Readings for Sunday, August 22, 2021

“…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12

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Morning

Psalm 67

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,

2 that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.

3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.

5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.

7 May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.

Psalm 150

1 Praise the Lord ! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!

2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord !

Midday

2 Samuel 24:1-2, 10-25

24 Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, count the people of Israel and Judah.” 2 So the king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, who were with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beer-sheba, and take a census of the people, so that I may know how many there are.”

10 But afterward, David was stricken to the heart because he had numbered the people. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, I pray you, take away the guilt of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.” 11 When David rose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and say to David: Thus says the Lord : Three things I offer you; choose one of them, and I will do it to you.”

13 So Gad came to David and told him; he asked him, “Shall three years of famine come to you on your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to the one who sent me.”

14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into human hands.” 15 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from that morning until the appointed time; and seventy thousand of the people died, from Dan to Beer-sheba.

16 But when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented concerning the evil, and said to the angel who was bringing destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 When David saw the angel who was destroying the people, he said to the Lord, “I alone have sinned, and I alone have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let your hand, I pray, be against me and against my father’s house.”

18 That day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up and erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 Following Gad’s instructions, David went up, as the Lord had commanded. 20 When Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming toward him; and Araunah went out and prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to the Lord, so that the plague may be averted from the people.”

22 Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him; here are the oxen for the burnt offering, and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God respond favorably to you.”

24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy them from you for a price; I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being. So the Lord answered his supplication for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.

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.

John 8:12-20

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.

15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.”

19 Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

Evening

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord ; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Psalm 93

1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved;

2 your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.

4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord !

5 Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O Lord, 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.

Readings for Saturday, August 21, 2021

“…Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray” — Mark 13:5-6

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Morning

Psalm 56

1 Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me; all day long foes oppress me;

2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many fight against me. O Most High,

3 when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me?

5 All day long they seek to injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil.

6 They stir up strife, they lurk, they watch my steps. As they hoped to have my life,

7 so repay them for their crime; in wrath cast down the peoples, O God!

8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record?

9 Then my enemies will retreat in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise,

11 in God I trust; I am not afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me?

12 My vows to you I must perform, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.

13 For you have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of life.

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

2 Samuel 23:1-7, 13-17

23 Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel: 2 The spirit of the Lord speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. 3 The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, 4 is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.

5 Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? 6 But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away; for they cannot be picked up with the hand; 7 to touch them one uses an iron bar or the shaft of a spear. And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.

13 Towards the beginning of harvest three of the thirty chiefs went down to join David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15 David said longingly, “O that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!”

16 Then the three warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the Lord, 17 for he said, “The Lord forbid that I should do this. Can I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. The three warriors did these things.

Acts 25:13-27

13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to welcome Festus. 14 Since they were staying there several days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man here who was left in prison by Felix. 15 When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him and asked for a sentence against him. 16 I told them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met the accusers face to face and had been given an opportunity to make a defense against the charge.

17 So when they met here, I lost no time, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18 When the accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the crimes that I was expecting. 19 Instead they had certain points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Since I was at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of his Imperial Majesty, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to the emperor.”

22 Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you will hear him.” 23 So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then Festus gave the order and Paul was brought in.

24 And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish community petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that he had done nothing deserving death; and when he appealed to his Imperial Majesty, I decided to send him. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to our sovereign about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write— 27 for it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner without indicating the charges against him.”

Mark 13:1-13

13 As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” 2 Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birthpangs.

9 “As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. 10 And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Evening

Psalm 118

1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

4 Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord ; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.

6 With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?

7 The Lord is on my side to help me; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in mortals.

9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

12 They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like a fire of thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;

16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord .

18 The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord .

20 This is the gate of the Lord ; the righteous shall enter through it.

21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord ! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord . We bless you from the house of the Lord .

27 The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.

29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 111

1 Praise the Lord ! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

2 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.

3 Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.

4 He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.

5 He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.

6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.

