Moses

Sunday: The twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 24
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 19

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Exodus 32:7-14

The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are.¹ Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”

But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.²’” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

¹This verse is quoted in Stephen's defense before the Sanhedrin.
²This verse is quoted in Hebrews 11, where the faith of the patriarchs is held up.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse—a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them.

“For my people are foolish,
 they do not know me;
they are stupid children,
 they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil,
 but do not know how to do good.”

I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void;
 and to the heavens, and they had no light.
I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking,
 and all the hills moved to and fro.
I looked, and lo, there was no one at all,
and all the birds of the air had fled.
I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert,
and all its cities were laid in ruins
before the Lord,before his fierce anger.

For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

Because of this the earth shall mourn,
 and the heavens above grow black;
for I have spoken, I have purposed;
 I have not relented nor will I turn back.

Complementary Psalm 51:1-10

Have mercy on me, O God,
 according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
 blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
 and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
 and blameless when you pass judgment.¹

Indeed, I was born guilty,
 a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
 therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
 wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
 let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
 and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
 and put a new and right spirit within me.

¹This verse is quoted in Romans 3:4, a discussion about Jews and the Law.

Semi-continuous Psalm 14

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
 They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
 there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
 to see if there are any who are wise,
 who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
 there is no one who does good,
 no, not one.¹

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
 who eat up my people as they eat bread,
 and do not call upon the Lord?

There they shall be in great terror,
 for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
 When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
 Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

¹This passage is quoted in Romans 3:10-12, where Paul argues that none is righteous.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 15:1-10

The Lost Drachma

There is a parallel passage about the lost sheep at Matthew 18:12-14.

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”¹

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Year C Ordinary 24, Catholic Proper 24, RCL Proper 19: Sunday

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.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version Bible, 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: The Lost Drachma by James Tissot via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license (public domain).

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Roman Catholic Proper 19
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 14

Complementary Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Writings: 2 Chronicles 34:22-33

There is a parallel passage at 2 Kings 22:8-20, 23:1-3.

[The priest Hilkiah has found the book of the law in the temple as it is being restored. King Josiah has sent to inquire about the book.]

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

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

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 24:1-13

Now the Lord is about to lay waste the earth and make it desolate,
 and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
 as with the slave, so with his master;
 as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller;
 as with the lender, so with the borrower;
 as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled;
 for the Lord has spoken this word.

The earth dries up and withers,
 the world languishes and withers;
 the heavens languish together with the earth.
The earth lies polluted
 under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed laws,
 violated the statutes,
 broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
 and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,
 and few people are left.
The wine dries up,
 the vine languishes,
 all the merry-hearted sigh.
The mirth of the timbrels is stilled,
 the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
 the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
No longer do they drink wine with singing;
 strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
The city of chaos is broken down,
 every house is shut up so that no one can enter.
There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
 all joy has reached its eventide;
 the gladness of the earth is banished.
Desolation is left in the city,
 the gates are battered into ruins.
For thus it shall be on the earth
 and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
 as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.

Complementary Psalm 89:1-18

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
 with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
 your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
 I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
 and build your throne for all generations.’”
Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
 your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
 Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
 great and awesome above all that are around him?
O Lord God of hosts,
 who is as mighty as you, O Lord?
 Your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule the raging of the sea;
 when its waves rise, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
 you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
 the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.
The north and the south—you created them;
 Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
You have a mighty arm;
 strong is your hand, high your right hand.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
 steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Semi-continuous Psalm 11

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
 “Flee like a bird to the mountains;
for look, the wicked bend the bow,
 they have fitted their arrow to the string,
 to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
“If the foundations are destroyed,
 what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;
 the Lord's throne is in heaven.
 His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
 and his soul hates the lover of violence.
On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur;
 a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
 the upright shall behold his face.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 11:17-28

Heroes of Faith 2

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.”¹ He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.” By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial. By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king's edict.

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king's anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

¹Genesis 21:12

Year C Ordinary 19, Roman Catholic Proper 19, RCL Proper 14, Tuesday

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: Heroes of Faith 2 constructed by Michael Gilbertson from elements in Heroes of Faith 2 and Heroes of Faith 3 with permission from Mark Barry. Copyright © 2014 Mark Barry. See more of Mark's terrific work in English, Spanish, simplified Chinese, and Indonesian at visualunit.me.

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Saturday: Preparation for the Seventh Sunday in Easter

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

[Moses is speaking to God.]

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

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

Psalm 97

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

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

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

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

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

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 1:14-18

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

Year C Easter 7 Saturday

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

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

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

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

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Friday: Preparation for the Seventh Sunday in Easter

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

Exodus-33-Pillar.jpg

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

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

Psalm 97

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

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

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

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

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

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 22:6-9

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

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

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

Year C Easter 7 Friday

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

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

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

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Saturday: Preparation for Palm and Passion Sunday

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Leviticus 23:1-8

There are parallel passages at Exodus 12:14-20, Numbers 28:16-25, and Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed festivals.

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Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a sabbath to the Lord throughout your settlements.

These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a Passover offering to the Lord, and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. For seven days you shall present the Lord's offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.

Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
 my eye wastes away from grief,
 my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
 and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
 and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
 a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
 those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
 I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
 terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
 as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
 I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
 deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
 save me in your steadfast love.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 22:1-13

There are parallel passages about the preparation for Passover at Matthew 26:17-25 and Mark 14:12-21. There are parallel passages about the plot to kill Jesus at Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1-2, 10-11, and John 11:45-53.

Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?” “Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.” So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

Year C Lent 6 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: Forest Chapel by Rog Frost via Wikimedia Commons. This image is used under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license.

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Friday: Preparation for the First Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Exodus 6:1-13

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”

God also spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘The Lord’ I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.” But Moses spoke to the Lord, “The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?” Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt.

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
 who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
 my God, in whom I trust.”

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
 the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,
 no scourge come near your tent.

For he will command his angels
 concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
 so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
 the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
 I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
 I will be with them in trouble,
 I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
 and show them my salvation.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 7:35-42

[Stephen is speaking before the Sanhedrin]

The Golden Calf

“It was this Moses whom they rejected when they said, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ and whom God now sent as both ruler and liberator through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up a prophet for you from your own people as he raised me up.’¹ He is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living oracles to give to us. Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make gods for us who will lead the way for us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’² At that time they made a calf, offered a sacrifice to the idol, and reveled in the works of their hands. But God turned away from them and handed them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

‘Did you offer to me slain victims and sacrifices
 forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?’”³

¹Deuteronomy 18:15   ²Exodus 32:1   ³Amos 5:25

Year C Lent 1 Friday

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1985 by Consultation on Common Texts.

Additional citations of Hebrew Scripture used in Christian Scripture, when not found in the NIV, are from the NET Bible. Scriptures designated (NET) are from the Net Bible-New English Translation ® copyright © 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, LLC (www.bible.org) used by permission. All rights 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.

Image credit: Adoration of the Golden Calf by François Perrier, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Third Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Numbers 16:20-35

Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: Separate yourselves from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment. They fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one person sin and you become angry with the whole congregation?”

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Say to the congregation: Get away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. So Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram; the elders of Israel followed him. He said to the congregation, “Turn away from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, or you will be swept away for all their sins.” So they got away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrance of their tents, together with their wives, their children, and their little ones. And Moses said, “This is how you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works; it has not been of my own accord: If these people die a natural death, or if a natural fate comes on them, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord.”

As soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground under them was split apart. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households—everyone who belonged to Korah and all their goods. So they with all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. All Israel around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “The earth will swallow us too!” And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred fifty men offering the incense.

Canticle from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 11:1-9

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
 and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
 the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
 the spirit of counsel and might,
 the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
 or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
 and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
 and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.¹
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
 and faithfulness the belt around his loins.²

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
 the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
 and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
 their young shall lie down together;
 and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
 and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
 on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
 as the waters cover the sea.

¹Paul uses this (from but with righteousness … kill the wicked) in his discussion of the Day of the Lord in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
²Paul uses this sentence, among other images, to describe preparation for spiritual warfare in
Ephesians 6:10-20.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 28:23-31

Apostle Paul Preaching on the Ruins

After they [the leaders of the Roman Jews] had set a day to meet with Paul, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe. So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah,

‘Go to this people and say,
You will indeed listen, but never understand,
 and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people's heart has grown dull,
 and their ears are hard of hearing,
  and they have shut their eyes;
  so that they might not look with their eyes,
 and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
 and I would heal them.’¹

Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

¹Isaiah 6:9-10

Year C Advent 3 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.

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: Apostle Paul Preaching on the Ruins by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, via Wikimedia.org. This is a public domain image.

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Monday: Reflection on the Third Sunday in Advent

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Torah: Numbers 16:1-19

Now Korah son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, along with Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—descendants of Reuben—took two hundred fifty Israelite men, leaders of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men, and they confronted Moses. They assembled against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone too far! All the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and the Lord is among them. So why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” When Moses heard it, he fell on his face. Then he said to Korah and all his company, “In the morning the Lord will make known who is his, and who is holy, and who will be allowed to approach him; the one whom he will choose he will allow to approach him.¹ Do this: take censers, Korah and all your company, and tomorrow put fire in them, and lay incense on them before the Lord; and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. You Levites have gone too far!” Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you Levites! Is it too little for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to allow you to approach him in order to perform the duties of the Lord's tabernacle, and to stand before the congregation and serve them? He has allowed you to approach him, and all your brother Levites with you; yet you seek the priesthood as well! Therefore you and all your company have gathered together against the Lord. What is Aaron that you rail against him?”

Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab; but they said, “We will not come! Is it too little that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also lord it over us? It is clear you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come!”

Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, “Pay no attention to their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed any one of them.” And Moses said to Korah, “As for you and all your company, be present tomorrow before the Lord, you and they and Aaron; and let each one of you take his censer, and put incense on it, and each one of you present his censer before the Lord, two hundred fifty censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.” So each man took his censer, and they put fire in the censers and laid incense on them, and they stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. Then Korah assembled the whole congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole congregation.

¹Paul refers to this verse in his advice to Timothy about false teachers (2 Timothy 2:14-26).

Canticle from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 11:1-9

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
 and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
 the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
 the spirit of counsel and might,
 the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
 or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
 and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
 and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.¹
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
 and faithfulness the belt around his loins.²

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
 the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
 and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
 their young shall lie down together;
 and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
 and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
 on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
 as the waters cover the sea.

¹Paul uses this (from but with righteousness … kill the wicked) in his discussion of the Day of the Lord in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
²Paul uses this sentence, among other images, to describe preparation for spiritual warfare in
Ephesians 6:10-20.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 13:7-17

Christ Before the High Priest

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them. We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing—for that would be harmful to you.

Year C Advent 3 Monday

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

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

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: Christ Before the High Priest by Gerrit Van Honthorst, digital assetmanagement site. This is a public domain image.

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