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Rhinebeck, NY



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Rhinebeck, New York   


Sunday, November 12, 2017
Lectionary 32

First Reading: Amos 5:18-24

In the days of Amos people thought that the day of the Lord would be a time of great victory, but Amos announced that it would be a day of darkness, not light. He said liturgy is no substitute for obedience. The Lord demands justice and righteousness in the community.

18Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
  Why do you want the day of the Lord?
 It is darkness, not light;
19as if someone fled from a lion,
  and was met by a bear;
 or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
  and was bitten by a snake.
20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
  and gloom with no brightness in it?

21I hate, I despise your festivals,
  and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
  I will not accept them;
 and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
  I will not look upon.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
  I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
  and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

First Reading (alternate): Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16

Wisdom is part of the structure of the universe and is easily accessible to those who want to find her. Wisdom actually seeks people out. People who are wise are free from care.

12Wisdom is radiant and unfading,
 and she is easily discerned by those who love her,
 and is found by those who seek her.
13She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
14One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty,
 for she will be found sitting at the gate.
15To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding,
 and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care,
16because she goes about seeking those worthy of her,
 and she graciously appears to them in their paths,
 and meets them in every thought.


Semicontinuous First Reading: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25

In this farewell speech, Joshua exhorts the people to serve only the Lord. Joshua erected a stone monument to serve as a witness to the solemn promise the people had made to serve the Lord.

1Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. 2And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. 3aThen I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many.
14“Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
16Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
19But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” 21And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” 22Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.” 25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.

Psalm: Psalm 70

You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry. (Ps. 70:5)

1Be pleased, O God, to de- | liver me;
  O Lord, make
| haste to help me.
2Let those who seek my life be put to shame | and confounded;
  let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and
| be disgraced. R
3Let those who say to me “Aha!” and gloat | over me
  turn back because
| of their shame.
4Let all who seek you rejoice and be | glad in you;
  let those who love your salvation say forever, “Great
| is the Lord!”
5But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me quick- | ly, O God.
  You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord,
| do not tarry. R

Psalm (alternate): Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20

The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction. (Ws. 6:17)

17The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire | for instruction,
  and concern for instruction is
| love of wisdom,
18and love of wisdom is the keeping | of wise laws,
  and giving heed to wise laws is assurance of
| immortality,
19and immortality brings one | near to God;


Semicontinuous Psalm: Psalm 78:1-7

We will recount to generations to come the power of the Lord(Ps. 78:4)

1Hear my teaching, | O my people;
  incline your ears to the words
| of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth | in a parable;
  I will declare the mysteries of
| ancient times—
3that which we have heard and known, and what our fore- | bears have told us,
  we will not hide
| from their children.
4We will recount to generations to come the praiseworthy deeds and the power | of the Lord,
  and the wonderful works
| God has done. R
5The Lord gave a decree in Jacob and established a | law in Israel,
  commanding our ancestors to teach it
| to their children;
6that the generations to come might know, and the children | yet unborn;
  that they in their turn might tell it
| to their children;
7so that they might put their | trust in God,
  and not forget the deeds of God, but keep
| God’s commandments. R


  20so the desire for wisdom leads | to a kingdom. R

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Some of the Thessalonians are worried that dead Christians will be excluded from the resurrection to eternal life when Christ comes again. Paul reassures them with the word of hope that all Christians, living or dead, will be raised into everlasting life with Christ.

13We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus tells a parable about his own second coming, emphasizing the need for readiness at all times.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

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