Daily Lectionary, Monday, September 23

MORNING PSALM 57

1   Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, 
          for in you my soul takes refuge; 
     in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, 
          until the destroying storms pass by. 
2   I cry to God Most High, 
          to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 
3   He will send from heaven and save me, 
          he will put to shame those who trample on me.           Selah 
     God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness.


4   I lie down among lions 
          that greedily devour human prey; 
     their teeth are spears and arrows, 
          their tongues sharp swords.


5   Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. 
          Let your glory be over all the earth.


6   They set a net for my steps; 
          my soul was bowed down. 
     They dug a pit in my path, 
          but they have fallen into it themselves.                         Selah 
7   My heart is steadfast, O God, 
          my heart is steadfast. 
     I will sing and make melody. 
8        Awake, my soul! 
     Awake, O harp and lyre! 
          I will awake the dawn. 
9   I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; 
          I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
10   For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; 
          your faithfulness extends to the clouds.


11   Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. 
     Let your glory be over all the earth.

MORNING PSALM 145

1   I will extol you, my God and King, 
          and bless your name forever and ever. 
2   Every day I will bless you, 
          and praise your name forever and ever. 
3   Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; 
          his greatness is unsearchable.


4   One generation shall laud your works to another, 
          and shall declare your mighty acts. 
5   On the glorious splendor of your majesty, 
          and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 
6   The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, 
          and I will declare your greatness. 
7   They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, 
          and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.


8   The Lord is gracious and merciful, 
          slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 
9   The Lord is good to all, 
          and his compassion is over all that he has made.


10  All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, 
          and all your faithful shall bless you. 
11  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, 
          and tell of your power, 
12  to make known to all people your mighty deeds, 
          and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 
13  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, 
          and your dominion endures throughout all generations.


     The Lord is faithful in all his words, 
          and gracious in all his deeds. 
14  The Lord upholds all who are falling, 
          and raises up all who are bowed down. 
15  The eyes of all look to you, 
          and you give them their food in due season. 
16  You open your hand, 
          satisfying the desire of every living thing. 
17  The Lord is just in all his ways, 
          and kind in all his doings. 
18  The Lord is near to all who call on him, 
          to all who call on him in truth. 
19  He fulfills the desire of all who fear him; 
          he also hears their cry, and saves them. 
20  The Lord watches over all who love him, 
          but all the wicked he will destroy.


21  My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, 
          and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

FIRST READING 2 KINGS 5:1-19

1Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. 2Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”4So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5And the king of Aram said, “Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”

He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. 6He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”

8But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” 11But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage. 13But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.

15Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel; please accept a present from your servant.” 16But he said, “As the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing!” He urged him to accept, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, “If not, please let two mule-loads of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god except the LORD.18But may the LORD pardon your servant on one count: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow down in the house of Rimmon, when I do bow down in the house of Rimmon, may the LORD pardon your servant on this one count.” 19He said to him, “Go in peace.”

SECOND READING 1 CORINTHIANS 4:8-21

8Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Quite apart from us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings, so that we might be kings with you! 9For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, as though sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals. 10We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, 12and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;13when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day.

14I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15For though you might have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Indeed, in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16I appeal to you, then, be imitators of me. 17For this reason I sent you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ Jesus, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18But some of you, thinking that I am not coming to you, have become arrogant. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power. 21What would you prefer? Am I to come to you with a stick, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

GOSPEL READING MATTHEW 5:21-26

21“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”

EVENING PSALM 85

1   LORD, you were favorable to your land; 
          you restored the fortunes of Jacob. 
2   You forgave the iniquity of your people; 
          you pardoned all their sin.                              Selah 
3   You withdrew all your wrath; 
          you turned from your hot anger.


4   Restore us again, O God of our salvation, 
          and put away your indignation toward us. 
5   Will you be angry with us forever? 
          Will you prolong your anger to all generations? 
6   Will you not revive us again, 
          so that your people may rejoice in you? 
7   Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, 
          and grant us your salvation.


8   Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, 
          for he will speak peace to his people, 
          to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. 
9   Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, 
          that his glory may dwell in our land.


10  Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; 
          righteousness and peace will kiss each other. 
11  Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, 
          and righteousness will look down from the sky. 
12  The LORD will give what is good, 
          and our land will yield its increase. 
13  Righteousness will go before him, 
          and will make a path for his steps.

EVENING PSALM 47

1   Clap your hands, all you peoples; 
          shout to God with loud songs of joy. 
2   For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome, 
          a great king over all the earth. 
3   He subdued peoples under us, 
          and nations under our feet. 
4   He chose our heritage for us, 
          the pride of Jacob whom he loves.                    Selah


5   God has gone up with a shout, 
          the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 
6   Sing praises to God, sing praises; 
          sing praises to our King, sing praises. 
7   For God is the king of all the earth; 
          sing praises with a psalm.


8   God is king over the nations; 
          God sits on his holy throne. 
9   The princes of the peoples gather 
          as the people of the God of Abraham. 
     For the shields of the earth belong to God; 
          he is highly exalted.

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