October 30, 2011 Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
(Proper 26, Lectionary 31)
FIRST READING: Micah 3:5-12
You lying prophets promise security
for anyone who gives you food,
but disaster for anyone who refuses to feed you.
Here is what the LORD says to you prophets:
6“You will live in the dark, far from the sight of the sun,
with no message from me.
7You prophets and fortunetellers will all be disgraced,
with no message from me.”
8But the LORD has filled me with power and his Spirit.
I have been given the courage to speak about justice
and to tell you people of Israel that you have sinned.
9So listen to my message, you rulers of Israel!
You hate justice and twist the truth.
10You make cruelty and murder a way of life in Jerusalem.
11 You leaders accept bribes for dishonest decisions.
You priests and prophets teach and preach,
but only for money.
Then you say, “The LORD is on our side.
No harm will come to us.”
12And so, because of you, Jerusalem will be plowed under
and left in ruins.
Thorns will cover the mountain where the temple now stands.
PSALMODY: Psalm 43
1Show that I am right, God!
Defend me against everyone who doesn’t know you;
rescue me from each of those deceitful liars.
2I run to you for protection.
Why have you turned me away?
Why must enemies mistreat me and make me sad?
3Send your light and your truth to guide me.
Let them lead me to your house
on your sacred mountain.
4Then I will worship at your altar
because you make me joyful.
You are my God, and I will praise you.
Yes, I will praise you as I play my harp.
5Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless?
I trust you! And I will praise you again
because you help me, and you are my God.
SECOND READING: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
9My dear friends, you surely haven’t forgotten our hard work and hardships. You remember how night and day we struggled to make a living, so that we could tell you God’s message without being a burden to anyone. 10Both you and God are witnesses that we were pure and honest and innocent in our dealings with you followers of the Lord. 11You also know we did everything for you that parents would do for their own children. 12We begged, encouraged, and urged each of you to live in a way that would honor God. He is the one who chose you to share in his own kingdom and glory.
13We always thank God that you believed the message we preached. It came from him, and it isn’t something made up by humans. You accepted it as God’s message, and now he is working in you.
GOSPEL: Matthew 22:34-46
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses. 3So obey everything they teach you, but don’t do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else.
4They pile heavy burdens on people’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to help. 5Everything they do is just to show off in front of others. They even make a big show of wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms, and they wear big tassels for everyone to see. They love the best seats at banquets and the front seats in the meeting places. 7And when they are in the market, they like to have people greet them as their teachers.
8But none of you should be called a teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters. 9Don’t call anyone on earth your father. All of you have the same Father in heaven. 10None of you should be called the leader. The Messiah is your only leader. 11Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. 12If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.