Sunday, August 11, 2019 Lectionary 19, Year C
Jesus says, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It is God’s promise from the beginning—to Abraham, to the early church, and to the “little flock” of which we are a part today in assembly. Faith, God’s baptismal gift, trusts the promises of God. Have no fear.
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your church. Open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may be ready to receive you wherever you appear, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
First Reading: Genesis 15:1-6
God promises childless and aging Abram that a child of his own will be his heir and that his descendants will number as many as the stars. Abram trusts God’s promise, and through this faith he is considered righteous.
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” 5He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Psalm: Psalm 33:12-22
Let your lovingkindness be upon us, as we place our hope in you. (Ps. 33:22)
12Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord! Happy the people chosen to be God’s heritage! 13The Lord looks down from heaven, and sees all humankind. 14God sits firmly enthroned and watches all who dwell on the earth. 15God fashions all their hearts and observes all their deeds. 16A king is not saved by the size of the army, nor are warriors rescued by their great strength. 17The horse gives vain hope for victory; despite its great strength it cannot save. 18Truly, your eye is upon those who fear you, O Lord, upon those who wait for your steadfast love, 19to deliver their lives from death, and to keep them alive in time of famine. 20Our innermost being waits for you, O Lord, our helper and our shield. 21Surely, our heart rejoices in you, for in your holy name we put our trust. 22Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, even as we place our hope in you.
Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Abraham and Sarah exemplify the vision of faith that people of God enact in every age. Their hope and trust in God’s promise allowed them to face an unknown future and to receive the promise of God.
1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
Gospel: Luke 12:32-40
Jesus encourages disciples to invest their hearts and live fully into God’s reign. Instead of facing life with fear, those who know God’s generosity are always ready to receive from God and to give to others.[Jesus said:] 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”