Preparing for
The Reign of Christ
Year C

Daily Readings for Thursday
November 21, 2019

Prayer

Almighty God, 

you rescue us from our enemies, 

that we may serve you without fear. 

Strengthen us, 

that we may share in the inheritance 

of the saints in your kingdom of light. Amen.

 

Luke 1:68-79

God raises up a mighty savior

 

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.

He has raised up a mighty savior for us

in the house of his servant David,

as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,

and has remembered his holy covenant,

the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,

to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,

might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness

before him all our days.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

to give knowledge of salvation to his people

by the forgiveness of their sins.

By the tender mercy of our God,

the dawn from on high will break upon us,

to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

Jeremiah 21:1-14

Jerusalem will fall

 

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malchiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, saying, “Please inquire of the Lord on our behalf, for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon is making war against us; perhaps the Lord will perform a wonderful deed for us, as he has often done, and will make him withdraw from us.”

 

Then Jeremiah said to them: Thus you shall say to Zedekiah: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I am going to turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls; and I will bring them together into the center of this city. I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and mighty arm, in anger, in fury, and in great wrath. And I will strike down the inhabitants of this city, both human beings and animals; they shall die of a great pestilence. Afterward, says the Lord, I will give King Zedekiah of Judah, and his servants, and the people in this city—those who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine—into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, into the hands of their enemies, into the hands of those who seek their lives. He shall strike them down with the edge of the sword; he shall not pity them, or spare them, or have compassion.

 

And to this people you shall say: Thus says the Lord: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Those who stay in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but those who go out and surrender to the Chaldeans who are besieging you shall live and shall have their lives as a prize of war. For I have set my face against this city for evil and not for good, says the Lord: it shall be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

 

To the house of the king of Judah say: Hear the word of the Lord, O house of David! Thus says the Lord:

 

Execute justice in the morning,

and deliver from the hand of the oppressor

anyone who has been robbed,

or else my wrath will go forth like fire,

and burn, with no one to quench it,

because of your evil doings.

See, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley,

O rock of the plain,

says the Lord;

you who say, “Who can come down against us,

or who can enter our places of refuge?”

I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings,

says the Lord;

I will kindle a fire in its forest,

and it shall devour all that is around it.

 

Hebrews 9:23-28

Christ has appeared once for all

 

Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

 

 

Prayer

Holy God, our refuge and strength, 

you have redeemed your scattered children, 

gathering them from all the corners of the earth 

through your firstborn, the Christ, 

in whom all things are held together. 

Make of us a just and righteous people, 

worthy by grace to inherit with him 

the kingdom of light and peace 

where he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Psalm 46

The God of Jacob is our stronghold

 

God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble with its tumult.    Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;

God will help it when the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.    Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;

see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations,

I am exalted in the earth.”

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.    Selah

 

2 Chronicles 18:12-22

Sheep without a shepherd

 

The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak.”

 

When he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” He answered, “Go up and triumph; they will be given into your hand.” But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” Then Micaiah said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd; and the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each one go home in peace.’” The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy anything favorable about me, but only disaster?”

 

Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing to the right and to the left of him. And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice King Ahab of Israel, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ Then one said one thing, and another said another, until a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ The Lord asked him, ‘How?’ He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.’ So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; the Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

 

Hebrews 9:23-28

Christ has appeared once for all

 

Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

 

 

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Prayer reprinted from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. Reproduced by permission.

Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Reproduced by permission. No further reproduction allowed without the written permission of Augsburg Fortress.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.