God, you root those who trust in you
by streams of healing water.
Release us from the bonds of disease,
free us from the power of evil,
and turn us from falsehood and illusion,
that we may find the blessing of new life in you
through the power of Christ. Amen.
Woe to me
In my distress I cry to the Lord,
that he may answer me:
“Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.”
What shall be given to you?
And what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
A warrior’s sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!
Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech,
that I must live among the tents of Kedar.
Too long have I had my dwelling
among those who hate peace.
I am for peace;
but when I speak,
they are for war.
Woes come upon Jerusalem
Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. Indeed, Jerusalem and Judah so angered the Lord that he expelled them from his presence.
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it; they built siegeworks against it all around. So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine became so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city wall; the king with all the soldiers fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. They went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; all his army was scattered, deserting him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, who passed sentence on him. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, then put out the eyes of Zedekiah; they bound him in fetters and took him to Babylon.
In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month—which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. All the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon—all the rest of the population. But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest people of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil.
The bronze pillars that were in the house of the Lord, as well as the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried the bronze to Babylon. They took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the dishes for incense, and all the bronze vessels used in the temple service, as well as the firepans and the basins. What was made of gold the captain of the guard took away for the gold, and what was made of silver, for the silver. As for the two pillars, the one sea, and the stands, which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weighing. The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and on it was a bronze capital; the height of the capital was three cubits; latticework and pomegranates, all of bronze, were on the capital all around. The second pillar had the same, with the latticework.
The captain of the guard took the chief priest Seraiah, the second priest Zephaniah, and the three guardians of the threshold; from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the soldiers, and five men of the king’s council who were found in the city; the secretary who was the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. The king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah went into exile out of its land.
The end time
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.
Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?
And why are we putting ourselves in danger every hour? I die every day! That is as certain, brothers and sisters, as my boasting of you—a boast that I make in Christ Jesus our Lord. If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
Do not be deceived:
“Bad company ruins good morals.”
Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
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.