Bible Readings for Sunday November 19, 2017

As we approach the end of the Church Year we hear prophesies of the coming of the Lord. The prophets often proclaimed that the Day of the Lord would be a day of judgment on those who were unrepentant. Today’s First Reading, from Zephaniah 1:7-16, fits this pattern; the hearers of Zephaniah are warned to return to the Lord or the Day of the Lord would be a day of wrath. The same warning goes out to the unrepentant today.
Vs. 9 has a curious line in it, where Zephaniah says that God will punish everyone who leaps over the threshold. This is likely a condemnation of pagan religious practices, and a warning not to engage in pagan religious practices. As Christians we want to follow the Lord in ways that are pleasing and honorable to Him.
Holy Lord, lead us to daily repentance and renewal in the grace of Baptism. We rejoice that in Christ we are safe when the Day of the Lord comes. Keep us in You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Psalm 90:1-12 is a psalm that reminds us that life is not always good and pleasant, that often life has hardships and heartaches in it. The psalm ends with good advice, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Let us heed Moses’ advice in this psalm, let us keep in mind that in this life we have a limited number of days and years, and let us seek the wisdom of the Lord.
Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom. Let our wisdom be in Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

The Second Reading for today, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, continues the theme of the return of Jesus at the end of time. Notice the apostle Paul’s urging to be awake and ready because we do not know when Jesus will return. Notice also Paul’s urging to be alive in Jesus. He will return and take His own to be with Himself forever. In faith walk with Him.
Holy Spirit, keep us awake and looking for the return of Jesus. Keep us trusting in Him. Amen.

In the Gospel, Matthew 25:14-30, we read about a man who entrusted his wealth to his servants. The story is about how they responded and used the property of their master. The point is clear, Jesus has entrusted us with great blessings. How do we use them? Do we use them to bring honor and glory to Him, and help others, or do we keep His blessings for ourselves? Let us remember that He has blessed us so that we will be a blessing to others.
Loving Lord, we thank and praise You for the blessings You have freely given to us in Jesus. Fill us with Your love and compassion for others so that we share all of Your blessings with them, giving them Your love through our words and deeds. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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