Proper 14
week of the Sunday closest to August 10

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson: Genesis 15:1-6
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward."

But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir."

Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Second Lesson: Hebrews 11:1-3(4-7)8-16
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

(By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.)

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.

Psalm: 33

  1. Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; *
    it is good for the just to sing praises.
  2. Praise the LORD with the harp; *
    play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
  3. Sing for him a new song; *
    sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
  4. For the word of the LORD is right, *
    and all his works are sure.
  5. He loves righteousness and justice; *
    the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.
  6. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, *
    by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
  7. He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin *
    and stores up the depths of the sea.
  8. Let all the earth fear the LORD; *
    let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
  9. For he spoke, and it came to pass; *
    he commanded, and it stood fast.
  10. The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; *
    he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
  11. But the LORD'S will stands fast for ever, *
    and the designs of his heart from age to age.
  12. Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! *
    happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
  13. The LORD looks down from heaven, *
    and beholds all the people in the world.
  14. From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze *
    on all who dwell on the earth.
  15. He fashions all the hearts of them *
    and understands all their works.
  16. There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army;
    a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.
  17. The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; *
    for all its strength it cannot save.
  18. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, *
    on those who wait upon his love,
  19. To pluck their lives from death, *
    and to feed them in time of famine.
  20. Our soul waits for the LORD; *
    he is our help and our shield.
  21. Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, *
    for in his holy Name we put our trust.
  22. Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, *
    as we have put our trust in you.

Gospel: Luke 12:32-40
"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible

Sts. Vidicon & Isidore