Preparing for the Twenty-Third
Sunday after Pentecost
Year A

Daily Readings for Thursday
November 5, 2020

Prayer

You let us choose, O God, 

between you and the false gods of this world. 

In the midst of the night of sin and death, 

wake us from our slumber 

and call us forth to greet Christ, 

so that with eyes and hearts fixed on him, 

we may follow to eternal light. Amen.

 

Psalm 78:1-7

The power of God

 

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;

incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in a parable;

I will utter dark sayings from of old,

things that we have heard and known,

that our ancestors have told us.

We will not hide them from their children;

we will tell to the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,

and the wonders that he has done.

He established a decree in Jacob,

and appointed a law in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to teach to their children;

that the next generation might know them,

the children yet unborn,

and rise up and tell them to their children,

so that they should set their hope in God,

and not forget the works of God,

but keep his commandments.

 

Joshua 5:10-12

Passover in the promised land

 

While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

 

Revelation 8:6—9:12

The trumpet of God’s judgment

 

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them.

 

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

 

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

 

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.

 

The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise the night.

 

Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew in midheaven, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

 

And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit; he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given authority like the authority of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to damage the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torture was like the torture of a scorpion when it stings someone. And in those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.

 

In appearance the locusts were like horses equipped for battle. On their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; they had scales like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails like scorpions, with stingers, and in their tails is their power to harm people for five months. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

 

The first woe has passed. There are still two woes to come.

 

 

 

Prayer

Ever-living God, 

you inscribe our names in your book of life 

so that we may share in the firstfruits of salvation. 

Grant that we may acknowledge Christ as our redeemer 

and, trusting in him, 

be confident that none of your own will be lost or forgotten. 

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

 

Psalm 70

You are my helper and deliverer

 

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.

O Lord, make haste to help me!

Let those be put to shame and confusion

who seek my life.

Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor

who desire to hurt me.

Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!”

turn back because of their shame.

Let all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you.

Let those who love your salvation

say evermore, “God is great!”

But I am poor and needy;

hasten to me, O God!

You are my help and my deliverer;

O Lord, do not delay!

 

Amos 1:1—2:5

God judges Israel’s neighbors

 

The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of King Uzziah of Judah and in the days of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

 

And he said:

 

The Lord roars from Zion,

and utters his voice from Jerusalem;

the pastures of the shepherds wither,

and the top of Carmel dries up.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Damascus,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they have threshed Gilead

with threshing sledges of iron.

So I will send a fire on the house of Hazael,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.

I will break the gate bars of Damascus,

and cut off the inhabitants from the Valley of Aven,

and the one who holds the scepter from Beth-eden;

and the people of Aram shall go into exile to Kir,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Gaza,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they carried into exile entire communities,

to hand them over to Edom.

So I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza,

fire that shall devour its strongholds.

I will cut off the inhabitants from Ashdod,

and the one who holds the scepter from Ashkelon;

I will turn my hand against Ekron,

and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish,

says the Lord God.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Tyre,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they delivered entire communities over to Edom,

and did not remember the covenant of kinship.

So I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre,

fire that shall devour its strongholds.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Edom,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because he pursued his brother with the sword

and cast off all pity;

he maintained his anger perpetually,

and kept his wrath forever.

So I will send a fire on Teman,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Bozrah.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of the Ammonites,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead

in order to enlarge their territory.

So I will kindle a fire against the wall of Rabbah,

fire that shall devour its strongholds,

with shouting on the day of battle,

with a storm on the day of the whirlwind;

then their king shall go into exile,

he and his officials together,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Moab,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because he burned to lime

the bones of the king of Edom.

So I will send a fire on Moab,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,

and Moab shall die amid uproar,

amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;

I will cut off the ruler from its midst,

and will kill all its officials with him,

says the Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

For three transgressions of Judah,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they have rejected the law of the Lord,

and have not kept his statutes,

but they have been led astray by the same lies

after which their ancestors walked.

So I will send a fire on Judah,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.

 

Revelation 8:6—9:12

The trumpet of God’s judgment

 

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them.

 

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

 

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

 

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.

 

The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise the night.

 

Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew in midheaven, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

 

And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit; he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given authority like the authority of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to damage the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torture was like the torture of a scorpion when it stings someone. And in those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.

 

In appearance the locusts were like horses equipped for battle. On their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; they had scales like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails like scorpions, with stingers, and in their tails is their power to harm people for five months. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

 

The first woe has passed. There are still two woes to come.

 

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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.