Israel

Saturday: Preparation for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 27
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 22

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 7:1-9

In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not mount an attack against it. When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim¹ the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field, and say to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. Because Aram—with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah—has plotted evil against you, saying, Let us go up against Judah and cut off Jerusalem and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; therefore thus says the Lord God:

It shall not stand,
and it shall not come to pass.
For the head of Aram is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is Rezin.
(Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.)
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in faith,
you shall not stand at all.

¹ Ephraim is often used in Isaiah and Amos to refer to the entire northern kingdom of Israel.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Writings: Lamentations 1:7-15

Jerusalem remembers,
 in the days of her affliction and wandering,
all the precious things
 that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
 and there was no one to help her,
the foe looked on mocking
 over her downfall.

Jerusalem sinned grievously,
 so she has become a mockery;
all who honored her despise her,
 for they have seen her nakedness;
she herself groans,
 and turns her face away.
Her uncleanness was in her skirts;
 she took no thought of her future;
her downfall was appalling,
 with none to comfort her.

“O Lord, look at my affliction,
 for the enemy has triumphed!”
Enemies have stretched out their hands
 over all her precious things;
she has even seen the nations
 invade her sanctuary,
those whom you forbade
 to enter your congregation.

All her people groan
 as they search for bread;
they trade their treasures for food
 to revive their strength.

Look, O Lord, and see
 how worthless I have become.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
 Look and see
if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
 which was brought upon me,
which the Lord inflicted
 on the day of his fierce anger.
From on high he sent fire;
 it went deep into my bones;
he spread a net for my feet;
 he turned me back;
he has left me stunned,
 faint all day long.

My transgressions were bound into a yoke;
 by his hand they were fastened together;
they weigh on my neck,
 sapping my strength;
the Lord handed me over
 to those whom I cannot withstand.

The Lord has rejected
 all my warriors in the midst of me;
he proclaimed a time against me
 to crush my young men;
the Lord has trodden as in a wine press
 the virgin daughter Judah.

Complementary Psalm 37:1-9

Do not fret because of the wicked;
 do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass,
 and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
 so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
 and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
 trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light,
 and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
 do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
 over those who carry out evil devices.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
 Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off,
 but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Semi-continuous Canticle from The Writings: Lamentations 3:19-26

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
 is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
 and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
 and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
 his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
 great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul.
 “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
 to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
 for the salvation of the Lord.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 20:29-34

There are parallel passages at Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43.

Healing of blind and lame

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.

Year C Ordinary 27, Catholic Proper 27, RCL Proper 22: Saturday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible (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 rights reserved.

Image Credit: Healing of blind and lame by Andreas König, 1759 (Matthew 15), photo by Andreas Praefcke (Own photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. This image was modified by Mike Gilbertson to flatten it from an arch.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Third Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture Reading from the Twelve Prophets: Amos 9:8-15

The eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom,
 and I will destroy it from the face of the earth—
 except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,
   says the Lord.

For lo, I will command,
 and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
 but no pebble shall fall to the ground.
All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
 who say, “Evil shall not overtake or meet us.”

On that day I will raise up
 the booth of David that is fallen,
and repair its breaches,
 and raise up its ruins,
 and rebuild it as in the days of old;
in order that they may possess the remnant of Edom
 and all the nations who are called by my name,
 says the Lord who does this.¹

The time is surely coming, says the Lord,
 when the one who plows shall overtake the one who reaps,
 and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed;
 the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and all the hills shall flow with it.
I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
 and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
 and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant them upon their land,
 and they shall never again be plucked up
 out of the land that I have given them,
     says the Lord your God.

¹In a speech at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:12-21) James quotes these verses.

Canticle from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely God is my salvation;
 I will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the Lord God is my strength and my might;
 he has become my salvation.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
And you will say in that day:
Give thanks to the Lord,
 call on his name;
make known his deeds among the nations;
 proclaim that his name is exalted.

Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
 let this be known in all the earth.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,
 for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 1:57-66

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

The Birth of John the Baptist

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Year C Advent 3 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.

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: The Birth of John the Baptist by Jacopo Pontormo, 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-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has information about apocalypses and summaries and links for the week ahead.

