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Daily Readings For July 4

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 Wednesday, July 4, 2018


Morning Psalm 65

1   Praise is due to you,
          O God, in Zion;
     and to you shall vows be performed,
2        O you who answer prayer!
     To you all flesh shall come.
3   When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
          you forgive our transgressions.
4   Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
          to live in your courts.
     We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
          your holy temple.


5   By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
          O God of our salvation;
     you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
          and of the farthest seas.
6   By your strength you established the mountains;
          you are girded with might.
7   You silence the roaring of the seas,
          the roaring of their waves,
          the tumult of the peoples.
8   Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
          you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.


9   You visit the earth and water it,
          you greatly enrich it;
     the river of God is full of water;
          you provide the people with grain,
          for so you have prepared it.
10  You water its furrows abundantly,
          settling its ridges,
     softening it with showers,
          and blessing its growth.
11  You crown the year with your bounty;
          your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12  The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
          the hills gird themselves with joy,
13  the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
          the valleys deck themselves with grain,
          they shout and sing together for joy.

Morning Psalm 147:1-11

1   Praise the Lord!
          How good it is to sing praises to our God;
          for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2   The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
          he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3   He heals the brokenhearted,
          and binds up their wounds.
4   He determines the number of the stars;
          he gives to all of them their names.
5   Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
          his understanding is beyond measure.
6   The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
          he casts the wicked to the ground.


7   Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
          make melody to our God on the lyre.
8   He covers the heavens with clouds,
          prepares rain for the earth,
          makes grass grow on the hills.
9   He gives to the animals their food,
          and to the young ravens when they cry.
10  His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
          nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11  but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
          in those who hope in his steadfast love.

First Reading Numbers 22:41-23:12

41On the next day Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal; and from there he could see part of the people of Israel.

1Then Balaam said to Balak, "Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me." 2Balak did as Balaam had said; and Balak and Balaam offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 3Then Balaam said to Balak, "Stay here beside your burnt offerings while I go aside. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me. Whatever he shows me I will tell you." And he went to a bare height.

4Then God met Balaam; and Balaam said to him, "I have arranged the seven altars, and have offered a bull and a ram on each altar." 5The LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, "Return to Balak, and this is what you must say." 6So he returned to Balak, who was standing beside his burnt offerings with all the officials of Moab. 7Then Balaam uttered his oracle, saying: "Balak has brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains: 'Come, curse Jacob for me; Come, denounce Israel!' 8How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? 9For from the top of the crags I see him, from the hills I behold him; Here is a people living alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations! 10Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number the dust-cloud of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, and let my end be like his!"

11Then Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but now you have done nothing but bless them." 12He answered, "Must I not take care to say what the LORD puts into my mouth?"

Second Reading Romans 7:13-25

13Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

14For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

Gospel Reading Matthew 21:33-46

33"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.' 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" 41They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time."

42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'? 43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls."

45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

Evening Psalm 125

1   Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
          which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
2   As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
          so the LORD surrounds his people,
          from this time on and forevermore.
3   For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
          on the land allotted to the righteous,
     so that the righteous might not stretch out
          their hands to do wrong.
4   Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
          and to those who are upright in their hearts.
5   But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways
          the LORD will lead away with evildoers.
          Peace be upon Israel!

Evening Psalm 91

1   You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
          who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2   will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress;
          my God, in whom I trust.”
3   For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
          and from the deadly pestilence;
4   he will cover you with his pinions,
          and under his wings you will find refuge;
          his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5   You will not fear the terror of the night,
          or the arrow that flies by day,
6   or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
          or the destruction that wastes at noonday.


7   A thousand may fall at your side,
          ten thousand at your right hand,
          but it will not come near you.
8   You will only look with your eyes
          and see the punishment of the wicked.


9   Because you have made the LORD your refuge,
          the Most High your dwelling place,
10  no evil shall befall you,
          no scourge come near your tent.


11  For he will command his angels concerning you
          to guard you in all your ways.
12  On their hands they will bear you up,
          so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
13  You will tread on the lion and the adder,
          the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.


14  Those who love me, I will deliver;
          I will protect those who know my name.
15  When they call to me, I will answer them;
          I will be with them in trouble,
          I will rescue them and honor them.


16  With long life I will satisfy them,
          and show them my salvation.