Wednesday 16 April 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Wed Apr 16 02:00:00 EDT 2008

Wednesday 16 April 2008

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Exodus 33:1-23

The Lord said to Moses, 'Go, leave this place, you and the people whom
you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, and go to the land of
which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, "To your descendants
I will give it." 2I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out
the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites,
and the Jebusites. 3Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I
will not go up among you, or I would consume you on the way, for you are
a stiff-necked people.' 
4 When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put
on ornaments. 5For the Lord had said to Moses, 'Say to the Israelites,
"You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up
among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I
will decide what to do to you." ' 6Therefore the Israelites stripped
themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onwards. 
The Tent outside the Camp7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it
outside the camp, far off from the camp; he called it the tent of
meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of
meeting, which was outside the camp. 8Whenever Moses went out to the
tent, all the people would rise and stand, each of them, at the entrance
of their tents and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. 9When
Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at
the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10When
all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the
tent, all the people would rise and bow down, all of them, at the
entrance of their tents. 11Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to
face, as one speaks to a friend. Then he would return to the camp; but
his young assistant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the tent. 
Moses' Intercession12 Moses said to the Lord, 'See, you have said to me,
"Bring up this people"; but you have not let me know whom you will send
with me. Yet you have said, "I know you by name, and you have also found
favour in my sight." 13Now if I have found favour in your sight, show me
your ways, so that I may know you and find favour in your sight.
Consider too that this nation is your people.' 14He said, 'My presence
will go with you, and I will give you rest.' 15And he said to him, 'If
your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. 16For how shall
it be known that I have found favour in your sight, I and your people,
unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and your
people, from every people on the face of the earth.' 
17 The Lord said to Moses, 'I will do the very thing that you have
asked; for you have found favour in my sight, and I know you by name.'
18Moses said, 'Show me your glory, I pray.' 19And he said, 'I will make
all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name,
"The Lord";* and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will
show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But', he said, 'you cannot see
my face; for no one shall see me and live.' 21And the Lord continued,
'See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; 22and
while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I
will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23then I will take
away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.'
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters,* that our coming to you was
not in vain, 2but though we had already suffered and been shamefully
maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to
declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. 3For our
appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4but
just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of
the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God
who tests our hearts. 5As you know and as God is our witness, we never
came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; 6nor did we
seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, 7though we
might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle* among
you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. 8So deeply do we
care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the
gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear
to us. 
9 You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters;* we worked
night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we
proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also,
how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was towards you believers.
11As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his
children, 12urging and encouraging you and pleading that you should lead
a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
Matthew 7:17-20

'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 119:49-72

Psalm 119:49-72

Remember your word to your servant,
   in which you have made me hope. 
50This is my comfort in my distress,
   that your promise gives me life. 
51The arrogant utterly deride me,
   but I do not turn away from your law. 
52When I think of your ordinances from of old,
   I take comfort, O Lord. 
53Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
   those who forsake your law. 
54Your statutes have been my songs
   wherever I make my home. 
55I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
   and keep your law. 
56This blessing has fallen to me,
   for I have kept your precepts. 

57The Lord is my portion;
   I promise to keep your words. 
58I implore your favour with all my heart;
   be gracious to me according to your promise. 
59When I think of your ways,
   I turn my feet to your decrees; 
60I hurry and do not delay
   to keep your commandments. 
61Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
   I do not forget your law. 
62At midnight I rise to praise you,
   because of your righteous ordinances. 
63I am a companion of all who fear you,
   of those who keep your precepts. 
64The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
   teach me your statutes. 

65You have dealt well with your servant,
   O Lord, according to your word. 
66Teach me good judgement and knowledge,
   for I believe in your commandments. 
67Before I was humbled I went astray,
   but now I keep your word. 
68You are good and do good;
   teach me your statutes. 
69The arrogant smear me with lies,
   but with my whole heart I keep your precepts. 
70Their hearts are fat and gross,
   but I delight in your law. 
71It is good for me that I was humbled,
   so that I might learn your statutes. 
72The law of your mouth is better to me
   than thousands of gold and silver pieces. 
Evening Psalms:  Psalm 49, 53

Psalm 49

Hear this, all you peoples;
   give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 
2both low and high,
   rich and poor together. 
3My mouth shall speak wisdom;
   the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. 
4I will incline my ear to a proverb;
   I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp. 

5Why should I fear in times of trouble,
   when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me, 
6those who trust in their wealth
   and boast of the abundance of their riches? 
7Truly, no ransom avails for one's life,*
   there is no price one can give to God for it. 
8For the ransom of life is costly,
   and can never suffice, 
9that one should live on for ever
   and never see the grave.* 

10When we look at the wise, they die;
   fool and dolt perish together
   and leave their wealth to others. 
11Their graves* are their homes for ever,
   their dwelling-places to all generations,
   though they named lands their own. 
12Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
   they are like the animals that perish. 

13Such is the fate of the foolhardy,
   the end of those* who are pleased with their lot.
14Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
   Death shall be their shepherd;
straight to the grave they descend,*
   and their form shall waste away;
   Sheol shall be their home.* 
15But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
   for he will receive me.

16Do not be afraid when some become rich,
   when the wealth of their houses increases. 
17For when they die they will carry nothing away;
   their wealth will not go down after them. 
18Though in their lifetime they count themselves happy
   -for you are praised when you do well for yourself- 
19they* will go to the company of their ancestors,
   who will never again see the light. 
20Mortals cannot abide in their pomp;
   they are like the animals that perish.

Psalm 53

Fools say in their hearts, 'There is no God.'
   They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;
   there is no one who does good. 

2God looks down from heaven on humankind
   to see if there are any who are wise,
   who seek after God. 

3They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;
   there is no one who does good,
   no, not one. 

4Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
   who eat up my people as they eat bread,
   and do not call upon God? 

5There they shall be in great terror,
   in terror such as has not been.
For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;*
   they will be put to shame,* for God has rejected them. 

6O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
   When God restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

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