April 11 (Daily Scripture)

Thirty-Ninth Day of Great Lent

Ezekiel 37:1-14
I Timothy 3:14-16

Ezekiel 37:1-14
[1] The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones.
[2] And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and lo, they were very dry.
[3] And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest.”
[4] Again he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
[5] Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
[6] And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
[7] So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
[8] And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.
[9] Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”
[10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.
[11] Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, `Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’
[12] Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel.
[13] And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.
[14] And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, says the LORD.”

I Timothy 3:14-16
[14] I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that,
[15] 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.
[16] 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.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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April 10 (Daily Scripture)

Thirty-Eighth Day of Great Lent

Exodus 4:21-5:3
Zechariah 9:9-16

Exodus 4:21-5:3
[21] And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.
[22] And you shall say to Pharaoh, `Thus says the LORD, Israel is my first-born son,
[23] and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me”; if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your first-born son.’”
[24] At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to kill him.
[25] Then Zippo’rah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet with it, and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!”
[26] So he let him alone. Then it was that she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
[27] The LORD said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went, and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him.
[28] And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD with which he had sent him, and all the signs which he had charged him to do.
[29] Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel.
[30] And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.
[31] And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Chapter 5
[1] Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, `Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’”
[2] But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover I will not let Israel go.”
[3] Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us; let us go, we pray, a three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

Zechariah 9:9-16
[9] Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on an ass,
on a colt the foal of an ass.
[10] I will cut off the chariot from E’phraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
[11] As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will set your captives free from the waterless pit.
[12] Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that I will restore to you double.
[13] For I have bent Judah as my bow;
I have made E’phraim its arrow.
I will brandish your sons, O Zion,
over your sons, O Greece,
and wield you like a warrior’s sword.
[14] Then the LORD will appear over them,
and his arrow go forth like lightning;
the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet,
and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.
[15] The LORD of hosts will protect them,
and they shall devour and tread down the slingers;
and they shall drink their blood like wine,
and be full like a bowl,
drenched like the corners of the altar.
[16] On that day the LORD their God will save them
for they are the flock of his people;
for like the jewels of a crown
they shall shine on his land.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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April 9 (Daily Scripture)

Thirty-Seventh Day of Great Lent

I Corinthians 12:8-27

I Corinthians 12:8-27
[8] To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
[9] to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
[10] to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
[11] All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
[12] For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
[13] For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
[14] For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
[15] If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
[16] And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
[17] If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
[18] But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
[19] If all were a single organ, where would the body be?
[20] As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
[21] The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
[22] On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable,
[23] and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
[24] which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part,
[25] that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
[26] If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
[27] Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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April 8 (Daily Scripture)

Thirty-Sixth Day of Great Lent

Daniel 7:2-27
I Corinthians 12:1-7

Daniel 7:2-27
[2] Daniel said, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
[3] And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
[4] The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand upon two feet like a man; and the mind of a man was given to it.
[5] And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side; it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, `Arise, devour much flesh.’
[6] After this I looked, and lo, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back; and the beast had four heads; and dominion was given to it.
[7] After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrible and dreadful and exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
[8] I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
[9] As I looked,
thrones were placed
and one that was ancient of days took his seat;
his raiment was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames,
its wheels were burning fire.
[10] A stream of fire issued
and came forth from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened.
[11] I looked then because of the sound of the great words which the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.
[12] As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
[13] I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
[14] And to him was given dominion
and glory and kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
[15] “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious and the visions of my head alarmed me.
[16] I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made known to me the interpretation of the things.
[17] `These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.
[18] But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, for ever and ever.’
[19] “Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrible, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze; and which devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet;
[20] and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up and before which three of them fell, the horn which had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and which seemed greater than its fellows.
[21] As I looked, this horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them,
[22] until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints received the kingdom.
[23] “Thus he said: `As for the fourth beast,
there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
[24] As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom
ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
[25] He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, two times, and half a time.
[26] But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
[27] And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’

I Corinthians 12:1-7
[1] Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed.
[2] You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved.
[3] Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
[4] Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
[5] and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
[6] and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.
[7] To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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April 7 (Daily Scripture)

Feast of the Annunciation to the Mother of God,
Sixth Sunday of Great Lent:
Sunday of Advent

