The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity | 09/20/2020
Introduction to the Word and Liturgy for Worship
The main passage for our worship this week is Psalm 145. Derek Kidner says of this Psalm, "This great outpouring of worship is the last psalm of David in the Psalter, and the last of the eight acrostics found there." An acrostic Psalms is, "an alphabet of prayers and reflections on the word of God, giving each Hebrew letter its turn to introduce . . . successive verses on the subject." This artistic and alphabetic exercise employs language in its highest use, the praise of Almighty God.
Centuries later, Augustine of Hippo writes about the centrality of praise in his masterwork, The Confessions.
Humankind is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you. He bears about him the mark of death, the sign of his own sin, to remind him that you "thwart the proud." But still, since he is a part of your creation, he wishes to praise you. The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.
-Augustine of Hippo, Confessions,
quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on the Scriptures, vol. 8
Psalms are central to the life of worship. Our Fall series, Worship in the Ways of the Word, fittingly begins with Psalm 145. In worship of the living God, as St. Augustine attests through his own experience, "The thought of you stirs him so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you."
The Collect of the Day
O Lord, you have taught us that without love, all our deeds are worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the true bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whoever lives is counted dead before you; grant this for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)
First Reading: Jonah 3:10–4:11
Second Reading: Philippians 1:21-30
Psalm 145 (posted below the Playlist)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
(click below on the Spotify Playlist to listen)
1 I will magnify you, O God my King, *
and I will praise your Name for ever and ever.
2 Every day will I give thanks to you, *
and praise your Name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and most worthy to be praised; *
there is no end of his greatness.
4 One generation shall praise your works to another, *
and shall declare your power.
5 As for me, I will be talking of the glorious splendor of your majesty, *
and of all your wondrous works.
6 They shall speak of the might of your marvelous acts, *
and I also will tell of your greatness.
7 The remembrance of your abundant goodness shall they proclaim, *
and they shall sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, *
long-suffering, and of great kindness.
9 The Lord is loving to everyone, *
and his mercy is over all his works.
10 All your works praise you, O Lord, *
and your faithful servants give thanks to you.
11 They speak of the glory of your kingdom *
and talk of your power,
12 That your power may be known to the children of men, *
even the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, *
and your dominion endures throughout all ages.
14 The Lord upholds all those who fall *
and lifts up all those who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, *
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open wide your hand, *
and fill all things living with plenteousness.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways *
and merciful in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all those who call upon him, *
to all who call upon him faithfully.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear him; *
he also will hear their cry and will help them.
20 The Lord preserves all those who love him, *
but he will destroy all the ungodly.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; *
and let all flesh give thanks unto his holy Name for ever and ever.
(from the New Coverdale Psalter as found in the 2019 Book of Common Prayer)