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Daily Readings For December 22

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 22, 2016


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 31:1-9

1   Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help
          and who rely on horses,
     who trust in chariots because they are many
          and in horsemen because they are very strong,
     but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
          or consult the LORD!
2   Yet he too is wise and brings disaster;
          he does not call back his words,
     but will rise against the house of the evildoers,
          and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
3   The Egyptians are human, and not God;
          their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
     When the LORD stretches out his hand,
          the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall,
          and they will all perish together.

4   For thus the LORD said to me,
     As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey,
          and — when a band of shepherds is called out against it —
     is not terrified by their shouting
          or daunted at their noise,
     so the LORD of hosts will come down
          to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill.
5   Like birds hovering overhead, so the LORD of hosts
          will protect Jerusalem;
     he will protect and deliver it,
          he will spare and rescue it.

6Turn back to him whom you have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel. 7For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.
8   "Then the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of mortals;
          and a sword, not of humans, shall devour him;
     he shall flee from the sword,
          and his young men shall be put to forced labor.
9   His rock shall pass away in terror,
          and his officers desert the standard in panic,"
     says the LORD, whose fire is in Zion,
          and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Second Reading Revelation 21:22-22:5

22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day - and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Gospel Reading Luke 1:39-48a (48b-56)

39In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."

46And Mary said,
     "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47       and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48  for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
          Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49  for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
          and holy is his name.
50  His mercy is for those who fear him
          from generation to generation.
51  He has shown strength with his arm;
          he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
          and lifted up the lowly;
53  he has filled the hungry with good things,
          and sent the rich away empty.
54  He has helped his servant Israel,
          in remembrance of his mercy,
55  according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
          to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

56And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

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.