7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

8 They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.


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 Friday, August 20, 2021

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! ” — Mark 12:38-39

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Morning

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 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

2 Samuel 19:24-43

24 Mephibosheth grandson of Saul came down to meet the king; he had not taken care of his feet, or trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes, from the day the king left until the day he came back in safety. 25 When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said to him, ‘Saddle a donkey for me, so that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame.

27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28 For all my father’s house were doomed to death before my lord the king; but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to appeal to the king?” 29 The king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” 30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him take it all, since my lord the king has arrived home safely.”

31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; he went on with the king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man.

33 The king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will provide for you in Jerusalem at my side.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years have I still to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 Today I am eighty years old; can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king recompense me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant return, so that I may die in my own town, near the graves of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do for him whatever seems good to you.”

38 The king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you; and all that you desire of me I will do for you.” 39 Then all the people crossed over the Jordan, and the king crossed over; the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home.

40 The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; all the people of Judah, and also half the people of Israel, brought the king on his way. 41 Then all the people of Israel came to the king, and said to him, “Why have our kindred the people of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all David’s men with him?”

42 All the people of Judah answered the people of Israel, “Because the king is near of kin to us. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s expense? Or has he given us any gift?” 43 But the people of Israel answered the people of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and in David also we have more than you. Why then did you despise us? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the words of the people of Judah were fiercer than the words of the people of Israel.

Acts 24:24-25:12

24 Some days later when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak concerning faith in Christ Jesus. 25 And as he discussed justice, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present; when I have an opportunity, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul, and for that reason he used to send for him very often and converse with him. 27 After two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and since he wanted to grant the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.

25 Three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem 2 where the chief priests and the leaders of the Jews gave him a report against Paul. They appealed to him 3 and requested, as a favor to them against Paul, to have him transferred to Jerusalem. They were, in fact, planning an ambush to kill him along the way. 4 Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly.

5 “So,” he said, “let those of you who have the authority come down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them accuse him.” 6 After he had stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea; the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 When he arrived, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem surrounded him, bringing many serious charges against him, which they could not prove.

8 Paul said in his defense, “I have in no way committed an offense against the law of the Jews, or against the temple, or against the emperor.” 9 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and be tried there before me on these charges?”

10 Paul said, “I am appealing to the emperor’s tribunal; this is where I should be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you very well know. 11 Now if I am in the wrong and have committed something for which I deserve to die, I am not trying to escape death; but if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can turn me over to them. I appeal to the emperor.” 12 Then Festus, after he had conferred with his council, replied, “You have appealed to the emperor; to the emperor you will go.”

Mark 12:35-44

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight. 38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Evening

Psalm 32

1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

6 Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.

7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.

10 Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord .

11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Psalm 139

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.

3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.

5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,”

12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.

17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.

19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—

20 those who speak of you maliciously, and lift themselves up against you for evil!

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord ? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.

24 See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


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 Thursday, August 19, 2021

“Then the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other”; and “to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,” and “to love one’s neighbor as oneself,” —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’” — Mark 12:32-33

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Morning

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 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

2 Samuel 19:1-23

19 It was told Joab, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops; for the troops heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 The troops stole into the city that day as soldiers steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

5 Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your officers who have saved your life today, and the lives of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 for love of those who hate you and for hatred of those who love you. You have made it clear today that commanders and officers are nothing to you; for I perceive that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased.

7 So go out at once and speak kindly to your servants; for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night; and this will be worse for you than any disaster that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Then the king got up and took his seat in the gate. The troops were all told, “See, the king is sitting in the gate”; and all the troops came before the king. Meanwhile, all the Israelites had fled to their homes.

9 All the people were disputing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies, and saved us from the hand of the Philistines; and now he has fled out of the land because of Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”

11 King David sent this message to the priests Zadok and Abiathar, “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house? The talk of all Israel has come to the king. 12 You are my kin, you are my bone and my flesh; why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? So may God do to me, and more, if you are not the commander of my army from now on, in place of Joab.’”

14 Amasa swayed the hearts of all the people of Judah as one, and they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” 15 So the king came back to the Jordan; and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring him over the Jordan.

