Daily Readings for Wednesday, December 15, 2004
- Morning Psalms 50; 147:1-11
- First Reading Isaiah 9:8-17
- Second Reading 2 Peter 2:1-10a
- Gospel Reading Mark 1:1-8
- 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 Isaiah 9:8-17
8The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
and it fell on Israel;
9and all the people knew it —
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria —
but in pride and arrogance of heart they said:
10"The bricks have fallen,
but we will build with dressed stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
but we will put cedars in their place."
11So the LORD raised adversaries against them,
and stirred up their enemies,
12the Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west,
and they devoured Israel with open mouth.
For all this his anger has not turned away;
his hand is stretched out still.
13The people did not turn to him who struck them,
or seek the LORD of hosts.
14So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail,
palm branch and reed in one day —
15elders and dignitaries are the head,
and prophets who teach lies are the tail;
16for those who led this people led them astray,
and those who were led by them were left in confusion.
17That is why the Lord did not have pity on their young people,
or compassion on their orphans and widows;
for everyone was godless and an evildoer,
and every mouth spoke folly.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
his hand is stretched out still.
Second Reading 2 Peter 2:1-10a
1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. 3And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of deepest darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5and if he did not spare the ancient world, even though he saved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood on a world of the ungodly; 6and if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example of what is coming to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the lawless 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds that he saw and heard), 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment 10 — especially those who indulge their flesh in depraved lust, and who despise authority.
Gospel Reading Mark 1:1-8
1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
"See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'"
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
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.