Pentecost 23

Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

Today the prophet Amos calls for justice to roll down like waters. Paul urges us to encourage one another with the promised coming of the Lord. Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids. Surrounded by the faithful of every time and place, we celebrate Christ’s coming in our midst in the word of life and the feast of victory — the marriage feast of the lamb.


Amos 5:18-24
Let justice roll down like waters

Psalm 70
You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The promise of the resurrection

Matthew 25:1-13
The story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids

Worship Themes and Music

Having just finished a contentious election season, groups on all sides will view today’s readings about justice and being ready in a variety of ways. Amos’s call for justice to roll down like waters can be interpreted in a variety of ways. God calls us to remember that the only justice that matters is God’s justice. For us in the church, we are already turning toward the Advent and Christmas seasons as we prepare and get ready for the coming of the Lord. This is a time to be aware of endings and of new beginnings; a time to be ready for anything that God will do in the world, the church and in our lives. Remember to attend the annual meeting!

As we have our annual meeting this week, we’ll At This Altar, a hymn the church commissioned from Mark Oldenburg in light of the mission self-study the church has done. In it we sing of the values of St. Peter’s and how they relate to the overall mission of the church. Fitting words which remind us that Jesus and God are at the heart of all we do.

Reflection Questions

Justice and mercy always seem to go hand-in-hand in the Bible. How do justice and mercy play out in today’s readings? How do they play out in your life? Where might mercy and justice be the same? Where can mercy and justice be different? What does God lead you toward?

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Dr. Adam Lefever Hughes

Director of Music

Adam served as Director of Music at St. Peter’s from 2015 to 2022.

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