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Daily Lectionary Readings for November 24, 2017

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 88

1   O LORD, God of my salvation,
     when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
2   let my prayer come before you;
          incline your ear to my cry.


3   For my soul is full of troubles,
          and my life draws near to Sheol.
4   I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
          I am like those who have no help,
5   like those forsaken among the dead,
          like the slain that lie in the grave,
     like those whom you remember no more,
          for they are cut off from your hand.
6   You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
          in the regions dark and deep.
7   Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
          and you overwhelm me with all your waves.               Selah


8   You have caused my companions to shun me;
          you have made me a thing of horror to them.
     I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
9        my eye grows dim through sorrow.
     Every day I call on you, O LORD;
          I spread out my hands to you.
10  Do you work wonders for the dead?
          Do the shades rise up to praise you?                                   Selah
11  Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
          or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12  Are your wonders known in the darkness,
          or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?


13  But I, O LORD, cry out to you;
          in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14  O LORD, why do you cast me off?
          Why do you hide your face from me?
15  Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
          I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.
16  Your wrath has swept over me;
          your dread assaults destroy me.
17  They surround me like a flood all day long;
          from all sides they close in on me.
18  You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me;
          my companions are in darkness.

Morning Psalm 148

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord from the heavens;
          praise him in the heights!
2   Praise him, all his angels;
          praise him, all his host!


3   Praise him, sun and moon;
          praise him, all you shining stars!
4   Praise him, you highest heavens,
          and you waters above the heavens!


5   Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for he commanded and they were created.
6   He established them forever and ever;
          he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.


7   Praise the Lord from the earth,
          you sea monsters and all deeps,
8   fire and hail, snow and frost,
          stormy wind fulfilling his command!


9   Mountains and all hills,
          fruit trees and all cedars!
10  Wild animals and all cattle,
          creeping things and flying birds!


11  Kings of the earth and all peoples,
          princes and all rulers of the earth!
12  Young men and women alike,
          old and young together!


13  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for his name alone is exalted;
          his glory is above earth and heaven.
14  He has raised up a horn for his people,
          praise for all his faithful,
          for the people of Israel who are close to him.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Nehemiah 9:26-38

26“Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their backs and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27Therefore you gave them into the hands of their enemies, who made them suffer. Then in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hands of their enemies. 28But after they had rest, they again did evil before you, and you abandoned them to the hands of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you rescued them according to your mercies. 29And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a person shall live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30Many years you were patient with them, and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; yet they would not listen. Therefore you handed them over to the peoples of the lands. 31Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

32“Now therefore, our God — the great and mighty and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love — do not treat lightly all the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings, our officials, our priests, our prophets, our ancestors, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until today. 33You have been just in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly; 34our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors have not kept your law or heeded the commandments and the warnings that you gave them. 35Even in their own kingdom, and in the great goodness you bestowed on them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you and did not turn from their wicked works. 36Here we are, slaves to this day — slaves in the land that you gave to our ancestors to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts. 37Its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins; they have power also over our bodies and over our livestock at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.”

38Because of all this we make a firm agreement in writing, and on that sealed document are inscribed the names of our officials, our Levites, and our priests.

Second Reading Revelation 22:6-13

6And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

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

8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; 9but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

10And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

12“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone”s work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 18:10-20

10“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

15“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

Evening Psalm 6

1   O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger,
          or discipline me in your wrath.
2   Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
          O LORD, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
3   My soul also is struck with terror,
          while you, O LORD — how long?


4   Turn, O LORD, save my life;
          deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5   For in death there is no remembrance of you;
          in Sheol who can give you praise?


6   I am weary with my moaning;
          every night I flood my bed with tears;
          I drench my couch with my weeping.
7   My eyes waste away because of grief;
          they grow weak because of all my foes.


8   Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
          for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
9   The LORD has heard my supplication;
          the LORD accepts my prayer.
10  All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror;
          they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

Evening Psalm 20

1   The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
          The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
2   May he send you help from the sanctuary,
          and give you support from Zion.
3   May he remember all your offerings,
          and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices.                    Selah


4   May he grant your heart’s desire
          and fulfill all your plans.
5   May we shout for joy over your victory,
          and in the name of our God set up our banners.
     May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.


6   Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed;
          he will answer him from his holy heaven
          with mighty victories by his right hand.
7   Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
          but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God.
8   They will collapse and fall,
          but we shall rise and stand upright.


9   Give victory to the king, O LORD;
          answer us when we call.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 23, 2017

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 143

1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
          give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
          answer me in your righteousness.
2   Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
          for no one living is righteous before you.


3   For the enemy has pursued me,
          crushing my life to the ground,
          making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
4   Therefore my spirit faints within me;
          my heart within me is appalled.


5   I remember the days of old,
          I think about all your deeds,
          I meditate on the works of your hands.
6   I stretch out my hands to you;
          my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.                    Selah


7   Answer me quickly, O LORD;
          my spirit fails.
     Do not hide your face from me,
          or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
8   Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
          for in you I put my trust.
     Teach me the way I should go,
          for to you I lift up my soul.


9   Save me, O LORD, from my enemies;
          I have fled to you for refuge.
10  Teach me to do your will,
          for you are my God.
     Let your good spirit lead me
          on a level path.


11  For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life.
          In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
12  In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,
          and destroy all my adversaries,
          for I am your servant.

Morning Psalm 147:12-20

12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
          Praise your God, O Zion!
13  For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
          he blesses your children within you.
14  He grants peace within your borders;
          he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15  He sends out his command to the earth;
          his word runs swiftly.
16  He gives snow like wool;
          he scatters frost like ashes.
17  He hurls down hail like crumbs —
          who can stand before his cold?
18  He sends out his word, and melts them;
          he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19  He declares his word to Jacob,
          his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20  He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
          they do not know his ordinances.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Nehemiah 9:1-15 (16-25)

1Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2Then those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. 3They stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the LORD their God for a fourth part of the day, and for another fourth they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God. 4Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the LORD their God. 5Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”

6And Ezra said: “You are the LORD, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. 7You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham; 8and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him a covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous.

9“And you saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our ancestors. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11And you divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the sea on dry land, but you threw their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12Moreover, you led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the way in which they should go. 13You came down also upon Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14and you made known your holy sabbath to them and gave them commandments and statutes and a law through your servant Moses. 15For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven, and for their thirst you brought water for them out of the rock, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you swore to give them.

16“But they and our ancestors acted presumptuously and stiffened their necks and did not obey your commandments; 17they refused to obey, and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them; but they stiffened their necks and determined to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and you did not forsake them. 18Even when they had cast an image of a calf for themselves and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, 19you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness; the pillar of cloud that led them in the way did not leave them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night that gave them light on the way by which they should go.20You gave your good spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and gave them water for their thirst. 21Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness so that they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. 22And you gave them kingdoms and peoples, and allotted to them every corner, so they took possession of the land of King Sihon of Heshbon and the land of King Og of Bashan. 23You multiplied their descendants like the stars of heaven, and brought them into the land that you had told their ancestors to enter and possess. 24So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them as they pleased. 25And they captured fortress cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses filled with all sorts of goods, hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive orchards, and fruit trees in abundance; so they ate, and were filled and became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.”

Second Reading Revelation 21:22-22:5

21:22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day — and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

22:1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Gospel Reading Matthew 18:1-9

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2He called a child, whom he put among them, 3and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

6“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!

8“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.”

Evening Psalm 81

1   Sing aloud to God our strength;
          shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
2   Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
          the sweet lyre with the harp.
3   Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
          at the full moon, on our festal day.
4   For it is a statute for Israel,
          an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5   He made it a decree in Joseph,
          when he went out over the land of Egypt.


     I hear a voice I had not known:
6   “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
          your hands were freed from the basket.
7   In distress you called, and I rescued you;
          I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
          I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
8   Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
          O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9   There shall be no strange god among you;
          you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10  I am the LORD your God,
          who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
          Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.


11“But my people did not listen to my voice;
          Israel would not submit to me.
12  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
          to follow their own counsels.
13  O that my people would listen to me,
          that Israel would walk in my ways!
14  Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
          and turn my hand against their foes.
15  Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him,
          and their doom would last forever.
16  I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
          and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Evening Psalm 116

1   I love the LORD, because he has heard
          my voice and my supplications.
2   Because he inclined his ear to me,
          therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3   The snares of death encompassed me;
          the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
          I suffered distress and anguish.
4   Then I called on the name of the LORD:
          “O LORD, I pray, save my life!”


5   Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
          our God is merciful.
6   The LORD protects the simple;
          when I was brought low, he saved me.
7   Return, O my soul, to your rest,
          for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.


8   For you have delivered my soul from death,
          my eyes from tears,
          my feet from stumbling.
9   I walk before the LORD
          in the land of the living.
10  I kept my faith, even when I said,
          “I am greatly afflicted”;
11  I said in my consternation,
          “Everyone is a liar.”


12  What shall I return to the LORD
          for all his bounty to me?
13   I will lift up the cup of salvation
          and call on the name of the LORD,
14  I will pay my vows to the LORD
          in the presence of all his people.
15  Precious in the sight of the LORD
          is the death of his faithful ones.
16  O LORD, I am your servant;
          I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.
          You have loosed my bonds.
17  I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
          and call on the name of the LORD.
18  I will pay my vows to the LORD
          in the presence of all his people,
19  in the courts of the house of the LORD,
          in your midst, O Jerusalem.
     Praise the LORD!

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 22, 2017

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 65

1   Praise is due to you,
          O God, in Zion;
     and to you shall vows be performed,
2        O you who answer prayer!
     To you all flesh shall come.
3   When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
          you forgive our transgressions.
4   Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
          to live in your courts.
     We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
          your holy temple.


5   By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
          O God of our salvation;
     you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
          and of the farthest seas.
6   By your strength you established the mountains;
          you are girded with might.
7   You silence the roaring of the seas,
          the roaring of their waves,
          the tumult of the peoples.
8   Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
          you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.


9   You visit the earth and water it,
          you greatly enrich it;
     the river of God is full of water;
          you provide the people with grain,
          for so you have prepared it.
10  You water its furrows abundantly,
          settling its ridges,
     softening it with showers,
          and blessing its growth.
11  You crown the year with your bounty;
          your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12  The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
          the hills gird themselves with joy,
13  the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
          the valleys deck themselves with grain,
          they shout and sing together for joy.

Morning Psalm 147:1-11

1   Praise the Lord!
          How good it is to sing praises to our God;
          for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2   The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
          he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3   He heals the brokenhearted,
          and binds up their wounds.
4   He determines the number of the stars;
          he gives to all of them their names.
5   Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
          his understanding is beyond measure.
6   The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
          he casts the wicked to the ground.


7   Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
          make melody to our God on the lyre.
8   He covers the heavens with clouds,
          prepares rain for the earth,
          makes grass grow on the hills.
9   He gives to the animals their food,
          and to the young ravens when they cry.
10  His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
          nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11  but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
          in those who hope in his steadfast love.

First Reading Ezra 10:1-17

1While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him out of Israel; the people also wept bitterly. 2Shecaniah son of Jehiel, of the descendants of Elam, addressed Ezra, saying, “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. 3So now let us make a covenant with our God to send away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. 4Take action, for it is your duty, and we are with you; be strong, and do it.” 5Then Ezra stood up and made the leading priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear that they would do as had been said. So they swore.

6Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God, and went to the chamber of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night. He did not eat bread or drink water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles. 7They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem, 8and that if any did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all their property should be forfeited, and they themselves banned from the congregation of the exiles.

