Readings

BELOW ARE THE READINGS FOR THE LAST SUNDAY SERVICE PLUS READINGS FOR FORTHCOMING SUNDAYS

 24th September – Trinity 15
Phillipians 1: 21 – end

21 For what is life? To me, it is Christ. Death, then, will bring more. 22 But if by continuing to live I can do more worthwhile work, then I am not sure which I should choose. 23 I am pulled in two directions. I want very much to leave this life and be with Christ, which is a far better thing; 24 but for your sake it is much more important that I remain alive. 25 I am sure of this, and so I know that I will stay. I will stay on with you all, to add to your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that when I am with you again, you will have even more reason to be proud of me in your life in union with Christ Jesus. 27 Now, the important thing is that your way of life should be as the gospel of Christ requires, so that, whether or not I am able to go and see you, I will hear that you are standing firm with one common purpose and that with only one desire you are fighting together for the faith of the gospel. 28 Don’t be afraid of your enemies; always be courageous, and this will prove to them that they will lose and that you will win, because it is God who gives you the victory. 29  For you have been given the privilege of serving Christ, not only by believing in him, but also by suffering for him. 30 Now you can take part with me in the battle. It is the same battle you saw me fighting in the past, and as you hear, the one I am fighting still.

Matthew 20: 1 – 16

1 “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a man who went out early in the morning to hire some men to work in his vineyard.2 He agreed to pay them the regular wage, a silver coin a day, and sent them to work in his vineyard.3 He went out again to the market place at nine o’clock and saw some men standing there doing nothing,4 so he told them, ‘You also go and work in the vineyard, and I will pay you a fair wage.’5 So they went. Then at twelve o’clock and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.6 It was nearly five o’clock when he went to the market place and saw some other men still standing there. ‘Why are you wasting the whole day here doing nothing?’ he asked them.7‘No one hired us,’ they answered. ‘Well, then, you also go and work in the vineyard,’ he told them. 8 “When evening came, the owner told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.’9 The men who had begun to work at five o’clock were paid a silver coin each.10 So when the men who were the first to be hired came to be paid, they thought they would get more; but they too were given a silver coin each.11 They took their money and started grumbling against the employer.12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘while we put up with a whole day’s work in the hot sun — yet you paid them the same as you paid us!’ 13 “ ‘Listen, friend,’ the owner answered one of them, ‘I have not cheated you. After all, you agreed to do a day’s work for one silver coin.14 Now take your pay and go home. I want to give this man who was hired last as much as I have given you.15 Don’t I have the right to do as I wish with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’ ” 16 And Jesus concluded, “So those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.”

1st October – Trinity 16
Phillipians 2: 1 – 13

1 Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2 I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3 Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4 And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. 5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:
6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. 7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. 8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death — his death on the cross. 9 For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name. 10 And so, in honour of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, 11 and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Shining as Lights in the World 12 So then, dear friends, as you always obeyed me when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey me now while I am away from you. Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation, 13 because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose.

Matthew 21: 23 – 32

23 Jesus came back to the Temple; and as he taught, the chief priests and the elders came to him and asked, “What right have you to do these things? Who gave you this right?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I will ask you just one question, and if you give me an answer, I will tell you what right I have to do these things.25 Where did John’s right to baptize come from: was it from God or from human beings?” They started to argue among themselves, “What shall we say? If we answer, ‘From God,’ he will say to us, ‘Why, then, did you not believe John?’ 2 6 But if we say, ‘From human beings,’ we are afraid of what the people might do, because they are all convinced that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you, then, by what right I do these things. 28 “Now, what do you think? There was once a man who had two sons. He went to the elder one and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’29‘I don’t want to,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.30 Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. ‘Yes, sir,’ he answered, but he did not go.31 Which one of the two did what his father wanted?” “The elder one,” they answered. So Jesus said to them, “I tell you: the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John the Baptist came to you showing you the right path to take, and you would not believe him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. Even when you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

8th October – Trinity 17
Phillipians 3. 4b-14

If anyone thinks they can trust in external ceremonies, I have even more reason to feel that way.5 I was circumcised when I was a week old. I am an Israelite by birth, of the tribe of Benjamin, a pure-blooded Hebrew. As far as keeping the Jewish Law is concerned, I was a Pharisee,6and I was so zealous that I persecuted the church. As far as a person can be righteous by obeying the commands of the Law, I was without fault.7 But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ’s sake.8 Not only those things; I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere refuse, so that I may gain Christ9 and be completely united with him. I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law. I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith.10 All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death,11 in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.
12 I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself.13 Of course, my brothers and sisters, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.14 So I run straight towards the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above.

