Saturday 23 September 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sat Sep 23 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Saturday 23 September 2023

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
2 Kings 2:1-18

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. They said to
him, ‘See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please
let them go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the
Lord has caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into
some valley.’ He responded, ‘No, do not send them.’ But when
they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, ‘Send them.’ So they
sent fifty men who searched for three days but did not find him. When
they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them,
‘Did I not say to you, Do not go?’
1 Corinthians 4:1-7

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s
mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they should be
found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should
be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I
am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby
acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce
judgement before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to
light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes
of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.

 I have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit,
brothers and sisters,* so that you may learn through us the meaning of
the saying, ‘Nothing beyond what is written’, so that none of you
will be puffed up in favour of one against another. For who sees
anything different in you?* What do you have that you did not receive?
And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?
Matthew 5:17-20
‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I
have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until
heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,* not one stroke of a
letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore,
whoever breaks* one of the least of these commandments, and teaches
others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven;
but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the
kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds
that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of
Morning Psalms: Psalm 75, 76

Psalm 75

We give thanks to you, O God;
   we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds. 

At the set time that I appoint
   I will judge with equity. 
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
   it is I who keep its pillars steady.
I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast’,
   and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn; 
do not lift up your horn on high,
   or speak with insolent neck.’ 

For not from the east or from the west
   and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; 
but it is God who executes judgement,
   putting down one and lifting up another. 
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
   with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
   and all the wicked of the earth
   shall drain it down to the dregs. 
But I will rejoice* for ever;
   I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 

All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
   but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76

In Judah God is known,
   his name is great in Israel. 
His abode has been established in Salem,
   his dwelling-place in Zion. 
There he broke the flashing arrows,
   the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.

Glorious are you, more majestic
   than the everlasting mountains.* 
The stout-hearted were stripped of their spoil;
   they sank into sleep;
none of the troops
   was able to lift a hand. 
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
   both rider and horse lay stunned. 

But you indeed are awesome!
   Who can stand before you
   when once your anger is roused? 
From the heavens you uttered judgement;
   the earth feared and was still 
when God rose up to establish judgement,
   to save all the oppressed of the earth.

Human wrath serves only to praise you,
   when you bind the last bit of your* wrath around you. 
Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
   let all who are around him bring gifts
   to the one who is awesome, 
who cuts off the spirit of princes,
   who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 23, 27

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;* 
   he restores my soul.*
He leads me in right paths*
   for his name’s sake. 

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,*
   I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff—
   they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows. 
Surely* goodness and mercy* shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
   my whole life long.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold* of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid? 

When evildoers assail me
   to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
   they shall stumble and fall. 

Though an army encamp against me,
   my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
   yet I will be confident. 

One thing I asked of the Lord,
   that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
   all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
   and to inquire in his temple. 

For he will hide me in his shelter
   in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
   he will set me high on a rock. 

Now my head is lifted up
   above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
   sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
   be gracious to me and answer me! 
‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!’
   Your face, Lord, do I seek. 
   Do not hide your face from me. 

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
   you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
   O God of my salvation! 
If my father and mother forsake me,
   the Lord will take me up. 

Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and lead me on a level path
   because of my enemies. 
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
   for false witnesses have risen against me,
   and they are breathing out violence. 

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
   in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord;
   be strong, and let your heart take courage;
   wait for the Lord!

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