9Then all the people of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days; it was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. All the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. 10Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have trespassed and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. 11Now make confession to the LORD the God of your ancestors, and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” 12Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said. 13But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for many of us have transgressed in this matter. 14Let our officials represent the whole assembly, and let all in our towns who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every town, until the fierce wrath of our God on this account is averted from us.” 15Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levites supported them.

16Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men, heads of families, according to their families, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter. 17By the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.

Second Reading Revelation 21:9-21

9Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. 11It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. 12It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; 13on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17He also measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. 18The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. 19The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.

Gospel Reading Matthew 17:22-27

22As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, 23and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.” And they were greatly distressed.

24When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?” 25He said, “Yes, he does.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?” 26When Peter said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. 27However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.”

Evening Psalm 125

1   Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
          which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
2   As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
          so the LORD surrounds his people,
          from this time on and forevermore.
3   For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
          on the land allotted to the righteous,
     so that the righteous might not stretch out
          their hands to do wrong.
4   Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
          and to those who are upright in their hearts.
5   But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways
          the LORD will lead away with evildoers.
          Peace be upon Israel!

Evening Psalm 91

1   You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
          who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2   will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress;
          my God, in whom I trust.”
3   For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
          and from the deadly pestilence;
4   he will cover you with his pinions,
          and under his wings you will find refuge;
          his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5   You will not fear the terror of the night,
          or the arrow that flies by day,
6   or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
          or the destruction that wastes at noonday.


7   A thousand may fall at your side,
          ten thousand at your right hand,
          but it will not come near you.
8   You will only look with your eyes
          and see the punishment of the wicked.


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


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


14  Those who love me, I will deliver;
          I will protect those who know my name.
15  When they call to me, I will answer them;
          I will be with them in trouble,
          I will rescue them and honor them.


16  With long life I will satisfy them,
          and show them my salvation.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 21, 2017

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 54

1   Save me, O God, by your name,
          and vindicate me by your might.
2   Hear my prayer, O God;
          give ear to the words of my mouth.


3   For the insolent have risen against me,
          the ruthless seek my life;
          they do not set God before them.                              Selah


4   But surely, God is my helper;
          the Lord is the upholder of my life.
5   He will repay my enemies for their evil.
          In your faithfulness, put an end to them.


6   With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
          I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.
7   For he has delivered me from every trouble,
          and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Morning Psalm 146

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


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


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


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


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

First Reading Ezra 9:1-15

1After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.” 3When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled. 4Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.

5At the evening sacrifice I got up from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle torn, and fell on my knees, spread out my hands to the LORD my God, 6and said,
        “O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. 7From the days of our ancestors to this day we have been deep in guilt, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as is now the case. 8But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, who has left us a remnant, and given us a stake in his holy place, in order that he may brighten our eyes and grant us a little sustenance in our slavery. 9For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem.

10“And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. 12Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’ 13After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, 14shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us without remnant or survivor? 15O LORD, God of Israel, you are just, but we have escaped as a remnant, as is now the case. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can face you because of this.”

Second Reading Revelation 21:1-8

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
     “See, the home of God is among mortals.
     He will dwell with them;
     they will be his peoples,
     and God himself will be with them;
4   he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
     Death will be no more;
     mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
     for the first things have passed away.”

5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 17:14-21

14When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Evening Psalm 28

1   To you, O LORD, I call;
          my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
     for if you are silent to me,
          I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
2   Hear the voice of my supplication,
          as I cry to you for help,
     as I lift up my hands
          toward your most holy sanctuary.


3   Do not drag me away with the wicked,
          with those who are workers of evil,
     who speak peace with their neighbors,
          while mischief is in their hearts.
4   Repay them according to their work,
          and according to the evil of their deeds;
     repay them according to the work of their hands;
          render them their due reward.
5   Because they do not regard the works of the LORD,
          or the work of his hands,
     he will break them down and build them up no more.


6   Blessed be the LORD,
          for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
7   The LORD is my strength and my shield;
          in him my heart trusts;
     so I am helped, and my heart exults,
          and with my song I give thanks to him.


8   The LORD is the strength of his people;
          he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
9   O save your people, and bless your heritage;
          be their shepherd, and carry them forever.

Evening Psalm 99

1   The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble!
          He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2   The LORD is great in Zion;
          he is exalted over all the peoples.
3   Let them praise your great and awesome name.
          Holy is he!
4   Mighty King, lover of justice,
          you have established equity;
     you have executed justice
          and righteousness in Jacob.
5   Extol the LORD our God;
          worship at his footstool.
          Holy is he!

6   Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
          Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
          They cried to the LORD, and he answered them.
7   He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
          they kept his decrees,
          and the statutes that he gave them.


8   O LORD our God, you answered them;
          you were a forgiving God to them,
          but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
9   Extol the LORD our God,
          and worship at his holy mountain;
          for the LORD our God is holy.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 20, 2017

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 57

1   Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
          for in you my soul takes refuge;
     in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
          until the destroying storms pass by.
2   I cry to God Most High,
          to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3   He will send from heaven and save me,
          he will put to shame those who trample on me. Selah
     God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness.


4   I lie down among lions
          that greedily devour human prey;
     their teeth are spears and arrows,
          their tongues sharp swords.


5   Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
          Let your glory be over all the earth.


6   They set a net for my steps;
          my soul was bowed down.
     They dug a pit in my path,
          but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7   My heart is steadfast, O God,
          my heart is steadfast.
     I will sing and make melody.
8        Awake, my soul!
     Awake, O harp and lyre!
          I will awake the dawn.
9   I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
          I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10   For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
          your faithfulness extends to the clouds.


11   Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
     Let your glory be over all the earth.

Morning Psalm 145

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


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


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


10  All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
          and all your faithful shall bless you.
11  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
          and tell of your power,
12  to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
          and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13  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.
14  The Lord upholds all who are falling,
          and raises up all who are bowed down.
15  The eyes of all look to you,
          and you give them their food in due season.
16  You open your hand,
          satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17  The Lord is just in all his ways,
          and kind in all his doings.
18  The Lord is near to all who call on him,
          to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
          he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20  The Lord watches over all who love him,
          but all the wicked he will destroy.


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

First Reading Ezra 7:27-28, 8:21-36

7:27Blessed be the LORD, the God of our ancestors, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king to glorify the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, 28and who extended to me steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.

8:21Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might deny ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our possessions. 22For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and cavalry to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king that the hand of our God is gracious to all who seek him, but his power and his wrath are against all who forsake him. 23So we fasted and petitioned our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

24Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kin with them. 25And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God that the king, his counselors, his lords, and all Israel there present had offered; 26I weighed out into their hand six hundred fifty talents of silver, and one hundred silver vessels worth ... talents, and one hundred talents of gold, 27twenty gold bowls worth a thousand darics, and two vessels of fine polished bronze as precious as gold. 28And I said to them, “You are holy to the LORD, and the vessels are holy; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the LORD, the God of your ancestors. 29Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and the Levites and the heads of families in Israel at Jerusalem, within the chambers of the house of the LORD.” 30So the priests and the Levites took over the silver, the gold, and the vessels as they were weighed out, to bring them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God.

31Then we left the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem; the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes along the way. 32We came to Jerusalem and remained there three days. 33On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver, the gold, and the vessels were weighed into the hands of the priest Meremoth son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. 34The total was counted and weighed, and the weight of everything was recorded.

35At that time those who had come from captivity, the returned exiles, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and as a sin offering twelve male goats; all this was a burnt offering to the LORD. 36They also delivered the king’s commissions to the king’s satraps and to the governors of the province Beyond the River; and they supported the people and the house of God.

Second Reading Revelation 20:7-15

7When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea. 9They marched up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Gospel Reading Matthew 17:1-13

1Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10And the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; 12but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

Evening Psalm 85

1   LORD, you were favorable to your land;
          you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2   You forgave the iniquity of your people;
          you pardoned all their sin. Selah
3   You withdrew all your wrath;
          you turned from your hot anger.


4   Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
          and put away your indignation toward us.
5   Will you be angry with us forever?
          Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6   Will you not revive us again,
          so that your people may rejoice in you?
7   Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
          and grant us your salvation.


8   Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
          for he will speak peace to his people,
          to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9   Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
          that his glory may dwell in our land.


10  Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
          righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11  Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
          and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12  The LORD will give what is good,
          and our land will yield its increase.
13  Righteousness will go before him,
          and will make a path for his steps.

Evening Psalm 47

1   Clap your hands, all you peoples;
          shout to God with loud songs of joy.
2   For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome,
          a great king over all the earth.
3   He subdued peoples under us,
          and nations under our feet.
4   He chose our heritage for us,
          the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah


5   God has gone up with a shout,
          the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6   Sing praises to God, sing praises;
          sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7   For God is the king of all the earth;
          sing praises with a psalm.


8   God is king over the nations;
          God sits on his holy throne.
9   The princes of the peoples gather
          as the people of the God of Abraham.
     For the shields of the earth belong to God;
          he is highly exalted.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 19, 2017

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 67

1May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.


4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.


6The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, has blessed us.
7May God continue to bless us;
let all the ends of the earth revere him.

Morning Psalm 150

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise God in his sanctuary;
          praise him in his mighty firmament!
2   Praise him for his mighty deeds;
          praise him according to his surpassing greatness!


3   Praise him with trumpet sound;
          praise him with lute and harp!
4   Praise him with tambourine and dance;
          praise him with strings and pipe!
5   Praise him with clanging cymbals;
          praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6   Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Ezra 7:(1-10) 11-26

1After this, in the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, 2son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, 3son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, 4son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, 5son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of the chief priest Aaron — 6this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses that the LORD the God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was upon him.

7Some of the people of Israel, and some of the priests and Levites, the singers and gatekeepers, and the temple servants also went up to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. 8They came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9On the first day of the first month the journey up from Babylon was begun, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the gracious hand of his God was upon him. 10For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.

11This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to the priest Ezra, the scribe, a scholar of the text of the commandments of the LORD and his statutes for Israel: 12“Artaxerxes, king of kings, to the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven: Peace. And now 13I decree that any of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom who freely offers to go to Jerusalem may go with you. 14For you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to make inquiries about Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your hand, 15and also to convey the silver and gold that the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16with all the silver and gold that you shall find in the whole province of Babylonia, and with the freewill offerings of the people and the priests, given willingly for the house of their God in Jerusalem. 17With this money, then, you shall with all diligence buy bulls, rams, and lambs, and their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and you shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. 18Whatever seems good to you and your colleagues to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do, according to the will of your God. 19The vessels that have been given you for the service of the house of your God, you shall deliver before the God of Jerusalem. 20And whatever else is required for the house of your God, which you are responsible for providing, you may provide out of the king’s treasury.

21”I, King Artaxerxes, decree to all the treasurers in the province Beyond the River: Whatever the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, requires of you, let it be done with all diligence, 22up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred cors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and unlimited salt. 23Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, or wrath will come upon the realm of the king and his heirs. 24We also notify you that it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on any of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the doorkeepers, the temple servants, or other servants of this house of God.

25“And you, Ezra, according to the God-given wisdom you possess, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River who know the laws of your God; and you shall teach those who do not know them. 26All who will not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be strictly executed on them, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of their goods or for imprisonment.”

Second Reading Acts 28:14b-23

14bAnd so we came to Rome. 15The believers from there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.

16When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.

17Three days later he called together the local leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18When they had examined me, the Romans wanted to release me, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to the emperor — even though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is for the sake of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” 21They replied, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken anything evil about you. 22But we would like to hear from you what you think, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”

23After they had set a day to meet with him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets.

Gospel Reading Luke 16:1-13

1Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ 5So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ 7Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ 8And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.

