Readings for Saturday, January 23, 2021

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” — Ephesians 6:10–12

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

Isaiah 46:1-13

46 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols are on beasts and cattle; these things you carry are loaded as burdens on weary animals. 2 They stoop, they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. 3 Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; 4 even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

5 To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, as though we were alike? 6 Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales— they hire a goldsmith, who makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship! 7 They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it, they set it in its place, and it stands there; it cannot move from its place. If one cries out to it, it does not answer or save anyone from trouble.

8 Remember this and consider, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My purpose shall stand, and I will fulfill my intention,” 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man for my purpose from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have planned, and I will do it. 12 Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from deliverance: 13 I bring near my deliverance, it is not far off, and my salvation will not tarry; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.

Ephesians 6:10-24

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus will tell you everything. He is a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts. 23 Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 5:1-20

5 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3 He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; 4 for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones.

6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; 7 and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.

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

14 The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood.

18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.

Evening

Psalm 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, January 22, 2021

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” — Isaiah 45:22

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

Isaiah 45:18-25

18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord, and there is no other. 19 I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, “Seek me in chaos.” I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right.

20 Assemble yourselves and come together, draw near, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge— those who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. 21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord ? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me.

22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 23 By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” 24 Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed. 25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.

Ephesians 6:1-9

6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” —this is the first commandment with a promise: 3 “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; 6 not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, 8 knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free.

9 And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.

Mark 4:35-41

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him.

37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.

40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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,

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, January 21, 2021

“Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” — Ephesians 5:21

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.

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

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

Isaiah 45:5-17

5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, 6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.

8 Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it. 9 Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, “What are you making”? or “Your work has no handles”? 10 Woe to anyone who says to a father, “What are you begetting?” or to a woman, “With what are you in labor?”

11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? 12 I made the earth, and created humankind upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. 13 I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness, and I will make all his paths straight; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward, says the Lord of hosts.

14 Thus says the Lord : The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, tall of stature, shall come over to you and be yours, they shall follow you; they shall come over in chains and bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, “God is with you alone, and there is no other; there is no god besides him.” 15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. 16 All of them are put to shame and confounded, the makers of idols go in confusion together. 17 But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.

Ephesians 5:15-33

15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24 Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.

28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

32 This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. 33 Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

Mark 4:21-34

21 He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 23 Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. 25 For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30 He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

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, January 20, 2021

“Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them.” — Ephesians 5:5-7

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

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

Isaiah 44:24-45:7

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who by myself spread out the earth; 25 who frustrates the omens of liars, and makes fools of diviners; who turns back the wise, and makes their knowledge foolish; 26 who confirms the word of his servant, and fulfills the prediction of his messengers; who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be inhabited,” and of the cities of Judah, “They shall be rebuilt, and I will raise up their ruins”; 27 who says to the deep, “Be dry— I will dry up your rivers”; 28 who says of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd, and he shall carry out all my purpose”; and who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”

45 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him— and the gates shall not be closed: 2 I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. 4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.

5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, 6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.

Ephesians 5:1-14

5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving.

5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be associated with them.

8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Mark 4:1-20

4 Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:

3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away.

7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.

8 Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that

‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”

13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing.

20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

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. Selah

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? Selah

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. Selah

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, January 19, 2021

“So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.” — Ephesians 4:25

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

Isaiah 44:9-20

9 All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know. And so they will be put to shame. 10 Who would fashion a god or cast an image that can do no good? 11 Look, all its devotees shall be put to shame; the artisans too are merely human. Let them all assemble, let them stand up; they shall be terrified, they shall all be put to shame.

12 The ironsmith fashions it and works it over the coals, shaping it with hammers, and forging it with his strong arm; he becomes hungry and his strength fails, he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line, marks it out with a stylus, fashions it with planes, and marks it with a compass; he makes it in human form, with human beauty, to be set up in a shrine.

14 He cuts down cedars or chooses a holm tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it can be used as fuel. Part of it he takes and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Then he makes a god and worships it, makes it a carved image and bows down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he roasts meat, eats it and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah, I am warm, I can feel the fire!” 17 The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it and worships it; he prays to it and says, “Save me, for you are my god!”

18 They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and have eaten. Now shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray, and he cannot save himself or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?”

Ephesians 4:17-32

17 Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. 19 They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 That is not the way you learned Christ!

21 For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.

26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil. 28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.

