Daily Readings for Wednesday, December 17, 2003
- Morning Psalms 50; 147:1-11
- First Reading Zechariah 3:1-10
- Second Reading Revelation 4:1-8
- Gospel Reading Matthew 24:45-51
- Evening Psalms 53; 17
Morning Psalm 50
1The mighty one, God the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
3Our God comes and does not keep silence,
before him is a devouring fire,
and a mighty tempest all around him.
4He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5"Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"
6The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge. Selah
7"Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9I will not accept a bull from your house,
or goats from your folds.
10For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11I know all the birds of the air,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12"If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and all that is in it is mine.
13Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and pay your vows to the Most High.
15Call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."
16But to the wicked God says:
"What right have you to recite my statutes,
or take my covenant on your lips?
17For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
18You make friends with a thief when you see one,
and you keep company with adulterers.
19"You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
20You sit and speak against your kin;
you slander your own mother's child.
21These things you have done and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one just like yourself.
But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.
22"Mark this, then, you who forget God,
or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.
23Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;
to those who go the right way
I will show the salvation of God."
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 Zechariah 3:1-10
1Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this man a brand plucked from the fire?" 3Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." And to him he said, "See, I have taken your guilt away from you, and I will clothe you with festal apparel." 5And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with the apparel; and the angel of the LORD was standing by.
6Then the angel of the LORD assured Joshua, saying 7"Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 8Now listen, Joshua, high priest, you and your colleagues who sit before you! For they are an omen of things to come: I am going to bring my servant the Branch. 9For on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day. 10On that day, says the LORD of hosts, you shall invite each other to come under your vine and fig tree."
Second Reading Revelation 4:1-8
1After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." 2At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! 3And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald. 4Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads. 5Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God; 6and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.
Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. 8And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing,
"Holy, holy, holy,
the Lord God the Almighty,
who was and is and is to come."
Gospel Reading Matthew 24:45-51
45"Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 47Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked slave says to himself, 'My master is delayed,' 49and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. 51He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Evening Psalm 53
1Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God."
They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;
there is no one who does good.
2God looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.
3They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;
there is no one who does good,
no, not one.
4Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon God?
5There they shall be in great terror,
in terror such as has not been.
For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;
they will be put to shame, for God has rejected them.
6O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.
Evening Psalm 17
1Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry;
give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
2From you let my vindication come;
let your eyes see the right.
3If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,
if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;
my mouth does not transgress.
4As for what others do, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.
6I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me, hear my words.
7Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.
8Guard me as the apple of the eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
9from the wicked who despoil me,
my deadly enemies who surround me.
10They close their hearts to pity;
with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11They track me down; now they surround me;
they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.
12They are like a lion eager to tear,
like a young lion lurking in ambush.
13Rise up, O LORD, confront them, overthrow them!
By your sword deliver my life from the wicked,
14from mortals — by your hand, O LORD —
from mortals whose portion in life is in this world.
May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them;
may their children have more than enough;
may they leave something over to their little ones.
15As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.