Ralphs Community Contribution Program
If you have been participating in the Community Contribution Program at Ralphs, it will be necessary for you to register again on September 1. The program runs on one-year cycles, so participants must reregister every September.
If you shop at Ralphs, but have yet to register in this program, here is an opportunity for you to direct—to our congregation—some of the charitable funds that Ralphs donates to the community.
All it takes to register is a few clicks of your mouse. More information and instructions can be found HERE. It’s an easy way to help out the congregation!
If you want to review the changes to the Constitution we discussed at the meeting today, click HERE
Introit – Psalm 112:3 –6 (antiphon: Psalm 112:1 )
The Righteous Will Never Be Moved
Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!
First Lesson – Amos 5:6 –7, 10–15
Seek the Lord and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel, O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth!
They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth. Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins—you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate. Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Second Lesson – Hebrews 3:12 –19
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
Gospel Lesson – Mark 10:17 –22
The Rich Young Man
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
First Lesson – Jeremiah 23:1 –6
The Righteous Branch
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his daysJudahwill be saved, andIsraelwill dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’”
Second Lesson – Ephesians 2:11 –22
One in Christ
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from thecommonwealthofIsraeland strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Gospel Lesson – Mark 6:30 –44
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
The Lord Jesus Shepherds His Church on Earth by the Ministry of the Gospel
The Lord rebukes and removes “the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep” (Jer. 23:1 ). He gathers the flock, brings them back to the fold, and sets “shepherds over them who will care for them” (Jer. 23:3 –4). He raises up the Son of David, the great Good Shepherd, to “reign as king and deal wisely” (Jer. 23:5 ). He is “our righteousness,” in whom we “dwell securely” (Jer. 23:6 ). He has compassion on all of us, who were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34 ). Not only does He teach us many things, but, taking the bread, He blesses and breaks and gives it to the disciples “to set before the people” (Mark 6:41 ). He abundantly provides for His Church on earth, so that everyone is fed and fully satisfied in body and soul. He preaches peace “to you who were far off,” and “by the blood of Christ” He brings you near (Eph. 2:13 , 17). Though you were “separated from Christ” by your sin, “having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12 ), now “you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19 ).