Readings for Sunday, 9/17/23

O God, because without you we are not able to please you
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and
rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

FIRST READING: Exodus 14:19-31
19 The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army
moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved
from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came
between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so, the
cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did
not come near the other all night. 21 Then Moses stretched out
his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong
east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the
waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the
sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their
right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into
the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot
drivers. 24At the morning watches the Lord in the pillar of fire
and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the
Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so
that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee
from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against
Egypt.” 26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand
over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the
Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses
stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea
returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it,
the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned
and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army
of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them
remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the
sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their
left. 30Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians;
and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw
the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So, the
people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant
Reader: The Word of the Lord People: Thanks be to God

PSALM: 114
When Israel came out of Egypt, *
the house of Jacob from a people of strange speech,
Judah became God’s sanctuary *
and Israel his dominion.
The sea beheld it and fled; *
Jordan turned and went back.
The mountains skipped like rams, *
and the little hills like young sheep.
What ailed you, O sea, that you fled? *
O Jordan, that you turned back?
Your mountains, that you skipped like rams? *
you little hills like young sheep?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, *
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the hard rock into a pool of water *
and flint-stone into a flowing spring.

SECOND READING: Romans 14:1-12
1 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose
of quarreling over opinions. 2Some believe in eating anything,
while the weak eat only vegetables. 3Those who eat must not
despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass
judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4Who
are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before
their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for
the Lord is able to make them stand. 5 Some judge one day to be
better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all
be fully convinced in their own minds. 6Those who observe the
day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also, those who eat, eat in
honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who
abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God. 7We
do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8If we
live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then,
whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this
end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both
the dead and the living. 10Why do you pass judgment on your
brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or
sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
11For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow
to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12So then,
each of us will be accountable to God.
Reader: The Word of the Lord People: Thanks be to God

GOSPEL HYMN: Spirit of God
Spirit of God, un-seen as the wind, gentle as is the dove:
teach us the truth and help us believe, show us the Sa-viour’s love!

  1. You spoke to us long, long a-go, gave us the writ-ten word; we
    read it still, needing its truth, through it God’s voice is heard
  2. With-out your help we fail our Lord, we can-not live his way; we
    need your power, we need your strength, following Christ each day

GOSPEL: Matthew 18:21-35
21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member
of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As
many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times,
but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 23“For this reason the kingdom of
heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle
accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one
who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and,
as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together
with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment
to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying,
‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And
out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and
forgave him the debt. 28But that same slave, as he went out,
came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred
denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you
owe.’ 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him,
‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But he refused;
then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the
debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they
were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their
lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him
and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt
because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had
mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in
anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would
pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to
every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister
from your heart.”
Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, Lord Christ

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