St Paul’s reads selected passages from Scripture at every public worship service from the Revised Common Lectionary. The Revised Common Lectionary, which we share with other historic Christian denominations, lays out a way of reading almost the entire Bible during Sunday worship over a period of three years. We are presently in Year A of that cycle. St Paul’s invites you not only to read these passages before they are read each week in church, but also to use them for your own weekly Bible study if you cannot join us for the weekly Bible Study on Wednesdays. Following these readings are three questions which you may use for more intentional Bible discussion.
Collect of the Day- Proper 25
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
- 1. Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, *
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
- 2.Their delight is in the law of the LORD, *
and they meditate on his law day and night.
- 3.They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; *
everything they do shall prosper.
- 4.It is not so with the wicked; *
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
- 5.Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes, *
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
- 6.For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, *
but the way of the wicked is doomed.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “`You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
`The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”‘?
If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Questions for your consideration:
1. Notice that the word “love” is used as a verb requiring action. How do we express our love for God with all our heart, soul and mind?
2. How do we demonstrate our love for our neighbor? How do the actions of Jesus himself serve as an example of the way we are to love God and neighbor?
3. What do you think Jesus means when he says that “all the law and the prophets” hang on these two commandments?
4. What do you think of the Messiah? What do you think the people of Jesus’ own time expected the Messiah to be? What are our own perceptions of the Messiah today? How does Jesus describe the Messiah here?