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Daily Readings For December 21

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 Wednesday, December 21, 2011


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 2 Samuel 7:1-17

1Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, "See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent." 3Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you."

4But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?" 8Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 12When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. 15But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever. 17In accordance with all these words and with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

Second Reading Titus 2:11-3:8a

2:11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

15Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one look down on you.

3:1Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone. 3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8aThe saying is sure.

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,

47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

50His mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and Lifted up the lowly;

53he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

54He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

55according 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.