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Twelve Prophets: Zechariah 12:1-13:1

An Oracle.

The word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the human spirit within: See, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling for all the surrounding peoples; it will be against Judah also in the siege against Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it shall grievously hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth shall come together against it. On that day, says the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But on the house of Judah I will keep a watchful eye, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.”

On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot on a pile of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.

And the Lord will give victory to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be exalted over that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, at their head. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.¹ On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land shall mourn, each family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.²

On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

¹This prophecy is fulfilled at Jesus' death (John 19:28-37). ²Jesus refers to these verses when he foretells the coming of the Son of Man in the end times (Matthew 24:29-31). This passage is also quoted in the Prologue to Revelation (Revelation 1:4-8).

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 1 Kings 8:22-30

There is a parallel passage at 2 Chronicles 6:12-40.

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart, the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Regard your servant's prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.”

Complementary Psalm 13

How long, O Lord?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
 and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me,
 O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes,
 or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say,
 “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trusted in your steadfast love;
 my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
 because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Semi-continuous Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!
 Many are rising against me;
many are saying to me,
 “There is no help for you in God.”
Selah

But you, O Lord,
 are a shield around me, my glory,
and the one who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord,
 and he answers me from his holy hill.
Selah

I lie down and sleep;
 I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
I am not afraid of ten thousands of people
 who have set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
 you break the teeth of the wicked.

Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
 may your blessing be on your people!
Selah

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Mark 13:9-23

There are parallel passages at Matthew 24:15-28 and Luke 21:20-24.

Lots family flee while Sodom burns

“As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

“But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not be in winter. For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days. And if anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘Look! There he is!’—do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be alert; I have already told you everything.”

Year B Ordinary 33 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 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.

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: Lots family flee while Sodom burns by an unidentified engraver via Wikimedia Commons. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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Monday: Reflection on the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has information about apocalypses and summaries and links for the week ahead.

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Writings: Daniel 8:1-14

In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me at first. In the vision I was looking and saw myself in Susa the capital, in the province of Elam, and I was by the river Ulai. I looked up and saw a ram standing beside the river. It had two horns. Both horns were long, but one was longer than the other, and the longer one came up second. I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. All beasts were powerless to withstand it, and no one could rescue from its power; it did as it pleased and became strong.

As I was watching, a male goat appeared from the west, coming across the face of the whole earth without touching the ground. The goat had a horn between its eyes. It came toward the ram with the two horns that I had seen standing beside the river, and it ran at it with savage force. I saw it approaching the ram. It was enraged against it and struck the ram, breaking its two horns. The ram did not have power to withstand it; it threw the ram down to the ground and trampled upon it, and there was no one who could rescue the ram from its power. Then the male goat grew exceedingly great; but at the height of its power, the great horn was broken, and in its place there came up four prominent horns toward the four winds of heaven.

Out of one of them came another horn, a little one, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the beautiful land. It grew as high as the host of heaven. It threw down to the earth some of the host and some of the stars, and trampled on them. Even against the prince of the host it acted arrogantly; it took the regular burnt offering away from him and overthrew the place of his sanctuary. Because of wickedness, the host was given over to it together with the regular burnt offering; it cast truth to the ground, and kept prospering in what it did. Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one that spoke, “For how long is this vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled?” And he answered him, “For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 3:19-4:2

As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord. And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.

In those days the Philistines mustered for war against Israel, and Israel went out to battle against them; they encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle was joined, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle.

Complementary Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
 How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
 and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
 Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
 my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trusted in your steadfast love;
 my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
 because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Semi-continuous Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!
 Many are rising against me;
many are saying to me,
 “There is no help for you in God.”

But you, O Lord,are a shield around me,
 my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord,
 and he answers me from his holy hill.

I lie down and sleep;
 I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
I am not afraid of ten thousands of people
 who have set themselves against me all around.

Rise up, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
 you break the teeth of the wicked.

Deliverance belongs to the Lord;
 may your blessing be on your people!

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 10:26-31

The Day of Judgment (Illustrations to Robert Blair's The Grave)

For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.”¹ How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”² It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

¹Deuteronomy 17:6  ²Deuteronomy 32:35

Year B Ordinary 33 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 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 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: The Day of Judgment (illustrations to Robert Blair's The Grave) by William Blake, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of the New International Version, summaries of the week's readings, a wish that the church could settle the meaning of justification, widows, and faith that moves mountains.

