Tuesday 28 September 2021 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Tue Sep 28 02:00:03 EDT 2021

Tuesday 28 September 2021

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2 Chronicles 29:1-3,30:1-27

Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; he reigned
for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah
daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord,
just as his ancestor David had done.
 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the
doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.
Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to
Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord
at Jerusalem, to keep the passover to the Lord the God of Israel. For
the king and his officials and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken
counsel to keep the passover in the second month for they could not
keep it at its proper time because the priests had not sanctified
themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in
Jerusalem. The plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. So
they decreed the making of a proclamation throughout all Israel, from
Beer-sheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the passover
to the Lord the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; for they had not kept it
in great numbers as prescribed. So couriers went throughout all Israel
and Judah with letters from the king and his officials, as the king
had commanded, saying, ‘O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he may turn again to the
remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
Do not be like your ancestors and your kindred, who were faithless to
the Lord God of their ancestors, so that he made them a desolation, as
you see. Do not now be stiff-necked as your ancestors were, but yield
yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has
sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce
anger may turn away from you. For as you return to the Lord, your
kindred and your children will find compassion with their captors, and
return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful,
and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.’

 So the couriers went from city to city through the country of
Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun; but they laughed them to
scorn, and mocked them. Only a few from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun
humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. The hand of God was also on
Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials
commanded by the word of the Lord.

 Many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the festival of
unleavened bread in the second month, a very large assembly. They set
to work and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the
altars for offering incense they took away and threw into the Wadi
Kidron. They slaughtered the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of
the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and they
sanctified themselves and brought burnt-offerings into the house of
the Lord. They took their accustomed posts according to the law of
Moses the man of God; the priests dashed the blood that they received*
from the hands of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who
had not sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites had to slaughter
the passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to make it holy to
the Lord. For a multitude of the people, many of them from Ephraim,
Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they
ate the passover otherwise than as prescribed. But Hezekiah prayed for
them, saying, ‘The good Lord pardon all who set their hearts to seek
God, the Lord the God of their ancestors, even though not in
accordance with the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.’ The Lord
heard Hezekiah, and healed the people. The people of Israel who were
present at Jerusalem kept the festival of unleavened bread for seven
days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the
Lord day by day, accompanied by loud instruments for the Lord.
Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill
in the service of the Lord. So the people ate the food of the festival
for seven days, sacrificing offerings of well-being and giving thanks
to the Lord the God of their ancestors.

 Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the festival for
another seven days; so they kept it for another seven days with
gladness. For King Hezekiah of Judah gave the assembly a thousand
bulls and seven thousand sheep for offerings, and the officials gave
the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. The priests
sanctified themselves in great numbers. The whole assembly of Judah,
the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of
Israel, and the resident aliens who came out of the land of Israel,
and the resident aliens who lived in Judah, rejoiced. There was great
joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon son of King David of
Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests
and the Levites stood up and blessed the people, and their voice was
heard; their prayer came to his holy dwelling in heaven.
1 Corinthians 7:32-40

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious
about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married
man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife,
and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin
are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in
body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of
the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit,
not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and
unhindered devotion to the Lord.

 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly towards his
fiancée,* if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him
marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. But if someone
stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his
own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep
her as his fiancée,* he will do well. So then, he who marries his
fiancée* does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives. But if the husband
dies,* she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord. But
in my judgement she is more blessed if she remains as she is. And I
think that I too have the Spirit of God.
Matthew 7:1-12
‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement
you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the
measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s* eye,
but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your
neighbour,* “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log
is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own
eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your
neighbour’s* eye.
 ‘Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls
before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul
 ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find;
knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks
receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who
knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if
your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for
a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give
good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven
give good things to those who ask him!
 ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for
this is the law and the prophets.
Morning Psalms: Psalm 97, 99

Psalm 97

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
   let the many coastlands be glad! 
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
   righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 
Fire goes before him,
   and consumes his adversaries on every side. 
His lightnings light up the world;
   the earth sees and trembles. 
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
   before the Lord of all the earth. 

The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
   and all the peoples behold his glory. 
All worshippers of images are put to shame,
   those who make their boast in worthless idols;
   all gods bow down before him. 
Zion hears and is glad,
   and the towns* of Judah rejoice,
   because of your judgements, O God. 
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
   you are exalted far above all gods. 

The Lord loves those who hate* evil;
   he guards the lives of his faithful;
   he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. 
Light dawns* for the righteous,
   and joy for the upright in heart. 
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
   and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
   He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! 
The Lord is great in Zion;
   he is exalted over all the peoples. 
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
   Holy is he! 
Mighty King,* lover of justice,
   you have established equity;
you have executed justice
   and righteousness in Jacob. 
Extol the Lord our God;
   worship at his footstool.
   Holy is he! 

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
   Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
   They cried to the Lord, and he answered them. 
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
   they kept his decrees,
   and the statutes that he gave them. 

O Lord our God, you answered them;
   you were a forgiving God to them,
   but an avenger of their wrongdoings. 
Extol the Lord our God,
   and worship at his holy mountain;
   for the Lord our God is holy.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 94

Psalm 94

O Lord, you God of vengeance,
   you God of vengeance, shine forth! 
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
   give to the proud what they deserve! 
O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
   how long shall the wicked exult? 

They pour out their arrogant words;
   all the evildoers boast. 
They crush your people, O Lord,
   and afflict your heritage. 
They kill the widow and the stranger,
   they murder the orphan, 
and they say, ‘The Lord does not see;
   the God of Jacob does not perceive.’ 

Understand, O dullest of the people;
   fools, when will you be wise? 
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see? 
He who disciplines the nations,
he who teaches knowledge to humankind,
   does he not chastise? 
The Lord knows our thoughts,*
   that they are but an empty breath. 

Happy are those whom you discipline, O Lord,
   and whom you teach out of your law, 
giving them respite from days of trouble,
   until a pit is dug for the wicked. 
For the Lord will not forsake his people;
   he will not abandon his heritage; 
for justice will return to the righteous,
   and all the upright in heart will follow it. 

Who rises up for me against the wicked?
   Who stands up for me against evildoers? 
If the Lord had not been my help,
   my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. 
When I thought, ‘My foot is slipping’,
   your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. 
When the cares of my heart are many,
   your consolations cheer my soul. 
Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
   those who contrive mischief by statute? 
They band together against the life of the righteous,
   and condemn the innocent to death. 
But the Lord has become my stronghold,
   and my God the rock of my refuge. 
He will repay them for their iniquity
   and wipe them out for their wickedness;
   the Lord our God will wipe them out.

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