Readings for Thursday, October 21, 2021

“20 He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory.” — Matthew 12:20

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Morning

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.

Psalm 147:12-20

12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!

13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.

14 He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.

15 He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.

16 He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes.

17 He hurls down hail like crumbs— who can stand before his cold?

18 He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.

19 He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel.

20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord !

Midday

Ezra 1:1-11

1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared: 2 “Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of those among you who are of his people—may their God be with them! —are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem; 4 and let all survivors, in whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.”

5 The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred—got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered. 7 King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. 8 King Cyrus of Persia had them released into the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 And this was the inventory: gold basins, thirty; silver basins, one thousand; knives, twenty-nine; 10 gold bowls, thirty; other silver bowls, four hundred ten; other vessels, one thousand; 11 the total of the gold and silver vessels was five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar brought up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.

1 Corinthians 16:1-9

16 Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

5 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia—for I intend to pass through Macedonia— 6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go. 7 I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Matthew 12:15-21

15 When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, 16 and he ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. 20 He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. 21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Evening

Psalm 81

1 Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

2 Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.

3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our festal day.

4 For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5 He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:

6 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.

7 In distress you called, and I rescued you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah.

8 Hear, O my people, while I admonish you; O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

9 There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

10 I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.

12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

13 O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!

14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes.

15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their doom would last forever.

16 I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Psalm 116

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.

2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord : “O Lord, I pray, save my life!”

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

6 The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

9 I walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

10 I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”;

11 I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,

14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.

16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord .

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord !


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.