David

Monday: Reflection on the Fifth Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 20:1-23, 35-42

David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?” He said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!” But David also swore, “Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.” Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening. If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil has been determined by him. Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a sacred covenant with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father?” Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was decided by my father that evil should come upon you, would I not tell you?” Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” Jonathan replied to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.

Jonathan said to David, “By the Lord, the God of Israel! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or on the third day, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? But if my father intends to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan, and more also, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, so that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the Lord; but if I die, never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the Lord were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord seek out the enemies of David.” Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.

Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, because your place will be empty. On the day after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside the stone there. I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. Then I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, collect them,’ then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. But if I say to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go; for the Lord has sent you away. As for the matter about which you and I have spoken, the Lord is witness between you and me forever.”

In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him was a little boy. He said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. When the boy came to the place where Jonathan's arrow had fallen, Jonathan called after the boy and said, “Is the arrow not beyond you?” Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry, be quick, do not linger.” So Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. But the boy knew nothing; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more. Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.’” He got up and left; and Jonathan went into the city.

Psalm 133

How very good and pleasant it is
 when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
 running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
 running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
 which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
 life forevermore.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 11:19-26

Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.”

Year C Easter 5 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: Acts 11 word cloud by Michael Gilbertson on Wordle.net on 14 April 2016

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Friday: Preparation for the Second Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 17:19-32

Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid. The Israelites said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free in Israel.” David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” The people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”

His eldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David. He said, “Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart; for you have come down just to see the battle.” David said, “What have I done now? It was only a question.” He turned away from him toward another and spoke in the same way; and the people answered him again as before.

When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no one's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
 Praise God in his sanctuary;
 praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
 praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
 praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
 praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
 praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

New Testament Lesson: Acts 5:17-26

Peter gets out of prison while the gates are locked

Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.” When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.

When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. Then someone arrived and announced, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Year C Easter 2 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: Peter gets out of prison while the gates were locked from the St. Takla site.

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Thursday: Preparation for the Second Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 17:1-23

Goliath

Goliath

Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. Saul and the Israelites gathered and encamped in the valley of Elah, and formed ranks against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” And the Philistine said, “Today I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. The three eldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle; the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest; the three eldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.

Jesse said to his son David, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them.”

Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
 Praise God in his sanctuary;
 praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
 praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
 praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
 praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
 praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

New Testament Lesson: Acts 5:12-16

Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.

Year C Easter 2 Thursday

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: David und Goliath by Osmar Schindler, detail from a public domain image downloaded via Wikimedia Commons, altered (using Photoshop) by Michael Gilbertson on 28 March 2016 to remove David.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Seventh Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 24

When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.” Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to look for David and his men in the direction of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheepfolds beside the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. The men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’” Then David went and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul's cloak. Afterwards David was stricken to the heart because he had cut off a corner of Saul's cloak. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord's anointed, to raise my hand against him; for he is the Lord's anointed.” So David scolded his men severely and did not permit them to attack Saul. Then Saul got up and left the cave, and went on his way.

Afterwards David also rose up and went out of the cave and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance. David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of those who say, ‘David seeks to do you harm’? This very day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you into my hand in the cave; and some urged me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not raise my hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed.’ See, my father, see the corner of your cloak in my hand; for by the fact that I cut off the corner of your cloak, and did not kill you, you may know for certain that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you are hunting me to take my life. May the Lord judge between me and you! May the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. As the ancient proverb says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A single flea? May the Lord therefore be judge, and give sentence between me and you. May he see to it, and plead my cause, and vindicate me against you.”

When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. Today you have explained how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. For who has ever found an enemy, and sent the enemy safely away? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. Now I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Swear to me therefore by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not wipe out my name from my father's house.” So David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home; but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Psalm 38

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
 or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have sunk into me,
 and your hand has come down on me.

There is no soundness in my flesh
 because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
 because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
 they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

My wounds grow foul and fester
 because of my foolishness;
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
 all day long I go around mourning.

For my loins are filled with burning,
 and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am utterly spent and crushed;
 I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
 my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
 as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
 and my neighbors stand far off.

Those who seek my life lay their snares;
 those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
 and meditate treachery all day long.

But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
 like the mute, who cannot speak.
Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
 and in whose mouth is no retort.

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
 it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
 those who boast against me when my foot slips.”

For I am ready to fall,
 and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
 I am sorry for my sin.

Those who are my foes without cause are mighty,
 and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
Those who render me evil for good
 are my adversaries because I follow after good.

Do not forsake me, O Lord;
 O my God, do not be far from me;
make haste to help me,
 O Lord, my salvation.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 11:17-22, 27-33

Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, to begin with, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it. Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine. When you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord's supper. For when the time comes to eat, each of you goes ahead with your own supper, and one goes hungry and another becomes drunk. What! Do you not have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I commend you? In this matter I do not commend you!

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

Year C Epiphany 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: Saul and David in the Cave on En-Gedi by Willem de Poorter via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the First Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Former Prophets: 2 Samuel 7:18-29

There is a parallel passage at 1 Chronicles 17:16-27.

