Preparing for
The Reign of Christ
Year C

Daily Readings for Friday
November 22, 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 22:1-17

The covenant abandoned

 

Thus says the Lord: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O King of Judah sitting on the throne of David—you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then through the gates of this house shall enter kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their servants, and their people. But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation. For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:

 

You are like Gilead to me,

like the summit of Lebanon;

but I swear that I will make you a desert,

an uninhabited city.

I will prepare destroyers against you,

all with their weapons;

they shall cut down your choicest cedars

and cast them into the fire.

 

And many nations will pass by this city, and all of them will say one to another, “Why has the Lord dealt in this way with that great city?” And they will answer, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.”

 

Do not weep for him who is dead,

nor bemoan him;

weep rather for him who goes away,

for he shall return no more

to see his native land.

 

For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum son of King Josiah of Judah, who succeeded his father Josiah, and who went away from this place: He shall return here no more, but in the place where they have carried him captive he shall die, and he shall never see this land again.

 

Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,

and his upper rooms by injustice;

who makes his neighbors work for nothing,

and does not give them their wages;

who says, “I will build myself a spacious house

with large upper rooms,”

and who cuts out windows for it,

paneling it with cedar,

and painting it with vermilion.

Are you a king

because you compete in cedar?

Did not your father eat and drink

and do justice and righteousness?

Then it was well with him.

He judged the cause of the poor and needy;

then it was well.

Is not this to know me?

says the Lord.

But your eyes and heart

are only on your dishonest gain,

for shedding innocent blood,

and for practicing oppression and violence.

 

1 Peter 1:3-9

An imperishable inheritance

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

 

 

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

 

Zechariah 11:1-17

Shepherds who desert the flock

 

Open your doors, O Lebanon,

so that fire may devour your cedars!

Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,

for the glorious trees are ruined!

Wail, oaks of Bashan,

for the thick forest has been felled!

Listen, the wail of the shepherds,

for their glory is despoiled!

Listen, the roar of the lions,

for the thickets of the Jordan are destroyed!

 

Thus said the Lord my God: Be a shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them kill them and go unpunished; and those who sell them say, “Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich”; and their own shepherds have no pity on them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the earth, says the Lord. I will cause them, every one, to fall each into the hand of a neighbor, and each into the hand of the king; and they shall devastate the earth, and I will deliver no one from their hand.

 

So, on behalf of the sheep merchants, I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. I took two staffs; one I named Favor, the other I named Unity, and I tended the sheep. In one month I disposed of the three shepherds, for I had become impatient with them, and they also detested me. So I said, “I will not be your shepherd. What is to die, let it die; what is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed; and let those that are left devour the flesh of one another!” I took my staff Favor and broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples. So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep merchants, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the Lord. I then said to them, “If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” So they weighed out as my wages thirty shekels of silver. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it into the treasury”—this lordly price at which I was valued by them. So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them into the treasury in the house of the Lord. Then I broke my second staff Unity, annulling the family ties between Judah and Israel.

 

Then the Lord said to me: Take once more the implements of a worthless shepherd. For I am now raising up in the land a shepherd who does not care for the perishing, or seek the wandering, or heal the maimed, or nourish the healthy, but devours the flesh of the fat ones, tearing off even their hoofs.

 

Oh, my worthless shepherd,

who deserts the flock!

May the sword strike his arm

and his right eye!

Let his arm be completely withered,

his right eye utterly blinded!

 

1 Peter 1:3-9

An imperishable inheritance

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

 

 

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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.