Tuesday 24 April 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Tue Apr 24 04:00:00 EDT 2007

Tuesday 24 April 2007 

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Daniel 4:28-37

All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he
was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king
said, ‘Is this not magnificent Babylon, which I have built as a royal
capital by my mighty power and for my glorious majesty?’ While the
words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven: ‘O King
Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: The kingdom has departed from
you! You shall be driven away from human society, and your dwelling
shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass
like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you have learned
that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals and
gives it to whom he will.’ Immediately the sentence was fulfilled
against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven away from human society, ate
grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until
his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails became like
birds’ claws.

When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven,
and my reason returned to me.
I blessed the Most High,
   and praised and honoured the one who lives for ever.
For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty,
   and his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
   and he does what he wills with the host of heaven
   and the inhabitants of the earth.
There is no one who can stay his hand
   or say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ 
At that time my reason returned to me; and my majesty and splendour were
restored to me for the glory of my kingdom. My counsellors and my lords
sought me out, I was re-established over my kingdom, and still more
greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and
honour the King of heaven,
for all his works are truth,
   and his ways are justice;
and he is able to bring low
   those who walk in pride.
1 John 4:7-21

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who
loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know
God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God
sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In
this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his
Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved
us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen
God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected
in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given
us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has
sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who
confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have
known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in
them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have
boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this
world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for
fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached
perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say,
‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those
who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love
God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this:
those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
Luke 4:31-37

He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on
the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with
authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an
unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Let us alone! What
have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying,
‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ When the demon had thrown him down
before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They
were all amazed and kept saying to one another, ‘What kind of utterance
is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and out they come!’ And a report about him began to reach every place
in the region.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 26, 28

Psalm 26

Vindicate me, O Lord,
   for I have walked in my integrity,
   and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
   test my heart and mind. 
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
   and I walk in faithfulness to you. 

I do not sit with the worthless,
   nor do I consort with hypocrites; 
I hate the company of evildoers,
   and will not sit with the wicked. 

I wash my hands in innocence,
   and go around your altar, O Lord, 
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,
   and telling all your wondrous deeds. 

O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell,
   and the place where your glory abides. 
Do not sweep me away with sinners,
   nor my life with the bloodthirsty, 
those in whose hands are evil devices,
   and whose right hands are full of bribes. 

But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
   redeem me, and be gracious to me. 
My foot stands on level ground;
   in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 28

To you, O Lord, I call;
   my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
for if you are silent to me,
   I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. 
Hear the voice of my supplication,
   as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
   towards your most holy sanctuary. 

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
   with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbours,
   while mischief is in their hearts. 
Repay them according to their work,
   and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
   render them their due reward. 
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
   or the work of his hands,
he will break them down and build them up no more. 

Blessed be the Lord,
   for he has heard the sound of my pleadings. 
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
   in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
   and with my song I give thanks to him. 

The Lord is the strength of his people;
   he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
   be their shepherd, and carry them for ever.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 36, 39

Psalm 36

Transgression speaks to the wicked
   deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God
   before their eyes. 
For they flatter themselves in their own eyes
   that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated. 
The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit;
   they have ceased to act wisely and do good. 
They plot mischief while on their beds;
   they are set on a way that is not good;
   they do not reject evil. 

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the clouds. 
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
   your judgements are like the great deep;
   you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. 

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
   All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 
They feast on the abundance of your house,
   and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 
For with you is the fountain of life;
   in your light we see light. 

O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
   and your salvation to the upright of heart! 
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
   or the hand of the wicked drive me away. 
There the evildoers lie prostrate;
   they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Psalm 39

I said, ‘I will guard my ways
   that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
   as long as the wicked are in my presence.’ 
I was silent and still;
   I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse, 
   my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
   then I spoke with my tongue: 

‘Lord, let me know my end,
   and what is the measure of my days;
   let me know how fleeting my life is. 
You have made my days a few handbreadths,
   and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. 
   Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
   they heap up, and do not know who will gather. 

‘And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
   My hope is in you. 
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
   Do not make me the scorn of the fool. 
I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
   for it is you who have done it. 
Remove your stroke from me;
   I am worn down by the blows of your hand. 

‘You chastise mortals
   in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
   surely everyone is a mere breath. 

‘Hear my prayer, O Lord,
   and give ear to my cry;
   do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest,
   an alien, like all my forebears. 
Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
   before I depart and am no more.’

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