Proverbs 20:6-22 6 Many proclaim themselves loyal, but who can find one worthy of trust? 7The righteous walk in integrity—happy are the children who follow them! 8A king who sits on the throne of judgement
winnows all evil with his eyes. 9Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean; I am pure from my sin’? 10Diverse weights and diverse measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord. 11Even children make themselves known by their acts, by whether what they do is pure and right. 12The hearing ear and the seeing eye—the Lord has made them both. 13Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. 14‘Bad, bad’, says the buyer, then goes away and boasts. 15There is gold, and abundance of costly stones; but the lips informed by knowledge are a precious jewel. 16Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger; seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners. 17Bread gained by deceit is sweet, but afterwards the mouth will be full of gravel. 18Plans are established by taking advice; wage war by following wise guidance. 19A gossip reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a babbler. 20If you curse father or mother, your lamp will go out in utter darkness. 21An estate quickly acquired in the beginning will not be blessed in the end. 22Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will help you.
Job 42:12-17 12The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this Job lived for one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17And Job died, old and full of days.
Lamentations 3:22-56 (select verses) 22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,* his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth, 28to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it, 29to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope), 30to give one’s cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. 31 For the Lord will not reject for ever. 32Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; 33for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. 34When all the prisoners of the land are crushed under foot, 35when human rights are perverted in the presence of the Most High, 36when one’s case is subverted—does the Lord not see it? 37Who can command and have it done, if the Lord has not ordained it? 38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? 39Why should any who draw breath complain about the punishment of their sins? 40Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord. 41Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven. 42We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven. 43You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; 44you have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 45You have made us filth and rubbish among the peoples. 46All our enemies have opened their mouths against us; 47panic and pitfall have come upon us,
devastation and destruction. 48My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of my people. 49My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite, 50until the Lord from heaven looks down and sees. 51My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the young women in my city. 52Those who were my enemies without cause have hunted me like a bird; 53they flung me alive into a pit and hurled stones on me; 54water closed over my head; I said, ‘I am lost.’ 55I called on your name, O Lord,
from the depths of the pit; 56you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help, but give me relief!’
Acts 13:25-33 25And as John was finishing his work, he said, “What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals* on his feet.” 26 ‘My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us* the message of this salvation has been sent. 27Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him. 28Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed. 29When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30But God raised him from the dead; 31and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people. 32And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors 33he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.”
Patience in Suffering 7 Be patient, therefore, beloved,* until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.*9Beloved,* do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! 10As an example of suffering and patience, beloved,* take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
The Death of John the Baptist 14At that time Herod the ruler* heard reports about Jesus; 2and he said to his servants, ‘This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ 3For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,*4because John had been telling him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’ 5Though Herod* wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. 6But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod 7so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. 8Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.’ 9The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; 10he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. 12His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.