Lessons                                                                       Bread of Life                                                       4 September 2021

Isaiah 35:4–7a

4Say to those who have an anxious heart,

          “Be strong; fear not!

Behold, your God

          will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

          He will come and save you.”

5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

          and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

6then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

          and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

          and streams in the desert;

7the burning sand shall become a pool,

          and the thirsty ground springs of water.”


Psalm 146

1Praise | the LORD!*

Praise the LORD, | O my soul!

2I will praise the LORD as long | as I live;*

I will sing praises to my God

while I have my | being.

3Put not your trust in | princes,*

in a son of man, in whom there is no sal- | vation.

4When his breath departs

he returns | to the earth;*

on that very day his plans | perish.

5Blessèd is he whose help is the God of | Jacob,*

whose hope is in the | LORD his God,

6who made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is | in them,*

who keeps faith for- | ever;

7who executes justice for | the oppressed,*

who gives food to the | hungry.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;

8the LORD opens the eyes | of the blind.*

The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

the LORD loves the | righteous.

9The LORD watches over the sojourners;

he upholds the widow and the | fatherless,*

but the way of the wicked he brings to | ruin.

10The LORD will reign for- | ever,*

your God, O Zion, to all generations. |

Praise the LORD!

James 2:1–10, 14–18

          1My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

          8If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. . . .

          14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

          18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Mark 7:24–37

          24From there [Jesus] arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25But immediately a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

          31Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”