Proper 14 (Year C)

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday God promises Abram many descendants; Abram believes the Lord (Genesis 15:1–6). The psalmist sings: Happy are those whose God is the Lord; God is our help and hope (Psalm 33:12–22). The author of Hebrews writes: Faith is the assurance of things hoped for; Abraham is an example (Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16). In Luke, Jesus says: Where your treasure is, there is your heart also; be alert and ready (Luke 12:32–40).

Lectionary Readings

Genesis 15:1–6

1 After 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.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” 4 But 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.” 5 He 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.” 6 And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Psalm 33:12–22

12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all humankind.
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches
all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all,
and observes all their deeds.
16 A king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
and by its great might it cannot save.

18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3 By 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.

8 By 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. 9 By 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. 10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By 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. 12 Therefore 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.”

13 All 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, 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But 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.

Luke 12:32–40

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell 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. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36 be 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. 37 Blessed 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. 38 If 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. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 33:20-22

Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.

Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Prayer of Renewal

Based on Luke 12:32-40

Gracious Lord,
help us not to be afraid.
Give us grace to be generous
in our giving and in our love for others.
May we live with a readiness for your return,
with hearts set, not on this world, but on you;
for where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16

Brothers and sisters, what do believe concerning faith?

We believe that faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.

We believe it was by faith that our ancestors received approval.

We believe it is by faith that 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.

We believe it was by faith that 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.

We believe it was by faith that 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.
For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

We believe it was by faith that he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—
and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.

We believe, therefore 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.”

We believe that all 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, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

We believe that If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But 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.

Subscribe

* indicates required