Readings for Wednesday, September 1, 2021

“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! ” — James 3:5

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Morning

Psalm 96

1 O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.

5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

6 Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.

9 Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

10 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.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12 let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

13 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.

Psalm 147:1-11

Psalm 147

1 Praise the Lord ! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

3 He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.

4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

6 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.

7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre.

8 He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills.

9 He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.

10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;

11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Midday

1 Kings 9:24-10:13

24 But Pharaoh’s daughter went up from the city of David to her own house that Solomon had built for her; then he built the Millo. 25 Three times a year Solomon used to offer up burnt offerings and sacrifices of well-being on the altar that he built for the Lord, offering incense before the Lord . So he completed the house. 26 King Solomon built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27 Hiram sent his servants with the fleet, sailors who were familiar with the sea, together with the servants of Solomon. 28 They went to Ophir, and imported from there four hundred twenty talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.

10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, (fame due to the name of the Lord ), she came to test him with hard questions. 2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her.

4 When the queen of Sheba had observed all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5 the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his valets, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her. 6 So she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom, 7 but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. Not even half had been told me; your wisdom and prosperity far surpass the report that I had heard.

8 Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom! 9 Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king to execute justice and righteousness.” 10 Then she gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones; never again did spices come in such quantity as that which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

11 Moreover, the fleet of Hiram, which carried gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a great quantity of almug wood and precious stones. 12 From the almug wood the king made supports for the house of the Lord, and for the king’s house, lyres also and harps for the singers; no such almug wood has come or been seen to this day. 13 Meanwhile King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba every desire that she expressed, as well as what he gave her out of Solomon’s royal bounty. Then she returned to her own land, with her servants.

James 3:1-12

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. 4 Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8 but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Mark 15:1-11

15 As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” 3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

6 Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. 7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. 8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. 9 Then he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.

Evening

Psalm 132

1 O Lord, remember in David’s favor all the hardships he endured;

2 how he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,

3 “I will not enter my house or get into my bed;

4 I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,

5 until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

6 We heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.

7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.”

8 Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.

9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your faithful shout for joy.

10 For your servant David’s sake do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

11 The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.

12 If your sons keep my covenant and my decrees that I shall teach them, their sons also, forevermore, shall sit on your throne.”

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation:

14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will reside, for I have desired it.

15 I will abundantly bless its provisions; I will satisfy its poor with bread.

16 Its priests I will clothe with salvation, and its faithful will shout for joy.

17 There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.

18 His enemies I will clothe with disgrace, but on him, his crown will gleam.”

Psalm 134

1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord !

2 Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the Lord .

3 May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.


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.