Mental health

Person-to-person compassion15684859177_28e30fa466_z

Among people worshiping in any American church, 25 percent are likely touched by mental illness. A person in the pew, a family member, a friend. Mental illness can be isolating and frightening.

Compassion and healing are marks of St. Paul’s Mental Health Ministry. All people are embraced – no questions asked. Spirituality is an important component. Studies show that a person grounded in a faith community often does better in recovery. Person-to-person caring mixes with advocacy and awareness through:

  • 2025 Main Street housing: Providing a safe place to for men with mental illness to call home
  • Kids and youth: Lending financial support to school-based mental health services
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: Boosting awareness by supporting the NAMI Walk each fall
  • Movie series and panel discussions: Community education and awareness.

The Mental Health Awareness Team

Expand awareness. Banish stigmas. Love others. Share stories. Discover support. Local experts and everyday people team up to provide education and support through St. Paul. This team of people think creatively and responsively to the needs of the community.

Mental Health: Pastor Katy Warren

Genesis 50:15-21

15When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!”16So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father charged before he died, saying,17‘Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.18Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”19But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place?20“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.21“So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Death of Joseph

Psalm 103:1-13

1Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6The LORD performs righteous deeds

And judgments for all who are oppressed.

7He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the sons of Israel.

8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

9He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

12As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

Romans 14:1-12

Principles of Conscience

1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.2One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.3The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.4Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.6He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.7For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself;8for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.9For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.11For it is written,

“AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERYKNEE SHALL BOW TO ME,

AND EVERY TONGUE SHALLGIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”

12So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Matthew 18:21-35

21Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”22Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.24“When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.25“But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.26“So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’27“And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.28“But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’29“So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’30“But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.31“So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.32“Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.33‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’34“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.35“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Jonah 3:10-4:11

10When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

Jonah’s Displeasure Rebuked

1But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry.2He prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.3“Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”4The LORD said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?”

5Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.6So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.7But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered.8When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”

9Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.”10Then the LORD said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.11“Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”

Psalm 145:1-8

1I will extol You, my God, O King,

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

2Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

3Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,

And His greatness is unsearchable.

4One generation shall praise Your works to another,

And shall declare Your mighty acts.

5On the glorious splendor of Your majesty

And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.

6Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,

And I will tell of Your greatness.

7They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness

And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

8The LORD is gracious and merciful;

Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.

Philippians 1:21-30

To Live Is Christ

21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;24yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,26so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

27Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;28in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.29For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,30experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Matthew 20:1-16

Laborers in the Vineyard

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.2“When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.3“And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place;4and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went.5“Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing.6“And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he *said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’7“They *said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He *said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard *said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’9“When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.10“When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius.11“When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner,12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’13“But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?14‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.15‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’16“So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

Death, Resurrection Foretold

Ezekiel 18:1-32

God Deals Justly with Individuals

1Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,2“What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying,

‘The fathers eat the sour grapes,

But the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

3“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore.4“Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.

5“But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness,6and does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period—7if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing,8if he does not lend money on interest or take increase, if he keeps his hand from iniquity and executes true justice between man and man,9if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” declares the Lord GOD.

10“Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood and who does any of these things to a brother11(though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor’s wife,12oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination,13he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.

14“Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise.15“He does not eat at the mountain shrines or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile his neighbor’s wife,16or oppress anyone, or retain a pledge, or commit robbery, but he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing,17he keeps his hand from the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live.18“As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity.

19“Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live.20“The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

21“But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die.22“All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live.23“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?

24“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.25“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?26“When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die.27“Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life.28“Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.29“But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?

30“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you.31“Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?32“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.”

Psalm 25:1-9

1To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

2O my God, in You I trust,

Do not let me be ashamed;

Do not let my enemies exult over me.

3Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;

Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

4Make me know Your ways, O LORD;

Teach me Your paths.

5Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

For You I wait all the day.

6Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,

For they have been from of old.

7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

According to Your lovingkindness remember me,

For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.

8Good and upright is the LORD;

Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.

9He leads the humble in justice,

And He teaches the humble His way.

Philippians 2:1-13

Be Like Christ

1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Matthew 21:23-32

23When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.25“The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’26“But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet.”27And answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.” He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Parable of Two Sons

28“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’29“And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.30“The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go.31“Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.32“For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

Parable of the Landowner

Isaiah 5:1-7

1Let me sing now for my well-beloved

A song of my beloved concerning His vineyard.

My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.

2He dug it all around, removed its stones,

And planted it with the choicest vine.

And He built a tower in the middle of it

And also hewed out a wine vat in it;

Then He expected it to produce good grapes,

But it produced only worthless ones.

3“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,

Judge between Me and My vineyard.

4“What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?

Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?

5“So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:

I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;

I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.

6“I will lay it waste;

It will not be pruned or hoed,

But briars and thorns will come up.

I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it.”

7For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel

And the men of Judah His delightful plant.

Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed;

For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress.

Woes for the Wicked

Psalm 80:7-15

7O God of hosts, restore us

And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

8You removed a vine from Egypt;

You drove out the nations and planted it.

9You cleared the ground before it,

And it took deep root and filled the land.

10The mountains were covered with its shadow,

And the cedars of God with its boughs.

11It was sending out its branches to the sea

And its shoots to the River.

12Why have You broken down its hedges,

So that all who pass that way pick its fruit?