10“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Evening Psalm 46

1   God is our refuge and strength,
          a very present help in trouble.
2   Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
          though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3   though its waters roar and foam,
          though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah


4   There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
          the holy habitation of the Most High.
5   God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
          God will help it when the morning dawns.
6   The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
          he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7   The LORD of hosts is with us;
          the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah


8   Come, behold the works of the LORD;
          see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
9   He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
          he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
          he burns the shields with fire.
10  “Be still, and know that I am God!
          I am exalted among the nations,
          I am exalted in the earth.”
11  The LORD of hosts is with us;
          the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Evening Psalm 93

1   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;
2        your throne is established from of old;
          you are from everlasting.


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


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

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 18, 2017

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 56

1   Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me;
          all day long foes oppress me;
2   my enemies trample on me all day long,
          for many fight against me.
     O Most High, 3 when I am afraid,
          I put my trust in you.
4   In God, whose word I praise,
          in God I trust; I am not afraid;
          what can flesh do to me?


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


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


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

Morning Psalm 149

1   Praise the Lord!
     Sing to the Lord a new song,
          his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
2   Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
          let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
3   Let them praise his name with dancing,
          making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
4   For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
          he adorns the humble with victory.
5   Let the faithful exult in glory;
          let them sing for joy on their couches.
6   Let the high praises of God be in their throats
          and two-edged swords in their hands,
7   to execute vengeance on the nations
          and punishment on the peoples,
8   to bind their kings with fetters
          and their nobles with chains of iron,
9   to execute on them the judgment decreed.
          This is glory for all his faithful ones.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Nehemiah 13:4-22

4Now before this, the priest Eliashib, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, 5prepared for Tobiah a large room where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6While this was taking place I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes of Babylon I went to the king. After some time I asked leave of the king 7and returned to Jerusalem. I then discovered the wrong that Eliashib had done on behalf of Tobiah, preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God. 8And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the room. 9Then I gave orders and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

10I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them; so that the Levites and the singers, who had conducted the service, had gone back to their fields. 11So I remonstrated with the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses the priest Shelemiah, the scribe Zadok, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan son of Zaccur son of Mattaniah, for they were considered faithful; and their duty was to distribute to their associates. 14Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

15In those days I saw in Judah people treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys; and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I warned them at that time against selling food. 16Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise and sold them on the sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day? 18Did not your ancestors act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

19When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, to prevent any burden from being brought in on the sabbath day. 20Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath. 22And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

Second Reading Revelation 20:1-6

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while.

4Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years.

Gospel Reading Matthew 16:21-28

21From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

27“For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Evening Psalm 118

1   O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
          his steadfast love endures forever!


2   Let Israel say,
          “His steadfast love endures forever.”
3   Let the house of Aaron say,
          “His steadfast love endures forever.”
4   Let those who fear the LORD say,
          “His steadfast love endures forever.”


5   Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
          the LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.
6   With the LORD on my side I do not fear.
          What can mortals do to me?
7   The LORD is on my side to help me;
          I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8   It is better to take refuge in the LORD
          than to put confidence in mortals.
9   It is better to take refuge in the LORD
          than to put confidence in princes.


10  All nations surrounded me;
          in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
11  They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
          in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
12  They surrounded me like bees;
          they blazed like a fire of thorns;
          in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
13  I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
          but the LORD helped me.
14  The LORD is my strength and my might;
          he has become my salvation.


15  There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
     “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly;
16       the right hand of the LORD is exalted;
          the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.”
17  I shall not die, but I shall live,
          and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18  The LORD has punished me severely,
          but he did not give me over to death.


19  Open to me the gates of righteousness,
          that I may enter through them
          and give thanks to the LORD.


20  This is the gate of the LORD;
          the righteous shall enter through it.


21  I thank you that you have answered me
          and have become my salvation.
22  The stone that the builders rejected
          has become the chief cornerstone.
23  This is the LORD’s doing;
          it is marvelous in our eyes.
24  This is the day that the LORD has made;
          let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25  Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!
          O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!


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


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


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

Evening Psalm 111

1   Praise the LORD!
     I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,
          in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2   Great are the works of the LORD,
          studied by all who delight in them.
3   Full of honor and majesty is his work,
          and his righteousness endures forever.
4   He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
          the LORD is gracious and merciful.
5   He provides food for those who fear him;
          he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6   He has shown his people the power of his works,
          in giving them the heritage of the nations.
7   The works of his hands are faithful and just;
          all his precepts are trustworthy.
8   They are established forever and ever,
          to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9   He sent redemption to his people;
          he has commanded his covenant forever.
          Holy and awesome is his name.
10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
          all those who practice it have a good understanding.
          His praise endures forever.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 17, 2017

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 130

1   Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
2       Lord, hear my voice!
     Let your ears be attentive
          to the voice of my supplications!


3   If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
          Lord, who could stand?
4   But there is forgiveness with you,
          so that you may be revered.


5   I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
          and in his word I hope;
6   my soul waits for the Lord
          more than those who watch for the morning,
          more than those who watch for the morning.


7   O Israel, hope in the LORD!
          For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
          and with him is great power to redeem.
8   It is he who will redeem Israel
          from all its iniquities.

Morning Psalm 148

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord from the heavens;
          praise him in the heights!
2   Praise him, all his angels;
          praise him, all his host!


3   Praise him, sun and moon;
          praise him, all you shining stars!
4   Praise him, you highest heavens,
          and you waters above the heavens!


5   Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for he commanded and they were created.
6   He established them forever and ever;
          he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.


7   Praise the Lord from the earth,
          you sea monsters and all deeps,
8   fire and hail, snow and frost,
          stormy wind fulfilling his command!


9   Mountains and all hills,
          fruit trees and all cedars!
10  Wild animals and all cattle,
          creeping things and flying birds!


11  Kings of the earth and all peoples,
          princes and all rulers of the earth!
12  Young men and women alike,
          old and young together!


13  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for his name alone is exalted;
          his glory is above earth and heaven.
14  He has raised up a horn for his people,
          praise for all his faithful,
          for the people of Israel who are close to him.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Nehemiah 12:27-31a, 42b-47

27Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with rejoicing, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28The companies of the singers gathered together from the circuit around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites; 29also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30And the priests and the Levites purified themselves; and they purified the people and the gates and the wall.

31aThen I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall, and appointed two great companies that gave thanks and went in procession.

42bAnd the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. 43They offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. The joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.

44On that day men were appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the law for the priests and for the Levites from the fields belonging to the towns; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and the Levites who ministered. 45They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon. 46For in the days of David and Asaph long ago there was a leader of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the daily portions for the singers and the gatekeepers. They set apart that which was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart that which was for the descendants of Aaron.

Second Reading Revelation 19:11-16

11Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. 13He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 16:13-20

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Evening Psalm 32

1   Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
          whose sin is covered.
2   Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,
          and in whose spirit there is no deceit.


3   While I kept silence, my body wasted away
          through my groaning all day long.
4   For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
          my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah


5   Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
          and I did not hide my iniquity;
     I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
          and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah


6   Therefore let all who are faithful
          offer prayer to you;
     at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
          shall not reach them.

7   You are a hiding place for me;
          you preserve me from trouble;
          you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah


8   I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
          I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9   Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
          whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
          else it will not stay near you.


10   Many are the torments of the wicked,
          but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.
11   Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,
          and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Evening Psalm 139

1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me.

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


7   Where can I go from your spirit?
          Or where can I flee from your presence?

8   If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
          if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9   If I take the wings of the morning
          and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10  even there your hand shall lead me,
          and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
          and the light around me become night,”
12  even the darkness is not dark to you;
          the night is as bright as the day,
          for darkness is as light to you.


13  For it was you who formed my inward parts;
          you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
          Wonderful are your works;
     that I know very well.
15       My frame was not hidden from you,
     when I was being made in secret,
          intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16  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.
17  How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
          How vast is the sum of them!
18  I try to count them — they are more than the sand;
          I come to the end — I am still with you.


19  O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
          and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me —
20  those who speak of you maliciously,
          and lift themselves up against you for evil!
21  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
          And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22  I hate them with perfect hatred;
          I count them my enemies.
23  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
          test me and know my thoughts.
24  See if there is any wicked way in me,
          and lead me in the way everlasting.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 16, 2017

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 36

1   Transgression speaks to the wicked
          deep in their hearts;
     there is no fear of God
          before their eyes.
2   For they flatter themselves in their own eyes
          that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3   The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit;
          they have ceased to act wisely and do good.
4   They plot mischief while on their beds;
          they are set on a way that is not good;
          they do not reject evil.


5   Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
          your faithfulness to the clouds.
6   Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
          your judgments are like the great deep;
          you save humans and animals alike, O LORD.


7   How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
          All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8   They feast on the abundance of your house,
          and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9   For with you is the fountain of life;
          in your light we see light.


10  O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
          and your salvation to the upright of heart!
11  Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
          or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12  There the evildoers lie prostrate;
          they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Morning Psalm 147:12-20

12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
          Praise your God, O Zion!
13  For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
          he blesses your children within you.
14  He grants peace within your borders;
          he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15  He sends out his command to the earth;
          his word runs swiftly.
16  He gives snow like wool;
          he scatters frost like ashes.
17  He hurls down hail like crumbs —
          who can stand before his cold?
18  He sends out his word, and melts them;
          he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19  He declares his word to Jacob,
          his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20  He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
          they do not know his ordinances.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Nehemiah 6:1-19

1Now when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had built the wall and that there was no gap left in it (though up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it to come down to you?” 4They sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. 5In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. 6In it was written, “It is reported among the nations — and Geshem also says it — that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall; and according to this report you wish to become their king. 7You have also set up prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem concerning you, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ And now it will be reported to the king according to these words. So come, therefore, and let us confer together.” 8Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done; you are inventing them out of your own mind” 9— for they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.

10One day when I went into the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his house, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, tonight they are coming to kill you.” 11But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Would a man like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” 12Then I perceived and saw that God had not sent him at all, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13He was hired for this purpose, to intimidate me and make me sin by acting in this way, and so they could give me a bad name, in order to taunt me. 14Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.

15So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem; for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, because he was the son of Arah: and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah. 19Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence, and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

Second Reading Revelation 19:1-10

1After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
     “Hallelujah!
     Salvation and glory and power to our God,
2        for his judgments are true and just;
     he has judged the great whore
          who corrupted the earth with her fornication,
     and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3Once more they said,
     “Hallelujah!
     The smoke goes up from her forever and ever.”
4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying,
     “Amen. Hallelujah!”
       5And from the throne came a voice saying,
     “Praise our God,
          all you his servants,
     and all who fear him,
          small and great.”
6Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,
     “Hallelujah!
     For the Lord our God
          the Almighty reigns.
7   Let us rejoice and exult
          and give him the glory,
     for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
          and his bride has made herself ready;
8   to her it has been granted to be clothed
          with fine linen, bright and pure” —
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 16:1-12

1The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesus they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away.

5When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6Jesus said to them, “Watch out, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7They said to one another, “It is because we have brought no bread.” 8And becoming aware of it, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you talking about having no bread? 9Do you still not perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11How could you fail to perceive that I was not speaking about bread? Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” 12Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Evening Psalm 80

1   Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
          you who lead Joseph like a flock!
     You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2        before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
     Stir up your might,
          and come to save us!


3   Restore us, O God;
     let your face shine, that we may be saved.


4   O LORD God of hosts,
          how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5   You have fed them with the bread of tears,
          and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6   You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
          our enemies laugh among themselves.


7   Restore us, O God of hosts;
          let your face shine, that we may be saved.


8   You brought a vine out of Egypt;
     you drove out the nations and planted it.
9   You cleared the ground for it;
          it took deep root and filled the land.
10  The mountains were covered with its shade,
          the mighty cedars with its branches;
11  it sent out its branches to the sea,
          and its shoots to the River.
12  Why then have you broken down its walls,
          so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13  The boar from the forest ravages it,
          and all that move in the field feed on it.


