Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in continual godliness, that through your protection it may be free from all adversities, and devotedly serve you in good works, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Habakkuk 1:1-1, 2:1-4
The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
The Lord's Answer
“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand. At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!”
Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Fret not yourself because of the ungodly, * neither be envious of those who are evildoers.
For they shall soon be dried up like the grass, * and be withered even as the green herb.
Put your trust in the Lord, and do good; * dwell in the land, and surely you shall be fed.
Delight yourself in the Lord, * and he shall give you your heart’s desire.
Commit your way unto the Lord and put your trust in him, * and he shall bring it to pass.
He shall make your righteousness as clear as the light * and your just dealing as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; * do not grieve yourself over the one whose way prospers, over the one who carries out evil counsels.
Refrain from wrath, and let go of anger; * fret not yourself, lest you be moved to do evil.
For evildoers shall be rooted out, * but those who wait patiently for the Lord, they shall inherit the land.
Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone; * you shall look for their place, and they shall not be there.
But the meek-spirited shall possess the land * and shall be refreshed with an abundance of peace.
The ungodly plot against the just * and gnash at them with their teeth.
The Lord shall laugh at them in scorn, * for he sees that their day is coming.
The ungodly have drawn out the sword and have bent their bow * to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay those who walk aright.
Their sword shall go through their own heart, * and their bow shall be broken.
The little that the righteous has * is better than great riches of the ungodly.
For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken, * but the Lord upholds the righteous.
+Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
Artwork: “Mustard Flower,” Mindi Oaten, Contemporary