Proper 15 (Year B)

(Sunday between August 14 and August 20 inclusive)

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday, Wisdom calls: Come, eat of my bread and drink of my wine (Proverbs 9:1-6). The psalmist declares that those who seek the Lord will enjoy goodness and lack nothing (Psalm 34:9-14). Paul tells us t be filled with the Spirit, singing to God and always giving thanks (Ephesians 5:15-20). In John, Jesus says: My flesh and blood are food and drink for eternal life (John 6:51-58).

Lectionary Readings

Proverbs 9:1-6

1 Wisdom has built her house,
    she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
    she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
    from the highest places in the town,
4 “You that are simple, turn in here!”
    To those without sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread
    and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Lay aside immaturity, and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”

Psalm 34:9-14

O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
    for those who fear him have no want.
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Which of you desires life,
    and covets many days to enjoy good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil, and do good;
    seek peace, and pursue it.

Ephesians 5:15-20

15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 6:51-58

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Based on Ephesians 5:18-20

Brothers and sisters,
may we be filled with the Spirit, 
as we sing psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs together.

We come singing and making melody
to the Lord in our hearts,
giving thanks to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Confession

Based on Proverbs 9:3-6, John 6:51, Ephesians 5:15-20

Holy God,
we confess that we do not always heed wisdom's call:
we do not lay aside immaturity, nor walk in the way of insight.
We are not careful about how we live,
making the most of our time because this world is full of evil.
We confess that we do not nourish ourselves with the Bread of life,
but foolishly seek temporary satisfaction in wine and sensual pleasures.

God, our Father,
forgive us and help us to abide in you.
Fill us with your Holy Spirit
and may we give you thanks at all times and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Based on John 6:51

Brothers and sisters, hear the good news of Jesus Christ who said:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats of this bread will live forever."

By grace, we find life and forgiveness in Christ alone.

Prayer of the Day

Based on Psalm 34:9-14

We come as dependent children,
with a holy fear of you, O Lord.
We desire life and are jealous
for many good days ahead,
enjoying a close walk with you.

Help us to keep our tongues from evil,
and our lips from speaking deceit.
Holy Spirit, fill us with your power and guidance,
that we may depart from evil, and do good;
that we may seek peace, and pursue it;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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