123 Sunday 11

Sentence: In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor 5:19

Collect: Almighty God, without you we are unable to please you: mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ezekiel 17:22-24

Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind. All the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD. I bring low the high tree, I make high the low tree; I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken; I will accomplish it. Hear the word of the Lord, thanks be to God.

Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15 APBA p 320

1. How good to give thanks to the LORD:

to sing praises to your name, O Most High,

2. To declare your love in the morning:

and at night to sing of your faithfulness,

3. Upon the lute, upon the lute of ten strings:

and to the melody of the lyre.

4. For in all you have done, O LORD, you have made me glad:

I will sing for joy because of the works of your hands.

12. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:

they shall spread abroad like a cedar in Lebanon;

13. For they are planted in the house of the LORD:

and flourish in the courts of our God.

14. In old age they shall be full of sap:

they shall be sturdy and laden with branches;

15. And they will say that the LORD is just:

the LORD my rock, in whom is no unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:6-17

So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord -- for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! Hear the word of the Lord, thanks be to God.

Mark 4:26-34 ... Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come." He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples. For the Gospel of the Lord, praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.