Second Day of Great Lent
 The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
 “But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live.
 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
 “And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering,
 and he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her; then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female.
 And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”
 The LORD created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
 Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
 Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
 before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
 When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
 when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
 then I was beside him, like a master workman;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
 rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the sons of men.
 And now, my sons, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
 Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
 Happy is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut.
 And he said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.
 “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;
 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.
 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
 So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.
 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian;
 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
 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.
 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
 And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”)
 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
 And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
 “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word;
 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
 which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to thy people Israel.”
 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;
 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in
and for a sign that is spoken against
 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan’u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
 and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
 And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
 And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America