Song of Solomon 1:2-11
Proverbs 11:30-12:4
Isaiah 52:7-10
Zechariah 2:10-13
Malachi 3:1-2
II Corinthians 6:16-7:1
Luke 1:26-38
Luke 21:5-38
Isaiah 66:1-24
Colossians 2:8-3:17
Matthew 22:34-23:39

Song of Solomon 1:2-11
[2] O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth!
For your love is better than wine,
[3] your anointing oils are fragrant,
your name is oil poured out;
therefore the maidens love you.
[4] 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.
[5] I am very dark, but comely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
[6] 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!
[7] 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?
[8] If you do not know,
O fairest among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your kids
beside the shepherds’ tents.
[9] I compare you, my love,
to a mare of Pharaoh’s chariots.
[10] Your cheeks are comely with ornaments,
your neck with strings of jewels.
[11] We will make you ornaments of gold,
studded with silver.

Proverbs 11:30-12:4
[30] The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
but lawlessness takes away lives.
[31] If the righteous is requited on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!

Chapter 12
[1] Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
[2] A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
[3] A man is not established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
[4] A good wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

Isaiah 52:7-10
[7] 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.”
[8] 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.
[9] Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
[10] 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.

Zechariah 2:10-13
[10] Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD.
[11] 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.
[12] And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
[13] Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.

Malachi 3:1-2
[1] “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.
[2] 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
[16] 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.
[17] Therefore come out from them,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
then I will welcome you,
[18] and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

Chapter 7
[1] 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.

Luke 1:26-38
[26] In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
[27] to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
[28] And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
[29] But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
[30] And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
[31] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
[32] He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
[33] and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
[34] And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?”
[35] And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.
[36] And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
[37] For with God nothing will be impossible.”
[38] And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Luke 21:5-38
[5] And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,
[6] “As for these things which you see, the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
[7] And they asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?”
[8] And he said, “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!’ and, `The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.
[9] And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”
[10] Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
[11] there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
[12] But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.
[13] This will be a time for you to bear testimony.
[14] Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer;
[15] for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
[16] You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death;
[17] you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.
[18] But not a hair of your head will perish.
[19] By your endurance you will gain your lives.
[20] “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.
[21] Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it;
[22] for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written.
[23] Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people;
[24] they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
[25] “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
[26] men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
[27] And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
[28] Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
[29] And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees;
[30] as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near.
[31] So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
[32] Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place.
[33] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
[34] “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;
[35] for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.
[36] But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.”
[37] And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.
[38] And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

Isaiah 66:1-24
[1] Thus says the LORD:
“Heaven is my throne
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house which you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
[2] All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things are mine, says the LORD.
But this is the man to whom I will look,
he that is humble and contrite in spirit,
and trembles at my word.
[3] “He who slaughters an ox is like him who kills a man;
he who sacrifices a lamb, like him who breaks a dog’s neck;
he who presents a cereal offering, like him who offers swine’s
blood;
he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like him who
blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
and their soul delights in their abominations;
[4] I also will choose affliction for them,
and bring their fears upon them;
because, when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke they did not listen;
but they did what was evil in my eyes,
and chose that in which I did not delight.”
[5] Hear the word of the LORD,
you who tremble at his word:
“Your brethren who hate you
and cast you out for my name’s sake
have said, `Let the LORD be glorified,
that we may see your joy’;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.
[6] “Hark, an uproar from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of the LORD,
rendering recompense to his enemies!
[7] “Before she was in labor
she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her
she was delivered of a son.
[8] Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor
she brought forth her sons.
[9] Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth?
says the LORD;
shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?
says your God.
[10] “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her;
[11] that you may suck and be satisfied
with her consoling breasts;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from the abundance of her glory.”
[12] 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.
[13] As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
[14] 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
servants,
and his indignation is against his enemies.
[15] “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.
[16] For by fire will the LORD execute judgment,
and by his sword, upon all flesh;
and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
[17] “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, says the LORD.
[18] “For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory,
[19] and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
[20] And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD.
[21] And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.
[22] “For as the new heavens and the new earth
which I will make
shall remain before me, says the LORD;
so shall your descendants and your name remain.
[23] From new moon to new moon,
and from sabbath to sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the LORD.
[24] “And they shall go forth and look on the dead bodies of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

Colossians 2:8-3:17
[8] See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.
[9] For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily,
[10] and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
[11] In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ;
[12] and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
[13] And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
[14] having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
[15] He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him.
[16] Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.
[17] These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
[18] Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,
[19] and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
[20] If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations,
[21] “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”
[22] (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines?
[23] These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh.