14  Turn again, O God of hosts;
          look down from heaven, and see;
     have regard for this vine,
15       the stock that your right hand planted.
16  They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
          may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17  But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
          the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18  Then we will never turn back from you;
          give us life, and we will call on your name.


19  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
          let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Evening Psalm 27

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 15, 2017

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 15

1   O LORD, who may abide in your tent?
          Who may dwell on your holy hill?


2   Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
          and speak the truth from their heart;
3   who do not slander with their tongue,
          and do no evil to their friends,
          nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
4   in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
          but who honor those who fear the LORD;
     who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
5   who do not lend money at interest,
          and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
     Those who do these things shall never be moved.

Morning Psalm 147:1-11

1   Praise the Lord!
          How good it is to sing praises to our God;
          for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2   The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
          he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3   He heals the brokenhearted,
          and binds up their wounds.
4   He determines the number of the stars;
          he gives to all of them their names.
5   Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
          his understanding is beyond measure.
6   The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
          he casts the wicked to the ground.


7   Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
          make melody to our God on the lyre.
8   He covers the heavens with clouds,
          prepares rain for the earth,
          makes grass grow on the hills.
9   He gives to the animals their food,
          and to the young ravens when they cry.
10  His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
          nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11  but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
          in those who hope in his steadfast love.

First Reading Nehemiah 7:73b-8:3, 5-18

7:73bWhen the seventh month came — the people of Israel being settled in their towns — 8:1all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel. 2Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.

5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. 8So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

9And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

13On the second day the heads of ancestral houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to the scribe Ezra in order to study the words of the law. 14And they found it written in the law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the people of Israel should live in booths during the festival of the seventh month, 15and that they should publish and proclaim in all their towns and in Jerusalem as follows, “Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.” 16So the people went out and brought them, and made booths for themselves, each on the roofs of their houses, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them; for from the days of Jeshua son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. 18And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the book of the law of God. They kept the festival seven days; and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.

Or alternate First Reading Nehemiah 5:1-19

1Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish kin. 2For there were those who said, “With our sons and our daughters, we are many; we must get grain, so that we may eat and stay alive.“ 3There were also those who said, “We are having to pledge our fields, our vineyards, and our houses in order to get grain during the famine.” 4And there were those who said, “We are having to borrow money on our fields and vineyards to pay the king’s tax. 5Now our flesh is the same as that of our kindred; our children are the same as their children; and yet we are forcing our sons and daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been ravished; we are powerless, and our fields and vineyards now belong to others.”

6I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these complaints. 7After thinking it over, I brought charges against the nobles and the officials; I said to them, “You are all taking interest from your own people.” And I called a great assembly to deal with them, 8and said to them, “As far as we were able, we have bought back our Jewish kindred who had been sold to other nations; but now you are selling your own kin, who must then be bought back by us!” They were silent, and could not find a word to say. 9So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God, to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies? 10Moreover I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us stop this taking of interest. 11Restore to them, this very day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and the interest on money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting from them.” 12Then they said, “We will restore everything and demand nothing more from them. We will do as you say.” And I called the priests, and made them take an oath to do as they had promised. 13I also shook out the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out everyone from house and from property who does not perform this promise. Thus may they be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen,” and praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised.

14Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor. 15The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people, and took food and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. 16Indeed, I devoted myself to the work on this wall, and acquired no land; and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17Moreover there were at my table one hundred fifty people, Jews and officials, beside those who came to us from the nations around us. 18Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and every ten days skins of wine in abundance; yet with all this I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because of the heavy burden of labor on the people. 19Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.

Second Reading Revelation 18:21-24

21Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
     “With such violence Babylon the great city
          will be thrown down,
          and will be found no more;
22  and the sound of harpists and minstrels and of flutists and trumpeters
          will be heard in you no more;
     and an artisan of any trade
          will be found in you no more;
     and the sound of the millstone
          will be heard in you no more;
23  and the light of a lamp
          will shine in you no more;
     and the voice of bridegroom and bride
          will be heard in you no more;
     for your merchants were the magnates of the earth,
          and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24   And in you was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
          and of all who have been slaughtered on earth.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 15:29-39

29After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. 30Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, 31so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” 33The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” 34Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 38Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

Evening Psalm 48

1   Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
          in the city of our God.
     His holy mountain, 2beautiful in elevation,
          is the joy of all the earth,
     Mount Zion, in the far north,
          the city of the great King.
3   Within its citadels God
          has shown himself a sure defense.


4   Then the kings assembled,
          they came on together.
5   As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
          they were in panic, they took to flight;
6   trembling took hold of them there,
          pains as of a woman in labor,
7   as when an east wind shatters
          the ships of Tarshish.
8   As we have heard, so have we seen
          in the city of the LORD of hosts,
     in the city of our God,
          which God establishes forever. Selah


9   We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
          in the midst of your temple.
10  Your name, O God, like your praise,
          reaches to the ends of the earth.
     Your right hand is filled with victory.
11       Let Mount Zion be glad,
     let the towns of Judah rejoice
          because of your judgments.


12  Walk about Zion, go all around it,
          count its towers,
13  consider well its ramparts;
          go through its citadels,
     that you may tell the next generation
14       that this is God,
     our God forever and ever.
          He will be our guide forever.

Evening Psalm 4

1   Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
          You gave me room when I was in distress.
          Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.


2   How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?
          How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah
3   But know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself;
          the LORD hears when I call to him.


4   When you are disturbed, do not sin;
          ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5   Offer right sacrifices,
          and put your trust in the LORD.


6   There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
          Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD!”
7   You have put gladness in my heart
          more than when their grain and wine abound.


8   I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
          for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 14, 2017

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 123

1   To you I lift up my eyes,
          O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2   As the eyes of servants
          look to the hand of their master,
     as the eyes of a maid
          to the hand of her mistress,
     so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
          until he has mercy upon us.


3   Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
          for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4   Our soul has had more than its fill
          of the scorn of those who are at ease,
          of the contempt of the proud.

Morning Psalm 146

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


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


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


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


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

First Reading Nehemiah 9:26-38

26“Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their backs and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27Therefore you gave them into the hands of their enemies, who made them suffer. Then in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hands of their enemies. 28But after they had rest, they again did evil before you, and you abandoned them to the hands of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you rescued them according to your mercies. 29And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a person shall live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30Many years you were patient with them, and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; yet they would not listen. Therefore you handed them over to the peoples of the lands. 31Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

32“Now therefore, our God — the great and mighty and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love — do not treat lightly all the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings, our officials, our priests, our prophets, our ancestors, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until today. 33You have been just in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly; 34our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors have not kept your law or heeded the commandments and the warnings that you gave them. 35Even in their own kingdom, and in the great goodness you bestowed on them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you and did not turn from their wicked works. 36Here we are, slaves to this day — slaves in the land that you gave to our ancestors to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts. 37Its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins; they have power also over our bodies and over our livestock at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.”

38Because of all this we make a firm agreement in writing, and on that sealed document are inscribed the names of our officials, our Levites, and our priests.

Or alternate First Reading Nehemiah 4:1-23

1Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he mocked the Jews. 2He said in the presence of his associates and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore things? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish it in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish — and burned ones at that?” 3Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “That stone wall they are building — any fox going up on it would break it down!” 4Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their taunt back on their own heads, and give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5Do not cover their guilt, and do not let their sin be blotted out from your sight; for they have hurled insults in the face of the builders.

6So we rebuilt the wall, and all the wall was joined together to half its height; for the people had a mind to work.

7But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and the gaps were beginning to be closed, they were very angry, 8and all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. 9So we prayed to our God, and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

10But Judah said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, and there is too much rubbish so that we are unable to work on the wall.” 11And our enemies said, “They will not know or see anything before we come upon them and kill them and stop the work.” 12When the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times, “From all the places where they live they will come up against us.” 13So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14After I looked these things over, I stood up and said to the nobles and the officials and the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome, and fight for your kin, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

15When our enemies heard that their plot was known to us, and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. 16From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and body-armor; and the leaders posted themselves behind the whole house of Judah, 17who were building the wall. The burden bearers carried their loads in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and with the other held a weapon. 18And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. 19And I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread out, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. 20Rally to us wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet. Our God will fight for us.”

21So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from break of dawn until the stars came out. 22I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant pass the night inside Jerusalem, so that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.” 23So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me ever took off our clothes; each kept his weapon in his right hand.

Second Reading Revelation 18:9-20

9And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; 10they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,
     “Alas, alas, the great city,
          Babylon, the mighty city!
     For in one hour your judgment has come.”

11And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, 13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves — human lives.
14  “The fruit for which your soul longed
          has gone from you,
     and all your dainties and your splendor
          are lost to you,
          never to be found again!”
15The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,
16  “Alas, alas, the great city,
          clothed in fine linen,
               in purple and scarlet,
          adorned with gold,
               with jewels, and with pearls!
17  For in one hour all this wealth has been laid waste!”
  And all shipmasters and seafarers, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,
     “What city was like the great city?”
19And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out,
     “Alas, alas, the great city,
          where all who had ships at sea
          grew rich by her wealth!
     For in one hour she has been laid waste.”

20Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints and apostles and prophets! For God has given judgment for you against her.

Gospel Reading Matthew 15:21-28

21Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Evening Psalm 30

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


4   Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones,
          and give thanks to his holy name.
5   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.


6   As for me, I said in my prosperity,
          “I shall never be moved.”
7   By your favor, O LORD,
          you had established me as a strong mountain;
     you hid your face;
          I was dismayed.
8   To you, O LORD, I cried,
          and to the LORD I made supplication:
9   “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?
10  Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me!
          O LORD, be my helper!”

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

Evening Psalm 86

1   Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
          for I am poor and needy.
2   Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you;
          save your servant who trusts in you.
     You are my God; 3 be gracious to me, O Lord,
          for to you do I cry all day long.
4   Gladden the soul of your servant,
          for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5   For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
          abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
6   Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
          listen to my cry of supplication.
7   In the day of my trouble I call on you,
          for you will answer me.


8   There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
          nor are there any works like yours.
9   All the nations you have made shall come
          and bow down before you, O Lord,
          and shall glorify your name.
10  For you are great and do wondrous things;
          you alone are God.
11  Teach me your way, O LORD,
          that I may walk in your truth;
          give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12  I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
          and I will glorify your name forever.
13  For great is your steadfast love toward me;
          you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.


14  O God, the insolent rise up against me;
          a band of ruffians seeks my life,
          and they do not set you before them.
15  But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
          slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16  Turn to me and be gracious to me;
          give your strength to your servant;
          save the child of your serving girl.

17  Show me a sign of your favor,
          so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,
          because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 13, 2017

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 135

1   Praise the LORD!
          Praise the name of the LORD;
          give praise, O servants of the LORD,
2   you that stand in the house of the LORD,
          in the courts of the house of our God.
3   Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
          sing to his name, for he is gracious.
4   For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
          Israel as his own possession.


5   For I know that the LORD is great;
          our Lord is above all gods.
6   Whatever the LORD pleases he does,
          in heaven and on earth,
          in the seas and all deeps.
7   He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth;
          he makes lightnings for the rain
          and brings out the wind from his storehouses.


8   He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
          both human beings and animals;
9   he sent signs and wonders
          into your midst, O Egypt,
          against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10  He struck down many nations
          and killed mighty kings —
11  Sihon, king of the Amorites,
          and Og, king of Bashan,
          and all the kingdoms of Canaan —
12  and gave their land as a heritage,
          a heritage to his people Israel.


13  Your name, O LORD, endures forever,
          your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
14  For the LORD will vindicate his people,
          and have compassion on his servants.


