Keyword Search

  • Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company
    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

Proper 19 | Ordinary Time 24 | Pentecost 16 (Cycle C)

Sunday between September 11 and September 17 inclusive

The most important theme for the texts selected for next weekend is God’s gracious rescue from sin and death of those who are lost. It is shown in these texts that as sinners we do not deserve God’s mercy and forgiveness. Nevertheless, God forgives us because God wants to forgive us. It is always appropriate for us to respond to God with joyful gratitude.

Psalm 51:1-10

This well-known psalm is especially significant to us because of the intense sense of sin expressed in it and because of its emphasis on repentance and contrition rather than on animal sacrifices. The psalmist is fully aware that God would be totally justified in destroying the psalmist. In spite of this, the psalmist asks God to be cleansed from sin and to be filled with God’s joy and gladness.

The feelings expressed in this psalm are our feelings also as individuals and as members of congregations in worship. When God creates a new heart in us and gives to us a spirit that connects with the Spirit of God, our worship experience is complete.

Psalm 14

According to this psalm, in the eyes of God all people are sinful; there is no one who does good things. God, however, delivers those who are poor and oppressed. When God rescues God’s people, they rejoice. They are glad. So, also, do we rejoice. So also are we glad.

Exodus 32:7-14

We may wonder how the early pre-Israelites could so quickly have turned away from the Lord (Adonai) who had brought them out of slavery in Egypt and, instead, gathered in worship around a golden idol in accordance with Egyptian practices. Actually, this text, together with others such as Joshua 24:14, is an indication that while they were slaves in Egypt the people who participated in the Exodus had worshiped other gods according to the custom of the Egyptians. As slaves they had participated in the civil religion of the Egyptian people. When Moses was not among them as their leader, they quickly reverted to the religion that they had known.

In Exodus 32:13, portions of the theological motif of the J source, that God had promised many descendants and the land of Canaan to the patriarchs of Israel, are reiterated by Moses. In this story about a divine-human encounter between Adonai and Moses, it is surprisingly said that Moses had functioned the more nobly! The selfless logic of Moses results in the preservation of the people who would inhabit the land promised by God to the Israelites.

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

Judah and Jerusalem are depicted as barren and desolate here as a result of the destruction brought upon the land by the Babylonians, in accordance with the will of the Lord. There is, nevertheless, in verse 27 a glimmer of hope that there will be a remnant that will remain. God will forgive and restore a few of the people. As in the flood stories of Genesis 6-9, God will save a few and make a fresh start in the land.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

In this text the Apostle Paul is portrayed as an example of how the worst sinner can accept Jesus as “Christ our Lord” and receive eternal life. All of this came as a free gift from God. Jesus the Christ is proclaimed as the means of the grace of God. There is only one God, and that one God is praised in the 1 Timothy 1:17 doxology that concludes this selection.

Luke 15:1-10

The inspired Lukan writer suggests in these two parables that the sheep that was lost and found and the coin that was lost and recovered are representations of tax collectors and sinners, people who were surely lost in the opinion of most “religious” people such as we are. In order to pursue the intention of the Lukan writer, we probably should present this text for our time next weekend in a way in which most of those who hear us will be offended by it and, as a result, recognize their own sins and selfishness, repent, and bring joy to God and to themselves.

The recovery of every person — regardless of how odious that person may appear to us — is said in this text to bring great joy to God. Therefore, we should try to motivate those who hear us to participate in the recovery of those who are lost. This “lostness” and this “recovery” can take many forms. For example, we could ask those who hear us to think about what we would describe as “lost” people and about how we can be involved in the “recovery of those whom we consider to be lost.” Perhaps some of us may consider ourselves to be lost. Emphasis should be placed on recovery actions and on recovery attitudes in which the grace and forgiveness of God will be felt and all will have joy, the joy offered by God even to the least of us who are lost.

Leave a Reply

  • Get Your FREE 30-day Trial Subscription to SermonSuite NOW!
    Chris Keating
    The Double-Dog Dare Days of August
    August’s lazy, hazy dog days quickly became a deadly double-dog dare contest between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, the supreme leader of North Korea. Both nations have been at odds with each other for nearly 70 years. During his working golf vacation in New Jersey last week, President Trump responded to North Korea’s rhetorical sword-rattling by launching a verbal preemptive strike of his own.
         Call it the Bedminster bombast, or the putt that rocked Pyongyang. But the duel between the two countries is more than fodder for late-night comedians. It’s a deadly standoff with history-changing repercussions.
         There is no vacation from matters of national security, or the orations of war. Indeed, much of the war of words between Washington and North Korea seems to confirm Jesus’ counsel in Matthew: “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” The contrasts between these barbed exchanges and the biblical understanding of peacemaking offers an intriguing opportunity to hear Jesus’ words in a world filled with double-dog (and even triple-dog) dares....more
    Feeding The 5,000
    The assigned Gospel text for this week skips over a couple of sections in Matthew's story. Matthew 14:34-36 cites Jesus' journey to Gennesaret. The crowds of people recognized him immediately and all of the sick came to him for healing. Just a touch of Jesus' garment brought healing to many. The crowd in Gennesaret recognized Jesus. They came to him in their need....more
    Wayne Brouwer
    Religious balkanization
    One dimension of religious life we have in common across faith traditions and denominational lines is the incessant divisiveness that split our seemingly monolithic communities into dozens of similar yet tenaciously varied subgroups. A Jewish professor of psychology said of his tradition, "If there are ten Jewish males in a city we create a synagogue. If there are eleven Jewish males we start thinking about creating a competing synagogue."...more
    C. David McKirachan
    Jesus Is Coming, Look Busy
    Isaiah 56:1, 6-8
    I had a parishioner who would walk out of the sanctuary if he saw a djembe (African drum) out in front to be used in worship.  I asked him about it, in a wonderfully pastoral manner, and he told me that things like that didn’t belong in worship.  I said that it was in the bible to praise God with pipes and drums (I think it is).  He told me he didn’t care what the Bible said, he knew where that thing came from and he wouldn’t have it.  I asked him why things from Africa would bother him.  He told me that he knew I was liberal but that didn’t mean he had to be.  I agreed with him but cautioned him that racism was probably one of the worst examples of evil in our world and I thought he should consider what Christ would think of that.  He asked me who paid my salary, Christ or good Americans....more
    Janice Scott
    No Strings Attached
    In today's gospel reading, Jesus seemed reluctant to heal the Canaanite woman's daughter. He told her that he wasn't sent to help foreigners, but only his own people, the Chosen Race. The words sound unnecessarily harsh, but perhaps this is an interpretation unique to Matthew, for this story only appears in Matthew's gospel, which was written for Jews....more
    Arley K. Fadness
    Great Faith
    Object: Hula Hoop or circle made out of ribbon, twine or rope
    What an amazing morning to come to church today. I am so glad to see you and talk to you about a wonderful story from the bible. Let me begin by showing you this circle. Now let's get into this circle. (Physically, all move into the circle) It's fun for us all to be together in this circle. We don't want anyone to be left out. To be left out is to be sad. To be kept out is even more sad and painful....more

Authors of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Norman A. Beck is the Poehlmann Professor of Theology and Classical Languages and the Chairman of the Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Classical Languages at Texas Lutheran University
Dr. Norman A. Beck
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen