Daily Readings For December 21

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Daily Readings Sunday/Festival Readings

Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Morning 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.

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 Isaiah 29:9-24

9   Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,
          blind yourselves and be blind!
     Be drunk, but not from wine;
          stagger, but not from strong drink!
10  For the LORD has poured out upon you
          a spirit of deep sleep;
     he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
          and covered your heads, you seers.

11The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, "Read this," they say, "We cannot, for it is sealed." 12And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, "Read this," they say, "We cannot read."

13  The Lord said:
     Because these people draw near with their mouths
          and honor me with their lips,
          while their hearts are far from me,
     and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
14  so I will again do
          amazing things with this people,
          shocking and amazing.
     The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
          and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

15  Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the LORD,
          whose deeds are in the dark,
          and who say, "Who sees us? Who knows us?"
16  You turn things upside down!
          Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
     Shall the thing made say of its maker,
          "He did not make me";
     or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
          "He has no understanding"?

17  Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
          become a fruitful field,
          and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
18  On that day the deaf shall hear
          the words of a scroll,
     and out of their gloom and darkness
          the eyes of the blind shall see.
19  The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
          and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20  For the tyrant shall be no more,
          and the scoffer shall cease to be;
          all those alert to do evil shall be cut off —
21  those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
          who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
          and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

22Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham,
concerning the house of Jacob:
     No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
          no longer shall his face grow pale.
23  For when he sees his children,
          the work of my hands, in his midst,
          they will sanctify my name;
     they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
          and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24  And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
          and those who grumble will accept instruction.

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 Luke 1:26-38

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God." 38Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

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 94

1O LORD, you God of vengeance,

you God of vengeance, shine forth!

2Rise up, O judge of the earth;

give to the proud what they deserve!

3O LORD, how long shall the wicked,

how long shall the wicked exult?


4They pour out their arrogant words;

all the evildoers boast.

5They crush your people, O LORD,

and afflict your heritage.

6They kill the widow and the stranger,

they murder the orphan,

7and they say, "The LORD does not see;

the God of Jacob does not perceive."


8Understand, O dullest of the people;

fools, when will you be wise?

9He who planted the ear, does he not hear?

He who formed the eye, does he not see?

10He who disciplines the nations,

he who teaches knowledge to humankind,

does he not chastise?

11The LORD knows our thoughts,

that they are but an empty breath.


12Happy are those whom you discipline, O LORD,

and whom you teach out of your law,

13giving them respite from days of trouble,

until a pit is dug for the wicked.

14For the LORD will not forsake his people;

he will not abandon his heritage;

15for justice will return to the righteous,

and all the upright in heart will follow it.


16Who rises up for me against the wicked?

Who stands up for me against evildoers?

17If the LORD had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

18When I thought, "My foot is slipping,"

your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.

19When the cares of my heart are many,

your consolations cheer my soul.

20Can wicked rulers be allied with you,

those who contrive mischief by statute?

21They band together against the life of the righteous,

and condemn the innocent to death.

22But the LORD has become my stronghold,

and my God the rock of my refuge.

23He will repay them for their iniquity

and wipe them out for their wickedness;

the LORD our God will wipe them out.