15  The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
          the work of human hands.
16  They have mouths, but they do not speak;
          they have eyes, but they do not see;
17  they have ears, but they do not hear,
          and there is no breath in their mouths.
18  Those who make them
          and all who trust them
          shall become like them.


19  O house of Israel, bless the LORD!
          O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
20  O house of Levi, bless the LORD!
          You that fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
21  Blessed be the LORD from Zion,
          he who resides in Jerusalem.
     Praise the LORD!

Morning Psalm 145

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


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


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


10  All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
          and all your faithful shall bless you.
11  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
          and tell of your power,
12  to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
          and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13  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.
14  The Lord upholds all who are falling,
          and raises up all who are bowed down.
15  The eyes of all look to you,
          and you give them their food in due season.
16  You open your hand,
          satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17  The Lord is just in all his ways,
          and kind in all his doings.
18  The Lord is near to all who call on him,
          to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
          he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20  The Lord watches over all who love him,
          but all the wicked he will destroy.


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

First Reading Nehemiah 9:1-15 (16-25)

1Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2 Then those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. 3 They stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the LORD their God for a fourth part of the day, and for another fourth they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God. 4 Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the LORD their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”

6 And Ezra said: “You are the LORD, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. 7 You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham; 8 and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him a covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous.

9 “And you saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10 You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our ancestors. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11 And you divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the sea on dry land, but you threw their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12 Moreover, you led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the way in which they should go. 13 You came down also upon Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 and you made known your holy sabbath to them and gave them commandments and statutes and a law through your servant Moses. 15 For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven, and for their thirst you brought water for them out of the rock, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you swore to give them.

16 “But they and our ancestors acted presumptuously and stiffened their necks and did not obey your commandments; 17 they refused to obey, and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them; but they stiffened their necks and determined to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and you did not forsake them. 18 Even when they had cast an image of a calf for themselves and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness; the pillar of cloud that led them in the way did not leave them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night that gave them light on the way by which they should go. 20 You gave your good spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and gave them water for their thirst. 21 Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness so that they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. 22 And you gave them kingdoms and peoples, and allotted to them every corner, so they took possession of the land of King Sihon of Heshbon and the land of King Og of Bashan. 23 You multiplied their descendants like the stars of heaven, and brought them into the land that you had told their ancestors to enter and possess. 24 So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them as they pleased. 25 And they captured fortress cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses filled with all sorts of goods, hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive orchards, and fruit trees in abundance; so they ate, and were filled and became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.”

Or alternate First Reading Nehemiah 2:1-20

1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was served him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence before. 2 So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.”Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors’ graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors” graves, so that I may rebuild it.” 6 The king said to me (the queen also was sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a date. 7 Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may grant me passage until I arrive in Judah; 8and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, directing him to give me timber to make beams for the gates of the temple fortress, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me.

9 Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent officers of the army and cavalry with me. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. 12 Then I got up during the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the animal I rode. 13 I went out by night by the Valley Gate past the Dragon’s Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool; but there was no place for the animal I was riding to continue. 15 So I went up by way of the valley by night and inspected the wall. Then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest that were to do the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.” 18 I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us start building!” So they committed themselves to the common good. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they mocked and ridiculed us, saying, “What is this that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we his servants are going to start building; but you have no share or claim or historic right in Jerusalem.”

Second Reading Revelation 18:1-8

1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor. 2 He called out with a mighty voice,
     “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
          It has become a dwelling place of demons,
     a haunt of every foul spirit
          a haunt of every foul bird,
          a haunt of every foul and hateful beast.
3   For all the nations have drunk
          of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,
     and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,
          and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury.”

4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
     “Come out of her, my people,
          so that you do not take part in her sins,
     and so that you do not share in her plagues;
5   for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
          and God has remembered her iniquities.
6   Render to her as she herself has rendered,
          and repay her double for her deeds;
          mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed.
7   As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,
          so give her a like measure of torment and grief.
     Since in her heart she says,
          ‘I rule as a queen;
     I am no widow,
          and I will never see grief,’
8   therefore her plagues will come in a single day —
          pestilence and mourning and famine —
     and she will be burned with fire;
          for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 15:1-20

1Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” 3He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 5But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. 6So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:
8   ‘This people honors me with their lips,
          but their hearts are far from me;
9   in vain do they worship me,
          teaching human precepts as doctrines.’”

10Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: 11it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” 12Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” 15But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Evening Psalm 97

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


6   The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
          and all the peoples behold his glory.
7   All worshipers of images are put to shame,
          those who make their boast in worthless idols;
          all gods bow down before him.
8   Zion hears and is glad,
          and the towns of Judah rejoice,
          because of your judgments, O God.
9   For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
          you are exalted far above all gods.


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

Evening Psalm 112

1   Praise the LORD!
          Happy are those who fear the LORD,
          who greatly delight in his commandments.
2   Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
          the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3   Wealth and riches are in their houses,
          and their righteousness endures forever.
4   They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
          they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5   It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
          who conduct their affairs with justice.
6   For the righteous will never be moved;
          they will be remembered forever.
7   They are not afraid of evil tidings;
          their hearts are firm, secure in the LORD.
8   Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
          in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9   They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
          their righteousness endures forever;
          their horn is exalted in honor.
10  The wicked see it and are angry;
          they gnash their teeth and melt away;
          the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 12, 2017

Sat, 11/11/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 19

1   The heavens are telling the glory of God;
          and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2   Day to day pours forth speech,
          and night to night declares knowledge.
3   There is no speech, nor are there words;
          their voice is not heard;
4   yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
          and their words to the end of the world.


     In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
5   which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
          and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6   Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
          and its circuit to the end of them;
          and nothing is hidden from its heat.


7   The law of the LORD is perfect,
          reviving the soul;
     the decrees of the LORD are sure,
          making wise the simple;
8   the precepts of the LORD are right,
          rejoicing the heart;
     the commandment of the LORD is clear,
          enlightening the eyes;
9   the fear of the LORD is pure,
          enduring forever;
     the ordinances of the LORD are true
          and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold,
          even much fine gold;
     sweeter also than honey,
          and drippings of the honeycomb.


11  Moreover by them is your servant warned;
          in keeping them there is great reward.
12   But who can detect their errors?
          Clear me from hidden faults.
13  Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
          do not let them have dominion over me.
     Then I shall be blameless,
          and innocent of great transgression.


14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
          be acceptable to you,
          O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Morning Psalm 150

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise God in his sanctuary;
          praise him in his mighty firmament!
2   Praise him for his mighty deeds;
          praise him according to his surpassing greatness!


3   Praise him with trumpet sound;
          praise him with lute and harp!
4   Praise him with tambourine and dance;
          praise him with strings and pipe!
5   Praise him with clanging cymbals;
          praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6   Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Ezra 10:1-17

1While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him out of Israel; the people also wept bitterly. 2Shecaniah son of Jehiel, of the descendants of Elam, addressed Ezra, saying, “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. 3So now let us make a covenant with our God to send away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. 4Take action, for it is your duty, and we are with you; be strong, and do it.” 5Then Ezra stood up and made the leading priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear that they would do as had been said. So they swore.

6Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God, and went to the chamber of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night. He did not eat bread or drink water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles. 7They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem, 8and that if any did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all their property should be forfeited, and they themselves banned from the congregation of the exiles.

9Then all the people of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days; it was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. All the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. 10Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have trespassed and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. 11Now make confession to the LORD the God of your ancestors, and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” 12Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said. 13But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for many of us have transgressed in this matter. 14Let our officials represent the whole assembly, and let all in our towns who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every town, until the fierce wrath of our God on this account is averted from us.” 15Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levites supported them.

16Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men, heads of families, according to their families, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter. 17By the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.

Or alternate First Reading Nehemiah 1:1-11

1The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capital, 2one of my brothers, Hanani, came with certain men from Judah; and I asked them about the Jews that survived, those who had escaped the captivity, and about Jerusalem. 3They replied, “The survivors there in the province who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.”

4When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments; 6let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Both I and my family have sinned. 7We have offended you deeply, failing to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances that you commanded your servant Moses. 8Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; 9but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen to establish my name.’ 10They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great power and your strong hand. 11O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man!”

At the time, I was cupbearer to the king.

Second Reading Acts 24:10-21

10When the governor motioned to him to speak, Paul replied:

“I cheerfully make my defense, knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation. 11As you can find out, it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem. 12They did not find me disputing with anyone in the temple or stirring up a crowd either in the synagogues or throughout the city. 13Neither can they prove to you the charge that they now bring against me. 14But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our ancestors, believing everything laid down according to the law or written in the prophets. 15I have a hope in God — a hope that they themselves also accept — that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16Therefore I do my best always to have a clear conscience toward God and all people. 17Now after some years I came to bring alms to my nation and to offer sacrifices. 18While I was doing this, they found me in the temple, completing the rite of purification, without any crowd or disturbance. 19But there were some Jews from Asia — they ought to be here before you to make an accusation, if they have anything against me. 20Or let these men here tell what crime they had found when I stood before the council, 21unless it was this one sentence that I called out while standing before them, ‘It is about the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”

Gospel Reading Luke 14:12-24

12He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

15One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my apologies.’ 19Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my apologies.’ 20Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ 23Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

Evening Psalm 81

1   Sing aloud to God our strength;
          shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
2   Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
          the sweet lyre with the harp.
3   Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
          at the full moon, on our festal day.
4   For it is a statute for Israel,
          an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5   He made it a decree in Joseph,
          when he went out over the land of Egypt.


     I hear a voice I had not known:
6   “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
          your hands were freed from the basket.
7   In distress you called, and I rescued you;
          I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
          I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
8   Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
          O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9   There shall be no strange god among you;
          you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10  I am the LORD your God,
          who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
          Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.


11“But my people did not listen to my voice;
          Israel would not submit to me.
12  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
          to follow their own counsels.
13  O that my people would listen to me,
          that Israel would walk in my ways!
14  Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
          and turn my hand against their foes.
15  Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him,
          and their doom would last forever.
16  I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
          and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Evening Psalm 113

1   Praise the LORD!
     Praise, O servants of the LORD;
          praise the name of the LORD.


2   Blessed be the name of the LORD
          from this time on and forevermore.
3   From the rising of the sun to its setting
          the name of the LORD is to be praised.
4   The LORD is high above all nations,
          and his glory above the heavens.


5   Who is like the LORD our God,
          who is seated on high,
6   who looks far down
          on the heavens and the earth?

7   He raises the poor from the dust,
          and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8   to make them sit with princes,
          with the princes of his people.
9   He gives the barren woman a home,
          making her the joyous mother of children.
     Praise the LORD!

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 11, 2017

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 104

1   Bless the LORD, O my soul.
          O LORD my God, you are very great.
     You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2        wrapped in light as with a garment.
     You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3        you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
     you make the clouds your chariot,
          you ride on the wings of the wind,
4   you make the winds your messengers,
          fire and flame your ministers.


5   You set the earth on its foundations,
          so that it shall never be shaken.
6   You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
          the waters stood above the mountains.
7   At your rebuke they flee;
          at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8   They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
          to the place that you appointed for them.
9   You set a boundary that they may not pass,
          so that they might not again cover the earth.


10  You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
          they flow between the hills,
11  giving drink to every wild animal;
          the wild asses quench their thirst.
12  By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
          they sing among the branches.
13  From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
          the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.


14  You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
          and plants for people to use,
     to bring forth food from the earth,
15       and wine to gladden the human heart,
     oil to make the face shine,
          and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16  The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
          the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17  In them the birds build their nests;
          the stork has its home in the fir trees.
18  The high mountains are for the wild goats;
          the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
19  You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
          the sun knows its time for setting.
20  You make darkness, and it is night,
          when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21  The young lions roar for their prey,
          seeking their food from God.
22  When the sun rises, they withdraw
          and lie down in their dens.
23  People go out to their work
          and to their labor until the evening.