16 Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the people of Judah to meet King David; 17 with him were a thousand people from Benjamin. And Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan ahead of the king, 18 while the crossing was taking place, to bring over the king’s household, and to do his pleasure. Shimei son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, 19 and said to the king, “May my lord not hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem; may the king not bear it in mind. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, see, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.”

21 Abishai son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” 22 But David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should today become an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?” 23 The king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king gave him his oath.

Acts 24:1-23

24 Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney, a certain Tertullus, and they reported their case against Paul to the governor. 2 When Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: “Your Excellency, because of you we have long enjoyed peace, and reforms have been made for this people because of your foresight. 3 We welcome this in every way and everywhere with utmost gratitude. 4 But, to detain you no further, I beg you to hear us briefly with your customary graciousness.

5 We have, in fact, found this man a pestilent fellow, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, and so we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to learn from him concerning everything of which we accuse him.” 9 The Jews also joined in the charge by asserting that all this was true.

10 When the governor motioned to him to speak, Paul replied: “I cheerfully make my defense, knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation. 11 As you can find out, it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem. 12 They did not find me disputing with anyone in the temple or stirring up a crowd either in the synagogues or throughout the city. 13 Neither can they prove to you the charge that they now bring against me.

14 But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our ancestors, believing everything laid down according to the law or written in the prophets. 15 I have a hope in God—a hope that they themselves also accept—that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16 Therefore I do my best always to have a clear conscience toward God and all people.

17 Now after some years I came to bring alms to my nation and to offer sacrifices. 18 While I was doing this, they found me in the temple, completing the rite of purification, without any crowd or disturbance. 19 But there were some Jews from Asia—they ought to be here before you to make an accusation, if they have anything against me. 20 Or let these men here tell what crime they had found when I stood before the council, 21 unless it was this one sentence that I called out while standing before them, ‘It is about the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”

22 But Felix, who was rather well informed about the Way, adjourned the hearing with the comment, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 Then he ordered the centurion to keep him in custody, but to let him have some liberty and not to prevent any of his friends from taking care of his needs.

Mark 12:28-34

28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.

Evening

Psalm 80

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;

11 it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.

12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,

15 the stock that your right hand planted.

16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.

17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Psalm 27

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh— my adversaries and foes— they shall stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.

4 One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

6 Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord .

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!

8 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!

10 If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for 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.

Readings for Wednesday, August 18, 2021

“Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?” — Mark 12:24

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Morning

Psalm 15

1 O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?

2 Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart;

3 who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;

4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord ; who stand by their oath even to their hurt;

5 who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.

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

2 Samuel 18:19-33

19 Then Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run, and carry tidings to the king that the Lord has delivered him from the power of his enemies.” 20 Joab said to him, “You are not to carry tidings today; you may carry tidings another day, but today you shall not do so, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed before Joab, and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz son of Zadok said again to Joab, “Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, seeing that you have no reward for the tidings?”

23 “Come what may,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the Plain, and outran the Cushite. 24 Now David was sitting between the two gates. The sentinel went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he looked up, he saw a man running alone. 25 The sentinel shouted and told the king. The king said, “If he is alone, there are tidings in his mouth.” He kept coming, and drew near. 26 Then the sentinel saw another man running; and the sentinel called to the gatekeeper and said, “See, another man running alone!” The king said, “He also is bringing tidings.” 27 The sentinel said, “I think the running of the first one is like the running of Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” The king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good tidings.”

28 Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, “All is well!” He prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king.” 29 The king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I do not know what it was.” 30 The king said, “Turn aside, and stand here.” So he turned aside, and stood still.

31 Then the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, “Good tidings for my lord the king! For the Lord has vindicated you this day, delivering you from the power of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” The Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up to do you harm, be like that young man.” 33 The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Acts 23:23-35

23 Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Get ready to leave by nine o’clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor.”

25 He wrote a letter to this effect: 26 “Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, but when I had learned that he was a Roman citizen, I came with the guard and rescued him. 28 Since I wanted to know the charge for which they accused him, I had him brought to their council. 29 I found that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but was charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.”

