Alpha and Omega, First and Last,
glory outshining all the lights of heaven:
pour out upon us your Spirit
of faithful love and abundant compassion,
so that we may rejoice in the splendor of your works
while we wait in expectation
for the new heaven and the new earth you promise
when Christ shall come again. Amen.
How good it is to live in unity
How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
1 Samuel 20:1-23, 35-42
The love of David and Jonathan
David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, “What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?” He said to him, “Far from it! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!” But David also swore, “Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.” Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening. If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil has been determined by him. Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a sacred covenant with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father?” Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! If I knew that it was decided by my father that evil should come upon you, would I not tell you?” Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” Jonathan replied to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So they both went out into the field.
Jonathan said to David, “By the Lord, the God of Israel! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or on the third day, if he is well disposed toward David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? But if my father intends to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan, and more also, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, so that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the Lord; but if I die, never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the Lord were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord seek out the enemies of David.” Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.
Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, because your place will be empty. On the day after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside the stone there. I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. Then I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, collect them,’ then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. But if I say to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go; for the Lord has sent you away. As for the matter about which you and I have spoken, the Lord is witness between you and me forever.”
In the morning Jonathan went out into the field to the appointment with David, and with him was a little boy. He said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called after the boy and said, “Is the arrow not beyond you?” Jonathan called after the boy, “Hurry, be quick, do not linger.” So Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master. But the boy knew nothing; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said to him, “Go and carry them to the city.” As soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He bowed three times, and they kissed each other, and wept with each other; David wept the more. Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.’” He got up and left; and Jonathan went into the city.
Christians in Antioch
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.”
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.