Wednesday 16 August 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Wed Aug 16 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Wednesday 16 August 2023 

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2 Samuel 14:21-33

Then the king said to Joab, ‘Very well, I grant this; go, bring back
the young man Absalom.’ Joab prostrated himself with his face to the
ground and did obeisance, and blessed the king; and Joab said,
‘Today your servant knows that I have found favour in your sight, my
lord the king, in that the king has granted the request of his
servant.’ So Joab set off, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to
Jerusalem. The king said, ‘Let him go to his own house; he is not to
come into my presence.’ So Absalom went to his own house, and did
not come into the king’s presence.

 Now in all Israel there was no one to be praised so much for his
beauty as Absalom; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head
there was no blemish in him. When he cut the hair of his head (for at
the end of every year he used to cut it; when it was heavy on him, he
cut it), he weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the
king’s weight. There were born to Absalom three sons, and one
daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a beautiful woman.

 So Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem without coming into the
king’s presence. Then Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the king;
but Joab would not come to him. He sent a second time, but Joab would
not come. Then he said to his servants, ‘Look, Joab’s field is
next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.’ So
Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. Then Joab rose and went to
Absalom at his house, and said to him, ‘Why have your servants set
my field on fire?’ Absalom answered Joab, ‘Look, I sent word to
you: Come here, that I may send you to the king with the question,
“Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there
still.” Now let me go into the king’s presence; if there is guilt
in me, let him kill me!’ Then Joab went to the king and told him;
and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and prostrated himself
with his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed
Acts 21:15-26

After these days we got ready and started to go up to Jerusalem. Some
of the disciples from Caesarea also came along and brought us to the
house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to

 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us warmly. The
next day Paul went with us to visit James; and all the elders were
present. After greeting them, he related one by one the things that
God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard
it, they praised God. Then they said to him, ‘You see, brother, how
many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all
zealous for the law. They have been told about you that you teach all
the Jews living among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, and that you tell
them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs. What
then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. So do
what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. Join these
men, go through the rite of purification with them, and pay for the
shaving of their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in
what they have been told about you, but that you yourself observe and
guard the law. But as for the Gentiles who have become believers, we
have sent a letter with our judgement that they should abstain from
what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is
strangled* and from fornication.’ Then Paul took the men, and the
next day, having purified himself, he entered the temple with them,
making public the completion of the days of purification when the
sacrifice would be made for each of them.
Mark 10:17-31

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him,
and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal
life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good
but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You
shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear
false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and
mother.” ’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since
my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack
one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money* to the poor, and
you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he
heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many

 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it
will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And
the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them
again, ‘Children, how hard it is* to enter the kingdom of God! It is
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone
who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly
astounded and said to one another,* ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus
looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for
God; for God all things are possible.’

 Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and
followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who
has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children
or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news,* who will
not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and
sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in
the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and
the last will be first.’

Morning Psalms:  Psalm 101, 109:1-30

Psalm 101

I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
   to you, O Lord, I will sing. 
I will study the way that is blameless.
   When shall I attain it? 

I will walk with integrity of heart
   within my house; 
I will not set before my eyes
   anything that is base. 

I hate the work of those who fall away;
   it shall not cling to me. 
Perverseness of heart shall be far from me;
   I will know nothing of evil. 

One who secretly slanders a neighbour
   I will destroy.
A haughty look and an arrogant heart
   I will not tolerate. 

I will look with favour on the faithful in the land,
   so that they may live with me;
whoever walks in the way that is blameless
   shall minister to me. 

No one who practises deceit
   shall remain in my house;
no one who utters lies
   shall continue in my presence. 

Morning by morning I will destroy
   all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all evildoers
   from the city of the Lord.

Psalm 109:1-30

Do not be silent, O God of my praise. 
For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
   speaking against me with lying tongues. 
They beset me with words of hate,
   and attack me without cause. 
In return for my love they accuse me,
   even while I make prayer for them.* 
So they reward me evil for good,
   and hatred for my love. 

They say,* ‘Appoint a wicked man against him;
   let an accuser stand on his right. 
When he is tried, let him be found guilty;
   let his prayer be counted as sin. 
May his days be few;
   may another seize his position. 
May his children be orphans,
   and his wife a widow. 
May his children wander about and beg;
   may they be driven out of* the ruins they inhabit. 
May the creditor seize all that he has;
   may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil. 
May there be no one to do him a kindness,
   nor anyone to pity his orphaned children. 
May his posterity be cut off;
   may his name be blotted out in the second generation. 
May the iniquity of his father* be remembered before the Lord,
   and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. 
Let them be before the Lord continually,
   and may his* memory be cut off from the earth. 
For he did not remember to show kindness,
   but pursued the poor and needy
   and the broken-hearted to their death. 
He loved to curse; let curses come on him.
   He did not like blessing; may it be far from him. 
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat,
   may it soak into his body like water,
   like oil into his bones. 
May it be like a garment that he wraps around himself,
   like a belt that he wears every day.’ 

May that be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,
   of those who speak evil against my life. 
But you, O Lord my Lord,
   act on my behalf for your name’s sake;
   because your steadfast love is good, deliver me. 
For I am poor and needy,
   and my heart is pierced within me. 
I am gone like a shadow at evening;
   I am shaken off like a locust. 
My knees are weak through fasting;
   my body has become gaunt. 
I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
   when they see me, they shake their heads. 

Help me, O Lord my God!
   Save me according to your steadfast love. 
Let them know that this is your hand;
   you, O Lord, have done it. 
Let them curse, but you will bless.
   Let my assailants be put to shame;* may your servant be glad. 
May my accusers be clothed with dishonour;
   may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle. 
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
   I will praise him in the midst of the throng. 
For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
   to save them from those who would condemn them to death.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 119:121-144

Psalm 119:121-144

I have done what is just and right;
   do not leave me to my oppressors. 
Guarantee your servant’s well-being;
   do not let the godless oppress me. 
My eyes fail from watching for your salvation,
   and for the fulfilment of your righteous promise. 
Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
   and teach me your statutes. 
I am your servant; give me understanding,
   so that I may know your decrees. 
It is time for the Lord to act,
   for your law has been broken. 
Truly I love your commandments
   more than gold, more than fine gold. 
Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts;*
   I hate every false way. 

Your decrees are wonderful;
   therefore my soul keeps them. 
The unfolding of your words gives light;
   it imparts understanding to the simple. 
With open mouth I pant,
   because I long for your commandments. 
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   as is your custom towards those who love your name. 
Keep my steps steady according to your promise,
   and never let iniquity have dominion over me. 
Redeem me from human oppression,
   that I may keep your precepts. 
Make your face shine upon your servant,
   and teach me your statutes. 
My eyes shed streams of tears
   because your law is not kept. 

You are righteous, O Lord,
   and your judgements are right. 
You have appointed your decrees in righteousness
   and in all faithfulness. 
My zeal consumes me
   because my foes forget your words. 
Your promise is well tried,
   and your servant loves it. 
I am small and despised,
   yet I do not forget your precepts. 
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
   and your law is the truth. 
Trouble and anguish have come upon me,
   but your commandments are my delight. 
Your decrees are righteous for ever;
   give me understanding that I may live.

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