Reading The Bible For Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011     Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

FIRST READING: Isaiah 44:6-8

6I am the LORD All-Powerful, the first and the last,
the one and only God.
Israel, I have rescued you! I am your King.
7Can anyone compare with me?
If so, let them speak up and tell me now.
Let them say what has happened
since I made my nation long ago,
and let them tell what is going to happen.
8Don’t tremble with fear! Didn’t I tell you long ago?
Didn’t you hear me? I alone am God
no one else is a mighty rock.

PSALMODY: Psalm 86:11-17

11Teach me to follow you, and I will obey your truth.
Always keep me faithful.
12With all my heart I thank you.
I praise you, LORD God.
13Your love for me is so great
that you protected me from death and the grave.

14Proud and violent enemies, who don’t care about you,
have ganged up to attack and kill me.
15But you, the LORD God, are kind and merciful.
You don’t easily get angry,
and your love can always be trusted.
16I serve you, LORD,
and I am the child of one of your servants.
Look on me with kindness.
Make me strong and save me.
17Show that you approve of me!
Then my hateful enemies will feel like fools,
because you have helped and comforted me.

SECOND READING: Romans 8:12-25

12My dear friends, we must not live to satisfy our desires. 13If you do, you will die. But you will live, if by the help of God’s Spirit you say “No” to your desires. 14Only those people who are led by God’s Spirit are his children. 15God’s Spirit doesn’t make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. 16God’s Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. 17His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.

18I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. 19In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. 20Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope 21that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. 22We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.
23The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

GOSPEL: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

24Jesus then told them this story:

The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a farmer scattered good seed in a field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed seeds in the field and then left.
26When the plants came up and began to ripen, the farmer’s servants could see the weeds. 27The servants came and asked, “Sir, didn’t you scatter good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?”
28“An enemy did this,” he replied.
His servants then asked, “Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?”
29“No!” he answered. “You might also pull up the wheat. 30Leave the weeds alone until harvest time. Then I’ll tell my workers to gather the weeds and tie them up and burn them. But I’ll have them store the wheat in my barn.”

35So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said,
“I will use stories to speak my message
and to explain things that have been hidden
since the creation of the world.”
36After Jesus left the crowd and went inside, his disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the story about the weeds in the wheat field.”
37Jesus answered:

The one who scattered the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seeds are the people who belong to the kingdom. The weed seeds are those who belong to the evil one, 39and the one who scattered them is the devil. The harvest is the end of time, and angels are the ones who bring in the harvest.
40Weeds are gathered and burned. That’s how it will be at the end of time. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!

Reading The Bible For Sunday, May 15, 2011

Readings for Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A

From Contemporary English Version © 1995, American Bible Society.

May 15, 2011

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

FIRST READING: Acts 2:42-47

42They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together.

43Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. 44All the LORD’S followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. 45They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. 46Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, 47while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.

PSALMODY: Psalm 23

1You, LORD, are my shepherd. I will never be in need.
       2You let me rest in fields of green grass.
You lead me to streams of peaceful water,
       3and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name,
and you lead me along the right paths.
4I may walk through valleys as dark as death,
but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.
5You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch.
You honor me as your guest,
and you fill my cup until it overflows.
6Your kindness and love will always be with me
each day of my life,
       and I will live forever in your house, LORD.

SECOND READING: 1 Peter 2:19-25

19God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him. 20You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good. 21After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.

22Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie.
23Although he was abused, he never tried to get even.
And when he suffered, he made no threats.
Instead, he had faith in God, who judges fairly.
24 Christ carried the burden of our sins.
He was nailed to the cross, so that we would stop sinning
and start living right.
By his cuts and bruises you are healed.
25You had wandered away like sheep. Now you have returned
to the one who is your shepherd and protector.

GOSPEL: John 10:1-10

Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.

4When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away.

6Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.

7Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. 8Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. 9I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.

10A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.