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Thursday: Preparation for Sunday June 30

Thursday: Preparation

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Revised Common Lectionary Proper 8, Roman Catholic Proper 13

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from The Torah: Leviticus 9:22-10:11

Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them; and he came down after sacrificing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the offering of well-being. Moses and Aaron entered the tent of meeting, and then came out and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

Now Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his censer, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered unholy fire before the Lord, such as he had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant when he said,

‘Through those who are near me
 I will show myself holy,
and before all the people
 I will be glorified.’”

And Aaron was silent.

Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come forward, and carry your kinsmen away from the front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” They came forward and carried them by their tunics out of the camp, as Moses had ordered. And Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not dishevel your hair, and do not tear your vestments, or you will die and wrath will strike all the congregation; but your kindred, the whole house of Israel, may mourn the burning that the Lord has sent. You shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, or you will die; for the anointing oil of the Lord is on you.” And they did as Moses had ordered.

And the Lord spoke to Aaron: Drink no wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons, when you enter the tent of meeting, that you may not die; it is a statute forever throughout your generations. You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 1 Kings 22:29-40, 51-53

There is a parallel passage at 2 Chronicles 18:28-34.

So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. Now the king of Aram had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.” When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him; and Jehoshaphat cried out. When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. But a certain man drew his bow and unknowingly struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate; so he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” The battle grew hot that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans, until at evening he died; the blood from the wound had flowed into the bottom of the chariot. Then about sunset a shout went through the army, “Every man to his city, and every man to his country!”

So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; they buried the king in Samaria. They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria; the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord that he had spoken. Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house that he built, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? So Ahab slept with his ancestors; and his son Ahaziah succeeded him.

Ahaziah son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of King Jehoshaphat of Judah; he reigned two years over Israel. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and mother, and in the way of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. He served Baal and worshiped him; he provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done.

Complementary Psalm 16

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
 I have no good apart from you.”

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
 in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
 their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
 or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
 you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
 I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
 in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
 because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
 my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
 or let your faithful one see the Pit.¹

You show me the path of life.
 In your presence there is fullness of joy;
 in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.²

¹Paul quotes this verse (For you … the Pit) when he is preaching at Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 13:26-41).
²Peter quotes this entire passage when he addresses the crowd at Pentecost (
Acts 2:14-36).

Semi-continuous Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God,
 that he may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
 in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
 my soul refuses to be comforted.

I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;
 I will remember your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all your work,
 and muse on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
 What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
 you have displayed your might among the peoples.
With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
 the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

When the waters saw you, O God,
 when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
 the very deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
 the skies thundered;
 your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
 your lightnings lit up the world;
 the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was through the sea,
 your path, through the mighty waters;
 yet your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock
 by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 13:5-10

Examine Yourself

Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed. But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. This is what we pray for, that you may become perfect. So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come, I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

Year C Ordinary 13, Revised Common Lectionary Proper 8, Roman Catholic Proper 13 Thursday

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 right reserved.

Image credit: The Desperate Man by Gustave Courbet via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 0 license.

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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 Writings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched,
thrones were set in place,
 and an Ancient One took his throne,
his clothing was white as snow,
 and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames,
 and its wheels were burning fire.
A stream of fire issued
 and flowed out from his presence.
A thousand thousands served him,
 and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
The court sat in judgment,
 and the books were opened.

As I watched in the night visions,

I saw one like a human being
 coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
 and was presented before him.
To him was given dominion
 and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
 should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
 that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
 that shall never be destroyed.¹

¹This passage is part of the description of the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27, and Luke 21:25-28. Jesus also uses it in his response to the high priest in Matthew 26:59-68 and Mark 14:53-65. It also appears three times in Revelation Revelation 1:4-7 (an exclamation by John), Revelation 1:12-14 (describing the voice speaking to John), and Revelation 14:14-16 (a description of the reaper of the earth).

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: 2 Samuel 23:1-7

Now these are the last words of David:

The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
 the oracle of the man whom God exalted,
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
 the favorite of the Strong One of Israel:

The spirit of the Lord speaks through me,
 his word is upon my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken,
 the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
 ruling in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning,
 like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
 gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.

Is not my house like this with God?
 For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
 ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
 all my help and my desire?
But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away;
 for they cannot be picked up with the hand;
to touch them one uses an iron bar
 or the shaft of a spear.
 And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.

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: Revelation 1:4b-8

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Alpha-Omega.png

Look! He is coming with the clouds;¹
 every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
 and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.²

So it is to be. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

¹Daniel 7:13   ²Zechariah 12:10

New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 18:33-37

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Year B Ordinary 34 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 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.

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

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


Image credit: Alpha and Omega by Pixabay user Philip Barrington, via Pixabay. This is a public domain image. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last.

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Saturday: 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 Writings: Daniel 7:1-8, 15-18

In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in bed. Then he wrote down the dream: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then, as I watched, its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a human being; and a human mind was given to it. Another beast appeared, a second one, that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one side, had three tusks in its mouth among its teeth and was told, “Arise, devour many bodies!” After this, as I watched, another appeared, like a leopard. The beast had four wings of a bird on its back and four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the visions by night a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth and was devouring, breaking in pieces, and stamping what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that preceded it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, when another horn appeared, a little one coming up among them; to make room for it, three of the earlier horns were plucked up by the roots. There were eyes like human eyes in this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: “As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever—forever and ever.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from The Former Prophets: 2 Kings 23:1-14

There is a parallel passage at 2 Chronicles 34:4-14.

Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; 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 by the pillar 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 this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.

