Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin,
Second Sunday following Pentecost
 Wisdom has built her house,
she has set up her seven pillars.
 She has slaughtered her beasts, she has mixed her wine,
she has also set her table.
 She has sent out her maids to call
from the highest places in the town,
 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
To him who is without sense she says,
 “Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
 Leave simpleness, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”
 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here.
 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men of good omen: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.
 For behold, upon the stone which I have set before Joshua, upon a single stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription, says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day.
 In that day, says the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor under his vine and under his fig tree.”
 And the angel who talked with me came again, and waked me, like a man that is wakened out of his sleep.
 And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps which are on the top of it.
 And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”
 And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.”
 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerub’babel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.
 What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerub’babel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of `Grace, grace to it!’”
 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
 “The hands of Zerub’babel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary.
 For a tent was prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence; it is called the Holy Place.
 Behind the second curtain stood a tent called the Holy of Holies,
 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
 above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the outer tent, performing their ritual duties;
 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people.
 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary is not yet opened as long as the outer tent is still standing
 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,
 but deal only with food and drink and various ablutions, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
 It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem;
 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
 So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me;
 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
 I and the Father are one.”
 Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field;
 it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
 He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
 All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable.
 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”
 But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”
 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.”
 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;
 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent round to all that region and brought to him all that were sick,
 and besought him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America