Tuesday 8 April 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Tue Apr 8 02:00:00 EDT 2008

Tuesday 8 April 2008  

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Exodus 19:1-16

At the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of
Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai. They
had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped
in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then
Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying,
'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You
have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles'
wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and
keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the
peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a
priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall
speak to the Israelites.'

 So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them
all these words that the Lord had commanded him. The people all answered
as one: 'Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.' Moses reported
the words of the people to the Lord. Then the Lord said to Moses, 'I am
going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear
when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.'

When Moses had told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said
to Moses: 'Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have
them wash their clothes and prepare for the third day, because on the
third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all
the people. You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, "Be
careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who
touch the mountain shall be put to death. No hand shall touch them, but
they shall be stoned or shot with arrows;* whether animal or human
being, they shall not live." When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they
may go up on the mountain.' So Moses went down from the mountain to the
people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes. And he
said to the people, 'Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman.'

 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as
well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud
that all the people who were in the camp trembled.
Colossians 1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our

 To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters* in Christ in Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 

 In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the
love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for
you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the
truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and
growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among
yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of
God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant.* He is
a faithful minister of Christ on your* behalf, and he has made known to
us your love in the Spirit.

 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying
for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's*
will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead
lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in
every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made
strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may
you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully
giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled* you* to share in the
inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power
of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in
whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.*
Matthew 3:7-12

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? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do 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. Even 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.

 '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. His 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 26, 28

Psalm 26

Vindicate me, O Lord,
   for I have walked in my integrity,
   and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
   test my heart and mind. 
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
   and I walk in faithfulness to you.* 

I do not sit with the worthless,
   nor do I consort with hypocrites; 
I hate the company of evildoers,
   and will not sit with the wicked. 

I wash my hands in innocence,
   and go around your altar, O Lord, 
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,
   and telling all your wondrous deeds. 

O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell,
   and the place where your glory abides. 
Do not sweep me away with sinners,
   nor my life with the bloodthirsty, 
those in whose hands are evil devices,
   and whose right hands are full of bribes. 

But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
   redeem me, and be gracious to me. 
My foot stands on level ground;
   in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 28

To you, O Lord, I call;
   my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
for if you are silent to me,
   I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. 
Hear the voice of my supplication,
   as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
   towards your most holy sanctuary.* 

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
   with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbours,
   while mischief is in their hearts. 
Repay them according to their work,
   and according to the evil of their deeds;
repay them according to the work of their hands;
   render them their due reward. 
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
   or the work of his hands,
he will break them down and build them up no more. 

Blessed be the Lord,
   for he has heard the sound of my pleadings. 
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
   in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
   and with my song I give thanks to him. 

The Lord is the strength of his people;
   he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 
O save your people, and bless your heritage;
   be their shepherd, and carry them for ever.
Evening Psalms:  Psalm 36, 39

Psalm 36

Transgression speaks to the wicked
   deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God
   before their eyes. 
For they flatter themselves in their own eyes
   that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated. 
The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit;
   they have ceased to act wisely and do good. 
They plot mischief while on their beds;
   they are set on a way that is not good;
   they do not reject evil. 

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the clouds. 
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
   your judgements are like the great deep;
   you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. 

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
   All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 
They feast on the abundance of your house,
   and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 
For with you is the fountain of life;
   in your light we see light. 

O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
   and your salvation to the upright of heart! 
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
   or the hand of the wicked drive me away. 
There the evildoers lie prostrate;
   they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Psalm 39

I said, 'I will guard my ways
   that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
   as long as the wicked are in my presence.' 
I was silent and still;
   I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse, 
   my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
   then I spoke with my tongue: 

'Lord, let me know my end,
   and what is the measure of my days;
   let me know how fleeting my life is. 
You have made my days a few handbreadths,
   and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. 
   Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
   they heap up, and do not know who will gather. 

'And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
   My hope is in you. 
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
   Do not make me the scorn of the fool. 
I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
   for it is you who have done it. 
Remove your stroke from me;
   I am worn down by the blows* of your hand. 

'You chastise mortals
   in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
   surely everyone is a mere breath. 

'Hear my prayer, O Lord,
   and give ear to my cry;
   do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest,
   an alien, like all my forebears. 
Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
   before I depart and am no more.'

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