Thursday: Preparation for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Inclusive Bible, summaries and links for this week's readings, Christ's discussion of humility, and more about the Book of Job.

From Trinity to Advent we have two series of readings, complementary and semi-continuous. Most denominations allow pastors to choose from either series. More information about the two series is here: Which Series?

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 14:17-24

After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
 maker of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
 who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him one tenth of everything.¹ Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them take their share.”

¹This passage is quoted in Hebrews 7:1-10, which discusses the nature of Melchizedek's priesthood.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 36:1-16

Elihu continued and said:
“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
 for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.
I will bring my knowledge from far away,
 and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words are not false;
 one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

“Surely God is mighty and does not despise any;
 he is mighty in strength of understanding.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
 but gives the afflicted their right.
He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
 but with kings on the throne
 he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
And if they are bound in fetters
 and caught in the cords of affliction,
then he declares to them their work
 and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
He opens their ears to instruction,
 and commands that they return from iniquity.
If they listen, and serve him,
 they complete their days in prosperity,
 and their years in pleasantness.
But if they do not listen, they shall perish by the sword,
 and die without knowledge.

“The godless in heart cherish anger;
 they do not cry for help when he binds them.
They die in their youth,
 and their life ends in shame.
He delivers the afflicted by their affliction,
 and opens their ear by adversity.
He also allured you out of distress
 into a broad place where there was no constraint,
 and what was set on your table was full of fatness.”

Complementary Psalm 91:9-16

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
 the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,
 no scourge come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
 to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
 so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.¹
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
 the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
 I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
 I will be with them in trouble,
 I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
 and show them my salvation.

¹Satan uses these phrases when tempting Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13).

Semi-continuous Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35b

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
 wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
 you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
 you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
 fire and flame your ministers.¹

You set the earth on its foundations,
 so that it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
 the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they flee;
 at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
They rose up to the mountains,
 ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
 so that they might not again cover the earth.

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
 In wisdom you have made them all;
 the earth is full of your creatures.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
 Praise the Lord!

This idea is used in Hebrews 1:5-13, about how the Son is superior to the angels.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Romans 15:7-13

St. Paul Preaching in Athens

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
 and sing praises to your name”;¹

and again he says,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;²

and again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
 and let all the peoples praise him”;³

and again Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse shall come,
 the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.”*

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

¹Psalm 18:49   ²Deuteronomy 32:43   ³Psalm 117:1    *Isaiah 11:10

Year B Ordinary 29 Thursday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

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Image credit: St. Paul Preaching in Athens by Raphael, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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