Word for the Week
Sunday, July 16, 2017 Lectionary 15 Introduction
God’s word is like the rain that waters the earth and brings forth vegetation. It is also like the sower who scatters seed indiscriminately. Our lives are like seeds sown in the earth. Even from what appears to be little, dormant, or dead, God promises a harvest. At the Lord’s table we are fed with the bread of life, that we may bear fruit in the world.
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, we thank you for planting in us the seed of your word. By your Holy Spirit help us to receive it with joy, live according to it, and grow in faith and hope and love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-13
God’s word to Israel’s exiles is as sure and effective as never-failing precipitation. Their return to the Holy Land in a new exodus is cheered on by singing mountains and by trees that clap their hands.
Psalm: Psalm 65: [1-8] 9-13
Your paths overflow with plenty. (Ps. 65:11)
Second Reading: Romans 8:1-11
There is no condemnation for those who live in Christ. God sent Christ to accomplish what the law was unable to do: condemn sin and free us from its slavery. The Spirit now empowers proper actions and values in our lives and gives us the promise of resurrected life.
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
In Matthew’s gospel, both Jesus and his disciples “sow the seed” of God’s word by proclaiming the good news that “the kingdom of heaven is near.” Now, in a memorable parable, Jesus explains why this good news produces different results in those who hear.
Theme for the Pentecost season (summer)
The depth of God’s love, the extent of His abundant grace, and the certainty of His unwavering faithfulness are far bigger than any of us can ever fully comprehend. These freely-given gifts are ours, regardless of our level of faith or understanding.
This Pentecost season is a time for us to grow our faith and immerse ourselves in God’s abundant love. Our weekly worship gathers us together to hear God’s Word, learn through Jesus’ teaching and example, share in God’s Meal, and be sent out to share God’s abundant love with the world.
Listen. Learn. Proclaim.
This is God’s call this Pentecost.
Open our Hands.
Open our Hearts.
Open our Lives.
This is our prayer as we answer His call.