29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Mark 3:19b-35

Then he went home; 20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

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, January 18, 2021

“We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.” — Ephesians 4:14

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

Isaiah 44:6-8, 21-23

6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. 7 Who is like me? Let them proclaim it, let them declare and set it forth before me. Who has announced from of old the things to come? Let them tell us what is yet to be. 8 Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses! Is there any god besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one.

21 Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you, you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. 22 I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. 23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.

Ephesians 4:1-16

4 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.”

9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)

11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

Mark 3:7-19a

7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8 hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. 9 He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; 10 for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” 12 But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.

13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15 and to have authority to cast out demons. 16 So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

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 Saturday, January 16, 2021

“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” — Ephesians 3:18-19

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

Isaiah 42:18-25; 43:1-13

18 Listen, you that are deaf; and you that are blind, look up and see! 19 Who is blind but my servant, or deaf like my messenger whom I send? Who is blind like my dedicated one, or blind like the servant of the Lord ? 20 He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear. 21 The Lord was pleased, for the sake of his righteousness, to magnify his teaching and make it glorious.

22 But this is a people robbed and plundered, all of them are trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become a prey with no one to rescue, a spoil with no one to say, “Restore!” 23 Who among you will give heed to this, who will attend and listen for the time to come? 24 Who gave up Jacob to the spoiler, and Israel to the robbers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey?

25 So he poured upon him the heat of his anger and the fury of war; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him, but he did not take it to heart.

Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.

18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Mark 2:23-3:6

23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”

25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26 He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” 27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

3 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.”

4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

6 The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Evening

Psalm 138

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

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, January 15, 2021

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” — Mark 2:17

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.

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

Isaiah 42:1-17

42 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8 I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. 9 See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them. 10 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. 11 Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the tops of
the mountains. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands.

13 The Lord goes forth like a soldier, like a warrior he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. 14 For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant. 15 I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbage; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. 16 I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them. 17 They shall be turned back and utterly put to shame— those who trust in carved images, who say to cast images, “You are our gods.”

Ephesians 3:1-13

3 This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power.

8 Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. 13 I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory.

Mark 2:13-22

13 Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. 14 As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. 15 And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

21 “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

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.

Readings for Thursday, January 14, 2021

“For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” — Ephesians 2:14≤

Morning

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 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

Isaiah 41:17-29

17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, 20 so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 Set forth your case, says the Lord ; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, so that we may consider them, and that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. 23 Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be afraid and terrified. 24 You, indeed, are nothing and your work is nothing at all; whoever chooses you is an abomination.

25 I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name. He shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. 26 Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know, and beforehand, so that we might say, “He is right”? There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words. 27 I first have declared it to Zion, and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings. 28 But when I look there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. 29 No, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their images are empty wind.

Ephesians 2:11-22

11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” —a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.

17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

Mark 2:1-12

2 When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them.

3 Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

8 At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say,Stand up and take your mat and walk’?

10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” 12 And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Evening

Psalm 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 62

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, January 13, 2021

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” — Ephesians 2:8-10

Morning

Psalm 89:1-18

Psalm 89

1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David:

4 `I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.

6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord ? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,

7 a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and awesome above all that are around him?

8 O Lord God of hosts, who is as mighty as you, O Lord ? Your faithfulness surrounds you.

9 You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.

10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

11 The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.

12 The north and the south—you created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.

13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;

16 they exult in your name all day long, and extol your righteousness.

17 For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted.

18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 147:1-11

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

Isaiah 41:1-16

41 Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment.

2 Who has roused a victor from the east, summoned him to his service? He delivers up nations to him, and tramples kings under foot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. 3 He pursues them and passes on safely, scarcely touching the path with his feet.

4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am first, and will be with the last. 5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. 6 Each one helps the other, saying to one another, “Take courage!” 7 The artisan encourages the goldsmith, and the one who smooths with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.

8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 10 do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. 11 Yes, all who are incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish.

12 You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. 13 For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” 14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you insect Israel! I will help you, says the Lord ; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 Now, I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff.

16 You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. Then you shall rejoice in the Lord ; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

Ephesians 2:1-10

2 You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.

3 All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Mark 1:29-45

29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

40 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, 44 saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

Evening

Psalm 1

1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;

2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.

3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 33

1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous. Praise befits the upright.

2 Praise the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.

3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

4 For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.

5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord .

6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.

7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord ; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.

11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind.

14 From where he sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth—

15 he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.

16 A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.

18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,

19 to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord ; he is our help and shield.

21 Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.

22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

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.