Saturday 26 August 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sat Aug 26 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Saturday 26 August 2023

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
2 Samuel 23:1-7,13-17

Now these are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
   the oracle of the man whom God exalted,*
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
   the favourite of the Strong One of Israel: 

The spirit of the Lord speaks through me,
   his word is upon my tongue. 
The God of Israel has spoken,
   the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
   ruling in the fear of God, 
is like the light of morning,
   like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
   gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. 

Is not my house like this with God?
   For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
   ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
   all my help and my desire? 
But the godless are* all like thorns that are thrown away;
   for they cannot be picked up with the hand; 
to touch them one uses an iron bar
   or the shaft of a spear.
   And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.*

 Towards the beginning of harvest three of the thirty* chiefs went
down to join David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines
was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. David was then in the
stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem.
David said longingly, ‘O that someone would give me water to drink
from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!’ Then the three
warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from
the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to David.
But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the Lord, for he
said, ‘The Lord forbid that I should do this. Can I drink the blood
of the men who went at the risk of their lives?’ Therefore he would
not drink it. The three warriors did these things.
Acts 25:13-27

After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at
Caesarea to welcome Festus. Since they were staying there for several
days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, ‘There is a
man here who was left in prison by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem, the
chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him and
asked for a sentence against him. I told them that it was not the
custom of the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met
the accusers face to face and had been given an opportunity to make a
defence against the charge. So when they met here, I lost no time, but
on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be
brought. When the accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any
of the crimes* that I was expecting. Instead they had certain points
of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain
Jesus, who had died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. Since I was
at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he
wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges.* But
when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of his
Imperial Majesty, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to
the emperor.’ Agrippa said to Festus, ‘I would like to hear the
man myself.’ ‘Tomorrow’, he said, ‘you will hear him.’
 So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and
they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the
prominent men of the city. Then Festus gave the order and Paul was
brought in. And Festus said, ‘King Agrippa and all here present with
us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish community petitioned
me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any
longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death; and when
he appealed to his Imperial Majesty, I decided to send him. But I have
nothing definite to write to our sovereign about him. Therefore I have
brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King
Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to
write— for it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner without
indicating the charges against him.’
Mark 13:1-13
As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him,
‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ Then
Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone
will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’

 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple,
Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when
will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are
about to be accomplished?’ Then Jesus began to say to them,
‘Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and
say, “I am he!”* and they will lead many astray. When you hear of
wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but
the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places;
there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
 ‘As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to
councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand
before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And
the good news* must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they
bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about
what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for
it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray
brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise
against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by
all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be
Morning Psalms: Psalm 137:1-9, 144

Psalm 137:1-9

By the rivers of Babylon—
   there we sat down and there we wept
   when we remembered Zion. 
On the willows* there
   we hung up our harps. 
For there our captors
   asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
   ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ 

How could we sing the Lord’s song
   in a foreign land? 
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
   let my right hand wither! 
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
   if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
   above my highest joy. 

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
   the day of Jerusalem’s fall,
how they said, ‘Tear it down! Tear it down!
   Down to its foundations!’ 
O daughter Babylon, you devastator!*
   Happy shall they be who pay you back
   what you have done to us! 
Happy shall they be who take your little ones
   and dash them against the rock!

Psalm 144

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
   who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 
my rock* and my fortress,
   my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
   who subdues the peoples* under me. 

O Lord, what are human beings that you regard them,
   or mortals that you think of them? 
They are like a breath;
   their days are like a passing shadow. 

Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
   touch the mountains so that they smoke. 
Make the lightning flash and scatter them;
   send out your arrows and rout them. 
Stretch out your hand from on high;
   set me free and rescue me from the mighty waters,
   from the hand of aliens, 
whose mouths speak lies,
   and whose right hands are false. 

I will sing a new song to you, O God;
   upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you, 
the one who gives victory to kings,
   who rescues his servant David. 
Rescue me from the cruel sword,
   and deliver me from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies,
   and whose right hands are false. 

May our sons in their youth
   be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars,
   cut for the building of a palace. 
May our barns be filled
   with produce of every kind;
may our sheep increase by thousands,
   by tens of thousands in our fields, 
   and may our cattle be heavy with young.
May there be no breach in the walls,* no exile,
   and no cry of distress in our streets. 

Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
   happy are the people whose God is the Lord.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 104

Psalm 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
   O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honour and majesty, 
   wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent, 
   you set the beams of your* chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your* chariot,
   you ride on the wings of the wind, 
you make the winds your* messengers,
   fire and flame your* ministers. 

You set the earth on its foundations,
   so that it shall never be shaken. 
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
   the waters stood above the mountains. 
At your rebuke they flee;
   at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. 
They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
   to the place that you appointed for them. 
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
   so that they might not again cover the earth. 

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
   they flow between the hills, 
giving drink to every wild animal;
   the wild asses quench their thirst. 
By the streams* the birds of the air have their habitation;
   they sing among the branches. 
>From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
   the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. 

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
   and plants for people to use,*
to bring forth food from the earth, 
   and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
   and bread to strengthen the human heart. 
The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
   the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 
In them the birds build their nests;
   the stork has its home in the fir trees. 
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
   the rocks are a refuge for the coneys. 
You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
   the sun knows its time for setting. 
You make darkness, and it is night,
   when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. 
The young lions roar for their prey,
   seeking their food from God. 
When the sun rises, they withdraw
   and lie down in their dens. 
People go out to their work
   and to their labour until the evening. 

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
   In wisdom you have made them all;
   the earth is full of your creatures. 
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
   creeping things innumerable are there,
   living things both small and great. 
There go the ships,
   and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it. 

These all look to you
   to give them their food in due season; 
when you give to them, they gather it up;
   when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
   when you take away their breath, they die
   and return to their dust. 
When you send forth your spirit,* they are created;
   and you renew the face of the ground. 

May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;
   may the Lord rejoice in his works— 
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
   who touches the mountains and they smoke. 
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praise to my God while I have being. 
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
   for I rejoice in the Lord. 
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
   and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

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