Bible readings for Sept 13, 2020

What would you do if someone hurt you very badly, and the actions they took could even cause your death, and you had the opportunity to get back at them?  Would you get revenge, or would you forgive?  That is the dilemma Joseph is faced with in our First Reading for today – Genesis 50:15-21.  In the context of the Reading, Joseph’s brothers have sold him into slavery and didn’t heed his cries for help.  Through God’s intervention, Joseph was elevated to the second most powerful position in Egypt.  Now, after the death of their father, Joseph’s brothers are afraid that he might seek revenge for the evil they have done to him.  Notice how Joseph responds to his brothers.

Lord, we thank You for the example of Joseph, who forgave his brothers for the evil they had done to him.  Remind us each day of the many times You forgive us.  Through Jesus, enable us to forgive as You have forgiven us.  In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

Today’s Psalm, 103:1-12, is a psalm of praise (about 1/3 of the 150 psalms are psalms of praise).  Notice how the psalmist is filled with joy because of God’s great mercy and forgiveness.  As Christians, we, too, are filled with joy that in Jesus we have forgiveness, life, and salvation.  Let us join the psalmist in giving thanks and praise to God.

Holy Lord, we bless, praise, and thank You for the forgiveness You have given us in Jesus.  Let us turn from sin each day, and fill us with thanksgiving for the redemption we have in Jesus.  Amen.

Today’s Second Reading, Romans 14:1-12, is a great reading that reminds us of how we are to treat each other as children of God: with respect and patience.  One person’s piety will likely be different than another’s, yet each of us is accountable to God.  Let our words and actions come from faith, and let us trust ourselves to God’s grace and mercy.

Lord God, enable each of us to follow You as You have called us, and enable us to build each other up in faith, hope, and love in Jesus.  Amen.

Last week’s readings focused on sin, and were hard to hear.  Today’s readings focus on forgiveness, as we see in the Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35.  Notice the need we have of receiving forgiveness, but also notice the need to extend forgiveness to others.  Let us forgive as we have been forgiven in Christ.

Lord, we thank You for the forgiveness we have been given through the mercy of Christ.  Enable us to extend mercy and forgiveness to all so that they can see how gracious and merciful You are through Jesus.  In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

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