Feast of the Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple
Song of Solomon 1:2-11
II Corinthians 6:16-7:1
Song of Solomon 1:2-11
 O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth!
For your love is better than wine,
 your anointing oils are fragrant,
your name is oil poured out;
therefore the maidens love you.
 Draw me after you, let us make haste.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
We will exult and rejoice in you;
we will extol your love more than wine;
rightly do they love you.
 I am very dark, but comely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
 Do not gaze at me because I am swarthy,
because the sun has scorched me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me,
they made me keeper of the vineyards;
but, my own vineyard I have not kept!
 Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who wanders
beside the flocks of your companions?
 If you do not know,
O fairest among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your kids
beside the shepherds’ tents.
 I compare you, my love,
to a mare of Pharaoh’s chariots.
 Your cheeks are comely with ornaments,
your neck with strings of jewels.
 We will make you ornaments of gold,
studded with silver.
 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
but lawlessness takes away lives.
 If the righteous is requited on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!
 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
 A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
 A man is not established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
 A good wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good tidings,
who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
 Hark, your watchmen lift up their voice,
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.
 Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
 The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD.
 And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
 And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
 “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.
 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;
II Corinthians 6:16-7:1
 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
 Therefore come out from them,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
then I will welcome you,
 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.
 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
 and she entered the house of Zechari’ah and greeted Elizabeth.
 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
 He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation;
 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created through him and for him.
 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.
 For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell,
 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
 And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him,
 provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
 As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!”
 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
 For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin’eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.
 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
 The men of Nin’eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America