Tuesday: Reflection on the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Numbers 8:5-22

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take the Levites from among the Israelites and cleanse them. Thus you shall do to them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification on them, have them shave their whole body with a razor and wash their clothes, and so cleanse themselves. Then let them take a young bull and its grain offering of choice flour mixed with oil, and you shall take another young bull for a sin offering. You shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting, and assemble the whole congregation of the Israelites. When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the Israelites shall lay their hands on the Levites, and Aaron shall present the Levites before the Lord as an elevation offering from the Israelites, that they may do the service of the Lord. The Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and he shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord, to make atonement for the Levites. Then you shall have the Levites stand before Aaron and his sons, and you shall present them as an elevation offering to the Lord.

Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the other Israelites, and the Levites shall be mine. Thereafter the Levites may go in to do service at the tent of meeting, once you have cleansed them and presented them as an elevation offering. For they are unreservedly given to me from among the Israelites; I have taken them for myself, in place of all that open the womb, the firstborn of all the Israelites. For all the firstborn among the Israelites are mine, both human and animal. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, but I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the Israelites. Moreover, I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites, to do the service for the Israelites at the tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the Israelites, in order that there may be no plague among the Israelites for coming too close to the sanctuary.

Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the Israelites did with the Levites accordingly; the Israelites did with the Levites just as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning them. The Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them as an elevation offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. Thereafter the Levites went in to do their service in the tent of meeting in attendance on Aaron and his sons. As the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did with them.

Psalm 115

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
 but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.
Why should the nations say,
 “Where is their God?”

Our God is in the heavens;
 he does whatever he pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
 the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
 eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
 noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
 feet, but do not walk;
 they make no sound in their throats.
Those who make them are like them;
 so are all who trust in them.

O Israel, trust in the Lord!
 He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!
 He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!
 He is their help and their shield.

The Lord has been mindful of us;
 he will bless us;
he will bless the house of Israel;
 he will bless the house of Aaron;
he will bless those who fear the Lord,
 both small and great.

May the Lord give you increase,
 both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
 who made heaven and earth.

The heavens are the Lord's heavens,
 but the earth he has given to human beings.
The dead do not praise the Lord,
 nor do any that go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lord
 from this time on and forevermore.
Praise the Lord!

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Titus 1:1-9

The Holy Apostle Titus of Crete

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began—in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior, To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

Year B Easter 7 Tuesday

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 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Image credit: The Holy Apostle Titus of Crete, 14th Century, from the Church of St. Nicholas, Kosovo, Stove Patriarchy, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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