Thursday 24 August 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Thu Aug 24 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Thursday 24 August 2023

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2 Samuel 19:1-23

It was told Joab, ‘The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.’
So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops;
for the troops heard that day, ‘The king is grieving for his son.’
The troops stole into the city that day as soldiers steal in who are
ashamed when they flee in battle. The king covered his face, and the
king cried with a loud voice, ‘O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son,
my son!’ Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said,
‘Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your officers
who have saved your life today, and the lives of your sons and your
daughters, and the lives of your wives and your concubines, for love
of those who hate you and for hatred of those who love you. You have
made it clear today that commanders and officers are nothing to you;
for I perceive that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead
today, then you would be pleased. So go out at once and speak kindly
to your servants; for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man
will stay with you this night; and this will be worse for you than any
disaster that has come upon you from your youth until now.’ Then the
king got up and took his seat in the gate. The troops were all told,
‘See, the king is sitting in the gate’; and all the troops came
before the king.

Meanwhile, all the Israelites had fled to their homes. All the people
were disputing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, ‘The
king delivered us from the hand of our enemies, and saved us from the
hand of the Philistines; and now he has fled out of the land because
of Absalom. But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle.
Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?’

 King David sent this message to the priests Zadok and Abiathar,
‘Say to the elders of Judah, “Why should you be the last to bring
the king back to his house? The talk of all Israel has come to the
king.* You are my kin, you are my bone and my flesh; why then should
you be the last to bring back the king?” And say to Amasa, “Are
you not my bone and my flesh? So may God do to me, and more, if you
are not the commander of my army from now on, in place of Joab.” ’
Amasa* swayed the hearts of all the people of Judah as one, and they
sent word to the king, ‘Return, both you and all your servants.’
So the king came back to the Jordan; and Judah came to Gilgal to meet
the king and to bring him over the Jordan.

 Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come
down with the people of Judah to meet King David; with him were a
thousand people from Benjamin. And Ziba, the servant of the house of
Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to
the Jordan ahead of the king, while the crossing was taking place,* to
bring over the king’s household, and to do his pleasure.

Shimei son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross
the Jordan, and said to the king, ‘May my lord not hold me guilty or
remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left
Jerusalem; may the king not bear it in mind. For your servant knows
that I have sinned; therefore, see, I have come this day, the first of
all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.’
Abishai son of Zeruiah answered, ‘Shall not Shimei be put to death
for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?’ But David said,
‘What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should
today become an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in
Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over
Israel?’ The king said to Shimei, ‘You shall not die.’ And the
king gave him his oath.
Acts 24:1-23

Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and
an attorney, a certain Tertullus, and they reported their case against
Paul to the governor. When Paul* had been summoned, Tertullus began to
accuse him, saying:

‘Your Excellency,* because of you we have long enjoyed peace, and
reforms have been made for this people because of your foresight. We
welcome this in every way and everywhere with utmost gratitude. But,
to detain you no further, I beg you to hear us briefly with your
customary graciousness. We have, in fact, found this man a pestilent
fellow, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world, and a
ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.* He even tried to profane the
temple, and so we seized him.* By examining him yourself you will be
able to learn from him concerning everything of which we accuse

 The Jews also joined in the charge by asserting that all this was
 When the governor motioned to him to speak, Paul replied:

‘I cheerfully make my defence, knowing that for many years you have
been a judge over this nation. As you can find out, it is not more
than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem. They did not
find me disputing with anyone in the temple or stirring up a crowd
either in the synagogues or throughout the city. Neither can they
prove to you the charge that they now bring against me. But this I
admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I
worship the God of our ancestors, believing everything laid down
according to the law or written in the prophets. I have a hope in
God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a
resurrection of both* the righteous and the unrighteous. Therefore I
do my best always to have a clear conscience towards God and all
people. Now after some years I came to bring alms to my nation and to
offer sacrifices. While I was doing this, they found me in the temple,
completing the rite of purification, without any crowd or disturbance.
But there were some Jews from Asia—they ought to be here before you
to make an accusation, if they have anything against me. Or let these
men here tell what crime they had found when I stood before the
council, unless it was this one sentence that I called out while
standing before them, “It is about the resurrection of the dead that
I am on trial before you today.” ’

