Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost
Readings for the Coming Week
- First reading and Psalm
- Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
- Psalm 78:1-7
- Alternate First reading and Psalm
- Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16 or Amos 5:18-24
- Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20 or Psalm 70
- Second reading
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18adig from
- Matthew 25:1-13
78:1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
78:3 things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us.
78:4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
78:5 He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children;
78:6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children,
78:7 so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
Gospel reading from Matthew
Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.
But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’
Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
We are undergoing at this time a wave of stress. In his sermon Pastor Stevensen expressed concern. Thr psalm this week may be of more help than the gospel reading. There are 150 psalms, Psalm 70 is a way for people to express themselves. Pastor told the story about a bearded Concordia professor riding his bike daily through a park chanting the psalms from memory. Psalm 70 has an emergency about it. For interpreting the gospel reading the psalm helps. In our gospel reading the bridegroom is Jesus. Five bridesmaids filled their lamps with oil. Five did not. The oil is a symbol. We are asked to be open to the deeds of God. The wise bridesmaids became open. The others did not think that the Christ would come. Be open to what God has done.
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