Proper 15 (Year C)

Summary & Song

In the readings for this Sunday the prophet Jeremiah writes: Who can hide from me? My word is like fire, says the Lord (Jeremiah 23:23–29). The psalmist sings: God stands in judgment; rise up, O God, to judge the earth! (Psalm 82) The author of Hebrews writes: We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses; Jesus perfects our faith (Hebrews 11:29—12:2). In Luke, Jesus warns of division and trouble to come: I came to bring fire (Luke 12:49–56).

Lead Sheet, Lead Sheet (capo 5) | Multitracks

Author of Faith in Me

Words by Paxson Jeancake / Music by Paxson and Allison Jeancake, 2019
Based on Hebrews 11:29-12:2

Surrounded by saints; by those who have gone before me.
I’m running this race, letting go of the things that deceive me.
I’m looking to You; I’m fixing my eyes on You, Lord.

You’re the Author of faith in me, Giver of life.
Your love has a hold on me that I can’t deny.
There’s no higher power, nothing You won’t supply.
Author of faith in me, Author of faith in me.

I can face all my fears and cast all my cares on You, Lord.
There’s a hope in my heart; assurance that You are with me.
I’m anchored in You; You are my one foundation.

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 23:23–29

23 Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? 24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!” 26 How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back—those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? 27 They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. 29 Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Psalm 82

1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk around in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I say, “You are gods,
children of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.”

8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!

Hebrews 11:29—12:2

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

32 And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Luke 12:49–56

49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 they will be divided:

father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 82:8

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!

Prayer of Renewal

Based on Hebrews 12:1-2

Holy God,
since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on Hebrews 11:29-34, 39-40

Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning the power of faith?

We believe that, by faith, God’s people passed through the Red Sea
as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned.

We believe that, by faith, the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days.

We believe that, by faith, Rahab the prostitute did not perish
with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

We believe that, by faith, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel and the prophets—
conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,
quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness,
became mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight.

We believe that all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

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