Monday 21 April 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Mon Apr 21 02:00:00 EDT 2008

Monday 21 April 2008  

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Leviticus 16:1-19

The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when
they drew near before the Lord and died. The Lord said to Moses:

Tell your brother Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary
inside the curtain before the mercy-seat* that is upon the ark, or he
will die; for I appear in the cloud upon the mercy-seat.* Thus shall
Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bull for a sin-offering and
a ram for a burnt-offering. He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and
shall have the linen undergarments next to his body, fasten the linen
sash, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy vestments. He shall
bathe his body in water, and then put them on. He shall take from the
congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin-offering,
and one ram for a burnt-offering.

 Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin-offering for himself, and shall
make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two
goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of
meeting; and Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the
Lord and the other lot for Azazel.* Aaron shall present the goat on
which the lot fell for the Lord, and offer it as a sin-offering; but the
goat on which the lot fell for Azazel* shall be presented alive before
the Lord to make atonement over it, so that it may be sent away into the
wilderness to Azazel.*

 Aaron shall present the bull as a sin-offering for himself, and shall
make atonement for himself and for his house; he shall slaughter the
bull as a sin-offering for himself. He shall take a censer full of coals
of fire from the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of crushed
sweet incense, and he shall bring it inside the curtain and put the
incense on the fire before the Lord, so that the cloud of the incense
may cover the mercy-seat* that is upon the covenant,* or he will die. He
shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his
finger on the front of the mercy-seat,* and before the mercy-seat* he
shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times.

 He shall slaughter the goat of the sin-offering that is for the people
and bring its blood inside the curtain, and do with its blood as he did
with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy-seat* and
before the mercy-seat.* Thus he shall make atonement for the sanctuary,
because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of
their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of
meeting, which remains with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. No
one shall be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make
atonement in the sanctuary until he comes out and has made atonement for
himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel. Then he
shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement on
its behalf, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the
blood of the goat, and put it on each of the horns of the altar. He
shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and
cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,* about
those who have died,* so that you may not grieve as others do who have
no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so,
through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.* For this we
declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are
left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who
have died.* For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the
archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from
heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive,
who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet
the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore
encourage one another with these words.
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

'Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by
them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

 'So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be
praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right
hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father
who sees in secret will reward you.*
 'And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to
stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they
may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their
reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and
pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret
will reward you.*
 'And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for
they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting.
Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast,
put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be
seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father
who sees in secret will reward you.*
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 56, 57, 58

Psalm 56

Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me;
   all day long foes oppress me; 
my enemies trample on me all day long,
   for many fight against me.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
   I put my trust in you. 
In God, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust; I am not afraid;
   what can flesh do to me? 

All day long they seek to injure my cause;
   all their thoughts are against me for evil. 
They stir up strife, they lurk,
   they watch my steps.
As they hoped to have my life, 
   so repay* them for their crime;
   in wrath cast down the peoples, O God! 

You have kept count of my tossings;
   put my tears in your bottle.
   Are they not in your record? 
Then my enemies will retreat
   on the day when I call.
   This I know, that* God is for me. 
In God, whose word I praise,
   in the Lord, whose word I praise, 
in God I trust; I am not afraid.
   What can a mere mortal do to me? 

My vows to you I must perform, O God;
   I will render thank-offerings to you. 
For you have delivered my soul from death,
   and my feet from falling,
so that I may walk before God
   in the light of life.

Psalm 57

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
   for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
   until the destroying storms pass by. 
I cry to God Most High,
   to God who fulfils his purpose for me. 
He will send from heaven and save me,
   he will put to shame those who trample on me.
God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness. 

I lie down among lions
   that greedily devour* human prey;
their teeth are spears and arrows,
   their tongues sharp swords. 

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
   Let your glory be over all the earth. 

They set a net for my steps;
   my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my path,
   but they have fallen into it themselves.
My heart is steadfast, O God,
   my heart is steadfast.
I will sing and make melody. 
   Awake, my soul!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
   I will awake the dawn. 
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
   I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
   your faithfulness extends to the clouds. 

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
   Let your glory be over all the earth.

Psalm 58

Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?*
   Do you judge people fairly? 
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
   your hands deal out violence on earth. 

The wicked go astray from the womb;
   they err from their birth, speaking lies. 
They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
   like the deaf adder that stops its ear, 
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
   or of the cunning enchanter. 

O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
   tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! 
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
   like grass let them be trodden down* and wither. 
Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
   like the untimely birth that never sees the sun. 
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
   whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away! 

The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done;
   they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked. 
People will say, 'Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
   surely there is a God who judges on earth.'
Evening Psalms:  Psalm 64, 65

Psalm 64

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
   preserve my life from the dread enemy. 
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
   from the scheming of evildoers, 
who whet their tongues like swords,
   who aim bitter words like arrows, 
shooting from ambush at the blameless;
   they shoot suddenly and without fear. 
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
   they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, 'Who can see us?* 
   Who can search out our crimes?*
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.'
   For the human heart and mind are deep. 

But God will shoot his arrow at them;
   they will be wounded suddenly. 
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;*
   all who see them will shake with horror. 
Then everyone will fear;
   they will tell what God has brought about,
   and ponder what he has done. 

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
   and take refuge in him.
Let all the upright in heart glory.

Psalm 65

Praise is due to you,
   O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed, 
   O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come. 
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
   you forgive our transgressions. 
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
   to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
   your holy temple. 

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
   O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the farthest seas. 
By your* strength you established the mountains;
   you are girded with might. 
You silence the roaring of the seas,
   the roaring of their waves,
   the tumult of the peoples. 
Those who live at earth's farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. 

You visit the earth and water it,
   you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
   you provide the people with grain,
   for so you have prepared it. 
You water its furrows abundantly,
   settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
   and blessing its growth. 
You crown the year with your bounty;
   your wagon tracks overflow with richness. 
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
   the hills gird themselves with joy, 
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
   the valleys deck themselves with grain,
   they shout and sing together for joy.

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