Saturday 22 September 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sat Sep 22 02:00:00 EDT 2007

Saturday 22 September 2007 

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2 Kings 2:1-18

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind,
Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha,
'Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.' But Elisha said,
'As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.' So
they went down to Bethel. 3The company of prophets* who were in Bethel
came out to Elisha, and said to him, 'Do you know that today the Lord
will take your master away from you?' And he said, 'Yes, I know; keep
4 Elijah said to him, 'Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to
Jericho.' But he said, 'As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I
will not leave you.' So they came to Jericho. 5The company of prophets*
who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, 'Do you know
that today the Lord will take your master away from you?' And he
answered, 'Yes, I know; be silent.' 
6 Then Elijah said to him, 'Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the
Jordan.' But he said, 'As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I
will not leave you.' So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the
company of prophets* also went, and stood at some distance from them, as
they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and
rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side
and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. 
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, 'Tell me what I may do
for you, before I am taken from you.' Elisha said, 'Please let me
inherit a double share of your spirit.' 10He responded, 'You have asked
a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will
be granted you; if not, it will not.' 11As they continued walking and
talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them,
and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching
and crying out, 'Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its
horsemen!' But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own
clothes and tore them in two pieces. 
Elisha Succeeds Elijah13 He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had
fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He
took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the
water, saying, 'Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?' When he had
struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other,
and Elisha went over. 
15 When the company of prophets* who were at Jericho saw him at a
distance, they declared, 'The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.' They
came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16They said to him,
'See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please let them
go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the Lord has
caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into some valley.'
He responded, 'No, do not send them.' 17But when they urged him until he
was ashamed, he said, 'Send them.' So they sent fifty men who searched
for three days but did not find him. 18When they came back to him (he
had remained at Jericho), he said to them, 'Did I not say to you, Do not
go?' ******************************************************************
1 Corinthians 4:1-7

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's
mysteries. 2Moreover, it is required of stewards that they should be
found trustworthy. 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should
be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. 4I
am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted.
It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not pronounce judgement
before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the
things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the
heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God. 
6 I have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit,
brothers and sisters,* so that you may learn through us the meaning of
the saying, 'Nothing beyond what is written', so that none of you will
be puffed up in favour of one against another. 7For who sees anything
different in you?* What do you have that you did not receive? And if you
received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?
Matthew 5:17-20

'Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I
have come not to abolish but to fulfil. 18For truly I tell you, until
heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,* not one stroke of a letter,
will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever
breaks* one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do
the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever
does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of
heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the
scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 75, 76

Psalm 75

We give thanks to you, O God;
   we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds. 

2At the set time that I appoint
   I will judge with equity. 
3When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
   it is I who keep its pillars steady.
4I say to the boastful, 'Do not boast',
   and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horn; 
5do not lift up your horn on high,
   or speak with insolent neck.' 

6For not from the east or from the west
   and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; 
7but it is God who executes judgement,
   putting down one and lifting up another. 
8For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
   with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
   and all the wicked of the earth
   shall drain it down to the dregs. 
9But I will rejoice* for ever;
   I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 

10All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
   but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76

In Judah God is known,
   his name is great in Israel. 
2His abode has been established in Salem,
   his dwelling-place in Zion. 
3There he broke the flashing arrows,
   the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.

4Glorious are you, more majestic
   than the everlasting mountains.* 
5The stout-hearted were stripped of their spoil;
   they sank into sleep;
none of the troops
   was able to lift a hand. 
6At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
   both rider and horse lay stunned. 

7But you indeed are awesome!
   Who can stand before you
   when once your anger is roused? 
8From the heavens you uttered judgement;
   the earth feared and was still 
9when God rose up to establish judgement,
   to save all the oppressed of the earth.

10Human wrath serves only to praise you,
   when you bind the last bit of your* wrath around you. 
11Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
   let all who are around him bring gifts
   to the one who is awesome, 
12who cuts off the spirit of princes,
   who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 23, 27

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
2   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;* 
3   he restores my soul.*
He leads me in right paths*
   for his name's sake. 

4Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
   I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff-
   they comfort me. 

5You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows. 
6Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
   my whole life long.*

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold* of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid? 

2When evildoers assail me
   to devour my flesh-
my adversaries and foes-
   they shall stumble and fall. 

3Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
   yet I will be confident. 

4One thing I asked of the Lord,
   that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
   and to inquire in his temple. 

5For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will set me high on a rock. 

6Now my head is lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 

7Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
   be gracious to me and answer me! 
8'Come,' my heart says, 'seek his face!'
   Your face, Lord, do I seek. 
9   Do not hide your face from me. 

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
   you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
   O God of my salvation! 
10If my father and mother forsake me,
   the Lord will take me up. 

11Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies. 
12Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they are breathing out violence. 

13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
   in the land of the living. 
14Wait for the Lord;
   be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!

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