Readings for Sunday, March 14, 2021

“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” — Galatians 5:1

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Morning

Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

2 My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord ; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

4 Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.

5 Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob!

9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.

10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Psalm 150

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midday

Jeremiah 14:1-22

Jeremiah 14:1-22

1 The word of the Lordthat came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: 2 Judah mourns and her gates languish; they lie in gloom on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. 3 Her nobles send their servants for water; they come to the cisterns, they find no water, they return with their vessels empty. They are ashamed and dismayed and cover their heads, 4 because the ground is cracked. Because there has been no rain on the land the farmers are dismayed; they cover their heads. 5 Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn because there is no grass. 6 The wild asses stand on the bare heights, they pant for air like jackals; their eyes fail because there is no herbage.

7 Although our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name’s sake; our apostasies indeed are many, and we have sinned against you. 8 O hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler turning aside for the night? 9 Why should you be like someone confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot give help? Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not forsake us!

10 Thus says the Lord concerning this people: Truly they have loved to wander, they have not restrained their feet; therefore the Lorddoes not accept them, now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins. 11 The Lordsaid to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12 Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.

13 Then I said: “Ah, Lord God! Here are the prophets saying to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you true peace in this place.’” 14 And the Lord said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name though I did not send them, and who say, “Sword and famine shall not come on this land”: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword. There shall be no one to bury them — themselves, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them.

17 You shall say to them this word: Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter — my people — is struck down with a crushing blow, with a very grievous wound. 18 If I go out into the field, look — those killed by the sword! And if I enter the city, look — those sick with famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land, and have no knowledge. 19 Have you completely rejected Judah? Does your heart loathe Zion? Why have you struck us down so that there is no healing for us? We look for peace, but find no good; for a time of healing, but there is terror instead. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, the iniquity of our ancestors, for we have sinned against you. 21 Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us. 22 Can any idols of the nations bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Is it not you, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for it is you who do all this.

Galatians 4:21-5:1

21 Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, will you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. 23 One, the child of the slave, was born according to the flesh; the other, the child of the free woman, was born through the promise.

24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written, “Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children, burst into song and shout, you who endure no birthpangs; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than the children of the one who is married.”

28 Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. 29 But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh persecuted the child who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the scripture say? “Drive out the slave and her child; for the child of the slave will not share the inheritance with the child of the free woman.” 31 So then, friends, we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman.

5 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Mark 8:11-21

11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.

14 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.”

16 They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” 17 And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?

19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.”

21 Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

Evening

Psalm 42

1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help

6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me.

8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?”

10 As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

Psalm 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.


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, February 8, 2021

“May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” — Galatians 6:14

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Morning

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord ; give heed to my sighing.

2 Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.

4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you.

5 The boastful will not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.

6 You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.

7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.

8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.

9 For there is no truth in their mouths; their hearts are destruction; their throats are open graves; they flatter with their tongues.

10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you.

12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord ; you cover them with favor as with a shield.

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 57:14-21

14 It shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” 15 For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.

17 Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry; I struck them, I hid and was angry; but they kept turning back to their own ways. 18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.

19 Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord ; and I will heal them. 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud. 21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.

Galatians 6:11-18

11 See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand! 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised—only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh.

14 May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! 16 As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

17 From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body. 18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Mark 9:30-41

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 Whoever is not against us is for us. 41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

Evening

Psalm 82

1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah

3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.

4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk around in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I say, “You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you;

7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.”

8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!

Psalm 29

1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.

4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.

8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!


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, February 6, 2021

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.” — Galatians 5:25-26

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Morning

Psalm 63

1 O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

4 So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

5 My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips

6 when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;

10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

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 56:1-8

56 Thus says the Lord : Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. 2 Happy is the mortal who does this, the one who holds it fast, who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it, and refrains from doing any evil.

3 Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and do not let the eunuch say, “I am just a dry tree.” 4 For thus says the Lord : To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, 5 I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.

6 And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. 8 Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.

Galatians 5:25-6:10

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

6 My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves.

4 All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. 5 For all must carry their own loads. 6 Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher. 7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. 8 If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

9 So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

Mark 9:14-29

14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him.

16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.”

19 He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.”

20 And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.”

23 Jesus said to him, “If you are able! —All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26 After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.”

27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”

Evening

Psalm 125

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore.

3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous might not stretch out their hands to do wrong.

4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts.

5 But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers. Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 90

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”

4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.

