Feast of the Dedication of the Holy Church,
Forefeast of the Holy Cross
I Timothy 3:14-16
 Honor the LORD with your substance
and with the first fruits of all your produce;
 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
 for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
and the man who gets understanding,
 for the gain from it is better than gain from silver
and its profit better than gold.
 She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
 For thus says the LORD:
“Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and dandled upon her knees.
 As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and it shall be known that the hand of the LORD is with his
and his indignation is against his enemies.
 “For behold, the LORD will come in fire,
and his chariots like the stormwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.
 For by fire will the LORD execute judgment,
and by his sword, upon all flesh;
and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
I Timothy 3:14-16
 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that,
 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.
 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
 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.”
 The Jews took up stones again to stone him.
 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?”
 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, `I said, you are gods’?
 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken),
 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,’ because I said, `I am the Son of God’?
 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;
 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
 Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained.
 And many came to him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.”
 And many believed in him there.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America