September 27, 2020
The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus’ parable about two sons who don’t do what they say reveals surprises in the reign of God, such as prostitutes and tax collectors going before others into God’s kingdom. In the reading from Ezekiel the people question whether the ways of the Lord are unfair; instead they are to repent and turn to the Lord. Paul urges us to look to Christ as a model of humility, looking to the interests of others above our own. Strengthened by Word and Sacrament, we go out to be people of hospitality, generous in faith, hope, and love.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of love, giver of life, You know our frailties and failings. Give us Your grace to overcome them; keep us from those things that harm us; and guide us in the way of salvation; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Festivals and Commemorations this week
The faithful are remembered on the day of their death, the day they are born anew in heaven. The "c" indicates an approximate date.
September 28 Jehu Jones, missionary, 1852
A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Jones was ordained by the New York Ministerium in 1832, and was the Lutheran church’s first African American pastor. Upon returning to South Carolina he was arrested under a law prohibiting free blacks from reentering the state, so was unable to join the group of Charlestonians he had been commissioned to accompany to Liberia. For nearly twenty years Jones carried out missionary work in Philadelphia in the face of many difficulties. There he led the formation of the first African American Lutheran congregation, St. Paul’s, and the construction of its church building.
September 29 St. Michael and All Angels
On this festival day we ponder the richness and variety of God’s created order and the limits of our knowledge of it. The scriptures speak of angels who worship God in heaven, and in both testaments angels are God’s messengers on earth. They are remembered most vividly as they appear to the shepherds and announce the birth of the savior. Of the angels who appear in the biblical narrative, only four are given names: Michael (Hebrew, “Who is like God?”) and Gabriel (“God is my strength”) are named in the canonical Scriptures; Raphael (“God heals”) in the deuterocanonical book of Tobit; and Uriel (“God is my light”) in 2 Esdras and in the apocryphal Book of Enoch and the Testament of Solomon. Michael is an angel whose name appears in Daniel as the heavenly being who leads the faithful dead to God’s throne on the day of resurrection. In the Book of Revelation, Michael is the principal warrior of the heavenly host against the dragon (Satan), who was “thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12).
Sing “Ye watchers and ye holy ones” (LBW 175) in gatherings today. The hymn delights in the presence of the whole heavenly host of seraphs, cherubim, thrones, archangels, virtues, and angel choirs all led in praise of God by Mary, the “bearer of the eternal Word.”
September 30 Jerome, translator, teacher, 420
Jerome is remembered as a biblical scholar and translator. Rather than choosing classical Latin as the basis of his work, he translated the scriptures into the Latin that was spoken and written by the majority of people in his day. His translation is known as the Vulgate, which comes from the Latin word for “common.” While Jerome is remembered as a saint, he could be anything but saintly. He was well known for his short temper and his arrogance, although he was also quick to admit to his personal faults.
Thanks to the work of Jerome, many people received the word in their own language and lived a life of faith and service to those in need.