Discussion, Study, and Prayer Guide for God’s Priestly People

                                        for the week of 17 - 23 September (Proper 20)



                         Theme:  GOD BRINGS VICTORY THROUGH THE CROSS


            VERSE:  “ALLELUIA!  If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all. ALLELUIA!”  (Mk. 9:35b; VERSE)


            + HYMNS FOR NEXT SUNDAY:  851; 815*; 594; in Lutheran Service Book.  (In Lutheran Worship:  402.  In The Lutheran Hymnal:  442.  Meditate on and learn by heart the hymn(s) marked with an asterisk (*).)


   851  Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us
   815*  All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine
   594  God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It



            + THE Psalm 54:1-7 (Pray the Psalm daily)



                                           THE PROPERS FOR NEXT SUNDAY


            + Psalm 54:1-7  This psalm, a psalm of David, begins with a plea for help at a time of deep trouble.  We hear the psalmist confess his utter confidence in God as his helper and the upholder of his life and a commitment to offer thanks to the Lord.  Though at the end David confesses the Lord, “has delivered [him] from every trouble,” it isn’t clear whether this is after the prayer of this psalm has been answered or simply a confession of what God has always done.  May God grant us to share the faith of David that he is our helper and that we need never doubt his mercy.

            + Jeremiah 11:18-20:  Some citizens of Judah had plotted to kill Jeremiah because he prophesied that the nation would experience national disaster as a punishment from the Lord.  The Lord warned Jeremiah of the plot and punished the conspirators.  Another gentle Lamb, however, ended his life on a cross, enduring the full punishment for sins he hadn’t committed—all so that sinners might be saved.  What extraordinary love!

            + James 3:13-4:10:  As James writes about life in this world he points to envy and selfish ambition as the source of much of the evil and unhappiness in our lives.  He insists that as Christians we dare not conform to the world’s values but should rather, by God’s grace, submit to his standards.  As we hear James’ words and examine our lives, may we recognize our need to repent and humbly pray God for a clean heart and right spirit so he may exalt us by his grace.

            + Saint Mark 9:30-37:  Again Jesus predicts his death and resurrection, and again his disciples don’t know what to think.  They don’t argue with him this time, but they certainly don’t conform to his example either.  Humble service isn’t their thing, they want prestige and power.  In his patient teaching—and in his life!—Jesus challenges us to follow him and achieve greatness in serving others.  May he grant us strength to follow him.


                                             DAILY READINGS FOR THE WEEK


            Monday:           2 Chronicles 36:1-23                         Colossians 4:1-18

            Tuesday:           Nehemiah 1:1-2:10                            1 Timothy 1:1-20

            Wednesday:     Nehemiah 2:11-20; 4:1-6                  1 Timothy 2:1-15

            Thursday:         Nehemiah 4:7-23                               1 Timothy 3:1-16

            Friday:              Nehemiah 5:1-16; 6:1-9, 15-16         1 Timothy 4:1-16

            Saturday:          STUDY the Readings for Sunday (the Propers noted above)

                              OR Nehemiah 7:1-4; 8:1-18                    1 Timothy 5:1-16

            Sunday:            Nehemiah 9:1-21                               1 Timothy 5:17-6:2



                        CATECHISM FOR THE WEEK:  (Please learn by heart).



The Fourth Petition:   Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?  God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?  Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.


            THE COLLECT FOR NEXT SUNDAY [Proper 20]  “O God, whose strength is made perfect in weakness, grant us humility and childlike faith that we may please You in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”  AMEN!