Thursday 4 May 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Thu May 4 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Thursday 4 May 2023  

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
Wisdom 5:9-23

‘All those things have vanished like a shadow,
and like a rumour that passes by; 
like a ship that sails through the billowy water,
and when it has passed no trace can be found,
no track of its keel in the waves; 
or as, when a bird flies through the air,
no evidence of its passage is found;
the light air, lashed by the beat of its pinions
and pierced by the force of its rushing flight,
is traversed by the movement of its wings,
and afterwards no sign of its coming is found there; 
or as, when an arrow is shot at a target,
the air, thus divided, comes together at once,
so that no one knows its pathway. 
So we also, as soon as we were born, ceased to be,
and we had no sign of virtue to show,
but were consumed in our wickedness.’ 
Because the hope of the ungodly is like thistledown* carried by the
and like a light frost* driven away by a storm;
it is dispersed like smoke before the wind,
and it passes like the remembrance of a guest who stays but a day. 

But the righteous live for ever,
and their reward is with the Lord;
the Most High takes care of them. 
Therefore they will receive a glorious crown
and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord,
because with his right hand he will cover them,
and with his arm he will shield them. 
The Lord* will take his zeal as his whole armour,
and will arm all creation to repel* his enemies; 
he will put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and wear impartial justice as a helmet; 
he will take holiness as an invincible shield, 
and sharpen stern wrath for a sword,
and creation will join with him to fight against his frenzied foes. 
Shafts of lightning will fly with true aim,
and will leap from the clouds to the target, as from a well-drawn
and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult;
the water of the sea will rage against them,
and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them; 
a mighty wind will rise against them,
and like a tempest it will winnow them away.
Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth,
and evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.
Colossians 2:8-23

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty
deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental
spirits of the universe,* and not according to Christ. For in him the
whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness
in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you
were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision,* by putting off the
body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried
with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in
the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead
in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God* made you*
alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses,
erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He
set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed* the rulers and
authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in

 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink
or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a
shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not
let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of
angels, dwelling* on visions,* puffed up without cause by a human way
of thinking,* and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole
body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows
with a growth that is from God.
 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe,*
why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you
submit to regulations, ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not
touch’? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use;
they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an
appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and
severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking
Luke 6:39-49
He also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind person guide a blind
person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the
teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher.
Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s* eye, but do not notice
the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour,*
“Friend,* let me take out the speck in your eye”, when you
yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take
the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the
speck out of your neighbour’s* eye.
 ‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good
fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered
from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good
person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the
evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the
abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
 ‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord”, and do not do what I tell
you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my
words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who
dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the
river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had
been well built.* But the one who hears and does not act is like a man
who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river
burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that
Morning Psalms: Psalm 50

Psalm 50

The mighty one, God the Lord,
   speaks and summons the earth
   from the rising of the sun to its setting. 
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
   God shines forth. 

Our God comes and does not keep silence,
   before him is a devouring fire,
   and a mighty tempest all around him. 
He calls to the heavens above
   and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 
‘Gather to me my faithful ones,
   who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!’ 
The heavens declare his righteousness,
   for God himself is judge.

‘Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
   O Israel, I will testify against you.
   I am God, your God. 
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
   your burnt-offerings are continually before me. 
I will not accept a bull from your house,
   or goats from your folds. 
For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
   the cattle on a thousand hills. 
I know all the birds of the air,*
   and all that moves in the field is mine. 

‘If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
   for the world and all that is in it is mine. 
Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
   or drink the blood of goats? 
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,*
   and pay your vows to the Most High. 
Call on me in the day of trouble;
   I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.’ 

But to the wicked God says:
   ‘What right have you to recite my statutes,
   or take my covenant on your lips? 
For you hate discipline,
   and you cast my words behind you. 
You make friends with a thief when you see one,
   and you keep company with adulterers. 

‘You give your mouth free rein for evil,
   and your tongue frames deceit. 
You sit and speak against your kin;
   you slander your own mother’s child. 
These things you have done and I have been silent;
   you thought that I was one just like yourself.
But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you. 

‘Mark this, then, you who forget God,
   or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver. 
Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honour me;
   to those who go the right way*
   I will show the salvation of God.’
Evening Psalms: Psalm 114, 115

Psalm 114

When Israel went out from Egypt,
   the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, 
Judah became God’s* sanctuary,
   Israel his dominion. 

The sea looked and fled;
   Jordan turned back. 
The mountains skipped like rams,
   the hills like lambs. 

Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
   O Jordan, that you turn back? 
O mountains, that you skip like rams?
   O hills, like lambs? 

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
   at the presence of the God of Jacob, 
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
   the flint into a spring of water.

Psalm 115

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
   for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. 
Why should the nations say,
   ‘Where is their God?’ 

Our God is in the heavens;
   he does whatever he pleases. 
Their idols are silver and gold,
   the work of human hands. 
They have mouths, but do not speak;
   eyes, but do not see. 
They have ears, but do not hear;
   noses, but do not smell. 
They have hands, but do not feel;
   feet, but do not walk;
   they make no sound in their throats. 
Those who make them are like them;
   so are all who trust in them. 

O Israel, trust in the Lord!
   He is their help and their shield. 
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!
   He is their help and their shield. 
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!
   He is their help and their shield. 

The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us;
   he will bless the house of Israel;
   he will bless the house of Aaron; 
he will bless those who fear the Lord,
   both small and great. 

May the Lord give you increase,
   both you and your children. 
May you be blessed by the Lord,
   who made heaven and earth. 

The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,
   but the earth he has given to human beings. 
The dead do not praise the Lord,
   nor do any that go down into silence. 
But we will bless the Lord
   from this time on and for evermore.
Praise the Lord!

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