Tuesday 22 August 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Tue Aug 22 02:00:03 EDT 2023

Tuesday 22 August 2023 

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2 Samuel 18:9-18

Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on
his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak.
His head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging* between
heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. A man saw
it, and told Joab, ‘I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.’ Joab said to
the man who told him, ‘What, you saw him! Why then did you not
strike him there to the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten
pieces of silver and a belt.’ But the man said to Joab, ‘Even if I
felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not
raise my hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king
commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying: For my sake protect the
young man Absalom! On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously
against his life* (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then
you yourself would have stood aloof.’ Joab said, ‘I will not waste
time like this with you.’ He took three spears in his hand, and
thrust them into the heart of Absalom, while he was still alive in the
oak. And ten young men, Joab’s armour-bearers, surrounded Absalom
and struck him, and killed him.

 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops came back from
pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained the troops. They took Absalom,
threw him into a great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very
great heap of stones. Meanwhile all the Israelites fled to their
homes. Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself a
pillar that is in the King’s Valley, for he said, ‘I have no son
to keep my name in remembrance’; he called the pillar by his own
name. It is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.
Acts 23:12-24

In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by
an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There
were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. They went to the
chief priests and elders and said, ‘We have strictly bound ourselves
by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. Now then, you
and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on
the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his
case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.’

 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush; so he went
and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of
the centurions and said, ‘Take this young man to the tribune, for he
has something to report to him.’ So he took him, brought him to the
tribune, and said, ‘The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to
bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.’ The
tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked,
‘What is it that you have to report to me?’ He answered, ‘The
Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council
tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into
his case. But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of
their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by
an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready
now and are waiting for your consent.’ So the tribune dismissed the
young man, ordering him, ‘Tell no one that you have informed me of
 Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, ‘Get ready to
leave by nine o’clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred
soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. Also provide
mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor.’
Mark 11:27-12:12
Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the
chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, ‘By
what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority
to do them?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you one question;
answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?
Answer me.’ They argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From
heaven”, he will say, “Why then did you not believe him?” But
shall we say, “Of human origin”?’—they were afraid of the
crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered
Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I
tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’
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. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to
collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they
seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he
sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and
insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it
was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had
still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying,
“They will respect my son.” But those tenants said to one another,
“This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will
be ours.” So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the
vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come
and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not
read this scripture:
“The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;* 
this was the Lord’s doing,
   and it is amazing in our eyes”?’

 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they
wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and
went away.
Morning Psalms: Psalm 120, 121, 122, 123

Psalm 120

In my distress I cry to the Lord,
   that he may answer me: 
‘Deliver me, O Lord,
   from lying lips,
   from a deceitful tongue.’ 

What shall be given to you?
   And what more shall be done to you,
   you deceitful tongue? 
A warrior’s sharp arrows,
   with glowing coals of the broom tree! 

Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech,
   that I must live among the tents of Kedar. 
Too long have I had my dwelling
   among those who hate peace. 
I am for peace;
   but when I speak,
   they are for war.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
   from where will my help come? 
My help comes from the Lord,
   who made heaven and earth. 

He will not let your foot be moved;
   he who keeps you will not slumber. 
He who keeps Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep. 

The Lord is your keeper;
   the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 
The sun shall not strike you by day,
   nor the moon by night. 

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
   he will keep your life. 
The Lord will keep
   your going out and your coming in
   from this time on and for evermore.

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,
   ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’ 
Our feet are standing
   within your gates, O Jerusalem. 

Jerusalem—built as a city
   that is bound firmly together. 
To it the tribes go up,
   the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
   to give thanks to the name of the Lord. 
For there the thrones for judgement were set up,
   the thrones of the house of David. 

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
   ‘May they prosper who love you. 
Peace be within your walls,
   and security within your towers.’ 
For the sake of my relatives and friends
   I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ 
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
   I will seek your good.

Psalm 123

To you I lift up my eyes,
   O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 
As the eyes of servants
   look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
   to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
   until he has mercy upon us. 

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
   for we have had more than enough of contempt. 
Our soul has had more than its fill
   of the scorn of those who are at ease,
   of the contempt of the proud.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 124, 125, 126, 127

Psalm 124

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side
   —let Israel now say— 
if it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
   when our enemies attacked us, 
then they would have swallowed us up alive,
   when their anger was kindled against us; 
then the flood would have swept us away,
   the torrent would have gone over us; 
then over us would have gone
   the raging waters. 

Blessed be the Lord,
   who has not given us
   as prey to their teeth. 
We have escaped like a bird
   from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
   and we have escaped. 

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
   who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 125

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
   which cannot be moved, but abides for ever. 
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
   so the Lord surrounds his people,
   from this time on and for evermore. 
For the sceptre of wickedness shall not rest
   on the land allotted to the righteous,
so that the righteous may not stretch out
   their hands to do wrong. 
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
   and to those who are upright in their hearts. 
But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways
   the Lord will lead away with evildoers.
   Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,*
   we were like those who dream. 
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
   ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ 
The Lord has done great things for us,
   and we rejoiced. 

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
   like the watercourses in the Negeb. 
May those who sow in tears
   reap with shouts of joy. 
Those who go out weeping,
   bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
   carrying their sheaves.

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house,
   those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
   the guard keeps watch in vain. 
It is in vain that you rise up early
   and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
   for he gives sleep to his beloved.* 

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
   the fruit of the womb a reward. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
   are the sons of one’s youth. 
Happy is the man who has
   his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
   when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

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