Saturday 23 February 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sat Feb 23 02:00:00 EST 2008

Saturday 23 February 2008 

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Genesis 43:16-34

When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house,
'Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready,
for the men are to dine with me at noon.' The man did as Joseph said,
and brought the men to Joseph's house. Now the men were afraid because
they were brought to Joseph's house, and they said, 'It is because of
the money, replaced in our sacks the first time, that we have been
brought in, so that he may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make
slaves of us and take our donkeys.' So they went up to the steward of
Joseph's house and spoke with him at the entrance to the house. They
said, 'Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food; and when we
came to the lodging-place we opened our sacks, and there was each one's
money in the top of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have
brought it back with us. Moreover, we have brought down with us
additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our
sacks.' He replied, 'Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the
God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I
received your money.' Then he brought Simeon out to them. When the
steward* had brought the men into Joseph's house, and given them water,
and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys
fodder, they made the present ready for Joseph's coming at noon, for
they had heard that they would dine there.

 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had
carried into the house, and bowed to the ground before him. He inquired
about their welfare, and said, 'Is your father well, the old man of whom
you spoke? Is he still alive?' They said, 'Your servant our father is
well; he is still alive.' And they bowed their heads and did obeisance.
Then he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and
said, 'Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be
gracious to you, my son!' With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was
overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep. So he
went into a private room and wept there. Then he washed his face and
came out; and controlling himself he said, 'Serve the meal.' They served
him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with
him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews,
for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. When they were seated
before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest
according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement.
Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion
was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry
with him.
1 Corinthians 7:10-24

To the married I give this command-not I but the Lord-that the wife
should not separate from her husband (but if she does separate, let her
remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the
husband should not divorce his wife.

 To the rest I say-I and not the Lord-that if any believer* has a wife
who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not
divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he
consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the
unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving
wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be
unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner
separates, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not
bound. It is to peace that God has called you.* Wife, for all you know,
you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save
your wife.
 However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has
assigned, to which God called you. This is my rule in all the churches.
Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek
to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call
uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. Circumcision is nothing,
and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeying the commandments of God is
everything. Let each of you remain in the condition in which you were

 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. Even if you
can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than
ever.* For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed person
belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave
of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human
masters. In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters,*
there remain with God.
Mark 5:1-20

They came to the other side of the lake, to the country of the
Gerasenes.* And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man
out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the
tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he
had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he
wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the
strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the
mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. When
he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he
shouted at the top of his voice, 'What have you to do with me, Jesus,
Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.' For
he had said to him, 'Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!' Then
Jesus* asked him, 'What is your name?' He replied, 'My name is Legion;
for we are many.' He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the
country. Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding;
and the unclean spirits* begged him, 'Send us into the swine; let us
enter them.' So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came
out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand,
rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned in the lake.

 The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then
people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and
saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very
man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen
what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then
they began to beg Jesus* to leave their neighbourhood. As he was getting
into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that
he might be with him. But Jesus* refused, and said to him, 'Go home to
your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what
mercy he has shown you.' And he went away and began to proclaim in the
Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 75, 76

Psalm 75

We give thanks to you, O God;
   we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds. 

At the set time that I appoint
   I will judge with equity. 
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
   it is I who keep its pillars steady.
I say to the boastful, 'Do not boast',
   and to the wicked, 'Do not lift up your horn; 
do not lift up your horn on high,
   or speak with insolent neck.' 

For not from the east or from the west
   and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; 
but it is God who executes judgement,
   putting down one and lifting up another. 
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
   with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
   and all the wicked of the earth
   shall drain it down to the dregs. 
But I will rejoice* for ever;
   I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 

All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
   but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76

In Judah God is known,
   his name is great in Israel. 
His abode has been established in Salem,
   his dwelling-place in Zion. 
There he broke the flashing arrows,
   the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.

Glorious are you, more majestic
   than the everlasting mountains.* 
The stout-hearted were stripped of their spoil;
   they sank into sleep;
none of the troops
   was able to lift a hand. 
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
   both rider and horse lay stunned. 

But you indeed are awesome!
   Who can stand before you
   when once your anger is roused? 
>From the heavens you uttered judgement;
   the earth feared and was still 
when God rose up to establish judgement,
   to save all the oppressed of the earth.

Human wrath serves only to praise you,
   when you bind the last bit of your* wrath around you. 
Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
   let all who are around him bring gifts
   to the one who is awesome, 
who cuts off the spirit of princes,
   who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.
Evening Psalms:  Psalm 23, 27

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;* 
   he restores my soul.*
He leads me in right paths*
   for his name's sake. 

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
   I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff-
   they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows. 
Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
   my whole life long.*

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold* of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid? 

When evildoers assail me
   to devour my flesh-
my adversaries and foes-
   they shall stumble and fall. 

Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
   yet I will be confident. 

One thing I asked of the Lord,
   that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
   and to inquire in his temple. 

For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will set me high on a rock. 

Now my head is lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
   be gracious to me and answer me! 
'Come,' my heart says, 'seek his face!'
   Your face, Lord, do I seek. 
   Do not hide your face from me. 

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
   you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
   O God of my salvation! 
If my father and mother forsake me,
   the Lord will take me up. 

Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies. 
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they are breathing out violence. 

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
   in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord;
   be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!

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