Thursday 20 April 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Thu Apr 20 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Thursday 20 April 2023  

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Daniel 2:31-49

‘You were looking, O king, and lo! there was a great statue. This
statue was huge, its brilliance extraordinary; it was standing before
you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of that statue was
of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of
bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
As you looked on, a stone was cut out, not by human hands, and it
struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and broke them in
pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold,
were all broken in pieces and became like the chaff of the summer
threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace
of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a
great mountain and filled the whole earth.

 ‘This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation.
You, O king, the king of kings—to whom the God of heaven has given
the kingdom, the power, the might, and the glory, into whose hand he
has given human beings, wherever they live, the wild animals of the
field, and the birds of the air, and whom he has established as ruler
over them all—you are the head of gold. After you shall arise
another kingdom inferior to yours, and yet a third kingdom of bronze,
which shall rule over the whole earth. And there shall be a fourth
kingdom, strong as iron; just as iron crushes and smashes everything,*
it shall crush and shatter all these. As you saw the feet and toes
partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided
kingdom; but some of the strength of iron shall be in it, as you saw
the iron mixed with the clay. As the toes of the feet were part iron
and part clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly
brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with clay, so will they mix with
one another in marriage,* but they will not hold together, just as
iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of
heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall
this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these
kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever; just
as you saw that a stone was cut from the mountain not by hands, and
that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the
gold. The great God has informed the king what shall be hereafter. The
dream is certain, and its interpretation trustworthy.’
 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshipped Daniel, and
commanded that a grain-offering and incense be offered to him. The
king said to Daniel, ‘Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of
kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal
this mystery!’ Then the king promoted Daniel, gave him many great
gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief
prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the
king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the
affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the
king’s court.
1 John 2:18-29

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is
coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it
is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to
us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us.
But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us.
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have
knowledge.* I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but
because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth.
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?* This
is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one
who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has
the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.
If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will
abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised
us,* eternal life.

 I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you.
As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you,
and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing
teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just
as it has taught you, abide in him.*

 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed
we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his
 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who
does right has been born of him.
Luke 3:1-14
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius
Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler* of Galilee, and his
brother Philip ruler* of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and
Lysanias ruler* of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and
Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the
wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming
a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written
in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight. 
Every valley shall be filled,
   and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
   and the rough ways made smooth; 
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’

 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You
brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear
fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We
have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from
these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is
lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not
bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

 And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he
said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has
none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors
came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we
do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed
for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’
He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or
false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’
Morning Psalms: Psalm 18:1-20

Psalm 18:1-20

I love you, O Lord, my strength. 
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
   my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
   my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
   so I shall be saved from my enemies. 

The cords of death encompassed me;
   the torrents of perdition assailed me; 
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
   the snares of death confronted me. 

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
   to my God I cried for help.
>From his temple he heard my voice,
   and my cry to him reached his ears. 

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
   the foundations also of the mountains trembled
   and quaked, because he was angry. 
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
   and devouring fire from his mouth;
   glowing coals flamed forth from him. 
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
   thick darkness was under his feet. 
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
   he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind. 
He made darkness his covering around him,
   his canopy thick clouds dark with water. 
Out of the brightness before him
   there broke through his clouds
   hailstones and coals of fire. 
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
   and the Most High uttered his voice.* 
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
   he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them. 
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
   and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
   at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 

He reached down from on high, he took me;
   he drew me out of mighty waters. 
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
   and from those who hated me;
   for they were too mighty for me. 
They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
   but the Lord was my support. 
He brought me out into a broad place;
   he delivered me, because he delighted in me. 

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
   according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 18:21-50

Psalm 18:21-50

For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
   and have not wickedly departed from my God. 
For all his ordinances were before me,
   and his statutes I did not put away from me. 
I was blameless before him,
   and I kept myself from guilt. 
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
   according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. 

With the loyal you show yourself loyal;
   with the blameless you show yourself blameless; 
with the pure you show yourself pure;
   and with the crooked you show yourself perverse. 
For you deliver a humble people,
   but the haughty eyes you bring down. 
It is you who light my lamp;
   the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. 
By you I can crush a troop,
   and by my God I can leap over a wall. 
This God—his way is perfect;
   the promise of the Lord proves true;
   he is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 

For who is God except the Lord?
   And who is a rock besides our God?— 
the God who girded me with strength,
   and made my way safe. 
He made my feet like the feet of a deer,
   and set me secure on the heights. 
He trains my hands for war,
   so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
   and your right hand has supported me;
   your help* has made me great. 
You gave me a wide place for my steps under me,
   and my feet did not slip. 
I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
   and did not turn back until they were consumed. 
I struck them down, so that they were not able to rise;
   they fell under my feet. 
For you girded me with strength for the battle;
   you made my assailants sink under me. 
You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
   and those who hated me I destroyed. 
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them;
   they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 
I beat them fine, like dust before the wind;
   I cast them out like the mire of the streets. 

You delivered me from strife with the peoples;*
   you made me head of the nations;
   people whom I had not known served me. 
As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
   foreigners came cringing to me. 
Foreigners lost heart,
   and came trembling out of their strongholds. 

The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock,
   and exalted be the God of my salvation, 
the God who gave me vengeance
   and subdued peoples under me; 
who delivered me from my enemies;
   indeed, you exalted me above my adversaries;
   you delivered me from the violent. 

For this I will extol you, O Lord, among the nations,
   and sing praises to your name. 
Great triumphs he gives to his king,
   and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
   to David and his descendants for ever.

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