Hebrew Scripture: Genesis 49:1-2, 8-13, 21-26
Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come. Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father.
Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.
Judah is a lion's whelp;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion,
like a lioness–who dares rouse him up?
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and the obedience of the peoples is his.
Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey's colt to the choice vine,
he washes his garments in wine
and his robe in the blood of grapes;
his eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea;
he shall be a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns.
Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.
The archers fiercely attacked him;
they shot at him and pressed him hard.
Yet his bow remained taut,
and his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, by the God of your father,
who will help you, by the Almighty
who will bless you with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
The blessings of your father are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,
the bounties of the everlasting hills;
may they be on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger,
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off,
do not forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 1:67-79
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people
and redeemed them.
“He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us.
“Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we,
being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
“By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Year A Epiphany 3 Wednesday
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.
Image Credit: Jacob Blessing His Twelve Sons by Thomas Dalziel. This public domain image was downloaded from http://sproutsoffaith.blogspot.com/2016/07/a-study-of-genesis-israel-in-egypt.html.