September 15, 2019
Old Testament: Isaiah 50:4-10
The Almighty Lord will teach me what to say, so I will know how to encourage weary people. Morning after morning he will wake me to listen like a student. The Almighty Lord will open my ears. I will not rebel, nor will I turn away from him. I will offer my back to those who whip me and my cheeks to those who pluck hairs out of my beard. I will not turn my face away from those who humiliate me and spit on me.
The Almighty Lord helps me. That is why I will not be ashamed. I have set my face like a flint. I know that I will not be put to shame. The one who pronounces me innocent is near. Who will bring a case against me? Let us confront each other! Who accuses me? Let him confront me!
The Almighty Lord helps me. Who will find me guilty? They will all wear out like a garment. Moths will eat them. Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? Let those who walk in darkness and have no light trust the name of the Lord and depend upon their God.
Epistle Reading: James 3:13-18
Do any of you have wisdom and insight? Show this by living the right way with the humility that comes from wisdom. if you are bitterly jealous and filled with self-centered ambition, don’t brag. Don’t say that you are wise when it isn’t true. That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It belongs to this world. It is self-centered and demonic. Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.
The wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure. Then it is peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good deeds, impartial, and sincere. A harvest that has God’s approval comes from the peace planted by peacemakers.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12:33-37
[Jesus said,] “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good. Make a tree rotten and its fruit will be rotten. A person can recognize a tree by its fruit. You poisonous snakes! How can you evil people say anything good? Your mouth says what comes from inside you. Good people do the good things that are in them, but evil people do the evil things that are in them. I can guarantee that on judgment day people will have to give an account for every careless word they say. By your words you will be declared innocent, or by your words you will be declared guilty.”