First Sunday of Heesnag
I Thessalonians 1:1-10
 In the fourteenth year of King Hezeki’ah, Sennach’erib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
 And the king of Assyria sent the Rab’shakeh from Lachish to King Hezeki’ah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field.
 And there came out to him Eli’akim the son of Hilki’ah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Jo’ah the son of Asaph, the recorder.
 And the Rab’shakeh said to them, “Say to Hezeki’ah, `Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this confidence of yours?
 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? On whom do you now rely, that you have rebelled against me?
 Behold, you are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him.
 But if you say to me, “We rely on the LORD our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezeki’ah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”?
 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders upon them.
 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
I Thessalonians 1:1-10
 Paul, Silva’nus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalo’nians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
 We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
 For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you;
 for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit;
 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedo’nia and in Acha’ia.
 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedo’nia and Acha’ia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.
 For they themselves report concerning us what a welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God,
 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
 One of the multitude said to him, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.”
 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?”
 And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully;
 and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’
 And 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; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’
 But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on.
 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
 And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life?
 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
 Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
 But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!
 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind.
 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them.
 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America