Sunday, July 15, 2018 Lectionary 15
When Amos told what he saw when God held up the plumb line of justice next to Israel—that the poor were being trampled—he was a threat to the power of priests and king. John the Baptist also spoke truth to power, and Herod had him beheaded. In Herod’s fear that Jesus is John returned from the dead, we may hear hope for the oppressed: that all the prophets killed through the ages are alive in Jesus. We are called to witness to justice in company with them.
Prayer of the Day
O God, from you come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works. Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
First Reading: Amos 7:7-15
Amos was not the kind of prophet attached to temples or royal courts. Rather, he was an ordinary farmer from Judah (the southern kingdom) called by God to speak to Israel (the northern kingdom). God’s word of judgment through Amos conflicted with the king’s court prophet Amaziah, whom Amos encountered at Bethel.
Psalm: Psalm 85:8-13
I will listen to what the Lord God is saying. (Ps. 85:8)
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14
In Jesus, all of God’s plans and purposes have been made known as heaven and earth are united in Christ. Through Jesus, we have been chosen as God’s children and have been promised eternal salvation.
Gospel: Mark 6:14-29
As Jesus and his disciples begin to attract attention, Mark recalls the story of John the Baptist’s martyrdom. Like John, Jesus and his disciples will also suffer at the hands of those opposed to the gospel of salvation.