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God; you have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it. Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out before his people nations and their gods? And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people forever; and you, O Lord, became their God. And now, O Lord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised. Thus your name will be magnified forever in the saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house’; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

Psalm 90

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
 in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
 or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
 from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn us back to dust,
 and say “Turn back, you mortals.”
For a thousand years in your sight
 are like yesterday when it is past,
or like a watch in the night.
¹

You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
 like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
 in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are consumed by your anger;
 by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
 our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;
 our years come to an end like a sigh.
The days of our life are seventy years,
 or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
 they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Who considers the power of your anger?
 Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
So teach us to count our days
 that we may gain a wise heart.

Turn, O Lord! How long?
 Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
 so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
 and as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
 and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
 and prosper for us the work of our hands—
 O prosper the work of our hands!

¹Peter uses this verse in his argument against false teachers in 2 Peter 3:1-13. It is the Monday Epistle Lesson.

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 22:12-16

Bright-morning-star.jpg

“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.”

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. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“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.”

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Year C Advent 1 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.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version (MEV) , copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: Bright Morning Star downloaded from https://hdwallpapers.cat/wallpaper/beautiful_venus_and_moon_stars_nature_sky_hd-wallpaper-1591417.jpg

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Complete Jewish Bible (which has both testaments), and some perspective on what often seems like John the Evangelist's anti-Semitism.

More information about the complementary and semi-continuous series is here: Which Series?

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Latter Prophets: Ezekiel 30:20-26

In the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; it has not been bound up for healing or wrapped with a bandage, so that it may become strong to wield the sword. Therefore thus says the Lord God: I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, both the strong arm and the one that was broken; and I will make the sword fall from his hand. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them throughout the lands. I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand; but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him with the groans of one mortally wounded. I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall stretch it out against the land of Egypt, and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: 2 Samuel 2:1-7

After this David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” The Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” He said, “To Hebron.” So David went up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David brought up the men who were with him, every one with his household; and they settled in the towns of Hebron. Then the people of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

When they told David, “It was the people of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, “May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord, and buried him! Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I too will reward you because you have done this thing. Therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

Complementary Psalm 76

In Judah God is known,
 his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established in Salem,
 his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
 the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.

Glorious are you, more majestic
 than the everlasting mountains.
The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;
 they sank into sleep;
none of the troops
 was able to lift a hand.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
 both rider and horse lay stunned.

But you indeed are awesome!
Who can stand before you
 when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment;
 the earth feared and was still
when God rose up to establish judgment,
 to save all the oppressed of the earth.

Human wrath serves only to praise you,
 when you bind the last bit of your wrath around you.
Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
 let all who are around him bring gifts
 to the one who is awesome,
who cuts off the spirit of princes,
 who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.

Semi-continuous Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, I seek you,
 my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
 as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
 beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
 my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
 I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
 and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
 and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
 and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
 your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek to destroy my life
 shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword,
 they shall be prey for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
 all who swear by him shall exult,
 for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

New Testament Lesson: John 16:25-33

John 16:33

“I have said these things to you with the help of illustrations; however, a time is coming when I will no longer speak indirectly but will talk about the Father in plain language. When that day comes, you will ask in my name. I am not telling you that i will pray to the Father on your behalf, for the Father loves you, because you have loved me and believed that I came from God.

“I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.”

The talmidim said to him, “Look, you're talking plainly right now; you're not speaking indirectly at all. Now we know that you know everything, and that you don't need to have people put their questions into words. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

Yeshua answered, “Now you do believe. But a time is coming—indeed it has come already—when you will be scattered, each looking out for himself; and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.

“I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris. But be brave! I have conquered the world.” (CJB)

Here are definitions:
Shalom means peace, tranquility, contentment, integrity.
Talmidim means disciple or student. The relationship between a talmid and his rabbi was very close.
Tsuris means trouble, woe, or aggravation.

Year B Ordinary 34 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.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: John 16:33 downloaded from achristianwalkinfaith.

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The Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Complete Jewish Bible (which has both testaments), and some perspective on what often seems like John the Evangelist's anti-Semitism.

More information about the complementary and semi-continuous series is here: Which Series?

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched,
thrones were set in place,
 and an Ancient One took his throne,
his clothing was white as snow,
 and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames,
 and its wheels were burning fire.
A stream of fire issued
 and flowed out from his presence.
A thousand thousands served him,
 and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
The court sat in judgment,
 and the books were opened.

As I watched in the night visions,

I saw one like a human being
 coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
 and was presented before him.
To him was given dominion
 and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
 should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
 that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
 that shall never be destroyed.¹

¹This passage is part of the description of the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27, and Luke 21:25-28. Jesus also uses it in his response to the high priest in Matthew 26:59-68 and Mark 14:53-65. It also appears three times in Revelation Revelation 1:4-7 (an exclamation by John), Revelation 1:12-14 (describing the voice speaking to John), and Revelation 14:14-16 (a description of the reaper of the earth).

