Tuesday 21 August 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Tue Aug 21 02:00:00 EDT 2007

Tuesday 21 August 2007 

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2 Samuel 18:9-18

Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on
his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. His
head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging* between heaven and
earth, while the mule that was under him went on. 10A man saw it, and
told Joab, 'I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.' 11Joab said to the man who
told him, 'What, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to
the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and
a belt.' 12But the man said to Joab, 'Even if I felt in my hand the
weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not raise my hand against
the king's son; for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai
and Ittai, saying: For my sake protect the young man Absalom! 13On the
other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life* (and there is
nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood
aloof.' 14Joab said, 'I will not waste time like this with you.' He took
three spears in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom,
while he was still alive in the oak. 15And ten young men, Joab's
armour-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him, and killed him. 
16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops came back from pursuing
Israel, for Joab restrained the troops. 17They took Absalom, threw him
into a great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of
stones. Meanwhile all the Israelites fled to their homes. 18Now Absalom
in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself a pillar that is in the
King's Valley, for he said, 'I have no son to keep my name in
remembrance'; he called the pillar by his own name. It is called
Absalom's Monument to this day.
Acts 23:12-24

In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by
an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13There
were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. 14They went to the
chief priests and elders and said, 'We have strictly bound ourselves by
an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. 15Now then, you and
the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the
pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case.
And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.' 
16 Now the son of Paul's sister heard about the ambush; so he went and
gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. 17Paul called one of the
centurions and said, 'Take this young man to the tribune, for he has
something to report to him.' 18So he took him, brought him to the
tribune, and said, 'The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring
this young man to you; he has something to tell you.' 19The tribune took
him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, 'What is it that
you have to report to me?' 20He answered, 'The Jews have agreed to ask
you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were
going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. 21But do not be
persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush
for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink
until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your
consent.' 22So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, 'Tell
no one that you have informed me of this.' 
Paul Sent to Felix the Governor23 Then he summoned two of the centurions
and said, 'Get ready to leave by nine o'clock tonight for Caesarea with
two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. 24Also
provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the
Mark 11:27-12:12

Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief
priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28and said, 'By what
authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do
them?' 29Jesus said to them, 'I will ask you one question; answer me,
and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30Did the
baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.'
31They argued with one another, 'If we say, "From heaven", he will say,
"Why then did you not believe him?" 32But shall we say, "Of human
origin"?'-they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly
a prophet. 33So they answered Jesus, 'We do not know.' And Jesus said to
them, 'Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these
The Parable of the Wicked Tenants12Then he began to speak to them in
parables. 'A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit
for the wine press, and built a watch-tower; then he leased it to
tenants and went to another country. 2When the season came, he sent a
slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of
the vineyard. 3But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away
empty-handed. 4And again he sent another slave to them; this one they
beat over the head and insulted. 5Then he sent another, and that one
they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others
they killed. 6He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him
to them, saying, "They will respect my son." 7But those tenants said to
one another, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the
inheritance will be ours." 8So they seized him, killed him, and threw
him out of the vineyard. 9What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
10Have you not read this scripture:
"The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;* 
11this was the Lord's doing,
   and it is amazing in our eyes"?' 
12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they
wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and
went away.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 120, 121, 122, 123

Psalm 120

In my distress I cry to the Lord,
   that he may answer me: 
2'Deliver me, O Lord,
   from lying lips,
   from a deceitful tongue.' 

3What shall be given to you?
   And what more shall be done to you,
   you deceitful tongue? 
4A warrior's sharp arrows,
   with glowing coals of the broom tree! 

5Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech,
   that I must live among the tents of Kedar. 
6Too long have I had my dwelling
   among those who hate peace. 
7I am for peace;
   but when I speak,
   they are for war.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills-
   from where will my help come? 
2My help comes from the Lord,
   who made heaven and earth. 

3He will not let your foot be moved;
   he who keeps you will not slumber. 
4He who keeps Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep. 

5The Lord is your keeper;
   the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 
6The sun shall not strike you by day,
   nor the moon by night. 

7The Lord will keep you from all evil;
   he will keep your life. 
8The Lord will keep
   your going out and your coming in
   from this time on and for evermore.

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,
   'Let us go to the house of the Lord!' 
2Our feet are standing
   within your gates, O Jerusalem. 

3Jerusalem-built as a city
   that is bound firmly together. 
4To it the tribes go up,
   the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
   to give thanks to the name of the Lord. 
5For there the thrones for judgement were set up,
   the thrones of the house of David. 

6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
   'May they prosper who love you. 
7Peace be within your walls,
   and security within your towers.' 
8For the sake of my relatives and friends
   I will say, 'Peace be within you.' 
9For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
   I will seek your good.

Psalm 123

To you I lift up my eyes,
   O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 
2As the eyes of servants
   look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
   to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
   until he has mercy upon us. 

3Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
   for we have had more than enough of contempt. 
4Our soul has had more than its fill
   of the scorn of those who are at ease,
   of the contempt of the proud.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 124, 125, 126, 127

Psalm 124

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side
   -let Israel now say- 
2if it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
   when our enemies attacked us, 
3then they would have swallowed us up alive,
   when their anger was kindled against us; 
4then the flood would have swept us away,
   the torrent would have gone over us; 
5then over us would have gone
   the raging waters. 

6Blessed be the Lord,
   who has not given us
   as prey to their teeth. 
7We have escaped like a bird
   from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
   and we have escaped. 

8Our help is in the name of the Lord,
   who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 125

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

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,*
   we were like those who dream. 
2Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
   'The Lord has done great things for them.' 
3The Lord has done great things for us,
   and we rejoiced. 

4Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
   like the watercourses in the Negeb. 
5May those who sow in tears
   reap with shouts of joy. 
6Those who go out weeping,
   bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
   carrying their sheaves.

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house,
   those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
   the guard keeps watch in vain. 
2It is in vain that you rise up early
   and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
   for he gives sleep to his beloved.* 

3Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
   the fruit of the womb a reward. 
4Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
   are the sons of one's youth. 
5Happy is the man who has
   his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
   when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

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