Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 16, 2018, Proper 19, Year B

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Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Proverbs 1:20-33)

Wisdom calls out to both the simple and the scoffer to listen to her or find themselves in ruin and unable to save themselves from circumstances of their own making. Those who take Wisdom to heart, who fear the Lord, will find security and peace.

Psalm (19)

Even though the creation itself cannot speak it does declare God’s word. Like the sun revives the earth each day, the Law of God joyfully revives the soul. Following it has its own rewards. Our thoughts, as well as our words, need to be in tune with God’s ways.

Second Reading (James 3:1-12)

James warns that teachers should take care because they will be held to a higher standard. The tongue, although small, can be the spark that sets off a poisonous fire. If it utters both blesses and curses it is only reflecting the unperfected heart of the speaker.

Gospel (Mark 8:27-38)

In response to Jesus’ question, Peter identifies him as the Messiah. Jesus then says that he will suffer, die, and then rise again. Peter strongly objects, but Jesus emphasizes that God’s way is that both he and his followers are to lose their lives in order to save them.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The way of God, although contrary to human inclinations, leads to life and peace
  • Be careful little tongue what you say
  • What we say reflects who we are
  • True faithfulness is more than skin deep

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Isaiah 50:4-9a)

Isaiah speaks of the servant of the Lord, a teacher whose word sustains the weary and is determined to accomplish his appointed task in spite of suffering. He knows the Lord is near to help and no one has grounds to say that he is guilty of anything wrong.

Psalm (116:1-9)

The Psalmist speaks of having called to the Lord in a life-threatening crisis and being delivered from death. The Lord protects those who simply trust in him and delivers them from death, enabling them to walk before him among the living.

Second Reading (James 3:1-12)

James warns that teachers should take care because they will be held to a higher standard. The tongue, although small, can be the spark that sets off a poisonous fire. If it utters both blesses and curses it is only reflecting the unperfected heart of the speaker.

Gospel (Mark 8:27-38)

In response to Jesus’ question, Peter identifies him as the Messiah. Jesus then says that he will suffer, die, and then rise again. Peter strongly objects, but Jesus emphasizes that God’s way is that both he and his followers are to lose their lives in order to save them.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The way of God, although contrary to human inclinations, leads to life and peace
  • God will sustain the faithful, even through death itself
  • Be careful little tongue what you say
  • The call to teach the Word of God is both scary and rewarding

 

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