Daily Readings For December 20

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Daily Readings Sunday/Festival Readings

Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Morning Psalm 33

1   Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous.
          Praise befits the upright.
2   Praise the LORD with the lyre;
          make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3   Sing to him a new song;
          play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.


4   For the word of the LORD is upright,
          and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5   He loves righteousness and justice;
          the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.


6   By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
          and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7   He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
          he put the deeps in storehouses.


8   Let all the earth fear the LORD;
          let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9   For he spoke, and it came to be;
          he commanded, and it stood firm.


10  The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
          he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11  The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
          the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12   Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD,
          the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.


13  The LORD looks down from heaven;
          he sees all humankind.
14  From where he sits enthroned he watches
          all the inhabitants of the earth —
15  he who fashions the hearts of them all,
          and observes all their deeds.
16  A king is not saved by his great army;
          a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17  The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
          and by its great might it cannot save.


18  Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
          on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19  to deliver their soul from death,
          and to keep them alive in famine.


20  Our soul waits for the LORD;
          he is our help and shield.
21  Our heart is glad in him,
          because we trust in his holy name.
22  Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
          even as we hope in you.

Morning Psalm 146

1   Praise the LORD!
     Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2   I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
          I will sing praises to my God all my life long.


3   Do not put your trust in princes,
          in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4   When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
          on that very day their plans perish.


5   Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
          whose hope is in the LORD their God,
6   who made heaven and earth,
          the sea, and all that is in them;
     who keeps faith forever;
7        who executes justice for the oppressed;
          who gives food to the hungry.


     The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8        the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
     The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
          the LORD loves the righteous.
9   The LORD watches over the strangers;
          he upholds the orphan and the widow,
          but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.


10  The LORD will reign forever,
          your God, O Zion, for all generations.
     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 85

1   LORD, you were favorable to your land;
          you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2   You forgave the iniquity of your people;
          you pardoned all their sin. Selah
3   You withdrew all your wrath;
          you turned from your hot anger.


4   Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
          and put away your indignation toward us.
5   Will you be angry with us forever?
          Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6   Will you not revive us again,
          so that your people may rejoice in you?
7   Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
          and grant us your salvation.


8   Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
          for he will speak peace to his people,
          to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9   Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
          that his glory may dwell in our land.


10  Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
          righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11  Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
          and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12  The LORD will give what is good,
          and our land will yield its increase.
13  Righteousness will go before him,
          and will make a path for his steps.

Evening Psalm 94

1O LORD, you God of vengeance,

you God of vengeance, shine forth!

2Rise up, O judge of the earth;

give to the proud what they deserve!

3O LORD, how long shall the wicked,

how long shall the wicked exult?


4They pour out their arrogant words;

all the evildoers boast.

5They crush your people, O LORD,

and afflict your heritage.

6They kill the widow and the stranger,

they murder the orphan,

7and they say, "The LORD does not see;

the God of Jacob does not perceive."


8Understand, O dullest of the people;

fools, when will you be wise?

9He who planted the ear, does he not hear?

He who formed the eye, does he not see?

10He who disciplines the nations,

he who teaches knowledge to humankind,

does he not chastise?

11The LORD knows our thoughts,

that they are but an empty breath.


12Happy are those whom you discipline, O LORD,

and whom you teach out of your law,

13giving them respite from days of trouble,

until a pit is dug for the wicked.

14For the LORD will not forsake his people;

he will not abandon his heritage;

15for justice will return to the righteous,

and all the upright in heart will follow it.


16Who rises up for me against the wicked?

Who stands up for me against evildoers?

17If the LORD had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

18When I thought, "My foot is slipping,"

your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.

19When the cares of my heart are many,

your consolations cheer my soul.

20Can wicked rulers be allied with you,

those who contrive mischief by statute?

21They band together against the life of the righteous,

and condemn the innocent to death.

22But the LORD has become my stronghold,

and my God the rock of my refuge.

23He will repay them for their iniquity

and wipe them out for their wickedness;

the LORD our God will wipe them out.