Readings: September 3, 2017, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings from The Message Bible (© 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson)    

  • Jeremiah 20:7-10

You pushed me into this, God, and I let you do it. You were too much for me. And now I’m a public joke. They all poke fun at me. Every time I open my mouth I’m shouting, “Murder!” or “Rape!” And all I get for my God-warnings are insults and contempt. But if I say, “Forget it! No more God-Messages from me!” The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones. I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer! Then I hear whispering behind my back:

“There goes old ‘Danger-Everywhere.’ Shut him up! Report him!” Old friends watch, hoping I’ll fall flat on my face: “One misstep and we’ll have him. We’ll get rid of him for good!”

  • Romans 12:1-2

         Place Your Life Before God

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

  • Matthew 16:21-27

           You’re Not in the Driver’s Seat

Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”

But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

“Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.”

No comments yet

Comments are closed