Proper 25 (Year B)

(Sunday between October 23 and October 29 inclusive)

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday, we hear the prophet Jeremiah speaking for the Lord saying that he will gather his people from the ends of the earth (Jeremiah 31:7-9). The psalmist proclaims that those who went out weeping will come home with shouts of joy (Psalm 126). In Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is a high priest forever; his own sacrifice was once for all (Hebrews 7:23-28). In Mark, Jesus restores Bartimaeus’s sight and tells him that his faith has made him well (Mark 10:46-52).

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 31:7-9

7 For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
“Save, O Lord, your people,
the remnant of Israel.”
8 See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
those with child and those in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
9 With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Psalm 126

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.

4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5 May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.

Hebrews 7:23-28

23 Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Mark 10:46-52

46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Based on Jeremiah 31:7

For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,

“Save, O Lord, your people,
the remnant of Israel.”

Prayer of Intercession

Based on Psalm 126; Mark 10:46-52

Gracious Lord, we can look back and see
your hand of faithfulness in our lives;
seasons of redemption and restoration,
when our mouths were filled with laughter,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
You have done have great things for us, and we have rejoiced.

Restore our hearts and our health
once again, O Lord, like streams in the desert.
Like blind Barimaeus, we cry out
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
May those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
come home with shouts of joy, carrying the fruit of your hand.
We ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on Hebrews 10:46-52

We believe that Jesus holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.
We believe that he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him,
since he always lives to make intercession for them.

We believe it was fitting that we should have such a high priest,
holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
We believe that, unlike the other high priests, Jesus has no need to offer sacrifices
day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people;
this he did once for all when he offered himself.

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