Third Sunday after Pentecost
Theme: Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free!
O God of freedom and love, you have set us free in Jesus Christ: make us servants of the gospel for the sake of your reign of love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
READING from 2 Kings 2: 1-2, 6-14
8 Then Elijah took off his cloak, rolled it up, and struck the water with it; the water divided, and he and Elisha crossed to the other side on dry ground.
9 There, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what you want me to do for you before I am taken away.”
“Let me receive the share of your power that will make me your successor,” Elisha answered.
10 “That is a difficult request to grant,” Elijah replied. “But you will receive it if you see me as I am being taken away from you; if you don’t see me, you won’t receive it.”
11 They kept talking as they walked on; then suddenly a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire came between them, and Elijah was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind.
12 Elisha saw it and cried out to Elijah, “My father, my father! Mighty defender of Israel! You are gone!” And he never saw Elijah again.
In grief Elisha tore his cloak in two.
13 Then he picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
14 He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then he struck the water again, and it divided, and he walked over to the other side.
READING from Galatians 5: 1, 13-25
Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.
13 As for you, my friends, you were called to be free. But do not let this freedom become an excuse for letting your physical desires control you. Instead, let love make you serve one another.
14 For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
16 What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.
17 For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do.
18 If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law.
GOSPEL according to Luke 9: 51-62
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him;
53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
56 Then they went on to another village.
As we prepare to leave
And embrace the challenges
Of our lives and of the world
Let us ask for God’s blessings
May God bless us with strength
To seek justice. Amen
May God bless us with wisdom
To care for our earth. Amen
May God bless us with love
To bring forth new life. Amen
In the name of God, the maker of the whole world,
Of Jesus, our new covenant,
And the Holy Spirit, who opens eyes and hearts. Amen
God in peace and be witnesses to hope.
Thanks be to God.