Monday 24 September 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Mon Sep 24 02:00:00 EDT 2007

Monday 24 September 2007 

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2 Kings 5:1-19

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and
in high favour with his master, because by him the Lord had given
victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from
leprosy.* 2Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl
captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman's wife. 3She said
to her mistress, 'If only my lord were with the prophet who is in
Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.'* 4So Naaman* went in and
told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5And
the king of Aram said, 'Go then, and I will send along a letter to the
king of Israel.'
He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of
gold, and ten sets of garments. 6He brought the letter to the king of
Israel, which read, 'When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent
to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.'* 7When
the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, 'Am I
God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man
of his leprosy?* Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel
with me.' 
8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn
his clothes, he sent a message to the king, 'Why have you torn your
clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet
in Israel.' 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at
the entrance of Elisha's house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him,
saying, 'Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be
restored and you shall be clean.' 11But Naaman became angry and went
away, saying, 'I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand
and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over
the spot, and cure the leprosy!* 12Are not Abana* and Pharpar, the
rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not
wash in them, and be clean?' He turned and went away in a rage. 13But
his servants approached and said to him, 'Father, if the prophet had
commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How
much more, when all he said to you was, "Wash, and be clean"?' 14So he
went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to
the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a
young boy, and he was clean. 
15 Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came
and stood before him and said, 'Now I know that there is no God in all
the earth except in Israel; please accept a present from your servant.'
16But he said, 'As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing!'
He urged him to accept, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, 'If not,
please let two mule-loads of earth be given to your servant; for your
servant will no longer offer burnt-offering or sacrifice to any god
except the Lord. 18But may the Lord pardon your servant on one count:
when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning
on my arm, and I bow down in the house of Rimmon, when I do bow down in
the house of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant on this one
count.' 19He said to him, 'Go in peace.'
Gehazi's GreedBut when Naaman had gone from him a short distance,
1 Corinthians 4:8-21

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Quite apart
from us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings,
so that we might be kings with you! 9For I think that God has exhibited
us apostles as last of all, as though sentenced to death, because we
have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals. 10We are
fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak,
but you are strong. You are held in honour, but we in disrepute. 11To
the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and
beaten and homeless, 12and we grow weary from the work of our own hands.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13when slandered, we
speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of
all things, to this very day. 
Fatherly Admonition14 I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to
admonish you as my beloved children. 15For though you might have ten
thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Indeed, in
Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16I appeal to you,
then, be imitators of me. 17For this reason I sent* you Timothy, who is
my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in
Christ Jesus, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18But some of
you, thinking that I am not coming to you, have become arrogant. 19But I
will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the
talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20For the kingdom of God
depends not on talk but on power. 21What would you prefer? Am I to come
to you with a stick, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? 
Matthew 5:21-26

'You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, "You shall
not murder"; and "whoever murders shall be liable to judgement." 22But I
say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,* you will be
liable to judgement; and if you insult* a brother or sister,* you will
be liable to the council; and if you say, "You fool", you will be liable
to the hell* of fire. 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar,
if you remember that your brother or sister* has something against you,
24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to
your brother or sister,* and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to
terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court* with
him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to
the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you
will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 80

Psalm 80

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
   you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth 
2   before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
   and come to save us! 

3Restore us, O God;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved. 

4O Lord God of hosts,
   how long will you be angry with your people's prayers? 
5You have fed them with the bread of tears,
   and given them tears to drink in full measure. 
6You make us the scorn* of our neighbours;
   our enemies laugh among themselves. 

7Restore us, O God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved. 

8You brought a vine out of Egypt;
   you drove out the nations and planted it. 
9You cleared the ground for it;
   it took deep root and filled the land. 
10The mountains were covered with its shade,
   the mighty cedars with its branches; 
11it sent out its branches to the sea,
   and its shoots to the River. 
12Why then have you broken down its walls,
   so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit? 
13The boar from the forest ravages it,
   and all that move in the field feed on it. 

14Turn again, O God of hosts;
   look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine, 
15   the stock that your right hand planted.* 
16They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;*
   may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance. 
17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
   the one whom you made strong for yourself. 
18Then we will never turn back from you;
   give us life, and we will call on your name. 

19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 77, 79

Psalm 77

I cry aloud to God,
   aloud to God, that he may hear me. 
2In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
   in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
   my soul refuses to be comforted. 
3I think of God, and I moan;
   I meditate, and my spirit faints.

4You keep my eyelids from closing;
   I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 
5I consider the days of old,
   and remember the years of long ago. 
6I commune* with my heart in the night;
   I meditate and search my spirit:* 
7'Will the Lord spurn for ever,
   and never again be favourable? 
8Has his steadfast love ceased for ever?
   Are his promises at an end for all time? 
9Has God forgotten to be gracious?
   Has he in anger shut up his compassion?'
10And I say, 'It is my grief
   that the right hand of the Most High has changed.' 

11I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;
   I will remember your wonders of old. 
12I will meditate on all your work,
   and muse on your mighty deeds. 
13Your way, O God, is holy.
   What god is so great as our God? 
14You are the God who works wonders;
   you have displayed your might among the peoples. 
15With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
   the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

16When the waters saw you, O God,
   when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
   the very deep trembled. 
17The clouds poured out water;
   the skies thundered;
   your arrows flashed on every side. 
18The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
   your lightnings lit up the world;
   the earth trembled and shook. 
19Your way was through the sea,
   your path, through the mighty waters;
   yet your footprints were unseen. 
20You led your people like a flock
   by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalm 79

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
   they have defiled your holy temple;
   they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. 
2They have given the bodies of your servants
   to the birds of the air for food,
   the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth. 
3They have poured out their blood like water
   all around Jerusalem,
   and there was no one to bury them. 
4We have become a taunt to our neighbours,
   mocked and derided by those around us. 

5How long, O Lord? Will you be angry for ever?
   Will your jealous wrath burn like fire? 
6Pour out your anger on the nations
   that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
   that do not call on your name. 
7For they have devoured Jacob
   and laid waste his habitation. 

8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
   let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
   for we are brought very low. 
9Help us, O God of our salvation,
   for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
   for your name's sake. 
10Why should the nations say,
   'Where is their God?'
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
   be known among the nations before our eyes. 

11Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
   according to your great power preserve those doomed to die. 
12Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbours
   the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord! 
13Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
   will give thanks to you for ever;
   from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

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