24  O LORD, how manifold are your works!
          In wisdom you have made them all;
          the earth is full of your creatures.
25  Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
          creeping things innumerable are there,
          living things both small and great.
26There go the ships,
          and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.


27  These all look to you
          to give them their food in due season;
28  when you give to them, they gather it up;
          when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29  When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
          when you take away their breath, they die
          and return to their dust.
30  When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
          and you renew the face of the ground.


31  May the glory of the LORD endure for ever;
          may the LORD rejoice in his works —
32  who looks on the earth and it trembles,
          who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33  I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
          I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34  May my meditation be pleasing to him,
          for I rejoice in the LORD.
35  Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
          and let the wicked be no more.
     Bless the LORD, O my soul.
     Praise the Lord!

Morning Psalm 149

1   Praise the Lord!
     Sing to the Lord a new song,
          his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
2   Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
          let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
3   Let them praise his name with dancing,
          making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
4   For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
          he adorns the humble with victory.
5   Let the faithful exult in glory;
          let them sing for joy on their couches.
6   Let the high praises of God be in their throats
          and two-edged swords in their hands,
7   to execute vengeance on the nations
          and punishment on the peoples,
8   to bind their kings with fetters
          and their nobles with chains of iron,
9   to execute on them the judgment decreed.
          This is glory for all his faithful ones.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Ezra 9:1-15

1After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.” 3When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled. 4Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.

5At the evening sacrifice I got up from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle torn, and fell on my knees, spread out my hands to the LORD my God, 6and said,

“O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. 7From the days of our ancestors to this day we have been deep in guilt, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as is now the case. 8But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, who has left us a remnant, and given us a stake in his holy place, in order that he may brighten our eyes and grant us a little sustenance in our slavery. 9For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem.

10“And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. 12Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.‘ 13After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, 14shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us without remnant or survivor? 15O LORD, God of Israel, you are just, but we have escaped as a remnant, as is now the case. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can face you because of this.”

Or alternate First Reading Ezra 6:1-22

1Then King Darius made a decree, and they searched the archives where the documents were stored in Babylon. 2But it was in Ecbatana, the capital in the province of Media, that a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record. 3In the first year of his reign, King Cyrus issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices are offered and burnt offerings are brought; its height shall be sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, 4with three courses of hewn stones and one course of timber; let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. 5Moreover, let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple in Jerusalem, each to its place; you shall put them in the house of God.”

6“Now you, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and you, their associates, the envoys in the province Beyond the River, keep away; 7let the work on this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. 8Moreover I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God: the cost is to be paid to these people, in full and without delay, from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province Beyond the River. 9Whatever is needed — young bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests in Jerusalem require — let that be given to them day by day without fail, 10so that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his children. 11Furthermore I decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of the house of the perpetrator, who then shall be impaled on it. The house shall be made a dunghill. 12May the God who has established his name there overthrow any king or people that shall put forth a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”

13Then, according to the word sent by King Darius, Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what King Darius had ordered. 14So the elders of the Jews built and prospered, through the prophesying of the prophet Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished their building by command of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia; 15and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

16The people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17They offered at the dedication of this house of God one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18Then they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their courses for the service of God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses.

19On the fourteenth day of the first month the returned exiles kept the passover. 20For both the priests and the Levites had purified themselves; all of them were clean. So they killed the passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves. 21It was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile, and also by all who had joined them and separated themselves from the pollutions of the nations of the land to worship the LORD, the God of Israel. 22With joy they celebrated the festival of unleavened bread seven days; for the LORD had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.

Second Reading Revelation 17:1-14

1Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, 2with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk.” 3So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; 5and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations.” 6And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.

When I saw her, I was greatly amazed. 7But the angel said to me, “Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

9“This calls for a mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; also, they are seven kings, 10of whom five have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain only a little while. 11As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. 2And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast; 14they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 14:22-36

22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, 36and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Evening Psalm 138

1   I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
          before the gods I sing your praise;
2   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.
3   On the day I called, you answered me,
          you increased my strength of soul.


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


7   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.
8   The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
          your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
          Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Evening Psalm 98

1   O sing to the LORD a new song,
          for he has done marvelous things.
     His right hand and his holy arm
          have gained him victory.
2   The LORD has made known his victory;
          he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3   He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
          to the house of Israel.
     All the ends of the earth have seen
          the victory of our God.


4   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
          break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5   Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
          with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6   With trumpets and the sound of the horn
          make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.


7   Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
          the world and those who live in it.
8   Let the floods clap their hands;
          let the hills sing together for joy
9   at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming
          to judge the earth.
     He will judge the world with righteousness,
          and the peoples with equity.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 10, 2017

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 51

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


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

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


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


10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,
          and put a new and right spirit within me.
11  Do not cast me away from your presence,
          and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
          and sustain in me a willing spirit.


13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
          and sinners will return to you.
14  Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
          O God of my salvation,
          and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.


15  O Lord, open my lips,
          and my mouth will declare your praise.
16  For you have no delight in sacrifice;
          if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17  The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
          a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.


18  Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
          rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19  then you will delight in right sacrifices,
          in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
          then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Morning Psalm 148

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord from the heavens;
          praise him in the heights!
2   Praise him, all his angels;
          praise him, all his host!


3   Praise him, sun and moon;
          praise him, all you shining stars!
4   Praise him, you highest heavens,
          and you waters above the heavens!


5   Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for he commanded and they were created.
6   He established them forever and ever;
          he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.


7   Praise the Lord from the earth,
          you sea monsters and all deeps,
8   fire and hail, snow and frost,
          stormy wind fulfilling his command!


9   Mountains and all hills,
          fruit trees and all cedars!
10  Wild animals and all cattle,
          creeping things and flying birds!


11  Kings of the earth and all peoples,
          princes and all rulers of the earth!
12  Young men and women alike,
          old and young together!


13  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for his name alone is exalted;
          his glory is above earth and heaven.
14  He has raised up a horn for his people,
          praise for all his faithful,
          for the people of Israel who are close to him.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Ezra 7:27-28, 8:21-36

7:27Blessed be the LORD, the God of our ancestors, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king to glorify the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, 28and who extended to me steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.

8:21Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might deny ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our possessions. 22For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and cavalry to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king that the hand of our God is gracious to all who seek him, but his power and his wrath are against all who forsake him. 23So we fasted and petitioned our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

24Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kin with them. 25And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God that the king, his counselors, his lords, and all Israel there present had offered; 26I weighed out into their hand six hundred fifty talents of silver, and one hundred silver vessels worth ... talents, and one hundred talents of gold, 27twenty gold bowls worth a thousand darics, and two vessels of fine polished bronze as precious as gold. 28And I said to them, “You are holy to the LORD, and the vessels are holy; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the LORD, the God of your ancestors. 29Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and the Levites and the heads of families in Israel at Jerusalem, within the chambers of the house of the LORD.” 30So the priests and the Levites took over the silver, the gold, and the vessels as they were weighed out, to bring them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God.

31Then we left the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem; the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes along the way. 32We came to Jerusalem and remained there three days. 33On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver, the gold, and the vessels were weighed into the hands of the priest Meremoth son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. 34The total was counted and weighed, and the weight of everything was recorded.

35At that time those who had come from captivity, the returned exiles, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and as a sin offering twelve male goats; all this was a burnt offering to the LORD. 36They also delivered the king’s commissions to the king’s satraps and to the governors of the province Beyond the River; and they supported the people and the house of God.

Or alternate First Reading Ezra 5:1-17

1Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 2Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak set out to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God, helping them.

3At the same time Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus, “Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?” 4They also asked them this, “What are the names of the men who are building this building?” 5But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until a report reached Darius and then answer was returned by letter in reply to it.

6The copy of the letter that Tattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates the envoys who were in the province Beyond the River sent to King Darius; 7they sent him a report, in which was written as follows: “To Darius the king, all peace! 8May it be known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built of hewn stone, and timber is laid in the walls; this work is being done diligently and prospers in their hands. 9Then we spoke to those elders and asked them, ‘Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?’ 10We also asked them their names, for your information, so that we might write down the names of the men at their head. 11This was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12But because our ancestors had angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia. 13However, King Cyrus of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt. 14Moreover, the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem and had brought into the temple of Babylon, these King Cyrus took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to a man named Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor. 15He said to him, “Take these vessels; go and put them in the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its site.” 16Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem; and from that time until now it has been under construction, and it is not yet finished.’ 17And now, if it seems good to the king, have a search made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by King Cyrus for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. Let the king send us his pleasure in this matter.”

Second Reading Revelation 15:1-8

1Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended.

2And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
     “Great and amazing are your deeds,
          Lord God the Almighty!
     Just and true are your ways,
          King of the nations!
4   Lord, who will not fear
          and glorify your name?
     For you alone are holy.
          All nations will come
          and worship before you,
     for your judgments have been revealed."

5After this I looked, and the temple of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, 6and out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, robed in pure bright linen, with golden sashes across their chests. 7Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever; 8and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended.

Gospel Reading Matthew 14:13-21

13Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Evening Psalm 142

1   With my voice I cry to the LORD;
          with my voice I make supplication to the LORD.
2   I pour out my complaint before him;
          I tell my trouble before him.
3   When my spirit is faint,
          you know my way.


     In the path where I walk
          they have hidden a trap for me.
4   Look on my right hand and see —
          there is no one who takes notice of me;
     no refuge remains to me;
          no one cares for me.


5   I cry to you, O LORD;
          I say, “You are my refuge,
          my portion in the land of the living.”
6   Give heed to my cry,
          for I am brought very low.


     Save me from my persecutors,
          for they are too strong for me.
7   Bring me out of prison,
          so that I may give thanks to your name.
     The righteous will surround me,
          for you will deal bountifully with me.

Evening Psalm 65

1   Praise is due to you,
          O God, in Zion;
     and to you shall vows be performed,
2        O you who answer prayer!
     To you all flesh shall come.
3   When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
          you forgive our transgressions.
4   Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
          to live in your courts.
     We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
          your holy temple.


5   By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
          O God of our salvation;
     you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
          and of the farthest seas.
6   By your strength you established the mountains;
          you are girded with might.
7   You silence the roaring of the seas,
          the roaring of their waves,
          the tumult of the peoples.
8   Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
          you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.


9   You visit the earth and water it,
          you greatly enrich it;
     the river of God is full of water;
          you provide the people with grain,
          for so you have prepared it.
10  You water its furrows abundantly,
          settling its ridges,
     softening it with showers,
          and blessing its growth.
11  You crown the year with your bounty;
          your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12  The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
          the hills gird themselves with joy,
13  the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
          the valleys deck themselves with grain,
          they shout and sing together for joy.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 09, 2017

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 97

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


6   The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
          and all the peoples behold his glory.
7   All worshipers of images are put to shame,
          those who make their boast in worthless idols;
          all gods bow down before him.
8   Zion hears and is glad,
          and the towns of Judah rejoice,
          because of your judgments, O God.
9   For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
          you are exalted far above all gods.


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

Morning Psalm 147:12-20

12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
          Praise your God, O Zion!
13  For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
          he blesses your children within you.
14  He grants peace within your borders;
          he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15  He sends out his command to the earth;
          his word runs swiftly.
16  He gives snow like wool;
          he scatters frost like ashes.
17  He hurls down hail like crumbs —
          who can stand before his cold?
18  He sends out his word, and melts them;
          he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19  He declares his word to Jacob,
          his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20  He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
          they do not know his ordinances.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Ezra 7:(1-10) 11-26

1After this, in the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, 2son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, 3son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, 4son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, 5son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of the chief priest Aaron — 6this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses that the LORD the God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was upon him.

