Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Occasion: 
Proper 17
Sunday, September 02, 2018
Year (cycle): 
B
The Collect: 

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Song of Solomon 2:8-13 [Alternate: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9]

8 The voice of my beloved!
   Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
   bounding over the hills.
9 My beloved is like a gazelle
   or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
   behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
   looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
   and come away;
11 for now the winter is past,
   the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
   the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
   is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs,
   and the vines are in blossom;
   they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
   and come away.

Alternate:

1 So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you. 6You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!’ 7For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? 8And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children—

Psalm: 
Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10 [Alternate: Psalm 15]

1 My heart is stirring with a noble song; 
   let me recite what I have fashioned for the king; * 
       my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.
2 You are the fairest of men; * 
       grace flows from your lips, 
       because God has blessed you for ever.
7 Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever, * 
       a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom; 
       you love righteousness and hate iniquity.
8 Therefore God, your God, has anointed you * 
       with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
9 All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, * 
       and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.
10 Kings' daughters stand among the ladies of the court; * 
       on your right hand is the queen, 
       adorned with the gold of Ophir.

Alternate:

1 Lord, who may dwell in your tabernacle? *
       who may abide upon your holy hill?
2 Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right, *
       who speaks the truth from his heart.
3 There is no guile upon his tongue;
   he does no evil to his friend; *
       he does not heap contempt upon his neighbor.
4 In his sight the wicked is rejected, *
       but he honors those who fear the Lord.
5 He has sworn to do no wrong *
       and does not take back his word.
6 He does not give his money in hope of gain, *
       nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
7 Whoever does these things *
       shall never be overthrown.

Epistle: 
James 1:17-27

17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Gospel: 
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ 6He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
   teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’ 21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

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