Matthew 18:15-20 - Reconciliation in the community of faith
Semicontinuous First Reading and Psalm
Exodus 12:1-14 - The passover of the Lord
Psalm 149 - Sing the Lord’s praise in the assembly of the faithful. (Ps. 149:1)
First Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-11
7So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. 9But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life. 10Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” 11Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
Psalm: Psalm 119:33-40
33Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. 34Give me understanding, and I shall keep your teaching; I shall keep it with all my heart. 35Lead me in the path of your commandments, for that is my desire. 36Incline my heart to your decrees and not to unjust gain. 37Turn my eyes from beholding falsehood; give me life in your way. 38Fulfill your promise to your servant, which is for those who fear you. 39Turn away the reproach that I dread, because your judgments are good. 40Behold, I long for your commandments; by your righteousness enliven me.
Second Reading: Romans 13:8-14
8Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. 11Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
Semicontinuous First Reading: Exodus 12:1-14
1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
Semicontinuous Psalm: Psalm 149
1Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song, God’s praise in the assembly of the faithful. 2Let Israel rejoice in their maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their ruler. 3Let them praise their maker’s name with dancing; let them sing praise with tambourine and harp. 4For the Lord takes pleasure in the people and adorns the poor with victory. 5Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; let them sing for joy on their beds. 6Let the praises of God be in their throat and a two-edged sword in their hand, 7to wreak vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8to bind their kings in chains and their nobles with links of iron, 9to inflict on them the judgment decreed; this is glory for all God’s faithful ones. Hallelujah!
September 13 15th Sunday after Pentecost
Readings and Psalm
Genesis 50:15-21 - Joseph reconciles with his brothers
Psalm 103:[1-7] 8-13 - Lord, you are full of compassion and mercy. (Ps. 103:8)
Romans 14:1-12 - Accepting diversity in the community of faith
Matthew 18:21-35 - A parable of forgiveness in the community of faith
Semicontinuous First Reading and Psalm
Exodus 14:19-31 - Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea
Psalm 114 - Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord. (Ps. 114:7)
Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21 (alternate) - I will sing to the Lord, who has triumphed gloriously. (Ex. 15:1)
First Reading: Genesis 50:15-21
15Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” 16So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
Psalm: Psalm 103:[1-7] 8-13
[ 1Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name. 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all God’s benefits-- 3who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases; 4who redeems your life from the grave and crowns you with steadfast love and mercy; 5who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s. 6O Lord, you provide vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. 7You made known your ways to Moses and your works to the children of Israel. ] 8Lord, you are full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love; 9you will not always accuse us, nor will you keep your anger forever. 10You have not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us according to our iniquities. 11For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is your steadfast love for those who fear you. 12As far as the east is from the west, so far have you removed our transgressions from us. 13As a father has compassion for his children, so you have compassion for those who fear you, O Lord.
Second Reading: Romans 14:1-12
1Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. 2Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. 5Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God. 7We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
21Peter came and said to [Jesus], “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Semicontinuous First Reading: Exodus 14:19-31
19The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. 21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” 26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 30Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.
Semicontinuous Psalm: Psalm 114
1Hallelujah! When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange speech, 2Judah became God’s sanctuary and Israel God’s dominion. 3The sea beheld it and fled; Jordan turned and went back. 4The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like young sheep. 5What ailed you, O sea, that you fled, O Jordan, that you turned back, 6you mountains, that you skipped like rams, you little hills like young sheep? 7Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 8who turned the hard rock into a pool of water and flint-stone into a flowing spring.
1bI will sing to the Lord, who has triumphed gloriously; throwing horse and rider into the sea. 2The Lord is my strength and my might, and has become my salvation; this is my God—this God I will praise; my father’s God—this God I will exalt. 3The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. 4The Lord hurled Pharaoh’s chariots and army into the sea; his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea. 5The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. 6Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power-- your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy. 7In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries; you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble. 8At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up, the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy said, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.” 10You blew with your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders? 20Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, who has triumphed gloriously; throwing horse and rider into the sea.”
September 20 16th Sunday after Pentecost
Readings and Psalm
Jonah 3:10--4:11 - God’s concern for the city of Nineveh
Psalm 145:1-8 - The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps. 145:8)
Philippians 1:21-30 - Standing firm in the gospel
Matthew 20:1-16 - The parable of the vineyard workers
Semicontinuous First Reading and Psalm
Exodus 16:2-15 - Manna and quails feed the Israelites in the wilderness
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 - Make known the deeds of the Lord among the peoples. Hallelujah! (Ps. 105:1, 45)
First Reading: Jonah 3:10--4:11
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?”
Psalm: Psalm 145:1-8
1I will exalt you, my God and king, and bless your name forever and ever. 2Every day will I bless you and praise your name forever 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 declare your power. 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 recount 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.
Second Reading: Philippians 1:21-30
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 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.”
Semicontinuous First Reading: Exodus 16:2-15
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.”
Semicontinuous Psalm: Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
1Give thanks to the Lord and call upon God’s name; make known the deeds of the Lord among 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 Abraham, God’s servant, O children of Jacob, God’s chosen ones. 37You led out your people with silver and gold; in all their tribes there was not one that stumbled. 38Egypt was glad to see them go, because they were afraid 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 Abraham your servant. 43So you led forth your people 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!
September 27 17th Sunday after Pentecost
Readings and Psalm
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 - The fairness of God’s way
Psalm 25:1-9 - Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love. (Ps. 25:6)
Philippians 2:1-13 - Christ humbled to the point of death on a cross
Matthew 21:23-32 - A parable of doing God’s will
Semicontinuous First Reading and Psalm
Exodus 17:1-7 - Water from the rock in the wilderness
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 - We will recount to generations to come the power of the Lord. (Ps. 78:4)
First Reading: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
1The word of the Lord came to me: 2What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? 3As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die. 25Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? 26When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. 27Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. 28Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. 29Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? 30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.
Psalm: Psalm 25:1-9
1To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3Let none who look to you be put to shame; rather let those be put to shame who are treacherous. 4Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. 5Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long. 6Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting. 7Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your steadfast love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord. 8You are gracious and upright, O Lord; therefore you teach sinners in your way. 9You lead the lowly in justice and teach the lowly your way.
Second Reading: Philippians 2:1-13
1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Gospel: Matthew 21:23-32
23When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”
Semicontinuous First Reading: Exodus 17:1-7
1From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Semicontinuous Psalm: Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
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 forebears 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. 12God worked marvels in the sight of their ancestors, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan, 13splitting open the sea and letting them pass through; making the waters stand up like walls; 14leading them with a cloud by day, and all the night with a glow of fire; 15splitting the rocks in the wilderness and giving them drink as from the deep; 16bringing streams out of a rock, making them flow down like a river.