5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning;

6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

7 For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed.

8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh.

10 The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.

11 Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

13 Turn, O Lord ! How long? Have compassion on your servants!

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.

16 Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.

17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands— O prosper the work of our hands!


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, February 5, 2021

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” — Galatians 5:22-23

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Morning

Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

2 My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord ; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

4 Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah

5 Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.

10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

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 55:1-13

55 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3 Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord . 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 12 For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Galatians 5:16-24

16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Mark 9:2-13

2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. 11 Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12 He said to them, “Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.”

Evening

Psalm 25

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.

3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord ; teach me your paths.

5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord !

8 Good and upright is the Lord ; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.

12 Who are they that fear the Lord ? He will teach them the way that they should choose.

13 They will abide in prosperity, and their children shall possess the land.

14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.

15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

17 Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.

18 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

19 Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.

20 O guard my life, and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.

Psalm 40

1 I waited patiently for the Lord ; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord .

4 Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.

5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.

6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

7 Then I said, “Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.

8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord .

10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

11 Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever.

12 For evils have encompassed me without number; my iniquities have overtaken me, until I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me.

14 Let all those be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt.

15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord !”

17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.


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, February 4, 2021

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” — Mark 8:34

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Morning

Psalm 116

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.

2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord : “O Lord, I pray, save my life!”

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

6 The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

9 I walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

10 I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”;

11 I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,

14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.

16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord .

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord !

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 54:1-17

54 Sing, O barren one who did not bear; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than the children of her that is married, says the Lord . 2 Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will settle the desolate towns. 4 Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more. 5 For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.

6 For the Lord has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off, says your God. 7 For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will gather you. 8 In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer.

9 This is like the days of Noah to me: Just as I swore that the waters of Noah would never again go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you. 10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11 O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, I am about to set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of jewels, and all your wall of precious stones.

13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the prosperity of your children. 14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. 15 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. 16 See it is I who have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, and produces a weapon fit for its purpose; I have also created the ravager to destroy. 17 No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, says the Lord.

Galatians 5:1-15

5 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you.

3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. 4 You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.

7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. 10 I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. 11 But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

Mark 8:27-9:1

27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?

38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” 9 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”

Evening

Psalm 26

1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.

2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.

3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.

4 I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites;

5 I hate the company of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.

6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O Lord,

7 singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all your wondrous deeds.

8 O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.

9 Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with the bloodthirsty,

10 those in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.

12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the Lord .

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.


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, February 3, 2021

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” — Isaiah 53:6

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Morning

Psalm 96

1 O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.

5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

6 Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.

9 Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12 let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

13 before the Lord ; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Psalm 147:1-11

Psalm 147

1 Praise the Lord ! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

3 He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.

4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

6 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.

7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre.

8 He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills.

9 He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.

10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;

11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Midday

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

13 See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. 14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— 15 so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

53 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.

4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.

9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Galatians 4:21-31

21 Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, will you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. 23 One, the child of the slave, was born according to the flesh; the other, the child of the free woman, was born through the promise. 24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery.

25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written, “Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children, burst into song and shout, you who endure no birthpangs; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than the children of the one who is married.”

28 Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. 29 But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh persecuted the child who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the scripture say? “Drive out the slave and her child; for the child of the slave will not share the inheritance with the child of the free woman.” 31 So then, friends, we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman.

Mark 8:11-26

11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.

14 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16 They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.”

20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

22 They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” 24 And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”

Evening

Psalm 132

1 O Lord, remember in David’s favor all the hardships he endured;

2 how he swore to the Lord and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,

3 “I will not enter my house or get into my bed;

4 I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,

5 until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

6 We heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar.

7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool.”

8 Rise up, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.

9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your faithful shout for joy.

10 For your servant David’s sake do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

11 The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: “One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.

12 If your sons keep my covenant and my decrees that I shall teach them, their sons also, forevermore, shall sit on your throne.”

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation:

14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will reside, for I have desired it.

15 I will abundantly bless its provisions; I will satisfy its poor with bread.

16 Its priests I will clothe with salvation, and its faithful will shout for joy.

17 There I will cause a horn to sprout up for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one.

18 His enemies I will clothe with disgrace, but on him, his crown will gleam.”

Psalm 134

1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord !

2 Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the Lord .

3 May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.


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, February 2, 2021

“For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” — Isaiah 52:12

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Morning

Psalm 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 146

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midday

Isaiah 52:1-12

52 Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion! Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for the uncircumcised and the unclean shall enter you no more. 2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter Zion! 3 For thus says the Lord : You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.

