18th Sunday After Pentecost
Esther 7:1-6,9-10;9:20-22; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50
Esther 7:1-6,9-10; 9:20-22
1 So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther,
2 and as they were drinking wine on that second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life–this is my petition. And spare my people–this is my request.
4 For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king. ”
5 King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
6 Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman.” Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen.
9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A gallows seventy-five feet high stands by Haman’s house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.” The king said, “Hang him on it!”
10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.
20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far,
21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar
22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them.
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.
18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,
20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39″Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,
40for whoever is not against us is for us.
41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
Causing to Sin
42″And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
47And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
48where ” ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’
49Everyone will be salted with fire.
50″Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”