Saturday, August 13, 2022

Proper 15 Sunday, August 14, 2022

The Collect 
 Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 Old Testament Jeremiah 23:23-29 

Am I a God near by, says the LORD, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, "I have dreamed, I have dreamed!" How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back-- those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the LORD. Is not my word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? 

 Psalm 82

 1 God takes his stand 
in the council of heaven; * 
he gives judgment in 
the midst of the gods: 
 2 "How long will
 you judge unjustly, * 
and show favor to the wicked? 
 3 Save the weak and the orphan; * 
defend the humble and needy; 
 4 Rescue the weak and the poor; * 
deliver them from the 
power of the wicked. 
 5 They do not know, 
neither do they understand; 
they go about in darkness; * 
all the foundations 
of the earth are shaken. 
 6 Now I say to you, 'You are gods, * 
and all of you children 
of the Most High; 
 7 Nevertheless, 
you shall die like mortals, * 
and fall like any prince.'" 
 8 Arise, O God, and rule the earth, * 
for you shall take all nations for your own. 

 The Epistle Hebrews 11:29-12:2 

 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace. And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-- who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented-- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 

The Gospel Luke 12:49-56 

Jesus said, "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, `It is going to rain'; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

Sometimes in our lives we have to make hard decisions. Christians often want an easy life, as most people do. Yet, across our world, people are dying for their freedom and dying for their faith. We want Jesus to be the tender shepherd only, and not a warrior. We want everyone to get along and yet we know all too well that people seldom agree and the wealthy and powerful do not want to share. Jesus is preparing his followers for hard times, when they must make a stand with dire consequences. We don't like to hear this. We too, must prepare for the hard times and accept them. God does not choose for us to suffer, yet greed and power doesn't care who suffers. God calls us in our hard times to see Jesus in our midst, the one who suffers with us and suffered for us.

A Sunday Litany

Loving Creator, you walk with us
through the cool of the morning garden
in the weariness of our darkest nights
and in the scorching heat of our deserts.
Lord, make us strong and faithful for the coming fires.

Jesus dis not hold back the truth
nor treat his followers like children
instead he made them strong for the days
when evil and sin would overwhelm them.
Lord, make us strong and faithful for the coming fires.

In ancient times David knew your abiding love
and sang that you were there in the shadow of death
help us to know your abiding presence
as we live for you and serve your broken world.
Lord, make us strong and faithful for the coming fires.

There is war and rumor of war all around
the innocent and poor suffer without ceasing.
Lord, make us strong and faithful for the coming fires.

You came that we might have life abundant
suffering and dying for the sake of the world.
Lord, make us strong and faithful for the coming fires.

You have given us so great a cloud of witnesses
make us strong like them for your love's sake.
Lord, make us strong and faithful for the coming fires. Amen.