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Daily Readings For December 31

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 Sunday, December 31, 2017


Morning Psalm 98

1   O sing to the LORD a new song,
          for he has done marvelous things.
     His right hand and his holy arm
          have gained him victory.
2   The LORD has made known his victory;
          he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3   He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
          to the house of Israel.
     All the ends of the earth have seen
          the victory of our God.


4   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
          break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5   Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
          with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6   With trumpets and the sound of the horn
          make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.


7   Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
          the world and those who live in it.
8   Let the floods clap their hands;
          let the hills sing together for joy
9   at the presence of the LORD, for he is coming
          to judge the earth.
     He will judge the world with righteousness,
          and the peoples with equity.

Morning Psalm 150

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise God in his sanctuary;
          praise him in his mighty firmament!
2   Praise him for his mighty deeds;
          praise him according to his surpassing greatness!


3   Praise him with trumpet sound;
          praise him with lute and harp!
4   Praise him with tambourine and dance;
          praise him with strings and pipe!
5   Praise him with clanging cymbals;
          praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6   Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading 1 Samuel 1:1-2, 7b-28

1There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

7bTherefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8Her husband Elkanah said to her, "‘Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"

9After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. 11She made this vow: "O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head."

12As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14So Eli said to her, "How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine." 15But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time." 17Then Eli answered, "Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him." 18And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your sight." Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

19They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I have asked him of the Lord."

21The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. 22But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there for ever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time." 23Her husband Elkanah said to her, "Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only — may the Lord establish his word." So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. 24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. 25Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. 28Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD."

Second Reading Colossians 1:9-20

9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Gospel Reading Luke 2:22-40

22When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons."

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

29"Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
30for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

33And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed — and a sword will pierce your own soul too."

36There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Evening Psalm 45

1   My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
          I address my verses to the king;
          my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.


2   You are the most handsome of men;
          grace is poured upon your lips;
          therefore God has blessed you forever.

3   Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
          in your glory and majesty.


4   In your majesty ride on victoriously
          for the cause of truth and to defend the right;
          let your right hand teach you dread deeds.
5   Your arrows are sharp
          in the heart of the king’s enemies;
          the peoples fall under you.


6   Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
          Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
7        you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
     Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
          with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8        your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
     From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9        daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
          at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.


10  Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear;
          forget your people and your father’s house,
11       and the king will desire your beauty.
     Since he is your lord, bow to him;
12       the people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
          the richest of the people 13 with all kinds of wealth.


     The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;
14       in many-colored robes she is led to the king;
          behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.
15  With joy and gladness they are led along
          as they enter the palace of the king.


16  In the place of ancestors you, O king, shall have sons;
          you will make them princes in all the earth.
17  I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations;
          therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.

Evening Psalm 96

1   O sing to the LORD a new song;
          sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2   Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
          tell of his salvation from day to day.
3   Declare his glory among the nations,
          his marvelous works among all the peoples.
4   For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
          he is to be revered above all gods.
5   For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
          but the LORD made the heavens.
6   Honor and majesty are before him;
          strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7   Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
          ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
8   Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
          bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9   Worship the LORD in holy splendor;
          tremble before him, all the earth.


10  Say among the nations, “The LORD is king!
          The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
          He will judge the peoples with equity.”
11  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
          let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12       let the field exult, and everything in it.
     Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13       before the LORD; for he is coming,
          for he is coming to judge the earth.
     He will judge the world with righteousness,
          and the peoples with his truth.