Readings for Saturday, March 20, 2021

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.” — Psalm 43:5

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Morning

Psalm 43

1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me!

2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you cast me off? Why must I walk about mournfully because of the oppression of the enemy?

3 O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.

4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Psalm 149

1 Praise the Lord ! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.

2 Let Israel be glad in its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.

3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.

4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory.

5 Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches.

6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,

7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,

8 to bind their kings with fetters and their nobles with chains of iron,

9 to execute on them the judgment decreed. This is glory for all his faithful ones. Praise the Lord !

Midday

Jeremiah 23:9-15

9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is crushed within me, all my bones shake; I have become like a drunkard, like one overcome by wine, because of the Lord and because of his holy words. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course has been evil, and their might is not right. 11 Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their wickedness, says the Lord. 12 Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall; for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, says the Lord.

13 In the prophets of Samaria I saw a disgusting thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a more shocking thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: “I am going to make them eat wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”

Romans 9:1-18

9 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; 5 to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

6 It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, 7 and not all of Abraham’s children are his true descendants; but “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. 9 For this is what the promise said, “About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son.”

10 Nor is that all; something similar happened to Rebecca when she had conceived children by one husband, our ancestor Isaac. 11 Even before they had been born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose of election might continue, 12 not by works but by his call) she was told, “The elder shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.”

14 What then are we to say? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. 17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.

John 6:60-71

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him.

65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” 66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

Evening

Psalm 31

1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.

2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.

3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,

4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

6 You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord .

7 I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have taken heed of my adversities,

8 and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.

10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.

11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.

12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.

13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, O Lord ; I say, “You are my God.”

15 My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.

16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

17 Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord, for I call on you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.

18 Let the lying lips be stilled that speak insolently against the righteous with pride and contempt.

19 O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone!

20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from human plots; you hold them safe under your shelter from contentious tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was beset as a city under siege.

22 I had said in my alarm, “I am driven far from your sight.” But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help.

23 Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.

24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord .

Psalm 143

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord ; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness; answer me in your righteousness.

2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.

3 For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead.

4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.

5 I remember the days of old, I think about all your deeds, I meditate on the works of your hands.

6 I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

7 Answer me quickly, O Lord ; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me, or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.

8 Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Save me, O Lord, from my enemies; I have fled to you for refuge.

10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life. In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.

12 In your steadfast love cut off my enemies, and destroy all my adversaries, for I am your servant.


You can also find all of today’s readings at PCUSA.org.

The Daily Lectionary podcast is a ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Plattsburgh, NY, read by Pastor Timothy J. Luoma.