Chapter 3
[1] If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
[2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
[3] For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
[4] When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
[5] Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
[6] On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
[7] In these you once walked, when you lived in them.
[8] But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.
[9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices
[10] and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
[11] Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scyth’ian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.
[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,
[13] forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
[14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
[15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
[16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
[17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Matthew 22:34-23:39
[34] But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sad’ducees, they came together.
[35] And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him.
[36] “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
[37] And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
[38] This is the great and first commandment.
[39] And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
[40] On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
[41] Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
[42] saying, “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”
[43] He said to them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
[44] `The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
till I put thy enemies under thy feet’?
[45] If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
[46] And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions.

Chapter 23
[1] Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples,
[2] “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat;
[3] so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.
[4] They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.
[5] They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,
[6] and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues,
[7] and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.
[8] But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren.
[9] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
[10] Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ.
[11] He who is greatest among you shall be your servant;
[12] whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
[13] “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.
[15] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
[16] “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’
[17] You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
[18] And you say, `If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’
[19] You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
[20] So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it;
[21] and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it;
[22] and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
[23] “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
[24] You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
[25] “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity.
[26] You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
[27] “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
[28] So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
[29] “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,
[30] saying, `If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
[31] Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
[32] Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.
[33] You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
[34] Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
[35] that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechari’ah the son of Barachi’ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
[36] Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.
[37] “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!
[38] Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.
[39] For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America

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April 6 (Daily Scripture)

St. Gregory the Enlightener’s Torture and Imprisonment in the Pit,
Thirty-Fourth Day of Great Lent

Wisdom 1:15-2:22
Micah 7:7-10
Philippians 1:12-21
Matthew 16:24-28

Wisdom 1:15-2:22
[15] For righteousness is immortal.
[16] But ungodly men by their words and deeds summoned death;
considering him a friend, they pined away,
and they made a covenant with him,
because they are fit to belong to his party.

Chapter 2
[1] For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,
“Short and sorrowful is our life,
and there is no remedy when a man comes to his end,
and no one has been known to return from Hades.
[2] Because we were born by mere chance,
and hereafter we shall be as though we had never been;
because the breath in our nostrils is smoke,
and reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts.
[3] When it is extinguished, the body will turn to ashes,
and the spirit will dissolve like empty air.
[4] Our name will be forgotten in time
and no one will remember our works;
our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud,
and be scattered like mist
that is chased by the rays of the sun
and overcome by its heat.
[5] For our allotted time is the passing of a shadow,
and there is no return from our death,
because it is sealed up and no one turns back.
[6] “Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist,
and make use of the creation to the full as in youth.
[7] Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes,
and let no flower of spring pass by us.
[8] Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither.
[9] Let none of us fail to share in our revelry,
everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment,
because this is our portion, and this our lot.
[10] Let us oppress the righteous poor man;
let us not spare the widow
nor regard the gray hairs of the aged.
[11] But let our might be our law of right,
for what is weak proves itself to be useless.
[12] “Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
he reproaches us for sins against the law,
and accuses us of sins against our training.
[13] He professes to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a child of the Lord.
[14] He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
[15] the very sight of him is a burden to us,
because his manner of life is unlike that of others,
and his ways are strange.
[16] We are considered by him as something base,
and he avoids our ways as unclean;
he calls the last end of the righteous happy,
and boasts that God is his father.
[17] Let us see if his words are true,
and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
[18] for if the righteous man is God’s son, he will help him,
and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
[19] Let us test him with insult and torture,
that we may find out how gentle he is,
and make trial of his forbearance.
[20] Let us condemn him to a shameful death,
for, according to what he says, he will be protected.”
[21] Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray,
for their wickedness blinded them,
[22] and they did not know the secret purposes of God,
nor hope for the wages of holiness,
nor discern the prize for blameless souls;

Micah 7:7-10
[7] But as for me, I will look to the LORD,
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.
[8] Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be a light to me.
[9] I will bear the indignation of the LORD
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me forth to the light;
I shall behold his deliverance.
[10] Then my enemy will see,
and shame will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the LORD your God?”
My eyes will gloat over her;
now she will be trodden down
like the mire of the streets.

