Sunday 24 September 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sun Sep 24 02:00:03 EDT 2023

Sunday 24 September 2023

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
2 Kings 4:8-37

One day Elisha was passing through Shunem, where a wealthy woman
lived, who urged him to have a meal. So whenever he passed that way,
he would stop there for a meal. She said to her husband, ‘Look, I am
sure that this man who regularly passes our way is a holy man of God.
Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a
bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that he can stay there whenever
he comes to us.’

 One day when he came there, he went up to the chamber and lay down
there. He said to his servant Gehazi, ‘Call the Shunammite woman.’
When he had called her, she stood before him. He said to him, ‘Say
to her, Since you have taken all this trouble for us, what may be done
for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or to
the commander of the army?’ She answered, ‘I live among my own
people.’ He said, ‘What then may be done for her?’ Gehazi
answered, ‘Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.’ He said,
‘Call her.’ When he had called her, she stood at the door. He
said, ‘At this season, in due time, you shall embrace a son.’ She
replied, ‘No, my lord, O man of God; do not deceive your servant.’

 The woman conceived and bore a son at that season, in due time, as
Elisha had declared to her.

 When the child was older, he went out one day to his father among
the reapers. He complained to his father, ‘Oh, my head, my head!’
The father said to his servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ He
carried him and brought him to his mother; the child sat on her lap
until noon, and he died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the
man of God, closed the door on him, and left. Then she called to her
husband, and said, ‘Send me one of the servants and one of the
donkeys, so that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back
again.’ He said, ‘Why go to him today? It is neither new moon nor
sabbath.’ She said, ‘It will be all right.’ Then she saddled the
donkey and said to her servant, ‘Urge the animal on; do not hold
back for me unless I tell you.’ So she set out, and came to the man
of God at Mount Carmel.

When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant,
‘Look, there is the Shunammite woman; run at once to meet her, and
say to her, Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child
all right?’ She answered, ‘It is all right.’ When she came to
the man of God at the mountain, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi
approached to push her away. But the man of God said, ‘Let her
alone, for she is in bitter distress; the Lord has hidden it from me
and has not told me.’ Then she said, ‘Did I ask my lord for a son?
Did I not say, Do not mislead me?’ He said to Gehazi, ‘Gird up
your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go. If you meet
anyone, give no greeting, and if anyone greets you, do not answer; and
lay my staff on the face of the child.’ Then the mother of the child
said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave
without you.’ So he rose up and followed her. Gehazi went on ahead
and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or
sign of life. He came back to meet him and told him, ‘The child has
not awakened.’

 When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his
bed. So he went in and closed the door on the two of them, and prayed
to the Lord. Then he got up on the bed* and lay upon the child,
putting his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes, and his
hands upon his hands; and while he lay bent over him, the flesh of the
child became warm. He got down, walked once to and fro in the room,
then got up again and bent over him; the child sneezed seven times,
and the child opened his eyes. Elisha* summoned Gehazi and said,
‘Call the Shunammite woman.’ So he called her. When she came to
him, he said, ‘Take your son.’ She came and fell at his feet,
bowing to the ground; then she took her son and left.
Acts 9:10-31

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to
him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He answered, ‘Here I am, Lord.’
The Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight,
and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this
moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision* a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’
But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man,
how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has
authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.’
But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is an instrument whom I have
chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the
people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for
the sake of my name.’ So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid
his hands on Saul* and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who
appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain
your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately
something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored.
Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he
regained his strength.

For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and
immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying,
‘He is the Son of God.’ All who heard him were amazed and said,
‘Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who
invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of
bringing them bound before the chief priests?’ Saul became
increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in
Damascus by proving that Jesus* was the Messiah.*
 After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their
plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night
so that they might kill him; but his disciples took him by night and
let him down through an opening in the wall,* lowering him in a
 When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples;
and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was
a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and
described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had
spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of
Jesus. So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly
in the name of the Lord. He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but
they were attempting to kill him. When the believers* learned of it,
they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

 Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had
peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the
comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Luke 3:7-18
John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You
brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear
fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We
have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from
these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is
lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not
bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

 And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he
said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has
none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors
came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we
do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed
for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’
He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or
false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning
in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,*
John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but
one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie
the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit
and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his
threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the
chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’

 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the
Morning Psalms: Psalm 93, 96

Psalm 93

The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
   the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved; 
   your throne is established from of old;
   you are from everlasting. 

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
   the floods have lifted up their voice;
   the floods lift up their roaring. 
More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
   more majestic than the waves* of the sea,
   majestic on high is the Lord! 

Your decrees are very sure;
   holiness befits your house,
   O Lord, for evermore.

Psalm 96

O sing to the Lord a new song;
   sing to the Lord, all the earth. 
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
   tell of his salvation from day to day. 
Declare his glory among the nations,
   his marvellous works among all the peoples. 
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
   he is to be revered above all gods. 
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
   but the Lord made the heavens. 
Honour and majesty are before him;
   strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
   ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
   bring an offering, and come into his courts. 
Worship the Lord in holy splendour;
   tremble before him, all the earth. 

Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!
   The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
   He will judge the peoples with equity.’ 
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
   let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 
   before the Lord; for he is coming,
   for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
   and the peoples with his truth.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 34

Psalm 34

I will bless the Lord at all times;
   his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
   let the humble hear and be glad. 
O magnify the Lord with me,
   and let us exalt his name together. 

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
   and delivered me from all my fears. 
Look to him, and be radiant;
   so your* faces shall never be ashamed. 
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
   and was saved from every trouble. 
The angel of the Lord encamps
   around those who fear him, and delivers them. 
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
   happy are those who take refuge in him. 
O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
   for those who fear him have no want. 
The young lions suffer want and hunger,
   but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 

Come, O children, listen to me;
   I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 
Which of you desires life,
   and covets many days to enjoy good? 
Keep your tongue from evil,
   and your lips from speaking deceit. 
Depart from evil, and do good;
   seek peace, and pursue it. 

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
   and his ears are open to their cry. 
The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
   to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
   and rescues them from all their troubles. 
The Lord is near to the broken-hearted,
   and saves the crushed in spirit. 

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
   but the Lord rescues them from them all. 
He keeps all their bones;
   not one of them will be broken. 
Evil brings death to the wicked,
   and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
   none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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