happened. Then God miraculously and graciously gave them quails and manna to eat.

2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”
9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’ ” 10And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”
13In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.”

Psalm: Psalm 145:1-8

The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps. 145:8)

1I will exalt you, my | God and king,
  and bless your name forev-
| er and ever.
2Every day | will I bless you
  and praise your name forev-
| er and ever.
3Great is the Lord and greatly | to be praised!
  There is no end
| to your greatness.
4One generation shall praise your works | to another
  and shall de-
| clare your power. R
5I will speak of the glorious splendor | of your majesty
  and all your
| marvelous works.
6They shall tell of the might of your | wondrous acts,
  and I will re-
| count your greatness.
7They shall publish the remembrance of | your great goodness;
  they shall sing joyfully
| of your righteousness.
8The Lord is gracious and full | of compassion,
  slow to anger and abounding in
| steadfast love. R

Semicontinuous Psalm: Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45

Make known the deeds of the Lord among the peoples. Hallelujah! (Ps. 105:1, 45)

1Give thanks to the Lord and call up- | on God’s name;
  make known the deeds of the Lord a-
| mong the peoples.
2Sing to the | Lord, sing praises,
  and speak of all God’s
| marvelous works.
3Glory in God’s | holy name;
  let the hearts of those who seek the
| Lord rejoice.
4Search for the strength | of the Lord;
  continually
| seek God’s face.
5Remember the marvels | God has done,
  the wonders and the judgments
| of God’s mouth,
6O offspring of Abra- | ham, God’s servant,
  O children of Jacob, God’s
| chosen ones. R
37You led out your people with sil- | ver and gold;
  in all their tribes there was not
| one that stumbled.
38Egypt was glad to | see them go,
  because they were a-
| fraid of them.
39You spread out a cloud | for a covering
  and a fire to give
| light by night.
40They asked, and | you brought quail,
  and satisfied them with
| bread from heaven.
41You opened the rock, and | water flowed,
  so the river ran in
| the dry places.
42For you remembered your | holy word
  and Abra-
| ham your servant. R
43So you led forth your peo- | ple with gladness,
  your chosen with
| shouts of joy.
44You gave your people the lands | of the nations,
  and they took the fruit of
| others’ toil,
45that they might | keep your statutes
  and observe your teachings.
| Hallelujah! R

Second Reading: Philippians 1:21-30

Paul writes to the Philippians from prison. Though he is uncertain about the outcome of his imprisonment, he is committed to the ministry of the gospel and calls on the Philippians to live lives that reflect and enhance the gospel mission.

21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus tells a parable about God’s generosity, challenging the common assumption that God rewards people according to what they have earned or deserve.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

From sundaysandseasons.com.

 

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