Jerusalem

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 Second Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson: Psalm 118:26-29

Psalm-118-29.jpg

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
 We bless you from the house of the Lord.
¹
The Lord is God,
&emspand he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
 up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
 you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
 for his steadfast love endures forever.

¹:The crowds following Jesus as he enters Jerusalem shout the first part of this verse. See Matthew 21:6-11 and Luke 19:28-40. Jesus quotes this verse in response to the Pharisees who come to warn him of Herod's plans. See Luke 13:31-35 and Matthew 23:37-39, our Gospel reading for today.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
 whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
 of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
 to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
 they shall stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
 my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
 yet I will be confident.

One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
 to live in the house of the Lord
 all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
 and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
 in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
 he will set me high on a rock.

Now my head is lifted up
 above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
 sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
 be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, do I seek.
 Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
 you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
 O God of my salvation!
If my father and mother forsake me,
 the Lord will take me up.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
 and lead me on a level path
 because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
 for false witnesses have risen against me,
 and they are breathing out violence.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
 in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
 be strong, and let your heart take courage;
 wait for the Lord!

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 23:37-39

There is a parallel passage at Luke 13:34-35.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Year C Lent 2 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.

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: Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash. This public domain image was cropped by Michael Gilbertson.

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Friday: Preparation for the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Numbers 27:12-23

Joshua-Moses.jpg

The Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim range, and see the land that I have given to the Israelites. When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin when the congregation quarreled with me. You did not show my holiness before their eyes at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint someone over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep without a shepherd.” So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him; have him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. You shall give him some of your authority, so that all the congregation of the Israelites may obey. But he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the decision of the Urim before the Lord; at his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the Israelites with him, the whole congregation.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole congregation; he laid his hands on him and commissioned him—as the Lord had directed through Moses.

Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
 before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
 and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
 for you have exalted your name
 and your word
 above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
 you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
 for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
 for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
 but the haughty he perceives from far away.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
 you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
 and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
 your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
 Do not forsake the work of your hands.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 9:26-31

When Paul had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Year C Epiphany 5 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: Joshua Called as Leader by Adolf Hult (1869-1943), via Wikimedia Commons. There are no know restrictions on the use of this image.

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Wednesday: Reflection on the Fourth Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 1:11-19

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.”

Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.

Psalm 56

Be gracious to me, O God,
  for people trample on me;
all day long foes oppress me;
 my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many fight against me.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
 I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
 in God I trust;
I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me?

All day long they seek to injure my cause;
 all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk,
 they watch my steps.
As they hoped to have my life,
 so repay them for their crime;
in wrath cast down the peoples, O God!

You have kept count of my tossings;
 put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will retreat in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
 in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I am not afraid.
 What can a mere mortal do to me?

My vows to you I must perform, O God;
 I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
 and my feet from falling,
so that I may walk before God
 in the light of life.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 19:41-44

Jesus wept-WS.jpg

As he came near and saw the city [Jerusalem], he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”

Year C Epiphany 4 Wednesday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Image credit: Jesus Wept by James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons. There are no known restrictions on the use of this work.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Fourth Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Writings: 2 Chronicles 36:11-21

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. He did not humble himself before the prophet Jeremiah who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God; he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord, the God of Israel. All the leading priests and the people also were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of the Lord that he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place; but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord against his people became so great that there was no remedy.

Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their youths with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or young woman, the aged or the feeble; he gave them all into his hand. All the vessels of the house of God, large and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his officials, all these he brought to Babylon. They burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious vessels. He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had made up for its sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

Psalm 71:1-6

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
 let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
 a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
 from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
 my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
 it was you who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 1:43-51

Jesus-Nathaniel.jpg

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Year C Epiphany 4 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.


Jesus Calls NathanielI by Jan Luyken, via Wikimedia Commons. The image was cropped to delete text below it. This is a public domain image.

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The Third Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture from the Twelve Prophets: Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
 shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
 O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
 he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
 Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
 a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
 he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
 as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
 so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.
And I will save the lame
 and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
 and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
 at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
 among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,
   says the Lord.

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 Epistle Lesson: Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 3:7-18

There are parallel passages at Matthew 3:1-12, Mark 1:1-8, and John 1:19-28.

Saint John Baptizing in the River Jordan

When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don't just say to each other, ‘We're safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God's judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots from the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

The crowds asked “What should we do?”John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”

Even the corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”.

He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”

“What should we do?” asked some soldiers.

John replied, “Don't extort money or make false accusations. Be content with your pay.”

Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know if John might be the Messiah. John answered their questions by saying, I baptize you with* water; but someone is coming who is greater than I am—so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.** He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into has barn but burning the chaff with never ending fire.” John used many such warning to announce the Good News to the people.” (NLT)

*Or in   **Or in the Holy Spirit and in fire.

Year C Advent 3 Sunday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

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.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are from Holy Bible: New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Image credit: Saint John Baptizing in the River Jordan by Nicolas Poussin, via Wikimedia.org. This is a public domain image.

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The Second Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture: Baruch 5

[The alternate reading, Malachi 3:1-4, is below.]

Take off your garment of sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
 and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.
Put on the robe of righteousness that comes from God
 put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting;
for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.
For God will give you forevermore the name,
 “Righteousness, Peace, Godly Glory.”

Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height;
 look toward the east,
and see your children gathered from west and east
 at the word of the Holy One,
 rejoicing that God has remembered them.
For they went out from you on foot,
 led away by their enemies
but God will bring them back to you,
 carried in glory, as on a royal throne.
For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low
 and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,
 so that Israel make walk in safely in the glory of God.
The woods and every fragrant tree
 have shaded Israel at God's command.
For God will lead Israel with joy,
 in the light of his glory,
 with the mercy and righteousness that comes from him.

Alternate Hebrew Scripture from the Twelve Prophets: Malachi 3:1-4

[The alternate reading, Baruch 5, is above.]

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.¹ The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

¹This passage appears in Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2, Luke 1:76 and Luke 7:27, all concerning Jesus and John the Baptist.

Canticle from the New Testament: Luke 1:68-79

[Then John the Baptist's father was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:]

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
 for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
 in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
 that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
 and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
 to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
 before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
 for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
 by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
 the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
 to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Philippians 1:3-11

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God's grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 3:1-6

John-the-Baptist-Preaching.jpg

There are parallel passages at Matthew 3:1-12, Mark 1:1-8, and John 1:19-28.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
 make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
 and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
 and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
¹

¹Isaiah 40:3-5, which is part of Monday's Hebrew Scripture

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Year C Advent 2 Sunday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

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.


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: The Preaching of St. John the Baptist by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, via Wikimedia.org. This is a public domain image.

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Saturday: Preparation for the First Sunday in Advent

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Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Writings: Nehemiah 9:26-31

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“Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their backs and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. Therefore you gave them into the hands of their enemies, who made them suffer. Then in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hands of their enemies. But after they had rest, they again did evil before you, and you abandoned them to the hands of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you rescued them according to your mercies. And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a person shall live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. Many years you were patient with them, and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; yet they would not listen. Therefore you handed them over to the peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.”

Psalm 25:1-10

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
 do not let me be put to shame;
 do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
 let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
 teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
 for you are the God of my salvation;
 for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
 for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
 according to your steadfast love remember me,
 for your goodness' sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
 therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
 and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
 for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 21:20-24

There are parallel passages at Matthew 24:15-21 and Mark 13:14-19.

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfillment of all that is written. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Year C Advent 1 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.

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: background image from http://www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/nature-landscapes/sunrise/beautiful-sunrise-over-volcanoes-in-guatemala-725x483.jpg

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