July 30, 2023

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

  • First reading and Psalm
    • Genesis 29:15-28
    • Psalm 105:1-11, 45b or Psalm 128
  • Alternate First reading and Psalm
    • 1 Kings 3:5-12
    • Psalm 119:129-136
  • Second reading
    • Romans 8:26-39
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

The gospel from Matthew:
He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Parable of the hidden treasure
ca. 1630 – Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn or Gerard Dou
Sammlung Esterhazy
Budapest, Hungary

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.””The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad.

So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.”

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

This week two of our readings are from Matthew’s gospel and Paul’s letters. Pastor Stevenson thinks Paul and Matthew are like two brothers who argue with each other. In his sermon Pastor refers to both: In Matthew is the parable of the mustard seed. Jesus is like the seed which becomes a bush in which birds eventually build nests. God sows just one seed, Jesus Christ, who becomes the bush. At the time of writing, God’s Israel would be restored. Different tribes would come back. All peoples would come. Jesus is the mustard seed. In his letter to the Romans Paul writes that nothing can separate us from Christ. Today’s hymn #29, Comfort, Comfort Now My People, an Advent hymn, (Lutheran Book of Worship, 1979) Pastor finds fitting this week’s parable perfectly……..

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