Thursday 7 June 2007 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Thu Jun 7 04:00:00 EDT 2007

Thursday 7 June 2007 

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Deuteronomy 16:18-20,17:14-20

ou shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all
your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall render
just decisions for the people. You must not distort justice; you must
not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds
the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the
right. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may
live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you,
and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, 'I will
set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me', you may
indeed set over you a king whom the Lord your God will choose. One of
your own community you may set as king over you; you are not permitted
to put a foreigner over you, who is not of your own community. Even so,
he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to
Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the Lord has said to you,
'You must never return that way again.' And he must not acquire many
wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and
gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself. When he has
taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of this law
written for him in the presence of the levitical priests. It shall
remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so
that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, diligently observing all
the words of this law and these statutes, neither exalting himself
above other members of the community nor turning aside from the
commandment, either to the right or to the left, so that he and his
descendants may reign long over his kingdom in Israel.
2 Corinthians 8:1-16

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that
has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe
ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have
overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can
testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even
beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing
in this ministry to the saints- and this, not merely as we expected;
they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us,
so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning,
so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as
you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost
eagerness, and in our love for you-so we want you to excel also in this
generous undertaking.

I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your
love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of
our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he
became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this
matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last
year not only to do something but even to desire to do something- now
finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it
according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is
acceptable according to what one has-not according to what one does not
have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure
on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present
abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need,
in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written,
'The one who had much did not have too much,
   and the one who had little did not have too little.'

But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness
for you that I myself have.
Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not
to lose heart. He said, 'In a certain city there was a judge who
neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a
widow who kept coming to him and saying, "Grant me justice against my
opponent." For a while he refused; but later he said to himself,
"Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because
this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she
may not wear me out by continually coming." ' And the Lord said,
'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice
to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in
helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And
yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?'
Morning Psalms:  Psalm 50

Psalm 50

The mighty one, God the Lord,
   speaks and summons the earth
   from the rising of the sun to its setting. 
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
   God shines forth. 

Our God comes and does not keep silence,
   before him is a devouring fire,
   and a mighty tempest all around him. 
He calls to the heavens above
   and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 
'Gather to me my faithful ones,
   who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!' 
The heavens declare his righteousness,
   for God himself is judge.

'Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
   O Israel, I will testify against you.
   I am God, your God. 
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
   your burnt-offerings are continually before me. 
I will not accept a bull from your house,
   or goats from your folds. 
For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
   the cattle on a thousand hills. 
I know all the birds of the air,
   and all that moves in the field is mine. 

'If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
   for the world and all that is in it is mine. 
Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
   or drink the blood of goats? 
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
   and pay your vows to the Most High. 
Call on me in the day of trouble;
   I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.' 

But to the wicked God says:
   'What right have you to recite my statutes,
   or take my covenant on your lips? 
For you hate discipline,
   and you cast my words behind you. 
You make friends with a thief when you see one,
   and you keep company with adulterers. 

'You give your mouth free rein for evil,
   and your tongue frames deceit. 
You sit and speak against your kin;
   you slander your own mother's child. 
These things you have done and I have been silent;
   you thought that I was one just like yourself.
But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you. 

'Mark this, then, you who forget God,
   or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver. 
Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honour me;
   to those who go the right way
   I will show the salvation of God.'
Evening Psalms: Psalm 8, 84

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

You have set your glory above the heavens. 
   Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
   to silence the enemy and the avenger. 

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
   the moon and the stars that you have established; 
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   mortals that you care for them? 

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
   and crowned them with glory and honour. 
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
   you have put all things under their feet, 
all sheep and oxen,
   and also the beasts of the field, 
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
   whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 

O Lord, our Sovereign,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
   O Lord of hosts! 
My soul longs, indeed it faints
   for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
   to the living God. 

Even the sparrow finds a home,
   and the swallow a nest for herself,
   where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
   my King and my God. 
Happy are those who live in your house,
   ever singing your praise.

Happy are those whose strength is in you,
   in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 
As they go through the valley of Baca
   they make it a place of springs;
   the early rain also covers it with pools. 
They go from strength to strength;
   the God of gods will be seen in Zion. 

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
   give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God;
   look on the face of your anointed. 

For a day in your courts is better
   than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
   than live in the tents of wickedness. 
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
   he bestows favour and honour.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
   from those who walk uprightly. 
O Lord of hosts,
   happy is everyone who trusts in you.

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