31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him during the night to Antipatris. 32 The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he belonged to, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” Then he ordered that he be kept under guard in Herod’s headquarters.

Mark 12:13-27

13 Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? 15 Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.” 16 And they brought one. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ 20 There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; 21 and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. 23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”

24 Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”

Evening

Psalm 48

1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God. His holy mountain,

2 beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.

3 Within its citadels God has shown himself a sure defense.

4 Then the kings assembled, they came on together.

5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded; they were in panic, they took to flight;

6 trembling took hold of them there, pains as of a woman in labor,

7 as when an east wind shatters the ships of Tarshish.

8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God, which God establishes forever.

9 We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.

10 Your name, O God, like your praise, reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with victory.

11 Let Mount Zion be glad, let the towns of Judah rejoice because of your judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, go all around it, count its towers,

13 consider well its ramparts; go through its citadels, that you may tell the next generation

14 that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will be our guide forever.

Psalm 4

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.

2 How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?

3 But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

4 When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent.

5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord .

6 There are many who say, “O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord !”

7 You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.

8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.


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 Tuesday, August 17, 2021

“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes.” — Mark 11:10

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Morning

Psalm 123

1 To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy upon us.

3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.

4 Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.

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 Samuel 18:9-18

9 Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. His head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.

10 A man saw it, and told Joab, “I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11 Joab said to the man who told him, “What, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man said to Joab, “Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not raise my hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying: For my sake protect the young man Absalom! 13 On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.”

14 Joab said, “I will not waste time like this with you.” He took three spears in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom, while he was still alive in the oak. 15 And ten young men, Joab’s armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him, and killed him. 16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops came back from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained the troops. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones. Meanwhile all the Israelites fled to their homes.

18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself a pillar that is in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance”; he called the pillar by his own name. It is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.

Acts 23:12-24

12 In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.”

16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul.

17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.” 18 So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, “What is it that you have to report to me?”

20 He answered, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent.”

22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of this.” 23 Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Get ready to leave by nine o’clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor.”

Mark 11:27-12:12

27 Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?”

29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.”

31 They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” — they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet.

33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

12:1 Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5 Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed.

6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.

10 Have you not read this scripture: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?” 12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.

Evening

Psalm 30

1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me.

2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

3 O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.

5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”

7 By your favor, O Lord, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed.

8 To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication:

9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalm 86

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2 Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;

3 be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long.

4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication.

7 In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

9 All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.

15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.

17 Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.


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 16, 2021

“For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.” — Psalm 112:6

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Morning

Psalm 135

1 Praise the Lord ! Praise the name of the Lord ; give praise, O servants of the Lord,

2 you that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.

3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious.

4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.

5 For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is above all gods.

6 Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

8 He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both human beings and animals;

9 he sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.

10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings—

11 Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan—

12 and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.

13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.

14 For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see;

17 they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths.

18 Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.

19 O house of Israel, bless the Lord ! O house of Aaron, bless the Lord !

20 O house of Levi, bless the Lord ! You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord !

21 Blessed be the Lord from Zion, he who resides in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord !

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 Samuel 17:24-18:8

24 Then David came to Mahanaim, while Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. 25 Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army in the place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigal daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 The Israelites and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans and lentils, 29 honey and curds, sheep, and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat; for they said, “The troops are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

18 Then David mustered the men who were with him, and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2 And David divided the army into three groups: one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the men, “I myself will also go out with you.”

3 But the men said, “You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us; therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.” 4 The king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood at the side of the gate, while all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands.

5 The king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders concerning Absalom. 6 So the army went out into the field against Israel; and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. 7 The men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread over the face of all the country; and the forest claimed more victims that day than the sword.

Acts 22:30-23:11

30 Since he wanted to find out what Paul was being accused of by the Jews, the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and the entire council to meet. He brought Paul down and had him stand before them.

