Friday 14 September 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Fri Sep 14 02:00:00 EDT 2007

Friday 14 September 2007 

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1 Kings 18:20-40

So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and assembled the prophets at Mount
Carmel. 21Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, 'How long
will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God,
follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.' The people did not answer him
a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, 'I, even I only, am left a
prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets number four hundred and fifty.
23Let two bulls be given to us; let them choose one bull for themselves,
cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; I will
prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it.
24Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of
the Lord; the god who answers by fire is indeed God.' All the people
answered, 'Well spoken!' 25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal,
'Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many;
then call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it.' 26So they
took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name
of Baal from morning until noon, crying, 'O Baal, answer us!' But there
was no voice, and no answer. They limped about the altar that they had
made. 27At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, 'Cry aloud! Surely he is a
god; either he is meditating, or he has wandered away, or he is on a
journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.' 28Then they
cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords
and lances until the blood gushed out over them. 29As midday passed,
they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there
was no voice, no answer, and no response. 
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, 'Come closer to me'; and all the
people came closer to him. First he repaired the altar of the Lord that
had been thrown down; 31Elijah took twelve stones, according to the
number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord
came, saying, 'Israel shall be your name'; 32with the stones he built an
altar in the name of the Lord. Then he made a trench around the altar,
large enough to contain two measures of seed. 33Next he put the wood in
order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, 'Fill
four jars with water and pour it on the burnt-offering and on the wood.'
34Then he said, 'Do it a second time'; and they did it a second time.
Again he said, 'Do it a third time'; and they did it a third time, 35so
that the water ran all round the altar, and filled the trench also with
36 At the time of the offering of the oblation, the prophet Elijah came
near and said, 'O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be
known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and
that I have done all these things at your bidding. 37Answer me, O Lord,
answer me, so that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and
that you have turned their hearts back.' 38Then the fire of the Lord
fell and consumed the burnt-offering, the wood, the stones, and the
dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all
the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, 'The Lord indeed
is God; the Lord indeed is God.' 40Elijah said to them, 'Seize the
prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.' Then they seized them;
and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon, and killed them there.
Philippians 3:1-16

Finally, my brothers and sisters,* rejoice* in the Lord. 

Breaking with the PastTo write the same things to you is not troublesome
to me, and for you it is a safeguard. 
2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who
mutilate the flesh!* 3For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship
in the Spirit of God* and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence
in the flesh- 4even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the
If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more:
5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the
tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;
6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the
law, blameless. 
7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because
of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the
surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have
suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order
that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness
of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in
Christ,* the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know
Christ* and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his
sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain
the resurrection from the dead. 
Pressing towards the Goal12 Not that I have already obtained this or
have already reached the goal;* but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved,* I do not consider
that I have made it my own;* but this one thing I do: forgetting what
lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on
towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly* call of God in Christ
Jesus. 15Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if
you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you.
16Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. 
Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea,
proclaiming, 2'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'* 3This
is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,
'The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight." ' 
4Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his
waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then the people of
Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along
the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan,
confessing their sins. 
7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he
said to them, 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the
wrath to come? 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do not presume to say
to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our ancestor"; for I tell you, God is
able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the
axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does
not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 
11 'I baptize you with* water for repentance, but one who is more
powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his
sandals. He will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His
winnowing-fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and
will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with
unquenchable fire.'
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 40, 54

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
   he inclined to me and heard my cry. 
2He drew me up from the desolate pit,*
   out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
   making my steps secure. 
3He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
   and put their trust in the Lord. 

4Happy are those who make
   the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
   to those who go astray after false gods. 
5You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
   your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;
   none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
   they would be more than can be counted. 

6Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
   but you have given me an open ear.*
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
   you have not required. 
7Then I said, 'Here I am;
   in the scroll of the book it is written of me.* 
8I delight to do your will, O my God;
   your law is within my heart.' 

9I have told the glad news of deliverance
   in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
   as you know, O Lord. 
10I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
   I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
   from the great congregation. 

11Do not, O Lord, withhold
   your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
   keep me safe for ever. 
12For evils have encompassed me
   without number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
   until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
   and my heart fails me. 

13Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
   O Lord, make haste to help me. 
14Let all those be put to shame and confusion
   who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonour
   who desire my hurt. 
15Let those be appalled because of their shame
   who say to me, 'Aha, Aha!' 

16But may all who seek you
   rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
   say continually, 'Great is the Lord!' 
17As for me, I am poor and needy,
   but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
   do not delay, O my God.

Psalm 54

Save me, O God, by your name,
   and vindicate me by your might. 
2Hear my prayer, O God;
   give ear to the words of my mouth. 

3For the insolent have risen against me,
   the ruthless seek my life;
   they do not set God before them.

4But surely, God is my helper;
   the Lord is the upholder of* my life. 
5He will repay my enemies for their evil.
   In your faithfulness, put an end to them. 

6With a freewill-offering I will sacrifice to you;
   I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good. 
7For he has delivered me from every trouble,
   and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 51

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
   blot out my transgressions. 
2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
   and cleanse me from my sin. 

3For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is ever before me. 
4Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
   and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless when you pass judgement. 
5Indeed, I was born guilty,
   a sinner when my mother conceived me. 

6You desire truth in the inward being;*
   therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. 
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 
8Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. 
9Hide your face from my sins,
   and blot out all my iniquities. 

10Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right* spirit within me. 
11Do not cast me away from your presence,
   and do not take your holy spirit from me. 
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
   and sustain in me a willing* spirit. 

13Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   and sinners will return to you. 
14Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
   O God of my salvation,
   and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. 

15O Lord, open my lips,
   and my mouth will declare your praise. 
16For you have no delight in sacrifice;
   if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased. 
17The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 

18Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
   rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, 
19then you will delight in right sacrifices,
   in burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings;
   then bulls will be offered on your altar

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