Sunday, June 11, 2023
Second Sunday after Pentecost
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Though Jesus was a devout Jew who practiced his faith, he was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners—the religiously nonobservant. Jesus criticizes the self-righteous and reminds us that mercy is to be at the heart of our religious practices. God continues to be made known in those on the margins of society, like Matthew the tax collector and the hemorrhaging woman. As we gather each Lord’s day we receive the healing that makes us well and sends us forth to be signs of God’s mercy for the world.
Image by Ronda Dorsey from Unsplash
First Reading: Genesis 12:1-9
God’s call of Abram and Sarai has a clear purpose—that through them all the families of the earth would gain a blessing. As they set out on their journey they are accompanied by promises of land, nation, and a great reputation. As they journey, they inaugurate sacrificial worship at every stopping point.
1The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. 9And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb.
Psalm 33 is a song of praise and exultation, celebrating the righteousness and faithfulness of God. It emphasizes the power of God's word in creation and encourages trust in His unfailing love and protection.
1Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous;
praise is fitting for the upright.
2Praise the Lord with the lyre;
make music for God with a ten-stringed harp.
3Sing for the Lord a new song;
play your instrument skillfully with | joyful sounds.
4For your word, O Lord, is right,
and faithful are all your works. R
5You love righteousness and justice;
your steadfast love fills the whole earth.
6By your word were the heavens made,
by the breath of your mouth all the hosts of heaven.
7You gather up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin
and store up the depths of the sea.
8Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all who dwell in the world stand in awe.
9For God spoke, and it came to pass;
God commanded, and it stood fast.
10The Lord brings the will of the nations to nothing
and thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11Your will, O Lord, stands fast forever,
and the designs of your heart from age to age.
12Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord!
Happy the people chosen to be God’s heritage!
IImage by Racool studio on Freepik
Second Reading: Romans 4: 13-25
Today’s New Testament reading is from Romans the 4th chapter beginning at the 13th verse
Paul presents Abraham as a living model of right relationships. For Abraham and for us, a right relationship with God involves trusting that God’s promises will be fulfilled because God makes the dead alive and calls into existence what otherwise does not exist.
13The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
16For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Image from Sundays and Seasons
Image from Sundays and Seasons
Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26
Jesus demonstrates God’s mercy and power, accepting the unacceptable and curing the incurable. Even the dead receive new life.
9As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
10And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
18While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. 20Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, 21for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” 22Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 23When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24he said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. 26And the report of this spread throughout that district.
Sundays and Seasons