Saturday 25 August 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sat Aug 25 02:00:00 EDT 2007

Saturday 25 August 2007 

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2 Samuel 23:1-17

Now these are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
   the oracle of the man whom God exalted,*
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
   the favourite of the Strong One of Israel: 

2The spirit of the Lord speaks through me,
   his word is upon my tongue. 
3The God of Israel has spoken,
   the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
   ruling in the fear of God, 
4is like the light of morning,
   like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
   gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. 

5Is not my house like this with God?
   For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
   ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
   all my help and my desire? 
6But the godless are* all like thorns that are thrown away;
   for they cannot be picked up with the hand; 
7to touch them one uses an iron bar
   or the shaft of a spear.
   And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.*

13 Towards the beginning of harvest three of the thirty* chiefs went
down to join David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines
was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. 14David was then in the
stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem.
15David said longingly, 'O that someone would give me water to drink
from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!' 16Then the three
warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the
well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to David. But he
would not drink of it; he poured it out to the Lord, 17for he said, 'The
Lord forbid that I should do this. Can I drink the blood of the men who
went at the risk of their lives?' Therefore he would not drink it. The
three warriors did these things.
Acts 25:13-27

After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at
Caesarea to welcome Festus. 14Since they were staying there for several
days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, 'There is a man
here who was left in prison by Felix. 15When I was in Jerusalem, the
chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him and asked
for a sentence against him. 16I told them that it was not the custom of
the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met the accusers
face to face and had been given an opportunity to make a defence against
the charge. 17So when they met here, I lost no time, but on the next day
took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18When
the accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the crimes*
that I was expecting. 19Instead they had certain points of disagreement
with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had
died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20Since I was at a loss how to
investigate these questions, I asked whether he wished to go to
Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges.* 21But when Paul had
appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of his Imperial Majesty,
I ordered him to be held until I could send him to the emperor.'
22Agrippa said to Festus, 'I would like to hear the man myself.'
'Tomorrow', he said, 'you will hear him.' 
Paul Brought before Agrippa23 So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice
came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the
military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then Festus gave
the order and Paul was brought in. 24And Festus said, 'King Agrippa and
all here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish
community petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he
ought not to live any longer. 25But I found that he had done nothing
deserving death; and when he appealed to his Imperial Majesty, I decided
to send him. 26But I have nothing definite to write to our sovereign
about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and
especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined
him, I may have something to write- 27for it seems to me unreasonable to
send a prisoner without indicating the charges against him.'
Mark 13:1-13

As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, 'Look,
Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!' 2Then Jesus asked
him, 'Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here
upon another; all will be thrown down.'  
3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter,
James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4'Tell us, when will this
be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be
accomplished?' 5Then Jesus began to say to them, 'Beware that no one
leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name and say, "I am he!"* and
they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumours of wars,
do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come.
8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there
will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is
but the beginning of the birth pangs. 
Persecution Foretold9 'As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you
over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will
stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them.
10And the good news* must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11When
they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about
what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it
is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12Brother will betray brother
to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents
and have them put to death; 13and you will be hated by all because of my
name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 137:1-9, 144

Psalm 137:1-9

By the rivers of Babylon-
   there we sat down and there we wept
   when we remembered Zion. 
2On the willows* there
   we hung up our harps. 
3For there our captors
   asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
   'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!' 

4How could we sing the Lord's song
   in a foreign land? 
5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
   let my right hand wither! 
6Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
   if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
   above my highest joy. 

7Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
   the day of Jerusalem's fall,
how they said, 'Tear it down! Tear it down!
   Down to its foundations!' 
8O daughter Babylon, you devastator!*
   Happy shall they be who pay you back
   what you have done to us! 
9Happy shall they be who take your little ones
   and dash them against the rock!

Psalm 144

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
   who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 
2my rock* and my fortress,
   my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
   who subdues the peoples* under me. 

3O Lord, what are human beings that you regard them,
   or mortals that you think of them? 
4They are like a breath;
   their days are like a passing shadow. 

5Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
   touch the mountains so that they smoke. 
6Make the lightning flash and scatter them;
   send out your arrows and rout them. 
7Stretch out your hand from on high;
   set me free and rescue me from the mighty waters,
   from the hand of aliens, 
8whose mouths speak lies,
   and whose right hands are false. 

9I will sing a new song to you, O God;
   upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you, 
10the one who gives victory to kings,
   who rescues his servant David. 
11Rescue me from the cruel sword,
   and deliver me from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies,
   and whose right hands are false. 

12May our sons in their youth
   be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars,
   cut for the building of a palace. 
13May our barns be filled
   with produce of every kind;
may our sheep increase by thousands,
   by tens of thousands in our fields, 
14   and may our cattle be heavy with young.
May there be no breach in the walls,* no exile,
   and no cry of distress in our streets. 

15Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
   happy are the people whose God is the Lord.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 104

Psalm 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
   O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honour and majesty, 
2   wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent, 
3   you set the beams of your* chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your* chariot,
   you ride on the wings of the wind, 
4you make the winds your* messengers,
   fire and flame your* ministers. 

5You set the earth on its foundations,
   so that it shall never be shaken. 
6You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
   the waters stood above the mountains. 
7At your rebuke they flee;
   at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. 
8They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
   to the place that you appointed for them. 
9You set a boundary that they may not pass,
   so that they might not again cover the earth. 

10You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
   they flow between the hills, 
11giving drink to every wild animal;
   the wild asses quench their thirst. 
12By the streams* the birds of the air have their habitation;
   they sing among the branches. 
13From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
   the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. 

14You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
   and plants for people to use,*
to bring forth food from the earth, 
15   and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
   and bread to strengthen the human heart. 
16The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
   the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 
17In them the birds build their nests;
   the stork has its home in the fir trees. 
18The high mountains are for the wild goats;
   the rocks are a refuge for the coneys. 
19You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
   the sun knows its time for setting. 
20You make darkness, and it is night,
   when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. 
21The young lions roar for their prey,
   seeking their food from God. 
22When the sun rises, they withdraw
   and lie down in their dens. 
23People go out to their work
   and to their labour until the evening. 

24O Lord, how manifold are your works!
   In wisdom you have made them all;
   the earth is full of your creatures. 
25Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
   creeping things innumerable are there,
   living things both small and great. 
26There go the ships,
   and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it. 

27These all look to you
   to give them their food in due season; 
28when you give to them, they gather it up;
   when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 
29When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
   when you take away their breath, they die
   and return to their dust. 
30When you send forth your spirit,* they are created;
   and you renew the face of the ground. 

31May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;
   may the Lord rejoice in his works- 
32who looks on the earth and it trembles,
   who touches the mountains and they smoke. 
33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praise to my God while I have being. 
34May my meditation be pleasing to him,
   for I rejoice in the Lord. 
35Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
   and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

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