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Daily Readings For December 18

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, December 18, 2024


Morning Psalm 50

1The mighty one, God the LORD,

speaks and summons the earth

from the rising of the sun to its setting.

2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,

God shines forth.


3Our God comes and does not keep silence,

before him is a devouring fire,

and a mighty tempest all around him.

4He calls to the heavens above

and to the earth, that he may judge his people:

5"Gather to me my faithful ones,

who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"

6The heavens declare his righteousness,

for God himself is judge. Selah


7"Hear, O my people, and I will speak,

O Israel, I will testify against you.

I am God, your God.

8Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;

your burnt offerings are continually before me.

9I will not accept a bull from your house,

or goats from your folds.

10For every wild animal of the forest is mine,

the cattle on a thousand hills.

11I know all the birds of the air,

and all that moves in the field is mine.


12"If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

for the world and all that is in it is mine.

13Do I eat the flesh of bulls,

or drink the blood of goats?

14Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

and pay your vows to the Most High.

15Call on me in the day of trouble;

I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."


16But to the wicked God says:

"What right have you to recite my statutes,

or take my covenant on your lips?

17For you hate discipline,

and you cast my words behind you.

18You make friends with a thief when you see one,

and you keep company with adulterers.


19"You give your mouth free rein for evil,

and your tongue frames deceit.

20You sit and speak against your kin;

you slander your own mother's child.

21These things you have done and I have been silent;

you thought that I was one just like yourself.

But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.


22"Mark this, then, you who forget God,

or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.

23Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;

to those who go the right way

I will show the salvation of God."

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 Isaiah 11:1-9

1A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
     and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
     the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
     the spirit of counsel and might,
     the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
     or decide by what his ears hear;
4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
     and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
     and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
     and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

6The wolf shall live with the lamb,
     the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
     and a little child shall lead them.
7The cow and the bear shall graze,
     their young shall lie down together;
     and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
     and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
9They will not hurt or destroy
     on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
     as the waters cover the sea.

Second Reading Ephesians 6:10-20

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

Gospel Reading John 3:16-21

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."

Evening Psalm 53

1Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God."

They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;

there is no one who does good.


2God looks down from heaven on humankind

to see if there are any who are wise,

who seek after God.


3They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;

there is no one who does good,

no, not one.


4Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,

who eat up my people as they eat bread,

and do not call upon God?


5There they shall be in great terror,

in terror such as has not been.

For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;

they will be put to shame, for God has rejected them.


6O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!

When God restores the fortunes of his people,

Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

Evening Psalm 17

1Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry;

give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.

2From you let my vindication come;

let your eyes see the right.


3If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,

if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;

my mouth does not transgress.

4As for what others do, by the word of your lips

I have avoided the ways of the violent.

5My steps have held fast to your paths;

my feet have not slipped.


6I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;

incline your ear to me, hear my words.

7Wondrously show your steadfast love,

O savior of those who seek refuge

from their adversaries at your right hand.


8Guard me as the apple of the eye;

hide me in the shadow of your wings,

9from the wicked who despoil me,

my deadly enemies who surround me.

10They close their hearts to pity;

with their mouths they speak arrogantly.

11They track me down; now they surround me;

they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.

12They are like a lion eager to tear,

like a young lion lurking in ambush.


13Rise up, O LORD, confront them, overthrow them!

By your sword deliver my life from the wicked,

14from mortals — by your hand, O LORD —

from mortals whose portion in life is in this world.

May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them;

may their children have more than enough;

may they leave something over to their little ones.

15As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;

when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.