4 For thus says the Lord God: Long ago, my people went down into Egypt to reside there as aliens; the Assyrian, too, has oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore what am I doing here, says the Lord, seeing that my people are taken away without cause? Their rulers howl, says the Lord, and continually, all day long, my name is despised. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.

7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” 8 Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.

9 Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of it, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. 12 For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Galatians 4:12-20

12 Friends, I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong.

13 You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you; 14 though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me, but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What has become of the good will you felt? For I testify that, had it been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose; they want to exclude you, so that you may make much of them. 18 It is good to be made much of for a good purpose at all times, and not only when I am present with you.

19 My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Mark 8:1-10

8 In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, 2 “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.”

4 His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” 5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.”

6 Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. 7 They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. 8 They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

Evening

Psalm 36

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Readings for Monday, February 1, 2021

“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” — Psalm 9:9

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Morning

Psalm 62

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 145

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midday

Isaiah 51:17-23

17 Rouse yourself, rouse yourself! Stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl of staggering.

18 There is no one to guide her among all the children she has borne; there is no one to take her by the hand among all the children she has brought up. 19 These two things have befallen you—who will grieve with you?— devastation and destruction, famine and sword— who will comfort you? 20 Your children have fainted, they lie at the head of every street like an antelope in a net; they are full of the wrath of the Lord, the rebuke of your God.

21 Therefore hear this, you who are wounded, who are drunk, but not with wine: 22 Thus says your Sovereign, the Lord, your God who pleads the cause of his people: See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering; you shall drink no more from the bowl of my wrath. 23 And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who have said to you, “Bow down, that we may walk on you”; and you have made your back like the ground and like the street for them to walk on.

Galatians 4:1-11

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

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. 9 Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits? How can you want to be enslaved to them again? 10 You are observing special days, and months, and seasons, and years. 11 I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted.

Mark 7:24-37

24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” 30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.

37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

Evening

Psalm 73

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Readings for Saturday, January 30, 2021

“But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” — Galatians 3:25-26

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Morning

Psalm 122

1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord !”

2 Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together.

4 To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord .

5 For there the thrones for judgment were set up, the thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.

7 Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.”

8 For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.”

9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

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 51:1-8

51 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord . Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. 2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.

3 For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

4 Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples. 5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.

6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended. 7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness, you people who have my teaching in your hearts; do not fear the reproach of others, and do not be dismayed when they revile you. 8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my deliverance will be forever, and my salvation to all generations.

Galatians 3:23-29

23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

Mark 7:1-23

7 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.)

5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

9 Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God)— 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”

14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable.

18 He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Evening

Psalm 100

1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.

2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 63

1 O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

4 So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

5 My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips

6 when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;

10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.


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 29, 2021

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.” — Isaiah 50:4

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Morning

Psalm 88

1 O Lord, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence,

2 let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.

4 I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help,

5 like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.

6 You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep.

7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah

8 You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape;

9 my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call on you, O Lord ; I spread out my hands to you.

10 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you? Selah

11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon?

12 Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.

14 O Lord, why do you cast me off? Why do you hide your face from me?

15 Wretched and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.

16 Your wrath has swept over me; your dread assaults destroy me.

17 They surround me like a flood all day long; from all sides they close in on me.

18 You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me; my companions are in darkness.

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 50:1-11

50 Thus says the Lord : Where is your mother’s bill of divorce with which I put her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? No, because of your sins you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was put away. 2 Why was no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver?

By my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water, and die of thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering.

4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. 5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. 6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. 9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the Lord and relies upon his God? 11 But all of you are kindlers of fire, lighters of firebrands. Walk in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that you have kindled! This is what you shall have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

Galatians 3:15-22

15 Brothers and sisters, I give an example from daily life: once a person’s will has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, “And to offsprings,” as of many; but it says, “And to your offspring,” that is, to one person, who is Christ.

17 My point is this: the law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. 20 Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one.

21 Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law. 22 But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Mark 6:47-56

47 When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by.

49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54 When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55 and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Evening

Psalm 6

1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.

3 My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord —how long?

4 Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.

5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.

7 My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of all my foes.

8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.

9 The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.

10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

Psalm 20

1 The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you!

2 May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

4 May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans.

5 May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

6 Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand.

7 Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.

8 They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.

9 Give victory to the king, O Lord ; answer us when we call.


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.