Today’s Readings and Hymns: (Click on each blue arrow to expand/collapse each section.)
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” 5He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord!
Happy the people chosen to be God’s heritage!
The Lord looks down from heaven,
and sees all humankind.
God sits firmly enthroned and watches
all who dwell on the earth.
God fashions all their hearts
and observes all their deeds.
A king is not saved by the size of the army,
nor are warriors rescued by their great strength.
The horse gives vain hope for victory;
despite its great strength it cannot save.
Truly, your eye is upon those who fear you, O Lord,
upon those who wait for your steadfast love,
to deliver their lives from death,
and to keep them alive in time of famine.
Our innermost being waits for you, O Lord,
our helper and our shield.
Surely, our heart rejoices in you,
for in your holy name we put our trust.
Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we place our hope in you.
1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
[Jesus said:] 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
God, who stretched the spangled heavens infinite in time and place, flung the suns in burning radiance through the silent fields of space: we, your children in your likeness, share inventive pow’rs with you; great Creator, still creating, show us what we yet may do.
We have ventured worlds undreamed of since the childhood of our race; known the ecstasy of winging through untraveled realms of space; probed the secrets of the atom, yielding unimagined pow’r, facing us with life’s destruction or our most triumphant hour.
As each far horizon beckons, may it challenge us anew: children of creative purpose, serving others, hon’ring you. May our dreams prove rich with promise; each endeavor well begun; great Creator, give us guidance till our goals and yours are one.
We walk by faith and not by sight; with gracious words draw near, O Christ, who spoke as none e’er spoke: “My peace be with you here.”
We may not touch your hands and side, nor follow where you trod; but in your promise we rejoice, and cry, “My Lord and God!”
Help then, O Lord, our unbelief; and may our faith abound to call on you when you are near and seek where you are found:
For you, O resurrected Lord, are found in means divine: beneath the water and the word, beneath the bread and wine.
My life flows on in endless song; above earth’s lamentation, I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
Refrain No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?
Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing. It finds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing? Refrain
What though my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth. What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth. Refrain
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing! All things are mine since I am his! How can I keep from singing? Refrain
Worship Leaders: Pastor Colleen Cox, Christy Werner
Music: Nancy Kennedy and Sylvia Klett (piano)
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.
Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE #A-730287. All rights reserved.