Wednesday 27 September 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Wed Sep 27 02:00:02 EDT 2023

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
2 Kings 6:1-23

Now the company of prophets* said to Elisha, ‘As you see, the place
where we live under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the
Jordan, and let us collect logs there, one for each of us, and build a
place there for us to live.’ He answered, ‘Do so.’ Then one of
them said, ‘Please come with your servants.’ And he answered, ‘I
will.’ So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut
down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axehead fell into the
water; he cried out, ‘Alas, master! It was borrowed.’ Then the man
of God said, ‘Where did it fall?’ When he showed him the place, he
cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. He
said, ‘Pick it up.’ So he reached out his hand and took it.
 Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel
with his officers. He said, ‘At such and such a place shall be my
camp.’ But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, ‘Take
care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down
there.’ The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man
of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place* so that
it was on the alert.

 The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this;
he called his officers and said to them, ‘Now tell me who among us
sides with the king of Israel?’ Then one of his officers said, ‘No
one, my lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the
king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.’ He
said, ‘Go and find where he is; I will send and seize him.’ He was
told, ‘He is in Dothan.’ So he sent horses and chariots there and
a great army; they came by night, and surrounded the city.

 When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and
went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city.
His servant said, ‘Alas, master! What shall we do?’ He replied,
‘Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with
them.’ Then Elisha prayed: ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he
may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw;
the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around
Elisha. When the Arameans* came down against him, Elisha prayed to the
Lord, and said, ‘Strike this people, please, with blindness.’ So
he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. Elisha said to
them, ‘This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and
I will bring you to the man whom you seek.’ And he led them to

 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, ‘O Lord, open the
eyes of these men so that they may see.’ The Lord opened their eyes,
and they saw that they were inside Samaria. When the king of Israel
saw them he said to Elisha, ‘Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill
them?’ He answered, ‘No! Did you capture with your sword and your
bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so
that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master.’ So he
prepared for them a great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent
them on their way, and they went to their master. And the Arameans no
longer came raiding into the land of Israel.
1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral
persons— not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy
and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the
world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who
bears the name of brother or sister* who is sexually immoral or
greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even
eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging those outside?
Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? God will judge
those outside. ‘Drive out the wicked person from among you.’ 

When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take
it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the
saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if
the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial
cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels—to say nothing of
ordinary matters? If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as
judges those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your
shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide
between one believer* and another, but a believer* goes to court
against a believer*—and before unbelievers at that?

 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a
defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be
defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—and believers* at
Matthew 5:38-48
‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if
anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if
anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;
and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give
to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to
borrow from you.
 ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour
and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray
for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your
Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the
good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if
you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the
tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and
sisters,* what more are you doing than others? Do not even the
Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father
is perfect.
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.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 81, 82

Psalm 81

Sing aloud to God our strength;
   shout for joy to the God of Jacob. 
Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
   the sweet lyre with the harp. 
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
   at the full moon, on our festal day. 
For it is a statute for Israel,
   an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 
He made it a decree in Joseph,
   when he went out over* the land of Egypt. 

I hear a voice I had not known: 
‘I relieved your* shoulder of the burden;
   your* hands were freed from the basket. 
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
   I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
   I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
   O Israel, if you would but listen to me! 
There shall be no strange god among you;
   you shall not bow down to a foreign god. 
I am the Lord your God,
   who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
   Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. 

‘But my people did not listen to my voice;
   Israel would not submit to me. 
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
   to follow their own counsels. 
O that my people would listen to me,
   that Israel would walk in my ways! 
Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
   and turn my hand against their foes. 
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
   and their doom would last for ever. 
I would feed you* with the finest of the wheat,
   and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.’

Psalm 82

God has taken his place in the divine council;
   in the midst of the gods he holds judgement: 
‘How long will you judge unjustly
   and show partiality to the wicked?
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
   maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. 
Rescue the weak and the needy;
   deliver them from the hand of the wicked.’ 

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
   they walk around in darkness;
   all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 

I say, ‘You are gods,
   children of the Most High, all of you; 
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
   and fall like any prince.’* 

Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
   for all the nations belong to you!

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