Thursday 31 August 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Thu Aug 31 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Thursday 31 August 2023 

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1 Kings 3:16-28

Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood
before him. One woman said, ‘Please, my lord, this woman and I live
in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. Then
on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We
were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the
two of us were in the house. Then this woman’s son died in the
night, because she lay on him. She got up in the middle of the night
and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him
at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. When I rose in the
morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at
him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.’
But the other woman said, ‘No, the living son is mine, and the dead
son is yours.’ The first said, ‘No, the dead son is yours, and the
living son is mine.’ So they argued before the king.

 Then the king said, ‘One says, “This is my son that is alive,
and your son is dead”; while the other says, “Not so! Your son is
dead, and my son is the living one.” ’ So the king said, ‘Bring
me a sword’, and they brought a sword before the king. The king
said, ‘Divide the living boy in two; then give half to one, and half
to the other.’ But the woman whose son was alive said to the
king—because compassion for her son burned within her—‘Please,
my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!’ The
other said, ‘It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.’ Then
the king responded: ‘Give the first woman the living boy; do not
kill him. She is his mother.’ All Israel heard of the judgement that
the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they
perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to execute justice.
Acts 27:27-44

When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea
of Adria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing
land. So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms; a little
farther on they took soundings again and found fifteen fathoms.
Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors
from the stern and prayed for day to come. But when the sailors tried
to escape from the ship and had lowered the boat into the sea, on the
pretext of putting out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the
centurion and the soldiers, ‘Unless these men stay in the ship, you
cannot be saved.’ Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat
and set it adrift.

 Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food,
saying, ‘Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense
and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you
to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will
lose a hair from your heads.’ After he had said this, he took bread;
and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began
to eat. Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves.
(We were in all two hundred and seventy-six* persons in the ship.)
After they had satisfied their hunger, they lightened the ship by
throwing the wheat into the sea.

 In the morning they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a
bay with a beach, on which they planned to run the ship ashore, if
they could. So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea. At
the same time they loosened the ropes that tied the steering-oars;
then hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. But
striking a reef,* they ran the ship aground; the bow stuck and
remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the force of
the waves. The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that
none might swim away and escape; but the centurion, wishing to save
Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who
could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest
to follow, some on planks and others on pieces of the ship. And so it
was that all were brought safely to land.
Mark 14:12-26

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is
sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go
and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent
two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man
carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he
enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is
my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” He
will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make
preparations for us there.’ So the disciples set out and went to the
city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the
Passover meal.

 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had
taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you,
one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ They began to
be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not
I?’ He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping
bread* into the bowl* with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is
written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is
betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been

 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing
it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my
body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to
them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my
blood of the* covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell
you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day
when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’

 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
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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