Friday Readings: Preparation for the Ninth Sunday after Epiphany (Year A : Epiphany 9.2)

Hebrew Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:1-5 

When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curses that I have set before you, if you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, and you and your children obey him with all your heart and with all your soul, just as I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, gathering you again from all the peoples among whom the Lord your God has scattered you. Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will bring you back. The Lord your God will bring you into the land that your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.

Psalm 31

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.

Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name's sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.

Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also.

For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.

I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.

For I hear the whispering of many–
terror all around!–
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.

O how abundant is your goodness
that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of everyone! In the shelter of your presence
you hide them from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter from contentious tongues.

Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was beset as a city under siege. I had said in my alarm,
“I am driven far from your sight.”
But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help.

Love the Lord, all you his saints.
The Lord preserves the faithful,
but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Romans 9:6-13 

It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, and not all of Abraham's children are his true descendants; but “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For this is what the promise said, “About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son.” Nor is that all; something similar happened to Rebecca when she had conceived children by one husband, our ancestor Isaac. Even before they had been born or had done anything good or bad (so that God's purpose of election might continue, not by works but by his call) she was told, “The elder shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.”

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1985 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

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