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Daily Readings For August 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 Sunday, August 20, 2017


Morning Psalm 19

1   The heavens are telling the glory of God;
          and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2   Day to day pours forth speech,
          and night to night declares knowledge.
3   There is no speech, nor are there words;
          their voice is not heard;
4   yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
          and their words to the end of the world.


     In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
5   which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
          and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6   Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
          and its circuit to the end of them;
          and nothing is hidden from its heat.


7   The law of the LORD is perfect,
          reviving the soul;
     the decrees of the LORD are sure,
          making wise the simple;
8   the precepts of the LORD are right,
          rejoicing the heart;
     the commandment of the LORD is clear,
          enlightening the eyes;
9   the fear of the LORD is pure,
          enduring forever;
     the ordinances of the LORD are true
          and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold,
          even much fine gold;
     sweeter also than honey,
          and drippings of the honeycomb.


11  Moreover by them is your servant warned;
          in keeping them there is great reward.
12   But who can detect their errors?
          Clear me from hidden faults.
13  Keep back your servant also from the insolent;
          do not let them have dominion over me.
     Then I shall be blameless,
          and innocent of great transgression.


14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
          be acceptable to you,
          O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

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 2 Samuel 17:1-23

1Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will set out and pursue David tonight. 2I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged, and throw him into a panic; and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, 3and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” 4The advice pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

5Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear too what he has to say.” 6When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “This is what Ahithophel has said; shall we do as he advises? If not, you tell us.” 7Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.” 8Hushai continued, “You know that your father and his men are warriors, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the troops. 9Even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits, or in some other place. And when some of our troops fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom.’ 10Then even the valiant warrior, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear; for all Israel knows that your father is a warrior, and that those who are with him are valiant warriors. 11But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, like the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12So we shall come upon him in whatever place he may be found, and we shall light on him as the dew falls on the ground; and he will not survive, nor will any of those with him. 13If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” 14Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring ruin on Absalom.

15Then Hushai said to the priests Zadok and Abiathar, “Thus and so did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and so I have counseled. 16Therefore send quickly and tell David, ‘Do not lodge tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over; otherwise the king and all the people who are with him will be swallowed up.’” 17Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel; a servant girl used to go and tell them, and they would go and tell King David; for they could not risk being seen entering the city. 18But a boy saw them, and told Absalom; so both of them went away quickly, and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard; and they went down into it. 19The man’s wife took a covering, stretched it over the well’s mouth, and spread out grain on it; and nothing was known of it. 20When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman said to them, “They have crossed over the brook of water.” And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David. They said to David, “Go and cross the water quickly; for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.” 22So David and all the people who were with him set out and crossed the Jordan; by daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan. 23When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order, and hanged himself; he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

Second Reading Galatians 3:6-14

6Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” 7so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.” 9For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.

10For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.” 11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” 12But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” — 14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Gospel Reading John 5:30-47

30“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

31“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. 33You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, 38and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

39“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41I do not accept glory from human beings. 42But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 43I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? 45Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

Evening Psalm 81

1   Sing aloud to God our strength;
          shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
2   Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
          the sweet lyre with the harp.
3   Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
          at the full moon, on our festal day.
4   For it is a statute for Israel,
          an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5   He made it a decree in Joseph,
          when he went out over the land of Egypt.


     I hear a voice I had not known:
6   “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
          your hands were freed from the basket.
7   In distress you called, and I rescued you;
          I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
          I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
8   Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
          O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9   There shall be no strange god among you;
          you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10  I am the LORD your God,
          who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
          Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.


11“But my people did not listen to my voice;
          Israel would not submit to me.
12  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
          to follow their own counsels.
13  O that my people would listen to me,
          that Israel would walk in my ways!
14  Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
          and turn my hand against their foes.
15  Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him,
          and their doom would last forever.
16  I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
          and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Evening Psalm 113

1   Praise the LORD!
     Praise, O servants of the LORD;
          praise the name of the LORD.


2   Blessed be the name of the LORD
          from this time on and forevermore.
3   From the rising of the sun to its setting
          the name of the LORD is to be praised.
4   The LORD is high above all nations,
          and his glory above the heavens.


5   Who is like the LORD our God,
          who is seated on high,
6   who looks far down
          on the heavens and the earth?

7   He raises the poor from the dust,
          and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8   to make them sit with princes,
          with the princes of his people.
9   He gives the barren woman a home,
          making her the joyous mother of children.
     Praise the LORD!