The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer

Introduction to the readings for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost September 4, 2016

Once again we hear God’s word for us offered from the lips of the prophet, Jeremiah, reading this morning from the eighteenth chapter, verses 1-11: God is the potter; we are the clay.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there will I let you hear my words.”  So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working on his wheel.  The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me:  Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done?  says the Lord.  Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.  At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring o it.  And at another moment, I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it.  Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you.  Turn now, all of you from your way, and amend your ways and your doings.”

Here ends our first reading from the ancient texts.

In response to God’s word for us we will sing together:

“O God, You Search Me and You Know Me” as found on the insert in  your bulletin.

After hymn is sung, reader continues:

For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us, thanks be to God.

The New Standard Revised Version, copyright 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of the United States of America. Used by permission.  All Rights reserved