Today’s Readings and Hymns: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
12I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem, 13applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with. 14I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.
2:18I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me 19—and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? 23For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.
Hear this, all you peoples;
give ear, all you who dwell in the world,
you of high degree and low,
rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom,
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb
and set forth my riddle upon the harp.
Why should I be afraid in evil days,
when the wickedness of those at my heels surrounds me,
the wickedness of those who put their trust in their own prowess,
and boast of their great riches?
One can never redeem another,
or give to God the ransom for another’s life;
for the ransom of a life is so great
that there would never be enough to pay it,
in order to live forever and ever
and never see the grave.
For we see that the wise die also; like the dull and stupid they perish
and leave their wealth to those who come after them.
Their graves shall be their homes forever, their dwelling places from generation to generation,
though they had named lands after themselves.
Even though honored, they cannot live forever;
they are like the beasts that perish.
1So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
5Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. 7These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. 8But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices 10and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
13Someone in the crowd said to [Jesus,] “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
Here in this place the new light is streaming, now is the darkness vanished away; see in this space our fears and our dreamings brought here to you in the light of this day. Gather us in, the lost and forsaken, gather us in, the blind and the lame; call to us now, and we shall awaken, we shall arise at the sound of our name.
We are the young, our lives are a myst’ry, we are the old who yearn for your face; we have been sung throughout all of hist’ry, called to be light to the whole human race. Gather us in, the rich and the haughty, gather us in, the proud and the strong; give us a heart, so meek and so lowly, give us the courage to enter the song.
Here we will take the wine and the water, here we will take the bread of new birth, here you shall call your sons and your daughters, call us anew to be salt for the earth. Give us to drink the wine of compassion, give us to eat the bread that is you; nourish us well, and teach us to fashion lives that are holy and hearts that are true.
Not in the dark of buildings confining, not in some heaven, light years away— here in this place the new light is shining, now is the kingdom, and now is the day. Gather us in and hold us forever, gather us in and make us your own; gather us in, all peoples together, fire of love in our flesh and our bone.
God, whose giving knows no ending, from your rich and endless store: nature’s wonder, Jesus’ wisdom, costly cross, grave’s shattered door, gifted by you, we turn to you, off’ring up ourselves in praise; thankful song shall rise forever, gracious donor of our days.
Skills and time are ours for pressing toward the goals of Christ, your Son: all at peace in health and freedom, races joined, the church made one. Now direct our daily labor, lest we strive for self alone; born with talents, make us servants fit to answer at your throne.
Treasure, too, you have entrusted, gain through pow’rs your grace conferred; ours to use for home and kindred, and to spread the gospel word. Open wide our hands in sharing, as we heed Christ’s ageless call, healing, teaching, and reclaiming, serving you by loving all.
God of grace and God of glory, on your people pour your pow’r; crown your ancient church’s story; bring its bud to glorious flow’r. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.
Lo! the hosts of evil round us scorn the Christ, assail his ways! From the fears that long have bound us free our hearts to faith and praise. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the living of these days, for the living of these days.
Cure your children’s warring madness; bend our pride to your control; shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss your kingdom’s goal, lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.
Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore; let the gift of your salvation be our glory evermore. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving you whom we adore, serving you whom we adore.
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Linda Sepeda
Music: Deb Jenks (organ and piano), Donnasue Thompson (flute, soprano)
View and print the pre-reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Pre-reader’s Version View and print the reader’s version of this Sunday’s children’s bulletin: Reader’s Version
The radio program Sing for Joy follows the weekly Sunday lectionary through music and reflection. To listen, click here: Sing for Joy. Program host Pastor Bruce Benson ties the biblical readings of the day with musical selections from a number of sources brought together by Dr. John Ferguson, retired professor of organ and church music. The program is produced by St. Olaf College.