Sunday 3 June 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sun Jun 3 04:00:00 EDT 2007

Sunday 3 June 2007 

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Ecclesiasticus 43:1-33

The pride of the higher realms is the clear vault of the sky,
   as glorious to behold as the sight of the heavens. 
The sun, when it appears, proclaims as it rises
   what a marvellous instrument it is, the work of the Most High. 
At noon it parches the land,
   and who can withstand its burning heat? 
A man tending a furnace works in burning heat,
   but three times as hot is the sun scorching the mountains;
it breathes out fiery vapours,
   and its bright rays blind the eyes. 
Great is the Lord who made it;
   at his orders it hurries on its course. 

It is the moon that marks the changing seasons,
   governing the times, their everlasting sign. 
>From the moon comes the sign for festal days,
   a light that wanes when it completes its course. 
The new moon, as its name suggests, renews itself;
   how marvellous it is in this change,
a beacon to the hosts on high,
   shining in the vault of the heavens! 

The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven,
   a glittering array in the heights of the Lord. 
On the orders of the Holy One they stand in their appointed places;
   they never relax in their watches. 
Look at the rainbow, and praise him who made it;
   it is exceedingly beautiful in its brightness. 
It encircles the sky with its glorious arc;
   the hands of the Most High have stretched it out. 

By his command he sends the driving snow
   and speeds the lightnings of his judgement. 
Therefore the storehouses are opened,
   and the clouds fly out like birds. 
In his majesty he gives the clouds their strength,
   and the hailstones are broken in pieces.
The voice of his thunder rebukes the earth; 
   when he appears, the mountains shake.
At his will the south wind blows;
   so do the storm from the north and the whirlwind.
He scatters the snow like birds flying down,
   and its descent is like locusts alighting. 
The eye is dazzled by the beauty of its whiteness,
   and the mind is amazed as it falls. 
He pours frost over the earth like salt,
   and icicles form like pointed thorns. 
The cold north wind blows,
   and ice freezes on the water;
it settles on every pool of water,
   and the water puts it on like a breastplate. 
He consumes the mountains and burns up the wilderness,
   and withers the tender grass like fire. 
A mist quickly heals all things;
   the falling dew gives refreshment from the heat. 

By his plan he stilled the deep
   and planted islands in it. 
Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers,
   and we marvel at what we hear. 
In it are strange and marvellous creatures,
   all kinds of living things, and huge sea-monsters. 
Because of him each of his messengers succeeds,
   and by his word all things hold together. 

We could say more but could never say enough;
   let the final word be: 'He is the all.' 
Where can we find the strength to praise him?
   For he is greater than all his works. 
Awesome is the Lord and very great,
   and marvellous is his power. 
Glorify the Lord and exalt him as much as you can,
   for he surpasses even that.
When you exalt him, summon all your strength,
   and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise him enough. 
Who has seen him and can describe him?
   Or who can extol him as he is? 
Many things greater than these lie hidden,
   for I have seen but few of his works. 
For the Lord has made all things,
   and to the godly he has given wisdom.
Ephesians 4:1-16

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of
the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and
gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making
every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one
hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and
Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's
gift. Therefore it is said,
'When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
   he gave gifts to his people.' 
(When it says, 'He ascended', what does it mean but that he had also
descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the
same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill
all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some
prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the
saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of
the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of
Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about
by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in
deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in
every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole
body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is
equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth
in building itself up in love.
John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being
through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has
come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all
people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not
overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness
to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He
himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true
light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the
world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people
did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his
name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of
blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his
glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.
(John testified to him and cried out, 'This was he of whom I said, "He
who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me." ') From
his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was
given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one
has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's
heart, who has made him known.
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 146, 147

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul! 
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God all my life long. 

Do not put your trust in princes,
   in mortals, in whom there is no help. 
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
   on that very day their plans perish. 

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the Lord their God, 
who made heaven and earth,
   the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever; 
   who executes justice for the oppressed;
   who gives food to the hungry. 

The Lord sets the prisoners free; 
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
   the Lord loves the righteous. 
The Lord watches over the strangers;
   he upholds the orphan and the widow,
   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 

The Lord will reign for ever,
   your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
   for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
   he gathers the outcasts of Israel. 
He heals the broken-hearted,
   and binds up their wounds. 
He determines the number of the stars;
   he gives to all of them their names. 
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
   his understanding is beyond measure. 
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
   he casts the wicked to the ground. 

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
   make melody to our God on the lyre. 
He covers the heavens with clouds,
   prepares rain for the earth,
   makes grass grow on the hills. 
He gives to the animals their food,
   and to the young ravens when they cry. 
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
   nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; 
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
   in those who hope in his steadfast love. 

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
   Praise your God, O Zion! 
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
   he blesses your children within you. 
He grants peace within your borders;
   he fills you with the finest of wheat. 
He sends out his command to the earth;
   his word runs swiftly. 
He gives snow like wool;
   he scatters frost like ashes. 
He hurls down hail like crumbs-
   who can stand before his cold? 
He sends out his word, and melts them;
   he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow. 
He declares his word to Jacob,
   his statutes and ordinances to Israel. 
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
   they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!
Evening Psalms: Psalm 111, 112, 113

Psalm 111

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
   in the company of the upright, in the congregation. 
Great are the works of the Lord,
   studied by all who delight in them. 
Full of honour and majesty is his work,
   and his righteousness endures for ever. 
He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
   the Lord is gracious and merciful. 
He provides food for those who fear him;
   he is ever mindful of his covenant. 
He has shown his people the power of his works,
   in giving them the heritage of the nations. 
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
   all his precepts are trustworthy. 
They are established for ever and ever,
   to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. 
He sent redemption to his people;
   he has commanded his covenant for ever.
   Holy and awesome is his name. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
   all those who practise it have a good understanding.
   His praise endures for ever.

Psalm 112

Praise the Lord!
   Happy are those who fear the Lord,
   who greatly delight in his commandments. 
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
   the generation of the upright will be blessed. 
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
   and their righteousness endures for ever. 
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
   they are gracious, merciful, and righteous. 
It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
   who conduct their affairs with justice. 
For the righteous will never be moved;
   they will be remembered for ever. 
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
   their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. 
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
   in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. 
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
   their righteousness endures for ever;
   their horn is exalted in honour. 
The wicked see it and are angry;
   they gnash their teeth and melt away;
   the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Psalm 113

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
   praise the name of the Lord. 

Blessed be the name of the Lord
   from this time on and for evermore. 
>From the rising of the sun to its setting
   the name of the Lord is to be praised. 
The Lord is high above all nations,
   and his glory above the heavens. 

Who is like the Lord our God,
   who is seated on high, 
who looks far down
   on the heavens and the earth? 
He raises the poor from the dust,
   and lifts the needy from the ash heap, 
to make them sit with princes,
   with the princes of his people. 
He gives the barren woman a home,
   making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

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