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Daily Readings For September 23

Please note that two distinct lectionaries are provided on this page: the two-year Daily Lectionary from the Book of Common Worship and the three-year Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) for Sundays and festivals; be sure you select the appropriate one.

Daily Readings Sunday/Festival Readings

Daily Readings for Sunday, September 23, 2018


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 Esther 3:1-4:3

1After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the officials who were with him. 2And all the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and did obeisance to Haman; for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or do obeisance. 3Then the king's servants who were at the king's gate said to Mordecai, "Why do you disobey the king's command?" 4When they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai's words would avail; for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or do obeisance to him, Haman was infuriated. 6But he thought it beneath him to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, having been told who Mordecai's people were, Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

7In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur - which means "the lot" - before Haman for the day and for the month, and the lot fell on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 8Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered and separated among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not appropriate for the king to tolerate them. 9If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued for their destruction, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king's business, so that they may put it into the king's treasuries." 10So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11The king said to Haman, "The money is given to you, and the people as well, to do with them as it seems good to you."

12Then the king's secretaries were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and an edict, according to all that Haman commanded, was written to the king's satraps and to the governors over all the provinces and to the officials of all the peoples, to every province in its own script and every people in its own language; it was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's ring. 13Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces, giving orders to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province by proclamation, calling on all the peoples to be ready for that day. 15The couriers went quickly by order of the king, and the decree was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city of Susa was thrown into confusion.

1When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went through the city, wailing with a loud and bitter cry; 2he went up to the entrance of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. 3In every province, wherever the king's command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Second Reading James 1:19-27

19You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God's righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

22But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act - they will be blessed in their doing.

26If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Gospel Reading Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

1"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2"So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

5"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

16"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

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.