blessing

Friday: Preparation for the Sixth Sunday in Easter

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Writings: Proverbs 2:6-8

For the Lord gives wisdom;
 from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
 he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly,
guarding the paths of justice
 and preserving the way of his faithful ones.

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us
 and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known upon earth,
 your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
 let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
 for you judge the peoples with equity
 and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
 let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its increase;
 God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
 let all the ends of the earth revere him.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 16:1-8

Paul’s First Missionary Journey

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.

Year C Easter 6 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.

Paul's First Missionary Journey was downloaded in 2016 from Ambassador4Christ.net. The site does not seem to be active in 2019.

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Monday: Reflection on the Second Sunday After Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from The Latter Prophets: Isaiah 54:1-8

Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
 burst into song and shout,
 you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate woman will be more
 than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.¹

Enlarge the site of your tent,
 and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
 and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
 and your descendants will possess the nations
 and will settle the desolate towns.

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
 do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
 and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
 the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
 the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
 like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man's youth when she is cast off,
 says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
 but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
 I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
 says the Lord, your Redeemer.

¹Paul quotes this passage in a discussion concerning Sarah and Hagar in Galatians 4:21-31.

Psalm 145

I will extol you, my God and King,
 and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you,
 and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
 his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall laud your works to another,
 and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
 and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
 and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
 and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
 slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
 and his compassion is over all that he has made.

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
 and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
 and tell of your power,
to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
 and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
 and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

The Lord is faithful in all his words,
 and gracious in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
 and raises up all who are bowed down.
You open your hand,
 satisfying the desire of every living thing.
Their eyes look to you,  and you give them food in due season.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
 and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
 to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
 he also hears their cry, and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
 but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
 and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

New Testament Lesson: Romans 12:9-21

Romans-12_18.gif

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.¹” No,

“if your enemies are hungry,
 feed them;
if they are thirsty,
 give them something to drink;
for by doing this
 you will heap burning coals on their heads.²”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

¹Deuteronomy 32:35   ²Proverbs 25;21-22

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

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from the New Revised Standard Version of the Holy 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 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.

Live peaceably with all image created by Gilbertson on Photoshop.

Year C Epiphany 2 Monday

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Friday: Preparation for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Deuteronomy 15:1-11

There is a parallel passage at Leviticus 25:8-38.

Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts. And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because the Lord's remission has been proclaimed. Of a foreigner you may exact it, but you must remit your claim on whatever any member of your community owes you. There will, however, be no one in need among you, because the Lord is sure to bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a possession to occupy, if only you will obey the Lord your God by diligently observing this entire commandment that I command you today. When the Lord your God has blessed you, as he promised you, you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,” and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Ruth 4:11-17

[Boaz has redeemed Elimelech's land and will marry Ruth.]

Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

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

Complementary Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
 I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes,
 in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
 on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
 whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
 the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
 who executes justice for the oppressed;
 who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
 the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
 he upholds the orphan and the widow,
 but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
 your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Semi-continuous Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house,
 those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
 the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
 and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
 for he gives sleep to his beloved.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
 the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
 are the sons of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has
 his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
 when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 9:15-24

Christ on the cross

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.”¹ And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

¹Exodus 24:8

Year B Ordinary 32 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.

Parallel passages are as indicated in the Modern English Version (MEV) , copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved. When text is taken from the MEV, the passage ends with (MEV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.
Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

Image credit: Jesus on the Cross by an unknown artist via freelargeimages.com.

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

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

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 8:1-18

When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. Yet his sons did not follow in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 40

And the Lord said to Job:
 “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Anyone who argues with God must respond.”

Then Job answered the Lord:
 “See, I am of small account;
what shall I answer you?
 I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
 twice, but will proceed no further.”

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Gird up your loins like a man;
 I will question you, and you declare to me.
Will you even put me in the wrong?
 Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
Have you an arm like God,
 and can you thunder with a voice like his?

“Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
 clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
 and look on all who are proud, and abase them.
Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
 tread down the wicked where they stand.
Hide them all in the dust together;
 bind their faces in the world below.
Then I will also acknowledge to you
 that your own right hand can give you victory.

“Look at Behemoth,
 which I made just as I made you;
 it eats grass like an ox.
Its strength is in its loins,
 and its power in the muscles of its belly.
It makes its tail stiff like a cedar;
 the sinews of its thighs are knit together.
Its bones are tubes of bronze,
 its limbs like bars of iron.

“It is the first of the great acts of God—
 only its Maker can approach it with the sword.
For the mountains yield food
 for it where all the wild animals play.
Under the lotus plants it lies,
 in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
The lotus trees cover it for shade;
 the willows of the wadi surround it.
Even if the river is turbulent,
 it is not frightened;
it is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth.
Can one take it with hooks
 or pierce its nose with a snare?”

Complementary Psalm 37:23-40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Semi-continuous Psalm 75

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

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

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

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

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 6:1-12

A Useful Crop

Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this, if God permits. For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.

Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Year B Ordinary 29 Monday

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

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

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

Image credit: A Useful Crop by an unidentified photographer via pxhere.com. This is a public domain image.

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

Complementary Joshua 8:1-23 Ai falls because of a battle plan given to Joshua by God.

Semi-continuous Proverbs 11 Without guidance, the people fall; with many counselors there is deliverance.

Both Hebrews 12:3-13 Endure hardship as discipline, for God is treating you as children. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

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Wednesday: Reflection on Trinity Sunday

Numbers 6:22-27 God gives Moses the blessing that Aaron is to say over the Israelites.

Mark 4:21-25 Nothing is secret except to come to light.

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Thursday: Preparation for Trinity Sunday

Isaiah 1:1-4, 16-20 Wicked Judah is urged to repent.

Romans 8:1-8 To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

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Thursday: Ascension of the Lord

Thursday to Saturday Psalm 47 God has gone up with a shout

Alternate Psalm 93 Holiness is the beauty of your house forever more.

Acts 1:1-11 Jesus promises the Holy Spirit, then is taken up into heaven. Two angels promise his return.

Ephesians 1:15-23 Paul prays that the Ephesians may receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that they may know the hope to which they have been called.

Luke 24:44-53 Jesus appears to the disciples, promises they will be clothed in power, and is taken up into heaven.

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