Prepare for Worship


 

Third Sunday after Pentecost 


June 25, 2017


First Reading

Jeremiah 20:7–13

(God is with us when we are persecuted for being His people.)

O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed.  I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.  Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction.  So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long.  But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.  I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!  Report him!  Let’s report him!”  All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.”
But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.  They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.  O LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.
Sing to the LORD!  Give praise to the LORD!  He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Epistle

Romans 6:12–23

(Jesus has freed us from our sins; live free)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
What then?  Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?  By no means!  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.  Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?  Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Holy Gospel

Matthew 10:5a, 21–33

(Life will be hard in these last days. Fear not, for God is with us.)


The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the tenth chapter.
      Glory to You, O Lord.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.  All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.  When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.  I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
“A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.  If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!
“So do not be afraid of them.  There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.

 

Resources

How wonderful to think that God has made His glory known even to us!  Have you read through the entire Bible? Maybe this would be a great way to honor God in 2015. CLICK HERE to start a personalized reading plan to complete the entire Bible in a year. It will be worth it, you will never be the same as God works through His Sacraments and His Word. Do you keep a spiritual journal that you use daily to record what God is communicating to you through His Word? Maybe it would be a good time to start this journey of discovery and listening.

Our Prayer

Let us pray.  O Lord God, heavenly Father, by Your mercy, in the waters of Holy Baptism, You have made us each a part of Your Bride, the Church.  Grant that, as Your Church, we humbly receive Your blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation through the gift of faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened…” 

Luke 2:3