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Daily Readings For December 21

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 Friday, December 21, 2018


Morning Psalm 102

1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
          let my cry come to you.
2   Do not hide your face from me
          in the day of my distress.
     Incline your ear to me;
          answer me speedily in the day when I call.


3   For my days pass away like smoke,
          and my bones burn like a furnace.
4   My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
          I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5   Because of my loud groaning
          my bones cling to my skin.
6   I am like an owl of the wilderness,
          like a little owl of the waste places.
7   I lie awake;
          I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8   All day long my enemies taunt me;
          those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9   For I eat ashes like bread,
          and mingle tears with my drink,
10  because of your indignation and anger;
          for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11  My days are like an evening shadow;
          I wither away like grass.


12  But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;
          your name endures to all generations.
13  You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
          for it is time to favor it;
          the appointed time has come.
14  For your servants hold its stones dear,
          and have pity on its dust.
15  The nations will fear the name of the LORD,
          and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16  For the LORD will build up Zion;
          he will appear in his glory.
17  He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
          and will not despise their prayer.
18  Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
          so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD:
19  that he looked down from his holy height,
          from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
20  to hear the groans of the prisoners,
          to set free those who were doomed to die;
21  so that the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion,
          and his praise in Jerusalem,
22  when peoples gather together,
          and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.


23  He has broken my strength in midcourse;
          he has shortened my days.
24  “O my God,” I say, “do not take me away
          at the mid-point of my life,
     you whose years endure
          throughout all generations.”


25  Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
          and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26  They will perish, but you endure;
          they will all wear out like a garment.
     You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27       but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28  The children of your servants shall live secure;
          their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Morning Psalm 148

1   Praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord from the heavens;
          praise him in the heights!
2   Praise him, all his angels;
          praise him, all his host!


3   Praise him, sun and moon;
          praise him, all you shining stars!
4   Praise him, you highest heavens,
          and you waters above the heavens!


5   Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for he commanded and they were created.
6   He established them forever and ever;
          he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.


7   Praise the Lord from the earth,
          you sea monsters and all deeps,
8   fire and hail, snow and frost,
          stormy wind fulfilling his command!


9   Mountains and all hills,
          fruit trees and all cedars!
10  Wild animals and all cattle,
          creeping things and flying birds!


11  Kings of the earth and all peoples,
          princes and all rulers of the earth!
12  Young men and women alike,
          old and young together!


13  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
          for his name alone is exalted;
          his glory is above earth and heaven.
14  He has raised up a horn for his people,
          praise for all his faithful,
          for the people of Israel who are close to him.
     Praise the Lord!

First Reading Isaiah 29:9-24

9   Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,
          blind yourselves and be blind!
     Be drunk, but not from wine;
          stagger, but not from strong drink!
10  For the LORD has poured out upon you
          a spirit of deep sleep;
     he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
          and covered your heads, you seers.

11The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, "Read this," they say, "We cannot, for it is sealed." 12And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, "Read this," they say, "We cannot read."

13  The Lord said:
     Because these people draw near with their mouths
          and honor me with their lips,
          while their hearts are far from me,
     and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
14  so I will again do
          amazing things with this people,
          shocking and amazing.
     The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
          and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

15  Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the LORD,
          whose deeds are in the dark,
          and who say, "Who sees us? Who knows us?"
16  You turn things upside down!
          Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
     Shall the thing made say of its maker,
          "He did not make me";
     or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
          "He has no understanding"?

17  Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
          become a fruitful field,
          and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
18  On that day the deaf shall hear
          the words of a scroll,
     and out of their gloom and darkness
          the eyes of the blind shall see.
19  The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
          and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20  For the tyrant shall be no more,
          and the scoffer shall cease to be;
          all those alert to do evil shall be cut off —
21  those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
          who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
          and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

22Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham,
concerning the house of Jacob:
     No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
          no longer shall his face grow pale.
23  For when he sees his children,
          the work of my hands, in his midst,
          they will sanctify my name;
     they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
          and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24  And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
          and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Second Reading Revelation 21:9-21

9Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. 11It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. 12It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; 13on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17He also measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. 18The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. 19The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.

Gospel Reading Luke 1:26-38

26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God." 38Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

Evening Psalm 130

1   Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
2       Lord, hear my voice!
     Let your ears be attentive
          to the voice of my supplications!


3   If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
          Lord, who could stand?
4   But there is forgiveness with you,
          so that you may be revered.


5   I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
          and in his word I hope;
6   my soul waits for the Lord
          more than those who watch for the morning,
          more than those who watch for the morning.


7   O Israel, hope in the LORD!
          For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
          and with him is great power to redeem.
8   It is he who will redeem Israel
          from all its iniquities.

Evening Psalm 16

1   Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
          I have no good apart from you.”


3   As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
          in whom is all my delight.


4   Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
          their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
          or take their names upon my lips.


5   The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
          you hold my lot.
6   The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
          I have a goodly heritage.


7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
          in the night also my heart instructs me.
8   I keep the LORD always before me;
          because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.


9   Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
          my body also rests secure.
10  For you do not give me up to Sheol,
          or let your faithful one see the Pit.


11  You show me the path of life.
          In your presence there is fullness of joy;
          in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.