Sunday, July 12, 2020 Lectionary 15/6th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A
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
10For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 12For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Psalm: Psalm 65:1-13
1You are to be praised, O God, in Zion; to you shall vows be fulfilled. 2To you, the one who answers prayer, to you all flesh shall come. 3Our sins are stronger than we are, but you blot out our transgressions. 4Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there! They will be satisfied by the beauty of your house, by the holiness of your temple.5Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, O hope of all the ends of the earth and of the oceans far away. 6You make firm the mountains by your power; you are girded about with might. 7You still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the clamor of the peoples. 8Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs; you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.9You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous; the river of God is full of water. You prepare the grain, for so you provide for the earth. 10You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase. 11You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty. 12May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, and the hills be clothed with joy. 13May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; let them shout for joy and sing.
Second Reading: Romans 8:1-11
1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!”
18“Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Theme for the Season of Pentecost (summer)
Sustained by Faith
Living in God’s Peace
Look to the future with Hope
Hindsight is 20/20, as the old saying goes. As we reflect on our recent days of turmoil and perseverance, and as we dig deeper into our shared history, we can see that we have been sustained by our faith in the Creator, and called to be God’s hands in our world, ushering in the Kingdom of God that has been founded in faith.
We live in the present time, surrounded by disquiet. Jesus has promised us peace which passes all understanding, an ever-present help in times of prosperity and need alike. We approach the altar in our shared worship, showered in peace and love. We share this peace with our community by seeking out ways to provide for those who are hungry in body and in spirit.
God’s promised Holy Spirit lives among us, a blessing, and a comfort. We know that we can look to the future filled with hope. The days ahead are uncertain, but we know that we live them together, surrounded and uplifted by the Spirit of God. Having been sustained by faith in God the Creator, we live surrounded by the promised peace of God the Son. So equipped, we can now look to the future with the hope inspired by God the Spirit.