Proper 20 (Year C)

Sunday between September 18 and September 24 inclusive

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday the prophet Amos writes: The wealthy pursue their own interests and trample upon the poor (Amos 8:4–7). The psalmist sings: Blessed be the name of the Lord, who raises the poor from the dust (Psalm 113). The apostle Paul shares instructions on prayer; there is one God, and Jesus is our mediator (1 Timothy 2:1–7). In Luke, Jesus shares the story of a dishonest manager; you cannot serve God and wealth (Luke 16:1–13).

Lectionary Readings

Amos 8:4–7

4 Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
    and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
5 saying, “When will the new moon be over
    so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
    so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
    and practice deceit with false balances,
6 buying the poor for silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals,
    and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”

7 The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

Psalm 113

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
    praise the name of the Lord.

2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time on and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens.

5 Who is like the Lord our God,
    who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
    on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust,
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
9 He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

1 Timothy 2:1–7

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For

there is one God;
    there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human,
6     who gave himself a ransom for all

—this was attested at the right time. 7 For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Luke 16:1–13

1 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2 So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3 Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ 7 Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ 8 And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

10 “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13 No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 113:1-3

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord; praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.

From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Prayer of Intercession

Based on Amos 8:4; Psalm 113:5-7

Merciful God,
help us to treat everyone
with dignity and respect,
as fellow image bearers.
May we not trample on the needy,
nor bring to ruin the poor of our towns and cities.
Give us your heart for those in need,
that we may help raise the poor from the dust,
and lift the needy from desperate circumstances.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on 1 Timothy 2:1-6

Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning prayer and the intercessory role of Christ?

We believe that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings
should be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions,
so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.

We believe this kind of prayer is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We believe there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all.

Subscribe

* indicates required