Wednesday: Reflection on the Second Sunday of Easter
Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 26:1-15
On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
he sets up victory like walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—
in peace because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height;
the lofty city he lays low.
He lays it low to the ground,
casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy.
The way of the righteous is level;
O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments,
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and your renown are the soul's desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
If favor is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
in the land of uprightness they deal perversely and do not see the majesty of the Lord.
O Lord, your hand is lifted up,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people,
and be ashamed.
Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
for indeed, all that we have done,
you have done for us.
O Lord our God,
other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but we acknowledge your name alone.
The dead do not live; shades do not rise—
because you have punished and destroyed them,
and wiped out all memory of them.
But you have increased the nation, O Lord,
you have increased the nation;
you are glorified;
you have enlarged all the borders of the land.
Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord;
give praise, O servants of the Lord,
you that stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
sing to his name, for he is gracious.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel as his own possession.
For I know that the Lord is great;
our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth;
he makes lightnings for the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
both human beings and animals;
he sent signs and wonders into your midst,
O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings—
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
and Og, king of Bashan,
and all the kingdoms of Canaan—
and gave their land as a heritage,
a heritage to his people Israel.
Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
For the Lord will vindicate his people,
and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
they have eyes, but they do not see;
they have ears, but they do not hear,
and there is no breath in their mouths.
Those who make them and all who trust them
shall become like them.
O house of Israel, bless the Lord!
O house of Aaron, bless the Lord!
O house of Levi, bless the Lord!
You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord!
Blessed be the Lord from Zion,
he who resides in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
New Testament Gospel Lesson: Mark 12:18-27
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
Year B Easter 2 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 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.
Image credit: The Pharisees and the Saduccees Come to Tempt Jesus by James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.