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Daily Readings For December 18

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 Thursday, December 18, 2014


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 Isaiah 11:1-9

1A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
     and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
     the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
     the spirit of counsel and might,
     the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
     or decide by what his ears hear;
4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
     and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
     and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
     and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

6The wolf shall live with the lamb,
     the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
     and a little child shall lead them.
7The cow and the bear shall graze,
     their young shall lie down together;
     and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
     and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
9They will not hurt or destroy
     on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
     as the waters cover the sea.

Second Reading Ephesians 6:10-20

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

Gospel Reading John 3:16-21

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."

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.