Proper 27 (Year B)

(Sunday between November 6 and November 12 inclusive)

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday a widow miraculously feeds Elijah with only meager resources (I Kings 17:8-16). The psalmist declares: Do not put your trust in princes; God gives food to the hungry (Psalm 146). The author of Hebrews tells us that Christ entered the sanctuary of heaven; he will come again to save (Hebrews 9:24-28). In Mark, Jesus criticizes the scribes and praises the gift of a poor widow (Mark 12:38-44).

Lectionary Readings

I Kings 17:8-16

8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Psalm 146

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.

5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Hebrews 9:24-28

24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Mark 12:38-44

38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 146:1-2, 7b-10

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!

I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.

The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow.

The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord!

Prayer of the Day

Based on 1 Kings 17:8-16; Mark 12:38-44

Sovereign Lord,
we know that your word comes to us,
and that your Holy Spirit guides us
in the ordinary events of life.
Often, when it seems our resources have been depleted,
you provide for us and sustain us in amazing ways.
You care for us like the widow at Zarephath,
whose jar of meal was not emptied,
and whose jug of oil did not fail.
O Lord, may we not walk around pridefully,
desiring approval and places of honor in this world.
Rather, from a poverty in spirit, may we find abundance;
from a heart of gratitude, may we offer you all that we have.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on Hebrews 12:38-44

We believe that when he ascended,
Christ entered into heaven itself,
to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

We believe Christ has appeared once for all
to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.

We believe that Christ,
having been offered once to bear the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to deal with sin,
but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

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