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Daily Readings For December 20

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 Saturday, December 20, 2014


Morning Psalm 90

1   Lord, you have been our dwelling place
          in all generations.
2   Before the mountains were brought forth,
          or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
          from everlasting to everlasting you are God.


3   You turn us back to dust,
          and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”
4   For a thousand years in your sight
          are like yesterday when it is past,
          or like a watch in the night.


5   You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
          like grass that is renewed in the morning;
6   in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
          in the evening it fades and withers.


7   For we are consumed by your anger;
          by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
8   You have set our iniquities before you,
          our secret sins in the light of your countenance.


9   For all our days pass away under your wrath;
          our years come to an end like a sigh.
10  The days of our life are seventy years,
          or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
     even then their span is only toil and trouble;
          they are soon gone, and we fly away.


11  Who considers the power of your anger?
          Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
12  So teach us to count our days
          that we may gain a wise heart.


13  Turn, O LORD! How long?
          Have compassion on your servants!
14  Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
          so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15  Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
          and as many years as we have seen evil.
16  Let your work be manifest to your servants,
          and your glorious power to their children.
17  Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
          and prosper for us the work of our hands —
          O prosper the work of our hands!

Morning Psalm 149

1   Praise the Lord!
     Sing to the Lord a new song,
          his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
2   Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
          let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
3   Let them praise his name with dancing,
          making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
4   For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
          he adorns the humble with victory.
5   Let the faithful exult in glory;
          let them sing for joy on their couches.
6   Let the high praises of God be in their throats
          and two-edged swords in their hands,
7   to execute vengeance on the nations
          and punishment on the peoples,
8   to bind their kings with fetters
          and their nobles with chains of iron,
9   to execute on them the judgment decreed.
          This is glory for all his faithful ones.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Isaiah 28:9-22

9"Whom will he teach knowledge,
     and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
     those taken from the breast?
10For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
     line upon line, line upon line,
     here a little, there a little."

11Truly, with stammering lip
     and with alien tongue
he will speak to this people,
12   to whom he has said,
"This is rest;
     give rest to the weary;
and this is repose";
     yet they would not hear.
13Therefore the word of the LORD will be to them,
     "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
     line upon line, line upon line,
     here a little, there a little;"
in order that they may go, and fall backward,
     and be broken, and snared, and taken.

14Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers
     who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death,
     and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
     it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
     and in falsehood we have taken shelter";
16therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
     a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
     "One who trusts will not panic."
17And I will make justice the line,
     and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
     and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
18Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
     and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
     you will be beaten down by it.
19As often as it passes through, it will take you;
for morning by morning it will pass through,
     by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
     and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
21For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
     he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon;
to do his deed — strange is his deed!
     and to work his work — alien is his work!
22Now therefore do not scoff,
     or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
     from the Lord GOD of hosts upon the whole land.

Second Reading Revelation 20:11-21:8

20:11Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

21:1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
     "See, the home of God is among mortals.
     He will dwell with them;
     they will be his peoples,
     and God himself will be with them;
4   he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
     Death will be no more;
     mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
     for the first things have passed away."

5And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children 8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Gospel Reading Luke 1:5-25

5In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

8Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 18Zechariah said to the angel, "How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years." 19The angel replied, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur."

21Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25"This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people."

Evening Psalm 80

1   Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
          you who lead Joseph like a flock!
     You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2        before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
     Stir up your might,
          and come to save us!


3   Restore us, O God;
     let your face shine, that we may be saved.


4   O LORD God of hosts,
          how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5   You have fed them with the bread of tears,
          and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6   You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
          our enemies laugh among themselves.


7   Restore us, O God of hosts;
          let your face shine, that we may be saved.


8   You brought a vine out of Egypt;
     you drove out the nations and planted it.
9   You cleared the ground for it;
          it took deep root and filled the land.
10  The mountains were covered with its shade,
          the mighty cedars with its branches;
11  it sent out its branches to the sea,
          and its shoots to the River.
12  Why then have you broken down its walls,
          so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13  The boar from the forest ravages it,
          and all that move in the field feed on it.


14  Turn again, O God of hosts;
          look down from heaven, and see;
     have regard for this vine,
15       the stock that your right hand planted.
16  They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
          may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17  But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
          the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18  Then we will never turn back from you;
          give us life, and we will call on your name.


19  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
          let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Evening Psalm 72

1   Give the king your justice, O God,
          and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2   May he judge your people with righteousness,
          and your poor with justice.
3   May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
          and the hills, in righteousness.
4   May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
          give deliverance to the needy,
          and crush the oppressor.
5   May he live while the sun endures,
          and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6   May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
          like showers that water the earth.
7   In his days may righteousness flourish
          and peace abound, until the moon is no more.


8   May he have dominion from sea to sea,
          and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9   May his foes bow down before him,
          and his enemies lick the dust.
10  May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
          render him tribute,
     may the kings of Sheba and Seba
          bring gifts.
11  May all kings fall down before him,
          all nations give him service.


12  For he delivers the needy when they call,
          the poor and those who have no helper.
13  He has pity on the weak and the needy,
          and saves the lives of the needy.
14  From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
          and precious is their blood in his sight.


15  Long may he live!
          May gold of Sheba be given to him.
     May prayer be made for him continually,
          and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16  May there be abundance of grain in the land;
          may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
          may its fruit be like Lebanon;
     and may people blossom in the cities
          like the grass of the field.
17  May his name endure forever,
          his fame continue as long as the sun.
     May all nations be blessed in him;
          may they pronounce him happy.


18  Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
          who alone does wondrous things.
19  Blessed be his glorious name forever;
          may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.


20The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.