The Lessons Appointed for Use on the

Sunday closest to August 3

Year C

Ecclesiastes 1:12-14;2:(1-7,11)18-23
Colossians 3:(5-11)12-17
Luke 12:13-21
Psalm 49 or 49:1-11

The Collect

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Ecclesiastes 1:12-14;2:(1-7,11)18-23

I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem, applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with. I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.

[I said to myself, "Come now, I will make a test of pleasure; enjoy yourself." But again, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, "It is mad," and of pleasure, "What use is it?" I searched with my mind how to cheer my body with wine-- my mind still guiding me with wisdom-- and how to lay hold on folly, until I might see what was good for mortals to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works; I built houses and planted vineyards for myself; I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house; I also had great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem.

Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had spent in doing it, and again, all was vanity and a chasing after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.]

I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me -- and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.

The Psalm

Psalm 49 or 49:1-11 Page 652, BCP

Audite haec, omnes

Hear this, all you peoples;
hearken, all you who dwell in the world, *
you of high degree and low, rich and poor together.

My mouth shall speak of wisdom, *
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.

I will incline my ear to a proverb *
and set forth my riddle upon the harp.

Why should I be afraid in evil days, *
when the wickedness of those at my heels surrounds me,

The wickedness of those who put their trust in their goods, *
and boast of their great riches?

We can never ransom ourselves, *
or deliver to God the price of our life;

For the ransom of our life is so great, *
that we should never have enough to pay it,

In order to live for ever and ever, *
and never see the grave.

For we see that the wise die also;
like the dull and stupid they perish *
and leave their wealth to those who come after them.

Their graves shall be their homes for ever,
their dwelling places from generation to generation, *
though they call the lands after their own names.

Even though honored, they cannot live for ever; *
they are like the beasts that perish.

Such is the way of those who foolishly trust in themselves, *
and the end of those who delight in their own words.

Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die;
Death is their shepherd; *
they go down straightway to the grave.

Their form shall waste away, *
and the land of the dead shall be their home.

But God will ransom my life; *
he will snatch me from the grasp of death.

Do not be envious when some become rich, *
or when the grandeur of their house increases;

For they will carry nothing away at their death, *
nor will their grandeur follow them.

Though they thought highly of themselves while they lived, *
and were praised for their success,

They shall join the company of their forebears, *
who will never see the light again.

Those who are honored, but have no understanding, *
are like the beasts that perish.

Colossians 3:(5-11)12-17

[Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things-- anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!]

As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?" And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, `What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, `Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

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