23 While Paul was looking intently at the council he said, “Brothers, up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God.” 2 Then the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. 3 At this Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those standing nearby said, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not realize, brothers, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a leader of your people.’”

6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” 7 When he said this, a dissension began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge all three.)

9 Then a great clamor arose, and certain scribes of the Pharisees’ group stood up and contended, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 When the dissension became violent, the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks. 11 That night the Lord stood near him and said, “Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.”

Mark 11:12-26

12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; 16 and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,

Evening

Psalm 97

1 The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!

2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

3 Fire goes before him, and consumes his adversaries on every side.

4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.

5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.

6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, those who make their boast in worthless idols; all gods bow down before him.

8 Zion hears and is glad, and the towns of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O God.

9 For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

10 The Lord loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

11 Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.

12 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 112

1 Praise the Lord ! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.

2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.

4 They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

5 It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice.

6 For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.

7 They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord .

8 Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

9 They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.

10 The wicked see it and are angry; they gnash their teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.


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 Sunday, August 15, 2021

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” — Psalm 19:7-9

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Morning

Psalm 19

1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;

4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;

8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;

9 the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 150

1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!

2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Midday

2 Samuel 17:1-23

17 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will set out and pursue David tonight. 2 I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged, and throw him into a panic; and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, 3 and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.”

4 The advice pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear too what he has to say.” 6 When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “This is what Ahithophel has said; shall we do as he advises? If not, you tell us.” 7 Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.”

8 Hushai continued, “You know that your father and his men are warriors, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the troops. 9 Even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits, or in some other place. And when some of our troops fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom.’ 10 Then even the valiant warrior, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear; for all Israel knows that your father is a warrior, and that those who are with him are valiant warriors.

11 But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, like the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we shall come upon him in whatever place he may be found, and we shall light on him as the dew falls on the ground; and he will not survive, nor will any of those with him. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” 14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring ruin on Absalom.

15 Then Hushai said to the priests Zadok and Abiathar, “Thus and so did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and so I have counseled. 16 Therefore send quickly and tell David, ‘Do not lodge tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over; otherwise the king and all the people who are with him will be swallowed up.’” 17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel; a servant girl used to go and tell them, and they would go and tell King David; for they could not risk being seen entering the city.

18 But a boy saw them, and told Absalom; so both of them went away quickly, and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard; and they went down into it. 19 The man’s wife took a covering, stretched it over the well’s mouth, and spread out grain on it; and nothing was known of it. 20 When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman said to them, “They have crossed over the brook of water.” And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David. They said to David, “Go and cross the water quickly; for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.”

22 So David and all the people who were with him set out and crossed the Jordan; by daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan. 23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order, and hanged himself; he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

Galatians 3:6-14

6 Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” 7 so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.” 9 For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” 12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

John 5:30-47

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. 33 You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

36 But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. 39 “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf.

40 Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41 I do not accept glory from human beings. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

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 113

1 Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord; praise the name of the Lord.

2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time on and forevermore.

3 From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised.

4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.

5 Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,

6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?

7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.

9 He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. 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.

Readings for Saturday, August 14, 2021

“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.” — Psalm 138:3

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Morning

Psalm 104

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty,

2 wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent,

3 you set the beams of your chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind,

4 you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers.

5 You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken.

6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.

7 At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.

8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them.

9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills,

11 giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst.

12 By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches.

13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth,

15 and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees.

18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.

19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.

20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.

21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.

22 When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens.

23 People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.

26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season;

28 when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—

32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord .

35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord !

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

2 Samuel 16:1-23

16 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, carrying two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred bunches of raisins, one hundred of summer fruits, and one skin of wine. 2 The king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those to drink who faint in the wilderness.”

3 The king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “He remains in Jerusalem; for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.’” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” Ziba said, “I do obeisance; let me find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”

5 When King David came to Bahurim, a man of the family of the house of Saul came out whose name was Shimei son of Gera; he came out cursing. 6 He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; now all the people and all the warriors were on his right and on his left. 7 Shimei shouted while he cursed, “Out! Out! Murderer! Scoundrel! 8 The Lord has avenged on all of you the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, disaster has overtaken you; for you are a man of blood.”