7Some of the people of Israel, and some of the priests and Levites, the singers and gatekeepers, and the temple servants also went up to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. 8They came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9On the first day of the first month the journey up from Babylon was begun, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the gracious hand of his God was upon him. 10For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.

11This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to the priest Ezra, the scribe, a scholar of the text of the commandments of the LORD and his statutes for Israel: 12“Artaxerxes, king of kings, to the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven: Peace. And now 13I decree that any of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom who freely offers to go to Jerusalem may go with you. 14For you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to make inquiries about Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your hand, 15and also to convey the silver and gold that the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16with all the silver and gold that you shall find in the whole province of Babylonia, and with the freewill offerings of the people and the priests, given willingly for the house of their God in Jerusalem. 17With this money, then, you shall with all diligence buy bulls, rams, and lambs, and their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and you shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. 18Whatever seems good to you and your colleagues to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do, according to the will of your God. 19The vessels that have been given you for the service of the house of your God, you shall deliver before the God of Jerusalem. 20And whatever else is required for the house of your God, which you are responsible for providing, you may provide out of the king’s treasury.

21“I, King Artaxerxes, decree to all the treasurers in the province Beyond the River: Whatever the priest Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, requires of you, let it be done with all diligence, 22up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred cors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and unlimited salt. 23Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, or wrath will come upon the realm of the king and his heirs. 24We also notify you that it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on any of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the doorkeepers, the temple servants, or other servants of this house of God.

25“And you, Ezra, according to the God-given wisdom you possess, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River who know the laws of your God; and you shall teach those who do not know them. 26All who will not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be strictly executed on them, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of their goods or for imprisonment.”

Or alternate First Reading Zechariah 1:7-17

7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah son of Iddo; and Zechariah said, 8In the night I saw a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. 9Then I said, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.” 10So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, “They are those whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth.” 11Then they spoke to the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have patrolled the earth, and lo, the whole earth remains at peace.” 12Then the angel of the LORD said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which you have been angry these seventy years?” 13Then the LORD replied with gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. 14So the angel who talked with me said to me, Proclaim this message: Thus says the LORD of hosts; I am very jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. 15And I am extremely angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they made the disaster worse. 16Therefore, thus says the LORD, I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion; my house shall be built in it, says the LORD of hosts, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. 17Proclaim further: Thus says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity; the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.

Second Reading Revelation 14:1-13

1Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. 4It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, 5and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.

6Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth — to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

8Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

9Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, “Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, 10they will also drink the wine of God”s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

12Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.

13And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 14:1-12

1At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus; 2and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” 3For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4because John had been telling him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. 6But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod 7so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. 8Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” 9The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; 10he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. 12His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.

Evening Psalm 16

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


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


4   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.


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


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


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


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

Evening Psalm 62

1   For God alone my soul waits in silence;
          from him comes my salvation.
2   He alone is my rock and my salvation,
          my fortress; I shall never be shaken.


3   How long will you assail a person,
          will you batter your victim, all of you,
          as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4   Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
          They take pleasure in falsehood;
     they bless with their mouths,
          but inwardly they curse. Selah


5   For God alone my soul waits in silence,
          for my hope is from him.
6   He alone is my rock and my salvation,
          my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7   On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
          my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.


8   Trust in him at all times, O people;
          pour out your heart before him;
          God is a refuge for us. Selah


9   Those of low estate are but a breath,
          those of high estate are a delusion;
     in the balances they go up;
          they are together lighter than a breath.
10  Put no confidence in extortion,
          and set no vain hopes on robbery;
          if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.


11  Once God has spoken;
          twice have I heard this:
     that power belongs to God,
12       and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
     For you repay to all
          according to their work.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 08, 2017

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 89:1-18

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


3   You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
          I have sworn to my servant David:
4   ‘I will establish your descendants forever,
          and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah


5   Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
          your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
6   For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
          Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD,
7   a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
          great and awesome above all that are around him?
8   O LORD God of hosts,
          who is as mighty as you, O LORD?
          Your faithfulness surrounds you.
9   You rule the raging of the sea;
          when its waves rise, you still them.
10  You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
          you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11  The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
          the world and all that is in it — you have founded them.
12  The north and the south — you created them;
          Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
13  You have a mighty arm;
          strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
          steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15  Happy are the people who know the festal shout,
          who walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance;
16  they exult in your name all day long,
          and extol your righteousness.
17  For you are the glory of their strength;
          by your favor our horn is exalted.
18  For our shield belongs to the LORD,
          our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Morning Psalm 147:1-11

1   Praise the Lord!
          How good it is to sing praises to our God;
          for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2   The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
          he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3   He heals the brokenhearted,
          and binds up their wounds.
4   He determines the number of the stars;
          he gives to all of them their names.
5   Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
          his understanding is beyond measure.
6   The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
          he casts the wicked to the ground.


7   Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
          make melody to our God on the lyre.
8   He covers the heavens with clouds,
          prepares rain for the earth,
          makes grass grow on the hills.
9   He gives to the animals their food,
          and to the young ravens when they cry.
10  His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
          nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11  but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
          in those who hope in his steadfast love.

First Reading Nehemiah 13:4-22

4Now before this, the priest Eliashib, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, 5prepared for Tobiah a large room where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6While this was taking place I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes of Babylon I went to the king. After some time I asked leave of the king 7and returned to Jerusalem. I then discovered the wrong that Eliashib had done on behalf of Tobiah, preparing a room for him in the courts of the house of God. 8And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the room. 9Then I gave orders and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

10I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them; so that the Levites and the singers, who had conducted the service, had gone back to their fields. 11So I remonstrated with the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses the priest Shelemiah, the scribe Zadok, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan son of Zaccur son of Mattaniah, for they were considered faithful; and their duty was to distribute to their associates. 14Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

15In those days I saw in Judah people treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys; and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I warned them at that time against selling food. 16Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise and sold them on the sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day? 18Did not your ancestors act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

19When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the sabbath. And I set some of my servants over the gates, to prevent any burden from being brought in on the sabbath day. 20Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath. 22And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

Or alternate First Reading Haggai 1:1-2:9

1:1In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 2Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house. 3Then the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai, saying: 4Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 5Now therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider how you have fared. 6You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and you that earn wages earn wages to put them into a bag with holes.

7Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider how you have fared. 8Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD. 9You have looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the LORD of hosts. Because my house lies in ruins, while all of you hurry off to your own houses. 10Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the soil produces, on human beings and animals, and on all their labors.

12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of the prophet Haggai, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the LORD. 13Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the Lord’s message, saying, I am with you, says the LORD. 14And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, 15on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month.

2:1In the second year of King Darius, in the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai, saying: 2Speak now to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, and say, 3Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? 4Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the LORD; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD; work, for I am with you, says the LORD of hosts, 5according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit abides among you; do not fear. 6For thus says the LORD of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; 7and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the LORD of hosts. 8The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts. 9The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.

Second Reading Revelation 12:1-12

1A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2She was pregnant and was crying out in birthpangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; 6and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

7And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, 8but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
     “Now have come the salvation and the power
          and the kingdom of our God
          and the authority of his Messiah,
     for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
          who accuses them day and night before our God.
11  But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
          and by the word of their testimony,
     for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
12  Rejoice then, you heavens
          and those who dwell in them!
     But woe to the earth and the sea,
          for the devil has come down to you
     with great wrath,
          because he knows that his time is short!”

Gospel Reading Matthew 13:53-58

53When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.

54He came to his home town and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” 57And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

Evening Psalm 1

1   Happy are those
          who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
     or take the path that sinners tread,
          or sit in the seat of scoffers;

2   but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
          and on his law they meditate day and night.
3   They are like trees
          planted by streams of water,
     which yield their fruit in its season,
          and their leaves do not wither.
     In all that they do, they prosper.


4   The wicked are not so,
          but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5   Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
          nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6   for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
          but the way of the wicked will perish.

Evening Psalm 33

1   Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous.
          Praise befits the upright.
2   Praise the LORD with the lyre;
          make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3   Sing to him a new song;
          play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.


4   For the word of the LORD is upright,
          and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5   He loves righteousness and justice;
          the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.


6   By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
          and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7   He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
          he put the deeps in storehouses.


8   Let all the earth fear the LORD;
          let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9   For he spoke, and it came to be;
          he commanded, and it stood firm.


10  The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
          he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11  The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
          the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12   Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD,
          the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.


13  The LORD looks down from heaven;
          he sees all humankind.
14  From where he sits enthroned he watches
          all the inhabitants of the earth —
15  he who fashions the hearts of them all,
          and observes all their deeds.
16  A king is not saved by his great army;
          a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17  The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
          and by its great might it cannot save.


18  Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
          on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19  to deliver their soul from death,
          and to keep them alive in famine.


20  Our soul waits for the LORD;
          he is our help and shield.
21  Our heart is glad in him,
          because we trust in his holy name.
22  Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
          even as we hope in you.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 07, 2017

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 42

1   As a deer longs for flowing streams,
          so my soul longs for you, O God.
2   My soul thirsts for God,
          for the living God.
     When shall I come and behold
          the face of God?
3   My tears have been my food
          day and night,
     while people say to me continually,
          “Where is your God?”


4   These things I remember,
          as I pour out my soul:
     how I went with the throng,
          and led them in procession to the house of God,
     with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
          a multitude keeping festival.
5   Why are you cast down, O my soul,
          and why are you disquieted within me?
     Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
          my help 6and my God.


     My soul is cast down within me;
          therefore I remember you
     from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
          from Mount Mizar.
7   Deep calls to deep
          at the thunder of your cataracts;
     all your waves and your billows
          have gone over me.
8   By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
          and at night his song is with me,
          a prayer to the God of my life.


9   I say to God, my rock,
          “Why have you forgotten me?
     Why must I walk about mournfully
          because the enemy oppresses me?”
10  As with a deadly wound in my body,
          my adversaries taunt me,
     while they say to me continually,
          “Where is your God?”


11  Why are you cast down, O my soul,
          and why are you disquieted within me?
     Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
          my help and my God.

Morning Psalm 146

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


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


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


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


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

First Reading Nehemiah 12:27-31a, 42b-47

27Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with rejoicing, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28The companies of the singers gathered together from the circuit around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites; 29also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth; for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30And the priests and the Levites purified themselves; and they purified the people and the gates and the wall.

31Then I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall, and appointed two great companies that gave thanks and went in procession.

42bAnd the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. 43They offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. The joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.

44On that day men were appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the law for the priests and for the Levites from the fields belonging to the towns; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and the Levites who ministered. 45They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon. 46For in the days of David and Asaph long ago there was a leader of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the daily portions for the singers and the gatekeepers. They set apart that which was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart that which was for the descendants of Aaron.

Or alternate First Reading Ezra 4:7, 11-24

7And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to King Artaxerxes of Persia; the letter was written in Aramaic and translated. ... 11this is a copy of the letter that they sent:

“To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the people of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now 12may it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city; they are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. 13 Now may it be known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be reduced. 14 Now because we share the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king, 15so that a search may be made in the annals of your ancestors. You will discover in the annals that this is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from long ago. On that account this city was laid waste. 16We make known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.”

17The king sent an answer: “To Rehum the royal deputy and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, greeting. And now 18the letter that you sent to us has been read in translation before me. 19So I made a decree, and someone searched and discovered that this city has risen against kings from long ago, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it. 20Jerusalem has had mighty kings who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom tribute, custom, and toll were paid. 21Therefore issue an order that these people be made to cease, and that this city not be rebuilt, until I make a decree. 22 Moreover, take care not to be slack in this matter; why should damage grow to the hurt of the king?”

