Daily Readings For December 22

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Daily Readings Sunday/Festival Readings

Daily Readings for Thursday, December 22, 2011


Morning Psalm 18:1-20

1I love you, O LORD, my strength.

2The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,

my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,

my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,

so I shall be saved from my enemies.


4The cords of death encompassed me;

the torrents of perdition assailed me;

5the cords of Sheol entangled me;

the snares of death confronted me.


6In my distress I called upon the LORD;

to my God I cried for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears.


7Then the earth reeled and rocked;

the foundations also of the mountains trembled

and quaked, because he was angry.

8Smoke went up from his nostrils,

and devouring fire from his mouth;

glowing coals flamed forth from him.

9He bowed the heavens, and came down;

thick darkness was under his feet.

10He rode on a cherub, and flew;

he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his covering around him,

his canopy thick clouds dark with water.

12Out of the brightness before him

there broke through his clouds

hailstones and coals of fire.

13The LORD also thundered in the heavens,

and the Most High uttered his voice.

14And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;

he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.

15Then the channels of the sea were seen,

and the foundations of the world were laid bare

at your rebuke, O LORD,

at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.


16He reached down from on high, he took me;

he drew me out of mighty waters.

17He delivered me from my strong enemy,

and from those who hated me;

for they were too mighty for me.

18They confronted me in the day of my calamity;

but the LORD was my support.

19He brought me out into a broad place;

he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;

according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

Morning Psalm 147:12-20

12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
          Praise your God, O Zion!
13  For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
          he blesses your children within you.
14  He grants peace within your borders;
          he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15  He sends out his command to the earth;
          his word runs swiftly.
16  He gives snow like wool;
          he scatters frost like ashes.
17  He hurls down hail like crumbs —
          who can stand before his cold?
18  He sends out his word, and melts them;
          he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19  He declares his word to Jacob,
          his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20  He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
          they do not know his ordinances.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading 2 Samuel 7:18-29

18Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD; you have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the people, O Lord GOD! 20And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! 21Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it. 22Therefore you are great, O LORD God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out before his people nations and their gods? 24And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people for ever; and you, O LORD, became their God. 25And now, O LORD God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it for ever; do as you have promised. 26Thus your name will be magnified for ever in the saying, 'The LORD of hosts is God over Israel'; and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27For you, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house'; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; 29now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue for ever before you; for you, O Lord GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed for ever."

Second Reading Galatians 3:1-14

1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! 2The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? 4Did you experience so much for nothing? — if it really was for nothing. 5Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

6Just as Abraham" believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," 7so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you." 9For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.

10For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law." 11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for "The one who is righteous will live by faith." 12But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, "Whoever does the works of the law will live by them." 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" — 14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Gospel Reading Luke 1:57-66

57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60But his mother said, "No; he is to be called John." 61They said to her, "None of your relatives has this name." 62Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And all of them were amazed. 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66All who heard them pondered them and said, "What then will this child become?" For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Evening Psalm 126

1   When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
          we were like those who dream.
2   Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
          and our tongue with shouts of joy;
     then it was said among the nations,
          “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3   The LORD has done great things for us,
          and we rejoiced.


4   Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
          like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5   May those who sow in tears
          reap with shouts of joy.
6   Those who go out weeping,
          bearing the seed for sowing,
     shall come home with shouts of joy,
          carrying their sheaves.

Evening Psalm 62

1   For God alone my soul waits in silence;
          from him comes my salvation.
2   He alone is my rock and my salvation,
          my fortress; I shall never be shaken.


3   How long will you assail a person,
          will you batter your victim, all of you,
          as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4   Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
          They take pleasure in falsehood;
     they bless with their mouths,
          but inwardly they curse. Selah


5   For God alone my soul waits in silence,
          for my hope is from him.
6   He alone is my rock and my salvation,
          my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7   On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
          my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.


8   Trust in him at all times, O people;
          pour out your heart before him;
          God is a refuge for us. Selah


9   Those of low estate are but a breath,
          those of high estate are a delusion;
     in the balances they go up;
          they are together lighter than a breath.
10  Put no confidence in extortion,
          and set no vain hopes on robbery;
          if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.


11  Once God has spoken;
          twice have I heard this:
     that power belongs to God,
12       and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
     For you repay to all
          according to their work.