Philippians 1:12-21
[12] I want you to know, brethren, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,
[13] so that it has become known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ;
[14] and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.
[15] Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.
[16] The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel;
[17] the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
[18] What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.
[19] Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,
[20] as it is my eager expectation and hope that I shall not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
[21] For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Matthew 16:24-28
[24] Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
[25] For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
[26] For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
[27] For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.
[28] Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

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April 5 (Daily Scripture)

Thirty-Third Day of Great Lent

Deuteronomy 10:1-15
Job 19:1-29
Isaiah 45:1-13

Deuteronomy 10:1-15
[1] “At that time the LORD said to me, `Hew two tables of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood.
[2] And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.’
[3] So I made an ark of acacia wood, and hewed two tables of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tables in my hand.
[4] And he wrote on the tables, as at the first writing, the ten commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.
[5] Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.
[6] (The people of Israel journeyed from Be-er’oth Bene-ja’akan to Mose’rah. There Aaron died, and there he was buried; and his son Elea’zar ministered as priest in his stead.
[7] From there they journeyed to Gud’godah, and from Gud’godah to Jot’bathah, a land with brooks of water.
[8] At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.
[9] Therefore Levi has no portion or inheritance with his brothers; the LORD is his inheritance, as the LORD your God said to him.)
[10] “I stayed on the mountain, as at the first time, forty days and forty nights, and the LORD hearkened to me that time also; the LORD was unwilling to destroy you.
[11] And the LORD said to me, `Arise, go on your journey at the head of the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I swore to their fathers to give them.’
[12] “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
[13] and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I command you this day for your good?
[14] Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it;
[15] yet the LORD set his heart in love upon your fathers and chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as at this day.

Job 19:1-29
[1] Then Job answered:
[2] “How long will you torment me,
and break me in pieces with words?
[3] These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
are you not ashamed to wrong me?
[4] And even if it be true that I have erred,
my error remains with myself.
[5] If indeed you magnify yourselves against me,
and make my humiliation an argument against me,
[6] know then that God has put me in the wrong,
and closed his net about me.
[7] Behold, I cry out, `Violence!’ but I am not answered;
I call aloud, but there is no justice.
[8] He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.
[9] He has stripped from me my glory,
and taken the crown from my head.
[10] He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
[11] He has kindled his wrath against me,
and counts me as his adversary.
[12] His troops come on together;
they have cast up siegeworks against me,
and encamp round about my tent.
[13] “He has put my brethren far from me,
and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
[14] My kinsfolk and my close friends have failed me;
[15] the guests in my house have forgotten me;
my maidservants count me as a stranger;
I have become an alien in their eyes.
[16] I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
I must beseech him with my mouth.
[17] I am repulsive to my wife,
loathsome to the sons of my own mother.
[18] Even young children despise me;
when I rise they talk against me.
[19] All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
[20] My bones cleave to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
[21] Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
[22] Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
[23] “Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
[24] Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were graven in the rock for ever!
[25] For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at last he will stand upon the earth;
[26] and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then from my flesh I shall see God,
[27] whom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
[28] If you say, `How we will pursue him!’
and, `The root of the matter is found in him’;
[29] be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
that you may know there is a judgment.”

Isaiah 45:1-13
[1] Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
and ungird the loins of kings,
to open doors before him
that gates may not be closed:
[2] “I will go before you
and level the mountains,
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
and cut asunder the bars of iron,
[3] I will give you the treasures of darkness
and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the LORD,
the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
[4] For the sake of my servant Jacob,
and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
I surname you, though you do not know me.
[5] I am the LORD, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I gird you, though you do not know me,
[6] that men may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is none besides me;
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
[7] I form light and create darkness,
I make weal and create woe,
I am the LORD, who do all these things.
[8] “Shower, O heavens, from above,
and let the skies rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation may sprout forth,
and let it cause righteousness to spring up also;
I the LORD have created it.
[9] “Woe to him who strives with his Maker,
an earthen vessel with the potter!
Does the clay say to him who fashions it, `What are you making’?
or `Your work has no handles’?
[10] Woe to him who says to a father, `What are you begetting?’
or to a woman, `With what are you in travail?’”
[11] Thus says the LORD,
the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Will you question me about my children,
or command me concerning the work of my hands?
[12] I made the earth,
and created man upon it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
[13] I have aroused him in righteousness,
and I will make straight all his ways;
he shall build my city
and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
says the LORD of hosts.

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