Readings for Saturday, March 19, 2022

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” — Psalm 31:24

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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

Genesis 43:16-34

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money, replaced in our sacks the first time, that we have been brought in, so that he may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make slaves of us and take our donkeys.” 19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the entrance to the house. 20 They said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food; 21 and when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each one’s money in the top of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it back with us. 22 Moreover we have brought down with us additional money to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”

23 He replied, “Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 When the steward had brought the men into Joseph’s house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they had heard that they would dine there.

26 When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had carried into the house, and bowed to the ground before him. 27 He inquired about their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and did obeisance. 29 Then he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” 30 With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room and wept there.

31 Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, “Serve the meal.” 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 When they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement. 34 Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.

1 Corinthians 7:10-24

10 To the married I give this command—not I but the Lord—that the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does separate, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—that if any believer has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. It is to peace that God has called you. 16 Wife, for all you know, you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife.

17 However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeying the commandments of God is everything. 20 Let each of you remain in the condition in which you were called. 21 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever. 22 For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed person belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. 24 In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.

Mark 5:1-20

5 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3 He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; 4 for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; 7 and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.

11 Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; 12 and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.

14 The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.

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.