Saul

Monday: Reflection on the Fifth Sunday in Easter

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 133

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

New Testament Lesson: Acts 11:19-26

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

Year C Easter 5 Monday

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

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

Image credit: Acts 11 word cloud by Michael Gilbertson on Wordle.net on 14 April 2016

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The Third Sunday in Easter

New Testament Lesson: Acts 9:1-20

There are parallel passages at Acts 22:6-16 and Acts 26:12-18.

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”

Psalm 30

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
 and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
 and you have healed me.
O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
 restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
 and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
 his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
 but joy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my prosperity,
 “I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
 you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
 I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cried,
 and to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death,
 if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
 Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
 O Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned my mourning into dancing;
 you have taken off my sackcloth
 and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
 O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 5:11-14

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,

“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might
forever and ever!”

And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

John 21:1-19

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

Miraculous Catch-WS.jpg

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Year C Easter 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.


Image Credit: The Miraculous Draught of Fishes (1515) by Raphael via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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Tuesday: Reflection on the Seventh Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 24

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

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

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

Psalm 38

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Year C Epiphany 7 Tuesday

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

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

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

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Thursday: Preparation for the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Torah Lesson: Numbers 20:22-29

They set out from Kadesh, and the Israelites, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, “Let Aaron be gathered to his people. For he shall not enter the land that I have given to the Israelites, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and bring them up Mount Hor; strip Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar. But Aaron shall be gathered to his people, and shall die there.” Moses did as the Lord had commanded; they went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole congregation. Moses stripped Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.

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 9:19b-25

Paul-Damascus.jpg

For several days Saul was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.

After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

Year C Epiphany 5 Thursday

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

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

Image credit: Paul Lowered in a Basket by The Providence Lithograph Company via MarysRosaries.com. This is a public domain image.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Complementary Psalm 76

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

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

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

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

Semi-continuous Psalm 63

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

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

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

New Testament Lesson: John 16:25-33

John 16:33

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

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

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

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

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

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

Year B Ordinary 34 Wednesday

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

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

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

Image credit: John 16:33 downloaded from achristianwalkinfaith.

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

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

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Latter Prophets: Ezekiel 29:1-12

In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt; speak, and say, Thus says the Lord God:

I am against you,
 Pharaoh king of Egypt,
the great dragon sprawling
 in the midst of its channels,
saying, “My Nile is my own;
 I made it for myself.”
I will put hooks in your jaws,
 and make the fish of your channels stick to your scales.
I will draw you up from your channels,
 with all the fish of your channels
 sticking to your scales.
I will fling you into the wilderness,
 you and all the fish of your channels;
you shall fall in the open field,
 and not be gathered and buried.
To the animals of the earth and to the birds of the air
 I have given you as food.
Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know
 that I am the Lord
because you were a staff of reed
 to the house of Israel;
when they grasped you with the hand, you broke,
 and tore all their shoulders;
and when they leaned on you, you broke,
 and made all their legs unsteady.

Therefore, thus says the Lord God: I will bring a sword upon you, and will cut off from you human being and animal; and the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

Because you said, “The Nile is mine, and I made it,” therefore, I am against you, and against your channels, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Ethiopia. No human foot shall pass through it, and no animal foot shall pass through it; it shall be uninhabited forty years. I will make the land of Egypt a desolation among desolated countries; and her cities shall be a desolation forty years among cities that are laid waste. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:55—18:5

When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know. The king said, “Inquire whose son the stripling is.” On David's return from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army. And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved.

Complementary Psalm 76

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

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

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

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

Semi-continuous Psalm 63

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

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

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

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 11:15-19

Adoration to the Throne

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord
 and of his Messiah,
and he will reign forever and ever.”

Then the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, singing,

“We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty,
 who are and who were,
for you have taken your great power
 and begun to reign.
The nations raged,
 but your wrath has come,
 and the time for judging the dead,
for rewarding your servants, the prophets
 and saints and all who fear your name,
 both small and great,
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

Year B Ordinary 34 Tuesday

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

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

Image Credit: Adoration to the Throne from Trinity Cathedral, Troitse-Danilov Monastery, via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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

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

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Latter Prophets: Ezekiel 28:1-10

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God:

Because your heart is proud
 and you have said, “I am a god;
I sit in the seat of the gods,
 in the heart of the seas,”
yet you are but a mortal, and no god,
 though you compare your mind
 with the mind of a god.
You are indeed wiser than Daniel;
 no secret is hidden from you.
By your wisdom and your understanding
 you have amassed wealth for yourself,
and have gathered gold and silver
 into your treasuries.
By your great wisdom in trade
 you have increased your wealth,
 and your heart has become proud in your wealth.
Therefore thus says the Lord God:
Because you compare your mind
 with the mind of a god,
therefore, I will bring strangers against you,
 the most terrible of the nations;
they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom
 and defile your splendor.
They shall thrust you down to the Pit,
 and you shall die a violent death
 in the heart of the seas.
Will you still say, “I am a god,”
 in the presence of those who kill you,
though you are but a mortal, and no god,
 in the hands of those who wound you?
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
 by the hand of foreigners;
 for I have spoken, says the Lord God.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 2 Kings 22:1-10

There is a parallel passage at 2 Chronicles 34:14-18.

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, “Go up to the high priest Hilkiah, and have him count the entire sum of the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people; let it be given into the hand of the workers who have the oversight of the house of the Lord; let them give it to the workers who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house, that is, to the carpenters, to the builders, to the masons; and let them use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.”

The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” When Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, he read it. Then Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workers who have oversight of the house of the Lord.” Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.” Shaphan then read it aloud to the king.

Complementary Psalm 93

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

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

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

Semi-continuous Psalm 132

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

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

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

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

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

New Testament Lesson: Acts 7:54-8:1a

Stoning of St. Stephen

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died. And Saul approved of their killing him.

That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem.

Year B Ordinary 34 Thursday

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version 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: Stoning of St. Stephen by Giorgio Vasari, via WikiArt.org. This is a public domain image.

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Thursday: Preparation for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Complementary 1 Samuel 28:20-25 Food for Saul and his servants.

Semi-continuous 2 Samuel 13:37-14:24 Joab arranges with a wise woman to get David to allow Absalom back in Jerusalem.

Both Romans 15:1-6 Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony.

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