Monday 28 April 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Mon Apr 28 02:00:00 EDT 2008

Monday 28 April 2008  

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Leviticus 25:35-55

If any of your kin fall into difficulty and become dependent on you,*
you shall support them; they shall live with you as though resident
aliens. Do not take interest in advance or otherwise make a profit from
them, but fear your God; let them live with you. You shall not lend them
your money at interest taken in advance, or provide them food at a
profit. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God.

 If any who are dependent on you become so impoverished that they sell
themselves to you, you shall not make them serve as slaves. They shall
remain with you as hired or bound labourers. They shall serve with you
until the year of the jubilee. Then they and their children with them
shall be free from your authority; they shall go back to their own
family and return to their ancestral property. For they are my servants,
whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as
slaves are sold. You shall not rule over them with harshness, but shall
fear your God. As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it
is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female
slaves. You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with
you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in
your land; and they may be your property. You may keep them as a
possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property.
These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one
shall rule over the other with harshness.

 If resident aliens among you prosper, and if any of your kin fall into
difficulty with one of them and sell themselves to an alien, or to a
branch of the alien's family, after they have sold themselves they shall
have the right of redemption; one of their brothers may redeem them, or
their uncle or their uncle's son may redeem them, or anyone of their
family who is of their own flesh may redeem them; or if they prosper
they may redeem themselves. They shall compute with the purchaser the
total from the year when they sold themselves to the alien until the
jubilee year; the price of the sale shall be applied to the number of
years: the time they were with the owner shall be rated as the time of a
hired labourer. If many years remain, they shall pay for their
redemption in proportion to the purchase price; and if few years remain
until the jubilee year, they shall compute thus: according to the years
involved they shall make payment for their redemption. As a labourer
hired by the year they shall be under the alien's authority, who shall
not, however, rule with harshness over them in your sight. And if they
have not been redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children
with them shall go free in the jubilee year. For to me the people of
Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought out from the
land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Colossians 1:9-14

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 13:1-16

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such
great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there,
while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things
in parables, saying: 'Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed,
some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other
seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they
sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun
rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered
away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked
them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a
hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears* listen!'
 Then the disciples came and asked him, 'Why do you speak to them in
parables?' He answered, 'To you it has been given to know the secrets*
of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to
those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but
from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The
reason I speak to them in parables is that "seeing they do not perceive,
and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand." With them
indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
"You will indeed listen, but never understand,
   and you will indeed look, but never perceive. 
For this people's heart has grown dull,
   and their ears are hard of hearing,
     and they have shut their eyes;
     so that they might not look with their eyes,
   and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn-
   and I would heal them." 
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
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 
   before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
   and come to save us! 

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

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

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

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

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

Restore 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. 
In 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. 
I think of God, and I moan;
   I meditate, and my spirit faints.

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

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

When the waters saw you, O God,
   when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
   the very deep trembled. 
The clouds poured out water;
   the skies thundered;
   your arrows flashed on every side. 
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
   your lightnings lit up the world;
   the earth trembled and shook. 
Your way was through the sea,
   your path, through the mighty waters;
   yet your footprints were unseen. 
You 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. 
They 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. 
They have poured out their blood like water
   all around Jerusalem,
   and there was no one to bury them. 
We have become a taunt to our neighbours,
   mocked and derided by those around us. 

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

Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
   let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
   for we are brought very low. 
Help us, O God of our salvation,
   for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
   for your name's sake. 
Why 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. 

Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
   according to your great power preserve those doomed to die. 
Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbours
   the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord! 
Then 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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