Wednesday 19 March 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Wed Mar 19 02:00:00 EDT 2008

Wednesday 19 March 2008 

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Lamentations 2:1-9

How the Lord in his anger
   has humiliated* daughter Zion!
He has thrown down from heaven to earth
   the splendour of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
   on the day of his anger. 

2The Lord has destroyed without mercy
   all the dwellings of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
   the strongholds of daughter Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonour
   the kingdom and its rulers. 

3He has cut down in fierce anger
   all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn his right hand from them
   in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
   consuming all around. 

4He has bent his bow like an enemy,
   with his right hand set like a foe;
he has killed all in whom we took pride
   in the tent of daughter Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire. 

5The Lord has become like an enemy;
   he has destroyed Israel.
He has destroyed all its palaces,
   laid in ruins its strongholds,
and multiplied in daughter Judah
   mourning and lamentation. 

6He has broken down his booth like a garden,
   he has destroyed his tabernacle;
the Lord has abolished in Zion
   festival and sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned
   king and priest. 

7The Lord has scorned his altar,
   disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
   the walls of her palaces;
a clamour was raised in the house of the Lord
   as on a day of festival. 

8The Lord determined to lay in ruins
   the wall of daughter Zion;
he stretched the line;
   he did not withhold his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament;
   they languish together. 

9Her gates have sunk into the ground;
   he has ruined and broken her bars;
her king and princes are among the nations;
   guidance is no more,
and her prophets obtain
   no vision from the Lord. 
2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11

But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did
not come again to Corinth. 24I do not mean to imply that we lord it over
your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your joy, because you
stand firm in the faith. 21So I made up my mind not to make you another
painful visit. 2For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad
but the one whom I have pained? 3And I wrote as I did, so that when I
came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me
rejoice; for I am confident about all of you, that my joy would be the
joy of all of you. 4For I wrote to you out of much distress and anguish
of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know
the abundant love that I have for you. 
Forgiveness for the Offender5 But if anyone has caused pain, he has
caused it not to me, but to some extent-not to exaggerate it-to all of
you. 6This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; 7so
now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be
overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8So I urge you to reaffirm your love
for him. 9I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you
are obedient in everything. 10Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive.
What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your
sake in the presence of Christ. 11And we do this so that we may not be
outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Mark 12:1-11

Then he began to speak to them in parables. 'A man planted a vineyard,
put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a
watch-tower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.
2When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from
them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3But they seized him, and
beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4And again he sent another
slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5Then he
sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others;
some they beat, and others they killed. 6He had still one other, a
beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, "They will respect my
son." 7But those tenants said to one another, "This is the heir; come,
let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." 8So they seized him,
killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9What then will the owner
of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the
vineyard to others. 10Have you not read this scripture:
"The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;* 
11this was the Lord's doing,
   and it is amazing in our eyes"?'
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 55

Psalm 55

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
   do not hide yourself from my supplication. 
2Attend to me, and answer me;
   I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught 3by the noise of the enemy,
   because of the clamour of the wicked.
For they bring* trouble upon me,
   and in anger they cherish enmity against me. 

4My heart is in anguish within me,
   the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 
5Fear and trembling come upon me,
   and horror overwhelms me. 
6And I say, 'O that I had wings like a dove!
   I would fly away and be at rest; 
7truly, I would flee far away;
   I would lodge in the wilderness;
8I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
   from the raging wind and tempest.' 

9Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
   for I see violence and strife in the city. 
10Day and night they go around it
   on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it; 
11   ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
   do not depart from its market-place. 

12It is not enemies who taunt me-
   I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me-
   I could hide from them. 
13But it is you, my equal,
   my companion, my familiar friend, 
14with whom I kept pleasant company;
   we walked in the house of God with the throng. 
15Let death come upon them;
   let them go down alive to Sheol;
   for evil is in their homes and in their hearts. 

16But I call upon God,
   and the Lord will save me. 
17Evening and morning and at noon
   I utter my complaint and moan,
   and he will hear my voice. 
18He will redeem me unharmed
   from the battle that I wage,
   for many are arrayed against me. 
19God, who is enthroned from of old,
   will hear, and will humble them-
because they do not change,
   and do not fear God. 

20My companion laid hands on a friend
   and violated a covenant with me* 
21with speech smoother than butter,
   but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
   but in fact were drawn swords. 

22Cast your burden* on the Lord,
   and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
   the righteous to be moved. 

23But you, O God, will cast them down
   into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
   shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.
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? 
2Remember 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. 
3Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
   the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary. 

4Your foes have roared within your holy place;
   they set up their emblems there. 
5At the upper entrance they hacked
   the wooden trellis with axes.* 
6And then, with hatchets and hammers,
   they smashed all its carved work. 
7They set your sanctuary on fire;
   they desecrated the dwelling-place of your name,
   bringing it to the ground. 
8They said to themselves, 'We will utterly subdue them';
   they burned all the meeting-places of God in the land. 

9We do not see our emblems;
   there is no longer any prophet,
   and there is no one among us who knows how long. 
10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
   Is the enemy to revile your name for ever? 
11Why do you hold back your hand;
   why do you keep your hand in* your bosom? 

12Yet God my King is from of old,
   working salvation in the earth. 
13You divided the sea by your might;
   you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters. 
14You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
   you gave him as food* for the creatures of the wilderness. 
15You cut openings for springs and torrents;
   you dried up ever-flowing streams. 
16Yours is the day, yours also the night;
   you established the luminaries* and the sun. 
17You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
   you made summer and winter. 

18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
   and an impious people reviles your name. 
19Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
   do not forget the life of your poor for ever. 

20Have regard for your* covenant,
   for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence. 
21Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
   let the poor and needy praise your name. 
22Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
   remember how the impious scoff at you all day long. 
23Do not forget the clamour of your foes,
   the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.

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