Daily Readings for Wednesday, December 22, 2004
- Morning Psalms 50; 147:1-11
- First Reading Isaiah 31:1-9
- Second Reading Revelation 21:22-22:5
- Gospel Reading Luke 1:39-48a (48b-56)
- 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 31:1-9
1 Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help
and who rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
or consult the LORD!
2 Yet he too is wise and brings disaster;
he does not call back his words,
but will rise against the house of the evildoers,
and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
3 The Egyptians are human, and not God;
their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the LORD stretches out his hand,
the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall,
and they will all perish together.
4 For thus the LORD said to me,
As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey,
and — when a band of shepherds is called out against it —
is not terrified by their shouting
or daunted at their noise,
so the LORD of hosts will come down
to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.
5 Like birds hovering overhead, so the LORD of hosts
will protect Jerusalem;
he will protect and deliver it,
he will spare and rescue it.
6Turn back to him whom you have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel. 7For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.
8 "Then the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of mortals;
and a sword, not of humans, shall devour him;
he shall flee from the sword,
and his young men shall be put to forced labor.
9 His rock shall pass away in terror,
and his officers desert the standard in panic,"
says the LORD, whose fire is in Zion,
and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
Second Reading Revelation 21:22-22:5
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.
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 Luke 1:39-48a (48b-56)
39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."
46And Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever."
56And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
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.