December 13 (Daily Scripture)

Fast Day

II Thessalonians 3:1-18
Luke 15:1-7

II Thessalonians 3:1-18
[1] Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you,
[2] and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith.
[3] But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil.
[4] And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command.
[5] May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
[6] Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
[7] For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you,
[8] we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you.
[9] It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate.
[10] For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.
[11] For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.
[12] Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living.
[13] Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing.
[14] If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.
[15] Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
[16] Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all.
[17] I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.
[18] The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Luke 15:1-7
[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
[2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
[3] So he told them this parable:
[4] “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
[5] And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
[6] And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’
[7] Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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December 12 (Daily Scripture)

Martyrs of Sebastia: Sts. Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugenius, Orestes, Marytrius,
Fast Day

Proverbs 1:2-9
Nahum 2:1-6
Romans 5:1-5
Matthew 5:1-12

Proverbs 1:2-9
[2] That men may know wisdom and instruction,
understand words of insight,
[3] receive instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
[4] that prudence may be given to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth —
[5] the wise man also may hear and increase in learning,
and the man of understanding acquire skill,
[6] to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
[7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
[8] Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and reject not your mother’s teaching;
[9] for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.

Nahum 2:1-6
[1] The shatterer has come up against you.
Man the ramparts;
watch the road;
gird your loins;
collect all your strength.
[2] (For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have stripped them
and ruined their branches.)
[3] The shield of his mighty men is red,
his soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
The chariots flash like flame
when mustered in array;
the chargers prance.
[4] The chariots rage in the streets,
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches,
they dart like lightning.
[5] The officers are summoned,
they stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall,
the mantelet is set up.
[6] The river gates are opened,
the palace is in dismay;

Romans 5:1-5
[1] Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
[2] Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
[3] More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
[4] and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
[5] and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

Matthew 5:1-12
[1] Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
[2] And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
[3] “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[4] “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
[5] “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
[6] “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
[7] “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
[8] “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
[9] “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
[10] “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[11] “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
[12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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December 11 (Daily Scripture)

Fast Day

II Thessalonians 2:1-17
Luke 14:25-27

II Thessalonians 2:1-17
[1] Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren,
[2] not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
[3] Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition,
[4] who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
[5] Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this?
[6] And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
[7] For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
[8] And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming.
[9] The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders,
[10] and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
[11] Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
[12] so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
[13] But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
[14] To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[15] So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
[16] Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,
[17] comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Luke 14:25-27
[25] Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them,
[26] “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
[27] Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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December 10 (Daily Scripture)

St. Cornelius the Centurion,
St. Simeon, martyred in Jerusalem,
St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna,
Saints, martyrs that perished in the East,
Fast Day

Wisdom 1:1-7
Jeremiah 16:16-21
Acts 1:12-14
Mark 6:6-13

Wisdom 1:1-7
[1] Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth,
think of the Lord with uprightness,
and seek him with sincerity of heart;
[2] because he is found by those who do not put him to the test,
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.
[3] For perverse thoughts separate men from God,
and when his power is tested, it convicts the foolish;
[4] because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul,
nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin.
[5] For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit,
and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts,
and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.
[6] For wisdom is a kindly spirit and
will not free a blasphemer from the guilt of his words;
because God is witness of his inmost feelings,
and a true observer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
[7] Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world,
and that which holds all things together knows what is said;

Jeremiah 16:16-21
[16] “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, says the LORD, and they shall catch them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.
[17] For my eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.
[18] And I will doubly recompense their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”
[19] O LORD, my strength and my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of trouble,
to thee shall the nations come
from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nought but lies,
worthless things in which there is no profit.
[20] Can man make for himself gods?
Such are no gods!”
[21] “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD.”

