Monday 31 July 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Mon Jul 31 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Monday 31 July 2023 

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2 Samuel 2:1-11

After this David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I go up into any of
the cities of Judah?’ The Lord said to him, ‘Go up.’ David said,
‘To which shall I go up?’ He said, ‘To Hebron.’ So David went
up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail
the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David brought up the men who were with
him, every one with his household; and they settled in the towns of
Hebron. Then the people of Judah came, and there they anointed David
king over the house of Judah.
When they told David, ‘It was the people of Jabesh-gilead who buried
Saul’, David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and
said to them, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed
this loyalty to Saul your lord, and buried him! Now may the Lord show
steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I too will reward you
because you have done this thing. Therefore let your hands be strong,
and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has
anointed me king over them.’ 
But Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ishbaal
son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim. He made him king over
Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over all
Israel. Ishbaal, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to
reign over Israel, and he reigned for two years. But the house of
Judah followed David. The time that David was king in Hebron over the
house of Judah was seven years and six months.

Acts 15:36-16:5

After some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Come, let us return and
visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the
Lord and see how they are doing.’ Barnabas wanted to take with them
John called Mark. But Paul decided not to take with them one who had
deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work.
The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company; Barnabas
took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and
set out, the believers commending him to the grace of the Lord. He
went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. 
Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple
named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his
father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra
and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and
had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for
they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to
town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had
been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the
churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers
Mark 6:14-29

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were
saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for
this reason these powers are at work in him.’ But others said, ‘It
is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the
prophets of old.’ But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom
I beheaded, has been raised.’ 
For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put
him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,
because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, ‘It
is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ And Herodias
had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man,
and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and
yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on
his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the
leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she
pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me
for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’ And he solemnly swore to
her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my
kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask
for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptizer.’ Immediately
she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at
once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ The king was deeply
grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did
not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the
guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in
the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl.
Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about
it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. 
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 56, 57, 58

Psalm 56

Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me;
   all day long foes oppress me; 
my enemies trample on me all day long,
   for many fight against me.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
   I put my trust in you. 
In God, whose word I praise,
   in God I trust; I am not afraid;
   what can flesh do to me? 

All day long they seek to injure my cause;
   all their thoughts are against me for evil. 
They stir up strife, they lurk,
   they watch my steps.
As they hoped to have my life, 
   so repay them for their crime;
   in wrath cast down the peoples, O God! 

You have kept count of my tossings;
   put my tears in your bottle.
   Are they not in your record? 
Then my enemies will retreat
   on the day when I call.
   This I know, that God is for me. 
In God, whose word I praise,
   in the Lord, whose word I praise, 
in God I trust; I am not afraid.
   What can a mere mortal do to me? 

My vows to you I must perform, O God;
   I will render thank-offerings to you. 
For you have delivered my soul from death,
   and my feet from falling,
so that I may walk before God
   in the light of life.

Psalm 57

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
   for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
   until the destroying storms pass by. 
I cry to God Most High,
   to God who fulfils his purpose for me. 
He will send from heaven and save me,
   he will put to shame those who trample on me.
God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness. 

I lie down among lions
   that greedily devour human prey;
their teeth are spears and arrows,
   their tongues sharp swords. 

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
   Let your glory be over all the earth. 

They set a net for my steps;
   my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my path,
   but they have fallen into it themselves.
My heart is steadfast, O God,
   my heart is steadfast.
I will sing and make melody. 
   Awake, my soul!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
   I will awake the dawn. 
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
   I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
   your faithfulness extends to the clouds. 

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
   Let your glory be over all the earth.

Psalm 58

Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
   Do you judge people fairly? 
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
   your hands deal out violence on earth. 

The wicked go astray from the womb;
   they err from their birth, speaking lies. 
They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
   like the deaf adder that stops its ear, 
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
   or of the cunning enchanter. 

O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
   tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! 
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
   like grass let them be trodden down and wither. 
Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
   like the untimely birth that never sees the sun. 
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
   whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away! 

The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done;
   they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked. 
People will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
   surely there is a God who judges on earth.’

Evening Psalms: Psalm 64, 65

Psalm 64

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
   preserve my life from the dread enemy. 
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
   from the scheming of evildoers, 
who whet their tongues like swords,
   who aim bitter words like arrows, 
shooting from ambush at the blameless;
   they shoot suddenly and without fear. 
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
   they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, ‘Who can see us? 
   Who can search out our crimes?
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.’
   For the human heart and mind are deep. 

But God will shoot his arrow at them;
   they will be wounded suddenly. 
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;
   all who see them will shake with horror. 
Then everyone will fear;
   they will tell what God has brought about,
   and ponder what he has done. 

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord
   and take refuge in him.
Let all the upright in heart glory.

Psalm 65

Praise is due to you,
   O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed, 
   O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come. 
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
   you forgive our transgressions. 
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
   to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
   your holy temple. 

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
   O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the farthest seas. 
By your strength you established the mountains;
   you are girded with might. 
You silence the roaring of the seas,
   the roaring of their waves,
   the tumult of the peoples. 
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. 

You visit the earth and water it,
   you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
   you provide the people with grain,
   for so you have prepared it. 
You water its furrows abundantly,
   settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
   and blessing its growth. 
You crown the year with your bounty;
   your wagon tracks overflow with richness. 
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
   the hills gird themselves with joy, 
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
   the valleys deck themselves with grain,
   they shout and sing together for joy.


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