Proper 22 (Year C)

Sunday between October 2 and October 8 inclusive

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday the prophet Habakkuk writes: Write the vision; make it plain: the righteous live by their faith (Habakkuk 1:1–4; 2:1–4). The psalmist sings: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in God, who will act (Psalm 37:1–9). The apostle Paul writes: Rekindle your faith; guard the good treasure entrusted to you (2 Timothy 1:1–14). In Luke, Jesus says: If you had faith like a mustard seed, you could uproot this tree (Luke 17:5–10).

Lectionary Readings

Habakkuk 1:1–4; 2:1–4

1 The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
3 Why do you make me see wrongdoing
    and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
4 So the law becomes slack
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
    therefore judgment comes forth perverted.

1 I will stand at my watchpost,
and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
and what he will answer concerning my complaint.
2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.
3 For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.
4 Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right in them,
but the righteous live by their faith.

Psalm 37:1–9

1 Do not fret because of the wicked;
    do not be envious of wrongdoers,
2 for they will soon fade like the grass,
    and wither like the green herb.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will make your vindication shine like the light,
    and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
    do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
    over those who carry out evil devices.

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
    Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For the wicked shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

2 Timothy 1:1–14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

2 To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

8 Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, 12 and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. 13 Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Luke 17:5–10

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 37:3-4

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Prayer of Renewal

Based on Habakkuk 2:4; Psalm 37:5-9; Luke 17:6

Sovereign Lord,
you tell us that the righteous shall live by faith.
Help us to exercise our faith, however small,
with the assurance that you are able to do
abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine.
May we commit our way to you
and trust that you will act on our behalf.
May we not resent those we prosper through evil means,
but be still before you, waiting patiently
for the greater blessing of your presence and peace.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on 2 Timothy 1:8-10, 13-14

Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning
our suffering for and holding to the sound teaching of the gospel?

We believe we should not be ashamed of suffering
for the gospel, but should rely on the power of God,
who saved us and called us with a holy calling,
not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace.

We believe this grace was given to us in Christ Jesus
before the ages began, but it has now been revealed
through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus,
who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

We believe we are to hold to the standard
of sound teaching that we have in God’s word
and guard this good news that has been entrusted to us,
with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

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