Friday 16 November 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Fri Nov 16 02:00:00 EST 2007

Friday 16 November 2007 

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1 Maccabees 1:41-63

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
and that all should give up their particular customs. All the Gentiles
accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted
his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. And the
king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah; he
directed them to follow customs strange to the land, to forbid
burnt-offerings and sacrifices and drink-offerings in the sanctuary, to
profane sabbaths and festivals, to defile the sanctuary and the priests,
to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice
swine and other unclean animals, and to leave their sons uncircumcised.
They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and
profane, so that they would forget the law and change all the
ordinances. He added,* 'And whoever does not obey the command of the
king shall die.'

 In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors
over all the people and commanded the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice,
town by town. Many of the people, everyone who forsook the law, joined
them, and they did evil in the land; they drove Israel into hiding in
every place of refuge they had.

 Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth
year,* they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of
burnt-offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of
Judah, and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the
streets. The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and
burned with fire. Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or
anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the
king. They kept using violence against Israel, against those who were
found month after month in the towns. On the twenty-fifth day of the
month they offered sacrifice on the altar that was on top of the altar
of burnt-offering. In accordance with the decree, they put to death the
women who had their children circumcised, and their families and those
who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers'

 But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to
eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or
to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
Revelation 19:11-16

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is
called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and
he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in
a robe dipped in* blood, and his name is called The Word of God. And the
armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him
on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike
down the nations, and he will rule* them with a rod of iron; he will
tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On
his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, 'King of kings and
Lord of lords'.
Matthew 16:13-20

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his
disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' And they said,
'Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah
or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I
am?' Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah,* the Son of the living
God.' And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For
flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.
And I tell you, you are Peter,* and on this rock* I will build my
church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give
you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth
will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed
in heaven.' Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone
that he was* the Messiah.*
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 88

Psalm 88

O Lord, God of my salvation,
   when, at night, I cry out in your presence, 
let my prayer come before you;
   incline your ear to my cry. 

For my soul is full of troubles,
   and my life draws near to Sheol. 
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
   I am like those who have no help, 
like those forsaken among the dead,
   like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
   for they are cut off from your hand. 
You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
   in the regions dark and deep. 
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
   and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

You have caused my companions to shun me;
   you have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape; 
   my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call on you, O Lord;
   I spread out my hands to you. 
Do you work wonders for the dead?
   Do the shades rise up to praise you?
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
   or your faithfulness in Abaddon? 
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
   or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness? 

But I, O Lord, cry out to you;
   in the morning my prayer comes before you. 
O Lord, why do you cast me off?
   Why do you hide your face from me? 
Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
   I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.* 
Your wrath has swept over me;
   your dread assaults destroy me. 
They surround me like a flood all day long;
   from all sides they close in on me. 
You have caused friend and neighbour to shun me;
   my companions are in darkness.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 91, 92

Psalm 91

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
   who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,* 
will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress;
   my God, in whom I trust.' 
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
   and from the deadly pestilence; 
he will cover you with his pinions,
   and under his wings you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 
You will not fear the terror of the night,
   or the arrow that flies by day, 
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
   or the destruction that wastes at noonday. 

A thousand may fall at your side,
   ten thousand at your right hand,
   but it will not come near you. 
You will only look with your eyes
   and see the punishment of the wicked. 

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,*
   the Most High your dwelling-place, 
no evil shall befall you,
   no scourge come near your tent. 

For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways. 
On their hands they will bear you up,
   so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. 
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
   the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. 

Those who love me, I will deliver;
   I will protect those who know my name. 
When they call to me, I will answer them;
   I will be with them in trouble,
   I will rescue them and honour them. 
With long life I will satisfy them,
   and show them my salvation.

Psalm 92

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
   to sing praises to your name, O Most High; 
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
   and your faithfulness by night, 
to the music of the lute and the harp,
   to the melody of the lyre. 
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
   at the works of your hands I sing for joy. 

How great are your works, O Lord!
   Your thoughts are very deep! 
The dullard cannot know,
   the stupid cannot understand this: 
though the wicked sprout like grass
   and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction for ever, 
   but you, O Lord, are on high for ever. 
For your enemies, O Lord,
   for your enemies shall perish;
   all evildoers shall be scattered. 

But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
   you have poured over me* fresh oil. 
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
   my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. 

The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
   and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
   they flourish in the courts of our God. 
In old age they still produce fruit;
   they are always green and full of sap, 
showing that the Lord is upright;
   he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

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