August 18, 2019


FIRST LESSON                                                              Isaiah 5:1-7
Lector        A reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah.

Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on  a  very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

Lector        Hear what the spirit is saying to God’s people.                 

People      Thanks be to God.

SECOND LESSON                                                         Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Lector        A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace. And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-- who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented-- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Lector        Hear what the spirit is saying to the churches                 

People      Thanks be to God.

In our brokenness we come before God, trusting that our prayers will be heard.
For the prophets and martyrs of this age, that they persevere in the path of Jesus, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.
For nations divided in ancient conflict, that their divisions may be healed, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.
For those made homeless by famine, flood, fire, or earthquake, that they find strength to rebuild their lives, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.
For divided and quarreling families, that Christ bless them with healing and reconciliation, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.
For all who gather at this table, that they be a source of hope for one another, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.
     (Here other intercession may be offered silently or aloud.)

God of power and might, we perish without your mercy. Hear the heartfelt prayers we offer, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen