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Daily Readings from the Lectionary

The Lectionary is a way to engage small sections of Scripture on a daily basis. Over time, we encounter the “whole counsel of Scripture”, as the readings lead us in the sweep of God’s story through the Old Testament historical writings, the Psalms and prophetic books, the Gospels, and New Testament letters. By bookmarking this page and returning each day, you can engage in a regular spiritual rhythm of reading the stories of Scripture with God.

As you read, be present to the Holy Spirit, inviting God to “read you” in the text and bring to mind areas where He is at work. You may want to combine the readings with the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina.

Today’s Scripture Readings

Psalm 97

97 The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice!
    Let all the islands celebrate!
Clouds and thick darkness surround God.
    His throne is built on righteousness and justice.
Fire proceeds before him,
    burning up his enemies on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees it and trembles!
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of the whole world!

Heaven has proclaimed God’s righteousness,
    and all nations have seen his glory.
All those who worship images,
    those who are proud of idols,
    are put to shame.
    All gods bow down to the Lord!
Zion has heard and celebrates,
    the towns of Judah rejoice,
    because of your acts of justice, Lord,
    because you, Lord, are the Most High
        over all the earth,
    because you are so superior to all other gods.

10 Those of you who love the Lord, hate evil!
    God guards the lives of his faithful ones,
    delivering them from the power of the wicked.
11 Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;
    joy too for those whose heart is right.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones!
    Give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 99

99 The Lord rules—
    the nations shake!
    He sits enthroned on the winged heavenly creatures—
    the earth quakes!
The Lord is great in Zion;
    he is exalted over all the nations.
Let them thank your great and awesome name.
    He is holy!

Strong king who loves justice,
    you are the one who established what is fair.
    You worked justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Magnify the Lord, our God!
    Bow low at his footstool!
    He is holy!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
    Samuel too among those who called on his name.
They cried out to the Lord, and he himself answered them—
    he spoke to them from a pillar of cloud.
They kept the laws and the rules God gave to them.
Lord our God, you answered them.
    To them you were a God who forgives
    but also the one who avenged their wrong deeds.
Magnify the Lord our God!
    Bow low at his holy mountain
    because the Lord our God is holy!

Psalm 100

A psalm of thanks.

100 Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with celebration!
    Come before him with shouts of joy!
Know that the Lord is God—
    he made us; we belong to him.
    We are his people,
    the sheep of his own pasture.
Enter his gates with thanks;
    enter his courtyards with praise!
    Thank him! Bless his name!
Because the Lord is good,
    his loyal love lasts forever;
    his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.

Psalm 94

94 Lord, avenging God—
    avenging God, show yourself!
Rise up, judge of the earth!
    Pay back the arrogant exactly what they deserve!
How long will the wicked—oh, Lord!—
    how long will the wicked win?
They spew arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are bragging.
They crush your own people, Lord!
    They abuse your very own possession.
They kill widows and immigrants;
    they murder orphans,
    saying all the while,
    “The Lord can’t see it;
        Jacob’s God doesn’t know
        what’s going on!”

You ignorant people better learn quickly.
    You fools—when will you get some sense?
The one who made the ear,
    can’t he hear?
The one who formed the eye,
    can’t he see?
10 The one who disciplines nations,
    can’t he punish?
The one who teaches humans,
    doesn’t he know?
11 The Lord does indeed know human thoughts,
    knows that they are nothing but a puff of air.

12 The people you discipline, Lord, are truly happy—
    the ones you teach from your Instruction—
13     giving them relief from troubling times
        until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 The Lord will not reject his people;
    he will not abandon his very own possession.
15 No, but justice will once again meet up with righteousness,
    and all whose heart is right will follow after.

16 Who will stand up for me against the wicked?
    Who will help me against evildoers?
17 If the Lord hadn’t helped me,
    I would live instantly in total silence.
18 Whenever I feel my foot slipping,
    your faithful love steadies me, Lord.
19 When my anxieties multiply,
    your comforting calms me down.

20 Can a wicked ruler be your ally;
    one who wreaks havoc by means of the law?
21 The wicked gang up against the lives of the righteous.
    They condemn innocent blood.
22 But the Lord is my fortress;
    my God is my rock of refuge.
23 He will repay them for their wickedness,
    completely destroy them because of their evil.
    Yes, the Lord our God will completely destroy them.

Psalm 95

95 Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord!
    Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!
Let’s come before him with thanks!
    Let’s shout songs of joy to him!
The Lord is a great God,
    the great king over all other gods.
The earth’s depths are in his hands;
    the mountain heights belong to him;
    the sea, which he made, is his
        along with the dry ground,
        which his own hands formed.

Come, let’s worship and bow down!
    Let’s kneel before the Lord, our maker!
He is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the sheep in his hands.

If only you would listen to his voice right now!
    “Don’t harden your hearts
    like you did at Meribah,
    like you did when you were at Massah,
        in the wilderness,
    when your ancestors tested me
        and scrutinized me,
    even though they had already seen my acts.
10 For forty years I despised that generation;
    I said, ‘These people have twisted hearts.
    They don’t know my ways.’
11 So in anger I swore:
    ‘They will never enter my place of rest!’”

1 Samuel 6:1-16

The Lord’s chest was in Philistine territory for seven months. The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners. “What should we do with the Lord’s chest?” they asked. “Tell us how we should send it back to its own home.”

They replied, “If you are returning the chest of Israel’s God, don’t send it back empty, but be sure to return a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and it will become clear to you why God’s hand hasn’t left you alone.”

“What compensation offering should we return to him?” they asked.

The priests and diviners replied: “Five gold tumors and five gold mice, matching the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague came on all of you and your rulers. You must make images of your tumors and the mice that have devastated the land. Honor Israel’s God. Perhaps he will lighten the weight of his hand on you, your gods, and your land. Why be stubborn like the Egyptians and Pharaoh? After God had dealt harshly with them, didn’t they send the Israelites on their way? So get a new cart ready along with two nursing cows that have never been yoked before. Harness the cows to the cart, but take any of their calves that are following back home. Next, take the Lord’s chest and put it in the cart. Set the gold items that you are giving God as a compensation offering in a box next to the chest. Then send it on its way. Then watch what happens: If the cart goes up the road to its own territory toward Beth-shemesh, then Israel’s God has brought this great disaster on us. If the cart goes another way, then we’ll know that it wasn’t God’s hand that struck us. It happened to us randomly.”

10 The rulers did just that. They took two nursing cows and harnessed them to the cart, penning their calves up at home. 11 They put the Lord’s chest on the cart along with the box containing the gold mice and the images of their tumors. 12 The cows went straight ahead, following the road to Beth-shemesh. They kept to one route, mooing as they went, without turning right or left. The Philistine rulers followed them as far as the territory of Beth-shemesh.

13 Now the people of Beth-shemesh were harvesting wheat in the valley. When they looked up and saw the chest, they were overjoyed at the sight. 14 The cart entered the field belonging to Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped right by a large stone. They chopped up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as an entirely burned offering to the Lord. 15 The Levites unloaded the Lord’s chest and the box that was with it that contained all the gold items, and they set them on the large stone. That very day the people of Beth-shemesh offered entirely burned offerings and made sacrifices to the Lord. 16 When the five Philistine rulers witnessed this, they went straight back to Ekron.

Acts 5:27-42

27 The apostles were brought before the council where the high priest confronted them: 28 “In no uncertain terms, we demanded that you not teach in this name. And look at you! You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. And you are determined to hold us responsible for this man’s death.”

29 Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than humans! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God has exalted Jesus to his right side as leader and savior so that he could enable Israel to change its heart and life and to find forgiveness for sins. 32 We are witnesses of such things, as is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When the council members heard this, they became furious and wanted to kill the apostles. 34 One council member, a Pharisee and teacher of the Law named Gamaliel, well-respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be taken outside for a few moments. 35 He said, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you intend to do to these people. 36 Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and some four hundred men joined him. After he was killed, all of his followers scattered, and nothing came of that. 37 Afterward, at the time of the census, Judas the Galilean appeared and got some people to follow him in a revolt. He was killed too, and all his followers scattered far and wide. 38 Here’s my recommendation in this case: Distance yourselves from these men. Let them go! If their plan or activity is of human origin, it will end in ruin. 39 If it originates with God, you won’t be able to stop them. Instead, you would actually find yourselves fighting God!” The council was convinced by his reasoning. 40 After calling the apostles back, they had them beaten. They ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, then let them go. 41 The apostles left the council rejoicing because they had been regarded as worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of the name. 42 Every day they continued to teach and proclaim the good news that Jesus is the Christ, both in the temple and in houses.

Luke 21:37-22:13

37 Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, but he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. 38 All the people rose early in the morning to hear him in the temple area.

22 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the legal experts were looking for a way to kill Jesus, because they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve. He went out and discussed with the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard how he could hand Jesus over to them. They were delighted and arranged payment for him. He agreed and began looking for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them—a time when the crowds would be absent.

The Day of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John with this task: “Go and prepare for us to eat the Passover meal.”

They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”

10 Jesus replied, “When you go into the city, a man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters. 11  Say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guestroom where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?” ’ 12  He will show you a large upstairs room, already furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They went and found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.


All scripture from the Common English Bible (CEB)
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible