Easter

Wednesday: Reflection on the Seventh Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Ezekiel 3:12-21

Then the spirit lifted me up, and as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, I heard behind me the sound of loud rumbling; it was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, that sounded like a loud rumbling. The spirit lifted me up and bore me away; I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who lived by the river Chebar. And I sat there among them, stunned, for seven days.

At the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you give them no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and they do not turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they shall die for their iniquity; but you will have saved your life. Again, if the righteous turn from their righteousness and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before them, they shall die; because you have not warned them, they shall die for their sin, and their righteous deeds that they have done shall not be remembered; but their blood I will require at your hand. If, however, you warn the righteous not to sin, and they do not sin, they shall surely live, because they took warning; and you will have saved your life.

Psalm 29

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
 worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
 the God of glory thunders,
 the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
 the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
 the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
 and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
 the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
 and strips the forest bare;
 and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
 the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
 May the Lord bless his people with peace!

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 9:18-27

There are parallel passages at Matthew 16:13-28 and Mark 8:7-9:1.

The Twelve Apostles

Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”

He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Year C Easter 7 Wednesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credit:  “The Synaxis of the holy and the most praiseworthy Twelve Apostles” by anonymous (originally from the Pushkin Museum official page) via Wikimedia Commons

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Seventh Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Writings: 2 Chronicles 5:2-14

There is a parallel passage at 1 Kings 8:1-21.

Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral houses of the people of Israel, in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the Israelites assembled before the king at the festival that is in the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites carried the ark. So they brought up the ark, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be numbered or counted. Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside; they are there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel after they came out of Egypt.

Now when the priests came out of the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to their divisions, and all the levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kindred, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with one hundred twenty priests who were trumpeters). It was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord,

“For he is good,
 for his steadfast love endures forever,”

the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

Psalm 29

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
 worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
 the God of glory thunders,
 the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
 the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
 the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
 and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
 the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
 and strips the forest bare;
 and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
 the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
 May the Lord bless his people with peace!

New Testament Lesson: Acts 26:19-29

[Paul is at his trial before King Agrippa. Agrippa was king of Chalcis, Galilee, and other areas. Festus was the Roman procurator, effectively the military governor.]

Year C Easter 7 Tuesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credit: Solomon's Temple from a book by Charles O'Donnell, Ancient city of Jerusalem, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Monday: Reflection on the Seventh Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Exodus 40:16-38

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness

Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him. In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up. Moses set up the tabernacle; he laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars; and he spread the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent over it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He took the covenant and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy seat above the ark; and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the curtain for screening, and screened the ark of the covenant; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tent of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the curtain, and set the bread in order on it before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tent of meeting, opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle, and set up the lamps before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the golden altar in the tent of meeting before the curtain, and offered fragrant incense on it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He also put in place the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle. He set the altar of burnt offering at the entrance of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered on it the burnt offering and the grain offering as the Lord had commanded Moses. He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing, with which Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet. When they went into the tent of meeting, and when they approached the altar, they washed; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He set up the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and put up the screen at the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
 worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
 the God of glory thunders,
 the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
 the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
 the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
 and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
 the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
 and strips the forest bare;
 and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
 the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
 May the Lord bless his people with peace!

New Testament Lesson: Acts 16:35-40

When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, “The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace.” But Paul replied, “They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.” The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. After leaving the prison they went to Lydia's home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

Year C Easter 7 Monday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credit: The Tabernacle, an anonymous work (http://www.rjews.net/gazeta/Photo/hram.php3?id=1), via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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The Seventh Sunday in Easter

New Testament Lesson: Acts 16:16-34

[Paul, Timothy, and Luke are together and have been with Lydia, who may be with them in this passage.]

One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.” The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

Psalm 97

Psalm-97_11.jpg

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
 let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
 righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
 and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
 the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
 before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
 and all the peoples behold his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
 those who make their boast in worthless idols;
 all gods bow down before him.¹

Zion hears and is glad,
 and the towns of Judah rejoice,
 because of your judgments, O God.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
 you are exalted far above all gods.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;
 he guards the lives of his faithful;
 he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Light dawns for the righteous,
 and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
 and give thanks to his holy name!

¹This verse is referred to indirectly in Hebrews 1:5-14, showing that the Son is superior to the angels.

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone's work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Water-of-life-All.jpg

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.

“It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 17:20-26

[Jesus is speaking at the Last Supper.]