 But Felix, who was rather well informed about the Way, adjourned the
hearing with the comment, ‘When Lysias the tribune comes down, I
will decide your case.’ Then he ordered the centurion to keep him in
custody, but to let him have some liberty and not to prevent any of
his friends from taking care of his needs.
Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one
another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which
commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is,
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love
the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and
with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this,
“You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other
commandment greater than these.’ Then the scribe said to him, ‘You
are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides
him there is no other”; and “to love him with all the heart, and
with all the understanding, and with all the strength”, and “to
love one’s neighbour as oneself”,—this is much more important
than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that
he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the
kingdom of God.’ After that no one dared to ask him any question.
Morning Psalms: Psalm 131, 132, 133

Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
   my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
   too great and too marvellous for me. 
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
   like a weaned child with its mother;
   my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.* 

O Israel, hope in the Lord
   from this time on and for evermore.

Psalm 132

O Lord, remember in David’s favour
   all the hardships he endured; 
how he swore to the Lord
   and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob, 
‘I will not enter my house
   or get into my bed; 
I will not give sleep to my eyes
   or slumber to my eyelids, 
until I find a place for the Lord,
   a dwelling-place for the Mighty One of Jacob.’ 

We heard of it in Ephrathah;
   we found it in the fields of Jaar. 
‘Let us go to his dwelling-place;
   let us worship at his footstool.’ 

Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting-place,
   you and the ark of your might. 
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
   and let your faithful shout for joy. 
For your servant David’s sake
   do not turn away the face of your anointed one. 

The Lord swore to David a sure oath
   from which he will not turn back:
‘One of the sons of your body
   I will set on your throne. 
If your sons keep my covenant
   and my decrees that I shall teach them,
their sons also, for evermore,
   shall sit on your throne.’ 

For the Lord has chosen Zion;
   he has desired it for his habitation: 
‘This is my resting-place for ever;
   here I will reside, for I have desired it. 
I will abundantly bless its provisions;
   I will satisfy its poor with bread. 
Its priests I will clothe with salvation,
   and its faithful will shout for joy. 
There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David;
   I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one. 
His enemies I will clothe with disgrace,
   but on him, his crown will gleam.’

Psalm 133

How very good and pleasant it is
   when kindred live together in unity! 
It is like the precious oil on the head,
   running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
   running down over the collar of his robes. 
It is like the dew of Hermon,
   which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
   life for evermore.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 134, 135

Psalm 134

Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
   who stand by night in the house of the Lord! 
Lift up your hands to the holy place,
   and bless the Lord. 

May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth,
   bless you from Zion.

Psalm 135

Praise the Lord!
   Praise the name of the Lord;
   give praise, O servants of the Lord, 
you that stand in the house of the Lord,
   in the courts of the house of our God. 
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
   sing to his name, for he is gracious. 
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
   Israel as his own possession. 

For I know that the Lord is great;
   our Lord is above all gods. 
Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
   in heaven and on earth,
   in the seas and all deeps. 
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth;
   he makes lightnings for the rain
   and brings out the wind from his storehouses. 

He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
   both human beings and animals; 
he sent signs and wonders
   into your midst, O Egypt,
   against Pharaoh and all his servants. 
He struck down many nations
   and killed mighty kings— 
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
   and Og, king of Bashan,
   and all the kingdoms of Canaan— 
and gave their land as a heritage,
   a heritage to his people Israel. 

Your name, O Lord, endures for ever,
   your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages. 
For the Lord will vindicate his people,
   and have compassion on his servants. 

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
   the work of human hands. 
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
   they have eyes, but they do not see; 
they have ears, but they do not hear,
   and there is no breath in their mouths. 
Those who make them
   and all who trust them
   shall become like them. 

O house of Israel, bless the Lord!
   O house of Aaron, bless the Lord! 
O house of Levi, bless the Lord!
   You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord! 
Blessed be the Lord from Zion,
   he who resides in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

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