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: 2 Samuel 23:1-7

Now these are the last words of David:

The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
 the oracle of the man whom God exalted,
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
 the favorite of the Strong One of Israel:

The spirit of the Lord speaks through me,
 his word is upon my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken,
 the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
 ruling in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning,
 like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
 gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.

Is not my house like this with God?
 For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
 ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
 all my help and my desire?
But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away;
 for they cannot be picked up with the hand;
to touch them one uses an iron bar
 or the shaft of a spear.
 And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.

Complementary 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.

Semi-continuous Psalm 132

O Lord, remember in David's favor
 all the hardships he endured;
how he swore to the Lord
 and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
“I will not enter my house
 or get into my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes
 or slumber to my eyelids,
until I find a place for the Lord,
 a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

We heard of it in Ephrathah;
 we found it in the fields of Jaar.
“Let us go to his dwelling place;
 let us worship at his footstool.”

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
 you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
 and let your faithful shout for joy.
For your servant David's sake
 do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

The Lord swore to David a sure oath
 from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body
 I will set on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant
 and my decrees that I shall teach them,
their sons also, forevermore,
 shall sit on your throne.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
 he has desired it for his habitation:
“This is my resting place forever;
 here I will reside, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless its provisions;
 I will satisfy its poor with bread.
Its priests I will clothe with salvation,
 and its faithful will shout for joy.
There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David;
 I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.
His enemies I will clothe with disgrace,
 but on him, his crown will gleam.”

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 1:4b-8

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Alpha-Omega.png

Look! He is coming with the clouds;¹
 every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
 and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.²

So it is to be. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

¹Daniel 7:13   ²Zechariah 12:10

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 18:33-37

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Year B Ordinary 34 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 with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (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.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures are based on information from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Note: The links in the titles above take you to Amazon, where you can purchase them and benefit The Lectionary Company.


Image credit: Alpha and Omega by Pixabay user Philip Barrington, via Pixabay. This is a public domain image. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Complete Jewish Bible (which has both testaments), and some perspective on what often seems like John the Evangelist's anti-Semitism.

More information about the complementary and semi-continuous series is here: Which Series?

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Daniel 7:1-8, 15-18

In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in bed. Then he wrote down the dream: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then, as I watched, its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a human being; and a human mind was given to it. Another beast appeared, a second one, that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one side, had three tusks in its mouth among its teeth and was told, “Arise, devour many bodies!” After this, as I watched, another appeared, like a leopard. The beast had four wings of a bird on its back and four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the visions by night a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth and was devouring, breaking in pieces, and stamping what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that preceded it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, when another horn appeared, a little one coming up among them; to make room for it, three of the earlier horns were plucked up by the roots. There were eyes like human eyes in this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: “As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever—forever and ever.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 2 Kings 23:1-14

There is a parallel passage at 2 Chronicles 34:4-14.

Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; 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 by the pillar 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 this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.

The king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, the priests of the second order, and the guardians of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who made offerings to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and all the host of the heavens. He brought out the image of Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the Wadi Kidron, burned it at the Wadi Kidron, beat it to dust and threw the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. He broke down the houses of the male temple prostitutes that were in the house of the Lord, where the women did weaving for Asherah. He brought all the priests out of the towns of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba; he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on the left at the gate of the city. The priests of the high places, however, did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but ate unleavened bread among their kindred. He defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, so that no one would make a son or a daughter pass through fire as an offering to Molech. He removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of the eunuch Nathan-melech, which was in the precincts; then he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. The altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down from there and broke in pieces, and threw the rubble into the Wadi Kidron. The king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Destruction, which King Solomon of Israel had built for Astarte the abomination of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. He broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the sacred poles, and covered the sites with human bones.

Complementary 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.

Semi-continuous Psalm 132

O Lord, remember in David's favor
 all the hardships he endured;
how he swore to the Lord
 and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
“I will not enter my house
 or get into my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes
 or slumber to my eyelids,
until I find a place for the Lord,
 a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

We heard of it in Ephrathah;
 we found it in the fields of Jaar.
“Let us go to his dwelling place;
 let us worship at his footstool.”

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
 you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
 and let your faithful shout for joy.
For your servant David's sake
 do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

The Lord swore to David a sure oath
 from which he will not turn back:
“One of the sons of your body
 I will set on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant
 and my decrees that I shall teach them,
their sons also, forevermore,
 shall sit on your throne.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
 he has desired it for his habitation:
“This is my resting place forever;
 here I will reside, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless its provisions;
 I will satisfy its poor with bread.
Its priests I will clothe with salvation,
 and its faithful will shout for joy.
There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David;
 I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.
His enemies I will clothe with disgrace,
 but on him, his crown will gleam.”

New Testament Lesson: John 3:31-36

Beyond Death

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true.  He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God's wrath.

Year B Ordinary 34 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 with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (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.

Parallel passages are as indicated in Modern English Version (MEV), copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Note: The links in the titles above take you to Amazon, where you can purchase them and benefit The Lectionary Company.

Image credit: Beyond Death by Pixabay user Sciencefreak, via Pixabay. This is a public domain image

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