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Year C Easter 7 Sunday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credit: Psalm 97:11 dawn image by Michael Gilbertson (April 28, 2016), text added via Photoshop by Michael Gilbertson

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Saturday: Preparation for the Seventh Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Exodus 33:18-23

[Moses is speaking to God.]

Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The Lord’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.¹ But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” And the Lord continued, “See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 9:14-18, making the point that God will have mercy on whom God will have mercy.

Psalm 97

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
 let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
 righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
 and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
 the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
 before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
 and all the peoples behold his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
 those who make their boast in worthless idols;
 all gods bow down before him.¹

Zion hears and is glad,BR>  and the towns of Judah rejoice,
 because of your judgments, O God.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
 you are exalted far above all gods.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;
 he guards the lives of his faithful;
 he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Light dawns for the righteous,
 and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
 and give thanks to his holy name!

¹This verse is referred to indirectly in Hebrews 1:5-14, showing that the Son is superior to the angels.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 1:14-18

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a Father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.

Year C Easter 7 Saturday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credit:  As Sik ('Canyon'), Petra, Wadi Musa, Jordan by Elias Rovielo, via Flickr.com. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial Share Alike 2.0 license

The Baptism of Christ by Fra Angelico (circa 1395-1455), via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Friday: Preparation for the Seventh Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Exodus 33:12-17

Exodus-33-Pillar.jpg

Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your people, from every people on the face of the earth.”

The Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”

Psalm 97

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
 let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
 righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
 and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
 the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
 before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
 and all the peoples behold his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
 those who make their boast in worthless idols;
 all gods bow down before him.¹

Zion hears and is glad,BR>  and the towns of Judah rejoice,
 because of your judgments, O God.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
 you are exalted far above all gods.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;
 he guards the lives of his faithful;
 he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Light dawns for the righteous,
 and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
 and give thanks to his holy name!

¹This verse is referred to indirectly in Hebrews 1:5-14, showing that the Son is superior to the angels.

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 22:6-9

And he [one of the angels from Revelation 15:1-5] said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

Year C Easter 7 Friday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credit: Read'n Grow Picture Bible Illustrations, copyright 1984 by and courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Share Alike license.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Sixth Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Writings: 2 Chronicles 34:20-33

There is a parallel passage at 2 Kings 22:12-23:3.

Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, the secretary Shaphan, and the king's servant Asaiah: “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found; for the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us is great, because our ancestors did not keep the word of the Lord, to act in accordance with all that is written in this book.”

Huldah

So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent went to the prophet Huldah, the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (who lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter) and spoke to her to that effect. She declared to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, Thus says the Lord: I will indeed bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, so that they have provoked me to anger with all the works of their hands, my wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched. But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was penitent and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me, and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord. I will gather you to your ancestors and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring on this place and its inhabitants.” They took the message back to the king.

Then the king sent word and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin pledge themselves to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel, and made all who were in Israel worship the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord the God of their ancestors.

Psalm 93

The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
 the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
 your throne is established from of old;
 you are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
 the floods have lifted up their voice;
 the floods lift up their roaring.
More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
 more majestic than the waves of the sea,
 majestic on high is the Lord!

Your decrees are very sure;
 holiness befits your house,
 O Lord, forevermore.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 2:25-38

Simeon and Anna recognize Christ in Jesus

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
 according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
 and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Year C Easter 6 Wednesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credits: Huldah copyright by Elspeth Young. All rights reserved. Courtesy of Al Young Studios

Simeon and Anna Recognize the Lord in Jesus by Rembrandt. via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Sixth Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Writings: 2 Chronicles 15:1-15

The spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you, while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times it was not safe for anyone to go or come, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces, nation against nation and city against city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

Asa Destroys the Idols

Asa Destroys the Idols

When Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing as aliens with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. They sacrificed to the Lord on that day, from the booty that they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and with all their soul. Whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. They took an oath to the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with horns. All Judah rejoiced over the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.

Psalm 93

The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
 the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
 your throne is established from of old;
 you are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
 the floods have lifted up their voice;
 the floods lift up their roaring.
More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
 more majestic than the waves of the sea,
 majestic on high is the Lord!

Your decrees are very sure;
 holiness befits your house,
 O Lord, forevermore.

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 21:15-22

The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

Year C Easter 6 Tuesday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 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.

Image credit: Asa Destroys the Idols by an illustrator of Petrus Comestor's Bible Historiale, France, 1372 via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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