Monday 27 March 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Mon Mar 27 02:00:03 EDT 2023

Monday 27 March 2023 

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Jeremiah 24:1-10

The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the
Lord. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had taken into
exile from Jerusalem King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, together
with the officials of Judah, the artisans, and the smiths, and had
brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, like
first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that
they could not be eaten. And the Lord said to me, ‘What do you see,
Jeremiah?’ I said, ‘Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad
figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.’

 Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord, the God of
Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from
Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the
Chaldeans. I will set my eyes upon them for good, and I will bring
them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down;
I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to
know that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people and I will be
their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

 But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they
cannot be eaten, so will I treat King Zedekiah of Judah, his
officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those
who live in the land of Egypt. I will make them a horror, an evil
thing, to all the kingdoms of the earth—a disgrace, a byword, a
taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. And I
will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they are
utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their
Romans 9:19-33

You will say to me then, ‘Why then does he still find fault? For who
can resist his will?’ But who indeed are you, a human being, to
argue with God? Will what is moulded say to the one who moulds it,
‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the
clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and
another for ordinary use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and
to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of
wrath that are made for destruction; and what if he has done so in
order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy,
which he has prepared beforehand for glory— including us whom he has
called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed
he says in Hosea,
‘Those who were not my people I will call “my people”,
   and her who was not beloved I will call “beloved”. ’ 
‘And in the very place where it was said to them, “You are not my
   there they shall be called children of the living God.’

 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, ‘Though the number of the
children of Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of
them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence on the
earth quickly and decisively.’* And as Isaiah predicted,
‘If the Lord of hosts had not left survivors* to us,
   we would have fared like Sodom
   and been made like Gomorrah.’
 What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for
righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith;
but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the
law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did
not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on
works. They have stumbled over the stumbling-stone, as it is written,
‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a
rock that will make them fall,
   and whoever believes in him* will not be put to shame.’
John 9:1-17

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked
him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born
blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned;
he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We*
must work the works of him who sent me* while it is day; night is
coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the
light of the world.’ When he had said this, he spat on the ground
and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes,
saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means
Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The
neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask,
‘Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some were saying,
‘It is he.’ Others were saying, ‘No, but it is someone like
him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the man.’ But they kept asking him,
‘Then how were your eyes opened?’ He answered, ‘The man called
Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam
and wash.” Then I went and washed and received my sight.’ They
said to him, ‘Where is he?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’
 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.
Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.
Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his
sight. He said to them, ‘He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and
now I see.’ Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God,
for he does not observe the sabbath.’ But others said, ‘How can a
man who is a sinner perform such signs?’ And they were divided. So
they said again to the blind man, ‘What do you say about him? It was
your eyes he opened.’ He said, ‘He is a prophet.’
Morning Psalms: Psalm 31

Psalm 31

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
   do not let me ever be put to shame;
   in your righteousness deliver me. 
Incline your ear to me;
   rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
   a strong fortress to save me. 

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
   for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, 
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
   for you are my refuge. 
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
   you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. 

You hate* those who pay regard to worthless idols,
   but I trust in the Lord. 
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
   because you have seen my affliction;
   you have taken heed of my adversities, 
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
   you have set my feet in a broad place. 

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
   my eye wastes away from grief,
   my soul and body also. 
For my life is spent with sorrow,
   and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,*
   and my bones waste away. 

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
   a horror* to my neighbours,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
   those who see me in the street flee from me. 
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
   I have become like a broken vessel. 
For I hear the whispering of many—
   terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
   as they plot to take my life. 

But I trust in you, O Lord;
   I say, ‘You are my God.’ 
My times are in your hand;
   deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. 
Let your face shine upon your servant;
   save me in your steadfast love. 
Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord,
   for I call on you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
   let them go dumbfounded to Sheol. 
Let the lying lips be stilled
   that speak insolently against the righteous
   with pride and contempt. 

O how abundant is your goodness
   that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
   in the sight of everyone! 
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
   from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter
   from contentious tongues. 

Blessed be the Lord,
   for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
   when I was beset as a city under siege. 
I had said in my alarm,
   ‘I am driven far* from your sight.’
But you heard my supplications
   when I cried out to you for help. 

Love the Lord, all you his saints.
   The Lord preserves the faithful,
   but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily. 
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
   all you who wait for the Lord.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 35

Psalm 35

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
   fight against those who fight against me! 
Take hold of shield and buckler,
   and rise up to help me! 
Draw the spear and javelin
   against my pursuers;
say to my soul,
   ‘I am your salvation.’ 

Let them be put to shame and dishonour
   who seek after my life.
Let them be turned back and confounded
   who devise evil against me. 
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
   with the angel of the Lord driving them on. 
Let their way be dark and slippery,
   with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 

For without cause they hid their net* for me;
   without cause they dug a pit* for my life. 
Let ruin come on them unawares.
And let the net that they hid ensnare them;
   let them fall in it—to their ruin. 

Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
   exulting in his deliverance. 
All my bones shall say,
   ‘O Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the weak
   from those too strong for them,
   the weak and needy from those who despoil them.’ 

Malicious witnesses rise up;
   they ask me about things I do not know. 
They repay me evil for good;
   my soul is forlorn. 
But as for me, when they were sick,
   I wore sackcloth;
   I afflicted myself with fasting.
I prayed with head bowed* on my bosom, 
   as though I grieved for a friend or a brother;
I went about as one who laments for a mother,
   bowed down and in mourning. 

But at my stumbling they gathered in glee,
   they gathered together against me;
ruffians whom I did not know
   tore at me without ceasing; 
they impiously mocked more and more,*
   gnashing at me with their teeth. 

How long, O Lord, will you look on?
   Rescue me from their ravages,
   my life from the lions! 
Then I will thank you in the great congregation;
   in the mighty throng I will praise you. 

Do not let my treacherous enemies rejoice over me,
   or those who hate me without cause wink the eye. 
For they do not speak peace,
   but they conceive deceitful words
   against those who are quiet in the land. 
They open wide their mouths against me;
   they say, ‘Aha, Aha,
   our eyes have seen it.’ 

You have seen, O Lord; do not be silent!
   O Lord, do not be far from me! 
Wake up! Bestir yourself for my defence,
   for my cause, my God and my Lord! 
Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
   according to your righteousness,
   and do not let them rejoice over me. 
Do not let them say to themselves,
   ‘Aha, we have our heart’s desire.’
Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed you* up.’ 

Let all those who rejoice at my calamity
   be put to shame and confusion;
let those who exalt themselves against me
   be clothed with shame and dishonour. 

Let those who desire my vindication
   shout for joy and be glad,
   and say evermore,
‘Great is the Lord,
   who delights in the welfare of his servant.’ 
Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
   and of your praise all day long.

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