9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord has bidden him.

12 It may be that the Lord will look on my distress, and the Lord will repay me with good for this cursing of me today.” 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, throwing stones and flinging dust at him. 14 The king and all the people who were with him arrived weary at the Jordan; and there he refreshed himself.

15 Now Absalom and all the Israelites came to Jerusalem; Ahithophel was with him. 16 When Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 Hushai said to Absalom, “No; but the one whom the Lord and this people and all the Israelites have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 Moreover, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? Just as I have served your father, so I will serve you.”

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your counsel; what shall we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, the ones he has left to look after the house; and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom upon the roof; and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the oracle of God; so all the counsel of Ahithophel was esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.

Acts 22:17-29

17 “After I had returned to Jerusalem and while I was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw Jesus saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And while the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing by, approving and keeping the coats of those who killed him.’ 21 Then he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

22 Up to this point they listened to him, but then they shouted, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” 23 And while they were shouting, throwing off their cloaks, and tossing dust into the air, 24 the tribune directed that he was to be brought into the barracks, and ordered him to be examined by flogging, to find out the reason for this outcry against him.

25 But when they had tied him up with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who is uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard that, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen.” 27 The tribune came and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.”

28 The tribune answered, “It cost me a large sum of money to get my citizenship.” Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.” 29 Immediately those who were about to examine him drew back from him; and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.

Mark 11:1-11

11 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’”

4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

Evening

Psalm 138

1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

3 On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.

5 They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord .

6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 98

1 O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.

2 The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.

3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.

6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord .

7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it.

8 Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy

9 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.


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 Friday, August 13, 2021

“Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low. Save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.” — Psalm 142:6

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Morning

Psalm 51

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.

5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.

17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,

19 then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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

2 Samuel 15:19-37

19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also coming with us? Go back, and stay with the king; for you are a foreigner, and also an exile from your home. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, while I go wherever I can? Go back, and take your kinsfolk with you; and may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” 22 David said to Ittai, “Go then, march on.” So Ittai the Gittite marched on, with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 The whole country wept aloud as all the people passed by; the king crossed the Wadi Kidron, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness.

24 Abiathar came up, and Zadok also, with all the Levites, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, until the people had all passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and the place where it stays. 26 But if he says, ‘I take no pleasure in you,’ here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.” 27 The king also said to the priest Zadok, “Look, go back to the city in peace, you and Abiathar, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.

30 But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot; and all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went.

31 David was told that Ahithophel was among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, “O Lord, I pray you, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” 32 When David came to the summit, where God was worshiped, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and earth on his head.

33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 The priests Zadok and Abiathar will be with you there. So whatever you hear from the king’s house, tell it to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. 36 Their two sons are with them there, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan; and by them you shall report to me everything you hear.”

37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.

Acts 21:37-22:16

37 Just as Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to you?” The tribune replied, “Do you know Greek? 38 Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?” 39 Paul replied, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city; I beg you, let me speak to the people.” 40 When he had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people for silence; and when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying:

22 “Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense that I now make before you.” 2 When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet. Then he said:

3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today. 4 I persecuted this Way up to the point of death by binding both men and women and putting them in prison, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. From them I also received letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I went there in order to bind those who were there and to bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.

6 “While I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Then he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ 9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 I asked, ‘What am I to do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told everything that has been assigned to you to do.’

11 Since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me took my hand and led me to Damascus. 12 “A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there, 13 came to me; and standing beside me, he said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him.

14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear his own voice; 15 for you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name.’

Mark 10:46-52

46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Evening

Psalm 142

1 With my voice I cry to the Lord ; with my voice I make supplication to the Lord .

2 I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.

3 When my spirit is faint, you know my way. In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.

4 Look on my right hand and see— there is no one who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.

5 I cry to you, O Lord ; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”

6 Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low. Save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.

7 Bring me out of prison, so that I may give thanks to your name. The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

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.


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.