Thursday 21 February 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Thu Feb 21 02:00:00 EST 2008

Thursday 21 February 2008 

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Genesis 42:29-38

When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told
him all that had happened to them, saying, 'The man, the lord of the
land, spoke harshly to us, and charged us with spying on the land. But
we said to him, "We are honest men, we are not spies. We are twelve
brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is now
with our father in the land of Canaan." Then the man, the lord of the
land, said to us, "By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave
one of your brothers with me, take grain for the famine of your
households, and go your way. Bring your youngest brother to me, and I
shall know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will release
your brother to you, and you may trade in the land." '

 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each one's sack was his bag
of money. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they
were dismayed. And their father Jacob said to them, 'I am the one you
have bereaved of children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and
now you would take Benjamin. All this has happened to me!' Then Reuben
said to his father, 'You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him back
to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.' But he
said, 'My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and
he alone is left. If harm should come to him on the journey that you are
to make, you would bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to Sheol.'
1 Corinthians 6:12-20

'All things are lawful for me', but not all things are beneficial. 'All
things are lawful for me', but I will not be dominated by anything.
'Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food',* and God will
destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication
but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and
will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are
members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and
make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever
is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said,
'The two shall be one flesh.' But anyone united to the Lord becomes one
spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is
outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do
you not know that your body is a temple* of the Holy Spirit within you,
which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were
bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
Mark 4:21-34

He said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel
basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing
hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come
to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!' And he said to them,
'Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the
measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who
have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what
they have will be taken away.'
 He also said, 'The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed
on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed
would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of
itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because
the harvest has come.'
 He also said, 'With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what
parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown
upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it
is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts
forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its
 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to
hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained
everything in private to his disciples.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 70, 71

Psalm 70

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
   O Lord, make haste to help me! 
Let those be put to shame and confusion
   who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonour
   who desire to hurt me. 
Let those who say, 'Aha, Aha!'
   turn back because of their shame. 

Let all who seek you
   rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation
   say evermore, 'God is great!' 
But I am poor and needy;
   hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
   O Lord, do not delay!

Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
   let me never be put to shame. 
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
   incline your ear to me and save me. 
Be to me a rock of refuge,
   a strong fortress,* to save me,
   for you are my rock and my fortress. 

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
   from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. 
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
   my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
   it was you who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you. 

I have been like a portent to many,
   but you are my strong refuge. 
My mouth is filled with your praise,
   and with your glory all day long. 
Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
   do not forsake me when my strength is spent. 
For my enemies speak concerning me,
   and those who watch for my life consult together. 
They say, 'Pursue and seize that person
   whom God has forsaken,
   for there is no one to deliver.' 

O God, do not be far from me;
   O my God, make haste to help me! 
Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
   let those who seek to hurt me
   be covered with scorn and disgrace. 
But I will hope continually,
   and will praise you yet more and more. 
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
   of your deeds of salvation all day long,
   though their number is past my knowledge. 
I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God,
   I will praise your righteousness, yours alone. 

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
   and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. 
So even to old age and grey hairs,
   O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might
   to all the generations to come.*
Your power and your righteousness, O God,
   reach the high heavens. 

You who have done great things,
   O God, who is like you? 
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
   will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
   you will bring me up again. 
You will increase my honour,
   and comfort me once again. 

I will also praise you with the harp
   for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
   O Holy One of Israel. 
My lips will shout for joy
   when I sing praises to you;
   my soul also, which you have rescued. 
All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help,
for those who tried to do me harm
   have been put to shame, and disgraced.
Evening Psalms:  Psalm 74

Psalm 74

O God, why do you cast us off for ever?
   Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? 
Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
   which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
   Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell. 
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
   the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary. 

Your foes have roared within your holy place;
   they set up their emblems there. 
At the upper entrance they hacked
   the wooden trellis with axes.* 
And then, with hatchets and hammers,
   they smashed all its carved work. 
They set your sanctuary on fire;
   they desecrated the dwelling-place of your name,
   bringing it to the ground. 
They said to themselves, 'We will utterly subdue them';
   they burned all the meeting-places of God in the land. 

We do not see our emblems;
   there is no longer any prophet,
   and there is no one among us who knows how long. 
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
   Is the enemy to revile your name for ever? 
Why do you hold back your hand;
   why do you keep your hand in* your bosom? 

Yet God my King is from of old,
   working salvation in the earth. 
You divided the sea by your might;
   you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters. 
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
   you gave him as food* for the creatures of the wilderness. 
You cut openings for springs and torrents;
   you dried up ever-flowing streams. 
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
   you established the luminaries* and the sun. 
You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
   you made summer and winter. 

Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
   and an impious people reviles your name. 
Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
   do not forget the life of your poor for ever. 

Have regard for your* covenant,
   for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence. 
Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
   let the poor and needy praise your name. 
Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
   remember how the impious scoff at you all day long. 
Do not forget the clamour of your foes,
   the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

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