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Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

SERMON TEXT: Romans 11:1–10

So I say, did God reject his people? Absolutely not! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people whom he foreknew—or don’t you know what Scripture says about Elijah, how he was pleading with God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life.” But what did God’s answer tell him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. Now if it is by grace, then it is not the result of works—otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel did not receive what it was striving to get. The elect did, but the rest were hardened. Just as it is written: God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, right up to the present day. And David says: Let their table be a trap and a net, and a snare and a retribution for them. Let their eyes be darkened so they do not see, and let their backs be always bent.

 

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

SERMON TEXT:  Romans 11:1–10

So I say, did God reject his people? Absolutely not! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people whom he foreknew—or don’t you know what Scripture says about Elijah, how he was pleading with God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life.” But what did God’s answer tell him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. Now if it is by grace, then it is not the result of works—otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel did not receive what it was striving to get. The elect did, but the rest were hardened. Just as it is written: God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, right up to the present day. And David says: Let their table be a trap and a net, and a snare and a retribution for them. Let their eyes be darkened so they do not see, and let their backs be always bent.


Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  2 Corinthians 30:1-5, 10-22

Hezekiah sent messengers to all Israel and Judah. He also wrote letters inviting Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of the Lord at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel. The king, his officials, and the whole assembly in Jerusalem had made plans to celebrate the Passover in the second month. They were not able to celebrate it at its proper time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. The plan seemed right in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of the whole assembly. So they decided to issue a proclamation throughout Israel from Beersheba to Dan to come to observe the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, because they had not been celebrating it with large numbers of people as had been commanded. The runners went from city to city through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh and even as far as Zebulun, but people laughed at them and ridiculed them. Nevertheless, some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. But in Judah the hand of God was present to give them one heart to follow the command of the king and the command of the officials, in agreement with the word of the Lord. Many people gathered in Jerusalem to keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month—a very great assembly. They quickly removed the altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the altars for burning incense and threw them into the Kidron Valley. They slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites had been put to shame, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of the Lord. They took up their positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. The priests splashed the blood, which was given to them by the Levites, against the altar.Because many of the assembly had not consecrated themselves, the Levites carried out the slaughtering of the Passover lambs for everyone who was not ceremonially clean, to make them holy to the Lord. A large number of the people, many of whom were from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, but they ate the Passover anyway, in a manner not in keeping with what is written. So Hezekiah prayed for them: “May the good Lord pardon everyone all around, that is, everyone who seeks God the Lord, the God of his fathers, with all his heart, even though he does not have the ceremonial purity required by the holy place.” The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. The people of Israel who were present in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing. The Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day with loud instruments for the Lord. Hezekiah encouraged the hearts of all the Levites, who displayed wonderful skills in service of the Lord. They ate the food of the festival for the appointed seven days, presenting fellowship sacrifices and giving thanks to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
Hezekiah sent messengers to all Israel and Judah. He also wrote letters inviting Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of the Lord at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel. The king, his officials, and the whole assembly in Jerusalem had made plans to celebrate the Passover in the second month. They were not able to celebrate it at its proper time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. The plan seemed right in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of the whole assembly. So they decided to issue a proclamation throughout Israel from Beersheba to Dan to come to observe the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, because they had not been celebrating it with large numbers of people as had been commanded. The runners went from city to city through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh and even as far as Zebulun, but people laughed at them and ridiculed them. Nevertheless, some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. But in Judah the hand of God was present to give them one heart to follow the command of the king and the command of the officials, in agreement with the word of the Lord. Many people gathered in Jerusalem to keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month—a very great assembly. They quickly removed the altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the altars for burning incense and threw them into the Kidron Valley. They slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites had been put to shame, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of the Lord. They took up their positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. The priests splashed the blood, which was given to them by the Levites, against the altar.Because many of the assembly had not consecrated themselves, the Levites carried out the slaughtering of the Passover lambs for everyone who was not ceremonially clean, to make them holy to the Lord. A large number of the people, many of whom were from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, but they ate the Passover anyway, in a manner not in keeping with what is written. So Hezekiah prayed for them: “May the good Lord pardon everyone all around, that is, everyone who seeks God the Lord, the God of his fathers, with all his heart, even though he does not have the ceremonial purity required by the holy place.” The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. The people of Israel who were present in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing. The Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day with loud instruments for the Lord. Hezekiah encouraged the hearts of all the Levites, who displayed wonderful skills in service of the Lord. They ate the food of the festival for the appointed seven days, presenting fellowship sacrifices and giving thanks to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

SECOND LESSON:  Romans 11:1–10

See Sermon Text Above

VERSE OF THE DAY:  Isaiah 25:9b

This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.

GOSPEL: Matthew 22:1–14

Jesus spoke to them again in parables. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out his servants to summon those who were invited to the wedding banquet, but they did not want to come. “Then he sent out other servants and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and my fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet!’ “But those who were invited paid no attention and went off, one to his own farm, another to his business. The rest seized the king’s servants, mistreated them, and killed them. As a result, the king was very angry. He sent his army and killed those murderers and burned their town. “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. So go to the main crossroads and invite as many as you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those servants went out to the roads and gathered together everyone they found, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wearing wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

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