Wednesday 23 May 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Wed May 23 04:00:00 EDT 2007

Wednesday 23 May 2007 

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Ezekiel 11:14-25

Then the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, your kinsfolk, your own
kin, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are
those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘They have gone
far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.’
Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far away
among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet
I have been a sanctuary to them for a little while in the countries
where they have gone. Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: I will
gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries
where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.
When they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable
things and all its abominations. I will give them one heart, and put a
new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their
flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my
statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my
people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes
after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring
their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord God. 
Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them;
and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. And the glory of the
Lord ascended from the middle of the city, and stopped on the mountain
east of the city. The spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by
the spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I
had seen left me. And I told the exiles all the things that the Lord
had shown me. 
Hebrews 7:1-17

This ‘King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met
Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him’;
and to him Abraham apportioned ‘one-tenth of everything’. His name, in
the first place, means ‘king of righteousness’; next he is also king of
Salem, that is, ‘king of peace’. Without father, without mother, without
genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but
resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest for ever. 
See how great he is! Even Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the
spoils. And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office
have a commandment in the law to collect tithes from the people, that
is, from their kindred, though these also are descended from Abraham.
But this man, who does not belong to their ancestry, collected tithes
from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. It is
beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one
case, tithes are received by those who are mortal; in the other, by one
of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi
himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was
still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. 
Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical
priesthood—for the people received the law under this priesthood—what
further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising
according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the
order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is
necessarily a change in the law as well. Now the one of whom these
things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever
served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from
Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about
It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling
Melchizedek, one who has become a priest, not through a legal
requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an
indestructible life. For it is attested of him,
‘You are a priest for ever,
   according to the order of Melchizedek.’
Luke 10:17-24

The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the
demons submit to us!’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from
heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to
tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and
nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the
spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in
At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank
you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these
things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to
infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have
been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is
except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to
whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’ 
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed
are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets
and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear
what you hear, but did not hear it.’
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 101, 109:1-30

Psalm 101

I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
   to you, O Lord, I will sing. 
I will study the way that is blameless.
   When shall I attain it? 

I will walk with integrity of heart
   within my house; 
I will not set before my eyes
   anything that is base. 

I hate the work of those who fall away;
   it shall not cling to me. 
Perverseness of heart shall be far from me;
   I will know nothing of evil. 

One who secretly slanders a neighbour
   I will destroy.
A haughty look and an arrogant heart
   I will not tolerate. 

I will look with favour on the faithful in the land,
   so that they may live with me;
whoever walks in the way that is blameless
   shall minister to me. 

No one who practises deceit
   shall remain in my house;
no one who utters lies
   shall continue in my presence. 

Morning by morning I will destroy
   all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all evildoers
   from the city of the Lord.

Psalm 109:1-30

Do not be silent, O God of my praise. 
For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
   speaking against me with lying tongues. 
They beset me with words of hate,
   and attack me without cause. 
In return for my love they accuse me,
   even while I make prayer for them. 
So they reward me evil for good,
   and hatred for my love. 

They say, ‘Appoint a wicked man against him;
   let an accuser stand on his right. 
When he is tried, let him be found guilty;
   let his prayer be counted as sin. 
May his days be few;
   may another seize his position. 
May his children be orphans,
   and his wife a widow. 
May his children wander about and beg;
   may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit. 
May the creditor seize all that he has;
   may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil. 
May there be no one to do him a kindness,
   nor anyone to pity his orphaned children. 
May his posterity be cut off;
   may his name be blotted out in the second generation. 
May the iniquity of his father be remembered before the Lord,
   and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. 
Let them be before the Lord continually,
   and may his memory be cut off from the earth. 
For he did not remember to show kindness,
   but pursued the poor and needy
   and the broken-hearted to their death. 
He loved to curse; let curses come on him.
   He did not like blessing; may it be far from him. 
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat,
   may it soak into his body like water,
   like oil into his bones. 
May it be like a garment that he wraps around himself,
   like a belt that he wears every day.’ 

May that be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,
   of those who speak evil against my life. 
But you, O Lord my Lord,
   act on my behalf for your name’s sake;
   because your steadfast love is good, deliver me. 
For I am poor and needy,
   and my heart is pierced within me. 
I am gone like a shadow at evening;
   I am shaken off like a locust. 
My knees are weak through fasting;
   my body has become gaunt. 
I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
   when they see me, they shake their heads. 

Help me, O Lord my God!
   Save me according to your steadfast love. 
Let them know that this is your hand;
   you, O Lord, have done it. 
Let them curse, but you will bless.
   Let my assailants be put to shame; may your servant be glad. 
May my accusers be clothed with dishonour;
   may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle. 
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
   I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 119:121-144

Psalm 119:121-144

I have done what is just and right;
   do not leave me to my oppressors. 
Guarantee your servant’s well-being;
   do not let the godless oppress me. 
My eyes fail from watching for your salvation,
   and for the fulfilment of your righteous promise. 
Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
   and teach me your statutes. 
I am your servant; give me understanding,
   so that I may know your decrees. 
It is time for the Lord to act,
   for your law has been broken. 
Truly I love your commandments
   more than gold, more than fine gold. 
Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts;
   I hate every false way. 

Your decrees are wonderful;
   therefore my soul keeps them. 
The unfolding of your words gives light;
   it imparts understanding to the simple. 
With open mouth I pant,
   because I long for your commandments. 
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   as is your custom towards those who love your name. 
Keep my steps steady according to your promise,
   and never let iniquity have dominion over me. 
Redeem me from human oppression,
   that I may keep your precepts. 
Make your face shine upon your servant,
   and teach me your statutes. 
My eyes shed streams of tears
   because your law is not kept. 

You are righteous, O Lord,
   and your judgements are right. 
You have appointed your decrees in righteousness
   and in all faithfulness. 
My zeal consumes me
   because my foes forget your words. 
Your promise is well tried,
   and your servant loves it. 
I am small and despised,
   yet I do not forget your precepts. 
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
   and your law is the truth. 
Trouble and anguish have come upon me,
   but your commandments are my delight. 
Your decrees are righteous for ever;
   give me understanding that I may live. 

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