The king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, the priests of the second order, and the guardians of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who made offerings to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and all the host of the heavens. He brought out the image of Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the Wadi Kidron, burned it at the Wadi Kidron, beat it to dust and threw the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. He broke down the houses of the male temple prostitutes that were in the house of the Lord, where the women did weaving for Asherah. He brought all the priests out of the towns of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba; he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on the left at the gate of the city. The priests of the high places, however, did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but ate unleavened bread among their kindred. He defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, so that no one would make a son or a daughter pass through fire as an offering to Molech. He removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of the eunuch Nathan-melech, which was in the precincts; then he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. The altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down from there and broke in pieces, and threw the rubble into the Wadi Kidron. The king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Destruction, which King Solomon of Israel had built for Astarte the abomination of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. He broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the sacred poles, and covered the sites with human bones.

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: John 3:31-36

Beyond Death

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true.  He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God's wrath.

Year B Ordinary 34 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 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.

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: Beyond Death by Pixabay user Sciencefreak, via Pixabay. This is a public domain image

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The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 31:7-9

For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
 and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
 “Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.”
See, I am going to bring them
 from the land of the north,
 and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
 those with child and those in labor, together;
 a great company, they shall return here.
With weeping they shall come,
 and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
 in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
 and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Job 42:1-6, 10-17

Then Job answered the Lord:
 “I know that you can do all things,
 and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
 things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak;
 I will question you, and you declare to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
 but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
 and repent in dust and ashes.”

And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job's daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children's children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.

Complementary Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
 we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
 and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
 “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
 and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
 like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
 reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
 bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
 carrying their sheaves.

Semi-continuous Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22

I will bless the Lord at all times;
 his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
 let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
 and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
 and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
 so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
 and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the Lord encamps
 around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;¹
 happy are those who take refuge in him.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
 but the Lord rescues them from them all.
He keeps all their bones;
 not one of them will be broken.²
Evil brings death to the wicked,
 and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
 none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

¹Peter uses this phrase in his instructions to believers in 1 Peter 2:1-10, which is our Monday Epistle Lesson.
²In
John 19:31-37 (part of the recounting of the crucifixion), this scripture is fulfilled. Ordinarily, when the soldiers grew weary of watching their crucified victims, they would break their femurs, which hastened death. Jesus died before this was done.

New Testament Lesson: Hebrews 7:23-28

Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but Christ holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Mark 10:46-52¹

The Healing of the Blind of Jericho

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

¹There are parallel passages at Matthew 20:29-34 and Luke 18:35-43.

Year B Ordinary 30 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 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 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.

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Image credit: The Healing of the Blind of Jericho by Nicolas Poussin via JesusChristsavior.net. This is a public domain image.

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 2 Kings 11:21-12:16¹

Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.

In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash began to reign; he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all his days, because the priest Jehoiada instructed him. Nevertheless the high places were not taken away; the people continued to sacrifice and make offerings on the high places.

Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money offered as sacred donations that is brought into the house of the Lord, the money for which each person is assessed—the money from the assessment of persons—and the money from the voluntary offerings brought into the house of the Lord, let the priests receive from each of the donors; and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.” But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had made no repairs on the house. Therefore King Jehoash summoned the priest Jehoiada with the other priests and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the house? Now therefore do not accept any more money from your donors but hand it over for the repair of the house.” So the priests agreed that they would neither accept more money from the people nor repair the house.

Then the priest Jehoiada took a chest, made a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar on the right side as one entered the house of the Lord; the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord. Whenever they saw that there was a great deal of money in the chest, the king's secretary and the high priest went up, counted the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and tied it up in bags. They would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of the workers who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; then they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the Lord, to the masons and the stonecutters, as well as to buy timber and quarried stone for making repairs on the house of the Lord, as well as for any outlay for repairs of the house. But for the house of the Lord no basins of silver, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any vessels of gold, or of silver, were made from the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, for that was given to the workers who were repairing the house of the Lord with it. They did not ask an accounting from those into whose hand they delivered the money to pay out to the workers, for they dealt honestly. The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the Lord; it belonged to the priests.

¹There is a parallel passage at 2 Chronicles 24:1-12.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Ecclesiastes 4:9-16

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Better is a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king, who will no longer take advice. One can indeed come out of prison to reign, even though born poor in the kingdom. I saw all the living who, moving about under the sun, follow that youth who replaced the king; there was no end to all those people whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Complementary Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
 you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
 O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
 it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
 Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
 if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
 and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
 and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
 and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
 the night is as bright as the day,
 for darkness is as light to you.

For it was you who formed my inward parts;
 you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
 that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
 when I was being made in secret,
 intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
 all the days that were formed for me,
 when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
 How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
 I come to the end—I am still with you.

Semi-continuous Psalm 128

Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
 who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
 you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
 within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
 around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed
 who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion.
 May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
 the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children.
 Peace be upon Israel!

New Testament Epistle Lesson: James 5:1-6

James-5.png

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

Year B Ordinary 25 Tuesday

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, (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 Holy Bible 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: James 5 Word Cloud created by Michael Gilbertson WordClouds.com. This image may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license. Please credit The Lectionary Company.

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Readings for December 26

Jeremiah 26:1-9, 12-15 Speak to them all the words I command you; it may be that they will listen and will turn away from their evil way, that I may change my mind about the disaster I intend to bring on them because of their evil doings.

Acts 6:8-15; 7:51-60 Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders among the people. Some secretly instigated others to say that he had spoken blasphemously against Moses and God. He was brought before the Sanhedrin, then taken out and stoned to death in Saul/Paul’s presence as Stephen prayed for their forgiveness.

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