23Then when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and the scribe Shimshai and their associates, they hurried to the Jews in Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease. 24At that time the work on the house of God in Jerusalem stopped and was discontinued until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.

Second Reading Revelation 11:1-19

1Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Come and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, 2but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months. 3And I will grant my two witnesses authority to prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days, wearing sackcloth.”

4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5And if anyone wants to harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes; anyone who wants to harm them must be killed in this manner. 6They have authority to shut the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have authority over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.

7When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, 8and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that is prophetically called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9For three and a half days members of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb; 10and the inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to the inhabitants of the earth.

11But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and those who saw them were terrified. 12Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watched them. 13At that moment there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14The second woe has passed. The third woe is coming very soon.

15Then 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.”

16Then the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17singing,
     “We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty,
          who are and who were,
     for you have taken your great power
          and begun to reign.
18  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.”

19Then 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.

Gospel Reading Matthew 13:44-52

44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Evening Psalm 102

1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
          let my cry come to you.
2   Do not hide your face from me
          in the day of my distress.
     Incline your ear to me;
          answer me speedily in the day when I call.


3   For my days pass away like smoke,
          and my bones burn like a furnace.
4   My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
          I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5   Because of my loud groaning
          my bones cling to my skin.
6   I am like an owl of the wilderness,
          like a little owl of the waste places.
7   I lie awake;
          I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8   All day long my enemies taunt me;
          those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9   For I eat ashes like bread,
          and mingle tears with my drink,
10  because of your indignation and anger;
          for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11  My days are like an evening shadow;
          I wither away like grass.


12  But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;
          your name endures to all generations.
13  You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
          for it is time to favor it;
          the appointed time has come.
14  For your servants hold its stones dear,
          and have pity on its dust.
15  The nations will fear the name of the LORD,
          and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16  For the LORD will build up Zion;
          he will appear in his glory.
17  He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
          and will not despise their prayer.
18  Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
          so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD:
19  that he looked down from his holy height,
          from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
20  to hear the groans of the prisoners,
          to set free those who were doomed to die;
21  so that the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion,
          and his praise in Jerusalem,
22  when peoples gather together,
          and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.


23  He has broken my strength in midcourse;
          he has shortened my days.
24  “O my God,” I say, “do not take me away
          at the mid-point of my life,
     you whose years endure
          throughout all generations.”


25  Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
          and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26  They will perish, but you endure;
          they will all wear out like a garment.
     You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27       but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28  The children of your servants shall live secure;
          their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Evening Psalm 133

1   How very good and pleasant it is
          when kindred live together in unity!
2   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.
3   It is like the dew of Hermon,
          which falls on the mountains of Zion.
     For there the LORD ordained his blessing,
          life forevermore.

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 06, 2017

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 5

1   Give ear to my words, O LORD;
          give heed to my sighing.
2   Listen to the sound of my cry,
          my King and my God,
          for to you I pray.
3   O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
          in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.


4   For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
          evil will not sojourn with you.
5   The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
          you hate all evildoers.
6   You destroy those who speak lies;
          the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.


7   But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
          will enter your house,
     I will bow down toward your holy temple
          in awe of you.
8   Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
          because of my enemies;
          make your way straight before me.


9   For there is no truth in their mouths;
          their hearts are destruction;
     their throats are open graves;
          they flatter with their tongues.
10  Make them bear their guilt, O God;
          let them fall by their own counsels;
     because of their many transgressions cast them out,
          for they have rebelled against you.


11  But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
          let them ever sing for joy.
     Spread your protection over them,
          so that those who love your name may exult in you.
12  For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
          you cover them with favor as with a shield.

Morning Psalm 145

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


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


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


10  All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
          and all your faithful shall bless you.
11  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
          and tell of your power,
12  to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
          and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13  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.
14  The Lord upholds all who are falling,
          and raises up all who are bowed down.
15  The eyes of all look to you,
          and you give them their food in due season.
16  You open your hand,
          satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17  The Lord is just in all his ways,
          and kind in all his doings.
18  The Lord is near to all who call on him,
          to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
          he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20  The Lord watches over all who love him,
          but all the wicked he will destroy.


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

First Reading Nehemiah 6:1-19

1Now when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had built the wall and that there was no gap left in it (though up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it to come down to you?” 4They sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. 5In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. 6In it was written, “It is reported among the nations — and Geshem also says it — that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall; and according to this report you wish to become their king. 7You have also set up prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem concerning you, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ And now it will be reported to the king according to these words. So come, therefore, and let us confer together.” 8Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done; you are inventing them out of your own mind” 9 — for they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.

10One day when I went into the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his house, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, tonight they are coming to kill you.” 11But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Would a man like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” 12Then I perceived and saw that God had not sent him at all, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13He was hired for this purpose, to intimidate me and make me sin by acting in this way, and so they could give me a bad name, in order to taunt me. 14Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.

15So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem; for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah son of Arah: and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah. 19Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence, and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

Or alternate First Reading Ezra 3:1-13

1When the seventh month came, and the Israelites were in the towns, the people gathered together in Jerusalem. 2Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his kin set out to build the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as prescribed in the law of Moses the man of God. 3They set up the altar on its foundation, because they were in dread of the neighboring peoples, and they offered burnt offerings upon it to the LORD, morning and evening. 4And they kept the festival of booths, as prescribed, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the ordinance, as required for each day, 5and after that the regular burnt offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the sacred festivals of the LORD, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the LORD.6From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. 7So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from King Cyrus of Persia.

8In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their people, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work on the house of the LORD. 9And Jeshua with his sons and his kin, and Kadmiel and his sons, Binnui and Hodaviah along with the sons of Henadad, the Levites, their sons and kin, together took charge of the workers in the house of God.

10When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the LORD with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel; 11and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD,
     “For he is good,
     for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”
And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.

Second Reading Revelation 10:1-11

1And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2He held a little scroll open in his hand. Setting his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3he gave a great shout, like a lion roaring. And when he shouted, the seven thunders sounded. 4And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” 5Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and the land
     raised his right hand to heaven
6        and swore by him who lives forever and ever,
who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: “There will be no more delay, 7but in the days when the seventh angel is to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled, as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

8Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” 10So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.

11Then they said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

Gospel Reading Matthew 13:36-43

36Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

Evening Psalm 82

1   God has taken his place in the divine council;
          in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2   “How long will you judge unjustly
          and show partiality to the wicked?

3   Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
          maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
4   Rescue the weak and the needy;
          deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5   They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
          they walk around in darkness;
          all the foundations of the earth are shaken.


6   I say, “You are gods,
          children of the Most High, all of you;
7   nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
          and fall like any prince.”


8   Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
          for all the nations belong to you!

Evening Psalm 29

1   Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
          ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2   Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name;
          worship the LORD in holy splendor.


3   The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
          the God of glory thunders,
          the LORD, over mighty waters.
4   The voice of the LORD is powerful;
          the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.


5   The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
          the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6   He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
          and Sirion like a young wild ox.


7   The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
8   The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
          the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.


9   The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl,
          and strips the forest bare;
          and in his temple all say, “Glory!”


10  The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
          the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
11  May the LORD give strength to his people!
          May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Daily Lectionary Readings for November 05, 2017

Sat, 11/04/2017 - 22:00

Morning Psalm 103

1   Bless the LORD, O my soul,
          and all that is within me,
          bless his holy name.
2   Bless the LORD, O my soul,
          and do not forget all his benefits —
3   who forgives all your iniquity,
          who heals all your diseases,
4   who redeems your life from the Pit,
          who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5   who satisfies you with good as long as you live
          so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


6   The LORD works vindication
          and justice for all who are oppressed.
7   He made known his ways to Moses,
          his acts to the people of Israel.
8   The LORD is merciful and gracious,
          slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9   He will not always accuse,
          nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10  He does not deal with us according to our sins,
          nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11  For as the heavens are high above the earth,
          so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west,
          so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion for his children,
          so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him.
14  For he knows how we were made;
          he remembers that we are dust.


15  As for mortals, their days are like grass;
          they flourish like a flower of the field;
16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
          and its place knows it no more.
17  But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
          on those who fear him,
          and his righteousness to children’s children,
18  to those who keep his covenant
          and remember to do his commandments.


19  The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
          and his kingdom rules over all.
20  Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
          you mighty ones who do his bidding,
          obedient to his spoken word.
21  Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
          his ministers that do his will.
22  Bless the LORD, all his works,
          in all places of his dominion.
     Bless the LORD, O my soul.

Morning Psalm 150

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise God in his sanctuary;
          praise him in his mighty firmament!
2   Praise him for his mighty deeds;
          praise him according to his surpassing greatness!


3   Praise him with trumpet sound;
          praise him with lute and harp!
4   Praise him with tambourine and dance;
          praise him with strings and pipe!
5   Praise him with clanging cymbals;
          praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6   Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Nehemiah 5:1-9

1Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish kin. 2For there were those who said, “With our sons and our daughters, we are many; we must get grain, so that we may eat and stay alive.” 3There were also those who said, “We are having to pledge our fields, our vineyards, and our houses in order to get grain during the famine.” 4And there were those who said, “We are having to borrow money on our fields and vineyards to pay the king’s tax. 5Now our flesh is the same as that of our kindred; our children are the same as their children; and yet we are forcing our sons and daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been ravished; we are powerless, and our fields and vineyards now belong to others.”

6I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these complaints. 7After thinking it over, I brought charges against the nobles and the officials; I said to them, “You are all taking interest from your own people.” And I called a great assembly to deal with them, 8and said to them, “As far as we were able, we have bought back our Jewish kindred who had been sold to other nations; but now you are selling your own kin, who must then be bought back by us!” They were silent, and could not find a word to say. 9So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God, to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies?

Or alternate First Reading Ezra 1:1-11

1In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared:

2“Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. 3Any of those among you who are of his people — may their God be with them! — are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel — he is the God who is in Jerusalem; 4and let all survivors, in whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.”

5The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites — everyone whose spirit God had stirred — got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. 6All their neighbors aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered. 7King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8King Cyrus of Persia had them released into the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9And this was the inventory: gold basins, thirty; silver basins, one thousand; knives, twenty-nine; 10gold bowls, thirty; other silver bowls, four hundred ten; other vessels, one thousand; 11the total of the gold and silver vessels was five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar brought up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.

Second Reading Acts 20:7-12

7On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. 8There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. 9A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. 10But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left. 12Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted.

Gospel Reading Luke 12:22-31

22He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith! 29And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

Evening Psalm 117

1   Praise the LORD, all you nations!
          Extol him, all you peoples!
2   For great is his steadfast love toward us,
          and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
     Praise the LORD!

Evening Psalm 139

1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me.

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


7   Where can I go from your spirit?
          Or where can I flee from your presence?

8   If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
          if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9   If I take the wings of the morning
          and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10  even there your hand shall lead me,
          and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
          and the light around me become night,”
12  even the darkness is not dark to you;
          the night is as bright as the day,
          for darkness is as light to you.


13  For it was you who formed my inward parts;
          you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
          Wonderful are your works;
     that I know very well.
15       My frame was not hidden from you,
     when I was being made in secret,
          intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16  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.
17  How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
          How vast is the sum of them!
18  I try to count them — they are more than the sand;
          I come to the end — I am still with you.


19  O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
          and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me —
20  those who speak of you maliciously,
          and lift themselves up against you for evil!
21  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
          And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22  I hate them with perfect hatred;
          I count them my enemies.
23  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
          test me and know my thoughts.
24  See if there is any wicked way in me,
          and lead me in the way everlasting.

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