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Daily Readings For December 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, December 20, 2020


Morning Psalm 24

1The earth is the LORD's and all that is in it,

the world, and those who live in it;

2for he has founded it on the seas,

and established it on the rivers.


3Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?

And who shall stand in his holy place?

4Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,

who do not lift up their souls to what is false,

and do not swear deceitfully.

5They will receive blessing from the LORD,

and vindication from the God of their salvation.

6Such is the company of those who seek him,

who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah


7Lift up your heads, O gates!

and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

that the King of glory may come in.

8Who is the King of glory?

The LORD, strong and mighty,

the LORD, mighty in battle.

9Lift up your heads, O gates!

and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

that the King of glory may come in.

10Who is this King of glory?

The LORD of hosts,

he is the King of glory. Selah

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 Isaiah 28:9-22

9"Whom will he teach knowledge,
     and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
     those taken from the breast?
10For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
     line upon line, line upon line,
     here a little, there a little."

11Truly, with stammering lip
     and with alien tongue
he will speak to this people,
12   to whom he has said,
"This is rest;
     give rest to the weary;
and this is repose";
     yet they would not hear.
13Therefore the word of the LORD will be to them,
     "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
     line upon line, line upon line,
     here a little, there a little;"
in order that they may go, and fall backward,
     and be broken, and snared, and taken.

14Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers
     who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death,
     and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
     it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
     and in falsehood we have taken shelter";
16therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
     a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
     "One who trusts will not panic."
17And I will make justice the line,
     and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
     and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
18Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
     and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
     you will be beaten down by it.
19As often as it passes through, it will take you;
for morning by morning it will pass through,
     by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
     and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
21For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
     he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon;
to do his deed — strange is his deed!
     and to work his work — alien is his work!
22Now therefore do not scoff,
     or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
     from the Lord GOD of hosts upon the whole land.

Second Reading Revelation 20:11-21:8

20:11Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

21:1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
     "See, the home of God is among mortals.
     He will dwell with them;
     they will be his peoples,
     and God himself will be with them;
4   he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
     Death will be no more;
     mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
     for the first things have passed away."

5And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children 8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Gospel Reading Luke 1:5-25

5In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

8Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 18Zechariah said to the angel, "How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years." 19The angel replied, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur."

21Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25"This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people."

Evening Psalm 25

1   To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2   O my God, in you I trust;
          do not let me be put to shame;
          do not let my enemies exult over me.
3   Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
          let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.


4   Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
          teach me your paths.
5   Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
          for you are the God of my salvation;
          for you I wait all day long.


6   Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love,
          for they have been from of old.
7   Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
          according to your steadfast love remember me,
          for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!


8   Good and upright is the LORD;
          therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9   He leads the humble in what is right,
          and teaches the humble his way.
10  All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
          for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.


11  For your name’s sake, O LORD,
          pardon my guilt, for it is great.

12  Who are they that fear the LORD?
          He will teach them the way that they should choose.


13  They will abide in prosperity,
          and their children shall possess the land.
14  The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
          and he makes his covenant known to them.
15  My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
          for he will pluck my feet out of the net.


16  Turn to me and be gracious to me,
          for I am lonely and afflicted.
17  Relieve the troubles of my heart,
          and bring me out of my distress.
18  Consider my affliction and my trouble,
          and forgive all my sins.


19  Consider how many are my foes,
          and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20  O guard my life, and deliver me;
          do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21  May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
          for I wait for you.


22  Redeem Israel, O God,
          out of all its troubles.

Evening Psalm 110

1   The LORD says to my lord,
          “Sit at my right hand
     until I make your enemies your footstool.”

2   The LORD sends out from Zion
          your mighty scepter.
          Rule in the midst of your foes.
3   Your people will offer themselves willingly
          on the day you lead your forces
          on the holy mountains.
     From the womb of the morning,
          like dew, your youth will come to you.
4   The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind,
          “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”


5   The Lord is at your right hand;
          he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6   He will execute judgment among the nations,
          filling them with corpses;
     he will shatter heads
          over the wide earth.
7   He will drink from the stream by the path;
          therefore he will lift up his head.