Readings for Friday, December 24, 2021

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.” — Isaiah 60:1-2

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Morning

Psalm 102

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord ; let my cry come to you.

2 Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call.

3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.

4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass; I am too wasted to eat my bread.

5 Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my skin.

6 I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.

7 I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.

8 All day long my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse.

9 For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink,

10 because of your indignation and anger; for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.

11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.

12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations.

13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favor it; the appointed time has come.

14 For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust.

15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory.

16 For the Lord will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory.

17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord :

19 that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,

20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;

21 so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem,

22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

23 He has broken my strength in midcourse; he has shortened my days.

24 “O my God,” I say, “do not take me away at the mid-point of my life, you whose years endure throughout all generations.”

25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

26 They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away;

27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.

28 The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence.

Psalm 148

1 Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!

2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!

3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!

4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.

6 He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,

8 fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!

10 Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!

12 Young men and women alike, old and young together!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.

14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the Lord !

Midday

Isaiah 60:1-6

60 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4 Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Galatians 3:23-4:7

23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

4 My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; 2 but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3 So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Matthew 1:18-25

18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

Evening

Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

2 Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord ! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.

8 It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Psalm 16

1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.

4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.

5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

8 I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.

10 For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.

11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


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.