Matthew 21. 33-end

33 “Listen to another parable,” Jesus said. “There was once a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he let out the vineyard to tenants and went on a journey.34 When the time came to gather the grapes, he sent his slaves to the tenants to receive his share of the harvest.35 The tenants seized his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.36 Again the man sent other slaves, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all he sent his son to them. ‘Surely they will respect my son,’ he said.38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the owner’s son. Come on, let’s kill him, and we will get his property!’39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
40 “Now, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” Jesus asked.
41 “He will certainly kill those evil men,” they answered, “and let the vineyard out to other tenants, who will give him his share of the harvest at the right time.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say?
‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless
turned out to be the most important of all.
This was done by the Lord;
what a wonderful sight it is!’
43 “And so I tell you,” added Jesus, “the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce the proper fruits.”
45 The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables and knew that he was talking about them, 46 so they tried to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prop

15th October – Trinity 18
Phillipians 4. 1-9

1 So then, my brothers and sisters, how dear you are to me and how I miss you! How happy you make me, and how proud I am of you! This then, dear brothers and sisters, is how you should stand firm in your life in the Lord.
2 Euodia and Syntyche, please, I beg you, try to agree as sisters in the Lord. 3 And you too, my faithful partner, I want you to help these women; for they have worked hard with me to spread the gospel, together with Clement and all my other fellow-workers, whose names are in God’s book of the living.
4 May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice!
5 Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7 And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
8 In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable. 9 Put into practice what you learnt and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.

Matthew 22. 1-14

15 The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. 16 Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod’s party. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God’s will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone’s status. 17 Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?”
18 Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me?19 Show me the coin for paying the tax!”
They brought him the coin, 20 and he asked them, “Whose face and name are these?”
21 “The Emperor’s,” they answered.
So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay God what belongs to God.”
22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

22nd October – Trinity 19
1 Thessalonians. 1-10

1 From Paul, Silas, and Timothy —

To the people of the church in Thessalonica, who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
May grace and peace be yours.
The Life and Faith of the Thessalonians
2 We always thank God for you all and always mention you in our prayers. 3 For we remember before our God and Father how you put your faith into practice, how your love made you work so hard, and how your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ is firm. 4 Our brothers and sisters, we know that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own. 5 For we brought the Good News to you, not with words only, but also with power and the Holy Spirit, and with complete conviction of its truth. You know how we lived when we were with you; it was for your own good. 6 You imitated us and the Lord; and even though you suffered much, you received the message with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. 7 So you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For not only did the message about the Lord go out from you throughout Macedonia and Achaia, but the news about your faith in God has gone everywhere. There is nothing, then, that we need to say. 9 All those people speak about how you received us when we visited you, and how you turned away from idols to God, to serve the true and living God 10 and to wait for his Son to come from heaven — his Son Jesus, whom he raised from death and who rescues us from God’s anger that is coming.

Matthew 22. 15-22

15 The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. 16 Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod’s party. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God’s will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone’s status. 17 Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?”
18 Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me?19Show me the coin for paying the tax!”
They brought him the coin, 20 and he asked them, “Whose face and name are these?”
21 “The Emperor’s,” they answered.
So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay God what belongs to God.”
22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

29th October – Trinity 20
1 Thessalonians 2. 1-8

1 Our brothers and sisters, you yourselves know that our visit to you was not a failure. 2 You know how we had already been ill-treated and insulted in Philippi before we came to you in Thessalonica. And even though there was much opposition, our God gave us courage to tell you the Good News that comes from him. 3 Our appeal to you is not based on error or impure motives, nor do we try to trick anyone. 4 Instead, we always speak as God wants us to, because he has judged us worthy to be entrusted with the Good News. We do not try to please people, but to please God, who tests our motives. 5 You know very well that we did not come to you with flattering talk, nor did we use words to cover up greed — God is our witness! 6 We did not try to get praise from anyone, either from you or from others, 7 even though as apostles of Christ we could have made demands on you. But we were gentle when we were with you, like a mother taking care of her children. 8 Because of our love for you we were ready to share with you not only the Good News from God but even our own lives. You were so dear to us!

Matthew 22. 34 – end

34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together, 35 and one of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to trap him with a question. 36 “Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the greatest and the most important commandment.39 The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’40 The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
41 When some Pharisees gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose descendant is he?”
“He is David’s descendant,” they answered.
43 “Why, then,” Jesus asked, “did the Spirit inspire David to call him ‘Lord’? David said,
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit here on my right
until I put your enemies under your feet.’
45 If, then, David called him ‘Lord’, how can the Messiah be David’s descendant?”
46 No one was able to give Jesus any answer, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.