Acts 1:12-14
[12] Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away;
[13] and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
[14] All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Mark 6:6-13
[6] And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
[7] And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
[8] He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
[9] but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
[10] And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.
[11] And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.”
[12] So they went out and preached that men should repent.
[13] And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

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December 9 (Daily Scripture)

Feast of the Conception of the Holy Mother of God by Anna

Song of Solomon 6:3-8
Malachi 3:1-2
Galatians 3:24-29
Luke 1:39-56

Song of Solomon 6:3-8
[3] I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he pastures his flock among the lilies.
[4] You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
comely as Jerusalem,
terrible as an army with banners.
[5] Turn away your eyes from me,
for they disturb me —
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
moving down the slopes of Gilead.
[6] Your teeth are like a flock of ewes,
that have come up from the washing,
all of them bear twins,
not one among them is bereaved.
[7] Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
behind your veil.
[8] There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
and maidens without number.

Malachi 3:1-2
[1] “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
[2] But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
“For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;

Galatians 3:24-29
[24] So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.
[25] But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian;
[26] for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
[27] For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
[29] And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Luke 1:39-56
[39] In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
[40] and she entered the house of Zechari’ah and greeted Elizabeth.
[41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
[42] and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
[43] And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
[44] For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
[45] And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
[46] And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
[47] and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
[48] for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
[49] for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
[50] And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
[51] He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
[52] he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
[53] he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
[54] He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
[55] as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
[56] And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.

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December 8 (Daily Scripture)

Third Sunday of Heesnag,
Eve of the Fast of St. James of Nisibis

Isaiah 37:14-38
II Thessalonians 1:1-12
Luke 14:12-24

Isaiah 37:14-38
[14] Hezeki’ah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezeki’ah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
[15] And Hezeki’ah prayed to the LORD:
[16] “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, who art enthroned above the cherubim, thou art the God, thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.
[17] Incline thy ear, O LORD, and hear; open thy eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennach’erib, which he has sent to mock the living God.
[18] Of a truth, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands,
[19] and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone; therefore they were destroyed.
[20] So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou alone art the LORD.”
[21] Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezeki’ah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennach’erib king of Assyria,
[22] this is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: `She despises you, she scorns you —
the virgin daughter of Zion;
she wags her head behind you —
the daughter of Jerusalem.
[23] `Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and haughtily lifted your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
[24] By your servants you have mocked the Lord,
and you have said, With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses;
I came to its remotest height,
its densest forest.
[25] I dug wells
and drank waters,
and I dried up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.
[26] `Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should make fortified cities
crash into heaps of ruins,
[27] while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
blighted before it is grown.
[28] `I know your sitting down
and your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
[29] Because you have raged against me
and your arrogance has come to my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will turn you back on the way
by which you came.’
[30] “And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same; then in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.
[31] And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward;
[32] for out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
[33] “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege mound against it.
[34] By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, says the LORD.
[35] For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
[36] And the angel of the LORD went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
[37] Then Sennach’erib king of Assyria departed, and went home and dwelt at Nin’eveh.
[38] And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adram’melech and Share’zer, his sons, slew him with the sword, and escaped into the land of Ar’arat. And E’sar-had’don his son reigned in his stead.

II Thessalonians 1:1-12
[1] Paul, Silva’nus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalo’nians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
[2] Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
[3] We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, as is fitting, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
[4] Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring.
[5] This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering —
[6] since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
[7] and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire,
[8] inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
[9] They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
[10] when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
[11] To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,
[12] so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 14:12-24
[12] He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid.
[13] But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,
[14] and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
[15] When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
[16] But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many;
[17] and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.’
[18] But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.’
[19] And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.’
[20] And another said, `I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
[21] So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’
[22] And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’
[23] And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
[24] For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

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December 7 (Daily Scripture)

St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

Ezekiel 3:16-19
II Timothy 3:10-15
John 10:11-16

Ezekiel 3:16-19
[16] And at the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me:
[17] “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
[18] If I say to the wicked, `You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
[19] But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life.

II Timothy 3:10-15
[10] Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,
[11] my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Ico’nium, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.
[12] Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
[13] while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.
[14] But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
[15] and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

John 10:11-16
[11] I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
[12] He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
[13] He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
[14] I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
[15] as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
[16] And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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