Readings

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

20 September – Trinity 15
Philippians 1: 21 – end

21 She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus — because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 Now all this happened in order to make what the Lord had said through the prophet come true, 23 “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”). 24 So when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to do. 25 But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son. And Joseph named him Jesus.

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. 6It 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.”

27 September – Trinity 16
Philippians 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?’ 26 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.

4 October – Trinity 17
Philippians 3: 4b – 14

If anyone thinks they can trust in external ceremonies, I have even more reason to feel that way. 5I 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, 6 and 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 Christ 9and 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 prophet.

11 October – Trinity 18
Philippians 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

1 Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. 2 “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. 3 He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come. 4So he sent other servants with this message for the guests: ‘My feast is ready now; my bullocks and prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!’ 5 But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm, another to his shop, 6 while others grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. 7 The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burnt down their city. 8 Then he called his servants and said to them, ‘My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. 9 Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people. 11 “The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ the king asked him. But the man said nothing. 13 Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and grind his teeth.’ ” 14 And Jesus concluded, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

18 October – Trinity 19 – Luke the Evangelist
2 Timothy 4: 5 – 17

5 But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God. 6 As for me, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life. 7 I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith. 8  And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day — and not only to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear. 9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 Demas fell in love with this present world and has deserted me, going off to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he can help me in the work. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring my coat that I left in Troas with Carpus; bring the books too, and especially the ones made of parchment. 14 Alexander the metalworker did me much harm; the Lord will reward him according to what he has done. 15 Be on your guard against him yourself, because he was violently opposed to our message. 16 No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me. May God not count it against them! 17 But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength, so that I was able to proclaim the full message for all the Gentiles to hear; and I was rescued from being sentenced to death.

Luke 10: 1 – 9

1 After this the Lord chose another 72 men and sent them out two by two, to go ahead of him to every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 He said to them, “There is a large harvest, but few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest. 3 Go! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t take a purse or a beggar’s bag or shoes; don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. 5 Whenever you go into a house, first say, ‘Peace be with this house.’ 6 If a peace-loving person lives there, let your greeting of peace remain on him; if not, take back your greeting of peace. 7 Stay in that same house, eating and drinking whatever they offer you, for workers should be given their pay. Don’t move round from one house to another. 8 Whenever you go into a town and are made welcome, eat what is set before you, 9 heal the sick in that town, and say to the people there, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near you.’