Psalm 143:1-2, 8a; Antiphon, Psalm 143:1— O Lord hear my prayer listen to my cry for mercy in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. In each of our readings for this coming week the righteous find themselves confronted by evil forces. There are those who would want the Christian to cease and desist. Thus, we must pray to the Lord for deliverance from all our enemies. Psalm 143 is such a prayer. As we make our appeals known to God, not only will He hear us but also He will act, in His own time to rescue and defend us.
The theme for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 10) is sent to serve. Christians are people who are sent by God to serve Him and His people. Jesus sent His disciples to preach and heal. John the Baptist is beaded for his refusal to stand down to wicked King Herod. (Mark 6:14-29) Faithfulness to God was far more important than obeying the dictates of a mad king. As John dies innocently, so must the Christ.
Amos claimed that the Lord chose him as a shepherd to go to Israel to preach in the Old Testament lesson. (Amos 7:7-15) In the Epistle lesson, (Ephesians 1:3-14) we gain the impression that we are destined to be God’s people through Christ and appointed to glorify Him. We are a people with a mission and on a mission given to us by God. Occasionally we might be opposed. This need not be our chief concern. One thing is needed and that is faithfulness.
Collect for Psalm 143: Lord Jesus, you bring the first light of dawn to those who dwell in darkness and make your love known to them. Enter not into judgment against your servants, but let your Spirit guide us into the land of justice, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and forever. Amen  - 05 July 2021—
 The Beheading of John the Baptist, Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut copyright © WELS used with permission
 Collect for Psalm 143, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. IV The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, © 1996 Delhi, NY