Readings for Tuesday, September 28, 2021

“Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11

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Morning

Psalm 12

1 Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind.

2 They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts,

4 those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail; our lips are our own—who is our master?”

5 “Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up,” says the Lord ; “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”

6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

7 You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever.

8 On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among humankind.

Psalm 146

1 Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord, O my soul!

2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.

4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.

5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,

6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;

7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;

8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord !

Midday

2 Chronicles 29:1-3, 30:1-27

29 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, just as his ancestor David had done. 3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.

30:1 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover to the Lord the God of Israel.

2 For the king and his officials and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the passover in the second month 3 (for they could not keep it at its proper time because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem).

4 The plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. 5 So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the passover to the Lord the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; for they had not kept it in great numbers as prescribed. 6 So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your ancestors and your kindred, who were faithless to the Lord God of their ancestors, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. 8 Do not now be stiff-necked as your ancestors were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger may turn away from you. 9 For as you return to the Lord, your kindred and your children will find compassion with their captors, and return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”

10 So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. 11 Only a few from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials commanded by the word of the Lord.

13 Many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the festival of unleavened bread in the second month, a very large assembly. 14 They set to work and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for offering incense they took away and threw into the Wadi Kidron. 15 They slaughtered the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and they sanctified themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the Lord.

16 They took their accustomed posts according to the law of Moses the man of God; the priests dashed the blood that they received from the hands of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites had to slaughter the passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to make it holy to the Lord.

18 For a multitude of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the passover otherwise than as prescribed. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “The good Lord pardon all 19 who set their hearts to seek God, the Lord the God of their ancestors, even though not in accordance with the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.” 20 The Lord heard Hezekiah, and healed the people.

21 The people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the festival of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, accompanied by loud instruments for the Lord. 22 Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of the Lord. So the people ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing offerings of well-being and giving thanks to the Lord the God of their ancestors.

23 Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the festival for another seven days; so they kept it for another seven days with gladness. 24 For King Hezekiah of Judah gave the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep for offerings, and the officials gave the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. The priests sanctified themselves in great numbers.

25 The whole assembly of Judah, the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of Israel, and the resident aliens who came out of the land of Israel, and the resident aliens who lived in Judah, rejoiced. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon son of King David of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 Then the priests and the Levites stood up and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; their prayer came to his holy dwelling in heaven.

1 Corinthians 7:32-40

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband.

35 I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his fiancee, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. 37 But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancee, he will do well. 38 So then, he who marries his fiancee does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my judgment she is more blessed if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Matthew 7:1-12

7 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

7 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Evening

Psalm 36

1 Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; there is no fear of God before their eyes.

2 For they flatter themselves in their own eyes that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.

3 The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit; they have ceased to act wisely and do good.

4 They plot mischief while on their beds; they are set on a way that is not good; they do not reject evil.

5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

12 There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Psalm 7

1 O Lord my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,

2 or like a lion they will tear me apart; they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands,

4 if I have repaid my ally with harm or plundered my foe without cause,

5 then let the enemy pursue and overtake me, trample my life to the ground, and lay my soul in the dust.

6 Rise up, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.

7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you, and over it take your seat on high.

8 The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.

9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous, you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God.

10 God is my shield, who saves the upright in heart.

11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day.

12 If one does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow;

13 he has prepared his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.

14 See how they conceive evil, and are pregnant with mischief, and bring forth lies.

15 They make a pit, digging it out, and fall into the hole that they have made.

16 Their mischief returns upon their own heads, and on their own heads their violence descends.

17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.


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.

Readings for Monday, August 30, 2021

“For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” — James 2:13

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Morning

Psalm 62

1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

3 How long will you assail a person, will you batter your victim, all of you, as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?

4 Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence. They take pleasure in falsehood; they bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.

5 For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

9 Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

10 Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

12 and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.

Psalm 145

1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.

2 Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.

5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

6 The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness.

7 They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9 The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you.

11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power,

12 to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.

14 The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.

16 You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him; he also hears their cry, and saves them.

20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

Midday

2 Chronicles 6:32-7:7

32 “Likewise when foreigners, who are not of your people Israel, come from a distant land because of your great name, and your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house, 33 may you hear from heaven your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigners ask of you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.

34 “If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.

36 “If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near; 37 then if they come to their senses in the land to which they have been taken captive, and repent, and plead with you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, and have done wrong; we have acted wickedly’; 38 if they repent with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity, to which they were taken captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their ancestors, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 39 then hear from heaven your dwelling-place their prayer and their pleas, maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you.

40 Now, O my God, let your eyes be open and your ears attentive to prayer from this place. 41 “Now rise up, O Lord God, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let your faithful rejoice in your goodness. 42 O Lord God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember your steadfast love for your servant David.”

7:1 When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord . 5 King Solomon offered as a sacrifice twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the Lord that King David had made for giving thanks to the Lord —for his steadfast love endures forever—whenever David offered praises by their ministry. Opposite them the priests sounded trumpets; and all Israel stood.

7 Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was in front of the house of the Lord ; for there he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the offerings of well-being because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat parts.

James 2:1-13

2 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

8 You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

11 For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Mark 14:53-65

53 They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. 54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none.

56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 But even on this point their testimony did not agree.

60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 61 But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’”

63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death. 65 Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him.

Evening

Psalm 73

1 Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.

3 For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek.

5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not plagued like other people.

6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them like a garment.

7 Their eyes swell out with fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.

8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.

9 They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues range over the earth.

10 Therefore the people turn and praise them, and find no fault in them.

11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

12 Such are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.

13 All in vain I have kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.

14 For all day long I have been plagued, and am punished every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,” I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.

16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,

17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.

18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.

19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!

20 They are like a dream when one awakes; on awaking you despise their phantoms.

21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,

22 I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 Indeed, those who are far from you will perish; you put an end to those who are false to you.

28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.

Psalm 9

1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

2 I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3 When my enemies turned back, they stumbled and perished before you.

4 For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.

5 You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.

6 The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins; their cities you have rooted out; the very memory of them has perished.

7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever, he has established his throne for judgment.

8 He judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with equity.

9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion. Declare his deeds among the peoples.

12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13 Be gracious to me, O Lord . See what I suffer from those who hate me; you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,

14 so that I may recount all your praises, and, in the gates of daughter Zion, rejoice in your deliverance.

15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.

16 The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion.

17 The wicked shall depart to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

19 Rise up, O Lord ! Do not let mortals prevail; let the nations be judged before you.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord ; let the nations know that they are only human.


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.

Readings for Saturday, December 26, 2020

“Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.” — Psalm 119:1-3

Download Today’s MP3

Morning

Midday

Evening


The Daily Lectionary podcast is a ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Plattsburgh, NY, read by Pastor Timothy J. Luoma.

You can also find all of today’s readings at PCUSA.org.