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Sunday Readings

September 24th, 2017



FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Collect
God, who in generous mercy
  sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church
  in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith
  and active in service;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Additional Collect
Lord God,
defend your Church from all false teaching
and give to your people
  knowledge of your truth,
that we may enjoy eternal life
in Jesus Christ our Lord.


First Reading
Jonah 3.10-4.11
10When God saw what the people of Nineveh did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. 1But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2He prayed to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 3And now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ 4And the LORD said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ 5Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.

6The LORD God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. 7But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’

9But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?’ And he said, ‘Yes, angry enough to die.’ 10Then the LORD said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’


Psalm or Canticle    Psalm 145.1-8

R I will bless you and praise you for ever, O God my King.

1  I will exalt you, O God my King, *
and bless your name for ever and ever.

2  Every day will I bless you *
and praise your name for ever and ever. R

3  Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; *
his greatness is beyond all searching out.

4  One generation shall praise your works to another *
and declare your mighty acts. R

5  They shall speak of the majesty of your glory, *
and I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

6  They shall speak of the might of your marvellous acts, *
and I will also tell of your greatness. R

7  They shall pour forth the story of your abundant kindness *
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

8  The Lord is gracious and merciful, *
long-suffering and of great goodness. R

Second Reading     Philippians 1.21-30
21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well – 30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.


Gospel   Matthew 20.1-16
Jesus said to his disciples:
1‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; 4and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same. 6And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” 7They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” 9When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’


Post Communion
Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy;
and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall,
keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful,
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):

Collect (15th after Trinity) © 1980, 1986 Mowbray, a Cassell Imprint: Prayers for the Alternative Services comp. David Silk

Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops' Council 2000

Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops' Council 2002


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