Daily Readings For December 19

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 19, 2015


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 Zephaniah 3:14-20

14Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;

shout, O Israel!

Rejoice and exult with all your heart,

O daughter Jerusalem!

15The LORD has taken away the judgments against you,

he has turned away your enemies.

The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;

you shall fear disaster no more.

16On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:

Do not fear, O Zion;

do not let your hands grow weak.

17The LORD, your God, is in your midst,

a warrior who gives victory;

he will rejoice over you with gladness,

he will renew you in his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing

18as on a day of festival.

I will remove disaster from you,

so that you will not bear reproach for it.

19I will deal with all your oppressors

at that time.

And I will save the lame

and gather the outcast,

and I will change their shame into praise

and renown in all the earth.

20At that time I will bring you home,

at the time when I gather you;

for I will make you renowned and praised

among all the peoples of the earth,

when I restore your fortunes

before your eyes, says the LORD.

Second Reading Titus 1:1-16

1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, 2in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began - 3in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Saviour,

4To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.

5I left you behind in Crete for this reason, that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: 6someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. 7For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; 8but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

10There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; 11they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. 12It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, "Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons." 13That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth. 15To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Gospel Reading Luke 1:1-25

1Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.

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.