Proper 26 (Year C)

Sunday between October 30 and November 5 inclusive

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday the prophet Isaiah writes: Wash and make yourselves clean; learn to do good and seek justice (Isaiah 1:10–18). The psalmist sings: Happy are those whose sin is forgiven; I will confess to the Lord (Psalm 32:1–7). The apostle Paul writes to the Thessalonians: I give thanks for your faith and pray for you (2 Thessalonians 1:1–4, 11–12). In Luke, Zacchaeus, a tax collector, wants to see Jesus; Jesus visits his home.

Lectionary Readings

Isaiah 1:10–18

10 Hear the word of the Lord,
    you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God,
    you people of Gomorrah!
11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
    says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
    or of lambs, or of goats.

12 When you come to appear before me,
    who asked this from your hand?
    Trample my courts no more;
13 bringing offerings is futile;
    incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation—
    I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.
14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals
    my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
    I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you stretch out your hands,
    I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
    I will not listen;
    your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your doings
    from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
seek justice,
    rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
    plead for the widow.

18 Come now, let us argue it out,
    says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.

Psalm 32:1–7

1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
    and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

6 Therefore let all who are faithful
    offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
    shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

2 Thessalonians 1:1–4, 11–12

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.

11 To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 19:1–10

19 He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2 A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7 All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8 Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9 Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 32:7

You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

Call to Confession

Psalm 32:3-5

While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Prayer of Confession

Based on Isaiah 1:10-17

Merciful God,
we confess that we can be self-righteous
and full of religious activity,
while our hearts are far from you.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit,
may we cease to do evil and learn to do good.
Help us to seek justice, rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan, and plead for the widow.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Based on Isaiah 1:18; Luke 19:10

Hear the good news of the gospel:
though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning
thanksgiving, faith, prayer, and persecution?

We believe that we must always give thanks to God
when brothers and sisters are growing abundantly in faith
and when their love for one another is increasing. 

We believe the church is to exemplify steadfastness
and faith during times of persecution and affliction.

We believe we are to pray and ask that our God will make us worthy of his call
and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith,
so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in us, and we in him,
according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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