13A boar from the forest eats it away

And whatever moves in the field feeds on it.

14O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech You;

Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,

15Even the shoot which Your right hand has planted,

And on the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself.

Philippians 3:4b-14

4although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:5circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 21:33-46

33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED AVINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey.34“When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce.35“The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third.36“Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them.37“But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’38“But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’39“They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.40“Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?”41They *said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”

42Jesus *said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures,

‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,

THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERstone;

THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD,

AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?

43“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.44“And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.46When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet.

Isaiah 25:1-9

1O LORD, You are my God;

I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;

For You have worked wonders,

Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

2For You have made a city into a heap,

A fortified city into a ruin;

A palace of strangers is a city no more,

It will never be rebuilt.

3Therefore a strong people will glorify You;

Cities of ruthless nations will revere You.

4For You have been a defense for the helpless,

A defense for the needy in his distress,

A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat;

For the breath of the ruthless

Is like a rain storm against a wall.

5Like heat in drought, You subdue the uproar of aliens;

Like heat by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the ruthless is silenced.

6The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;

A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,

And refined, aged wine.

7And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,

Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.

8He will swallow up death for all time,

And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces,

And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;

For the LORD has spoken.

9And it will be said in that day,

“Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.

This is the LORD for whom we have waited;

Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”

Psalm 23

1The LORD is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

3He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Philippians 4:1-9

Think of Excellence

1Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.

2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord.3Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!5Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

God’s Provisions

Matthew 22:1-14

Parable of the Marriage Feast

1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying,2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.3“And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.4“Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’5“But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business,6and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.7“But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.8“Then he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.9‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’10“Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

11“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes,12and he *said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless.13“Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’14“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Tribute to Caesar

Isaiah 45:1-7

1Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed,

Whom I have taken by the right hand,

To subdue nations before him

And to loose the loins of kings;

To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:

2“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;

I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.

3“I will give you the treasures of darkness

And hidden wealth of secret places,

So that you may know that it is I,

The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

4“For the sake of Jacob My servant,

And Israel My chosen one,

I have also called you by your name;

I have given you a title of honor

Though you have not known Me.

5“I am the LORD, and there is no other;

Besides Me there is no God.

I will gird you, though you have not known Me;

6That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun

That there is no one besides Me.

I am the LORD, and there is no other,

7The One forming light and creating darkness,

Causing well-being and creating calamity;

I am the LORD who does all these.

God’s Supreme Power

Psalm 96:1-9

1Sing to the LORD a new song;

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

2Sing to the LORD, bless His name;

Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

3Tell of His glory among the nations,

His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

4For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;

He is to be feared above all gods.

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

But the LORD made the heavens.

6Splendor and majesty are before Him,

Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,

Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

8Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name;

Bring an offering and come into His courts.

9Worship the LORD in holy attire;

Tremble before Him, all the earth.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Thanksgiving for These Believers

1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,4knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;5for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.6You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.9For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,10and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

Matthew 22:15-22

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said.16And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.17“Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”18But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?19“Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius.20And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?”21They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”22And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.

Jesus Answers the Sadducees

Jeremiah 31:31-34

31“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,32not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.33“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.34“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change

And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

3Though its waters roar and foam,

Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Selah.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;

God will help her when morning dawns.

6The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;

He raised His voice, the earth melted.

7The LORD of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Selah.

8Come, behold the works of the LORD,

Who has wrought desolations in the earth.

9He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;

He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;

He burns the chariots with fire.

10“Cease striving and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

11The LORD of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Selah.

Romans 3:19-28

19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Justification by Faith

21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

John 8:31-36

31So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.35“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.36“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Revelation 7:9-17

9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;10and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,12saying,

“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”14I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.16“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Psalm 34:1-10, 22

1 John 3:1-3

Children of God Love One Another

1See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.3And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Matthew 5:1-12

The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes

1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Disciples and the World

Amos 5:18-24

18Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD,

For what purpose will the day of the LORDbe to you?

It will be darkness and not light;

19As when a man flees from a lion

And a bear meets him,

Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall

And a snake bites him.

20Will not the day of the LORDbe darkness instead of light,

Even gloom with no brightness in it?

21“I hate, I reject your festivals,

Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.

22“Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,

I will not accept them;

And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.

23“Take away from Me the noise of your songs;

I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.

24“But let justice roll down like waters

And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Psalm 70

1O God, hasten to deliver me;

O LORD, hasten to my help!

2Let those be ashamed and humiliated

Who seek my life;

Let those be turned back and dishonored

Who delight in my hurt.

3Let those be turned back because of their shame

Who say, “Aha, aha!”

4Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;

And let those who love Your salvation say continually,

“Let God be magnified.”

5But I am afflicted and needy;

Hasten to me, O God!

You are my help and my deliverer;

O LORD, do not delay.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.18Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Matthew 25:1-13

Parable of Ten Virgins

1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.2“Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.3“For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,4but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.5“Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.6“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.7“Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.8“The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’9“But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’10“And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.11“Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’12“But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’13“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Parable of the Talents

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Psalm 90:1-8, 12

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Day of the Lord

1Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.3While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;5for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.7For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.8But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.9For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Christian Conduct

Matthew 25:14-30

14“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.15“To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.17“In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.18“But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them.20“The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’21“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

22“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’23“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.25‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’

26“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.27‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.28‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

29“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.30“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Judgment