Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross
I Corinthians 1:18-24
 Again, one preparing to sail and about to voyage
over raging waves
calls upon a piece of wood more fragile than
the ship which carries him.
 For it was desire for gain that planned that vessel,
and wisdom was the craftsman who built it;
 but it is thy providence, O Father, that steers its course,
because thou hast given it a path in the sea,
and a safe way through the waves,
 showing that thou canst save from every danger,
so that even if a man lacks skill, he may put to sea.
 It is thy will that works of thy wisdom should
not be without effect;
therefore men trust their lives even to the
smallest piece of wood,
and passing through the billows on a raft they
come safely to land.
 For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants were perishing,
the hope of the world took refuge on a raft,
and guided by thy hand left to the world the
seed of a new generation.
 For blessed is the wood by which righteousness comes.
 But the idol made with hands is accursed, and
so is he who made it;
because he did the work, and the perishable
thing was named a god.
 And lo, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, every man with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which it rested to the threshold of the house; and he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side.
 And the LORD said to him, “Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”
 And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity;
 slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house.
I Corinthians 1:18-24
 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.”
 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man.
 Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;
 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory;
 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place.
 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the LORD has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his afflicted.
 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
my Lord has forgotten me.”
 “Can a woman forget her sucking child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
 Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
 Your builders outstrip your destroyers,
and those who laid you waste go forth from you.
 Lift up your eyes round about and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the LORD,
you shall put them all on as an ornament,
you shall bind them on as a bride does.
 “Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land —
surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
 The children born in the time of your bereavement
will yet say in your ears:
`The place is too narrow for me;
make room for me to dwell in.’
 Then you will say in your heart:
`Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away,
but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
whence then have these come?’”
 Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”
 But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.
 Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.
 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up,
 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
 But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.
 Father, glorify thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
 The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
 Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
 and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
 He said this to show by what death he was to die.
 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
 And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyre’ne, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
 And they brought him to the place called Gol’gotha (which means the place of a skull).
 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it.
 And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.
 And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.
 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
 “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.
 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
 And you know the way where I am going.”
 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.
 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.”
 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.”
 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father’?
 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.
 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.
 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America