Tuesday 20 May 2008 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Tue May 20 02:00:00 EDT 2008

Tuesday 20 May 2008  

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Proverbs 4:1-27

Listen, children, to a father's instruction,
   and be attentive, that you may gain* insight; 
for I give you good precepts:
   do not forsake my teaching. 
When I was a son with my father,
   tender, and my mother's favourite, 
he taught me, and said to me,
'Let your heart hold fast my words;
   keep my commandments, and live. 
Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away
   from the words of my mouth. 
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
   love her, and she will guard you. 
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
   and whatever else you get, get insight. 
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
   she will honour you if you embrace her. 
She will place on your head a fair garland;
   she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.' 

Hear, my child, and accept my words,
   that the years of your life may be many. 
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
   I have led you in the paths of uprightness. 
When you walk, your step will not be hampered;
   and if you run, you will not stumble. 
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
   guard her, for she is your life. 
Do not enter the path of the wicked,
   and do not walk in the way of evildoers. 
Avoid it; do not go on it;
   turn away from it and pass on. 
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
   they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. 
For they eat the bread of wickedness
   and drink the wine of violence. 
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
   which shines brighter and brighter until full day. 
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
   they do not know what they stumble over. 
My child, be attentive to my words;
   incline your ear to my sayings. 
Do not let them escape from your sight;
   keep them within your heart. 
For they are life to those who find them,
   and healing to all their flesh. 
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
   for from it flow the springs of life. 
Put away from you crooked speech,
   and put devious talk far from you. 
Let your eyes look directly forwards,
   and your gaze be straight before you. 
Keep straight the path of your feet,
   and all your ways will be sure. 
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
   turn your foot away from evil.
1 John 4:7-21

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who
loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know
God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God
sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In
this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his
Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved
us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God;
if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in

 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given
us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has
sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who
confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have
known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in
them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have
boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this
world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for
fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached
perfection in love. We love* because he first loved us. Those who say,
'I love God', and hate their brothers or sisters,* are liars; for those
who do not love a brother or sister* whom they have seen, cannot love
God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this:
those who love God must love their brothers and sisters* also.
Matthew 11:7-15

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: 'What
did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the
wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone* dressed in soft robes?
Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you
go out to see? A prophet?* Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written,
"See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way before you." 
Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater
than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater
than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of
heaven has suffered violence,* and the violent take it by force. For all
the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are
willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears*
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 5, 6

Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
   give heed to my sighing. 
Listen to the sound of my cry,
   my King and my God,
   for to you I pray. 
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
   in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. 

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
   evil will not sojourn with you. 
The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
   you hate all evildoers. 
You destroy those who speak lies;
   the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful. 

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
   will enter your house,
I will bow down towards your holy temple
   in awe of you. 
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
   because of my enemies;
   make your way straight before me. 

For there is no truth in their mouths;
   their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
   they flatter with their tongues. 
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
   let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
   for they have rebelled against you. 

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
   let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
   so that those who love your name may exult in you. 
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
   you cover them with favour as with a shield.

Psalm 6

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
   or discipline me in your wrath. 
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
   O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror. 
My soul also is struck with terror,
   while you, O Lord-how long? 

Turn, O Lord, save my life;
   deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. 
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
   in Sheol who can give you praise? 

I am weary with my moaning;
   every night I flood my bed with tears;
   I drench my couch with my weeping. 
My eyes waste away because of grief;
   they grow weak because of all my foes. 

Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
   for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 
The Lord has heard my supplication;
   the Lord accepts my prayer. 
All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror;
   they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.
Evening Psalms:  Psalm 10, 11

Psalm 10

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?
   Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? 
In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor-
   let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. 

For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,
   those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord. 
In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, 'God will not seek it
   all their thoughts are, 'There is no God.' 

Their ways prosper at all times;
   your judgements are on high, out of their sight;
   as for their foes, they scoff at them. 
They think in their heart, 'We shall not be moved;
   throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.' 

Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
   under their tongues are mischief and iniquity. 
They sit in ambush in the villages;
   in hiding-places they murder the innocent. 

Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless; 
   they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;
they lurk that they may seize the poor;
   they seize the poor and drag them off in their net. 

They stoop, they crouch,
   and the helpless fall by their might. 
They think in their heart, 'God has forgotten,
   he has hidden his face, he will never see it.' 

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
   do not forget the oppressed. 
Why do the wicked renounce God,
   and say in their hearts, 'You will not call us to account'? 

But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
   that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
   you have been the helper of the orphan. 

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;
   seek out their wickedness until you find none. 
The Lord is king for ever and ever;
   the nations shall perish from his land. 

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
   you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear 
to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
   so that those from earth may strike terror no more.*

Psalm 11

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
   'Flee like a bird to the mountains;* 
for look, the wicked bend the bow,
   they have fitted their arrow to the string,
   to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart. 
If the foundations are destroyed,
   what can the righteous do?' 

The Lord is in his holy temple;
   the Lord's throne is in heaven.
   His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind. 
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
   and his soul hates the lover of violence. 
On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulphur;
   a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. 
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
   the upright shall behold his face.

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