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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 120

A pilgrimage song.

120 I cried out to the Lord when I was in trouble
    (and he answered me):
Lord, deliver me from lying lips
    and a dishonest tongue!”
What more will be given to you,
    what more will be done to you,
    you dishonest tongue?
Just this: a warrior’s sharpened arrows,
    coupled with burning coals from a wood fire!

Oh, I’m doomed
    because I have been an immigrant in Meshech,
    because I’ve made my home among Kedar’s tents.
I’ve lived far too long
    with people who hate peace.
I’m for peace,
    but when I speak, they are for war.

Psalm 121

A pilgrimage song.

121 I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
    Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.
God won’t let your foot slip.
    Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.
No! Israel’s protector
    never sleeps or rests!
The Lord is your protector;
    the Lord is your shade right beside you.
The sun won’t strike you during the day;
    neither will the moon at night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
    God will protect your very life.
The Lord will protect you on your journeys—
    whether going or coming—
    from now until forever from now.

Psalm 122

A pilgrimage song. Of David.

122 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let’s go to the Lord’s house!”
Now our feet are standing
    in your gates, Jerusalem!

Jerusalem is built like a city
    joined together in unity.
That is where the tribes go up—
    the Lord’s tribes!
It is the law for Israel
    to give thanks there to the Lord’s name,
    because the thrones of justice are there—
    the thrones of the house of David!

Pray that Jerusalem has peace:
    “Let those who love you have rest.
    Let there be peace on your walls;
    let there be rest on your fortifications.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I say, “Peace be with you, Jerusalem.”
For the sake of the Lord our God’s house
    I will pray for your good.

Psalm 123

A pilgrimage song.

123 I raise my eyes to you—
    you who rule heaven.
Just as the eyes of servants attend to their masters’ hand,
    just as the eyes of a female servant attends to her mistress’ hand—
    that’s how our eyes attend to the Lord our God
    until he has mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, Lord! Have mercy
    because we’ve had more than enough shame.
We’ve had more than enough mockery from the self-confident,
    more than enough shame from the proud.

Psalm 124

A pilgrimage song. Of David.

124 If the Lord hadn’t been for us—
    let Israel now repeat!—
    if the Lord hadn’t been for us,
        when those people attacked us
then they would have swallowed us up whole
        with their rage burning against us!
Then the waters would have drowned us;
    the torrent would have come over our necks;
    then the raging waters would have come over our necks!

Bless the Lord
    because he didn’t hand us over
    like food for our enemies’ teeth!
We escaped like a bird from the hunters’ trap;
    the trap was broken so we escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 125

A pilgrimage song.

125 The people who trust in the Lord
    are like Mount Zion:
    never shaken, lasting forever.
Mountains surround Jerusalem.
    That’s how the Lord surrounds his people
    from now until forever from now!
The wicked rod won’t remain
in the land given to the righteous
    so that they don’t use their hands to do anything wrong.
Lord, do good to people who are good,
    to people whose hearts are right.
But as for those people who turn to their own twisted ways—
    may the Lord march them off with other evildoers!

Peace be on Israel!

Psalm 126

A pilgrimage song.

126 When the Lord changed Zion’s circumstances for the better,
    it was like we had been dreaming.
Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter;
    our tongues were filled with joyful shouts.
It was even said, at that time, among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Yes, the Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are overjoyed.

Lord, change our circumstances for the better,
    like dry streams in the desert waste!
Let those who plant with tears
    reap the harvest with joyful shouts.
Let those who go out,
    crying and carrying their seed,
    come home with joyful shouts,
    carrying bales of grain!

Psalm 127

A pilgrimage song. Of Solomon.

127 Unless it is the Lord who builds the house,
    the builders’ work is pointless.
Unless it is the Lord who protects the city,
    the guard on duty is pointless.
It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late,
    eating the bread of hard labor
    because God gives sleep to those he loves.

No doubt about it: children are a gift from the Lord;
    the fruit of the womb is a divine reward.
The children born when one is young
    are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
The person who fills a quiver full with them is truly happy!
    They won’t be ashamed when arguing with their enemies in the gate.

2 Samuel 18:9-18

Absalom came upon some of David’s men. Absalom was riding on a mule, and the mule went under the tangled branches of a large oak tree. Absalom’s head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair while the mule under him kept on going. 10 One of the men saw this and reported to Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging from an oak tree.”

11 Joab said to the man who told him, “You saw this? Why didn’t you kill him on the spot? I would have given you ten pieces of silver and a belt.”

12 But the man said to Joab, “Even if I had a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I wouldn’t touch the king’s son! We heard what the king commanded you, Abishai, and Ittai—‘For my sake, take care of my boy Absalom.’ 13 If I had taken Absalom’s life behind the king’s back then—though nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.”

14 Joab said, “I won’t waste time like this with you!” He took three sticks in his hand and drove them into Absalom’s chest while he was still alive in the oak. 15 Then ten young armor-bearers of Joab surrounded Absalom, struck him, and killed him. 16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped chasing the Israelites, because Joab held them back.

17 They took Absalom and threw him into a big pit in the forest. They piled over him a huge heap of stones. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. 18 When he was alive, Absalom had raised a large pillar for himself in the King’s Valley because he said, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself. It is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.

Acts 23:12-24

12 The next morning some Jewish leaders formulated a plot and solemnly promised that they wouldn’t eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty people were involved in the conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have solemnly promised to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 You and the council must explain to the commander that you need Paul brought down to you. Pretend that you want to examine his case more closely. We’re prepared to kill him before he arrives.”

16 Paul’s sister had a son who heard about the ambush and he came to the military headquarters and reported it to Paul. 17 Paul called for one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander because he has something to report to him.”

18 He took him to the commander and said, “The prisoner Paul asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to tell you.”

19 The commander took him by the hand and withdrew to a place where they could speak privately. He asked, “What do you have to report to me?”

20 He replied, “The Jewish leaders have conspired to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow. They will pretend that they want to investigate his case more closely. 21 Don’t fall for it! More than forty of them are waiting to ambush him. They have solemnly promised not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, awaiting your consent.”

22 The commander dismissed the young man, ordering him, “Don’t tell anyone that you brought this to my attention.”

23 The commander called two centurions and said, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight. 24 Have horses ready for Paul to ride, so they may take him safely to Governor Felix.”

Mark 11:27-12:12

27 Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem again. As Jesus was walking around the temple, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders came to him. 28 They asked, “What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?”

29 Jesus said to them, “I have a question for you. Give me an answer, then I’ll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things. 30  Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”

31 They argued among themselves, “If we say, ‘It’s of heavenly origin,’ he’ll say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But we can’t say, ‘It’s of earthly origin.’” They said this because they were afraid of the crowd, because they all thought John was a prophet. 33 They answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.”

12 Jesus spoke to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower. Then he rented it to tenant farmers and took a trip. When it was time, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But they grabbed the servant, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again the landowner sent another servant to them, but they struck him on the head and treated him disgracefully. He sent another one; that one they killed. The landlord sent many other servants, but the tenants beat some and killed others. Now the landowner had one son whom he loved dearly. He sent him last, thinking, They will respect my son. But those tenant farmers said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ They grabbed him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“So what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10  Haven’t you read this scripture, The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 11 The Lord has done this, and it’s amazing in our eyes?”

12 They wanted to arrest Jesus because they knew that he had told the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.


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