Readings for Wednesday, October 20, 2021

“But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” — Matthew 12:7

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Morning

Psalm 65

1 Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed,

2 O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come.

3 When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions.

4 Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.

5 By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.

6 By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with might.

7 You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.

8 Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

9 You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.

10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.

11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,

13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

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

Lamentations 2:8-15

8 The Lord determined to lay in ruins the wall of daughter Zion; he stretched the line; he did not withhold his hand from destroying; he caused rampart and wall to lament; they languish together. 9 Her gates have sunk into the ground; he has ruined and broken her bars; her king and princes are among the nations; guidance is no more, and her prophets obtain no vision from the Lord.

10 The elders of daughter Zion sit on the ground in silence; they have thrown dust on their heads and put on sackcloth; the young girls of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground. 11 My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured out on the ground because of the destruction of my people, because infants and babes faint in the streets of the city. 12 They cry to their mothers, “Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like the wounded in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out on their mothers’ bosom.

13 What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter Zion? For vast as the sea is your ruin; who can heal you? 14 Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen oracles for you that are false and misleading.

15 All who pass along the way clap their hands at you; they hiss and wag their heads at daughter Jerusalem; “Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of all the earth?”

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

54 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Matthew 12:1-14

12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.”

3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.

7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.” 9 He left that place and entered their synagogue; 10 a man was there with a withered hand, and they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?” so that they might accuse him.

11 He said to them, “Suppose one of you has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath; will you not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a human being than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored, as sound as the other.

14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

Evening

Psalm 125

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore.

3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous might not stretch out their hands to do wrong.

4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts.

5 But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers. Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 91

1 You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

2 will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”

3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;

4 he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

5 You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day,

6 or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

8 You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,

10 no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

12 On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

14 Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.

15 When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.

16 With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.


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.