Wednesday 17 May 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Wed May 17 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Wednesday 17 May 2023  

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
Baruch 3:24-37

O Israel, how great is the house of God,
   how vast the territory that he possesses! 
It is great and has no bounds;
   it is high and immeasurable. 
The giants were born there, who were famous of old,
   great in stature, expert in war. 
God did not choose them,
   or give them the way to knowledge; 
so they perished because they had no wisdom,
   they perished through their folly. 

Who has gone up into heaven, and taken her,
   and brought her down from the clouds? 
Who has gone over the sea, and found her,
   and will buy her for pure gold? 
No one knows the way to her,
   or is concerned about the path to her. 
But the one who knows all things knows her,
   he found her by his understanding.
The one who prepared the earth for all time
   filled it with four-footed creatures; 
the one who sends forth the light, and it goes;
   he called it, and it obeyed him, trembling; 
the stars shone in their watches, and were glad;
   he called them, and they said, ‘Here we are!’
   They shone with gladness for him who made them. 
This is our God;
   no other can be compared to him. 
He found the whole way to knowledge,
   and gave her to his servant Jacob
   and to Israel, whom he loved. 
Afterwards she appeared on earth
   and lived with humankind.
James 5:13-18

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They
should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call
for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing
them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save
the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has
committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one
another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The
prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human
being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for
three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he
prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its
Luke 12:22-31
He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about
your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider
the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse
nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than
the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your
span of life?* If then you are not able to do so small a thing as
that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they
grow: they neither toil nor spin;* yet I tell you, even Solomon in all
his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the
grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into
the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And
do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to
drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world
that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you
need them. Instead, strive for his* kingdom, and these things will be
given to you as well.
Morning Psalms: Psalm 119:97-120

Psalm 119:97-120

Oh, how I love your law!
   It is my meditation all day long. 
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
   for it is always with me. 
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
   for your decrees are my meditation. 
I understand more than the aged,
   for I keep your precepts. 
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
   in order to keep your word. 
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
   for you have taught me. 
How sweet are your words to my taste,
   sweeter than honey to my mouth! 
Through your precepts I get understanding;
   therefore I hate every false way. 

Your word is a lamp to my feet
   and a light to my path. 
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
   to observe your righteous ordinances. 
I am severely afflicted;
   give me life, O Lord, according to your word. 
Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
   and teach me your ordinances. 
I hold my life in my hand continually,
   but I do not forget your law. 
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
   but I do not stray from your precepts. 
Your decrees are my heritage for ever;
   they are the joy of my heart. 
I incline my heart to perform your statutes
   for ever, to the end. 

I hate the double-minded,
   but I love your law. 
You are my hiding-place and my shield;
   I hope in your word. 
Go away from me, you evildoers,
   that I may keep the commandments of my God. 
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
   and let me not be put to shame in my hope. 
Hold me up, that I may be safe
   and have regard for your statutes continually. 
You spurn all who go astray from your statutes;
   for their cunning is in vain. 
All the wicked of the earth you count as dross;
   therefore I love your decrees. 
My flesh trembles for fear of you,
   and I am afraid of your judgements.
Eve of Ascension

2 Kings 2:1-15

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a
whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah
said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as
Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself
live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The
company of prophets* who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said
to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away
from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’

Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to
Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself
live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. The company of
prophets* who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him,
‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from
you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’

Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the
Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself
live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. Fifty men
of the company of prophets* also went, and stood at some distance from
them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his
mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to
the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do
for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me
inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have
asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you,
it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued
walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated
the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.
Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots
of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he
grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went
back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah
that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, ‘Where is
the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ When he had struck the water, the
water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went

When the company of prophets* who were at Jericho saw him at a
distance, they declared, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.’
They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

Revelation 5:1-14

Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll
written on the inside and on the back, sealed* with seven seals; and I
saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to
open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on
earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into
it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to
open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me,
‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of
David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among
the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven
horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into
all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the
one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the
four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb,
each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the
prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
   and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
   saints from* every tribe and language and people and nation; 
you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving* our God,
   and they will reign on earth.’

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the
throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads
of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!’ 
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth
and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever!’ 
And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell
down and worshipped.

Evening Psalms: Psalm 68:1-20

Psalm 68:1-20

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
   let those who hate him flee before him. 
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
   as wax melts before the fire,
   let the wicked perish before God. 
But let the righteous be joyful;
   let them exult before God;
   let them be jubilant with joy. 

Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
   lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds*—
his name is the Lord—
   be exultant before him. 

Father of orphans and protector of widows
   is God in his holy habitation. 
God gives the desolate a home to live in;
   he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
   but the rebellious live in a parched land. 

O God, when you went out before your people,
   when you marched through the wilderness,
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain
   at the presence of God, the God of Sinai,
   at the presence of God, the God of Israel. 
Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad;
   you restored your heritage when it languished; 
your flock found a dwelling in it;
   in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. 

The Lord gives the command;
   great is the company of those* who bore the tidings: 
   ‘The kings of the armies, they flee, they flee!’
The women at home divide the spoil, 
   though they stay among the sheepfolds—
the wings of a dove covered with silver,
   its pinions with green gold. 
When the Almighty* scattered kings there,
   snow fell on Zalmon. 

O mighty mountain, mountain of Bashan;
   O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan! 
Why do you look with envy, O many-peaked mountain,
   at the mount that God desired for his abode,
   where the Lord will reside for ever? 

With mighty chariotry, twice ten thousand,
   thousands upon thousands,
   the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place.* 
You ascended the high mount,
   leading captives in your train
   and receiving gifts from people,
even from those who rebel against the Lord God’s abiding there. 
Blessed be the Lord,
   who daily bears us up;
   God is our salvation.
Our God is a God of salvation,
   and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.

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