Proper 17 (Year C)

Sunday between August 28 and September 3 inclusive

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday Solomon writes: Do not put yourself in the place of honor; wait for an invitation (Proverbs 25:6–7). The psalmist sings: Happy and prosperous are those who give generously and trust God (Psalm 112). The author of Hebrews writes: Show hospitality and share what you have; praise God through Jesus (Hebrews 13:1–8, 15–16). In Luke, Jesus teaches lessons at a banquet: the humble will be exalted (Luke 14:1, 7–14).

Lectionary Readings

Proverbs 25:6–7

6 Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
or stand in the place of the great;
7 for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

Psalm 112

1 Praise the Lord!
Happy are those who fear the Lord,
who greatly delight in his commandments.
2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
they will be remembered forever.
7 They are not afraid of evil tidings;
their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked see it and are angry;
they gnash their teeth and melt away;
the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Hebrews 13:1–8, 15–16

13 Let mutual love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. 4 Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” 6 So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Luke 14:1, 7–14

14 On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.

7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9 and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 112:1-2

Praise the Lord!
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who greatly delight in his commandments.

Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Prayer of Renewal

Based on Psalm 112:1-10

Gracious Lord,
help us to delight in your commandments.
May we rise in the darkness as a light
and be gracious, merciful, and righteous.
We want to be a generous people
who conduct their affairs with justice,
and who know the joy of giving to those in need.
Keep us from all fear and evil;
may our hearts remain steady, firm, and secure in You.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on Hebrews 13:1-8

Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning loving relationships and contentment?

We believe that we are to let mutual love continue. 

We believe we should not neglect to show hospitality to strangers

We believe we are to remember those who are in prison,
as though we were in prison with them;
those who are being persecuted,
as though we ourselves were being persecuted. 

We believe marriage is to be held in honor by all,
and that the marriage bed should be kept undefiled;
for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 

We believe we are to keep our lives free from the love of money,
and be content with what we have.

We believe we are to remember our leaders,
consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

We believe  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

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