Weekly Bible Readings
FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT 7 April 2019
AS WE GATHER God’s Beloved Son Has Redeemed Us
Our life and works apart from Christ, no matter how they may glitter to the eyes of the world, are ultimately rubbish and have no righteousness. Rather, in the scandalous cross of Jesus, we find our righteousness alone “through faith in Christ” (Phil. 3:9). By such faith, we “know him and the power of his resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). For the same God who brought Israel out of Egypt has done a “new thing” for us in Christ Jesus (Is. 43:19). He has sent His beloved Son into His vineyard to be killed by sinful men and to become “the stone that the builders rejected.” Yet, the One rejected by men “has become the cornerstone” of His Church (Luke 20:17). Through the waters of Holy Baptism, He provides us daily refreshment in our earthly pilgrimage, “a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Is. 43:19).
OLD TESTAMENT READING Isaiah 43:16–21
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.
EPISTLE Philippians 3:8–14
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
HOLY GOSPEL Luke 20:9–20
And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!”
But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.