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Ruth 4:7-22

Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Genesis 24:28-42

Then Rebekah ran and told her mother's household about these things.
The girl had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. As soon as he had seen the nose-ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, “Thus the man spoke to me,” he went to the man; and there he was, standing by the camels at the spring. He said, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside when I have prepared the house and a place for the camels?” So the man came into the house; and Laban unloaded the camels, and gave him straw and fodder for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. Then food was set before him to eat; but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my errand.” He said, “Speak on.”

So he said, “I am Abraham's servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father's house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.’ I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’ But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you and make your way successful. You shall get a wife for my son from my kindred, from my father's house. Then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my kindred; even if they will not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.’

“I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going!’”

Complementary Psalm 94

O Lord, you God of vengeance,
 you God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
 give to the proud what they deserve!
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
 how long shall the wicked exult?

They pour out their arrogant words;
 all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
 and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the stranger,
 they murder the orphan,
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
 the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people;
 fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
 does he not chastise?
The Lord knows our thoughts,
 that they are but an empty breath.

Happy are those whom you discipline, O Lord,
 and whom you teach out of your law,
giving them respite from days of trouble,
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
 he will not abandon his heritage;
for justice will return to the righteous,
 and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
 Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the Lord had not been my help,
 my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,”
 your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
 those who contrive mischief by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous,
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
 and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will repay them for their iniquity
 and wipe them out for their wickedness;
 the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Semi-continuous Psalm 113

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
 praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
 from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
 the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
 and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,
 who is seated on high,
who looks far down
 on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
 and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
 with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
 making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 4:16-30

There are parallel passages at Matthew 13:53-58 and Mark 6:1-6.

Bible Illustration of the Gospel of Luke Chapter 4

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled it and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
 because he has anointed me
 to bring good news to the poor
He has sent me to proclaim release to the prisoners
 and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”¹

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn"t this Joseph's son?”they asked.

Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will say to me, ‘Do here also in your hometown what we have heard you did in Capernaum.’”

“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in the his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in the Elijah's time, when the heaven was shut up three and a half years, and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy² in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked through the crowd and went on his way.

¹Isaiah 61:1-2 (see Septuagint) and Isaiah 58:6   ²The Greek word traditionally translated as ‘leprosy’ was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

(NIV. Parallel passages are not from the NIV, see below.)

Year B Ordinary 32 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.

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.

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.

Image credit: Bible Illustration of the Gospel of Luke Chapter 4 by Jim Padgett for Sweet Media, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Share Alike license.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Amplified Bible, a chance to think about our own blindness, and summaries and links for the lessons through Wednesday.

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture: 2 Kings 6:8-23

Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there.” The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place so that it was on the alert.

The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this; he called his officers and said to them, “Now tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?” Then one of his officers said, “No one, my lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.” He said, “Go and find where he is; I will send and seize him.” He was told, “He is in Dothan.” So he sent horses and chariots there and a great army; they came by night, and surrounded the city.

When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, “Alas, master! What shall we do?” He replied, “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.” Then Elisha prayed: “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. When the Arameans came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, please, with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.

As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men so that they may see.” The Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were inside Samaria. When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, “Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” He answered, “No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master.” So he prepared for them a great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent them on their way, and they went to their master. And the Arameans no longer came raiding into the land of Israel.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Ezekiel 18

The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge”? As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.

If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right—if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties, follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully—such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.

If he has a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though his father does none of them), who eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, takes advance or accrued interest; shall he then live? He shall not. He has done all these abominable things; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.

But if this man has a son who sees all the sins that his father has done, considers, and does not do likewise, who does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife, does not wrong anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no advance or accrued interest, observes my ordinances, and follows my statutes; he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, he dies for his iniquity.

Yet you say, “Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?” When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The person who sins shall die. A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent, nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of a child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own.

But if the wicked turn away from all their sins that they have committed and keep all my statutes and do what is lawful and right, they shall surely live; they shall not die. None of the transgressions that they have committed shall be remembered against them; for the righteousness that they have done they shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that they should turn from their ways and live? But when the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity and do the same abominable things that the wicked do, shall they live? None of the righteous deeds that they have done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which they are guilty and the sin they have committed, they shall die.

Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is unfair.” O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.

Complementary Psalm 119:17-24

Deal bountifully with your servant,
 so that I may live and observe your word.
Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
I live as an alien in the land;
 do not hide your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed with longing
 for your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
 who wander from your commandments;
take away from me their scorn and contempt,
 for I have kept your decrees.
Even though princes sit plotting against me,
 your servant will meditate on your statutes.
Your decrees are my delight,
 they are my counselors.

Semi-continuous Psalm 28

To you, O Lord, I call;
 my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
for if you are silent to me,
 I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my supplication,
 as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
 with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors,
 while mischief is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their work,
 and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
 render them their due reward.¹
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
or the work of his hands,
 he will break them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord,
 for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
 in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
 and with my song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;
 he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
 be their shepherd, and carry them forever.

¹Paul hopes this will happen to Alexander the coppersmith in 2 Timothy 4:14.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 9:32-35

Peter Heals Aeneas

Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Year B Ordinary 30 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 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.

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

Image credit: Peter Heals Aeneas by Matthias Gerung, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is from the Ottheinrich-Bibel, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, p. 238v and was cropped by Michael Gilbertson to delete a second scene. This is a public domain image.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Inclusive Bible, summaries and links for this week's readings, Christ's discussion of humility, and more about the Book of Job.

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 10:17-25

Samuel summoned the people to the Lord at Mizpah and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said, ‘No! but set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.”

Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken by lot. Finally he brought the family of the Matrites near man by man, and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. So they inquired again of the Lord, “Did the man come here?” and the Lord said, “See, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” Then they ran and brought him from there. When he took his stand among the people, he was head and shoulders taller than any of them. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship; and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people back to their homes.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 41:1-11

[Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind {40:6}]

“Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook,
 or press down its tongue with a cord?
Can you put a rope in its nose,
 or pierce its jaw with a hook?
Will it make many supplications to you?
 Will it speak soft words to you?
Will it make a covenant with you
 to be taken as your servant forever?
Will you play with it as with a bird,
 or will you put it on leash for your girls?
Will traders bargain over it?
 Will they divide it up among the merchants?
Can you fill its skin with harpoons,
 or its head with fishing spears?
Lay hands on it;
 think of the battle; you will not do it again!
Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed;
 were not even the gods overwhelmed at the sight of it?
No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up.
 Who can stand before it?
Who can confront it and be safe?
 —under the whole heaven, who?”¹

¹The suffering of the heroes of the faith told in Hebrews 11:32-40 reflects this idea.

Complementary Psalm 37:23-40

Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
 when he delights in our way;
though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
 for the Lord holds us by the hand.

I have been young, and now am old,
 yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
 or their children begging bread.
They are ever giving liberally and lending,
 and their children become a blessing.

Depart from evil, and do good;
 so you shall abide forever.
For the Lord loves justice;
 he will not forsake his faithful ones.

The righteous shall be kept safe forever,
 but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land,
 and live in it forever.

The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
 and their tongues speak justice.
The law of their God is in their hearts;
 their steps do not slip.

The wicked watch for the righteous,
 and seek to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their power,
 or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.

Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way,
 and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
 you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

I have seen the wicked oppressing,
 and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
Again I passed by, and they were no more;
 though I sought them, they could not be found.

Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
 for there is posterity for the peaceable.
But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
 the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
 he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and rescues them;
 he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
 because they take refuge in him.

Semi-continuous Psalm 75

We give thanks to you, O God;
 we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.

At the set time that I appoint
 I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
 it is I who keep its pillars steady. Selah
I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
 and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
 or speak with insolent neck.”

For not from the east or from the west
 and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
but it is God who executes judgment,
 putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
 with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
 and all the wicked of the earth
 shall drain it down to the dregs.
But I will rejoice forever;
 I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
 but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 6:13-20

Anchor

When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.”¹ And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.²

¹Genesis 22:17   ²Psalm 110:4

Year B Ordinary 29 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 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 (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) 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 (New Testament) that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) 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: Anchor created by Michael Gilbertson from a public domain anchor image.

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